2015 Nevada-Mojave Trip


Part Six:  The Brannigan and paymaster mines!

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

As usual, you can click on any of the photos or links in the article to see more photos of each site...

Brannigan Mine, CA

I had only been to this area once, on a very hot, muggy summer night at least twenty years ago. In the dark I could see nothing of interest, and the trail ended at a locked gate. So I wasn’t expecting to find much more than an isolated campsite with hills that could give me a little more time to catch up on my sleep in the morning before the sun hit me.

This time I was  pleasantly surprised. The gate was no longer locked and at the end of the trail I found a tidy little mining camp with two well-maintained cabins!

Above: By the time I arrived at the site, and got bedded down in my sleeping bag, it was 3 a.m. This large owl woke me up at 5 a.m. He was perched just ten feet away from me, and screeching loudly!

Gold was discovered here in 1905, but the mine’s peak years were 1938 to 1940. However, the miner and his family continued to live here until the 1970s. The cabins were later “adopted” by a group of off-roaders. The site is now part of the Mojave National Preserve. If you ever visit this site, please don’t trash it!

Below: The kitchen of the large cabin. There is a good stock of pots, pans, dishes, and utensils. There is a propane stove and a sink, although there is no running water.

Below: The main room of the large cabin. There is a table, a wood-burning stove, a bed, and various other items. The smaller cabin is unfurnished.

Below: The mine is located up the canyon from the camp. There are several shafts and adits, but this is the only one with a headframe.

Below: Near the mine is the ruin of an ore bin, and some tracks leading to the waste rock dump.

Paymaster Mine, CA

The Paymaster Mine is a just few miles from the Brannigan Mine camp. This mine’s most active years were from 1900 to 1914. Some small-scale mining was still taking place here as late as the 1980s.

Currently there is very little to see here. In the lower canyon stands a stone chimney, the remnant of a cabin that apparently burned down. There are no structures remaining at the mine, and the mine tunnel is blocked by steel bars just a few yards in from the portal.

That concludes my 2015 Nevada-Mojave trip. Thanks for following along, I hope you enjoyed it!

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 subjects for dioramas, or for 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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