Thursday, February 26, 2015

Eureka Outhouse

Recently while on a photo tour/BW workshop, we were taken to the Eureka Gold Mine. Leaving the lodge at Stovepipe Wells, we took a left and drove west up out of Death Valley. We easily gained two or three thousand feet in elevation in short order before taking another left into the hills. Soon the pavement ended and the washboards and dust began. After a few miles of teeth rattling we arrived in a sort of plain with a couple of hills in the middle, surrounded by mountains. The caravan came to a halt and our leader basically said we are going to take pictures here until sunset.

The park service had erected a info sign, thankfully, explaining what the story to this place was. I say thankfully because at first glance it looked more like we had stopped at a dump than any photographic place of interest. The vandals had been at work on the small house the minor had lived in, punching holes in the walls. The long and short of it was shortly after 1900 a prospector has identified the aforementioned hill to be quartz and therefore a potential gold mine. The guy toiled away for 40 some years until he died around WWII. Gold he did find. Reportedly, about $150,000 worth at $20 per ounce, as I recall. I kept thinking for all that much time and effort the amount of tailings left over seemed rather small.

As it neared time to leave and light was failing I spotted this outhouse out back, still standing after a century.

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