Along the way up the McClellan Butte trail you might stumble upon the remains of the mill site and adit of the Alice Claim… that is, you would have along the old trail.
Nowadays you’d probably only find it if you were looking for it.
At one time in the not so distant past, the trail up the butte passed right beside the claim, but now that trail has been abandoned in favor of another, and is slowly being reclaimed by nature.
Interestingly enough, hikers still pass right by the site, albeit on a different path, though I imagine only a few oddballs ever notice.
The abandoned trail and mill site are found along Alice Creek, which as a matter of interest was named Revington Creek during the time the Alice Claim was in operation.
The adit itself is collapsed and flooded in addition to being dug into steadily decaying overburden. Which is to say, even if this thing were open, it would be exceedingly dangerous to enter.
STAY OUT, STAY ALIVE!
According to Discovering Washington’s Historic Mines Vol.#1, there once existed three tunnels totaling 500ft of underground workings. However, during my visit I only located the one.
A Seattle Times article from July 1900 stated that construction of a surface tram had begun at the claim, linking one of the adits to the mill site. At that time, the mine working machinery was already in operation and the milling equipment was on order. The capacity of this mill was said to handle 10 to 15 tons of ore per day.
Nowadays not much remains, though what does is impressive enough.
The first major artifact seems to be some sort of furna.. You know, honestly I have no idea what in the hell it was exactly, maybe a furnace/boiler something. It looks as though it handled high temperatures at one time, judging by the decaying wrap on the pipes and a mixture of ash and brick underneath it.
Feel free to school me on this one!
The second, and in my opinion, most impressive artifact is what I’m very certain is an ore crusher. It consists of three large metal pestles set in a large cylinder with an ore chute on one side. I imagine this thing was as loud as hell when it was running.
(The ore crusher is known as a Huntington Mill, designed by Frank Atwood Huntington, learn more about the man and his machine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Atwood_Huntington)
Other artifacts include what appears to be a smashed wood stove and a pile of cut wood in addition to the miscellaneous corroding pipes, bars and various chunks of rusted metal that litter the site.
The Alice Claim is worth a visit for those of you interested in such things and luckily the star artifacts are too heavy to be carried off, so they will likely be there awhile. Though some jackass tagged one of them… yeah.
Anyway, as always, don’t be that jackass, leave it the way you found it.
Happy Trails, Harry Biped
Woodhouse, Phil; Jacobson, Daryl; Petersen, Bill; Cady,Greg; Pisoni, Victor, Discovering Washington’s Historic Mines Vol.1: The West Central Cascade Mountains. Oso Publishing Company, 1997