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GHOST MINES OF YOSEMITE

BY DOUGLASS HUBBARD

Chief Park Naturalist, Yosemite National Park

With Photographs by the Author

OUTCROP ON THE “THE GREAT SILVER BELT”, TIOGA HILL
[click to enlarge]
OUTCROP ON THE “THE GREAT SILVER BELT”, TIOGA HILL

1. FORTUNE

DO YOU know where a fortune lies buried? In Tioga Hill, the old timers say. The Sheepherder Tunnel, driven more than 1700 feet through some of the world’s hardest rock, was thought to be less than 200 feet from the fabulous Sheepherder Lode when work stopped suddenly in 1884. A value of twelve and one-half million was placed on surface ores by Captain Bickford Anthony. Charles Barney, who engineered the Great Sierra Wagon Road (called the Tioga Road today), cautioned the Board of Directors of the Great Sierra Consolidated Silver Company to play down the true value of the company’s holdings on Tioga Hill, lest the stockholders believe them to be gross exaggerations.1 These men, competent mining engineers, were but two of many to inspect the mineral values of “The Great Silver Belt” running from Tioga Hill to Bloody Canyon, along the Sierran Crest. Almost without exception reports have been enthusiastic, yet pay dirt has not been struck to this day, in spite of hundreds of thousands of dollars expended.

Who were these men? How did they come together? Why did they fail?

Copyright 1958 by Douglass H. Hubbard



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