This gold mine is one of those abandoned mines that didn’t look like much at first, but ended up being really interesting… Aside from the complexity of the underground workings we explored, we just kept finding stuff. Well, more accurately, I should say that my exploring buddy kept finding stuff. While I was inside the first adit looking around, Mr. McBride, discovered the lower adit and the buildings above the mine workings.
Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about the history of this mine. As with many things, California is behind other states in digitizing the records in their archives. By contrast, Nevada is fantastic in this respect. The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and the University of Nevada in Reno have done a really impressive job of digitizing and organizing their records online. So, for example, if you have the name of a mine, you can look through their database and find extensive records and maps for the mine you’re curious about. Obviously, not every historic mine is included in their database, but most are.
Even without knowing the history though, it is apparent that this mine is an older mine that was worked off and on for quite a while. It also doesn’t seem to be a big stretch to assume that a respectable amount of gold was extracted. I’m basing that on the size of the workings and how the miners burrowed off in all directions from that quartz core where the pit was. They even went down and ran another adit in... Actually, as I was typing that, I realized that it may have been the other way around. If you’ll recall, the track in the lower adit was the “budget rail” where the miners nailed the metal strips onto boards to run the ore carts over. Since the track in the first adit I entered was solid metal rail, it would suggest the possibility that the miners may have done well enough in the lower adit to afford to splash out on expensive rail when driving a second adit above. In other words, the lower adit may have been the first adit.
The mine buildings just above the underground workings were interesting to us given their age. The main building looked just large enough to accommodate a crew of approximately the size of the number of names on the board where the miners would badge in and badge out. It’s possible a mining crew could have worked this operation in the winter, but given its remote location, fairly poor dirt roads and heavy snowfall in the winter, it seems more likely this was a summer mining operation.
Was that a grave at the end? What do you guys think that was?
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You can see the gear that I use for mine exploring here: https://bit.ly/2wqcBDD
You can click here for my full playlist of abandoned mines: https://goo.gl/TEKq9L
Thanks for watching!
Growing up in California’s “Gold Rush Country” made it easy to take all of the history around us for granted. However, abandoned mine sites have a lot working against them – nature, vandals, scrappers and various government agencies… The old prospectors and miners that used to roam our lonely mountains and toil away deep underground are disappearing quickly as well.
These losses finally caught our attention and we felt compelled to make an effort to document as many of the ghost towns and abandoned mines that we could before that colorful niche of our history is gone forever. But, you know what? We enjoy doing it! This is exploring history firsthand – bushwhacking down steep canyons and over rough mountains, figuring out the techniques the miners used and the equipment they worked with, seeing the innovations they came up with, discovering lost mines that no one has been in for a century, wandering through ghost towns where the only sound is the wind... These journeys allow a feeling of connection to a time when the world was a very different place. And I’d love to think that in some small way we are paying tribute to those hardy miners that worked these mines before we were even born.
So, yes, in short, we are adit addicts… I hope you’ll join us on these adventures!