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missy

Buell's Tunnel Found!

I had written about this story previously in my blog and have found it to be the coolest little story in our local mountains...

So like 150 years ago this miner named Buell had a claim in the East Fork. But since he didn't have rights to use the East Fork water, he decided to convey water somehow from the North Fork. He hired this surveyor named Simpson to do the job.

So the job got done and the tunnel was built through the ridge separating the two watershed. However during opening day of the works, much to Buell's surprise, the water wasn't flowing through because the tunnel was bored uphill!

Buell went broke on the deal and supposedly left for Mexico.

I went to look for the tunnel (well several times really).Went through the usual bushwhacking, steep slopes, loose scree, etc.

Somewhere up there!
DSC08348 by Missy, on Flickr

Crossing the North Fork
DSC08356 by Missy, on Flickr

Beautiful canyon but miserable bushwhacking
DSC08291 by Missy, on Flickr


hehe
DSC08304 by Missy, on Flickr

Tunnel found! It was hard. Slightly collapsed portals
DSC08315 by Missy, on Flickr

A shot inside
IMG_2225 by Missy, on Flickr

Collapsed exit. But you can still see the opening and perhaps crawl out
IMG_2209 by Missy, on Flickr

A great way to end the day!
DSC08338 by Missy, on Flickr

You can read a more detailed account on my blog: http://angelesadventures.com/buelltunnel/

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Missy
dima

That's an awesome trip! So both sides are still mostly open and you walked from one end to the other?
missy

dima wrote:
That's an awesome trip! So both sides are still mostly open and you walked from one end to the other?


Thanks Dima! Yeah both sides are open, but the end portal you'd have to crawl out from....
scottawr

I'm so going try to find this! i love climbing that little crag above the tunnel. probably walked right by the tunnel and never thought to look for a freaking tunnel.
dima

So wait. Did you know that this was still there? I've read the story, but it didn't occur to me at ALL that it was something that could be found. Yall find great stuff!
missy

dima wrote:
So wait. Did you know that this was still there? I've read the story, but it didn't occur to me at ALL that it was something that could be found. Yall find great stuff!


Thanks Dima!

Well this one, I knew where it should be, but I wasn't sure if there was going to be anything still visible. It was pretty much a blind guess. Nothing online about any recent visits....

It was worth the risk since it wasn't too remote. Dont think I'd look for something as inaccessible like the Gold Ridge Mine under the San Antonio Ridge and risk not finding anything....or maybe?

This story was way too fascinating not to at least give it a shot! Right!
missy

scottawr wrote:
I'm so going try to find this! i love climbing that little crag above the tunnel. probably walked right by the tunnel and never thought to look for a freaking tunnel.


Yeah! it was so hidden and nothing even suggests it was still there haha Smile
Uncle Rico

Good find missy.

What ever happened to Simpson? That's the guy that should have fled to Mexico. Lol.
missy

Uncle Rico wrote:
Good find missy.

What ever happened to Simpson? That's the guy that should have fled to Mexico. Lol.


LOL I know right!! I'm not sure. He was only ever written about as Simpson. Supposedly he escaped the canyon when his miscalculations were discovered.
missy

https://youtu.be/rApSbAA3JcM

In case any one wants to see the length of the tunne  in a video
Uncle Rico

missy wrote:

In case any one wants to see the length of the tunne  in a video


Holy shizz that's sketchy. I get claustrophobic just watching that. Could you tell that the tunnel ran uphill from the north fork to the east fork just from waking through it?
dima

missy wrote:
In case any one wants to see the length of the tunne  in a video


Sweet! Any signs of recent visitation? How old is that shovel?
missy

Uncle Rico wrote:
missy wrote:

In case any one wants to see the length of the tunne  in a video


Holy shizz that's sketchy. I get claustrophobic just watching that. Could you tell that the tunnel ran uphill from the north fork to the east fork just from waking through it?


Excellent question!! Next time I go I'll pay better attention hahah. If it was, it may have been a slight incline. I wish I knew of an accurate method to check.
missy

dima wrote:
missy wrote:
In case any one wants to see the length of the tunne  in a video


Sweet! Any signs of recent visitation? How old is that shovel?


Yeah somebody definitely has visited in recent years. There was a torn bag of onions scattered across the end. Hard to tell. The canyon was definitely zero trace of any hiker. When we go through the end portal I'll take a look around and see if people have been crawling in from that way....
AW

Our resident sleuth runs up another impressive find.
I wonder what all the fuss was about...I mean did Buell's claim actually produce enough gold to make it sensible to build a water tunnel? Or was this all about not getting that east fork water?
Gene

Another very interesting San Gabriel adventure.  Thanks!
missy

AW wrote:
Our resident sleuth runs up another impressive find.
I wonder what all the fuss was about...I mean did Buell's claim actually produce enough gold to make it sensible to build a water tunnel? Or was this all about not getting that east fork water?


All for naught.

I think thats the comedy of the tragedy....such a grand investment for nothing. The appearance of so much architectural activity to everyone who lived and worked at the mining camps, all for it to go down under during "opening ceremony day".

It was likely hyped up very much too, the hydraulic works by the others became a sort of race who can built the biggest.
missy

Gene wrote:
Another very interesting San Gabriel adventure.  Thanks!


Thanks for reading Gene
dima

Much more research and info here: http://www.otherhand.org/home-pag...st-fork-flume-san-gabriel-canyon/
Sean

dima wrote:
Much more research and info here: http://www.otherhand.org/home-pag...st-fork-flume-san-gabriel-canyon/


That guy is seriously hardcore.
AW

Too hardcore...shouldnt lose the big picture sweating small details.
tekewin

Holy crap, that's amazing! From concept to completion. Amazing!
RichardK

Hardcore

The guy (Tom Mahood) is beyond hardcore. Look at the Search/Rescue section of his website. He found the Missing Germans of Death Valley and made 68 trips to Joshua Tree looking for missing hiker Bill Ewasko.
Uncle Rico

Great find dima. Super interesting.
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