Mabee Mines

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Chip Down
Posts: 2226
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Mabee Mines

Post by Chip Down » December 10th, 2020, 7:34 pm

I like poking around old mines. Went looking for Mabee Mines in Skamania County. There's a Mabee Mines Road, so I figured there must have been a mine at some time. Couldn't find any info online, except a mention of a Mabee Mine over by Bluff Mountain (near Silver Star Mountain).

I was going to walk Mabee Mines Road a year or two ago, but gated, so Plan B. Returned a couple days ago armed with a secret weapon (bike).

Parked at dawn, past the gate, down the road, across McCloskey Creek, and to a logging operation. No equipment, but looked fresh. It was about sunrise-ish, and I was looping so wouldn't be passing through later on return, so I knew I wouldn't bother anybody if I rolled through. I may have done that, or I may have gone back to my car and headed up McCloskey Creek Road, then dropped back to Mabee Mines Road, where I then went as far back towards the logging operation as was allowed (and thus passing signs that said non-motorized recreational travel was allowed).

Anyway, after that, I continued north on Mabee Mines Road, until Google said Mabee Mines Road was the spur that headed towards Hard Scramble Creek (i.e. ignore the main road that drops towards Washougal River). At a rock barrier, I dropped the bike and continued on foot. It was fairly brushy, the road was faint, and eventually it seemed pointless. I'll bushwhack if I think there's a reward, but honestly I wasn't expecting to find a mine. That was just my excuse to get out of the house.

So then I headed up towards Archer Mountain and explored a bit, just random fun. Was hoping for snow, but none. I think my high point was about 2300'.

There's a short road on the other side of Hard Scramble Creek that's co-named Mabee Mines Road, but I doubt I'll ever check it out. Not much interesting terrain over there, so no payback in the event I don't find a mine.
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This quadrilateral pond was on my list of places to visit. At that turn in the road, I saw what looked like the very decayed remnant of a dam, and nothing but nasty looking brush below that, so I think I saw what I came to see.
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Railcar to bridge, subsequently replaced. I'm amazed at how much steel just rots away in the gorge. You'd think the scrap value would make it worth hauling out.
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But then there are also cases where people actually drive into the hills just to discard steel. I assume the plates were obliterated so it couldn't be traced, but one wonders why the tire info was scratched out.
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The only abandoned equipment I found all day was at a borrow pit.
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Back said "call me", but I lost his card. I'll likely find it someday, and then call him back. He'll think I'm a freak, calling six months later. I wonder if I parked inappropriately, or went where I shouldn't have. Honestly didn't mean to. I'm a scofflaw when it comes to U$F$ rules, but I do attempt to park responsibly and respect property rights. [I wonder if I carelessly thought I had his number in the pic, and then tossed the card...stupid thing to do, but would explain why I couldn't find the card later...yes, I really am that scatterbrained sometimes.]

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OregonSurveyor
Posts: 52
Joined: August 6th, 2011, 11:21 am
Location: SE Portland (Hawthorne district)

Re: Mabee Mines

Post by OregonSurveyor » December 10th, 2020, 9:52 pm

My mother’s maiden name was “Mabee”, but that doesn’t help you find the mines ;)
Those deputies sometimes are just curious or responding to a citizen who was concerned.
The number looks like it could have been their generic number which is: (509) 427-9490
Just a possibility...
Jerry King
Oregon Land Surveyor (Retired)
SAR Volunteer - CSAR (Clackamas County Sheriff)

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retired jerry
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Mabee Mines

Post by retired jerry » December 11th, 2020, 6:51 am

nice adventure. I like old mines and other old developments.

I was near a mine on the Rogue River. A miner stopped and talked to me. He said someone had stolen some of his equipment but didn't accuse me of it. Then he was friendly and gave me some tips on how to find gold.

The policeman probably just saw your car and thought maybe something was amiss. If you wait to contact him in 6 months, he'll have forgotten all about it.

I was camped on the Metolius last winter and a policeman stopped and talked to me. Initially, maybe she was a little suspicious, but then we chatted. Then she came by later and told me the gate to Monte Campground was open but the restroom was closed. Took my contact info so she could call my wife if a mountain lion ate me or something.

Webfoot
Posts: 1363
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 11:06 am
Location: Troutdale

Re: Mabee Mines

Post by Webfoot » December 16th, 2020, 1:05 pm

Chip Down wrote:
December 10th, 2020, 7:34 pm
I like poking around old mines. Went looking for Mabee Mines in Skamania County. There's a Mabee Mines Road, so I figured there must have been a mine at some time. Couldn't find any info online, except a mention of a Mabee Mine over by Bluff Mountain (near Silver Star Mountain).
Why do you assume there is a second Mabee Mine in the area? Rather than a couple of roads named for the same mine?

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