Bay Area Hiking



Pioneer Day, October 13, 2007

Santa Isabel Shaft Dedication

After the luncheon was over at the Community Center, the trails were dry enough for a van tour. Three park vans took guests from the Hacienda staging area, up the Mine Hill Trail to the Randol Trail, and then to the Santa Isabel Trail, where the site is located, about a two-mile trip. At the site, Mike Cox, who was responsible for closing the old mine shafts and tunnels before the park was opened, talked about the Santa Isabel site and features.

Mike Cox talked about some of the mine artifacts. These sheet metal structures were part of a chimney.for a boiler.

Ore cars rode on these rails inside the mine. Heavy steel cables pulled elevator cars up the shaft.

Kitty Monahan and Mike Cox unveiling the interpretive plaque

Standing to the right of Mike Cox is Chuck Rich, who used to be a miner here at the Almaden Mines.

This is the remains of the boiler room.

Mike Cox pointing to the foundations of the mine hoist. Behind him is park interpreter John Slenter, who drove one of the vans.

Two huge hoists sat here on these concrete foundations. The hoist drums were partially below ground. This was once inside a huge building, now gone.

The new interpretive sign for the Santa Isabel Shaft.

This part talks about the history of the shaft and how it was named after Elizabeth Randol, the daughter of mine manager James Randol. It tells about the depth of the mine, the shaft compartments, and how after the mine was abandoned, the carbon dioxide gas from the mine was used to make dry ice.

This part shows the inside of the engine room, which contained the 2 hoists and the Cornish pump. The hoists lifted miners and ore out of the shaft. The Cornish pump was used to pump 90,000 gallons of water a day out of the mine.

The picture shows the inside of one of the mine tunnels. Rock drills and dynamite was used to blow rock from the ore body. The diagram shows the depth of the shaft and the tunnels branching off it. It shows that the bottom of the shaft was 499 feet below sea level.

Heading for the overlook of the ore sorting area.

This mined ore was dumped in this area.

The ore was sorted into good ore and waste rock. Some of the waste rock still contained cinnabar, so in later years, the tailing piles were re-processed to extract the remaining ore.

View from the site looking east towards the Alamden Valley.

Go back to Page 1: New Almaden Community Center

Created 10/27/07 by Ronald Horii