Lucky Boy Mines

March 20, 1983

Nine hardy miners left Eugene under cloudy skies at 0805. After a pleasant drive up the McKenzie Highway, we arrived at the Lucky Boy mines trailhead at 0915.

After a leisurely hike of 2 miles, we arrived at Quartz Cr., which we forded by any means possible—from ropes, to crawling, jumping, and luck. But no one got wet!! We were rewarded with M&M’s from Bob Foster’s enormous bag of candy.

With Quartz Creek behind us, the time-keeper’s cabin was just up the hill and around the turn. When inspection of the cabin was completed, we continued to the mine, arriving at approx. 1040. We checked out the mining machinery at the portal of the mine, then donned tennis shoes, rubber boots to begin the cold water trip into the mine. Some of the smarter miners turned back, but three in the lead kept going, not knowing the others had departed the mine shaft. Merle Traudt found that the cold water was approx. 7/8" higher than his rubber boot tops. When we reached the area where the mine has sloughed in, a discussion arose as to how far we had come. So we paced our way out. Dave Place, Merle Traudt and the leader agreed it was about 1100 to 1200 ft. long. After exploring this shaft, we continued on to find some of the machinery used in the mining and milling of the ore. We found a sluice box, a ball mill, crusher, large parts from either a diesel or steam engine, and—according to Dave Place—a door.

While the rest of us were feeding our faces under sunny skies, John and Pete Cecil were poking around and found some steel balls about the size of golf balls and larger. Merle claimed they were used in the ball mill. Makes sense.

After lunch we scrambled up over some rocks to another shaft. This one was shallow—about 40 feet to where it had sloughed in; didn’t enter—water too deep for comfort. Returned to lunch area, shouldered our day packs and headed back to our vehicles. Got just enough of a sprinkle to remind us we were indeed in Oregon. Hopefully, Lucky Boy miners John and Pete Cecil, Bob Foster, Al & Mike Niems, Dave & Joyce Place and Merle Traudt enjoyed the trek as much as the leader Bill Wood.

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