We left Masonic in the early afternoon and climbed up a steep but well maintained dirt road that would eventually take us to Bridgeport. Along the way we planned to stop at the old mine and mill at Chemung, and later the remains of the Success Mine.
After cresting the summit of the climb out of Masonic, keep your eyes peeled on the long descent for a distinct, small dry lake bed on your right. The rather substantial ruins of Chemung will then be seen above the road to your left. The ore body here was discovered in 1909, and the mine and mill continued to operate until the late 1930's. There is a protected, level campsite around on the downhill side. The shafts and adits are close to this campsite, just above the structures. The two most prominent adits seem to be in excellent explorable condition. However, there is a strong, icy blast of air that issues from them that was frigid enough to deter us! There's plenty to see above ground anyway! The buildings are, for the most part, pretty well preserved. When you get up close you can see that all are riddled with bullet holes, disproving the adage that you can hit the broadside of a barn! There are wooden stairways, old arrastres, an old boiler, and everything else that a good ghost mine should have. Many people insist that Chemung is haunted by a real ghost, but only on Saturday nights. They cite any number of strange happenings to prove their points. We were there about noon on Saturday. It was bright and sunny, and except for that icy blast from the old adit, the existence of a ghost seemed remote. Still, rumors persist. Check it out for yourself!
Just a short drive downhill from Chemung will bring you to a meadow and some distinctive red tailings. In the center of it all is the caved in shaft of the Success Mine. With the Sierras in the background, the remnants of this old mine make for some good pictures. Speaking of pictures, click on the thumbnails below for a tour of Chemung and Success.