It's difficult to find all the information online, but it seems that the still productive mine was shut down around 1940 because of a combination of poor management and the unreasonable demands of the unionized miners.
All that remains are the ruins.
It's about 15 kms (9 miles) on a single track dirt road to get to the old townsite.
On the way to the mine.
The original hacienda.
The hacienda is typically where the owners would stay and have parties and fiestas. It would have been a fancy place because this mine made a ton of money for a ten year period between 1920 and 1930. I can find only one picture online of what the hacienda used to look like...
Bonnie says that it was actually in quite good condition up until about 10 years ago when rumors went around that there may have been a hidden stash of gold in the hacienda and locals went crazy digging up floors and tearing into walls.
I found this date engraved in a piece of the floor.
July 9, 1918.
A reference I found online says
From 1918 to 1928 was the period of the mine's bonanza. It was a sort of paradise on earth. Because overland transportation was so poor, we had everything at El Amparo. The company store carried all kinds of meat and vegetables, clothing, liquor, shoes and even freshly baked bread. And nothing was expensive. A family of eight could live for a week on 15 pesos.
Of course, on Saturdays the miners wanted to do something different after working all week under the ground, so there would be dances in three or four houses at the same time. At Amparo there were always more than enough musicians to go around. We had a real symphony orchestra with 36 elements and it was just as good as the Guadalajara Symphonic of those days. In addition, we had two bands that played popular music and there was even an opera house.
It was another km or so to the mine itself. There are several openings and air vents and none of them are blocked off. Up to you how comfortable you feel exploring!
Ruth, at one of the mine shafts.
Hmmm. Doesn't look that strong.
Kind of felt like Indiana Jones here!
No, we didn't go any further. And the hole wasn't really that deep, but if you fell you would have needed a rope to get out and we didn't want to take that chance.
Ruth and Bonnie.
We drove back and took Bonnie for lunch in town. Nice little restaurant where we had enchiladas and flautas and a beer and a couple of rice waters. Total bill for the three of us including tip was 180 pesos ($15.84).
Heading into town this morning to pick up Sherman's new battery. Will spend the day cleaning and getting ready for moving on tomorrow!