Pioneer Day

Pioneer Day

Pioneer Day








Bay Area


Almaden Quicksilver County Park

Pioneer Day at English Camp, 10/10/09

On Saturday, October 10, 2009, the New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association held their 27th annual Pioneer Day at English Camp in Almaden Quicksilver County Park. The event was held at English, to celebrate the dedication of a new interpretive plaque at the Map House on Church Hill.

Visitors sign in at the Hacienda staging area, then take a van ride to English Camp.

Guests arrive at the celebration site, at the base of Church Hill. The Map House is in the background.

Books for sale.

Behind the display tables were surveying equipment brought by John Atwood (right).

Horses pass by the old sheet metal garage and collapsed storage building at English Camp.

Visitors reading the plaque by the flagpole.

Visitors reading the plaque by the collapsed old storage building.

John Slenter brings another vanload of guests.

Snack and display tables.

Artist Jim Campbell autographs copies of his book with drawings of New Almaden.

Horses coming down the Castillero Trail, approaching English Camp. The plaque to the left talks about the old school here.

John Drew, Tom Graham, and Art Boudreault.

Old maps were used as placemats on the tables. Laminated maps were given away as raffle prizes, along with the potted flowers.

Some visitors discovered a tarantula walking around near the Map House.

The remains of the Mine Manager's house. The concrete vault held flasks of mercury. The house was burned down by vandals in 1986. The fire burned drill core boxes and irreplaceable historic documents.

The Map House, built in 1942, was used as the mine's office and housed maps, surveyors' books, core samples, and records of the mines.

John Goldsworthy provided musical entertainment.

John Slenter was the master of ceremonies. He introduces NAQCPA president Kitty Monahan.

Kitty Monahan welcomes the guests to the event.

Gage McKinney, portraying an itinerant Methodist preacher, leads the group in a prayer.

Painting of the Map House by Gilian Altieri. She painted it in 2008.

Santa Clara County Parks Director Lisa Killough talks about the park and thanks the guests for coming.

Lunch was provided by Nancy Mapes and her family.

Having lunch.

Park ranger Paula Burgmeier, with Rick Dill and Mike Boulland.

Art Boudreault with the book on the Map House, which he wrote and all the guests received.

After Santa Clara County purchased the mine properties of Almaden Quicksiliver, Geologist Mike Cox was hired to close the mineshafts and tunnels to make the property safe for park visitors. He lived in a trailer in English Camp next to the Map House. He talked about his experience with the mines and the maps.

John Atwood was one of the last surveyors of the Almaden Mines. He talked about his experiences mapping the mines. He is wearing a lantern that is used for seeing in the mines. Behind him are surveyors' transits.

Jeanne Carevic, who helped with the book sales, said this was the first time she's heard her friend John give a speech.

Bruce Bartlett described the Hacienda Display project. The old mine equipment stored in a fenced enclosure at the Hacienda Area will be turned into an interpretive display.

Mike Boulland talked about the cleanup of English Camp.

Mike Boulland gave a certificate of appreciation to Frank Deto from Park Maintenance for their efforts to clean up English Camp. Park Maintenance cleared out the weeds, dried brush, and fallen limbs.

Kitty Monahan unveils the Map House interpretive sign.

Closeup of the Map House sign.

Created 10/12/2009, updated 9/22/14 by Ronald Horii