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Thread: Slideshow of Lucky S mine

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    Tsarevna's Avatar
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    Red face Slideshow of Lucky S mine



    It starts out in Indian Valley, to Ford's Wagon Road which leads to the town. The hotel area is first, then the meadow (with 3 burnt trees) where the Honeymooner's cabin used to stand. Next comes the sluice and pumphouse area, then, finally, the mine area.

    The mine itself seems to just be a vertical shaft. Locals told me they were working placer (gold) deposits up there, left by glaciers.

    The buildings by the mine look a little shabby, but the hotel and the two log cabins next to it are solid as rocks. With minor renovations they could be lived-in.
    Last edited by Tsarevna; 08-19-2008 at 02:37 AM. Reason: fixed link

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    Very impressive slideshow! Looks like it was worth the drive! Any ideas as to the history of the site?
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

    H.L. Mencken

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    Thanks Joel.

    It is privately owned, as this news article states.

    http://www.plumasnews.com/news_story.edi?sid=5413

    Friday 7:21 p.m. Lucky S Mine Moonlight Fire
    Lucky S mine, the Honeymoon cabin was lost to the Moonlight fire. See attached photo of before and after. The Honeymoon cabin was 800 square feet on the first floor and 600 square feet on the second floor. It was built in 1940 by Harriman, and as the name implies, the cabin was used by newlyweds that worked at the Lucky S and the adjoining Western Queen mine. Attached is a photo of a little guy that proved to be fireproof, "Lil' Cinder".
    Bill Butler, owner of the Lucky S mine
    (This begs the question, where is this "Western Queen Mine he mentions?)

    So, Bill Butler seems to be the current owner. And the town was there before 1940, because people living in town then built the honeymooner's cabin.

    I talked with some locals, at the ghost town of Seneca (Yeah, nobody was more surprised than myself to find inhabitants there!)

    These modern-day miners knew something about the lore of the area. I was told Lucky S was a gold mine, working deposits left by glaciers. Another miner piped up and said that's a different kind of placer deposit, but placer mining none-the-less.

    This explains why I didn't find a drift or tunnel mine, but a shaft, which is a vertical type of mine.

    I'm not a miner, but looking at the ruins, I'd say the winch house had cables running out the window, to the shaft. It then brought up scoops of ore. Then the ore was washed at the nearby can*al area. (I've forgotten what the word is for a man-made waterway used for mining.) Anyways, the sluice gate water was probably useful to separate the dirt from the nuggets and such. Since the mine area is a slightly higher elevation than where the sluice gate is at, the pipes shown in my photo next to the shaft probably transported the water up there.

    All the buildings were constructed with round nails, indicating 20th century construction. Also, Lucky S does not appear in the legendary "Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of California" book by Remi Nadeau.

    My theory is that The Lucky S is missing from the book, which was published in 1952 as a series of articles in a magazine, before becoming a book in 1954, because it was probably still in operation then, or still inhabited at the time of publication.

    So, it's a relatively "new" ghost town.

    It had electricity too. In the hotel's 2nd floor, (the photo with the ceiling peeling off) you can make out the electric light bulb fixture.
    I have no idea how electricity was generated, perhaps by fuel?

    What's very disappointing is the fact that it's been stripped. There are no doors, no signs, no glass, no window frames even! I found a total of 3 hinges at the hotel site. Anything that had value that could be carted away has been carted away. I was quite amazed to see the winch apparatus still there. It must be bolted to the floor!

    I was also not happy about finding campers in the hotel. Sleeping bags are fine, but they had a propane tank. I really hope they weren't cooking with open flame in there!

    Here's pics of the Honeymooner's Cabin:








    The cabin was a loss, but the firefighters did a great job. If you look at one of the last pics on the slideshow, I try to show how the burned trees were on the left side, and the "grey" building, the one with the historic marker tag, is on the right.
    The fire came within 50 feet of some buildings!

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    (I've forgotten what the word is for a man-made waterway used for mining.)
    Viaduct???

    This is a great thread Tsar; you've put in a real labor of love and, believe me, the results speak volumes. Well done.
    It's a beautiful area, that's for sure.
    "Those were great old days. Everthing is very quiet now, isn't it?" Elfego Baca

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    Wink Fantastic Job Tsar

    Great job Tsar. I know you took more photos but not posting you raise the interest in other GT'ers. Photos are great but as you know being there tells the story. I know onederwomyn is really going to enjoy this. The town could be older but I also saw the nails. I am sure there were other towns like this but the vandals, age, and Mother Nature have sent them into the ghosttown heaven. Anyway Great presentation. It is fun seeing it and saying I've been there. Anyone have an idea about the Western Queen Mine. Ill try some research when we are there August.

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    Sniff, sniff...it isn't coming up for me...even when I open in a new link!! My firewall doesn't block photobucket, so I am not sure why. I guess I will have to try when I get home...

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    Quote Originally Posted by onederwomyn View Post
    Sniff, sniff...it isn't coming up for me...even when I open in a new link!! My firewall doesn't block photobucket, so I am not sure why. I guess I will have to try when I get home...
    Hey Onederwomyn, you might just need to update a few things related to your browser. Make sure you have the latest version of Macromedia Flash and Apple Quicktime and such.

    As far as I know the "remix" is a new type of slideshow for Photobucket, where you can add music.

    (I chose not to add music, as you can't upload your own song, you have to choose from a horrible selection.)

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    Hehe...I got to see it at home. It was my work blocking the loading but not the actual site. Oh well I got to see them now.

    Thanks for putting this together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravelrash View Post
    Viaduct???

    This is a great thread Tsar; you've put in a real labor of love and, believe me, the results speak volumes. Well done.
    It's a beautiful area, that's for sure.
    Thanks Gravel. Yes, viaduct, I think that's the word I was looking for. There's tons of these trenches all over the mountains, I never knew what they were as a kid. Also, many wooden flumes. If you read the Shirley Letters (free e-book online) she explains how the flume companies went out of business in this area.


    Quote Originally Posted by teds280z View Post
    Great job Tsar. I know you took more photos but not posting you raise the interest in other GT'ers. Photos are great but as you know being there tells the story. I know onederwomyn is really going to enjoy this. The town could be older but I also saw the nails. I am sure there were other towns like this but the vandals, age, and Mother Nature have sent them into the ghosttown heaven. Anyway Great presentation. It is fun seeing it and saying I've been there. Anyone have an idea about the Western Queen Mine. Ill try some research when we are there August.

    You guys might want to check out the Engel mine. It's not far away to the NW. It's on topo maps and the Plumas County/Forest service map.

    The papers said 2 buildings at Engel were destroyed, but who knows, there could be something still there.

    Also, Seneca is a must-see.
    I need to get my photos of that place up.

    2 hours before dark I drove to Seneca, and to my surprise it was very easy to get to and find. I came around a corner and almost flattened a woman's dog!

    After a thorough scolding and apologies, I asked about Seneca. She said "you're in Seneca."
    "Where are the buildings?"
    "Around the corner and across the bridge."

    To my surprise, the bridge was a well maintained county bridge, solid enough for logging trucks. People were camping out in tents and RV's everywhere. The bar was not only still standing, but it was re-opened!!!

    I thought all the guys at the bar must be ghosts. They turned to me and offered me a beer. The Coors Light was cold in my hand. It was a real beer not a ghost beer!

    The "Seneca Resort" has a new deck, but all the furniture inside is like a time capsule from 1940-50.

    It's a must see. I'll tell the rest of the story in another post.

    It's very, very easy to get to. Just go to Canyon Dam. Head west on the highway, and make an immediate left turn at the sign saying "Seneca."

    Just follow the road, the paved one, until it turns to dirt. Then stay to the right at forks, keeping the ravine on your right. You go downhill until you cross the creek/river (whatever it is.)

    And there you are!

    I didn't get pics of the foundations of the 1800's buildings, they are on Joe's private property. But maybe you could get permission? It was too dark by the time I got there. I had a choice: try and track down Joe, or take a guided tour of the mines and cemetery. I chose latter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsarevna View Post
    I had a choice: try and track down Joe, or take a guided tour of the mines and cemetery. I chose latter.
    Aw, c'mon! You chose the beer!
    "Those were great old days. Everthing is very quiet now, isn't it?" Elfego Baca

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