Ghost Towns, Mines, and More!



The Log Cabin Mine is located at 9600 feet elevation in eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, near the town of Lee Vining, CA.

The Log Cabin Mine was active from the 1910 (possibly earlier) until World War II. For a while it was the largest producer of gold in California. An attempt was made to reopen the mine during the 1950s, but this was not successful. In 1971 the mine was turned over to the government and it is currently preserved as a historical site.

Above: In this image from Google Maps, I’ve marked some of the key features of this site:

  1. A.Headframe and mill.

  2. B.Hoist house and assay shack.

  3. C.Bunkhouse and office.

  4. D.Mess hall.

  5. E.Log cabin.

  6. F.Large steel beams from disassembled building.

There are various other small structures related to the mine, outside the image area.

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 structure. 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.

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Log Cabin Mine:  The Headframe and Mill

(Click the title or any photo to see more pics of this structure and its surroundings.)

The largest and most impressive structure at the Log Cabin Mine are the headframe and mill. The massive wooden headframe, which towers over the mineshaft, is an integral part of the mill structure.

The mill itself is a fantastic amalgam of cylindrical steel bins, corrugated metal, enclosed conveyors, and complex angles. This is easily one of the coolest mining structures I’ve ever encountered!

Log Cabin Mine:  The Hoist House and Assay Shack

The hoist house is also a relatively large building. But the best thing is that all of the original equipment is still in place! The large single-drum hoist, the powerful motor, the electrical equipment and controls, even the operator’s chair, are all there. In addition there is an Ingersol-Rand two-cylinder air compressor.

Adjacent to the hoist house is the assay shack, where ore samples were tested.

Log Cabin Mine:  The Bunkhouse, Mess Hall and Office

In the photo above, the bunkhouse is on the left. In the center is the shower and toilet building. The office is on the right. All three buildings are connected, permitting access from one building to the other without the need to go outdoors in wintry weather.

Behind these buildings, on a patch of level ground, is another building which appears to be the cookhouse and mess hall.

Log Cabin Mine:  The Log Cabin, Water Tank, and other Small Structures

At the far end of the compound, behind the mess hall, is the old log cabin from which the mine takes its name. I’m guessing that this cabin dates back to the earliest days of activity at the mine.

On the way into the compound, there is the remains of a large wooden water tank.

Scattered in an around the mine compound are several other interesting small buildings.

Log Cabin Mine:  Old Equipment and Interesting Junk

The entire site is dotted with interesting old mining and milling equipment and rusting piles of junk from bygone eras.