There’s more to Julian, CA than Apple Pie. In 1869, A.E. “Fred” Coleman, a former slave established the first mining district in the area. Ten bucks gets you a fun filled guided tour deep underground in these two mines dating back to 1870.

I didn't think a guided tour would be as exciting as my usual unauthorized explorations but I was wrong. This mine is old but has most of the original equipment that was used when it first opened in 1870 until it closed.

I didn’t think a guided tour would be as exciting as my usual unauthorized explorations but I was wrong. This mine is old but has most of the original equipment that was used when it first opened in 1870 until it closed.

The two brothers who lead the tours are the grandchildren of the last owner and grew up playing in and around the mines. Lucky kids.

The two brothers who lead the tours are the grandchildren of the last owner and grew up playing in and around the mines. Lucky kids.

Debbie Downer Alert - Two men lost their lives while mining back in the day due to an unfortunate partial collapse.

Debbie Downer Alert – Two men lost their lives while mining back in the day due to an unfortunate partial collapse.

The mines are easy to get to, just a few blocks off the main drag.

The mines are easy to get to, just a few blocks off the main drag.

Cash only!

Cash only!

Authentic

Authentic

It wouldn't be authentic without a fake cemetery.

It wouldn’t be authentic without a fake cemetery.

Inside the Blacksmith Shop & Livery Stable is a gift shop and museum.

Inside the Blacksmith Shop & Livery Stable is a gift shop and museum.

Old Timey Miners

Old Timey Miners

You enter through one mine [Eagle] and exit the other.

You enter through one mine [Eagle] and exit the other.

The cart rail runs all the way through still.

The tracks run all the way through still.

 believe there are 13 levels...we only explored 2 of them.

I believe there are 13 levels…we only explored 2 of them.

Unforth we couldn't ride in the cart.

Unforth we couldn’t ride in the cart.

Behind the gate is one of the ways to either go down further or go up higher in the mines.

This machine hoisted equipment and men to other sections of the mine.

This machine hoisted equipment and men to other sections of the mine.

Yay, stairs!

Yay, stairs!

We have now crossed over to the High Peak Mine.

We have now crossed over to the High Peak Mine.

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Demonstrating what the miners used for lighting back in the day...one candle.

Demonstrating what the miners used for lighting back in the day…one candle.

This hydraulic device was used to smash up the rock.

This hydraulic device was used to smash up the rock.

Exiting out through the High Peak Mine.

Exiting out through the High Peak Mine.