I got excited searching USGS Historical Topo’s when I stumbled upon St Marys Mine. I got even more excited when I saw what looked like a standing stamp mill at the end of an un-gated public road. Could this be true?
We drove down the long, skinny road towards the mine only to find it was gated. With no way to turn around we began backing down the hill until we were boxed in by a man in a jeep. We told him we wanted to see the mine but all he kept saying was that this was private property.
After a few more minutes of begging, “Abel” revealed he was the properties owner and that it had been in the family for over a hundred years. He said someone in his family was a banker and had gobbled up much of the gold claims in the area as they went bust. They now had over 5000 acres.
“Abel” finally agreed to take us to the site but he warned it was a long way back the property and not much to see. We followed his jeep as he blazed through the properties long, skinny, winding dusty roads until we reached the mine site overlooking Toledo Pond. First thing we notice was all of the equipment was gone. Abel told us since he was a kid there was no equipment only the mill shed stood. He said the property was riddled with old mine shafts accessible only by ATV. He made no mention of the Toledo Town Site only a short distance away according to our topo. He left us to explore on our own.
We found the mine shaft itself on the hill above the mill site with its collar collapsed and filled with trash for burning, it was kind of sad. The stamp mill had been turned into storage for old furniture decades ago. The furniture was rotted from the weather and a couple of eagles had moved in to nest in the rafters. We also explored several foundations around the mine. Not quite what we “pictured” from Google Earth but still very cool and Thank You Abel!
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