California ghost town for sale

The road to the abandoned gold mining town of Seneca, Calif. is six miles long, mostly dirt and gravel, snaking along a ridge hundreds of feet above the north fork of the Feather River.

The road ends in a clearing, where a plaque declares that “gold was found in 1851 and a wild mining town was born,” with a nearby post office, hotel, blacksmith and a steady supply of gold-hungry miners.

These days, it’s home to three dilapidated cabins, some sheds, a few old motor homes and a weathered bar called the Gin Mill, where for nearly six decades a tiny woman named Marie Sabin served up beer chilled in a gas-powered refrigerator.

The bar and the surrounding 10 acres are for sale, and what the place lacks in comfort and accessibility it makes up for with a colorful history stretching back to the Gold Rush of the 1850s and the desperate days of the Great Depression.

The allure is owning a remote slice of California that’s in no rush to shake off its rugged past.

Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
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