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I heard about Elberton from a couple of townfolk in the nearby small town of Garfield, WA. It wasn't until this past summer that I finally got a chance to explore and find the once thriving town, now not so much. Only a handful of structures remain from what once was a 200 acre, 500 person town in a draw along the Oregon-Washington Railroad (no longer used). The town was evidently started by a man named C.D. Wilbur and named after his son Elbert. Due to several catastrophic events (a fire and the great depression to follow), the town began a rapid decline and is now down to about 15 full-time residents. Whitman County bought the townsite and made a park there with hiking trail and other paths through the ruins in 1970. The most prominant reminders of what once was are the in-tact Church (United Brethren, I believe) and the perennial gardens from homesteads past that continue to grow in the Spring. Below are a few pictures of what you see there now.
South Pass City, approximately 90 miles north of Rock Springs, is a historic site administered by the state of Wyoming. It consists of over 30 log, frame, and stone buildings, along with the Carissa Mine and Stamp Mill.
South Pass City Historic Site
Recently, I’ve been going through my old VHS video tapes and digitizing them to DVDs. These tapes contain my travels and explorations between 1995 and 2009. I thought I’d start releasing some video shorts of my early travels on this forum.
The back story for this particular video is as follows. On March 30, 1996, I made a short hike of about a mile and a third up the lower third of Surprise Canyon, on the western slopes of the Panamint Range, Inyo County, California. This canyon is just outside of Death Valley National Park. This canyon has running water running year round through the stretch shown, fed by substantial Limekiln Springs, and the canyon is a water wonderland. For those not familiar with the area, refer to the two maps. The first one shows the canyon in relation to the region, the other a close up of the canyon and the ghost town of Panamint City. The blue line in the close up image shows the route that was taken.
My next series of videos will be based on a trip in 2000 that I took with Lew Shorb. Lew is a board member here, as well as owner of the popular website http://www.ghosttownexplorers.org/ghost.htm
In breaking with my past habit of culling out historical sites and ghost towns and creating short videos dealing with these, I decided to keep the exploring part of Explore Forums in and create videos of each day of my travel and exploration, including our camps. Scenery, travel, camping ghost towns and wide open spaces.
Part one of this series, as well as subsequent videos, will all appear here within this same thread. Part I will start in my garage, where I was finishing up with the packing my truck. The following day, after work, I begin my travels to meet Lew Shorb at Rhyolite, Nevada ghost town.
Our three day, two night travels prowled about the "Nevada Triangle" section of northeastern Death Valley National Park; and will include such sites as:
1. The Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad
2. Gold Bar
3. Phinney Mine
4. Strozzi Ranch
5. Currie Well (LV&T RR)
6. Mud Springs Summit (LV&T RR)
7. Happy Hooligan Mine
This video, that of March 30th and 31st, will start off this series; and is brief, only being 3:28 long. Nevada-Triangle_Shorb-2000_Part-1.wmv
So, below is my narrative of part one of this series to give full context of what is seen in the video. It will probably take longer to read than the video is long.
Exploration Field Trips:
May 1-3, 2000
Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley
What do you do with three authors, two 4x4’s, two two-way radios, three cameras, and camping supplies? Send them to Death Valley, of course. For three days in the first week of May, 2000, fellow authors and historical researchers Alan Patera, Alan Hensher and myself explored Death Valley north and south.
Alan Patera writes and publishes the WESTERN PLACES series of monograph books. Alan Hensher has been published in several periodicals as well as authoring several books, centering primarily on the history of Mojave Desert sites.
Alan Patera, who hails from Oregon, came south to California and picked up Alan Hensher; then the two came my way. At the time I was living in Ridgecrest, California. After overnighting with my wife and I, the three of us took off for Death Valley. Alan was busy researching and photographing for a future edition of WESTERN PLACES, this time centering on the camps of the Funeral Range, which forms the eastern border of east central Death Valley. Circumstances and changes of our journey lead Alan to plant the seeds of two more future books, this time centering just outside the northernmost section of Death Valley.