Monday, August 31, 2009

Mohawk Stamp Mill in Plumas-Eureka State Park

A short loop trail through the mining complex, just south of Johnsville, in the Plumas-Eureka State Park in the northern Sierra Nevada invites the visitor to go on a self-guided tour through the historic area that includes various machinery, stables, the Blacksmith Shop, the Assay Office and the Mohawk Stamp Mill. The pictures shows the Mohawk Mill with parts of the Eureka Peak in the background, where quartz outcroppings with gold, silver, and lead were discovered in 1851. An information board informs about this stamp mill:
The Mohawk Mill began operation in 1878, with power to run the mill coming solely from the nearby stream. The mill cost about $50,000 to build. It had 60 stamps, each of which could crush 2 1/2 tons of ore every 24 hours. The stamps were very loud! People grew accustomed to the continuous din of milling.

As one can see from the picture, the stamp mill structure is now unsafe.

Getting there, looking around

From Highway 70 at Blairsden, west of Portola in California, take the Graeagle-Johnsville Road (County Road A-14). Follow the signs to the Plumas-Eureka State Park, pass the trailhead for the Madora Lake Loop Trail and turn left at the historic miners' bunkhouse, which houses the visitor center, ranger station and a museum with natural history exhibits, mining artifacts and a stamp mill model. This stamp mill is working, fortunately without the din the real mill once made—just a little above type-writer loudness.
The loop trail through the mining complex starts across the bunkhouse.

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