The Chemung Mine was located in 1909 by Steven Kavanaugh and named for his hometown of Chemung, Illinois. Early development was eclipsed by the booms at Masonic and Bodie, and it wasn't until the 1920s that the mine finally took off. In late 1922, under lease from the Masonic Mines Association, the Visalia Masonic Mining Company completed a seven-stamp mill, the first at Chemung. Soon the camp was equipped with mine offices, a bunkhouse, and general store. Subsequent issues with management and litigation led to the mills being torn down and rebuilt three times. Ultimately, Chemung was abandoned in 1938 after producing roughly $1 million. With the exception of small-scale work done by Elton Heinemeyer in the 1950s & 60s, the mine has remained idle since.

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