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Old mining camp. Not gold or precious metals.


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I found this camp in California. It’s abandoned so I spent a weekend there by myself. Beautiful place but getting there can be a little scary.

The trail in places is only about 8 inches wide. You are grabbing hillside. There’s no reliable water. 

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It looks like the camp for the old Champion Spark Plug hardrock mine. Nice country. Haven't been up there in quite a few years. Thanks for sharing.

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Well kept.  Quite an experience I'll bet.

   Old Tom

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It's private patented property Tom. It used to be a Sillimianite mine. Sillimianite was used to make the ceramic part of spark plugs thus the name Champion Sparkplug mine. 

It's nice the owners allow visitors and even nicer that the visitors have, for the most part, left the property as they found it.

Edited by clay
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I guess they must have brought things in by air to build that place and mine it.  I wonder just when it was abandoned and why?  

   Old Tom

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5 hours ago, clay said:

It's private patented property Tom. It used to be a Sillimianite mine. Sillimianite was used to make the ceramic part of spark plugs thus the name Champion Sparkplug mine. 

It's nice the owners allow visitors and even nicer that the visitors have, for the most part, left the property as they found it.

I'm surprised it hasn't been taken over by squatters.

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1 hour ago, Old Tom said:

I guess they must have brought things in by air to build that place and mine it.  I wonder just when it was abandoned and why?  

   Old Tom

They brought everything in and out by mule. I'm sure it was "fun".

It's not abandoned. The owners still use and maintain their property as they have since at least the early 1970's when I first visited there. The patented private land is more than 200 acres and includes about 6 different mines, including the Jeffrey, Black Eagle and Champion. One of the two patents dates from the mid 1950's the other is from 1931. The mines there were good producers for quite a few years.

 

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8 hours ago, Old Tom said:

I guess they must have brought things in by air to build that place and mine it.  I wonder just when it was abandoned and why?  

   Old Tom

They found a way way to make a synthetic version so that the mineral found here is no longer needed.  I didn’t know it was private property. Some locals told me about it a few years ago and told me it’s a local secret. Once it hit the web all bets are off. I didn’t want to declare the name in hopes of keeping the traffic down and riff raff out. It’s no longer mined. The scaffolding is gone from the portals. Upper town was burned down quite a few years ago. Lower town, where the pics were taken is still intact and not shot up. There’s even a museum there. This place is an extremely rare find considering it’s condition. 
There was another neat cabin I found and stayed in in Death Valley area. It was an old twenty mule team weigh station. It even had running water from a spring. It was fully equipped and was open for anyone to use. It was called the Sheep Creek Cabin. It was southwest of Dumont Dunes up in the mountains. Several years later the state came in and destroyed it claiming there was drug activity there so they had to destroy it. It’s ridiculous, you can’t take artifacts but the state can remove or destroy it. Where’s the logic?

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23 hours ago, pairadiceau said:

Don,

Great photos, thanks for sharing.

That looks like a hydraulic mining site.  Around Alleghany mebe?

Jeff

 

23 hours ago, pairadiceau said:

Don,

Great photos, thanks for sharing.

That looks like a hydraulic mining site.  Around Alleghany mebe?

Jeff

Nope, no hydraulic mining up there. They were mining different minerals. It’s on the Eastern slopes of the Sierras.

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Don,

Thanks for the info.  It is a wonderful looking site and I hope the turds can be kept out.  The last photo is really interesting too.  South and West of Dumont Dunes has a lot of history, sadly much of the desert is closed to us mortals due to Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, etc.  and more from our bureaucrats.  Fort Irwin National Training Center occupies more than one thousand square miles.  

Good information as always Clay!

Jeff

 

 

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