The Bats at the Neda Mine Hibernaculum, Neda Wisconsin
The Neda Mine Bat Hibernaculum is located in an abandoned iron mine in
Dodge County Wisconsin. Many individuals and organizations have worked to
preserve and enhance the mine as a bat hibernaculum. Please visit the pages
below to learn more.
This Web site is a work in progress. The page was put up on 20 Oct 1999. If you have specific questions please email me by clicking on the mailto link at the bottom of the page. It has been my pleasure to work off and on at the Neda mine for about 5 years. I hope that you enjoy learning about the bats that use the mine, and the history of the area, as much as I have.
As a young man I grew up on a dairy farm about 4 miles from the mine site, but as is the case of many of us, I knew next to nothing about the history of my own area. I can't ever remember hearing a word in elementary school about mines that had produced 1.2 billion pounds of iron over 75 years from an ore bed that we were walking on. The only connection I made with the mines was a story told to my mother by her parents. When her parents were courting in the "teens" (1910s) they remembered seeing a glow in the sky from the furnaces located a few miles from the mine in Mayville Wisconsin.
By the time I was growing up in the 60's and 70's all that was left were a few diminishing slag heaps. Even those have disappeared now, mostly into area road beds. The factory buildings are long gone, having been removed as a WPA project during the depression. It is somehow fitting that the mine is now serving a new purpose as a habitat for bats. I'm sure that the miners who started working the area one hundred and fifty years ago would not have dreamed that the mine would have a change of career after seventy five years.
Sometimes when walking through the woods at the mine site on a starry night I get to thinking. What must have seemed so important and permanent to the men in the mines can be washed away by a few short years. I believe though that if we leave our fields a better place for Gods creatures, and our children, we will leave something more lasting than the buildings and tasks we have worked on. I have been privileged to work at the side of many fine people who cared a great deal about the project. It has been a pleasure to know that an individual can contribute to a project like this with just his job skills, a willingness to listen and learn, and a bit of stick to it ness.
I am an Electrical Engineer by training, and work as a computer consultant. My part in the project has been to design and build the bat detectors we are using and plan and install the video equipment.
Herb Guenther, 22/Oct/1999
|Copyright Notice:Unless otherwise noted all pictures, graphics, and text on this web site are © 1999 Herb Guenther. For permission to use materials on another web site or for any other purpose please email Herb Guenther.|