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Thread: Blackhawk Mine History

  1. #1
    I got an upgrade-Oh yeah! Roger's Avatar
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    Blackhawk Mine History

    Many of us have explored the Blackhawk Mine area East of Lucerne Valley. I like I'm sure many of you wondered what it looked like "back in the day."

    Bill Lembright and his wife Jan work at the Lucerne Valley Market. They spend their days off exploring greater Lucerne Valley area. In fact, you can see them in Bill Mann's Book "Guide to the Beautiful and Historic Lucerne Valley." So if you are ever in the Lucerne Valley Market getting supplies for a run in the desert, look them up and say "Hi".

    Bill forwarded me the the following:

    Hello Bill,

    Harlan H. Bradt Sr. was part of the Santa Fe Gold Mines, Inc. venture which built the 600 ton sand leaching plant at the mouth of Blackhawk Canyon.

    From 10/13/2008:

    Hello Walter,

    I enjoyed our recent conversation. It's always fun to speak with you concerning the Blackhawk Canyon mines. As promised, I am passing along a few images I received from Harlan H. Bradt, Jr. (who now lives in Wisconsin). After contacting him, Harlan mailed me a few pictures, taken around 1938 at the Blackhawk Mines.




    Here we see Harlan Bradt, Sr. (right, with hat), camping near the mouth of Blackhawk Canyon. You can see the west side of the canyon in the background.



    Unfortunately, we do not know the names of these people.


    We believe they were staying at this camp, situated next to the canyon road. (actually this is not the case - the true location is still unknown)



    This is a close-up of the camp.



    This, of course, is the "pilot mill."


    The screening plant on the Santa Fe claim.


    I hope you enjoy the pictures. In a few days I will sent you some more from the Harlan Bradt collection. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thank you, for all your help.

    Dwayne


    I hope you find this as interesting as I do. The more we understand history. The more we can appreciate today. Roger- N6UJM
    Last edited by Dukes69; 04-02-10 at 12:43 PM.
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    Jeepaholic FishPOET's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    I hope you find this as interesting as I do.
    I love local history. Thanks for sharing.
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  3. #3
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    Great info, Roger!

    I really enjoy learning more about the places that we visit.

    I don't think I've been to the Blackhawk Mine yet.

    Christian
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  4. #4
    Geebo Geebo's Avatar
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    That,s the kind stuff l enjoy too..I just wish I would have been a history buff while in school..cool stuff ,Thanks Roger
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  5. #5
    4R in a YJ world :) troyboy162's Avatar
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    Chris(with the stock blue jeep) said there was a good sized tunnel there thats still left. by the size of that mining camp there was probably a great deal more tunnels back in the day before it was turned into a strip mine. i smell a trip coming up lol. besides i want to investigate this thing above blackhawk:
    3420'36.42"N, 11648'12.42"W
    is that a huge tailings pile? it dosnt seem to corilate with strip mine roads or excavations.

  6. #6
    I got an upgrade-Oh yeah! Roger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by troyboy162 View Post
    Chris(with the stock blue jeep) said there was a good sized tunnel there thats still left. by the size of that mining camp there was probably a great deal more tunnels back in the day before it was turned into a strip mine. i smell a trip coming up lol. besides i want to investigate this thing above blackhawk:
    3420'36.42"N, 11648'12.42"W
    is that a huge tailings pile? it dosnt seem to corilate with strip mine roads or excavations.

    I think it's just blow sand - a sand dune forming.
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  7. #7
    4R in a YJ world :) troyboy162's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    I think it's just blow sand - a sand dune forming.
    not to derail your topic but i looked heavily at that thing while i was over seas. this pic was what we came up with for evidence of a possible tailings pile.
    -circles are possibible tunnels
    -faint road upper left that is not consistant with strip mine road dimentions
    -pile has dumping style structure to it.

    you could be right though. its hard to say how all that loose material on that mountain side would settle after so much strip mining above


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    Quote Originally Posted by troyboy162 View Post
    Chris(with the stock blue jeep) said there was a good sized tunnel there thats still left. by the size of that mining camp there was probably a great deal more tunnels back in the day before it was turned into a strip mine. i smell a trip coming up lol. besides i want to investigate this thing above blackhawk:
    3420'36.42"N, 11648'12.42"W
    is that a huge tailings pile? it dosnt seem to corilate with strip mine roads or excavations.

    What a coincidence! I was going through some old photos today and ended up browsing through my collection from a few trips to Silver Peak and the Blackhawk Canyon area. I was thinking about going out there again this weekend so I did some searching for any recent information regarding the area and came across this site/thread.

    I investigated the tailings pile in question (figuring there must be large adits or shafts nearby) but it appears that it was just a dump area for the numerous small adits and open pit areas of the Arlington Mine (just below Silver Peak). The pile also appears to be part of the tram system (perhaps the upper terminus?) that carried ore from the Arlington Mine to the mill at the mouth of Blackhawk Canyon.



    Looking down on the pile from the road directly above




    Looking up at more remnants of the tramway from the road above the pile




    The top of the pile. Looks like the remains here were part of the tramway as evidenced by similar structures below in the canyon.




    Looking down into Blackhawk Canyon from just west of the top of the pile




    The pile (from the west).

    It's been a few years since I've been out there, but you can get to this area by taking the forest road off 18 just east of the cement plant (can't remember which road number it is).

    Also wanted to add that the pictures of the campsite in the OP appear to have been taken from just east of the mill, looking NNW.


    Rob
    Last edited by robk; 04-02-10 at 04:06 PM.

  9. #9
    4R in a YJ world :) troyboy162's Avatar
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    awesome pictures! man you are gonna fit right in with this crew if you like exploring like that. i found the site the by researching places i wanted to explore too. check out the trip reports section. its full of cool runs the guys have done that are full of mining history

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    Quote Originally Posted by troyboy162 View Post
    awesome pictures! man you are gonna fit right in with this crew if you like exploring like that. i found the site the by researching places i wanted to explore too. check out the trip reports section. its full of cool runs the guys have done that are full of mining history
    Awesome, I can already tell I'll like it around here.

    My wife and I have explored all over the San Gabriels (mostly on foot) and the San Bernardinos and Mojave Desert looking for old mines and ghost towns.

    I'll check out the trip reports section and see if I can contribute anything there....

    Thought I'd add one more photo -- this is a Google Earth view of the picture of the campsite in the original post.



    AND thanks to Roger for the photos in the original post -- I'm always looking for photos and history related to local mines.

    Rob
    Last edited by robk; 04-02-10 at 05:53 PM.

  11. #11
    "formerly great88" Mitch's Avatar
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    A great book relating to this area is "The Gold Mines of Blackhawk Canyon". Written by Walter Del Mar, published by W.H. Del Mar Publishing 1998. It has the complete family history behind the mines from the early 1900's thru 1980's. Very interesting reading and history. I picked this 62 page booklet up at the mining store in Hesperia,"The Lifestyle Store" on "C" Avenue n/o of Main Street.

    The original trail that ran from this area to Victorville actually runs thru Roger's property. Just a little trivia for those history buffs.

    Mitch

  12. #12
    MJR Subscriber nwoods's Avatar
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    This is so cool. RobK, welcome to MJR. Odd that you have ZERO post count. Have to talk to Sarah about that!

    I want to hit up some of these mines with you guys. I really dig this stuff...pun intended.
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  13. #13
    WD4DDY Materdaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwoods View Post
    This is so cool. RobK, welcome to MJR. Odd that you have ZERO post count.
    Posts in "off topic" don't count toward your post count. This is due to the fact that usually we don't consider posts in off topic as contributing, and we don't want people spouting off in here to get their required posts for the "for sale" and other things.

    I do think we should start a "research, history, etc." section for threads like this, since there is obvious value. There are more and more people coming to MJR with and without Jeeps that are sharing some really cool info. With all the research Roger, Mitch, Mike, Doug, and others have been posting, it would be neat to have a better place for that than "off topic".
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  14. #14
    I got an upgrade-Oh yeah! Roger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Materdaddy View Post
    I do think we should start a "research, history, etc." section for threads like this, since there is obvious value. There are more and more people coming to MJR with and without Jeeps that are sharing some really cool info. With all the research Roger, Mitch, Mike, Doug, and others have been posting, it would be neat to have a better place for that than "off topic".
    That's a great idea Mat!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    That's a great idea Mat!
    I agree!

    I've spent years upon years researching local mining history and unfortunately there aren't any great places to share the information -- just a post here and post there.

    A friend of mine was running a website dedicated to mining history/exploration in the San Gabriel Mountains/greater Los Angeles area (http://www.lagoldmines.com/) until he passed in Nov 2008 (in a hiking accident while on his way to explore & document another mine). As far as I know, he was the local "expert" historian on mining in that area. In fact, you could say he was the "Tom Core" of mining in the San Gabriels, although some might contend that John Robinson holds that title (Hugh specialized in more of the lost & unknown mines that history has "ignored").

    The photos and descriptions that Roger posted regarding the Blackhawk Canyon area were great -- having an area to post/compile this sort of information would go a long way in preserving it for future generations. At some point I'd like to start a website similar to the one above, dedicated to the San Bernardino Mtns/Lucerne Valley area as they seem to be less represented than say Death Valley, Virginia City, the Mother Lode, etc but are simply full of fascinating history.

    Rob

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