Some of my favorite mines to explore are the one man operations. The Golden Egg Mine was bought in 1940 by German immigrant Karl Schapel who worked the mine until his death in 1967 at the age of 88. Schapel constructed his own mill on the site and was known for his welcoming attitude toward visitors. He offered free tours and many travelers brought him dry goods and canned food.

On New Year’s Day 1961 Schapel’s oil lamp exploded and caught his cabin on fire. He ran through the walls of the cabin and kept going another mile and a half to his neighbors who took him to the hospital. 450 local Marines and their families showed up to rebuild his house in two days.

Sadly his home was once again burned down in 1990 by arsonist and his mill ravaged by metal scrapers. The mill structure still stands but someone has knocked over the white wooden head frame that stood at the site for decades. A smaller hodgepodge metal head frame stands further up the hill.

There are several open tunnels Schapel worked and you can clearly see the vein he chased all those years. Oddly the mill sits above the tunnels so he dug a shaft to raise the ore for processing.

The history is what makes this mine worth exploring. Have you been? Comment below!

  • JB Bergmann

    Reply
    Rating: 4 / 5

    Even though Schapel’s cabin is burned and the scrapers scavenged the mill its still a very cool site to explore.

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