Stepping Back in Time at Empire Mine State Park

(Saturday August 28, 1010)


Inside the park office things were getting a little boisterous, so the guard came in to see what was going on. Texas Floyd pretended to reach for her gun, and she responded with handcuffs. Naturally, everyone laughed...and he promised to behave himself.

Then we toured the museum. The scale model (below) of the 367 miles of underground flooded, shafts and tunnels is an equivalent of a round trip from Grass Valley to San Jose.  The park consists of 845 acres of forested back country and 12 miles of trails for hikers, bikers and horseback riders.

The Empire Mine is the site of the oldest, largest, and richest gold mine in California. While it was in operation (from 1850 to 1956) it produced 5.8 million ounces of gold. This would have filled a box seven feet on each side. It's estimated that this was only twenty percent of the eighty percent of available gold remaining.

The safe, scales and gold specimens.

Time to meander out and experience the beautiful park.

This was the Bourn family home.

The old stamp mill. Can you imagine the noise when it was working?

Floyd found a little rock and thinks there's some gold in it.

The back door of the Office where Mel's dad used to go to pick up his pay for hauling ore and machinery for the mine when it was operating many years ago.

After leaving the park we wind up at Tim and Margie's RV sales where we all do some catching up just before closing. We had such a big breakfast this morning that none of us feel like dinner, so decide on an ice cream cone  to wind up our interesting, fun filled day.