As we parked on a small side street in the crescent of houses hugging the base of the mountain, a run down and cracked road led past a gate ahead of us. Down this road lay a once thriving town's industry that took it from a small village relying on rattlesnake venom sales, to a million dollar mining venture. This business was based on the discovery in the 1800s of two special types of granite, which in time were to be used in some of the greatest US historic monuments such as Grant's Tomb. 

The path today leads past ruinous and collapsed worker houses, shops, work houses and innumerable mining equipment and vehicles. Further in the woods in all directions is a sea of associated artifacts and debris. On the mountain slopes, now greatly quarried is the deep pond with huge wooden derricks sprouting from it, still tied together with rusted cable. Like many things in this unique place, they seem frozen in time, or left to lay in situ after being dropped from tired hands on the last work day some 70 years ago. 

The last days of this complex and its town came with the rise of cheap concrete for building, and once the machines stopped, the town fell to decay. Over the years thieves and scrappers removed much of the rusting equipment as the forest took over and today just a small neighborhood of houses, inhabited by descendants of the workers exists, clutching the side of the mountain that once gave the town life.                 

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