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Daniels Wood Land-designed mining camp debuts at Santa Margarita Ranch

The replica gold mining camp built at Santa Margarita Ranch will be featured in an upcoming episode of "Redwood Kings" on Animal Planet.
The replica gold mining camp built at Santa Margarita Ranch will be featured in an upcoming episode of "Redwood Kings" on Animal Planet. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

When Margarita Adventures’ guests make their trip down the longest zip line at the sprawling Santa Margarita Ranch, they will soar into a replica gold mining camp designed with North County flair.

“We loved the challenge of tying in local history,” said Ron Daniels, who owns Templeton woodwork creations company Daniels Wood Land with his brother, John Daniels.

The pair was wrapping an episode of their "Redwood Kings" reality television show on Monday when the camp, which the Daniels brothers built with their crew, was unveiled to guests and media. The mid-1800s themed set was constructed in recent weeks and is featured on an upcoming episode of the show slated to air this summer on Animal Planet.

Margarita Adventures started offering commercial zip line tours for the public in 2011. The company has five zip lines, with a sixth on the way. The new zip line, for which Margarita Adventures submitted plans to San Luis Obispo County about two weeks ago, will be the company’s largest zip line yet at 3,000 feet. The company hopes to build it in June along with a 400-foot-long suspension bridge for guests to walk on, officials said.

The “P.W. Murphy Mining Co.” gold mining camp features a water tower and mining equipment built around a mining shaft at the end of the 1,800-foot-long Pinot Express zip line. Some of its features were handpicked from the area, including the water tank, two wooden beams that came off a Santa Margarita bridge demolished in the 1970s, redwood posts from around the ranch, and reclaimed tin from old pig traps also found on the ranch.

The mining camp was the first major project built on the Central Coast that will be featured on the television show.

The creation is named after Patrick W. Murphy, the second owner of Santa Margarita Ranch beginning in 1861. Murphy made his money during the California Gold Rush by selling food and goods to incoming miners, according to a news release. Murphy was later instrumental in bringing the Southern Pacific Railroad to Santa Margarita, the release said.

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