Serious settlement in this area came after gold was discovered on the mountain. Great fortunes were made, and we still benefit from the legacy of mining.
We’ve got a statue to commemorate the crazy men with their donkeys, who came here looking for a lucky strike. The men are long gone, but the descendants of the donkeys still live free on the other side of the mountain. (The men probably left descendants too).
If you are running an underground mine you need a headframe to lower the workers and to pull out the ore. It’s operated manually, by a hoist man. I worked at a mine one summer. I can’t really explain how exciting it is when the hoist man drops the flimsy metal car that you’re riding in. Especially if he doesn’t like you or is just having a bad day. This headframe is not at a working mine, it’s at the local mining museum.
The ore was loaded onto sturdy carts like these, ready to be hauled to the surface. You still see them around town, used for landscaping.
The carts were pushed around by something like this, a little steam engine at the mining museum. When I worked at the mine, everything was electric or diesel because otherwise we would have croaked from gasoline fumes.
All that is left of the smelter that extracted the gold is this smokestack. And the giant hill of dirt that came from inside the mountain. It’s been turned into a housing development and no one seems to mind that they are living on mine tailings. Someday soon even this smokestack will be gone, replaced by housing.