Back in 2005, Alysia and I met up with Bill, Dan, Lewis and his daughters Sarah and Rachael for some exploring in the northern Sierra Nevada. We spent a couple of days in the forest exploring mines and jumping into rivers at the end of the day. This is a fantastic area. The mine itself dates back to the 1860s and is a big one. It has thousands of feet of drifts following Tertiary river channels loaded with gold nuggets. The mine has produced over $1 million in gold nuggets and some are on display at the LA County Natural History Museum.
The Morning Glory mine was a small mine and overshadowed by larger neighbors. The vein had been discovered by at least 1900 but little work was done. Mining seems to have always been intermittent. There was a rich strike in 1910. It was active in 1917 for a few months and idle by 1918. In 1925, the Alleghany Morning Glory Mining Company was putting in drifts and raises in the mine but by 1928 the mine was idle again. The mine had a recorded output of $100,000 of mostly free gold in quartz. The workings consist of at least four levels, 2,500′ of drifts and 600′ of raises. The entrance is collapsed now.
I had been wanting to check out this area for a while and one day we were able to meet up with a few exploring buddies and go out there.
Telegraph City got its namesake from the telegraph lines running from Stockton to Sonora. It was established in 1860s as a copper camp. Probably a few hundred miners lived in the area during the copper rush to Copperopolis.
Alysia and I went for a hike up to Hite Cove. We wanted to get out and possibly see some wildflowers and scenery. We weren’t disappointed. We hiked in from where the South Fork of the Merced joins the Merced River at Savage’s Trading Post. The hike is pretty easy, following the South Fork, you climb roughly +500′ in 5 miles (one-way).
We took a trip up to the Sierra Nevada and our group gained special permission from the California State Park service to explore a small underground portion of the massive Empire Mine inside the appropriately named Empire Mine State Historic Park in beautiful Grass Valley, California. Doug McConnell and local TV program “Bay Area Backroads” crew came along to film the event for one of their episodes. What an incredible opportunity!
The Don Alvadore mine is a single adit and stope 500′ up on a cliff above Lundy Canyon. The old trail to the mine is overgrown and hard to follow in places these days.
I couldn’t find much on the history or production of the mine but it was the one of the earliest claims located by the Homer Mill and Mining Company in 1879. It was never developed much beyond a couple of hundred feet of workings but once had a tramway, engine and compressor on-site. The whole Homer Mining District is an interesting one with many other mines with a few historic artifacts left waiting to be rediscovered. If you are interested in some detailed history on the area, check out Alan Patera’s excellent book on Lundy.
First of all, this mine and mill have quite a view. That alone is worth the trip up here. The Log Cabin mine was worked for gold, silver and lead. Ores were brought up the shaft (now caved and plugged) from four levels of workings. The deepest only at 280′. Ore was worked in the large 100-ton mill. Work on the mine started around 1910s and went until WWII closed the mines, then on and off again until the 1980s. The property is currently owned by the Federal government. The first set of photos are from a film camera and the quality is a bit lacking. The rest of the photos are from my digital camera.