Ghost Towns, Mines, and More!


Chemung Mine, CA

This mine was started in 1909 and was worked until 1938. It was the last operating mine in the Masonic mining district. In the 1950s and 1960s a lone prospector worked the mine, just getting out enough good ore to get by. His presence at the site probably helped prevent it from being destroyed sooner.

Currently the buildings are in very bad shape mainly due to being used by shooters for target practice. There’s hardly a single board at the site without a bullet hole in it. At least one building has completely collapsed due to the wooden frame having been shot to bits. A very sad demise for such an interesting and historic set of structures.

Above: The ruins of the larger mill, on the right, and several small shacks.

Below: The smaller mill on the left, the large mill near the center, and some ruined shacks on the left.

Because there is so much to see at this site, I’ve decided to provide a separate page for each area of interest. Below you’ll see a few photos of each feature. Clicking on any of these will take you to that structure’s page, where you will be able to see many more photos showing all details of the structure and its surroundings.

Posted August 2013.

Return to Ghost Towns list

Chemung Mine:  The Adit and Stope

The mine consists of a pair of adits (tunnels) near the small mill, and a stope that follows the ore vein far up the hill, often open at the surface. These surface openings have been covered by heavy steel grates to prevent people falling into the depths. The adits are also protected by steel grates.

Log Cabin Mine:  The Smaller Mill

The smaller of the two mills at this site is an unusual structure consisting mainly of a small ore bin, where ore was loaded from the mine, and a much larger bin. A wood-framed building encloses and joins the two bins. A conveyor was used to move ore into the larger bin, and there are a few foundations of other equipment that has since been removed. The roof of the building gives it a somewhat barn-like appearance.

This may have been an earlier mill, or a more recent one, or it may have simply provided some sort of “pre-processing” of the ore prior to milling in the larger mill.

Log Cabin Mine:  The Larger Mill

This mill is much larger than the first, and contained more equipment for processing the ore. There is a tall wooden ore bin at the upper end of the mill. The biggest “room” is largely exposed, having had most of the walls either torn down or stripped of sheathing. Everything is riddled with bullet holes, even the concrete foundations of the machinery.

Log Cabin Mine:  The Small Structures

There are several small cabins, shacks, and other structures scattered around the site. All have been heavily vandalized, mostly by shooters. Some have partially collapsed, others have completely fallen.