Mines of El Dorado County: “P” (Part 1)

The Pacific Channel (Zimmerman) mine was a placer gold mine one-half mile west of Pacific House. From around 1915 through the early 1920s, an ancient channel of the South Fork of the American River, lying on granite bedrock and capped by andesite (a volcanic rock) was mined through several adits, one of which was 1000 feet in length.

From 1914-1918 the Pacific Dredging Company operated a floating bucket-line dredge with seven and one-half cubic foot buckets on the Middle Fork of the American River at Mammoth Bar.

The Pacific House mine was a tungsten mine located one mile west of Pacific House (between Pacific House and Pollock Pines) on the north bank of the American River. A deposit of scheelite (tungsten ore) was developed by an open cut.

Three miles northeast of Latrobe was the Pacific Minerals (Swift) mine, a soapstone mine. The property was originally worked prior to 1920 and again active during the early 1920s. Soapstone was originally mined underground by hand labor, using augurs and drills. The mined material was shipped to San Francisco where it was used for a coating in prepared roofing. In 1924, the mine caved and was shut down. In 1928 it was reopened with the mined soapstone being shipped by rail to grinding mills in the San Francisco area. Once processed, it was used in insecticides. From 1928 until the late 1930s, mining continued to take place underground. Access was by a 220-foot crosscut adit and several hundred feet of drifts. In the late 1930s, another cave-in occurred, this one in the central portion of the mine. From then on, the soapstone was mined from an open pit. By 1955, the main pit was 175 feet long, 35 to 70 feet wide and 75 feet deep at the face. There were also two other smaller pits at the north end of the deposit.

A company known as Pacific Minerals operated a slate mine five miles east of Diamond Springs.

The Pacific Quartz mine (See Placerville Gold Mining Co.)

The Pacific Seam mine was a seam gold mine two miles north of Georgetown in the Georgia Slide area of the eastern branch of the Mother Lode.

The Pack Horse Group mine was a lode gold mine, or group of mines, one mile south of Nashville.

The Padre mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode two miles north of Nashville. It was active around 1894 when a five foot wide vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by a 160 foot shaft. The ore was treated in a five-stamp mill.

The Panther mine was a lode gold claim one and one-half miles south of Georgetown on the eastern branch of the Mother Lode.

The Parlow Mill site was located on 4.78 acres two miles north of Grizzly Flat. There was probably a mine at this location, but only the mill site shows up in the records.

The Parnall Company had a lode gold mine six miles north of Grizzly Flat.

The Parson’s Seam mine was a seam gold mine two miles north of Georgetown in the Georgia Slide area.

The Paterson mine was a placer gold, drift mine two miles southeast of Indian Diggings, in the southern part of the county. It was active around 1935.

The Patterson mine was a placer mine on 30 acres one mile east of Volcanoville.

The Patterson Hill (also known as Patterson) mine was a placer gold mine on 17.16 acres two miles north of Georgetown.

The Patton mine was a placer gold mine in an isolated area one mile north of Pacific House.

The Paulson mine was a lode gold mine two miles north of Omo Ranch.
One mile south of Volcanoville (north east of Georgetown) was a group of lode gold claims owned by the Paymaster Group, the Paymaster mine being one of them. It was active in 1920 and 1926. The ore was treated on-site in a ten-ton Gibson mill.

The Payne mine was a placer gold, drift mine on 40 acres at Henry’s Diggings, three miles south of Grizzly Flat and two miles northeast of Omo Ranch. The deposit consisted of an ancient river channel, with a layer of gold-bearing gravel from 1 to 3 feet thick. It was active in 1894 and was worked intermittently after 1949 by I. H. Campion, of Somerset, who also mined the Irish Slide and Christian drift mines. It was developed by a single adit.

The Peacock mine was a placer gold mine one-half mile east of Omo Ranch.

The Pebble Hill mine was a placer gold mine on 57.35 acres two and one-half miles southwest of Camino on Chunk Creek.

The Pelton mine was a placer gold mine on 100 (70 in some records) acres one and one-half miles northeast of Shingle Springs.

The Pension mine was a placer gold mine on 17.58 acres three miles southeast of Latrobe on the Cosumnes River.

The Perkins mine was a lode gold mine on 61.89 acres one and one-half miles northwest of Volcanoville. Sometimes called the Perkins Location of the Perkins Consolidated Quartz mine, it was actually on both sides of the Middle Fork of the American River.

The Peter Watt mine was a placer gold mine on 160 acres nine miles east of Georgetown near Sand Mountain.

The Peterson mine was a lode gold mine on 17.76 acres of the Mother Lode one mile south of Kelsey.

The Pfeiffer mine was a chromite mine three miles east of Latrobe, west of Big Canyon Creek. Eighty tons of ore were removed when it was active in 1917, during World War I. It was later prospected in 1942, during World War II, when chromium again became a critical defense material. The deposit of northeast trending chromite pods were developed by open cuts.

The Philadelphia mine was a placer gold mine two and one-half miles northwest of Greenwood, adjacent to the Middle Fork of the American River.

The Philadelphia and Gold Note mine was a lode gold mine three miles southeast of Indian Diggings. Some 600 linear feet of a 4 to 5-foot wide vein of gold-bearing quartz was worked by way of 125 and 145-foot shafts and a 600-foot adit. In addition to gold, the deposit also contained some galena (lead ore). The ore was treated in a ten-stamp mill.

There was a second Philadelphia and Gold Note mine, this one also a lode gold mine, one mile southeast of Omo Ranch.

The Philip Joiner and Black Hawk mine was a lode gold mine two and one-half miles north of Grizzly Flat.

One of the largest mines of any kind in El Dorado County was a chromite mine named the Pillikin mine, which was located six miles south of Pilot Hill, just north of Flagstaff Hill peak in the extreme western portion of the county. This mine, was a consolidation of the Pillikin, Bonanza King, Chrome Gulch, Donnelly, Nielson and Steel mines, contained the largest known chromite deposit in the Sierra Nevada. In fact, this one operation has been the source of more than three-quarters of the total amount of chromite produced in El Dorado County.
Because the deposit is large, with eleven chrome bearing areas in an area of around two square miles, chromite was discovered here early, around 1853, and by 1894 a few of the deposits had actually been worked. During World War I, the property was leased by the Noble Electric Steel Company, which produced considerable chromite which was shipped, in lump form, by rail from Folsom. By 1918 a small mill had been erected on-site to concentrate the ore for shipping, and two other companies, the Placer Chrome Company and the Steele Chrome Company, were also mining the deposits. The property was idle from 1918 until 1936 when U.S. Chrome Mines, Inc., acquired it. A 200 ton mill was installed and this company operated it until 1939 when the Rustless Mining Corporation leased and operated it for three years.
In 1944 the Pillikin Syndicate acquired the property and operated the mine. By 1945 the property had produced a total of 27,144 long tons (2200 pounds in a long ton) of chromite. From 1951 to 1953 the Allied Mining Company leased the property and erected a new mill. Unfortunately, they produced little ore and, in 1953, dismantled the mill and left.
In 1954 the Pillikin Mining Company mined the deposits and shipped the ore to the Pioneer-Lilyama copper mine, three miles east of Pilot Hill, where the mill had been modified to handle chromite. From there the concentrated ore was shipped to the government stockpile at Grants Pass, Oregon. The mine has been idle since April of 1955.
The deposit consists of lenses and bands of ore ranging in purity from less than one-half to more than 30 percent chromite over an area about one mile wide and four miles long. The mine was developed by open pits and it is estimated that there are at least 450,000 tons of material containing five percent or more chromite which can still be mined by the open pit method. An in-depth discussion of each of the deposits at this location can be found in “Mines and Mineral Resources of El Dorado County, California”, copies of which can be viewed in the “Rare Book” collection at the El Dorado County Main Library.

The Pilot Hill mine was a chromite mine just west of the summit of Pilot Hill. It was active in 1916 when 200 tons of ore was produced. This deposit was developed by open cuts.

From 1935-1936 the Pilot Hill Mining Company operated a dry-land dredge for gold in the Shingle Springs and Rescue areas.

The Pilot Knob Gold and Silver mine was a lode gold and silver mine two and one-half miles west of Rescue. There was also a separate mine at this location known as the Western Extension of the Pilot Knob Gold and Silver mine.

The Pine mine was a lode gold mine three miles east of Rescue.

Two and one-half miles north of Rescue was the Pine Hill (Unity) mine. A lode gold mine on 15.45 acres that contained a six-foot wide gold-bearing quartz vein. It was developed by a 200-foot shaft, drifts and crosscuts.

The Pine Ridge Hydraulic mine was a placer gold mine on 120 acres two miles southeast of Fair Play.

The Pink Lode mine wa a lode gold claim one mile southeast of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode.

The Pioneer mine was a placer gold mine one and one-half miles northwest of Camino.

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