COLORADO CAMP CALIFORNIA
Colorado in California?
Unoccupied Historic Mining Camp
Circa Early 1900’s
Colorado Camp was founded sometime during the World War I era by Charles Knight, a justice of the peace from nearby Johannesburg. The camp consisted of several buildings which supported the Colorado Camp Gold Mine. C. C. French “Frenchie”, a soldier returning home from far off fields of battle, came to work for Knight as the war came to an end. Sometime thereafter Frenchie took over ownership of the mine and its camp.
Frenchie became quite a character of the area. Spending a lot of time in the saloons of Randsburg, he would tell tall tales of gold in his mine sporting a nugget to other miners. Those in earshot would inquire if he needed assistance at getting at that gold. For a share, Frenchie would sell a small interest in the mine operation to the interested party for the assistance. The following morning Frenchie would send his new partner down the shaft while he worked the ore from atop. It would usually only take a few days before the new partner figured out that he was doing all the work and pulling only meager finds before abandoning his share. These grubstake opportunities were repeated several times over the years. It was said that there was probably no mine in the Mojave that had more half owners than that of Frenchie’s.
Gold was in fact present in the Colorado Camp Mine. However, it was mostly low grade and in smaller amounts. But it proved to be enough to support good old Frenchie over the years.
Another well known character of the area resided very near Frenchie, And he liked nothing about his neighbor. Della Gerbracht was the queen bee of the nearby Gerbracht Camp. She was known by locals as a rough one, and would shoot in the direction of anyone she thought was trespassing near her claims or camp. His camp being in the closest proximity to Della’s, Frenchie had been near the receiving end of Della’s whizzing bullets on more than one occasion. While sipping drinks at the watering hole in Randsburg, Frenchie would sometimes cuss and complain about Della, explaining how he had better get back to camp before dusk to avoid his neighbors warning shots.
Its unknown what year Frenchie abandoned the claims and camp at the edge of the Last Chance Canyon. Today only the stone remnants of a fireplace and some crumbling foundations mark the location of a once thriving company mining camp and home of a lonely miner.
Several Tailings mark the area where the Mines Employees, and later Frenchie himself worked the earth