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Thread: Ghost Town Gossip

  1. #1
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    Default Ghost Town Gossip

    Originally posted by Cecile

    : So did I get my history right on this one? I did my sresearch first hand as you can see, and got this published in the Mammoth Times this week. Enjoy, everyone!
    : First Person

    : Thu, Sep 5, 2002

    : "Ghost-Town Gossipist" Recalls Mining Days

    : By Cecile Page Vargo

    : Back-roads Adventurer and Twisted-History Buff

    : [Whenever my husband and I are out on the back roads, we like to know the history of the area, and we
    : pack as many books and maps as we do clothes. We have great fun inventing a history of our own, as well.
    : The following tidbits of "twisted history" were taken from travels on our own and as tour guides for
    : Ecological 4-wheeling Adventures.]

    : Long before my days working as a housemaid in the American Hotel at Cerro Gordo, I was a miner in the
    : old town of Bennettville. Bennettville is situated in the Sierra Nevada off Tioga Pass, just east of Yosemite
    : National Park. The road to Bennettville is only passable by foot. I was too poor to have a burro, like some
    : of the other miners, but I soon got over my fear of walking over the old logs to get across the stream, and I
    : learned to enjoy my daily hike to work in the High Sierra mine.

    : I felt fortunate to be hired on as a miner in Bennettville, as women were not really allowed in the mines
    : and were actually considered to be bad luck. It did prove to be bad luck for Bennettville, anyway, as the
    : mine was considered a bust before any ore was ever pulled out.

    : Fortunately, I left Bennettville before things got really bad there and headed for Munckton, farther north in
    : the Sierra [located on Castle Peak in the headwaters of the East Walker River, according to
    : www.holabird.org/americana2002/archive/Auction%209/Auction9Cal3.htm. - Ed.]. I became famous as
    : the saloon keeper at Dunderberg. Miners came from far and wide to buy the bottled Starbucks
    : Frappucinos that I had specially delivered by mule from Seattle.

    : When winter hit the Sierra, I knew my Frappucinos were not going to go over well, so I packed up my
    : bags and all the riches I had made in the Dunderberg Debbie Saloon. I moved down to Los Angeles for a
    : few months and bought myself a little white cottage in Tujunga in the foothills of the San Gabriel
    : Mountains. I enjoyed tending roses in my little garden there until I heard about the mines in Big Tujunga
    : Canyon, high in the mountains that towered above my cottage.

    : Still having some money left over from Frappucino sales in Dunderberg, I was now able to by a burro of
    : my own. I headed up to the Mill Creek and Monte Cristo mines in Big Tujunga Canyon and prospected on
    : my own for a while. The winters in the San Gabriels were much milder than in the High Sierra, and, it
    : being a drought year after all, it was just the perfect season to be panning for the yellow flakes.

    : As spring came once again, I realized that I sorely missed the Owens Valley, the Sierra, the White
    : Mountains and the Inyo Mountains. I sold my burro and bought a horse and wagon, then hightailed it for
    : the old Fat Hill - Cerro Gordo - in the Inyo Mountains. At Cerro Gordo, I found a cushy job as a maid for
    : the American Hotel. I actually made more money as a housemaid than I had in the mines at Bennettville
    : and at the saloon in Dunderberg combined!

    : Cerro Gordo became the Comstock Lode of California during my stay there. All who worked there
    : became quite prosperous, even if they did not work in the mines. I spent several months up on the old Fat
    : Hill. Amongst my friends were Remi Nadeau, who owned the freight company transporting the silver
    : bullion to Los Angeles. I also knew Victor Beaudry, who owned the general store and had a large interest
    : in the mines, and I even got the opportunity to visit with Mortimer Belshaw once in a while. Mortimer had
    : an even bigger interest in the mines and the smelters, and he owned the roads that led into Cerro Gordo.

    : Contrary to any rumours that were going around the little high desert town, I was only a good friend of
    : Lola Travis and did not work as one of her girls at Lola's Palace of Pleasure. Tired of guilt by association, I
    : decided once again to pack my bags and to head farther north, this time to Bodie.

    : There always is a job waiting for me at the Standard Consolidated Mines of Bodie, California. Mrs.
    : Hoover, the mine superintendent's wife, always welcomes me with open arms in spite of my gender, and
    : she always hires me. This particular time around, I was hired as an amalgamator in the stamp mill. During
    : stays at Bodie, I particularly enjoy chatting with Mrs. Hoover's brother-in-law, Herbert, who visits
    : occasionally and loves talking politics with everyone he meets. I keep telling him that one of these days
    : he really ought to run for president. I think maybe someday he just might do so!

    : Now that I'm secure in Bodie, I think I'll stick around for a while. If I get tired of working at the Standard
    : Consolidated, I can always take an easy job working for the paper. If the gold runs out and the town goes
    : bust, I'll get a job at the Daily Bodie Standard Newspaper as a Ghost Town Gossipist. I'm sure people will
    : enjoy reading about my life's adventures up and down the mining camps.

    : [Cecile and her husband, Roger Vargo, lead historical four-wheel drive tours to most of the areas that she
    : has visited in her "Twisted History." She was also fortunate enough to spend two weeks in May 2002 as a
    : volunteer at Cerro Gordo Ghost Town. Cecile enjoys sharing her experiences, true and farcical, with
    : anyone who chooses to listen. She is a self-proclaimed Ghost-Town Gossipist.

    : ["First Person" is a forum for creative writing, short stories, poems, and glimpses of local interest written
    : from a personal perspective. Please type your submission.] MT

    :
    : Copyright 1990 - 2002 Mammoth Times


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ghost Town Gossip

    Originally posted by Darlene Duraski

    : : So did I get my history right on this one? I did my sresearch first hand as you can see, and got this published in the Mammoth Times this week. Enjoy, everyone!
    : : First Person

    : : Thu, Sep 5, 2002

    : : "Ghost-Town Gossipist" Recalls Mining Days

    : : By Cecile Page Vargo

    : : Back-roads Adventurer and Twisted-History Buff

    : : [Whenever my husband and I are out on the back roads, we like to know the history of the area, and we
    : : pack as many books and maps as we do clothes. We have great fun inventing a history of our own, as well.
    : : The following tidbits of "twisted history" were taken from travels on our own and as tour guides for
    : : Ecological 4-wheeling Adventures.]

    : : Long before my days working as a housemaid in the American Hotel at Cerro Gordo, I was a miner in the
    : : old town of Bennettville. Bennettville is situated in the Sierra Nevada off Tioga Pass, just east of Yosemite
    : : National Park. The road to Bennettville is only passable by foot. I was too poor to have a burro, like some
    : : of the other miners, but I soon got over my fear of walking over the old logs to get across the stream, and I
    : : learned to enjoy my daily hike to work in the High Sierra mine.

    : : I felt fortunate to be hired on as a miner in Bennettville, as women were not really allowed in the mines
    : : and were actually considered to be bad luck. It did prove to be bad luck for Bennettville, anyway, as the
    : : mine was considered a bust before any ore was ever pulled out.

    : : Fortunately, I left Bennettville before things got really bad there and headed for Munckton, farther north in
    : : the Sierra [located on Castle Peak in the headwaters of the East Walker River, according to
    : : www.holabird.org/americana2002/archive/Auction%209/Auction9Cal3.htm. - Ed.]. I became famous as
    : : the saloon keeper at Dunderberg. Miners came from far and wide to buy the bottled Starbucks
    : : Frappucinos that I had specially delivered by mule from Seattle.

    : : When winter hit the Sierra, I knew my Frappucinos were not going to go over well, so I packed up my
    : : bags and all the riches I had made in the Dunderberg Debbie Saloon. I moved down to Los Angeles for a
    : : few months and bought myself a little white cottage in Tujunga in the foothills of the San Gabriel
    : : Mountains. I enjoyed tending roses in my little garden there until I heard about the mines in Big Tujunga
    : : Canyon, high in the mountains that towered above my cottage.

    : : Still having some money left over from Frappucino sales in Dunderberg, I was now able to by a burro of
    : : my own. I headed up to the Mill Creek and Monte Cristo mines in Big Tujunga Canyon and prospected on
    : : my own for a while. The winters in the San Gabriels were much milder than in the High Sierra, and, it
    : : being a drought year after all, it was just the perfect season to be panning for the yellow flakes.

    : : As spring came once again, I realized that I sorely missed the Owens Valley, the Sierra, the White
    : : Mountains and the Inyo Mountains. I sold my burro and bought a horse and wagon, then hightailed it for
    : : the old Fat Hill - Cerro Gordo - in the Inyo Mountains. At Cerro Gordo, I found a cushy job as a maid for
    : : the American Hotel. I actually made more money as a housemaid than I had in the mines at Bennettville
    : : and at the saloon in Dunderberg combined!

    : : Cerro Gordo became the Comstock Lode of California during my stay there. All who worked there
    : : became quite prosperous, even if they did not work in the mines. I spent several months up on the old Fat
    : : Hill. Amongst my friends were Remi Nadeau, who owned the freight company transporting the silver
    : : bullion to Los Angeles. I also knew Victor Beaudry, who owned the general store and had a large interest
    : : in the mines, and I even got the opportunity to visit with Mortimer Belshaw once in a while. Mortimer had
    : : an even bigger interest in the mines and the smelters, and he owned the roads that led into Cerro Gordo.

    : : Contrary to any rumours that were going around the little high desert town, I was only a good friend of
    : : Lola Travis and did not work as one of her girls at Lola's Palace of Pleasure. Tired of guilt by association, I
    : : decided once again to pack my bags and to head farther north, this time to Bodie.

    : : There always is a job waiting for me at the Standard Consolidated Mines of Bodie, California. Mrs.
    : : Hoover, the mine superintendent's wife, always welcomes me with open arms in spite of my gender, and
    : : she always hires me. This particular time around, I was hired as an amalgamator in the stamp mill. During
    : : stays at Bodie, I particularly enjoy chatting with Mrs. Hoover's brother-in-law, Herbert, who visits
    : : occasionally and loves talking politics with everyone he meets. I keep telling him that one of these days
    : : he really ought to run for president. I think maybe someday he just might do so!

    : : Now that I'm secure in Bodie, I think I'll stick around for a while. If I get tired of working at the Standard
    : : Consolidated, I can always take an easy job working for the paper. If the gold runs out and the town goes
    : : bust, I'll get a job at the Daily Bodie Standard Newspaper as a Ghost Town Gossipist. I'm sure people will
    : : enjoy reading about my life's adventures up and down the mining camps.

    : : [Cecile and her husband, Roger Vargo, lead historical four-wheel drive tours to most of the areas that she
    : : has visited in her "Twisted History." She was also fortunate enough to spend two weeks in May 2002 as a
    : : volunteer at Cerro Gordo Ghost Town. Cecile enjoys sharing her experiences, true and farcical, with
    : : anyone who chooses to listen. She is a self-proclaimed Ghost-Town Gossipist.

    : : ["First Person" is a forum for creative writing, short stories, poems, and glimpses of local interest written
    : : from a personal perspective. Please type your submission.] MT

    : :
    : : Copyright 1990 - 2002 Mammoth Times


  3. #3
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    Default Mill Creek &Monti Cristo Mines

    Originally posted by Big B.

    : Hi , did you have any luck in Big Tujunga Cyn, MillCreek, or Monte Cristo Mines during your stay I am just begining to prospect and I don't know where to begin. If you could point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated, even if it's just a few flakes. We haven't had any luck and my son would like to find some color in our pans. thank you for your time. Big B.


  4. #4
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    Default Mill Creek &Monti Cristo Mines

    Originally posted by Big B.

    : Hi , did you have any luck in Big Tujunga Cyn, MillCreek, or Monte Cristo Mines during your stay I am just begining to prospect and I don't know where to begin. If you could point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated, even if it's just a few flakes. We haven't had any luck and my son would like to find some color in our pans. thank you for your time. Big B.


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