2013 Nevada-Mojave Trip


Part Three: From Masonic to Moho!

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Click on any of the photos or links in the article to see more photos of each site...

Masonic, CA

Gold was first discovered here in the 1860s but production didn’t take off until later. The town was founded by Freemasons shortly after the turn of the century. At its peak there were about 1000 people here. The post office closed for good in 1927.

Most of the buildings here have completely fallen apart, but there are a couple roofless log cabins and the remains of a stone cabin. The mill ruins consist of stone foundations and debris, topped by a pair of ore bins.

A huge aerial tram tower stands atop the mountain across from the mill ruins.

Below: The window of a log cabin that was covered with flattened cans.

After leaving Masonic, I went north, then east into Nevada. Along the way I checked out a few small sites...

Above: Colorful scenery somewhere near the California-Nevada state line.

Ninemile Ranch, NV

This working ranch in western Nevada has a pair of great stone buildings. The large sandstone ranch house is occupied. Nearby is a stone cabin that is the oldest building on the ranch, and was very likely used by the stagecoach station which was originally on this site.

Gold Bug Mine, NV

Nothing is left of the Gold Bug Mine except the scattered remains of a cabin and a few shallow diggings.

Evening Star Mine, NV

A few miles from the Gold Bug Mine is the Evening Star Mine. There is a cabin here but the roof has caved in. There are also some concrete foundations, two or three mine shafts, and an adit.

By the time I reached Mina, NV it was after 8 P.M. The only gas station in this tiny town was closed by then; the nearest source of gas and supplies was Hawthorne, thirty-three miles to the north. I wasn’t too concerned about gas, since I still had over 3/4 of a tank left. But I would have liked to refresh the ice in my coolers. Still, this shouldn’t be a big issue. I planned to camp at a mine just a few miles away and could come back in the morning if needed.

I spent the next several hours trying to find the Silver Dyke Mine, in the Excelsior Mountains. In the dark it was impossible to tell if I was on the right trail or not, and some of the trails aren’t on my maps. I found out later that you can’t actually drive all the way up to the mine, so even if I had been on the correct trail I would never have known it.

Eventually I ended up at a different mine, which turned out to be the Moho Mine. The photo above shows a bat which was fluttering around at the entrance of the mine. It was after 1 A.M by the time I arrived at the mine. There were scattered thunderstorms to the north which looked like they could come my way, so I slept in the car. In the distance I could hear the braying of wild burros -- the early prospectors called them “desert canaries”.

Moho Mine, NV

The Moho Mine is one of many mines in the area around the ghost town of Moho, NV. This particular mine is high on the mountainside above the town site, so I have given it a page of its own.

The mines in the Moho area were started in 1903. This one shows some evidence of more recent work.

Left: The entrance to the mine is blocked by a padlocked steel gate. I was able to get this photo of the interior by shooting through the gap at the side of the gate.

Below: A nearby hilltop displays and interesting pattern of parallel ridges.

Above: On the ridge above the mine are a couple old mine shafts, and this cabin made of railroad ties. The roof has blown off, and part of the wall is falling over.

Right: Near the top of the mountain was a solitary, pure white, wild horse, watching me intently. I half expected Johnny Depp to show up and tell it was a “spirit horse”.

Below: Brilliant lichens on dark rocks near the mine.

Go to Page 4 to read more about my 2013 Nevada trip:

Nevada Trip 2013 Part Four

Moho! Marietta! Flash floods!

Skip to:   Part One   Part Two   Part Three   Part Four   Part Five   Part Six


Note to modelers:

Many of the structures I’ve photographed would make great additions to your model railroad. It is my hope that these photos can be a useful reference resource. If you need larger, higher resolution images, just let me know. Also, in some cases I have additional detail photos that have not been posted online.

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