How Crater Lake Was Found …In search of the Lost Cabin
The most famous account of men looking for the Lost Cabin Mine of Oregon, is the story of how Crater Lake was found…
The most famous account of people searching for the Lost Cabin Mine may have been in 1852, when a party of miners left Yreka California in search of the lost cabin mine. After obtaining a crude map and location of the mine, they headed towards Jacksonville, Oregon.
In Jacksonville Oregon, the party set up camp for the night just outside of town while gathering more information about the surrounding areas and to get directions. As the night went on, some of the men drank in the saloon and had a little too much and blabbed of why the party was there, and also revealed that they had information which could help lead them to the famous Lost Cabin Mine. And just like the word of mouth about gold in the area had brought a rush of thousands of miners to the area, -the word that the Yreka party had information on the lost cabin spread like wildfire in the wind.
By morning, a party of Jacksonville men had formed to aid in the search for the famous cabin. Among these men was John W. Hillman, who was rich and was also a leader, and who set it down in his writings for later proof of these accounts did take place. Within the party were James L. Loudon, Pat McManus, George Ross, Isaac Skeeters, and a few that remain unnamed. The Yreka party did not accept the Jacksonville party’s help with open arms. In fact, the next few days were spent wasting time dodging and trying to elude the other party. So after many supplies and much valuable time had been wasted, the two parties conceded and decided to join their efforts.
As stated in Hillman’s writings, the larger party formed a camp and a smaller party went out in a search led by Hillman, who was riding on an old mule that was leant to him by Jimmie Dodge, a Jacksonville miner. They traveled to higher ground, and as they pushed forward up a steep slope of light timber, his mule stopped with an abrupt halt. Hillman, in his amazement, found himself looking over the edge at what is now known as Crater Lake. Hillman’s party walked over the edge of the massive crater while pondering over their newfound discovery. The men finally agreed to call the lake “Deep Blue Lake”.
Hillman and the party set down in their writings the location of this discovery, which was later declared a national monument, and named Crater Lake.
Hillman’s party returned to the camp where they told of the discovery of the lake. But like so many before, no cabin and no gold.
One would think that if he covered enough ground, the probability of finding the location of the lost mine would be higher. The more ground covered, the better the odds of finding it. But what if they went in the wrong direction. What if the cabin wasn’t in some far-off and hard to reach location like it was thought to be? But instead, it was right under everyone’s nose, and they just didn’t know where to look. Maybe they just didn’t think it could possibly be where it is, and so they didn’t even think to look for it there?
We’ve all lost something important and looked everywhere for it, only to find it in some obvious place we thought we’d looked. Many of us have found ourselves a nice camping, hunting, or fishing spot and tried to find it again, but no matter how hard we looked…only to later find it in a spot that’s in just a little different direction than we remembered…right?
So, what if the lost cabin mine were so close by that they didn’t even fathom looking there? What if it were in a place only a short jaunt from where people pass by on a daily basis?
Crater Lake is a great place, but it is way off, and it wasn’t what Hillman and his merry band were looking for…not at all.