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Thread: Monte Cristo, a gold mining town of the 1890ís.

  1. #1
    Darin's Avatar
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    Default Monte Cristo, a gold mining town of the 1890ís.

    In the summer of 1889, Joe Pearsall and Frank Peabody discovered a rich vein of gold and silver ore at a site soon named Monte Cristo.
    Between that time and 1907 the mines produced millions of dollars in ore. A town sprang up on the peninsula between Glacier and 76 creeks at the head of the South Fork Sauk River and a standard gauge railway was built to connect the mines with their smelter at Everett.

    Most of the miners lived high above the town on Wilmans and Foggy Peaks, from which aerial tramways carried the minerals down the steep mountain sides to the concentrator for processing and then to the railway. At the town site were all the support services required by an isolated industrial town: a store, five hotels, a school, a newspaper and residences, mostly situated along Dumas Street or the lower area below the railway yards.

    Dumas Street, in its heyday, was a 35 Ė 40 foot boardwalk but is now just a pathway to a town that is surrounded by 7,000 foot mountains where at one time, only the railway was the only means of transporting ore from Monte Cristo. When mining died and was replaced by tourism, the Mountain Loop Highway to Barlow Pass and a small, four mile county road from Barlow Pass to Monte Cristo replaced the railway. The county road was severely damaged by flooding in 1980 and now is gated at the pass. It is now only accessible by hiking, biking and horseback as much of the road is severely washed away and the bridge across the river is completely gone.

    Monte Cristo, as a town site, was recorded on March 2, 1893 and became a Government town site on March 4, 1893.

    The Kyes family played a major part in the town. After arriving in 1902 from the Klondike gold rush, they had a major interest in business and mining. To this day, descendants of the Kyes family still maintain a cabin on their property at Monte Cristo. There is also a memorial by the U.S. Naval Academy to Commander James Ellsworth Kyes, commander of the U.S.S. Leary, which was lost in 1944. Behind the memorial, there is a white picket fence that squarely surrounds a lonely fir tree that James brought down from Addisonís peak and planted as a boy in the Monte Cristo hotelís garden in the 1920ís




    Now we jump to July 18, 2009.

    JoeZona and I made the hike into Monte Cristo. We started off from Barlow Pass at 7am. On the way to Monte Cristo, we came across the spot were you could see that we were following the railway path. Joe saw the tracks where they came out of the ground where the path had washed away by the river and commented on the 18 inches of ground that covered them.

    When we arrived at the town site, we snapped our first pictures of two original signs of Monte Cristo. From there, it was on to pictures of the town itself including the railway turntable, relics from the mining companies including an ore bucket, some pulleys, scrap steel, old motors, and various other items. There were also cabins that you can rent to stay in for a weekend outing. We then went further into the town up Dumas Street, taking pictures of the old buildings and the signs of where buildings once stood. Then it was on to the United Companies Concentrator. There was not much left of the concentrator, just the foundation where the once, 3 level, multistory structure once was.

    We sat for a moment and took a break where the Monte Cristo hotel once stood, next to Commander Kyesí memorial. While we were sitting, since I had been here before on two other occasions, I couldnít help but notice the vegetation seemed to be growing around, smothering the structures of the town, and taking back what was once hers. The actual changes that I witnessed are indescribable, unless you see it first hand for yourself.



    Joe on the crudely made foot bridge.
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    Remnance of a mining town.
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    Houses in Monte Cristo along Dumas Street.
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    Remains of United Companies Consentrator mill.
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    Picture of a gas powered Hartford-Eastern railway car (circa 1920).
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  2. #2
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    Default Nice!

    It looks like you have some great weather up there right now. Where is that in Washington, approximately?

    NJ
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

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    It's in Snohomish County in the Cascade Mountains, East of Barlow Pass just off the Mountain Loop Highway above the town of Granite Falls. It did get a little warm on our way back from Monte Cristo and if I had an empty canteen, I probably would have tossed it . Getting there though, was nice and mild as it was 7:00am when we started in from Barlow Pass.

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    Super stuff Darin, let's see more.
    Don Winslow
    Glendora, California
    Ghost Town Web site:http://www.donwinslow.net/Ghost%20Towns.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwinslow View Post
    Super stuff Darin, let's see more.
    You got it, Don...

    Joe moving the hand powered railway turntable.
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    Ore bucket up close.
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    Ore bucket and other mining artifacts.
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    Old motor.
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    7,000 foot mountains above Monte Cristo.
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    Our very own JoeZona trying to rent a cabin.

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    More of Dumas Street
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    United Companies Consentrator
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    Glacier Creek
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    76 Creek
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    Smile LOL That was was sure a fun trip

    Some of ya's out there might not beleive it, but Darin is a very polite guy. Here he's just being sure nobody's home...

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    This place has been secured


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    This was part of a main road just 35 years ago. Mother nature doesn't waste time!


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    Another old place. Probably abandoned about 1969, when the mines finally played out.


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