Living History at the Quicksilver Mines

Hiking in Quicksilver is one of my families favorite ways to spend the weekend outdoors.  There is so much enjoy.  Whether it’s the miles upon miles of trails, exploring the remains of the quicksilver mines from the turn of the century, or skipping rocks in the streams, Quicksilver always provides a new outdoor experience.  Sometimes we take a quick hike to familiar places. Sometimes we pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it.

Quicksilver is located in the foothills of Almaden in San Jose.  It was once a mining community – providing all of the quicksilver needed for the gold rush.  The mining operation has been closed for decades, but the impact of the mercury into our environment still has effects today.  Every time we visit Quicksilver to enjoy the trails, I think of what this area looked like 100 years ago – bustling with miners and gold rushers.  Folks dumping chemicals into the water without even thinking about the current, let alone future, consequences to the environment.  It continues to serve as a hands-on teaching moment for my children.

On Sunday Casa Grande, once the magnificent home of New Almaden Mine managers, will be open to the public.  Costumed docents will guide you through Victorian period rooms and museum exhibits.  Kids can make a free craft to take home.  With the weather forecasted to dip down into the low 70s, it will be a perfect day to learn a little about local history while getting to soak up the (not as hot) summer sun.

For more information, call 408-918-7775 or visit sccgov.org.

For a wonderful photo essay of Quicksilver, visit Good Eye Photography’s online gallery.

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