West of State Highway 395 in California in what is known as Little Antelope Valley a dirt trail leads to what is left of the Golden Gate Mine. The following is what is posted at the site:
“This gold mining claim was first discovered in 1898 and expanded by further discoveries of “veins of minimal bearing quartz” in the following years. In 1900 J. E. Canter discovered 1500 linear feet by 600 feet wide of lode and proclaimed that his claim will be known as “Golden Gate.” Between 1900 and 1902 the mine was purchased by Ed. F. Donovan and Joe A. Brown and they began construction tunnels, trails, chutes and reforming the wagon road. Brown and Donovan owned and operated the mine from 1902 to 1927 even though the mine was idle through much of the later years.
“Miners hand drilled ore from quartz veins within five adit tunnels ranging from 300 to 1800 feet and then shipped it down the 2300 foot long aerial tramway to the ten stamp mill you are looking at today. The water powered stamp mill pulverized the ore and then extracted the gold using mercury.
“The Golden Gate Mine produced the only gold in the West Walker River Mining District. In 1908 the mine boasted a net of mor than $12 per ton causing the Mono County industry report to claim “The Golden Gae is a producer of great merit.” Between September 1912 and April 1913, six thousand eight hundren and forty-eight tons of ore were crushed yielding $33,646. This is quite an accomplishment considering the mill and most of the buildings were destroyed numerous times by avalanches.”
The structure is currently maintained by the state of California in “arrested decay” as a means to preserve the surviving structure.
Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. Her novel, Family Secrets, was published by Fire Star Press in October 2014 and her novelette, A Christmas Promise, was published by Prairie Rose Publications in November 2014. The first two novellas in the Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series, Big Meadows Valentine and A Resurrected Heart, are now available.
The author is a member of Women Writing the West, American Night Writers Association, and Modesto Writers Meet Up. She currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She enjoys any kind of history including family history. When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.
Please visit the Zina Abbott’s Amazon Author Page by clicking HERE.
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