Thursday, March 16, 2017

Gold Leaf Mine (Gold Cabin)

GOLD LEAF MINE (MINERS CABIN)
"Is it haunted...?"

The Miners Cabin at Sierra Outdoor School (SOS) is known as the Gold Leaf Mine. The mine was founded in the 1890's by two brothers from Modesto, CA. The brothers believed that gold was coming out by means of a spring and began mining into the hillside. They ran the mine until the 1940's when during WWII all pit mining was shut down. After WWII the Forest Service took over the land. The brothers went to court for the mine, but were unsuccessful in reacquiring the land.



 The cabin sits on a rock pier foundation with sill (horizontal timber) and wire nails. It measures approximately 19'3"x 28'1/2 with front and back porches. The cabin is basically in good shape except for the floors which have been deteriorating these past years. The doors, with original key locks, came from a Hotel in Columbia. The cabin was fitted with electricity, heating, and insulation when SOS (formerly Regional Learning Center) began to use the cabin as a classroom.

                            










Behind the cabin is where evidence of old trash from the       miners has been found. A former staff member, Norm           Borden, stated on 12/7/01 that a glass bottle, old round cans, and even beads have been found in the dump.

                           
                              
                                


                            





Located on the Gold Leaf Mine are mine shafts which are deep narrow vertical holes, or sometimes a horizontal tunnel, that gives access to a mine.  While heading down towards the adit (horizontal passage into the mine's entrance) a covered 90' deep vertical shaft is just off the trail. The shaft is separated from the trail with barbed wire. There is a second vertical shaft on the opposite side of the trail with a smaller visible opening. 







After a steep descent the 'adit' comes into view. The 6' tall and 10' wide entrance is secured with rebar. According to Borden, approximately 10' into the entrance of the adit is a wooden structure along the east wall. The adit is cut into the hillside approximately 120' where it then T's. One end of the T is connected to the larger vertical shaft previously mentioned. There are more vertical shafts in the floor of the tunnel, but they are usually covered by water.





 In front of the entrance is a leveled area                              with gold troughs where visiting schools,                                    here at SOS, can learn the history and skill                                of gold panning in California.





A very common question we are asked by visiting students is if the cabin is haunted?! 
As far as we know it's not, but.....

Information was greatly appreciated by: E. Potter and S.VanBuskirk, USFS
USFS personal communication with Norm Borden 12/7/01
Photos by Angel Olavarria

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