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Information about the Bertha Mine (and most mines in the Goodsprings District) is almost non-existent, and all I know about it is that it is just about the most remote & difficult to access mines in the District; it can only be reached after a long, difficult, arduous hike up a steep canyon, requiring climbing up steep dropoffs and scrambling over large boulders, as well as crashing through thorny bushes choking the canyon floor. A direct route was once in place, but it has long since washed away. Bypassing the canyon floor is not feasible, since the abundance of sheer cliffs and rock faces prevents skirting the canyon floor. We specifically waited for cooler weather before attempting this hike, as there is NO water available in the area.

The Bertha Mine is not accessible by any road nor any remaining trail; even the remains of the base camp & milling/processing facilities cannot be reached by road, and may only be reached after a long hike. Just how these miners got all their equipment & supplies not only to their camp but up the canyon to the mines is beyond my comprehension! There are signs that a significant pack trail was once present, but most traces of it are long gone, as it ran right along or in the canyon floor and occasional cloudbursts have obliterated all remaining traces. With that said, we were hoping that the mines would be fairly intact and that surprises would await us; we were not disappointed!

Goodsprings was named for cattle rancher Joe Good, who used to water his herd at the springs named after him. The town of Goodsprings thrives to this day, but has many reminders of its glorified mining past. In fact, there is an effort underway to have the former grade of the Yellow Pine Mining Railroad designated as a trail under the federal Rails To Trails program. The mining district extends well beyond Goodsprings and generally incorporates mines around Sandy Valley & the Potosi Mountain range as well. This section covers a wide area throughout the district, including photos in & around Goodsprings township proper.

Strikes in the area were recorded beginning in the early 1880s, but high transportation costs stymied development until the SP,LA&SL Railroad (aka "The Salt Lake Route," forerunner of the Union Pacific) rails were laid through Jean in 1905, less than 10 miles to the south. In 1882 the Keystone Mine was located west of Goodsprings, and a small mill was constucted in the town. The Yellow Pine Mining Company was formed in 1901, by combining several smaller claims located in Porphyry Gulch, roughly 4 miles northwest of Goodsprings town. The increase in ore output from the various area mines demanded better transportation to the SP,LA&SL railhead at Jean, and so in 1909 an attempt was made to acquire the remaining assets of the defunct Quartette Mining Company's railroad (the locomotives & some equipment had already been acquired by the Arden Plaster Company); the deal was not consumated until more than a year later, and the Yellow Pine Mining Company Railroad was completed in June, 1911. The railroad was approximately 12-1/2 miles long, and featured steep grades all along its length: 4 to 5% in the "easy" section out of Jean, and then up to 12% in short sections along the rest of the route! Runaways and accidents were not uncommon during the railroad's lifespan. The railroad ran from Jean northwards into Goodsprings (where the Yellow Pine Mining Co. mill was also located, along the railroad route), and then northwesterly to the Yellow Pine Mine. Several other mines were also served by the railroad along the way to enhance revenue, a very few with their own spurs.

Many of these mines are privately owned, and posted "No Trespassing." If you don't have permission from the owners, please do not trespass upon private property! The BLM has also been active in the area, sealing off unsafe mine entrances & installing bat grates over others (to support the native bat populations found within some of the area mines). Many of these mines are very unstable and unsafe! So please STAY OUT & STAY ALIVE! And in the meantime enjoy some of my exclusive photos of the interiors of these mines instead.

DO NOT ENTER old mines, especially without having the proper equipment. NEVER enter by yourself! We use headlamps for light, with several back up flash lights. We carry a multi-gas sensing meter that measures the oxygen level, as well as methane gas level; however, we do NOT carry rescue breathing equipment. Bad air is a reality for many old mines - carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases collect in lower levels of many mines, as well as in many isolated pockets of the twists & turns of many mines (and you will NOT be able to smell the bad gas before it overwhelms you). We carry extra batteries, rescue ropes, first aid kits, and plenty of water. We also carry a Spot GPS Meter that sends an email w/GPS coordinates via satellite to love-ones before we enter stating our location and that we are OK. We do it again upon leaving the mine to let them know we’re out and safe; this meter also has the capability of sending a help signal and/or alerting 911 via satellite providing GPS coordinates – of course it doesn’t work within the mine itself. The BLM strongly advises to not enter these old mines, so if you choose to do so, it is solely at your own risk. Some mines, have steep & deep drop-offs, as well as difficult-to-see vertical shafts, which could be impossible to get back up out of. Also, even though you may see extensive use of wood ladders, shoring and support platforms inside old mines, this wood is very old and unstable; much of it is rotted (along with corroded nails & bolts) and WILL NOT support your weight. So please enjoy these photos but do not try to enter any old mines.
Looking out, at the underside of the headframe and incline, as well as the rear of the ore loading hopper.

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Silver State Specialties was created in 1999 to offer quality resin accessories, replacement parts and conversion kits, suitable for many 1/25-scale plastic model kits.  SSS specializes in accessories and parts for plastic model pickup, SUV, 4x4, and heavy truck & trailer kits.  1/32-scale and 1/35-scale parts and accessories will be available in the future for model truck kits, such as the 1/32 Monogram Snap-Tite and ERTL snap-together kits, as well as 1/35-scale Revell, Italeri, AFV Club, Trumpeter, Airfix, Heller, Tamiya, and other military model truck kits.  Some of these smaller scale model kits are quite well detailed, and a wide variety of photo-etched, resin, and other accessories are widely available for most of these military truck model kits. What's even more exciting is the line of 1/24th & 1/25th-scale military model kits and conversions we are in the early stages of developing, to nicely compliment your ERTL, AMT, Italeri, Revell, and other brands of truck models.

Silver State Specialties is working on resin accessories and complete kits for G- gauge outdoor garden railway trains ("Large Scale") in 1/24th-scale. Some patterns have been completed, and many more are under construction. These kits and accessories will include complete Beyer-Garratt style of locomotives and Narrow Gauge ore hopper cars, as well as 24-inch & 30-inch gauge industrial equipment in this same scale.

SSS also has master patterns partially completed for many 1/16-scale model truck accessories and conversion kits, mainly for the Monogram-Revell 1/16-scale model truck kits.  Some projected accessories for these 1/16-scale kits are front drive axles, different wheels and tires, air cleaner accessories, pusher and tag axles, oil filters and engine accessories, and possibly different engines.  Cab & hood conversion kits remain a possibility for these monsters as well, but are still years away from being offered as there are more pressing projects to push forward with first.  But someday they should be available!

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