On my second journey to the Valley of Death, I came across some new mining sites that required more exploration.
I’ve driven by here numerous times but never realized how big these ruins were.
These ruins east of Keeler, CA are of a “reverberating” smelter. Smelters were used to “roast” galena ore from the Cerro Gordo mines into bullion bars, approximately 18 inches long and weighing up to 65 pounds depending on the silver content.
From here the silver was shipped across the Owens Lake on the steamer Bessie Brady to Cartago and then to Los Angeles or Bakersfield in 14 mule team wagons.
Inside/underneath the smelter.
On top of the smelter.
It’s only a mile or so off the highway and then a little hike.
Old equipment can still be found around the ruins.
Smelter frame of Keeler, CA
Above the smelter overlooking Owens Lake.
The lovely town of Keeler in the distance.
Keep Out – Cerro Gordo Mine
I used to never notice mines but now they’re all I see when driving through this part of California.
Let’s check it out.
Plenty of room to stand up in.
Wood beams began appearing shortly after entering and it was getting late, so I decided to back out and put it on my list for a future exploration.
I found another one near by, trekked up the mountain and snapped this lovely photo of a very distant view of the Panamint Range from inside the mine.