Thursday, September 4, 2003

Lost Camp

A few years ago I stumbled upon the following reference to Lost Camp, somewhere on the internet. Wendell Robie, noted for many things, being among the founders of the Auburn Ski Club (which built a ski jump at Baxter (!) in 1928), and who was among the originators of the Tevis Cup race from Squaw Valley to Auburn, was also an advocate for public access to the historic trails of this area.

But Robie died and Siller Bros. bought Lost Camp.

Robie wanted to preserve the special heritage of the region, of which he owned a part. He managed the Robie Estate, which owned Lost Camp mine, a hydraulic mining site two miles from Blue Canyon. He was a patriot, blending history and religion in a manner that modern times either dismisses or disapproves. "Among all desirable homelands of the world, it was the will of providence to hold this one to the last, for Americans," he said in 1958 of the Gold Country. "Of this the record of history speaks plainly," Robie said. "Civilized people never lived in this Sierra foothill area before the Gold Rush." Skiing in the Sierra for Robie was a reminder of Providence. "..No experience so reverently expresses the presence of God in our lives, than that majestic and silent beauty He provides with these great mountains," Robie wrote. The Auburn Ski Club established a chapel for services and worship as part of its winter park at Cisco.
In a letter from "these hill slopes of the Sierra," Robie wrote to friends that "from our part, it is plumb regrettable when God made man in His own image that He did not add a little more of brains to go with him."
"We have more knowledge," wrote Robie. "But no more intelligence than the ploughman with a crooked stick as to how to use it."

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