Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Legends of the Old West... the Lost Cement Mine


Legendary Mines….

There are many legends about the old west. Some have been solved. Some have not. One of the top ten unsolved mysteries comes from Bodie, California.

It revolves around a gold mine that is said to lie in the eastern Sierra Nevada of California around the town known as Brodie. According to the accounts, this mind was the site of a gold deposit that totaled more than  28,000 kilograms or 60,000 pounds.

According to one story, the mine was found by a pair of men who had become separated from a group. They wandered through the mountainous area coming across the headwaters of the Owens River. There they found some unique red indigenous rock that contained a large amount of gold.

The red rock was called Cement rock by the men who mined the area in the 1860’s and  from that the mine received it’s name.

One of the miners contracted the dreaded disease Tuberculosis and in order to be seen by the doctor traded his lump of cement to a Dr. Randall for payment of his services. When the ‘good doctor’ realized the wealth of his payment, he and his assistant, Gid Whiteman went in search of more. They traversed the hills to the south and west of a place called Deadman’s Summit. Of course, news of their search soon reached the ears of local newspapers. James Write wrote articles about the search in 1879. He even claimed they mine had been worked in secret for years.

Another story says that it was discovered by two men who broke away from a wagon train headed for California. They sat down by a stream because they were so weary and low and behold they caught sight of a huge amount of gold. Again, one of them took the gold and by the time he got to California he was sick and had to again, use the gold to pay for treatment.

Even Mark Twain got in on the story. He placed it in his book, Roughing It. His version had three German brothers hiding in the mountains to escape an attack on their wagon train. Hiding, they found the gold and took it back with them.

In 1869 the story takes a twist. Two men arrived in Stockton, They replenished their supplies, didn’t stay long before they headed out again. Between the years 1869 and 1877, they returned with a good amount of the ore. Their story goes that they met a priest who was ill and before he died, he and his companions had been mining near Mammoth Peak in a place called Pumice Mountain. There they found gold, a lot of it. Their haul amounted to $400,000 dollars.

But with each story, the site of the mine was covered up or destroyed to keep others from finding it. Today, people are still looking for this legendary Bonanza.


If you’d like to read more about the top unsolved mysteries from the wild west. Use the link below.

Unsolved Mysteries of the West



Happy Halloween


1 comment:

Julie Lence said...

I love a good mystery and this is fascinating. Thank you for sharing, Nan!