John M Nelson Conservancy
John M Nelson Conservancy

November 2023

     A Barium mine was established in the 1920’s on the east side of the Linder meadow and Nelson Creek.  (barium is a chemical element that is processed to be used in the making of vacuum tubes; used in early-day transmit/receive/broadcast radios)  The mine was above Grandview Drive, behind the CN Chapel.   The ore was loaded onto ore carts that traveled under the road and downhill on a trestle to Nelson Drive.  The mine operated only a few years and was abandoned.

    During World War II a group of miners serving in the US Navy mined for quartz crystals at a claim southeast of Camp Nelson at the 6,000 foot level above McIntyre Tract.  They brought loads of raw quartz crystal (used in radios) by mule to the Tule River between McIntyre Creek and Belknap Creek where the mined crystal were washed and separated from the ore.  This mining operation was a short endeavor and was little recognized in any historical documents.  There is also a mention of people digging crystals out of the banks along Belknap Creek.

     The Meadow Trail begins at the gate by Nelson Drive and Smith Drive.  Go inside the gate and follow the signs around the meadow for a half mile stroll.  The trail is still walkable on the high side of the meadow but is closed in the contractor’s fenced area.  Take a short stroll up to the highest side and sit on a bench that is there.

The JMNC Live Streaming Webcams with views of the meadow and conservancy yard can be accessed on the Conservancy website.

We invite you to check the current weather conditions in real time by using the Weather Underground app on your smart phone or go to on your computer.  Our station’s designation is “KCACAMPN10”.

The Camp Nelson RV Park still has workers staying until the weather gets snowy. Call 559.542.2471 for information.  The USFS Belknap and Coy Flat campgrounds are still closed.

It has been a slow year for the community businesses due to road closures.  When cabin and property owners are on the mountain, we encourage you to visit the local businesses.  Thank you.

Visit our website to volunteer, make a donation, read the monthly Conservancy Article, buy a memorial brick, or purchase a copy of “The Tule River Middle Fork and its People written by Malcolm Sillars.  Read about the Tule River communities on the middle fork and see for yourself the history of this wonderful mountain home for many people.  Here is an excerpt from Chapter Eight of the book for your enjoyment:

Chapter Eight; Nellie Marshall, Les Bailey and Cedar Slope.

“The first cabins were built in 1947.  Lots were priced from $500 to $1,000.  Today there are 59 cabins.  The principle builder of cabins in the early years was Paul Gordeuk.  Near the end of World War II, Les Bailey befriended a soldier stranded at the Visalia Bus Depot.  He took him home and put him up overnight.  He also offered him a job when the war was over.  The soldier declined but said a younger brother, Paul, in New Jersey might be interested.  He was, and come to work for Les Bailey in Visalia and Cedar Slope.  Les and Ruth’s daughter, Bebe White said that he became like a member of the family, the young children referring to him as “Uncle Paul”.  Paul built twelve or thirteen of the earliest cabins and helped on three more.”   Page 115. 

As members of the conservancy, our common interests include the Meadow, Conservancy Yard, buildings and RV Park.  It takes the dedication of volunteers who serve willingly to insure that we preserve and maintain these areas for the enjoyment and use of the community and visitors.  Thank you to everyone that continuously serves.  If you are interested in helping, contact any JMNC Board Member.

Such purposes for why our corporation was organized are to acquire, preserve and maintain for public enjoyment those natural and historic features of the Upper Tule Region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  We work closely with the Communities of the Giant Sequoias, the Volunteer Fire Department, Camp Nelson Ambulance Association, Camp Nelson Women’s Club, Camp Nelson Chapel and the local businesses to promote the communities.  Please support your Conservancy and Museum.  Donations from community members are one of our sources of funds.  The John M. Nelson Conservancy is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation and your donations are tax deductible.  We want to express our sincere thanks to all those who have donated to the Conservancy and thank you for your continued support.  You may send your contribution to 801 Highway 190, Box 110, Springville, CA 93265 or log-on to the JMNC website.  Thank you.

AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible items to a charitable organization selected by the customers.  Your purchases can benefit John M. Nelson Conservancy.

For more current information and events, you can follow us on Facebook at

    We invite you to attend our monthly Board meetings on the second Saturday of each month at 8:00AM in the Conservancy building; 388 Smith Drive, Camp Nelson.  The next meeting will be November 11th.


Mailing Address is; 801 Hwy 190, Box 110, Springville, CA 93265
Respectfully Submitted, (September 2023)
Dan McFadzean, Director; JMNC
Email; phone.661.978.4679

The Board meets on the second Saturday of the month, 8 a.m., in the Conservancy Museum. Requests and payments should be received before the next meeting for consideration.

For more information, please call us at +1 559 542-2822 or fill out our contact form.


John M Nelson Conservancy

801 Highway 190

Box 110

Springville, CA 93265

Print | Sitemap
© John M Nelson Conservancy