-also know as “Lucky Baldwin” Mine (10.8 miles)
Watch for the crumbling wooden structure on the right or south side of the road -this is an ore bin, built in 1945, a more recent attempt to make Gold Mountain profitable.
The last major gold discovery occurred in 1873 when Barney and Charley Carter were enroute to the Rose Mine. While camped on the north shore of Baldwin Lake, Barney went to inspect the “shiny stuff” in the quartz ledge immediately above their camp. His brief exploration led to a mountain of gold ore! Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin purchased “Carters’ Quartz Hill” for $30,000. By 1876, Baldwin had 180 men working his mine and a 40-stamp mill was in place. The concrete footings can be seen to the west. The site of a large mill and cyanide processing plant was added in 1899. The mill was in operation as late as 1923.
In the fall of 1875, William F. Holcomb returned once more to the Valley, a visit inspired by sentimentality and curiosity. Bill witnessed the death throes of the mining camps, the final and futile last search for more gold. Before long nature would creep back, reclaiming the land. The clapboard villages were abandoned, leaving only decaying ghost towns. Holcomb could never have guessed that when he shouldered his rifle to hunt bear in 1860, he would precipitate the largest gold rush in Southern California.