We were very fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to visit this historic site as it is certainly not open to the public... Aside from the colorful personality of Mr. Randy Yager, we were also treated to an extensive tour of a rich - and still producing - lode gold mine (And not a dull visit of the “stay behind the white lines” variety that would be found on the tourist circuit either).
As viewers of this channel know, it is rare for us to encounter very much in the way of historical mining equipment and artifacts at an abandoned mine. Many abandoned mines have had much of their equipment and other treasures carted away by the miners themselves when the mine was abandoned. Over the following decades, “collectors” carry away pretty much everything else that can be lifted and hauled away… Not at this mine though! At this mine, we get to see what a functioning gold mine looks like – one that was a medium-sized, mine-to-mill operation several decades ago and that now might as well be a living museum from that era. The shower room/work shop/drill room/bunkhouse/compressor room and the mill could use a little paint and some duct tape before they would be in pristine condition again, but we can still see all of the equipment in them as it was when this mine was in full operation and see exactly how things worked back then. I love the underground time, but I found that “moment frozen in time” experience on the surface to be fascinating.
You’ve got to think that they were still actively mining here up into the 1960s when gold was $35 an ounce and the miners were able to support themselves on that. So, consider the potential of this mine now if it were to be brought back up to maximum production!
With the background noise and different people talking, it can be hard to hear him sometimes, but if you listen carefully, Randy provides a lot of information about this mine. I tried to include as much of him discussing the mine as I could, but I had almost two hours of video that needed to be whittled down to make it digestible for the short attention span of many (but certainly not all) YouTube viewers.
It was interesting (to me at least) to hear that the miners had simply tunneled past badly caved sections in the mine rather than deal with the hassle of trying to rehab these sketchy sections. I wasn’t clear if the 3,000+ feet that the adit ran past the waste rock pile where Cory and I climbed up the raise was just caved in one section or if essentially all of it was caved. I believe it was one section, but I’m not certain of that.
As you may have heard, aside from the thousands of feet that the main haulage adit kept running, there were also four levels above us in the haulage adit and several levels below us. So, this is a pretty extensive mine. I’d imagine there could be some pretty good stuff to see in these other sections.
It would have been wonderful to spend a whole day here, but when you’re someone’s guest, you move at their pace.
Thank you again, Cory and Randy, for this adventure.
All of these videos are uploaded in HD, so adjust those settings to ramp up the quality! It really does make a difference.
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!