Probably the coolest thing I’ve ever found completely by accident, this creepy homestead is full of mystery & hanta virus.
Driving along a few branched roads from Christmas Tree Pass, I was hoping to make my way into a cool canyon. As I neared the mouth of the drainage, I saw the familiar shapes of an old corral coming into view; fairly typical of the desert, and rarely exciting. This corral, however, was surrounding by a low stone wall. Driving closer, the ruins of two houses came into view.
One house was made of wood and had the typical ‘abandoned cabin’ feel, complete with graffiti & packrat nests. It didn’t seem to be too old, but I have no idea how to tell when it was built.
There was a tree out back with a pan nailed to the trunk…a birdfeeder?
The stone house had less of a ‘house’ feel but the sparse ruins gave it it’s own sad, creepy vibe.
There were some other structures around the ‘property’; a stage sort of thing built into the hill, a well, some kind of mining something-or-other. The highlight was what lay underneath an inconspicuous Yucca:
That is a grave. An unmarked, middle of nowhere grave.
I wasn’t entirely convinced it was a grave; I thought I must just be psyching myself out. After all, casket-sized mounds of river rocks are totally common in these parts. When I got back into cell phone service I pulled up my topo maps zoomed into where I’d been. Scribbled into the topography of the drainage were the words corral, well, mine and graves.
Graves leads me to believe there are more than this one that I found. There are tons of faint trails in the area and I wonder if they lead to exciting places (like more graves) or if they are simply game trails. I’ve done quite a bit of research but have failed to come up with any information on the area except that the mine above the homes was called Cottonwood Mine. It’s been too hot to go check out this Cottonwood mine, but now that it’s cooling down hopefully I’ll make it back there soon.