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Today in
S.C.V. History
March 21
1837 - Ysabel Varela born in Placerville; became second wife (and widow) of SCV landowner Ygnacio del Valle. [story]

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Monday, Oct 13, 2014

darrylmanzerI love Mondays. I love to get up in the morning and watch the folks commuting on the 14 toward Los Angeles and listen to the Metro trains heading south along Soledad Canyon.

I will be here for the election on Nov. 4. I really can’t wait for that to happen so maybe some of the pages on the Internet and Facebook will fold up and go away. If you don’t vote, you’ll not have real rights to gripe.

This election will see the end of the Howard “Buck” McKeon era in the 25th Congressional District. He has had a long run and actually did some good things for us. The cross-valley connector got some bucks by Buck’s efforts. He also helped the folks up in the Antelope Valley by making sure some Pentagon contracts were maintained. As they say in the Navy, rest your oars and go ashore, Buck. Thanks for the work you did for and with us all those years. Bravo Zulu – Well Done.

I figured out how to stop some of those not-so-nice telemarketers. Let them ramble, and when they ask how much you want to buy, just ask them if they take food stamps. Funny, I don’t get another call from them after that. Now if I could do the same for the political robo-calls…

Talking last night with my family members who live in Kentucky, they said it was a lot cooler there. I looked it up and sure enough, it was 68 degrees with 100 percent relative humidity. So instead of it being “hot and steamy” it is “cold and clammy.” We’re basking in the dry humidity levels. And wind, too. Cool nights and warm days. Love California.

Governor Mine: There's still some gold in them-thar hills. Click to find out more.

Governor Mine in 2013: There’s still some gold in them-thar hills. Click to find out more.

Talking to some folks in Acton the other day, they said the richest and most productive gold mine in California is right in Acton. It isn’t active right now; the Governor mine produced nearly $1 billion of gold in the years it was working. That was at the old fixed price of gold. I wonder if anyone wants to try and open it again. Rumor says there is plenty of gold left in that hill.

I find it amusing that one of the proposed routes of the high-speed rail system could take it right through the middle of that mine. Maybe that is how they plan to subsidize the operation of that train. If it is like any other high-speed railway in the world, it will need a lot of extra money to pay for the operation. A gold mine is a good thought. Better than using the taxpayers, because we’re tired of being the “gold mine” for that particular project.

Does anyone know why that mine stopped operations? I’ve heard all kinds of stories. What is the one you’ve heard?

Did you know only American-owned companies can mine for gold in the U.S.? I guess that China won’t be coming anytime soon. That’s the law. Somehow I think they’ll end up getting a lot of the gold anyway.

I was looking at some of the “new math” methods for the new Common Core educational system. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. Back in the day, we just did arithmetic. Not sure what is going on now. I do know all these educational experiments have resulted in a couple of generations of kids who can’t read, write or solve simple math problems. But the experiment shall continue. Our schools have embraced the Common Core crude. It is just another reason California was once No. 1 in educational opportunities and status in the country. We have slipped all the way to No. 47.

Teachers are teaching to the tests, since they get paid to make sure the children pass the low requirements of Common Core. The men and women who built the rockets to the Moon didn’t have Common Core. They had hard work and long hours of study. China is talking of going to the Moon. At the present rate, they will get there before the U.S. has its own rocket to place men in orbit.

Can you even imagine that? We don’t have a way to get folks into orbit on our own. We have to pay the Russians to take us there. When did we take that giant step backwards?

I saw that the Newhall School District spent the better part of the summer having teachers learn how to teach using the Common Core methods. I think most of the teachers who attended those sessions would have preferred to be on a beach, soaking up some rays and drinking a little wine. Wine might take away the bitter taste of Common Core.

Will Common Core be another failed educational experiment? I just want to know when we’re going to stop using our kids as lab rats? I would list all of the other failed programs, but I’ve not got enough space in the next five days listing maybe five a day.

I’m tired of paying for these experiments. Aren’t you?


Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com. His older commentaries are archived at DManzer.com; his newer commentaries can be accessed [here]. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

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  1. Fred says:

    Hello, my name is Fred & I live in Acton,Ca.. Regarding the Governor Mine here, well, I think I know a few things about it since I did some discovery work there for areal estate developer who wanted to get into the mining bus.. The mine is located on Crown Valley Rd.& is made up of volcanic rock with a lot of quartz in it. It is situated on 2 plots of land which are 80 & 20 acres each. The developer bought the land which was was restored into working mine in the mid 80’s. The new owner had several employees & different supervisors from time to time. One of the supervisors was Roy Madson who was a very experienced miner. One day, he & two employees ventured underground to explore some old workings of the mine. Levels are 100ft.downward from each other & are horizontal. All three went in till Roy found an18in. by 18in. hole leading to the level below. He brought a rope ladder with him & lowered it down to a ledge above the level & crawled down, only to find the the air was bad there & yelled to his men above of it. He made it almost to hand’s reach when he fell back down to the ledge. The men chose to go for help rather than go down to save there boss. On a a phone call to the Sheriffs dept., they were told not to go in there. A team of (MSHA)Ine safety & health administration folks were dispatched from Rialto, Ca.& ordered a large air compressor to be brought in to pump air to Roy as well as Rescue teams frem China Lake & Death Valley.
    A fellow miner, a friend, came up to my mine only 1 mountain away, to visit. We both saw helicopters hovering over the mine & proceeded to go over there & see what was going on. when we got there, we told a sheriff that we were going in to get Roy out after hearing about the accident. He would not let us go in, even tho we both knew the mine pretty well & my friend was a former supervisor there. I asked by what authority did he have to keep us out & from rescuing Roy. his reply was “38 special”. We both walked away & watched from the dirt road while this botched rescue job proceeded. In the meantime China Lake showed up & was scared off by what they desided to be too unsafe to go into. The other rescue team from Death Valley finally arrived with better equipment & found their way to the spot where Roy was to be40ft. below theme. They saw him & called his name, but got no response. They did not even go down with breathing gear for themselves or for Roy. Instead, they left.& poor Roy is still there dead. The Feds sealed the mine entrance with huge steel door & locked it with big padlock & placed a warning sign to stay out.
    Roy is still in there there was never a memorial anywhere for him. That is the reason for no mine reopening.
    A correction on production on the mine as you stated is, Governor Mine was the largest producing gold mine in Los Angeles county,Ca.. Red Rover Mine just 1 mountain south of there was the second largest.
    Governor Mine got its name from a former governor Gage in California. Hope this helps you. Fred K.

  2. Cathy says:

    I heard Red Rover mine was bought by the Chinese or Chinese investors with USA investors. They planned on opening it up again. I take the info with a grain of salt. A real estate person could probably find out.

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