The San Gabriels – Excerpt #1
If you are a fan of the San Gabriels, you’ve probably heard of John Robinson. His book entitled Trails of the Angeles has been THE reference on hiking trails in the San Gabriels for many years.
He also has other historical books, especially in relation to the various mountain ranges nearby. He has a book entitled The San Gabriels going over the history of the range, especially around the turn of the last century during the ‘Great Hiking Era’.
It’s a great read. I’d like to put up some excerpts. There are so many that its hard to pick any one paragraph, but I’ll try.
In discussion of mines in the San Gabriel Canyon:
Perched precariously on the cliffs above the East Fork Narrows was the Stanley-Miller, discovered by Gordon Stanley and Ben Miller in 1915, worked until 1939. Heavy cast-iron parts for a ball mill were somehow laboriously dragged up the precipitous mountainside and fastened by steel cables to the cliff outside the mine. The airy Wetwater Trail, terror of pack mules with its dripping water, was hacked out of the cliffs above the Narrows to gain access. The Stanley-Miller met a fierce “Gotterdammerung” in 1953, when a forest conflagration burned away the mill supports and heavy equipment came crashing down the mountainside to the bottom of the Narrows, made more dramatic by the loud din of bursting blasting caps.
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