Geiser & The Bonanza Mine
Back To Baker County
Created 11/11/07
The old town of Geiser was started as a company town to serve the Bonanza Mine in Baker County in 1890. The town
was named after the owner of the mine at that time, Al Geiser. He operated the mine quite profitably until 1899 when he
sold everything, including the town, to the Pittsburgh Mining Company. It is not known how long they retained
ownership on the mine, nor how long the town survived until it was finally abandoned. The Bonanza Mine Claim was
first started by Jack Haggard in 1877, who sold it to an unknown party two years later.
Town Buildings:
Below are pictures showing the remains of Geiser proper. This consists of about four or five buildings that were close
to one another that have collapsed. In the remains of these buildings there is glass, cans, brick, and even an old stove.
These buildings are located on the west side of the road. (5/28/07)
This is the only building that is even partially standing. It is located on a small rocky rise on the west side of town, just
above the remains of the other buildings. Unfortunately, it does not look like it will even be standing much longer.
Another interesting feature is that where this building is, and its size indicates that it was a private dwelling, maybe even
the mine managers. (5/28/07)
Looking southeast at the old townsite of Geiser. The old stamp mill remains are located behind the row of
trees behind my truck. The remains of the collapsed buildings can be seen on the right hand side of the
road. The building that is still standing is just outside of this photo, just to the right of the pine tree on the
right hand side. (5/28/07)
Here is another view of the old town site of Geiser, looking northwest. (5/24/08)
Another view of the old stove at Geiser. (5/24/08)
This hole in the mound is located at the bottom of the partially standing house shown above, and behind
the town area. It is not clear if it is a prospect or a storage cellar, although the latter is probably the case.
Stamp Mill:
Here are the remains of the old stamp mill in Geiser. This 40 stamp mill is located on the east side of the road through
Geiser and is at the base of the hill, making ore transportation easier in the day. As you can see, the rock walls and
the machinery anchor bolts area still pretty much in place and still standing. This mill took advantage of the small creek
through the area. (5/28/07)
This is the remains of a some kind of building that stood above the road leading to the adits. (5/24/08)
This was the main adit of the Bonanza Mine, located along the road that ran up from the stamp mill.
This rail with joiner was laying in place at the entrance to the main adit. It was probably buried and
scrapped afterward, preventing this piece from being removed. (5/24/08)
Some more structural boards located near the main adit. (5/24/08)
Looking back at the tailings pile for the main adit. The road can be seen at the bottom, along with a shelf
and some boards from one of the buildings. (5/24/08)
I don't know exactly what this was, but it was located at the entrance to the adit directly above the main
adit. (5/24/08)
A bent piece of rail lying at the entrance to the adit above the main adit. (5/24/08)
Looking at the collapsed adit above the main one. (5/24/08)
Exiting the adit above the main adit, cars were moved to the left and then dumped, where this rail was
located. (5/24/08)
My friend Brian McCamish in the open adit. (5/24/08)
Myself in the open adit. (5/24/08)
My friend Ryan Noffsinger in the open adit. (5/24/08)
Although just over a hundred feet in length, this adit was still open and fun to explore. (5/24/08)
Shown below is the old hoisting plant remains that used to sit atop the main vertical shaft on top of the hill. Also, there
are a couple of photos of the tailings pile of the main shaft. A picture of this hoisting plant can be seen on page 134 of
"Oregon's Golden Years" by Miles Potter. Besides pulling up the hewed stone, it is not known if any pre-crushing took
place. (5/24/08)
This is the only adit that we could find open in the Bonanza mines. I'm not going to say exactly where it is
because the USFS has a nasty habit of blowing these shut. (5/24/08)
Looking at a pit mine just to the northwest of the main vertical shaft on top of the hill.
One of two other vertical shafts above the main vertical shaft and hoisting plant. Notice the
rail in the picture to the right. The cable used to run around the shaft to prevent people from
accidentally falling in. (5/24/08)
A look at the rail for the vertical shaft shown here. As you can see, part of the vertical cut
has fallen down to the bottom. In the bottom you could see part of the horizontal shaft taking
off. (5/24/08)
Although difficult to see, this is actually the trail that connected the two vertical adits above the main
hoisting plant. (5/24/08)