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White Mine – Brief History & Investigation

Historic White Mine – Sidney Mine Group

On 29 June 2019 the API California team conducted an investigation of the historic White Mine. Those present were:

Nicholas “Nick” Buffalo (mine owner)
John Childress
Pattie Childress
Don Gibbons
Hanna Higbee

The Mine was entered at 10:19 am. One team member, Pattie stayed topside to monitor the location, another member, Don, stayed at the 100 foot level of the vertical shaft, and two other members, John and Hanna, went with owner Nick to the 300 foot level.

All team members were out safe by 12:20 pm.

Part of the Rand range, the White mine was one of the first to be discovered in the Mojave Desert region in 1897 by brothers Arthur C. and Walter H. White.

Arthur, Walter and another brother, Edward, were immigrants from England, all living in the San Francisco area by 1890. Edward stayed behind in San Francisco when Arthur and Walter got itchy feet and decided to head down to the Mojave to try their hands at gold prospecting. Little did they know that their small claim would soon turn into eleven mines in the Sidney Group, producing rich veins of medium to high grade ore. The brothers didn’t have much money to start with, probably having been sent to the United States as “remittance men” by their parents, to make their own fortune in life. Walter didn’t stay around for the long haul, but Arthur did, not allowing the hard, dirty work or a lack of funds to stop him. By the year 1900 he was milling about 30 tons of ore a month, all of this without the larger, more modern machinery being used by other mining outfits at the time.

By 1904 “White’s Camp” had sprung up near the mines. Not technically town, but large enough to be considered a small village. Arthur White decided it was time to put down roots and in May 1904 he built a residence. It was described as a “very comfortable dwelling” in the Randsburg Miner.

There was also a washing up, or dish washing house, the ruins of which are still visible. Here photos of how it originally looked, and how the wash up house looks today.


On June 25, 1904 milling of ore from the Sidney produced a sixteen hundred dollar gold brick!

One month later Arthur headed to Kansas, where, on 28 July 1904, he married Wilhelmina Josephine Youngroot at the Swedish Grace Lutheran Church in Osage, Kansas. Wilhelmina was taken home to San Francisco first, and then they took up residence in the new house built in White’s Camp. Wilhelmina would not be without female company. Her sister Lydia also took up residence in the camp, along with her husband Hans Peter Jensen, who was the camp cook.

When the year 1908 rolled around Arthur had become wealthy enough to lease out the mines and move his family south to San Diego. Arthur and Wilhelmina remained happily married until her death in 1940. After this Arthur may have had trouble living on his own without her in San Diego and he soon moved to San Francisco, where he rented a room in the home of his brother Edward. Charles died here on 19 July 1944, probably from a stroke.

John’s Initial Report:

1) We did an exterior walk, where I used my dowsing rods. Every time the rods crossed, I asked where I was in relation to the mine and it was over a tunnel

2) We were looking for openings to see if there could be outside contamination accounting for the sounds heard. We found none on the service, but we did find that there were several once we were in the mine. Now the location of the mine would probably rule out outside noise, but it could be possible.

3) At one point Hannah, Nick and myself were in the lowest level of the mine, doing an EVP session. We were at the junction of three tunnels. I had used my laser thermometer and got a reading of about 55 degrees on all of the adjacent walls. Nick then asked us if it just got colder and Hannah and I agreed that it had, but when I shot the walls again the temperature had actually gone up three degrees to 58 degrees

4) While I don’t consider my sensitive, I do get feelings and intuitions sometimes, but while in this mine it was actually very peaceful, no sense of being watched or anything like that.

5) When we first arrived at the site, we barely got out of the truck and it was suddenly surrounded by flies, hundreds of them just swarming around. No idea what attracted them.

6) While in the mine two of our team members were above ground and one noticed a white butterfly flying around the opening, the other team member then noticed a second one. They would fly by the opening and them drop down in a canyon and follow, what I’m now thinking is, the foot print of the mine. We’re they there to keep an eye on us and protect us?

7) This is the only abnormal photo I got, I took other one of Hannah entering the mine from almost the same place.

8) Sound is funny in the mine. Nick had walked away to look at something and Hannah and I heard a noise down another tunnel that seemed fairly far away, we asked Nick if he heard that and he said sorry he had dropped a rock. Now he was in a different tunnel and much closer to us, but instead of sound right next to us which he almost was, it sounded much farther away. He did drop another one and we verified that’s what we heard. I don’t believe there is anything paranormal, but I still have the audio to listen too. If I was 20 years younger I would probably jump at another chance to investigate this site, but it was a very strenuous investigation and I’m not sure I’m up to it again.

9) OK final thoughts. I did not get any EVP’s, but that doesn’t mean anything as it was only a 45 minute session. I don’t think there was enough evidence as my camera broke so there were no pictures taken down below. While I would like to give this another shot, I don’t believe that I have it in me to make the trek to the bottom of the mine again. I did find out that there is a place where we could drop down a microphone to the third level and see if we could get any audio. So while the evidence I got was very little, I cannot say one way or the other if the mine is haunted.


I am taking John’s advice regarding not sending a team back down into the 300 foot shaft.  He is my team manager for a reason. I trust his judgement implicitly. We owe Nick many thanks for taking our team down and keeping them safe. This is a very strenuous type of investigation, requiring ropes, safety helmets and descending down ladders to the 300 foot level of the vertical shaft. The next investigation of this location will involve the use of microphones, video cameras or drones and long ropes or cables. However, this will also give the team time to locate where the Charles White house once stood and possibly conduct an investigation there and at the ruins of the old wash house. The team greatly enjoyed this opportunity to investigate a historic gold mine.

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2 thoughts on “White Mine – Brief History & Investigation

  1. Pingback: Historic White Mine – Brief History & Investigation – Cynthia Ackley Nunn

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