I had looked for this arrastra some time ago but instead found another mining camp. That ended up being a good trip even without finding my elusive target. Still, it wasn’t an arrastra.
A few months back, I was out in the Eastern Mojave exploring around (which is pretty normal for me). This time however, I was looking for an old mining site with an arrastra. There aren’t too many arrastras left out in the wild, so finding one is always a treat and I’ve made it a little side project to visit each one out in the Eastern Mojave that I could.
This arrastra is located deep within the China Lake Naval Weapon Center. We had permission to be on the base. I couldn’t find too much information on it other than the cabin was once the assay office over at Millspaugh. It had been moved to Coso Hot Springs, then in 1930, it was moved again to its present location in Cole’s Flat and used as a cowboy’s line camp there.
It is a bit of a hike to reach this old arrastra site and camp. Looks like it was used mainly during the 1930s Great Depression, but the tin cans suggest it was used earlier than that. We found a small mine nearby.
We were lucky enough to be invited on to China Lake Naval Weapon Center to do some volunteer restoration work on the historic Coso ghost town site. After work, we checked out a few other sites and spend the night here. What an awesome time we had! Everyone had a great time!
When Alysia and I found this triple arrastra site, we didn’t know it’s history. I had guessed that it was built by early Mexican prospectors around the 1860s or 1870s. Since then, I’ve done some research and come across a few old references and pieced together some history.
Discoveries were first made here in 1863 by Mexican prospectors, possibly outfitted by Emanuel San Pedro. This camp never struck it rich even though it had a few revivals over the years. The workings here look pretty poor and I didn’t go underground. One interesting find here was the arrastra, of which I haven’t found too many of in Nevada. It was probably built by the Mexicans.