Bennettville, California

  Located at around 10,000 feet, silver was first discovered here in the 1860's. In 1878 the Tioga Mining district was organized and the Great Sierra Consolidated Silver Company was formed.
 The mine settlement of Bennettville was established and named after the president of the company. Existing claims were bought up and work began on the Great Sierra and the Sheepherder lodes.

 Getting the mining equipment up here was no easy task, so the Great Sierra Consolidated Silver Company decided to build a wagon road to the camp. The road was to be 56 miles long and was built in 1882-1883 by way of Yosemite Creek to Crocker's Station.
  Meanwhile, a tunnel was being built into solid rock to intersect the Sheepherder and Great Sierra lodes. The tunnel was to be 1,784 feet long by 1884 when a financial disaster hit and the camp suddenly closed down. Over $300,000 had been spent, $64,000 on the Great Sierra Wagon Road with no returns ever being made from the mines.

  In 1888, a group of former shareholders bought the property at a sheriff's auction and tried again, but gave up without making a profit.

  The Great Sierra Wagon Road was acquired in 1915 by the National Park Service and presented as a gift to Yosemite National Park. The current Tioga Pass road, Highway 120, follows along parts of this old wagon road.

Let's explore Bennettville

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