Five of us recently visited and explored the Damon and Pythias Mine on Money Creek in the Cascades near Skykomish, Washington. We had been in this area frequently to visit the nearby Lake Elizabeth, but did not even know about the mine until a friend mentioned it.
The mine is one of many in an area where gold was found, though the mine also produced silver, lead and arsenic. It was opened in the late nineteenth century and operated off and on into the twentieth century. It is idle only because of impediments to the claims.
The mine consists of 3000 feet of mostly horizontal shafts with 2300 feet of light gauge rail, most of which is still there. There is also an old ore chute in the mine and various other items of equipment that were left behind when the mine ceased working.
The mine is easily accessible and a hard rock mine, so there is little danger in exploring it. We went with headlamps and cameras and though we did not explore all the shafts spent several interesting hours there and hope to go back and explore more thoroughly.
ready to go
tailings and ruins of old structures
our fellow explorers
at the entrance
two of the explorers