Mariposa Co., CA
The gold mining and milling town of
The community began as a ferry called Ridley’s Ferry that operated between 1850 and 1852 at or near this location. Then in 1859 Col. John C. FREMONT established a 16-stamp ore-crushing mill here, and named the community that grew up at the milling complex on the south side of the river BENTON MILLS, after his father in law, Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri. That mill was quickly replaced by a 48-stamp mill.
In 1890 boarding houses, cabins, a mill building, a post office and a store were established on the north side of the river. The community that grew up there was called BAGBY, after B. A. BAGBY a local hotel owner.
In 1920 the last mill burned ending a legacy of gold milling here. Bagby continued to operate as a river resort until the 1960s.
In 1930, the population was 36, and the decaying town consisted of a handful of frame houses, a store and the railroad station for the Yosemite Valley Railroad. Those tracks were pulled out during the World War II metal scrap drive.
During the 1960s, the buildings were razed to make
way for the expanding of
On April 10, 2002, foundations and ruins were visible on a bench along the north side of the river, just east of the bridge. There were no ruins visible on the south side, at least from the boat launching area.
· ° 36’ 43” N
° 08’ 08”
Bagby/Benton Mills was also the center for a gold mining district, some of whose mines included:
· HAYDEN DIVISION: SEE Great Johnson Vein
· JOSEPHINE MINE: SEE Pine Tree & Josephine Mine
for a listing of the various ferries in
…SEE Lake McClure for a listing of all the mining camps that have been
inundated by the waters of this reservoir.
…SEE Way Stations for a listing of the various railroad stations in Mariposa
SOURCES: #1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 14, (WPA)
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Return to the GTs of Mariposa Co., CA Index Page
Detailed information on individual locations:
Ghost Town USA’s Ghost Towns of California
Also visit: Ghost Town
A few LINKS to outside webpages:
First Posted: December 10, 2001
Last Updated: April 11, 2009
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