With Lake Don Pedro water levels at an all time low in November 2014 and much ado in the press we set out down Highway 49 to take a look for ourselves. We drove as far as we could down the old Shamut-Eagle Mine Road and then parked and walked further down the dilapidated road. The lake with a capacity of 2,030,000 acre-ft was down to 692,000 (down over 100ft) exposing the Eagle-Shamut and the Tarantula Mine for the first time in over 40 years. Both mines foundations where fully exposed and the lake looked more like a creek. It was a great site that we may never see again if the good lord provides us with a little rain.
There is some history on the mine but I could not determine when it began operation. It closed in the 1940’s (probably 1942) and the mill stood on the hillside until it was tore down in the 1950’s. The new Lake Don Pedro Dam was finished in 1971 and what remained of the mining operation disappeared into the lake.
A 1915 publication of the California State Mining Bureau’s Mines and Mineral Resources indicates the mine was quite an operation. In 1914 it shut down for one year for installation of electric hoisting and underground tramway equipment. 14 tunnels were dug to a max depth of 3124 ft. 100 stamps weighing 1250 lbs each dropped 100 times per minute powered by a GE 75 HP electric motor. A massive 30″ wide belt ran 120 ft from the mine on the hill above. The ore was pulled from the ground with a 200 HP electric motor.
One review on “Eagle-Shawmut Mine”
Update August 2017: We returned to the Eagle Shawmut mill site once again to see how the rains had affected her. Well, don’t plan on seeing her again anytime soon as the Eagle Shawmut has returned to her permanent residence in the depths below Lake Don Pedro. (see photo)