Traces

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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