A True Story


| September/October 1975



Harry Odgers holds

Harry Odgers holds grease stick for old gold mine mill. Mrs. Margery [Odgers] DeLaMare P.O. Box 409 Mariposa, California 95338

DeLaMare

Box 409, Mariposa, Cal. 95338.

My father has been a miner most of his life, first in Nevada City, Nevada Co., Ca., where he was born in 1889, and then in Mariposa Co., Ca. where he moved in 1933, when the mines in Nevada County were closing down during the depression of those years. Mariposa has been his home ever since. He is still living here, and still does a little mining, now that the mines around here have taken a new lease on life, because of the increase in the price of gold, and also because of the new law about the sale of gold. He was President of the Western Mining Council in Mariposa for over 25 years. His goal in life has been to keep mining alive as much as he could. This was the main reason why he built the mill, which is situated at the Historical Center in Mariposa. It is a big attraction to tourists and also to school children from all over the country, who come on field trips to see it. He runs the mill, and explains about it whenever he can.

My father's father emigrated from Cornwall, England, where a lot of the miners in the Nevada City, Grass Valley area came from, as they were miners over in England. He had nine brothers and 1 sister, most of whom also came to this country in order to better their way of living, as in England, wages were small and working conditions were not the best. So you see, my father was a born miner.

I have worked for The Mariposa Gazette for 10 years, the oldest newspaper in continuous publication in California, since 1859. We also have the oldest Courthouse in California in continuous operation. You have my father's permission to use all material.

When I am asked to tell of past experiences in the mines, this story has been told at many social gatherings. It is a story about the working mules in the mines. What makes it so interesting is that if the mines were to operate again, there would be no mules in the mines. It would be all mechanized. In fact, the mules have just about disappeared from the farms.

To tell the story, I should first tell you about the vast workings of the mine in which I worked and saw these strong intelligent animals at work.