Articles - Two Old Unreported Gold Mines Near Mt. Baldy Village

Two old unreported gold mines near Mt. Baldy Village

By Hugh Blanchard

    Many thousands of motorists pass yearly between the two tunnels 2 miles south of Mt. Baldy Village on their way to hike or ski at Mt. Baldy but few notice  a conspicuous mine opening to the east just above San Antonio Creek on the lower slope of Spring Hill. This may be  the Red White and Blue Mine – one of the oldest hard-rock mines in the area. Its opening is much more noticeable since the recent Grand Prix fire (Oct.2003). Its location is shown on the old (1871) Wheeler Survey Map (p.37 Robinson The San Gabriels) . A1909 publication also mentions an “old abandoned gold mine on Spring Hill.”  It is best reached  by walking down the abandoned Mt. Baldy  Road, crossing the creek and working your  way up the steep hillside. The hillside has thickets loaded with thorny blackberry, poison oak and stinging nettles. It is very desirable to wear long sleeved clothing , gloves and a change of footgear for the mine. An old miners trail  traverses Spring Hill about 75 feet above the tunnel.

              the author at the entrance to the Red White and Blue mine

    A Civilian Conservation Corp (C.C.C.) Camp stationed nearby from 1933 to 1942 used  the mine for its water supply. Remnants of its stay include galvanized iron water pipes and a three foot high concrete dam at the mine entrance. Just beyond the dam  the water pools to a depth of a foot and a half but within a few feet disappears and most of the mine is dry. Its total length including two short side passages is 200 feet. Calciferous deposits are found on portions of the walls and floor.
    My sincere appreciation to local resident Daven Gray who led me to the mines and whose knowledge of local history including mines and mining technology is unequalled.
    The second mine is more remote. It is 3/4 of a mile above the Red White and Blue on the west facing slope of the south buttress of the mouth of Cascade Canyon. It is 100 feet long and completely dry. Some albino crickets are present at the end of the mine.  Daven found this unknown drift mine (tunnel dug into ancient stream bed) in 1983. It is not known when it was worked and its original name is now unknown. Because of its length Daven has dubbed it the Century Mine. The easiest route is to go up the Barrett-Stoddard Canyon Road for l1/2 miles past Barrett and Cascade Canyons and then head right at the Pine Plantation (now burnt) at the head of Spring Hill through a ravine and  pick up a faint use trail just to the left of a conspicuous white boulder.

                   Daven Gray at the entrance to the Century mine

    The writer has not found any mention in print for either mine.