A Rare Chance For You To Take A Look Inside A Real 49er Mine

A Placerville gold mine which is usually closed to the public will be open for guided tours this weekend. The Priest Mine in Gold Bug Park, which dates back to the 1850s and 60s, is one of the oldest hard rock mines in the Mother Lode that is open to the public.

“It’s primarily hand dug with minor’s picks,” says Frank Chacoby, manager of Gold Bug Park & Mine. “So people will have the opportunity to see the actual pick marks dating back to that era.”

The mine is usually closed because of it’s frailness and needs constant monitoring to make sure it’s protected.

“As far as we’re concerned, we’d love to have it open more and that is certainly something we will explore by having it open this weekend,” says Chacoby.

But for now, it will only be open to the public this Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The Priest Mine travels for 160 feet and goes as deep 60 feet below the surface. It’s connected with the Gold Bug Mine by an air shaft.

Chacoby says that if you plan on visiting the mine to dress warm because underground temperatures range around 55 degrees.

Admission into the park is free, but guided tours will cost $7 for adults and $5 for kids.

While you’re at the park you can also take a self guided tour of the Gold Bug Mine, try your hand at panning for gold and enjoy the experience of a working blacksmith.

Learn more at www.goldbugpark.org.

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