Mines of El Dorado County: “S” (Part 3)

The Staples and Co. mine was a 60 acre placer gold mine one and one-half miles northwest of Fair Play on Perry Creek.

The Starbuck mine was a placer gold (not coffee) mine two miles northwest of Rescue. A deposit of gravel lying on decomposed granite was intermittently mined by the use of a dragline dredge in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The operator was F. M. Starbuck, from Rescue.

The Starlight mine was a lode gold mine on 19.99 acres two and one-half miles south of the townsite of El Dorado on the Mother Lode. Located on Logtown Ridge, it was active from 1890 to 1894 when a three-foot vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by a 500-foot vertical and two shallow inclined shafts, along with several drifts and crosscuts. It had steam operated hoists and stamp mill. The mill had 10, 1000 pound stamps that dropped six inches one hundred times a minute. In 1900 the Starlight Mining Co. of San Francisco owned the mine with J. A. Vance of El Dorado as the Mine Superintendent.

The Stefano Zerga and Luigi C. Misone mine was a 40 acre placer gold claim one-half mile north of Newtown.

Two miles southeast of Placerville, between Chili Ravine and Weber Creek, was a placer gold, drift mine known as the Stewart mine. It was active in the 1880s and early 1890s.

The Stifle mine (often called the Stifle Claim) was a chromite mine three miles northeast of Garden Valley, near a tributary of Bear Creek. The deposit of small chromite pods in serpentine and talc was active in 1918 when four tons of 35 percent ore was produced from open pits.

One mile northeast of Omo Ranch was the Stillwagon (Still Wagon, St. Lawrence) mine, a lode gold claim. A two to three foot wide vein of gold-bearing quartz, rich in sulfides, was developed by two adits, one 200 feet in length and the other 400 feet in length. The ore was treated in a five-stamp mill.

The Stingle mine was a lode gold mine located on the Mother Lode, two miles north of Placerville on the north side of the South Fork of the American River.

The Strahle quarry was a slate quarry near Kelsey. It produced some of the highest quality roofing slate in the County, which was carried to Placerville by wagon and loaded on train cars. Prior to 1898 quarrying of the slate was only done when needed, although it was estimated that up to 200,000 squares (100 square feet in a square) of slate could be produced a year. This quarry may be the same quarry called the Eureka Slate quarry that ended up shipping dimension slate to Placerville by way of a 13,000 foot aerial tramway.

A second Strahle mine was a lode gold mine one-half mile west of Kelsey on the Mother Lode. The mine consisted of 35.54 acres and two locations that were worked, the Strahle location and the Doty location.

The Stuckslager mine was a lode gold mine located one mile southwest of the town of Lotus. J. R. Stuckslager and Co. filed a claim on this property on February 1, 1870, calling it the Mt. Pleasant Claim. Part of the Roger’s Ranch, it is believed that Mr. Rogers was planting a tree and uncovered some gold. He then sought assistance from Johnston R. “Sam” Stuckslager who filed the claim.
It was a rich claim with reports that as much as $180,000 in gold being taken out from the original cut, within 20 feet of the surface. The April 6, 1878 issue of the “Mountain Democrat” confirms its richness in noting that one bucket of ore “…yielded $1200 clean gold.”
Upon the death of Stuckslager, the mine was acquired by Wallace. B. McKenney and others at auction in 1884. The McKenney family acquired complete ownership in 1928 and has continued to own it since and worked it intermittently.
This deposit consists of veins and pockets of gold-bearing quartz, up to two feet in width. The mine is developed by a 500-foot drift adit and several shallow shafts. During the 1930s, the ore was treated in a two-stamp mill.
Because the crystalline gold showed different characteristics from that from other similar mines, early on it was sent to a laboratory for analysis. It was determined that it contained a rare vanadium mica, which was named Roscoelite in honor of Professor Roscoe of Manchester, England who had made vanadium a special study of his.
(E. J. McKenney, the grandson of Wallace B. McKenney, wrote “The Stuckslager Mine, El Dorado County, California, A History” in 1999, and was gracious enough to provide a copy to assist in the preparation of this story)

Two miles west of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode was a lode gold mine known as the Studhorse mine. It was active around 1896 when a vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by two shafts, one 30-foot and one 40-foot in length.

The Subway mine was a 67.80 acre placer gold mine seven miles east of Georgetown and  five miles southeast of Volcanoville near Chiquita.

The Sugar Loaf mine was a lode gold mine, two and one-half miles northeast of the town of Latrobe near Sugar Loaf Mountain (one of many in the county). A pocket gold mine on the West Belt, it was first worked by open cuts in the early days of the Gold Rush. It was reactivated in the 1880s, prospected in the early 1920s and, in the middle 1930s a shaft was sunk and some high grade ore removed. Since 1954, the Butler Mining and Development Company of Sacramento intermittently worked the mine. The deposit consists a native gold associated with pyrite and galena (lead ore) in a quartz vein averaging five feet in width. Development was by a 175-foot inclined shaft with levels at 100, 130 and 175 feet.

A second Sugar Loaf mine was a 40 acre placer gold mine one-half mile north of Diamond Springs.

The Sunday mine was a lode gold mine one and one-half miles west of Grizzly Flat. It was active around 1894 when a one to three-foot vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by an 110-foot shaft, 80-foot drift, 300-foot adit and open cuts.

The Sunny Side (Sunnyside) mine was a 40 acre placer gold mine four miles east of Grizzly Flat near the Steely Fork of the American River.

The Sunrise (Sun Rise) mine was a lode gold mine on 10 acres of the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles south of Garden Valley. (see Shady Side mine)

There was a second Sunrise mine, also a lode gold mine, one mile southeast of Coloma.

A third Sunrise mine was a 26.73 acres lode gold mine on the Mother Lode one mile south of Kelsey.

A fourth Sunrise mine was a small, 1.878 acre lode gold mine two miles south of Shingle Springs. It was sandwiched between two other mines, the Michael B. Ryan claim and the Meder.

The Sun Shine mine was a lode gold mine one mile south of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode.

The Superior (Tin Cup) mine was a lode gold mine on 26.82 acres of the MotherLode, one mile east of Diamond Springs. Originally located in 1867, it was active around 1888-90 and again in 1900. The deposit, three parallel veins of gold-bearing quartz, was developed by a 400-foot inclined shaft.

A second Superior mine was a lode gold mine two miles south of El Dorado on the Mother Lode. It consisted of two tunnels, 250 and 750 feet in length, that were driven to a depth of 160 feet. The gold bearing quartz vein that varied from two to ten feet wide assayed at $15 per ton. Originally steam powered it was later powered by water which was brought in through 5400 feet of 11 inch pipe.

The Swansea and Rocky Bend (Swansa) mine was a lode gold mine on 12.38 acres two miles west of Kelsey, possibly on the edge of the Mother Lode. Swansea is a town and county in Wales which was historically a large coal and limestone mining area. During the California Gold Rush, a large number of miners from Wales were hired by California mine owners because of the knowledge of underground mining they had gained in the coal mines of their native country.

The S. W. H. mine was actually a string of three lode gold mines four miles west of Greenwood that were consolidated. 51.62 acres in size, it consisted of the S. W. H., Indicator and Martha L. mines.

One mile east of Georgetown was the Swift and Bennett mine, a seam gold mine on the eastern branch of the Mother Lode. It was reportedly a rich mine, but for some reason only active in the 1870s.

The Swip mine was a placer gold mine on 40 acres one-half mile west of Garden Valley. It was a consolidation of two mines, neither of which have listed names.

The Swortfiguer (Expansion) mine was a chromite mine located four miles northeast of Shingle Springs. It was active from 1914 until 1918 when 80 tons of ore was produced. It was prospected again in 1943, during World War II. Development of the mine was by open pits.

The Syracuse Mine was a lode gold mine one mile east of the town of Omo Ranch. It was active in 1908, but not much more in known about it.

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