Two fires burned much of the town in the 1880s and then in 1932, leaving only a fraction of the buildings still standing. One mining company kept going by making technological improvements -- a hydroelectric project sited in the nearby mountains made its operations far more economical than the previous way of burning wood for power, and they introduced a cyanide process for extraction of much more gold and silver from tailings left by previous inefficient methods.
Brodie became a ghost town after 1942 when gold mining was banned to ensure that all America's industrial effort went into working to support World War II. The site became a California State Historical Park in 1962, preserved, but not restored. We enjoyed a guided walk around the town with our birdwatching group today, with an excellent guide who told us all these things.
|The one remaining mining complex. The shafts are on the hillside, and the processing plant is lower down the hill.|
|The miners' union flag in the small museum.|
|In the museum: a hat with egret plumes, reminding birders like us of|
what started conservation efforts to save the egrets over 100 years ago.
©2019 Mae Sander for maefood dot blogspot dot com