Seeing the Elephant

[In Progress]



Exploring the history and myths of gold in California's eastern sierras.


Written by Justin Raden.

"The land out there, scarcely peopled and hemmed in everywhere by violent spikes of bare rock and snow, contained some vestige or spark of old American mythologies born in a time that no one now living remembers, but that still cling to some real estate in the collective psyche...


...Depending on which version of the story you believe, a vein of reddish rock, somewhere south of Mono Lake and north of Mammoth Mountain, most probably near the headwaters of the Owen’s River, was found by three German brothers who’d narrowly escaped an Indian massacre; or by two men from a wagon train who’d lost their teams in Death Valley; or, possibly, a dying consumptive showed up in a San Francisco doctor’s office with a half-baked story about gold in red lava..."

Bridgeport, California

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Buckeye creek

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Dogtown

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Cheung mine house

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Timber ruins

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Cheung mine. Stamp mill.

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Brigdeport, north field

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Execution site of Ah Quong Tai 

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East Walker river

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Four corners. Road to the Esmerelda mine

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Centennial livestock 

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Big Meadow


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