August 20, 1910 -The "Big Blow Up"
"The late summer of 1910 approached with ominous, sinister, and threatening portents. Dire catastrophe seemed to permeate the very atmosphere..." Clarence B. Swim, Forest Service.
The "Big-Blow-up" August 20, 1910
It may be the most obscure site on the National Register of Historic Places. Rockfall and wild growth clog the entry. The West Fork of Placer Creek splashes a few feet below. It is not an easy place to find. It has the feel of some mythical grotto, a sepulchre, an oracle, the source of a sacred spring like Lourdes. The Nicholson mineshaft is, in truth, all these, for here, on the 20th of August, 1910 flames burned through conifer stands like prairie grass and came over the ridges, as one survivor recalled, with the sound of a thousand trains rushing over a thousand steel trestles. One ranger said simply, "The mountains roared..."