Franklin Town site and Old Foundations

The ghost town of Franklin in this second installment of my adventure will show you a few things. Besides seeing what remains of a bustling community, I think it is important to point out how time changes everything.

When you find yourself losing faith that life is stuck in some shallow place or you can’t quite imagine how things will change or you are wondering when will Lady Luck or the Devil tear at the  fabric of your lives.  This is when change happens… wait for it …….

Take a deep breath and realize that change is all that we can be guaranteed. Ask Franklin about this. A thriving community on a hillside.  It had industry and was supplying the West Coast with energy to develop and tame the frontier. Then along comes changes to it after many years of prosperity. The coal stopped being the big energy provider it was. The town burned down and now only a ghost of itself remains. She has taken on a new life as a place we visit and marvel in a place still wild and untamed – right next to the Green River Gorge. Yes we all will metamorphosis like Franklin as time passes.

Franklin has that magical way of making us regard our mortality and change.  Come with me now to that place.

So… here I was walking up the trail after my side track to the river.  (here is a link to that post if you missed it – Mine on the River and a Dipper )

I came upon a Y in the road or kind of an entrance to this place of old.

The official entrance to the Ghost Town of Franklin

The signs tell us who has worked to preserve some of the site plus give one directions.

I decided to visit the townsite by heading to the right. Figured I would check out the cemetery last.

The trail is really a road. I have to believe that this is the railroad grade that chugged through the heart of the town. I found this collage of old photos on another blog.  I want to thank them for so much information in one place.  Once you read through my post and want more on Franklin visit this link – Black Diamond History – Franklin – Everything you always wanted to Know 

Franklin main drag

Here I was hiking down the road and the first thing I found was a Hoist Foundation. This is a lot bigger than the one that is in Renton next to I-405. With a little imagination and orientation, I was even able to sort out where the mine entrance was.

Hoist foundation for one of Franklin Mines

How about a more up close and personal moment with this hunk of rock and concrete?

On down the road we go and soon come upon a clearing with ruins on the left hillside and on the right downward slope side.

Brick & concrete outlive the rest of Franklin

Do you think we are in the same place as this picture?

Franklin and Train

Lets get a little closer. I did a bit of hike after these photos and got really wet. I sat on the foundation to wring out my socks later.

Franklin Foundations
Ruins of Franklin the Ghost Town
Not much left at Franklin

Up on the left hillside are more remnants to be seen.

Behind me is this outcropping.  I think this is where a fan house sat that gave the mine fresh air.

see the piece of cement?

Off to the left of that cement piece is where I think the mine entrance was.  We will come back around to this after we look at the rock wall that survives to the right of this area.

But first use your imagination … look at this 1901 photo and then today photos.

Franklin about 1901
Nicely built foundation-wall survives today
Whoever built this made it last.

I kept walking along and got up on the hill behind all of these ruins. I was hoping for more but only got myself really wet and scraped up by the massive blackberry briers.  My jeans were basically snagged beyond repair and my shoes were awash in water.  I had to empty them out and wring my socks out when I got back on the road.  How did that happen?  It was a dewy morning and there was a lot of tall grass on the trail.  I was a magnet for the droplets.

View from above – this was all I found up high
Rose bushes outlived all the buildings
That piece of cement up close

When I got back to the road, I got some of the water out of my boots, and ate a sandwich. Then I climbed up to that hunk of concrete.  This looks back at the brick foundations.

Looking back at the brick foundations

Next to the cement hunk was this gash in the cliff.  What you think?  is that a mine opening?

Was this a mine entrance?

Then it was back down the road to the Y and my next phase of the adventure.  That is the cemetery and mine shaft.  Next week I will tell you how the adventure continued.

Headed back to the Y

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