Sunday, July 17, 2011

Great Eastern Quicksilver Mine

Going through some photos from spring, I ran across this little side trip in Northern California. The road is a narrow local road coming back from Guerneville and through the coastal range on the shoulder of Mount Jackson. The first surprise was this neat old truck. I don't recognize it and couldn't find any id on the truck, but it has a nice style and certainly looks like it belongs.

Farther up the mountain, I came across this wreck of a mine. Later research online let me know that it was the "Great Eastern Quicksilver" mine. Quicksilver is Mercury (CR2 Hg). The mine started in the 1860's and ran through the early 1900's. It was said to be a 400 to 600 feet deep shaft mine with more than 1000 feet of tunnels.

Of course, the problem is that this mine is in a very active earthquake zone. The oral history I could find suggested that there were many tunnel cave-ins and several miners died in this mine.

These days the building are falling down and the whole site looks like some wooden and galvanized steel version of a castle ruin.

I love old wood like this.

Anybody need an old Ranchero? There are two of these parked behind the mineshaft that look like they have been there a long time.

After snooping around the mine and a drive up over the mountain, it's back to valley and the end of the road. And what should greet me there but an old Ford providing symmetry to this little side trip. Truck to truck, a nice little exploration for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

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