Thursday, November 8, 2018

Autumn Photo-adventures, Chemung Mine and Masonic Ghost Town

 Ghost Towns and Abandoned Mines in the rugged backcountry

With the feel of autumn in the air, it’s always fun to spend some time in the higher elevations.  After hearing about the abandoned Chemung Mine near Bridgeport, California I planned a day trip for some photo-adventures.  Checking on the Internet, I also learned of the Masonic Ghost Town that was just three miles past the Chemung Mine.  

Masonic Ghost Town near Bridgeport, California

To arrive at these locations, I took the Mason Road which is just past the Bridgeport Reservoir.  Starting out, the scenic dirt road was wide and fairly well maintained.   

Mason Road to Chemung Mine and Masonic Ghost Town

Arriving at the Chemung Mine, the day was still young so I decided to go on to the Masonic Ghost Town.  

Mason Road from Chemung Mine

Up ahead, the road was becoming narrower and did not appear to be maintained. I was not too concerned since I was in a 4-wheel drive truck with aggressive tires.  Stands of aspen trees just  turning to fall colors accented the rugged landscape.  

Aspens along Mason Road

Just before reaching the Masonic Ghost Town I decided go and check out the road on foot.  It’s best to be cautious and not get stuck far from civilization!  

Mason Road to Masonic Ghost Town

When gold was discovered near this area, the town was founded in 1862 by the Freemasons, therefore giving it the name of Masonic. At one time, the town had 3 levels:  the Upper Town of Lorena housed the mine offices and a post office; Middle Town was the largest with a hotel, general store, stage station, school and post office; and Lower Town was anchored by the Pittsburg-Liberty Mill.  

Masonic Ghost town

On this day in 2018, not many of the structures were still standing--either due to acts of nature or vandalism. 

What caught my eye was the workmanship on the rock walls and how the structures were built into the rock formations.   

Masonic Ghost Town

The remains of a stone house left its legacy against the weathering of nature. 

Stone building, Masonic Ghost Town

To the left I saw a metal plaque on an outcropping of rocks.  

Masonic Plaque, Masonic Ghost Town

On closer observation, the plaque told the legacy of Masonic. 

Masonic Plaque, Masonic Ghost Town

As my eyes wandered across to the west, I noticed what appeared to be an aerial tramway.  I have since read that the tramway was used to transport ore from the mines in Lower Town.  And this structure deserves a repeat visit on another trip for a closer view!

Aerial Tramway, Masonic Ghost Town

At this time, I decided to end my photo-exploring at Masonic and return to the Chemung Mine, which I will cover in the next post.  So check back and see where my adventures will go. 

Mason Road to Chemung Mine

If you found this post interesting check back often where I will focus on the story behind the image or give tips on my ventures as a nature photographer.

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    Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.

 "Reflecting Nature's Artistry" 

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