Holland Camp – The Apache Copper Mine (El Paso Mountains)

Holland Camp - This structure made of railroad ties is the only structure that remains standing.

Holland Camp – This structure made of railroad ties is the only structure that remains standing.



There is little historical documentation of Holland Camp. What little that has been documented points to an original claim ownership belong to Burro Schmidt as part of his 26 claim, Copper Basin Group. Having little time to mine and prospect due to Schmidt’s obsession with completing his tunnel he eventually sold the claim to William A. Smith, Neil Brown, and John Hamblen, Junior. The Apache Copper Mine and Holland Camp began to be developed in the late 1930s by the new owners. Records indicate that activity was short-lived and died out in 1940.

A 1962 study conducted by California Division of Mines and Geology describe The Apache Mine as follows:

“Two areas of mineralization about half a mile apart. Northeastern area contains free gold, malachite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, and silver in fracture zone which strikes E. in argillite. Southeastern area contains traces of manganese and copper mineralization in vertical fault zone in limestone and as replacement of limestone by manganese oxides. Fault zone strikes N. 100 W.; limestone strikes N. 500 W., dips steeply NE. to vertical. Grade of ore is low.”

“Northeast workings consist of an adit driven S. 500 W. at least 350 feet, open cuts, and prospect shafts. Southwest working is vertical shaft probably several tens of feet deep. Several Ounces of gold recovered in mill constructed at camp near northeast workings in 1940; also few tens of pounds of copper recovered. Gold ore contained about 0.5 oz. gold per ton. Idle since 1940.”


Holland Camp - A few mysterious grave sites located at the camp site.

Holland Camp – A few mysterious grave sites located at the camp site.


At Holland Camp today there is little to see, but it is still of interest as there are more ruins located here than at various other sites in the El Paso Mountains. A single building remains despite missing its roof, it is unclear what purpose the building served during it’s time, however after looking over the structure it points to possibly having been a garage. This conclusion is based on the size of the separated stalls and evidence of their having not been any doors installed. A number of water tanks and pipes remain on site, as well as various other rusted mechanical parts from the bygone era.

There are two graves located a short distance from the structure. They appear to be the size of a seven to teen year old child, or a large dog. I have not been able to locate any information on the graves, therefore it is unknown if they are human or animal.

Holland Camp - Looking out over the camp site.

Holland Camp – Looking out over the camp site.



Interested in visiting this site?

GUIDE SERVICE OPTION: Jim’s Guide Service may be the right choice for you. Jim can provide you with a single day to multiday tours throughout the Mojave Desert.  Visit the guide website for more details.

BOOK OPTION: Holland Camp is featured in Secret Places in the Mojave Desert Vol. III. Detailed maps, and GPS coordinates are included.  Order your copy now.


About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.