Mining Relic, Death Valley. Death Valley National Park, California. April 2, 2014. © Copyright 2014 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
A piece of rusted and weathered metal from an abandoned mining site, Death Valley National Park
Between having our sunrise light interrupted by an incoming storm (though it was not a compete washout) and retreating from the road past the charcoal kilns in heavily falling snow, we stopped for a while at the old Harrisburg site, where Harris and Aguereberry ran a mine for a number of years. (They reportedly didn’t get rich, but they also avoided going bust—the story is that they extracted enough ore to make it work.)
Calling the place “Harrisburg” is perhaps over-selling it a bit! There is a small cluster of cabins—three, to be precises—tucked up into a slight indentation at the base of a low hill in a high, broad Panamint Range valley.The mine is found at the far end of the hill and around its far side, and a variety of mining detritus litters the landscape: remnants of old rails leading into the mine, some impressive scaffolding, lots of rusted stuff, an old abandoned vehicle. The cabins are in a state of advanced decay. They still have walls and some interior walls and flooring are still there, though increasing numbers of holes have appeared. Enough remains to give you an idea of what life might have been like here. In some ways it seems very simply and primitive, but in other ways surprisingly modern. As we poked around near the mine I found this old hunk of weathered sheet metal hanging from some wooden structures.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.