Jackson (CA), Argonaut Mine, Metal Roof, Shadow

ISO100, 165mm, f/8, 1/100 sec
Jackson, CA

I am not sure how you stumble upon a mine site with a tall head frame that is in relatively plain sight, but I did. This photograph is an abstract of the metal roof from the Argonaut Mine, opened in 1850 and closed during WWI as the government deemed gold production non-essential to the war effort.

The Argonaut and its rival, the Kennedy Mine, located just a half mine away, were two of the highest producing mines in the Motherlode region. The Argonaut produced $25M while the Kennedy produced $34M, when gold was valued at just over $20 an ounce.

Along with the spectacular returns of investment for their investors, both mines were the deepest in the nation at just over 5000 feet in depth. But the Argonaut Mine is also the site of the worst mine disaster in California. 47 miners died in 1922 as fire broke out at the 4300 foot level just after midnight. All the miners died 4 hours later from lack of oxygen. Unbeknownst to the rescuers above, the rescue effort continued for 3 weeks.

2006 LA Times article recalling the 1922 Argonaut Mine disaster

Argonaut Mine 1922 - Edward Fessel's last messages
Argonaut Mine 1922 – Edward Fessel’s last messages

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, ISO 100, 165mm, f/8, 1/100 sec

Jackson (CA), Argonaut Mine, Metal Roof, Shadow. Jackson, California. March 09, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


3 thoughts on “Jackson (CA), Argonaut Mine, Metal Roof, Shadow

    1. Thank you Priya. This is one of the few times I welcomed shooting in the middle of the day compared to the usual late afternoon, soft light. The colors and textures are more realistic and pop more than usual.


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