Historic Venus Mine Buildings Washed Away

This morning, I again awoke to fairly heavy snow falling. That makes yesterday’s sunshine even more special – it prompted another trip to Skagway, and it turned out to be a superb day. The light was spectacular, and there were enough clouds to provide a lot of drama through the White Pass in particular. It was truly a photographer’s dream day, and between Cathy and I we shot 92 photos.

This image shows Summit Lake and the Sawtooth Mountains in the White Pass (click to enlarge each of today’s photos).

During the day, though, I also discovered that two century-old mining buildings were washed away by this summer’s extremely high water levels in the Southern Lakes. This photo shows the Venus Mine on May 31 this year. To the left of the large mill is a log warehouse on the shore of Windy Arm of Tagish Lake – it is now completely gone, apparently just an assortment of scattered logs drifting down the lake system somewhere.

This house was built in about 1911 for the mill manager. This photo was taken on on October 31, 2003 – it collapsed in the Spring of 2005, and now virtually every stick is gone. It was located between the mill and the warehouse.

The last photo shows the now-vanished warehouse from the slope above on October 31, 2003. It was built in about 1905 during the early stages of development of the silver mine. I climbed down to it several times over the years, and have a good record of its construction details. Only the stone-reinforced dock that was in front of the warehouse remains. Both of the pullouts that used to provide parking spots to explore the mine buildings are now blocked by concrete barriers.

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