"From the first nugget discovered in its heart, to the booming economy that Big Thunder Mountain ensures for the town of Thunder Mesa, we, at Big Thunder Mining Co., are forever grateful for Nature's Wonders" - H. Ravenswood, Founder.
The Big Thunder Mining Company is a group from the Disney Parks.
The Big Thunder Mining Company was established in 1849 by Henry Ravenswood after finding gold in Big Thunder Mountain. Henry would go on to found the town of Thunder Mesa as he established an industry, mining into Big Thunder for gold. However the mountain was home to a powerful spirit which rebuked the company's attempts to do so by causing accidents and natural disasters.
Ravenswood himself was a murderous man who at one point murdered Ignatius "Iggy" Knight, the demolitions supplier of the Big Thunder Mining Co. because Iggy was pursuing Henry's daughter Mélanie. Henry went about murdering him by luring him into one of Big Thunder's caverns which he had stuffed with explosives before leaving him to die. Henry's daughter also fell in love with a foreman for the company named Jake although Henry once again strongly disapproved of the relationship.
In 1860, Henry would receive his just desserts when a massive earthquake came from the mountain and hit the town. Henry and his wife Martha were both killed in the earthquake and following this instance the railroads of Big Thunder became haunted and the mining operation was abandoned; for a time.
By 1880, the Big Thunder Mining Company was owned by one Barnabas T. Bullion, who operated the company out of the recently built town of Tumbleweed. The operation was prone to accidents due to the angered spirit of Big Thunder which lead to Barnabas seeking assistance from his old ally Jason Chandler from the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.
Chandler was an inventor who provided Bullion with a vast array of industrialized technology to aid in his operations, including: gas detection mechanisms hooked up to canary tanks, drilling machines, and specialized port-holes for observing employees in mines. Chandler also however contacted an ally of his known as Madame Zarkov from the Museum of the Weird and relayed a message to Bullion from Zarkov that due to the thunderbird he should stop his operations. Bullion refused to listen to this advice however and one of the results was that the railroads of Big Thunder continued to be haunted and run on their own accords.
The town of Rainbow Ridge suffered from constant intense earthquakes from the mountain meanwhile Tumbleweed was hit by an intense draught and later, intense flooding. All the while, company foreman G. Willikers exploited the workers to the fullest extent of his power so he could covet the fruits of their labour. By 1899, Bullion would considered to be, "Long dead", quite possibly at the hands of Big Thunder Mountain's wrath.
In an unused script for Phantom Manor, the Big Thunder Mining Company would have been founded by Henry Ravenswood and his brother Arthur. Arthur would have been the business-savvy brother while Henry would have squandered their fortune on parties and women. Following Henry's death in 1860, Arthur would have become a recluse and sought help from a wealthy friend from San Francisco named Marie-Thérèse de Bourbon to keep the company running. Arthur would have died of illness in 1867.
The company is heavily featured in this ride with the whole attraction being set at the company's base. The Magic Kingdom incarnation of the attraction has guests pass through the company headquarters in Tumbleweed and see the inner workings of the company.
Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris contains infrequent references to the company within the ride itself. It is however pivotal to the story of the ride.
In Disney Kingdoms: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Big Thunder Mining Co.'s evils are chalked up to the foreman George Willikers who does the company's amoral deeds from behind Barnabas' back, leading to a gang of outlaws taking up arms against the company. Barnabas on the other hand is characterized as simply wanting to keep the company afloat for his family. By the end of the story, the establishment is abandoned altogether.
The M in the logo is actually a W which was flipped upside down following it being given a specialized font. This was done as an homage to the initials of Tony Wayne Baxter.
The BTM employee Liddy Stockley is a reference to the character of Mrs. Stockley from the film The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) which is referenced throughout the Magic Kingdom's queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Henry Ravenswood's quotation about the Big Thunder Mining Co.'s thankfulness for nature's wonders is a reference to Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland. This attraction predated the Disneyland incarnation of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
While it would make sense that Ravenswood's company and Bullion's company are the same but at different points in time, there are certain given dates which do complicate this.
Both are officially stated to be company founders. However Big Thunder also states Jason Chandler to have founded S.E.A. which caused a plot-hole then and has since been redacted meaning that these founder statements are dubious.
A land-grant in Walt Disney World says that Bullion founded the company on Sept. 23 of 1848 while it is known that Henry founded it around 1849, a year later.