Santa Fe Mine

Back in early 2012, Ed and I stopped by a mine in the Santa Fe district near Luning. The old mines in the district were discovered in 1879 and worked on and off until the 1920s. This mine was probably part of a larger group of mines, namely the Luning Consolidated Mine. These were typically silver, copper, and lead producers with some gold. $2.4 million came out of the district from 1906 to 1921. That was a lot of money in those days.

An interesting dry stack stone building foundation marks the old mine camp. I would guess it was the miner’s bunkhouse. Below it, in the wash, is a sizable tin can dump. But the most interesting thing here is the tramway. It was a crude double-rope tramway. The cable to lower the ore bucket is missing, as is often the case with these trams, but the upper tram terminal still has some remains. It looks like it was of a later vintage than some of the other works here, but it is hard to tell.

Blast door

The mine itself is small, only a few hundred feet of workings, and hardly seems worth the effort to build the tram. Regardless, this is a neat little area to explore, and it is worth the short hike up to the upper tram terminal to see what remains.