From the Road, September, 2003
This Mine be Saved?
Can Make a Difference
Tucked away in the
high above the
is an almost completely intact mine and mill.
Legend has it that two prospectors wondered up the mountain and
discovered gold, but one miner was killed in an avalanche before they
could do anything with the claim. The year would have been1890, and
the original file on this
claim was listed as the Mendocino.
The mine and mill were active through the 1980’s.
Until recently, only a few tried and true ghost towners or
local residents have ventured up the dusty dirt road, and explored the
area. Most refused to talk much about it in fear that less mindful
people would haul everything away. Today, the
and the Mono Basin Historical Society have joined hands in efforts to
preserve what remains. Plans are in the making to make this area safe
for general public access to this important part of
’s mining history. Buildings
are being locked and safety hazards removed.
Plexiglas may replace glass windows for viewing the complicated
mining machinery inside these buildings. Interpretive signs may be put
up to help visitors identify what they are seeing.
There’s even talk that a
caretaker will stay at the site during the summer months.
The Mono Basin Historical Society is spearheading the
preservation efforts for this nearly forgotten mine and mill, but they
can’t do this alone. If enough interest from people who care
about preserving our mining history is not shown, there is a
possibility that these efforts will stall, and this historic site will
fall victim to the harsh winter weather and to the vandals and
souvenir hunters who have discovered it.
Please e-mail us at email@example.com
or contact Don Banta of the Mono Basin Historical Society
(760-647-6627) or firstname.lastname@example.org, or
(760-647-3044), if you would like to
help save this endangered mine and mill.
Volunteers are also needed to help
collect oral or written histories from old timers that actually
worked in this mine.
E. Carder---Gunfighter of Aurora
Cecile Page Vargo
travels in September, 2003, took us to the remnants of
the prominent mining towns of
Bodie and Aurora.
is so close to the
California-Nevada border that it actually was the seat of
1861-September 1863. Bodie and Aurora were noted for not only the mining
that went on there, but also
for the bad men and women who lived there.
The story of William E. Carder
who rests lonely, but in peace, at the old
, cemetery, is an
example of the wilder side of these places, and represents the typical
gunfighter story one expects to hear.
A lonesome tombstone,
cracked and fallen to the ground, appears cast aside and forgotten
amongst the pinion pines and sagebrush of the cemetery in the ghost town
. The word
“assassinated” is included in the engraved inscription on the marble
stone that was so loving erected by the man’s wife in December of the
year 1864. “William E. Carder,
Native of Tennessee, ‘I will
avenge saith the Lord’”
William Carder came to the
goldfields in the 1850’s, as so many men were inclined to do in those
days. His claim to fame was
not the gold he found, but his reputation as a gunfighter.
An escapade robbing a Chinese miner of several hundred dollars of
gold dust got him arrested at least once, but
the evidence against him
was insufficient to convict him, and he went on to other crimes,
as well as to help prevent a few more from being committed..
In the golden foothills of the
western side of the Sierras, Carder
was chosen second in command of the posse that tracked down and
eventually captured the killer of
’s City Marshal, John
Leary. William Carder fought
on both sides of the law.
Our Tours with
Ecological 4-Wheeling Adventures
Our 2003 tour season is
complete and we're resting!
Please check back for our 2004 tour schedule.
Explore Historic California!
Not too many years ago, the family station wagon was the
magic carpet to adventure. Today, that family station wagon is likely to
be a four wheel drive sport utility vehicle or pick up truck. SUV's and
other 4x4's are one of the best selling classes of vehicles. Ironically,
industry statistics show that once purchased, few owners will dare to
drive their vehicles off the paved highway. Click your mouse through our
website and enjoy our armchair adventures and the histories behind them.
If you are interested in taking one of our guided tours with your
vehicle, please visit our ECOLOGICAL 4-WHEELING ADVENTURES.
Several years ago, we bought our first SUV. We went to a one-night class
at a local community college entitled "How to 4-Wheel Drive" by Harry Lewellyn.
The following weekend we attended the hands-on day tour. We liked what we were
doing so much that we began going out nearly every weekend and learned how to
negotiate a variety of dirt roads. Our spare time was spent doing research on
the history and ecology of our favorite areas. A one-day outing turned into 15
years of leading others on mini-vacations throughout Southern California and the
Our 4WD outings involve driving on easy to moderate dirt roads and are
ideally suited to novice and intermediate level drivers. All tours are suitable
for stock vehicles in good condition, although some tours do have vehicle size
We share our knowledge of the backcountry over the CB radio with our
guests. We frequently stop to explore mining areas, old and new, and ponder the
rocks, plants and animals we may encounter. We'll occasionally visit an old
cabin or deserted mountain lookout.
California has a fascinating history, from geologic unrest and
prehistoric petroglyph scribes to the "Radium Queen of the Mojave" and the
"Human Mole of Black Mountain." Load up your 4X, fasten your seatbelts and get
ready to explore historic California.
Roger, Cecile and Marty