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August 21, 2010

Mammoth Consolidated GOLD MINE visit

The Mahan family was responsible for the Mammoth Consolidated, and donated the buildings and equipment that you see on the interpretive trail where remnants of buildings and machinery still stand. In 1927, A.G. Mahan Sr., his son Arch, and several partners purchased the claims under the full name of Mammoth Consolidated Mining Company. Samples taken early on indicated six tenths of an ounce of gold and one fifth of an ounce of silver per ton of rock. At 1927 prices that would be approximately $12.70 per ton. The mining company was located at the top of Red Mountain, which got it's name from the reddish orange iron sulphides in the rock. The iron sulphides made extraction of the gold ore more expensive, but the investors and owners were determined to keep the mine in operation as long as they could. About $100,000 of gold was pulled out, but it is doubtful that paid their expenses.

The bunk houses is what Jorge says is a dream house for today standards of a good vacation. No cell, no t.v., no electric for that matter. I myself find it as a good thinking spot.

The mine was a working mine from 1927 to about 1933. For a mine I can tell you upfront why it bankrupt - it's fancy houses and various office building where too modern for it's time and the upkeep and cost to maintain such a thought was probably one of the main reason why it failed-so, to a gold miner standards... Approximately 6 to 14 workers at a given time was employed here. Kerosene lanterns where the only luxury of its time there.

The mine shaft was pretty cool if I do say so myself. It's important to remember that a closed shaft is a closed shaft for a reason. Not only for the danger of it collapsing but for the toxic gases which is a death sentence for all.

With the Great Depression hitting in the 1930's, the Mammoth Consolidated ceased operations. By 1934, Arch Mahan found more fortune in packing tourists into Devils Postpile by horse when he purchased Reds Meadows Resorts. The mine property and equipment was leased out to various individuals over the years. In 1983 the Mahans took over the mine once again, and hired a caretaker to live at the camp. By 1989, the Mahan family donated what was left of the Mammoth Consolidated Mining Company buildings and equipment, to the town of Mammoth Lakes.

Today they use the area for sight seekers and for horse rides and hikers on nearby trails.






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