|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Avalanche of 1911|
|Not far from this site, in the early morning hours of March 7, 1911, a massive avalanche roared down the east slop of Copper Mountain and wiped out the town of Jordan. Eight people were killed including Robert Mason, the chief engineer of the power plant. Only his wife and dog survived.
This snow slide was the worst of several occurring, in and around, Mono County during the winter of 1910-11. Rescuers coming from Bodie and Lee Vining were forced to travel by snowshoes or skis as all roads . . . — Map (db m50074) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Bennettville|
|One mile west is the site of Bennettville. Originally located as the Sheepherder Mine in 1874 by William Bruskey and relocated by Thomas Bennett, President of the Great Sierra Consolidated Silver Mining Company as the Tioga Mines. The claim and visions of a rich silver lode drew thousands to the site of Bennetville. In 1882, eight tons of mining equipment were brought from Lundy via the Tioga Crest and across Saddlebags Lake to the mine. The need for a better way to get mining equipment to . . . — Map (db m49968) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Bodie and Benton R. R.|
|Surveyed in March, 1881, and completed in December, 1881 with materials hauled through Bodie to this roadbed, at a cost of one million dollars. This narrow gauge railway carried timber supplies 31.74 miles from Mono Mills to Bodie Station, rising in grade 2074 feet to an elevation of 8500 feet. Operations continued until 1918, when decreased mining activity caused the railroad to be dismantled. — Map (db m49928) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — 792 — Dog Town — 1857|
Site of the first major gold rush to California’s eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, Dog Town derived its name from a popular miners’ term for camps with huts or hovels. Ruins, lying close to the cliff bordering Dog Town Creek are all that remain of the makeshift dwellings which here formed part of “diggins”.
[Supporting Marker to the Left of the Main Marker]:
Boom and Bust
Boom and Bust “Here today, gone tomorrow” describes . . . — Map (db m11586) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Grave of Adeline Carson Stilts|
|In sight of this location is the grave of Adeline Carson Stilt, daughter of scout, guide and explorer Kit Carson. Called “Prairie Flower” by her father, and considered to be his favorite child, she came to the gold site of “Mono Diggins’” with her husband in about 1858. She died in the winter of 1859, at the age of 21, at the home of her friends, known as the Wilson Ranch. — Map (db m49966) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Grave of the Unknown Prospector — On To The Golden Hills — RIP|
|On this site is the grave of the unknown prospector. A reminder of the great sacrifices made by our ancestors, who explored and settled the western frontier, and especially to the memory of each and all of the pioneers of Mono County, whose resting place is known only to God. May they rest in peace. — Map (db m49976) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Lee Vining|
|The name of this community honors LeRoy Vining. In 1852 Lt. Tredwell Moore and soldiers of the 2nd Infantry pursued Indians of Chief Tenaya’s tribe from Yosemite across the Sierra via Bloody Canyon. They took back mineral samples and a prospecting party was organized. In this group were the Vinings, Lee & Dick, who established a camp at what is now Lee Vining Creek. — Map (db m49967) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Mono Diggins|
|About 1 mile N.E. of here lies Mono Diggins, the first extensive placer mining excitement east of the Sierra. Cord Norst is generally credited with being the discoverer on July 4, 1859. A town, Monoville, boasted a transient population of 500 – 1,000. A post office established December 12, 1859, was closed by April 2, 1862, as the prospectors moved to Aurora.
One of the most ambitious hydraulic water projects of the time was the transportation of water from Virginia Creek to the . . . — Map (db m49929) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Mono Mills|
|To meet the ever increasing demand for lumber and cord wood the Bodie Railway and Lumber Company was formed in February 1881. Timber was harvested from various tracts to the south. It was milled at this site and then shipped to Bodie on the railroad via Warm Springs and Lime Kiln. The sawmill was a two story structure capable of producing 80,000 board feet in a 10 hour shift (when the crew was sober) and was powered by a 16 inch steam engine. With the development of electricity at Green Creek . . . — Map (db m49977) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Mono Mills|
| [The kiosk at Mono Mills displays a number of history panels that collectively illustrate the history of the Bodie Railway and Lumber Company.]
The Need for Wood
Rich in Gold, Poor in Wood
Bodie, situated in the sagebrush hills north of Mono Lake at an elevation of 8,375 feet (2,553 meters), was once a thriving mining town. A rich strike of gold and silver ore in 1877 increased the town’s population to more than 10,000 by 1879. Though wealthy in ore, the . . . — Map (db m50144) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Navy Beach|
|During the Cold War, Mono County was home to one of many remote facilities used by the US Military to test new weapons and weapons systems. A "secret military installation" operated by the US Navy was located along the south shoreline of Mono Lake.
During the 1950's and 1960's several branches of the US Armed Forces utilized this test facility to conduct various research. Numerous top-secret exercises were actually performed here during what was called "seismic testing." However with the . . . — Map (db m20739) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Sheriff James P. Dolan|
|In July of 1915, the peace and quiet of Mono County was shattered when Sheriff James P. Dolan died as a result of gunshot wounds received while attempting to apprehend two outlaws who had terrorized ranchers a short distance from this location.
Outraged by the shooting of Sheriff Dolan, the citizens of Mono County quickly formed a Sheriff’s posse which tracked the outlaws to a location near the Mono Craters. Justice was served when both outlaws were killed in a shootout with possemen. A . . . — Map (db m11416) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — The Tioga Pass Road — Constructed 1883 & 1910 - Commemorated 2002|
|Tioga Pass at 9945 feet is the highest automobile pass in California. The road to the pass was constructed in two parts. The first part was a wagon road, 56 miles long, going from Crane Flat on the west side to a silver mine on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada. It was constructed in 1883 at the cost of $61,000. This part terminated a short distance east of Tioga Pass. The mine was closed the following year as it was not profitable.
Construction of the second part from Lee Vining on the . . . — Map (db m49970) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Upside-Down House|
|A distinctive local landmark and nationally renowned tourist attraction. It was the creation of - Nellie Bly O’Bryan (1893–1984), visionary, entrepreneur and long time resident of the Mono Basin.
Originally, located along US-395 north of the Tioga Lodge, it was inspired by two children’s stories—“Upside Down Land” and “The Upsidedownians.” Upon her death in 1984 The Upside-Down House fell into disrepair until....October 9, 2000 when it was rescued and . . . — Map (db m10167) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — West Portal|
|East of this site was located West Portal, the largest of 4 'camps' or company towns, built in 1934 by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for employees and their families who worked on the Mono Basin Project. At the height of construction, the town had over 200 residents and 26 buildings. And for its time, it had many 'modern' conveniences - telephones, electricity, gas, mail service, paved roads, water and sewer systems (a metropolis by Mono County standards). By 1941 the project . . . — Map (db m8173) HM|
|California (Mono County), Lee Vining — Would-Be Miners and Occasional Tourists — Building the Tioga Road|
| “The Road to Broken Dreams”
The Tioga Road began as a rough track up the western slope of the Sierra to the mining town of Bennettville near Tioga Pass. Although built to promote mining in the wild high country, the road never served its intended purpose. By the time it was finished in 1883, the mining boom was over. The route fell into disrepair.
A Road Through the Wilderness
A few decades later, interest in the road was revived as people began visiting the Sierra . . . — Map (db m49973) HM|