The first portion of the mill foundation that we sighted. This is the north wall of the mill; this section of the mill housed the boiler room. Photo taken May 14, 2009 by Jackie Cuddy.
I visited this location again on June 10, 2009. The little green shoots in the picture had grown into 5-foot tall noxious plants that almost completely obscured the mill foundation, which probably explains why the story for years has been that there is nothing left of the town of Alpine. The foundation was almost invisible from 20 feet away in June, and even partially obscured when I leaned on the fallen tree in the picture. I was back to Alpine again on June 25, 2009; by then the mill was completely invisible. That day, leaning against the fallen tree, the mill was invisible from 6 feet away. After climbing over the fallen tree the mill wall could be seen with difficulty from a distance of about 3 feet. There is no question that I would not have seen the mill wall on June 25 if I hadn't already known exactly where to look. About 100 feet of mill wall was partially visible in mid-May; by late June no part of the mill wall was visible. Since that time Brian Harris has taken it as his personal task to clear the mill foundation. As of August 15, 2009 Brian has cleared about 50 feet of the mill foundation, which has enabled us to take accurate measurements of that area. We learned that we are a little further west on the mill than I had thought, very close to the rotary saw area, rather than near the boiler room as I had guessed. The rotary saw mounts are only twenty-five feet beyond this wall. I had reached the area of the saw by going around to the other side of the mill. We didn't realize how close we were because we could hear Jackie in the underbrush, but couldn't see her, and every trip after that the brush was more dense until Brian began to clear it.