Its amazing that one of California’s most productive mines has faded into a barely visible steel structure among the trees and has even been used as a cell phone tower at one point.

It began as the Summit Mine in 1855 until 1875. Purchased by Central Eureka Mining Co. in 1893. Shut down in 1942 by the federal government’s War Production Board Order L-208 the Central Eureka is one of very few mines that reopened after the war in 1946. It operated until 1956 to a depth of 4,500′ and produced nearly two million ounces of gold.

The abandoned site once consisted of the mine, head works, tailing trestles and flumes, a stamp mill, a cyanide plant and tailings with high levels of arsenic which led to the designation as a Superfund Site.

In the 80’s someone thought it a good idea to build a trailer park and neighborhood below the mine, mill, and cyanide plant near the tailings operation. By the 90s the EPA had invested 4 million dollars in the matter.

In 2005 the property was leased by nearby Sutter Gold Mining Inc. A company that has been known to reopen and work old mines.

We visited the mine in Oct 2014 to find only a fenced off headframe with hoist room ruins and fenced off surrounding ruins with no signs of modern mining. Vultures use the old headframe for a vantage point and only add to a feeling of ruin and days long gone.