Tuesday, 24 January 2017

In search of gold

We decided to explore the remains of Mammoth Consolidated Mine and found the parking area at the top end of a camping loop.   It was a lovely sunny day and we set off around the ½ mile loop trail through the forest.

According to legend, in 1857 two men crossing the Sierra got lost and found some red igneous rock that supposedly contained gold.   Miner’s slang of the era referred to the red igneous rock as ‘cement’ and so the legend of the Lost Cement Mine was born.

In 1877 at the top of Red Mountain (named for the reddish/orange iron sulphides found in the rock), also known as Mineral Hill and Gold Mountain, prospectors in search of the legendary mine, found a vein of gold bearing quartz.  

Over the next couple of years Mammoth City grew from a few shacks to a bustling town with a population of 576.

The Mammoth Consolidated Mine which was started around 1927 in search of gold.

The iron sulphides in the rock made gold extraction very expensive, but the owners and investors wanted to keep the mine operating as long as they could. 

The mine entrance.

About $100,000 worth of gold was extracted before the mine was closed during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. 

What remains of the ore processing mill.

By 1934 the mine owner, Arch Mahan, had purchased Reds Meadow Resort and discovered he could make more money horse packing tourists into Devils Post Pile, than trying to run a gold mine. 

The remains of the Mahan cabin, built around 1929.

Have fun, we are!

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