December 14, 2018 



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 By hapbird

11/04/2005  6:01PM

How come the ballroom tour isn't available anymore? Thats a wonderful place to visit.

10/05/2005  3:05PM

By, Chris Gillespie June 12,1997
When Hero Bunny asked me if I’d like to go with him and Head Bunny on a tour of the Sixteen to One Mine, my first thought was, “yeah, right. About as much as I’d like to pull out my toenails one by one.” I don’t like cramped quarters, especially dark ones. I don’t even like to ride in elevators.
But after giving it some thought (and having to listen to Hero call me Chicken), I relented. I figured I could always come up with a bad case of 24-hour leprosy or something if I had to.
The day of the tour (Friday June 6, 1997) dawned bright and beautiful. Well, so much for my rainy day excuse, I thought. Head Bunny and I got into the trusty Stealth Bronco and headed for Alleghany.
Upon our arrival, we signed a release of liability (standard procedure, but a little sobering all the same) and joined the other family members and friends for a welcome chat with Mike Miller, president of the company and all around nice person. He told us briefly about his philosophy of running the company. The reason for the tour, he explained, was so that we would better understand what our friends and loved ones were doing and talking about when they came home from a hard day at the mine. (Yes, visions of the Seven Dwarves returning home to Snow White did flash briefly through my mind.)
Miller stressed safety of the miners that worked for him as being the most important aspect of operations. And, that proved to be true throughout the day. Hard rock mining is a dangerous business and, after seeing the operation close up, I have even more respect for the men who do this job day after day.
Once orientation was over, the group was taken down to the working area. There we were met by a friend/family member who would be escorting us on the tour. First order of business was to don our mining apparel (rubber boots, jackets, and safety helmets with nifty mining lights attached). After that was accomplished, we headed towards the mine portal (entrance).
As Head Bunny and I followed Hero into the tunnel (after being logged in by a miner at the entrance), I kept telling myself that this was no big deal. And to my surprise, I found it much easier than I had expected. Because lighting in the mine itself is limited to that provided by the light on your helmet, you have a tendency to keep your head tilted down a little bit. This was perfect for me… by concentrating on where I was walking, I found myself not really noticing that I was actually trudging through a big, black hole in the side of a mountain of rock.
Going in at the 800 level we soon approached the “skip” landing. A skip is a kind of large metal container (I thought of it as a really big SPAM can) used to move people down the various levels being worked. After climbing in, our group descended to the 2200 level. The trip down is better than an E ticket ride…but nowhere near as fast. After wandering around through parts of the 2200 level and seeing lots of interesting equipment, we reboarded the skip and returned to the 800 level.
Next on the tour was the Ballroom (at the 1100 level), a large cavity big enough for weddings (one miner was actually married there recently). The way to the Ballroom was lit by miniature Christmas tree lights… giving the whole experience a festive air.
Don’t get me wrong; walking underground isn’t like a walk in the park. The footing is tricky due to the water (perfectly normal in mines) running through the path. In addition, there are some fairly steep inclines to be traversed. This trek isn’t for those who don’t want a little physical exertion.
After seeing the Ballroom, we retraced our steps and returned to the outside world. I was amazed… the time seemed to pass really quickly. As we left, Hero Bunny made sure our names were checked off as being out of the mine. There are over 27 miles of tunnels underground, and anyone entering the mine has to be logged in and out. Like I said before, safety is of primary importance.
After returning to the office area, Mike Miller also proved his talents as chef extraordinaire as he cooked up what one tour participant described as the best hamburgers she’d ever eaten. I agreed. After eating, socializing, and thanking our host, we returned home.
The Sixteen to One Mine Tour is one trip I won’t quickly forget. I want to thank Mike Miller, Hero Bunny and all the other miners for making the whole experience enjoyable and memorable.
If you’re interested in touring the Sixteen to One Mine you can call the Alleghany Mining Museum at (530) 287-3330. Surface tours, underground tours, and deluxe tours are available. The museum includes exhibits under development on the history of underground gold mining, geological information on the formation of the gold deposit, history of the town, and a mine model.
 By Lara Lee

12/27/2004  8:13PM

Dear Rae,
I am bleary eyed after reading hours and hours of messages. You are so forthright and to the point! Thank you.
 By Rae Bell

03/05/2004  7:57AM

Not a bad idea Dick. It certainly wouldn't hurt to give it a try.
 By Dick Davis

03/04/2004  5:41PM

Lay-a-way plan: Would it be possible for The 16:1 to put aside gold specimens that could be purchased by the Museum? Perhaps if those interested in California history, its gold and mining, knew in advance how their donations to the Museum would be used, it might create an incentive to give.

Perhaps such a lay-a-way plan could be published in the shareholders’ newsletter and announced at the annual meeting in June.

The Museum might even attach the names of the donors to the golden gifts.
 By Rae Bell

11/14/2003  8:52AM

The annual meeting of membership for Underground Gold Miners Museum was held last night at Dave Scinto's office in Grass Valley.
The new slate of Directors are: Rae Bell Arbogast, Ian Haley, Conway Jones Jr. and Dave Scinto.
A Directors meeting was held immediately following the membership meeting. Newly appointed officers are as follows: Dave Scinto, President, Ian Haley Treasurer, Rae Bell Arbogast, Secretary.
 By Rae Bell

10/27/2003  9:21AM

Since this topic has surfaced on the Forum again I see I was remiss in replying to the inquiries of Dick Davis. (I could have sworn I did, maybe the Forum gremlins deleted my message?)

For those of you who don't know, Underground Gold Miners of California Museum was founded in 1995 as an educational 501 (c)3 non-profit corporation. The greatest challenge to any such endeavor in Alleghany is the lack of Human Resources. Currently the museum has about 30 members and is holding its annual meeting to elect the Board of Directors on November 13th. Directors serve a one-year term.
The museum rents the old General Store in Alleghany where its office, gift shop and displays are located. (Displays are an ongoing project) Currently the museum is open by appointment and during special events.
Tours of the Sixteen to One Mine provide the main source of revenue for the museum. These educational tours explore the history and geology of the Sixteen to One Mine and the Alleghany Mining District.
Currently I am managing all aspects of the museum but would be happy to see others get involved.
Donations made to the museum are tax-dectible and can be mailed to: UGMM, P.O. Box 907, Alleghany, CA 95910, a receipt will be provided.
Volunteers are needed to open the museum next season: May through Oct. lodging may be available. Volunteers are also needed to assist with displays and record-keeping/collection management. If you are interested contact me at 530-287-3223. For tour or membership information click on "tours" on this web-site.
Thank you to all who have supported the museum over the years.
 By Rae Bell

10/23/2003  2:18PM

Following is a letter sent to the Museum Board of Directors today.

Underground Gold Miners Museum
P.O. Box 907
Alleghany, CA 95910

Dear Directors,

Please accept or reject the acquisition of the Phil O’Donnell drill collection under the terms outlined in the enclosed Draft. I will do what I can to find financial sponsors to support the museum’s acquisitions. Once this first phase is completed, I intend to donate additional equipment to the museum – at this time I do not know the historic value or interest in the remaining drills. It will take research. I believe the twelve identified have significant value. The same may be true for some of the others. I may suggest a similar program like this one. I just do not know at this time.

My heart is with this truly unique and special museum. Its headquarter is in the livery stable that became the Alleghany Supply Company and hub of miners for years. That the museum’s building sits atop the Sixteen to One vein and the Tightner vein is not the reason it stands apart from any other museum’s unique attraction in California’s gold belt. (None can ever replicate this.) The owners of the mines are a primary reason. For Alleghany Mining District ownership took on a meaning proven to be different from all other mining districts in the gold belt. From the Oriental to the west and the Red Star to the east; from the Ireland to the south and the Blue Lead to the north, empirical experience, vicarious experiences, direct and hands-on work, luck or fate, and of course faith provided the will. Then again it may have been greed or fear. It could be seen as stubborn. For each reason all, however, will agree it is an adventure and a fragile one at that.
The collection belongs in Alleghany and may become a center and display theme for the museum of hard rock miners who blast away in the white and brilliant quartz, underground in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. These drills evolved, as did the realization by the placer miners that the heavy nuggets they found were first imbedded in the white and gray outcrops of quartz. Ownership began right then; but only in the Alleghany District has productivity touched three centuries. Why, is open for speculation. My guess is the mining community knew its value. The mines established stability.
Anyone familiar with the value of historical preservation will recognize the adventure of keeping the past in a safe place. Supporters familiar with the elations of providing historical preservation may find this tiny dream attractive. Rare are opportunities to participate in an historical grass roots preservation program such as this. I hope you recognize the best safe place for the collection is in a live gold mining community. It is a worthwhile undertaking.

Sincerely yours,

Michael M. Miller

Please let me know immediately. I am not in a financial position to delay a decision.
 By groverc

10/03/2001  3:34PM

Y'all might be interested in the forthcoming mueum website and domain name.

I have pre-registered for a new .museum domain name. These might be available this month (October). I'll let everyone know when the new name hits the street.
The website is being developed in the background and will go online when our new name is avalable. I am carefully watching your desires for the museum website and will try to include them all.


Grover Cleveland
Director and Erstwhile Webmaster
 By dickdavis40

09/14/2001  10:56AM

Can someone correct my misspelling of "where"? It should be "wear." My kids will take my allowance away!
 By dickdavis40

09/14/2001  10:51AM

Does the museum have a gift shop selling photos, books, specimens, quartz with a flash of California gold, jewelry and postcards that we can write and send from Allegheny?

I recently bought the Miners Ring as advertised under Gold Sales. It's a pleasure to wear a piece of California with all the historical significance, and just plain attractive simplicity.
 By dickdavis40

08/26/2001  7:38PM

Now that we have a Museum Topic Board, could someone describe the museum contents,put up pictures of specimens, tell us the operating hours and show us how to donate to the museum and be sure to get the paprerwork right for a tax deduction?
 By dickdavis40

07/11/2001  1:22AM

Original is a superior web site, but I would like to see it add to its vertical topic-links information about the Museum. As I understand, the Museum is a 501 c, non-profit. Tax deductible gifts, cash or stocks, would help preserve California Heritage. With enough donations, or one great donor, perhaps the Museum could consider purchase of fine, unique specimens such as the Whopper, to maintain them locally. I don't know anything about the Museum, could it be located in Nevada City where many tourists and California history buffs could view real California nuggets? Would a fabulous display by the Museum in the Nevada Hotel be an educational magnet? I would sure like to see the gold on display and yet build up the operating capital.

Dick Davis

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