Doble California – San Bernardino Ghost Town

Doble California is a gold mining town and ghost town which is located off the western shore of Lake Baldwin in San Bernardino, California. The town began life as Bairdstown in 1873 when the Carter brothers filed a gold mine claim. The original town was named for Samuel Baird who was instrumental in securing financing from San Francisco and the capital to establish larger scale mining operations. Baird purchased the two richest claims from the Carter brothers in December of 1873 for a sum of $30,000. This “buyout” served as an impressive buyout for the short run of the Carter brothers.

One of these capitol investors was Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin (April 3, 1828 – March 1, 1909)  and known as was “one of the greatest pioneers” of California business, an investor, and real estate speculator during the second half of the 19th century.

Baldwin moved to Virginia City during to rush on the Comstock Load. Opening a livery the savvy businessman soon acquired interests the Ophir Mine in the came from the Motherlode of Virginia City. Baldwin leveraged his profits from the Ophir Mine to acquire shares in the Hale & Norcross and Crown Point at the north end of the Comstock Lode.

Baldwin’s new company built a road from Cactus Flats to Big Bear. This new route allowed for the hauling in machinery and parts for the huge 40-stamp mill to process the ore from the mines. The town was establised on the valley floor almost directly below the new mill.  By September of 1874, the town boasts a blacksmith shop, a butcher, two boarding houses, and two saloons. Later, three general stores, two stables, three restaurants, two hotels, a bakery, a meat market, a Chinese wash house, tailor, shoemaker, and barber rounded our the businesses who serviced the miners and citizens of the small hamlet.

The mill was fired for the first time on March 6, 1875. The noise from the steam powered monster filled the valley of Big Bear as it processes 100 tons of ore per day. Despite this milestone, the town shutdown later in 1875 due to poor ore quality and the townsite is refereed to as Gold Mountain.

in 1894, Lucky’s son in-law, Budd Doble took invested $25,000 to reopen the mine and mill. The town was renamed in his honor and a small post office cemented this named into history. This town on Doble succumbed to poor profits and relegated to history in 1903

Today access to the Doble townsite is limited by the Forest Service due to recent fire damage.

Doble Mine, San Bernardino County, 1930 - Photography by Adelbert Bartlett, UCLA Library Digital Collections
Doble Mine, San Bernardino County, 1930 – Photography by Adelbert Bartlett, UCLA Library Digital Collections

Doble Town Summary

NameDoble California
LocationBig Bear, San Bernarino, California
Also Known AsBairdstown, Gold Mountain
Latitude, Longitude34.2986169,-116.8216958

Doble Town Map


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  1. Pingback: Gold Mountain Mine - Destination4x4

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