Photos Of Last Chance Area

I’ve had several people ask if I’m going to post pictures from our trip. Rachel figured out how to do so, and it looks like I’ll be the first to try.

This first picture is of my husband Allen and I on what used to be the main (and only) street in Last Chance. The second is a wider shot of the same area. It’s grown up with trees now and very little is left of the old town site. The evidence of a few foundations, the old cemetery, the spring that the town drew water from, and a few old posts are about all that remain.

On The Main Street of Last Chance Ghost Town Current Day Main Street of Last Chance

The next photo on the top is the same area in 1862, just fifteen years prior to when my story takes place. The Last Chance Hotel is the third building down the street, on the left side. I’m not sure what the other two businesses are, but one is probably the general or dry goods store. The building in the far distance on the right (you can barely see a flag pole) may be the school/community building. It had two stories and the second story was used for community functions.
Main Street Last Chance, CA Front View of Last Chance Hotel The photo on the bottom is a close up of the Last Chance Hotel with a pack train standing patiently in front. When the picture was taken there was no good wagon route into town and goods were only brought in by pack train. By the time my story takes place there was a very long, round-about route into town that a wagon could use, but pack trains were still prefered. The top floor of the hotel was a large bunk type room and could only be accessed by the ladder outside. It’s doubtful any ladies ever chose to stay there, but miners, mule team drivers, and other men were able to obtain lodging at the hotel. A candy store and barber shop flanked the main hotel in the small buildings on each side.

Remnants of a Corral Meadow With Springs

The picture on the top: We found four old corner posts of what appeared to be a corral, just a stones throw from a pretty meadow. A spring lay on the edge of the meadow and our archaeologist guide guessed that the corral could be a holding pen for the blacksmith shop. It contained broken pieces of square nails, used prior to 1895.

Picture on the bottom: This meadow/glade is mentioned in 1860’s diary entries as being just outside of town and having a small apple orchard for the town use. It’s not far behind main street (about 100 yards or so) and has a gurgling spring with substantial run-off. Unfortunately in the past few years, a vandal cut down the few 150+ year old still producing apple trees that were standing on the edge of the meadow.

Last Chance Cemetery E. Allen tombstone

On the top: Only a very few intact headstones remain in the Last Chance cemetery, but all are clearly marked. Two are damaged, but all show either names, dates or both. All but one are dated prior to 1890.

On the bottom: The Tombstone of Ethan Allen Grosh, the man who first found gold on Sun Mountain that later became the famous Comstock lode. He died a tragic death in Last Chance before being able to prove up on his claim.

This ends my photo gallery for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed the peek into the history of Last Chance. Be sure to watch for the release of my book next February, when you’ll find out even more about this fascinating town from our past and the fictional people who could have lived there!

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31 Responses to Photos Of Last Chance Area

  1. Jess says:

    Great pictures. I love browsing old cemeteries. I know your book is going to be great. You all will have to tell us how we can help spread the word when your books hit the stands. ~jess

  2. Irene Brand says:

    I enjoyed seeing the photos of Last Chance, too, and learning the history of the region. I don’t remember that I’d ever heard of Last Chance, CA until the title of your book appeared. Nice job – thanks to you and Rachel.

    I have a few photos of Valentine, NE, and I may try to post those, although when we were there the last time, we were caught in a blizzzrd and photo taking wasn’t too good.

  3. Pam Meyers says:

    Great shots, Miralee! I love comparing the old with the present. I just got back from Little Hope, WI where I’m setting my story that I hope Summerside will like :-). I grew up in Wisconsin and never realized the very small area of Little Hope even existed. It was fun to travel around the area and get a feel for it. I know my story is going to be so much better for having been there to see it for myself.

    I look forward to reading your story when it comes out in February!

  4. Gwen Faulkenberry says:

    Miralee,

    What a great experience this must have been, as your pictures show. I can imagine standing there, closing my eyes, and seeing the characters all going about the hustle and bustle of their daily lives in Last Chance.

    I like your attention to detail and appreciate the research you’ve done. It will be interesting to see how you bring this town back to life for us.

    Blessings!
    Gwen Faulkenberry

  5. Robin Mills says:

    Very interesting. You may be interested to learn that Last Chance is an Aid Station on the Western States Endurance Race. This 100 mile marathon from Squaw Valley to Auburn takes place on the last Saturday in June every year.

    This year, 2008, the event has been cancelled for the first time in its 35 year history because of smoke from the forest fires in the area.

    I’m station captain at Last Chance and we’d have had a team of 35 volunteers from Stevens Creek Striders at Last Chance today to support 400 runners in the event.

    I’ve been to Last Chance many times. I really like your photos of the ‘Good old days’. It’s so different today. Here are photos from the event in 2007:

    http://www.stevenscreekstriders.org/photos/2007/WesternStates/LastChance/

  6. Debby Mayne says:

    I love the pictures, Miralee! All your research will make your book come to life, and I can hardly wait to read it!

  7. Jason says:

    Wow!!! It’s so great that you went to Last Chance and did some authentic research.

    Can’t wait to read the story! Thanks for sharing the photos!

  8. Loree Lough says:

    Hey, Miralee! (Honestly? I don’t know which I like more…your name or the title of your book!)

    These are fantastic pictures, kiddo. I’m looking forward to reading all about the place you’ve helped us visualize here!

    Happy writing!
    Loree

  9. Miralee… love the pictures and I love the new book.Your writing is so descriptive and flows across the pages. It’s so easy to visualize your story. So glad to be one of your influencers. Can’t wait to meet up again at another conference. Judy

  10. Myra Guillot says:

    Miralee, I truly enjoyed “Last Chance”. As I was reading it,I actually felt like I was in “Last Chance, Ca”. It tied with another book as my very favorite. That one being “The Other Daughter”. Can’t wait for your next book.

  11. Sherry Kyle says:

    Hey Miralee,

    I literally just finished your novel! I LOVED “Last Chance.” Thank you so much for allowing me to influence your book. I’ll be sending you an interview questionnaire so you can be a guest on my blog! Can’t wait . . .

    Loved the photos! I felt like I was there.

    Blessings!

  12. Caren says:

    I enjoyed the pictures and reading the books. I love the area @ Foresthill, Auburn, etc. It is so pretty. I go there every couple of months with my daughter. We love to explore that area. We are both history buffs, especially interested in the gold rush era.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and talents.

  13. Marsha V. says:

    Hi Miralee,
    I find frontier history fascinating to me and having photos to ‘back it up’ catches my interest even further. These photos are so amazing to look at and to be able to know exactly what is in each one and the history of them is an even greater thrill to me.
    You are truly a gifted by God author and I enjoy reading your books. They are the type I can not put down until the last page is read!! I could read one right after another!
    I’m anxiously awaiting your sequel to THE OTHER DAUGHTER.
    God Bless <
    Marsha

  14. Deb Culp says:

    Loved the book and the photos. I grew up in Northern California and now live in South Dakota. I know there are a lot of ghost towns in California, but have not been to Last Chance…I have read only 2 of the Love Finds You series, but have had my library order several more and I now have several more to read. Thanks for enjoyable reading.

  15. Donna Gregory says:

    Enjoyed the photos of Last Chance, California. Read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Love almost anything to do with the old West. As I am from AR I read Snowball, Arkansas and loved it too. Keep these good stories coming.

  16. Penny Warren says:

    I enjoyed your book, it was a wonderful story with a little mystery to keep you wondering. Thanks for posting the history or Last Chance and the photos. I live in So. Calif. and have visited some of the ghost towns up north, but not Last Chance. There is a lot of interesting history in No. Calif that I would like to see one of these days. Beautiful country up there too.
    Thanks.

    • Hi Penny, I’m SO sorry!! I have no idea why the LFY site never sent me a notice that you posted about my book, LFY in Last Chance, CA. I stumbled onto it today and was so tickled you enjoyed my book as well as the history included and the pictures on this site. One day my husband and I hope to return to that area and do more exploring. There IS so much history in Central and So. Cal., all very rich and interesting. Did you read my spin off book about Christy Grey (the saloon hall girl) who goes on to have her own book? LFY in Tombstone, AZ..

  17. amydeanne says:

    very cool to share these pictures of it! Thanks!

  18. Sarah says:

    I loved this book! Esp near the end, and I thought Toby was the cutest wee thing ever! I also liked the way you brought out christians truths in the book, that we all need to follow! Thanks!xx

    • Sarah, I’m SO sorry!! I have no idea why the LFY site never sent me a notice that you posted about my book, LFY in Last Chance, CA. I stumbled onto it today and was so tickled you enjoyed my book and loved Toby (the little 3 year old). Did you read my spin off book about Christy Grey (the saloon hall girl) who goes on to have her own book? LFY in Tombstone, AZ.

  19. Cindy Pond says:

    Have just recently had the chance to read this little gem of a book, and loved it!! How fun it was to read, since I live in Sacramento, and know Auburn, Colfax, Foresthill, and of course Truckee/Lake Tahoe. I had not heard of Last Chance before this, and plan to make a trip up there myself, and to Foresthill to the museum. Thanks so much Miralee for the piece of history, and the wonderful book.

    • Cindy, for some reason I never saw your post at all until today, I’m so sorry for missing it! How cool that you live in the same area as Last Chance! It’s hard to find, as it’s way up in the hills, but if you can find it, it’s worth it, even though there’s very little there. The cemetery is fascinating as it’s quite old. Did you read my spin off book about Christy Grey (the saloon hall girl) who goes on to have her own book? LFY in Tombstone, AZ

  20. Bless your heart, Cindy, you made my day! I’m so tickled you enjoyed Last Chance. I love all the history associated with these books, as well, and have enjoyed visiting the various locations and doing the research to bring the stories to life. One of my other LFY books set in Tombstone, AZ is the spin off to Last Chance. You’ll follow Christy Grey in her own story as she moves to Tombstone. Let me know if you decide to read it, I’d love your feedback!

  21. Pamela Viers says:

    Pamela Viers 8-4-12
    Loved the photos and really loved your book Last Chance….I couldn’t lay it down…My 11 year old daughter read it and also loved it…Now we would love to see it made into a movie….can’t wait to read more of your books..

    • Thank you so much, Pam! Wouldn’t a movie be fun? I have three Westerns in the Love Finds You line and have loved writing every one of them. If you haven’t read the spin off to Last Chance, you’d probably enjoy reading LFY in Tombstone, AZ, that follows Christy Grey, the saloon hall girl from Last Chance.

  22. Mike Berrington says:

    Miralee- I just stumbled upon your photos of Last Chance, CA while doing some genealogical research. My maternal 2G grandfather, Alfred Lafayette Burnham, was born on the wagon train at the Green River, WY crossing in July 1851 and his family lived and mined in Last Chance when they arrived to Calif. I’m actually a geologst and live in Reno, NV and have a friend (also a geologist) that lives in Colfax, CA which is near Last Chance, so we are now planning a trip. Thanks for posting the pics, I’m especially interested in visting the cemetery.

    Mike B.

    • Mike, I’m so sorry…I didn’t get a notice that you posted this. How thrilling that your great-grandfather lived and mined in Last Chance! How cool is that! There is very little to see there now, but it’s still worth the drive to see the rugged country, the cemetery (which isn’t easy to find…if you actually go, I’ll try to give you directions on finding it), and finding the old posts and remains.

  23. Veronica Clifford says:

    My son just left with a friend today to work there! But I just look and it’s a ghost town? Is there work ?

    • Veronica, the nearest real town to Last Chance is Auburn (Foresthill is closer but doesn’t have any businesses to speak of). There is literally nothing in Last Chance but a small shed and a cemetery. Are you sure he’s going to Last Chance, CA, or is it one of the surrounding towns?

  24. […] two hours away from civilization. In fact, you can check out her photos of the area by clicking here. And, her love and knowledge of horses are very evident in her writing. You can almost smell the […]

    • Thank you, Angie! I do have a strong love for horses, and that book in particular showcases that fact. I also loved our trip to the remains of Last Chance. It was an amazing bit of research!

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