This past labor day weekend, we made the treacherous trek up Bohemia mountain. Not a drive for the faint of heart, as more often than not you’ll find yourself on a gravel road wide enough for one vehicle, cliff wall on one side and a sheer drop on the other, trying to avoid the various boulders sticking out of the road and hoping there isn’t a vehicle coming the opposite direction.
Bohemia mountain is home to the historic Bohemia mining district and the long since forgotten Bohemia City, which is only a ghost town now.
I’ve been out to the mountain a handful of times now. The first few times, some of the old abandoned mines where open so that you could go in and explore – which is extremely dangerous, due to the fact you could inhale toxic gas, explode unexploded explosives, or simply suffer from a mine collapse. This time, apparently someone had taken the time to seal most all of the mines up.
Unlike previous visits, I actually got some video of the actual ghost town.
“Settlers discovered gold in what became the Bohemia mining district in the mid-1800s. By 1866, the area could boast of a town, Bohemia City, complete with saloons, hotel, and private housing. Cottage Grove provided food and other goods to the miners, shipping items up the steep grade of the Row River Valley. While some may have successfully mined gold ore, generally the Bohemia mines were marked by the boom and bust cycles typical of extraction resources. One contemporary writer claims that “if optimism had been a marketable commodity, all of Cottage Grove would have been rich.” That optimism surged during times of economic insecurity, and when the stock market crashed in 1929, prospectors returned to the mines to wait out the Depression.” — From this site.