The Old Mine Holes and The Old Mine Road
Camp Pahaquarra History
We will climb the concrete steps to the Wolf Cub House. This was used as a dining hall during one of the mine operations. It is now used for the same purpose, also for a kitchen, with sleeping quarters up stairs.
Directly in front of the Cub House and to the right of the old crusher building is the Roebling Trail, named for our good friend, Siegfried Roebling. This leads up to the strip mine and to Overlook Point. It is a long climb to the mine but the results warrant the exertion. The ore is there exposed in what looks like a mill dam, about 60 feet high and 700 feet long. A narrow gauge railroad formerly ran around the base of this mine to Overlook Point. The view from this point is both beautiful and wonderful. To the right is the old hopper where the ore was dumped. This hopper is about 30 by 40 feet in size and 20 feet deep, with a trap at the bottom for the loading of cars. During the mining operations a car loaded with ore went down on one track and pulled up an empty on the other. Half way down the mountain an aerial picked up the load and carried it to the ore bins. These are at a place resembling Overlook Point. Some eighty car-loads of the ore still remain in the bins, reminders of the mining that failed.
Let us now go into the old crusher building and follow an imaginary load of ore to the finish of the operation. As it is dropped out of the bin into the first crusher it is reduced to pieces about the size of a hickory nut. From there it goes to two other crushers which turn it out about like ground coffee. Thence it goes to crushers at the left where it is reduced to powder. Then, after being treated with chemicals in a large vat, the mass is placed ill a furnace for further treatment. This is the process of copper handling as practiced during the later years at "The Holes." I am told, however, that for every dollar's worth of copper produced, the cost to the company was two dollars. It is easy to see that business could not long continue along those lines.
And now let us proceed to the old gas plant, now the kitchen for our mess hall. The mess hall is named Good Times Hall after the Trenton Evening Times, which, with The State Gazette and the Trenton Sunday Times-Advertiser, may always be depended upon to be friendly towards boys Scouts or otherwise. Good Times Hall is just what the name implies. Its cleanliness and fine order make it doubly attractive. That piano there is the gift of Mr. Cartlidge, who well appreciates that music has an important place in boyhood.
The old gas plant was used to furnish fuel for the big engine employed to generate light and power for the latter day mining operations. Some may wonder how such massive machines could be hauled away up here in the mountains. The secret is that they were brought here "knocked down" or in smaller units, and were put together on the grounds. Truly it seems that there are no problems of transportation, manufacturing or commerce too difficult for man's ingenuity to solve.
Leaving the old crusher building, and the shops now used as commissary and tool department, we come to the stables where the mine horses and mules were kept. This building is serving at present as a garage.
And next is the headquarters building, with store, camp office, library and staff meeting room. This was once the mine office and laboratory. Members of the camp staff now use the upper rooms for sleeping purposes. The place is known as Hottel Hall, being named after Mr. Joseph B. Hottel, Council President.
page 8 of 9 pages, Sep 1, 2005