The Bagdad-Chase mine was founded by John Suter in 1898. It was a copper, gold and silver mine that produced half of all the gold mined in San Bernardino County during its peak. Around it sprang up the town of Stedman, and the Ludlow and Southern Railroad soon linked the town and the mine to Ragtown to the north and then to Ludlow, the terminus of the Tidewater and Tonopah Railroad. After a morning of hunting for peridot at Dish Hill, we decided to spend the afternoon exploring the Bagdad-Chase mine area and the site of Stedman before camping overnight. The next morning we would check out Ragtown on the way back to Ludlow.
First of all, the roads into this area have changed! Topo maps are woefully out of date. We eventually found our way and really enjoyed our all too brief stay. Next time we'll spend a weekend at least. Don't expect to see extensive ruins. We've seen pictures from the 1950's which show numerous buildings still standing. These are gone. The vandalism has been complete. Little is left but piles of cans, a few foundations, and the abandoned mines. However, the area is incredibly scenic and pleasantly remote. I'm sure that careful exploration will turn up all sorts of artifacts from the past. To join us on this scouting trip just click on the photo link below.