Masonic (Mono Co., California) We Visited: 5/15/04
Our Dinner: Scrambled eggs, and sausages!
38 21.77'N, 119 6.88'W DOME HILL Quad

Directions: West on Highway US 50 for 27.9 miles to Silver Springs; South on US 95A for 30.8 miles; south on SR 339 for 12 miles; generally West on SR 208 for 10.1 miles; South on SR 338 for 28.3 miles; east on National Forest Development Road 028 to 7.2 miles.

From Fallon: 109.5 miles

4WD or high clearance desired

What Was

Gold was discovered here in 1860 but it wasn't until 40 years later that anyone got up and did something about it. Discoveries at the Pittsburg Liberty Mine in 1902 excited the populace and by 1908 the town had three sections, Upper, Middle and Lower Masonic. But there was no vein- once the pockets of gold had been mined no more could be located, and the town died. A 1910 census shows 113 residents- a 1920 census shows 12. Activity continued until WWII, and even now a mine or two in the area continues to be worked.

Post Office: Yes

Newspaper: Masonic Pioneer

What is

Close enough to Nevada for us! In fact, back in the old days, no one was really sure just where the border was. Even now, the homemade boundary marker is about 300 feet off. Still, this area is so pretty we couldn't resist crossing the border for a little look-see. Neither could five or ten other ATV'ers- the place was crawling with tourists- and they all looked lost, frankly.

But hey, Masonic is big enough to share. Besides, it's beautiful up here- lots of quaking aspens all leafed out and California greenery. Lots of ruins too, spread out over quite a distance. National Forest Development Roads are often good enough to travel on in the family car- hence the 4WD not needed reccomendation. The Forest Service does, however, ask that you leave Uncle Ted's Buick at home and bring a pickup or 4WD to be on the safe side.

An impressive array of mine workings
Looks like Jed Smith was poking around the area long before 1860! The trees don't lie.
Lots of cans for everyone to enjoy!
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