Rouchleau Mine And Mineview In The Sky, 1972

June 1972

The Rouchleau Mine as seen from U.S. Steel’s “Viewpoint in the Sky” — later known as Mineview in the Sky — in June 1972. (News Tribune file photo)

This photo from the News Tribune files, attributed to Pederson’s Photo Studio in Virginia, is dated to June 1972 — though it’s not clear if that’s when it was taken, when it ran in the paper or both.

It’s a view out over the still-active Rouchleau Mine, which has received a lot of attention in more recent years as the new U.S. Highway 53 bridge was built over the now-flooded, abandoned mine pit:

A view of the new Highway 53 bridge in Virginia that spans the Rouchleau mine pit, taken from the old Mineview in the Sky location in September 2017. (Bob King / News Tribune)

Here’s another view from a couple years earlier, as work on the bridge was beginning:

The flooded Rouchleau pit is seen in August 2015, as work gets underway on the new U.S. Highway 53 bridge. Steve Kuchera / News Tribune

In the 1972 photo, the observation site was called “Viewpoint in the Sky.” At some point, it was renamed “Mineview in the Sky” and remained in operation — in a larger, enclosed building — until the end of the 2015 summer season, when it closed to make way for the new bridge project. As of fall 2017, the city of Virginia was looking at options for restoring a mine observation site.

Here’s a look at the Mineview in the Sky from its final weeks in operation:

Visitors to Virginia’s Mineview in the Sky look out over the Rouchleau pit in August 2015. (Steve Kuchera / News Tribune)

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