The Ruth Mine, originally called the Graham-Jones Mine, started production in 1899 under the direction of Doug Graham and S.S. (Smiley) Jones. Situated in the Argus Mountain Range, it is located 14 miles north of Trona in Homewood Canyon. Elevation of the mine is 3,530 feet.
We were guided by our friend and Herpetology expert Frank Swiadek. He took us to explore a unvisited mine out by Death Valley. The drive out to the location even though it was far, was enjoyable to say the least. We arrived at about 2 pm Many new members went to their first taste of the desert outdoors. Upon our arrival to the locations we decided to make a detour and head out to Death Valley and explore some nearby sights. We headed back a few hours later and decided to explore the area for any shafts or dangers we would have to avoid. Although the first thing we noticed was the area is a hazard in itself. The area was desolate and well preserved. Their were several buildings in the location. Ruth mine has a School House, Saloon , some cabins and a immense mine network. We took out all of our equipment and set up cameras through out the whole complex. We did not have any power at the location either. But we were able to bring our own power supply. We were able to run everything from Ir cameras to hand held camcorders. We chose to bunk on one of the cabins up at the top . In order to keep a better watch of the area. Upon closer inspection it seemed they got up and left everything behind. It had all been abandoned and forgotten. One of the cabins also had an immense bee hive. I was stung once on the cheek and another researcher was stung on the arm. But this would not deter us from exploring the land. We did have to run for cover though.
The land was consuming the Mine and its structures. Yet you still see BLM preserving most of them. The saloon still had some of the old refreshment coolers in it. Though they resembled something out of a horror flick. The area also showed some of the of the un-kept gardens and corrals too. Graham planted a grape arbor and a grove of athol (salt cedar) trees, most which have over grown the area and gave us ample amount of shade. As I sat there It made me appreciate the life one must of lived in the past. Companionship for each other was necessary and let you live and honor as neighbors. We found ourselves laughing and joking around with in our own group. When you take away technology and put a group of individuals with each other. It seems a forgotten type of laughter comes out from each one of us. We learn to appreciate the time we had that day.
We started the investigation at 10 pm and would continue until 4 am.
We broke up into 2 teams . Team Alpha was composed of Dick, Anthony and Myself. While team Omega was composed of Nohemy, Malinda and James. Team Alpha explored the mine first. We took into the mine a Camcorder, Digital Recorder, Camera, EMF meter , Thermometer, tons of flashlights and batteries. The mine was sturdy . Even though in some sections back in the far depth it seemed to have caught on fire. The ash was thick and looked like stalactite hanging from the celling. The thick timbers were aged and looked petrified too. While in some sections you could see no bottom and the look made your legs feel shaky. To think that you could not see a bottom from some of the shafts made it scary in itself. The Mine seems to be 13 levels deep according to a local miner from the area. We also found an old elevator that seemed abandoned and also showed no dept to it. We conducted an EVP session at the location and proceeded to hear some strange noises coming from within the deep mine. The mine also had many items within it. Reminding you of the hardship of looking for the precious mineral "GOLD". The air in the shaft was cool and comfortable. The deeper you went the cooler it got. When compared to the heat from the valley above it made us want to stay inside even longer. We continued exploring and challenging the maze of shafts and passageways that composed this place. Many people have fallen to there deaths from the false floors exploring mines similar to this one . We constantly had to watch our step. If this mine would try to claim us as its victim, it was a chance we were willing to take! We also had the knowledge that once you went into these mile long systems. The mines all start to look the same. Not knowing where north or south was another problem we had to keep in mind. We needed to know where the exit was at all times. We entered with caution and followed the tracks that still covered the floor . Also finding small makeshift rooms and old locks within a mine its not an uncommon find. We photographed many photos and video recorded an amazing adventure.. But once we reached an area within the deepness of the, mine that did not seem safe We would turn back and try to find another new path. The land in itself was immense and breathtaking at times. It gave you the feeling of being inside one of those amusement park rides. You wait to tun the corner and find a line of people waiting to get on.
Meanwhile Team Omega took first hit on the Town itself. Conducting EVP sessions in every cabin the land had. Upon entering the school house Nohemy felt the feeling of sadness and desolation. While James heard a voice within one of the cabins. The Digital recorder did not pick it up due to a malfunction. They explored the area and looked for anything that was unexplained. They filmed the bottom levels of the town and proceeded to due so in a uniform manner. Taking turns and asking for any answers to a forgotten soul. The one thing is that tragic events do not have to be attached to a land in order for paranormal activity to be present. The mere attachment to the land or the memories would be enough. This was a place that had never been explored or visited at night. No record of paranormal activity has ever been linked to this land. But the simple fact that many memories have been made here is one that has left me speechless and made me make the drive.
On October 8, 1942 the War Production Board under the Roosevelt administration issued order L-208. This order shut down all nonessential mining in the United States that was not related to the war effort. This order basically shut down all the gold mines in the United States. Overnight, the camp became a ghost town and the mine shut down. The Ruth Mine was reported to have a population of 62 people with 25 workers employed. The residents built a small town complete with its own school district and general store. The schoolhouse opened with 22 students and even included an apartment for the teacher. The school stayed open until 1951. The general store also functioned as a makeshift saloon for special occasions and Friday nights. A mess hall was built with a seating capacity for 25 men and a bunkhouse to house them. Nearby mines including the Davenport, Orondo, and the Mohawk brought their ore here to be processed. Records show that over half a million dollars of gold ore was produced here during that period. The Ruth Mine camp was a busy place until it was shut down.
We continued to explore the mine and town at 12 pm we switch . Team Omega would go into the mine and team Alpha would explore the town. We continued to we hit the bottom and team Omega ventured deeper than we did. When we reached the bottom we came across our guide driving up and down the streets looking for snakes. We decided to hop on and explore with him. Not only did we explore the mine and its paranormal activity . But some of us even went to explore the herps of the area. I happen to come across a California Banded Gecko . We also seen a Rosy Boa. But due to the chill in the air it was a night when even the herps were at bay. While everyone slept in the Van I took out my sleeping bag laid it on the hard floor and went to sleep. I ruffed it out and enjoyed it to the fullest. As we turned of the lights we left the Dvr system running. As I shut my eye I notices one of our sensors set of. I turn to notice a Desert Rat looking at me from the wall in front of the light. As if wishing me a good night. We awoke at 7 AM and quickly broke down . It was an amazing adventure we had shared together. below is a Video of that day . Enjoy!!