My school doesn’t do any field trips, so we do them as a family on the weekends.
On one of our historical family day trips, we drove to Empire Mine. Empire Mine was one of the richest hard-rock mines in California, making 5.8 million ounces of gold from 1850-1956! People estimate that this is only 20% of the gold in the park and that 80% of the gold still remains in mountains, old mines, and under the park!
George Roberts was the original owner and discoverer of the mine, but he sold his mine to William Bourn Sr. in 1869. The Bourn family had control of the mine until they sold it to Newmont Mining in 1956. The Bourn cottage grounds include extensive lawns with fountains, a reflection pool, and gardens with a greenhouse! The Bourn gardens have about 13 acres and the roses have been restored with more than 950 bushes of 56 types. We even got to meet one of the living descendents of William Bourn! The park includes tours of the Bourn Cottage, the mineyard and living history events.
We got to see all of the different tools used for mining gold! The park has different mining tools and machines that we got to see when the mine was in action. We also got to check out the old mine shafts and mine carts. Mules sometimes pulled the mine carts full of gold back up and through the mines.
Here are some photos from our tour
Our day visiting Empire Mine was really fun and I learned a lot about gold mines and our local history! I can’t wait to visit more historical locations like this one.