Holden Village Mine



    Rudy Edmund's Booklet - Erwin Weber - 1967


During the summer of 1967, I was asked by Carroll Hinderlie, the Executive Director of Holden Village, a town located in an isolated valley in Washington's high Cascade Mountain range, to come to the village, make a few sketches, and lecture on Martin Luther. At the time I had taken a few slides of Luther monuments in East and West Germany in preparation for my forthcoming book dealing with the Reformation Period of the 16th Century titled From Luther to 1580, A Pictorial Account, published by Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis in 1977.

Holden Village was built in 1937 as a mining town. Although it produced more than $100 million dollars worth of copper, gold, silver and zinc, it was abandoned 20 years later as mining was no longer profitable at that time. Holden became a Ghost Town. Due to its remoteness, no one wanted to buy it. In 1957, it was given to the Lutheran Church, literally for the asking. Since then, thousands of people have come to Holden Village either as a guest, a member of the volunteer staff, or a part of the informal Holden "faculty" who receive no monetary compensation for their expertise. Scholars such as Roland Bainton, Conrad Bergendoff, the renowned organist Paul Manz and theologians such s Martin Marty and Helmut Thielke have spent days or weeks as part of the Holden faculty.

Dr. Rudolph W. Edmund, better known as "Rudy" was a member of the Holden Village faculty and curator of the village mine and geology museum. He wrote a booklet on the history of the Holden Copper Mine and its geological setting, and asked me to make a sketch for it in 1967.

Rudy received his formal education at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois and at the University of Iowa. He devoted seventeen years of his life as a geologist for a major oil company and became Head of the Department of Geology and Chairman of the Division of Science at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. He became interested in preserving mine records and data on a brief visit to Holden in 1962. During subsequent visits, the management of Holden Village has supported the work of gathering and preserving data and creating a modest museum.

Augustana College is well represented on Holden's faculty each year. Brynolf Lundholm and his wife Gertrude spent many summers at Holden beginning in 1963. "Beany" served as music director which included among other things, getting up early to play 15 minutes of music on the chimes and thus awaken the Village to a new day. Other Augustana profs aside from myself included Dr. Roald Tweet and Dr. Conrad Bergendoff.