Dating from the late 1800s through the early 1900s, the discovery and recovery of gold in the Keystone Mining District was a minor blip during a time of world-famous gold rushes and other regional developments.
The remnants of the Keystone Mining District are cabin ruins, open pits, and scattered artifacts. Few people venture into the steep canyons now except hunters in the fall season. The associated towns of Anchor, Midnight, LaBelle, Jellison City, and Gysin City barely earn a mention in the usual published “ghost town” books.
The remnants, artifacts, and features left behind provide important information about the lives of the miners and their mining methods and operations.
The Midnight Mine is one of the best-known in the Keystone District, and the Forest Service has placed roadside interpretive signs for visitors.
Some of the mine features within the Keystone District have been recently obliterated, including the tailing pile at the Midnight Mine, in the name of “reclamation.” With the piles removed, little evidence remains indicating the locations of these historically important mines.
Below, several large timbers are all that remain of the Midnight Mine Mill.
With the reclamation work completed and the cabins reduced to a few rotten logs, this recent visitor sign is nearly all that indicates the location of the Keystone Mine.
While some evidence of the mines have been deliberately erased and other evidence is slowly decomposing back to nature, mine shafts and smaller pits are ubiquitous throughout the Keystone Mining District.
Fortunately this tailing pile and structure remains in good condition. The wooden structure, collapsed cabin, and tailing pile are the remains of the Edison Mine. Because of their condition, ease of access, and historic interest this mine is frequently seen by visitors.