Jump to content
Explore Forums
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

CindyN11

Forgotten California - Winrod's Cabin

Recommended Posts

 p17.jpg

 

Winrod Cabin, Sierra County, California

 

A little known piece of gold mining history, known as the Winrod Cabin, sits in a lonely and remote area of the western Sierras, just outside of Downieville, CA. I came across this gem while looking for lost and forgotten ghost towns, where it was mentioned on a newer website called Ghost Town Explorers, where photos of this quaint old miner’s cabin can be viewed at: http://www.ghosttownexplorers.org/california/winrod/winrod.htm#bmark

 

A search of the internet brings up little to nothing about this unique cabin and it’s history, but a visit to some of my favorite resources has provided the missing answers.

 

The San Francisco Call, Volume 107, Number 166, dated 15 May 1910 provides us with the origins of the cabin…

 

COYOTE RAVINE STRIKE

 

Downieville is much encouraged over the mining strikes that have been made in that vicinity during the last few months and a lively summer is anticipated. Recently T.E. Winrod of Downieville made a find in Coyote ravine, about a mile from the Standard mine, that promises to develop into something good.

Winrod bonded some claims from William Watson and Henry Morse and has been doing some surface prospecting, running cuts and sinking shafts. He uncovered an entirely new vein that is on the contact and free gold ore has been found. The vein is a true fissure lead and gold can be easily seen in the rock with the naked eye.

It is Winrod’s intention to go right ahead and develop his new discovery. He was formerly interested with Jason Frye in the Standard property, which continues to yield rich ore.”

 

T.E. Winrod was Thomas Eli Winrod, who was born in Mahaska County, Iowa in 1867, a son of George Winrod and Lydia Perkins. During the 1870 census the family were living at Oskaloosa Township, Mahaska County, Iowa, but by 1880 had moved south to Cunningham, Chariton County, Missouri. Since the 1890 census does not exist, we are unable to pinpoint when it was exactly that Thomas arrived in California, but we do know from California County Marriage records that he was in the state by 25 November 1894, when he married Kate E. Finance at Sierra County, California. Two years later the Great Register shows that by 8 July 1896 he is recorded as living at or near Gibsonville, Sierra County, California. The 1900 census informs us that Thomas and Kate, along with their young daughter Margery, were living at Gibson, Sears, and Table Rock Townships, Sierra, California.

 

The San Francisco Call, Volume 104, Number 175, dated 22 November 1908, tells us…

 

“A bond has been taken by Jason Frye, Thomas Winrod and R.E Blevins on the Crittendon quartz claim in Sailor ravine.”

 

The 1910 census, at the time of Thomas’ strike at Coyote Ravine, the family are listed as living at Butte, Sierra County, California, and now have a son, named Carrol.

 

In 1913 Thomas was working the Monte Cristo mine.

 

Thomas must have been a very determined man, for we read in The Washington Times, dated September 30, 1920…

 

“TAKES 92-MILE WALK TO CAST HIS BALLOT

 

Downieville, Cal., Sept. 30 – One Sierra County miner values his vote.

Thomas Winrod, former justice of the peace for Sierra County, is operating the Black Diamond mine. The mine is forty-six miles from the nearest ballot box. Winrod walked the forty-six miles over rough mountain trails and roads, marked his ballot, and then walked home again.”

 

In the 1930 census for Downieville, Sierra County, California, we find Thomas living alone as a divorced man.

 

Sometime after the 1930 census Thomas moved to Alameda County, California, where he died in Oakland in 1938, and was buried in the Mountain View Cemetery. It is possible that he moved to the area to help or be near his former wife, Kathryn “Kate” Finance, who died at Hayward, Alameda County in 1935. She lies buried in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery at Hayward.

 

@ 2013 Cindy Nunn. All Rights Reserved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cindy,

The rain is falling, and I am thankful. tucked into my chair "exploring" as best I can.

You, Cindy, are one helluva researcher and writer and I salute you and thank you for all the work you've done to bring history to life for those of us that love it.

If you can find a copy of "Death Valley in '49" by William Lewis Manly, grab it.

His travels in the west are amazing to read. Just amazing.

My grandmother gave me a hard-bound first-edition she snatched from the dumpster behind the library t the school she worked at.

Manly's story will keep you glued to the book for hours and hours. I kid you not.

It fascinated me for all the usual reasons, but also because I live in the Sierra Foothills, and spent a lot of time in the country he worked.

He noted upon visiting Downieville that he couldn't understand why the place had been named for a "worthless drunkard". LOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all,

 

  My name is Steve and I have been the owner of the " Winrod Coyote" mining claim, (160 acres), for about 3 years now. I have searched the internet from time to time trying to find more information about the history of the claim and the cabin which rests on the claim. I was able to find that it was owned by T.E. Winrod as mentioned above, but I was not able to find much more information about the man and his dealings with the Coyote ravine claim. I decided to look again tonight and found this post while doing a search.

 

  Thank you Ms. Whiplash for finding the information you posted above, it has helped me confirm that the rumor of a gold ore vien is indeed located on the site as rumored to be by the previous owner. I have visited the claim a few times and thought I might have located an area that hides the entrance to the adit of the mine, but it has been purposely covered for some reason. If it was covered up by one of the former owners, it would be a good sign that there are some good ores still within, there is also the possibility that the BLM covered it up to keep people from exploring it and risking injury.

 

  The status of the cabin is that it is still there, but is in dire need of repairs as of May 2012. I plan on making an extended trip to the claim this spring (2014), and contacting the appropriate agencies to get permission to repair the cabin so its history will live on for future generations. I was told by the BLM that it may be destroyed at any time due to liability reasons, but of course that was all the information I was able to get from that buerocracy. It would be a damn shame if they do destroy it before I get a chance to do the necessary repairs so that it can remain in it's original location.

 

  I'm going to contact the Sierra County Historical Society and get advice from them on how to proceed from this point. If it were up to me, I'd just go and restore the cabin at my cost with my own labor, but I have been told that I may incur fines and possible arrest if I were to attept to do such a thing without government permits (permission). What a shame it would be if the people we put in charge of managing our public lands were to destroy yet another part of our cultural history!

 

  I will try and keep you all up to date on my progress on the Winrod cabin (if any), and also if i do find and confirm the location of the Winrod mine shaft/ adit. Thanks again for the information posted above and I hope to be able to add some more in the future.

Best regards,

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Steve!

 

Some free advice(you know what that is worth).

Sierra County is near my world, and you might find the best resluts come from spending time in town finding out who the movers and shakers are. The Historical Society is no doubt staffed by volunteers who have other jobs in either Sierra City or Downieville, or possibly even Loyalton. I would go to them first and get a feel for the lay of the land, as it were, with BLM and the community.

It is unlikely that you will find anyone from BLM in the area unless you make arrangements to meet prior to going up there. And that is exactly what I would do. Find out who the resource officer is or who the law enforcement person is and get some eyeball-to-eyeball time with him/her.

Tell that person(s) of your intent to maintain the cabin and property, give them good contact info for you and get the same info from them. Once they "know" who you are and the lines of communication are established your cause will be better served.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the welcome and advice, i will put it to good use. I'm heading to the Winrod claim in May for a week, I will post an update with some pictures upon my return. Hopefully I'll have some positive news to post. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve, is this on BLM land and not Forest Service? If it's on Forest Service land, it wouldn't hurt to talk to the district archaeologist. They don't like to see these old cabins fall down, either, and could possibly even arrange a Passports in Time project to help with the rehabilitation. You might even look at groups like HistoriCorps (http://historicorps.org/). There are lots of volunteers out there who are interested in preserving historic places. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S. It will help your case if you emphasize that you are rehabilitating the cabin and that you will be returning it to its original state, not making any changes or additions. They are going to be concerned that you might do something to alter the building's historic integrity. Like, if the building had wood shingles, they're not going to be happy if you go in and put a metal roof on it. If they know you are aware of these issues, they will be much more likely to listen and help.

 

You can take a look at this bulletin to see the kinds of things that federal land managers are going to be worried about:

http://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/four-treatments/treatment-guidelines.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cindy,

The rain is falling, and I am thankful. tucked into my chair "exploring" as best I can.

You, Cindy, are one helluva researcher and writer and I salute you and thank you for all the work you've done to bring history to life for those of us that love it.

If you can find a copy of "Death Valley in '49" by William Lewis Manly, grab it.

His travels in the west are amazing to read. Just amazing.

My grandmother gave me a hard-bound first-edition she snatched from the dumpster behind the library t the school she worked at.

Manly's story will keep you glued to the book for hours and hours. I kid you not.

It fascinated me for all the usual reasons, but also because I live in the Sierra Foothills, and spent a lot of time in the country he worked.

He noted upon visiting Downieville that he couldn't understand why the place had been named for a "worthless drunkard". LOL.

 

Jeff, thank you :) I have indeed been wanting to read "Death Valley in '49" and will try to find a copy. 

Hello all,

 

  My name is Steve and I have been the owner of the " Winrod Coyote" mining claim, (160 acres), for about 3 years now. I have searched the internet from time to time trying to find more information about the history of the claim and the cabin which rests on the claim. I was able to find that it was owned by T.E. Winrod as mentioned above, but I was not able to find much more information about the man and his dealings with the Coyote ravine claim. I decided to look again tonight and found this post while doing a search.

 

  Thank you Ms. Whiplash for finding the information you posted above, it has helped me confirm that the rumor of a gold ore vien is indeed located on the site as rumored to be by the previous owner. I have visited the claim a few times and thought I might have located an area that hides the entrance to the adit of the mine, but it has been purposely covered for some reason. If it was covered up by one of the former owners, it would be a good sign that there are some good ores still within, there is also the possibility that the BLM covered it up to keep people from exploring it and risking injury.

 

  The status of the cabin is that it is still there, but is in dire need of repairs as of May 2012. I plan on making an extended trip to the claim this spring (2014), and contacting the appropriate agencies to get permission to repair the cabin so its history will live on for future generations. I was told by the BLM that it may be destroyed at any time due to liability reasons, but of course that was all the information I was able to get from that buerocracy. It would be a damn shame if they do destroy it before I get a chance to do the necessary repairs so that it can remain in it's original location.

 

  I'm going to contact the Sierra County Historical Society and get advice from them on how to proceed from this point. If it were up to me, I'd just go and restore the cabin at my cost with my own labor, but I have been told that I may incur fines and possible arrest if I were to attept to do such a thing without government permits (permission). What a shame it would be if the people we put in charge of managing our public lands were to destroy yet another part of our cultural history!

 

  I will try and keep you all up to date on my progress on the Winrod cabin (if any), and also if i do find and confirm the location of the Winrod mine shaft/ adit. Thanks again for the information posted above and I hope to be able to add some more in the future.

Best regards,

Steve

 

You are very welcome, Steve :)

 

Cindy, aka Ms. Whiplash :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reno Jen,
Yes, the claim is on BLM land. Thanks for the great suggestions, I will look into your advice as well. To all the rest of you awaiting for photos, it looks like I'll be moving in early May now so I'm not exactly sure when I'll be heading back to the Winrod claim. I want to get there asap so I'm still trying for sometime in May, will let everyone know when i know..lol! Thanks again to everyone that gave advise and has shown interest in the claim and cabin.... Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all. T.E Winrod was my great grandfather , my son and took a weekend trip a couple months back. We searched most of the day and just before we gave up we found the cabin. Bad new the cabin was struck bay tree branch an was leveled . Was a great father and son trip., my father passed away in 2004. He didn't talk to much about the cabin, do know my grandfather forgot to pay the taxes and lost the claim. Going throught my Dads old pictures found some from his childhood http://www.exploreforums.com/uploads/monthly_12_2014/post-341-0-90045500-1419829242.jpghttp://www.exploreforums.com/uploads/monthly_12_2014/post-341-0-36967100-1419829350.jpghttp://www.exploreforums.com/uploads/monthly_12_2014/post-341-0-65927900-1419829326.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...