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"The remains of the Noonchester Mine are located just South of Quail Lake and are accessible via a 4-wheel drive road from the McKinney Rubicon Springs Road. It was a gold mine established by Londen Lee Noonchester in 1939. Born in Virginia in 1884, Noonchester lived and prospected for 35 years in Oregon and came to Tahoe in 1932. He discovered the gold containing arsenical sulfide ore in 1939, but because of delays in getting supplies during WWII he did not get it into operation until the mid 40s. The value of the find based on assays, was from $18 - $27 million. The ore was extracted by surface mining and no water or timbering was required. At the time of the account they employed 20 men and planned to expand to 300 men milling 1,000 tons of ore daily. They also formed the "Lake Tahoe Gold Mining Company" with 1 million shares at $1 par value."There are remains of two mine shafts, so they must have given up the surface mining and gone deeper.
The oar turned out to be such a poor grade that it was not possible to make a profit and it was abandoned.
The same thing happened with a find at the entrance to Squaw Valley in the 1860's.
Around 2009 the entrance to the large mine was blocked off.
People had claimed bears hibernated in there, but I don't know anyone who ever saw one.
See Homewood Map and Topo Map
Sources: North Lake Tahoe Historical Society
Ray Perryman , Homewood