We got to the town around 11am and immediately started taking pictures. Not much remains of Garlock above ground. There’s maybe about dozen structures in various states of arrested decay. Great care was taken to avoid many of the old pits and mines that surround the area. As we were later told, there’s many vertical shaft mines in and around the town that are merely covered with old timbers and a layer of dirt.
One of the first and most prominent buildings you see approaching the town, is a large adobe structure. This was the bank, saloon and amusingly, a brothel all at the same time. Talk about conservation of space and funds! As you might notice, the building is undergoing a slow restoration at the hands of the property owner. After getting a few pictures of the bank/saloon/brothel from the outside (a tall fence surrounds the building), we looked at the town’s railroad tie schoolhouse. I found it amusing that the school was essentially right across the main street from the “bank” building. Talk about your rough education.
Near the schoolhouse, there were several miner’s sheds or shacks and an assayer’s building, a coach house and other ruins. All of these were fairly prominently posted with “no trespassing” and with the kids present, I didn’t want to push our luck...
We then went up the road a little to get pictures of the mercantile store. As we approached the high fence around that part of the property, we were met by the resident caretaker who was quite friendly. He wouldn't let us go inside the main fenced areas because the property owner had recently had troubles with vandals. Other than that, he happily told us about some of the buildings and the town. He told us that the owner and he had been slowly restoring the bank/saloon/brothel to it former glory but it would be years before it would be complete. He also told us about the miner's sheds, and the well house which was for many years the only source of fresh water in a 25 mile radius.
Before leaving he also mentioned that there was more than s few occasions where the other Garlock "residents" had made their presence known. According to him, Garlock has 6 full time residents – 2 living and 4 ghosts. He described how toilets flushed by themselves, lights would go on and off at random, and wind-up (music box) toys would start up on their own. He mentioned that on one occasion, his granddaughter carried on a long and animated conversation with a nice old man. She described him as white haired, bearded and walking very slowly. Unfortunately, she was the only person who could see him. Ah for the insights of youth.
The kids and I bid him adieu and with his directions on a whim we headed toward the Burro Schmidt Mine complex. I left being moderately disappointed with Garlock. Why disappointed you might ask? I'd very much wanted to get some up close and inside pictures of the Garlock buildings. Little did I suspect during the drive up Mesquite Canyon, that I’d be so blown away by the sights en route and at our destination? Here’s a few of the many mines and claims that lie along the gravel road heading up the canyon.
Coming soon -
Alaskan photos or Burro Schmidt Photos on Saturday.