Ghost Towns, Mines, and More!


Note: I’m using a fake name for this mining camp, to protect it from vandals.

I was delighted to find this well-preserved mining camp hidden in a desolate, remote Mojave desert canyon. This was a placer mine, where loose gold is recovered from layers of sediment. Mining in this area began in the 1930s, however it is unclear when this particular claim was filed, or when the cabin was built. The mine was founded by Fred Mauer, and he apparently lived in the cabin for many years.

The cabin is neat, clean, and well-maintained. A storage shed and outhouse stand nearby. An enclosed porch wraps around the front and side of the cabin. Another, smaller porch is at the rear and is primarily used for storage.

The cabin has only one room, which contains a wood-burning stove for heat, a gas range, a sink, a dining table, etc. There is a pair of folding bed frames on the large porch. During summer months the screened-in porch would be a good place to escape the desert heat, but it would be quite cold in winter.

A note on the table tells visitors how to safely clean the cabin to minimize the risk of contracting hantavirus. Though I didn’t see any direct evidence of rodent intrusion, there is also some risk with any old desert structure.

This mine itself is simply an inclined shaft, which is sealed and locked. There is no headframe or hoist house, though the mine must have had them at some time in the past.

I have a great video of this interesting mining camp:

Last updated February 2021.

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“Nugget Mine,” CA