In the years between 1894 and 1919, the area just up canyon from us was a veritable hive of activity. It all started with a bang, literally, as the first couple shots of dynamite opened up a pocket that yielded over $25,000 in gold. The development of the Hidden Hills, and nearby Mable Mine, waxed and waned over the years but gradually it was reported that "the camp is assuming the appearance of a village." Of course, rich pockets such as the 300 pounds of ore that produced over $13,000 in 1914 certainly helped! Today, all is quiet and a cold wind whips down the canyon, through the remains of stacked stone walls and across old cement foundations. We're looking forward to prowling around and seeing what's left. In particular, we wonder whether the main adit, which is reported to have had about 800' of workings on four levels, is still accessible.
The Hidden Hills Mine, though, is just one of the sites that we hope to visit this weekend. Several small prospects near the Hidden Hills are also marked on our maps as is the Bighorn Mine, off to the northeast. The Bighorn operated from 1918 to 1941 and produced gold along with traces of silver, lead and copper. We're hoping that it, as well as the Buena Vista which hangs in the hills high above, will also provide some interesting glimpses into the early mining days of the southern Providence Mountains.
If you'd like to join us on this virtual adventure, you might want to plug in the electric blanket and grab a mug of coffee because it's cold and windy! A click on the photo link below will get you started!