Ludlow & Southern

January, 2003


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With a gift of unseasonably warm weather, Shadow & I packed up the 'Ghost' and headed out for a four day run. Most of the time was spent exploring the Ludlow, Ragtown and Rochester area along the old Ludlow & Southern Railway. Though I'll call it "Rchester" the town was also known variously as Stagg and Stedman.

Begun in late 1902 and completed around the end of May, 1903, this short railway was to serve the mines of Rochester and the Buckeye Mining District. Delmer Ross has written a history of the railway and one of the principal mines, the Bagdad Chase.


Rochester, CA - Panorama, January 2003
Use "+" or "-" to Zoom; Mouse or Arrow Keys to Pan and Tilt.

The road to Rochester is best reached by passing under the BNSF tracks at either end of Ludlow, CA, just off I-40. Mid-way along the southern side of the tracks is the Cemetary and the road takes off from the west side. Skirting the Radio Tower hillside, it plunges down into the wide wash and climbs up to a pass before dropping down again into a wide valley. Passing by the site of Ragtown, the road soon turns right and climbs a short slope into Rochester.

Just to the right of the road is a burned out trailer which marks the 'doorway' to the town along the L&S. The main street ran from about this location south and west.

Had they still been there, the main headframes for three of the shafts would have been framed by these more modern remains. Except for the concrete supports of the multi-story stamp mill (out of frame to the right), the other remaining structures appear to be from the post L&S era.

Remains of the multi-story Stamp Mill - Lower sections.
Concrete support for the stamps fom the USGS marker.

Rochester - Old and New - Looking North


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