Mines of El Dorado County: “H”

The Hall Consolidated was a lode gold mine on 17.56 acres just north of Placerville.

The Halleck mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode just north of Placerville.

The interestingly named Hamburger mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode near Nashville, two miles north of the Amador County line.

The Happy Flat mine was a 100 acre placer mine one-half mile north of Garden Valley.

The Hard Cider mine was a placer claim two miles south of Volcanoville and two miles east of Bottle Hill.

The Hard Scrabble mine was a 135.85 acre placer mine just southeast of Smith Flat.

The Hardscratch mine was a lode gold mine located two miles west of Grizzly Flat. The mine was active around 1896 when a vein of gold bearing quartz was developed by a 120-foot crosscut adit, 100-foot drift and a 26-foot shaft.

The Harmon Group included a number of claims on the Mother Lode in what is now the northern part of the City of Placerville. These included the Van Hooker, Young Harmon, Old Harmon, Gross No. 1 and No. 2 and the Eureka claims. When visited by the District Mining Engineer, C. A. Logan, in the early 1930s most work was being done on the Van Hooker claim, where an old adit was reopened and extended, having a total length of 1200 feet from portal to north face with a vertical depth of 200 feet along the vein. The ore occurs as a stringer lead and lenses of quartz in Mariposa clay slate, both having been greatly crushed by movement along the courses of the vein, which has a width from 2 to 12 feet. Ore was processed by a mill of 10 light stamps and one concentrator with a capacity of 24 tons daily. The ore yielded $7.25 to $27 a ton.
The Old Harmon portion of the workings was 560 feet deep in 1931 and there were plans to reopen it to the 115 feet were ore had been found. This mine, which had been worked between 1870 and 1890 as a part of the True Consolidated Mining and Milling Company’s holdings, had produced considerable gold, some estimates being as high as a quarter of a million dollars. In 1898 both the Old Harmon and Young Harmon passed into the hands of the Placerville Gold Mining Company which had done little with them as of 1931. The vein running through the two Harmon claims averages 15 feet wide and in places is 45 to 70 feet wide.

The Harms Pit, in Coon Hollow one mile south of Placerville, was an aggregate mine. Here, the Harms Brothers Construction Company of Sacramento operated a large, portable rock crushing and sizing plant that reduced the hydraulic mine tailings and andesitic (volcanic) detritus found at this location to a size smaller than three-quarters of an inch. This material was then fed into a portable hot-mix (asphalt) plant, the product of which was used to surface Highway 50 in Placerville.

On what is called the Fairplay channel of ancient gravel, one and one-half miles south of the town of Fair Play, was the Harnish mine. In 1896 the channel, 4 to 5 feet thick, was developed by an adit.

The Harold mine was an undeveloped prospect for soapstone (used in wood stoves and sculpting), four miles from Shingle Springs.

The Harris mine was a placer mine just south of Placerville.

The Harrison mine was a 20.65 acre lode gold claim on the Mother Lode, just north of Placerville.

The Hart mine was a seam gold mine on 40 acres that was located between Manhattan and Empire Creeks, one mile north of Garden Valley. It was originally worked by hydraulicking. Later, it was prospected to determine the feasibility of erecting a mill, and, in 1930, one was erected. The mine operated intermittently until 1939. The average gold recovery of ore mined from this property in the 1930’s was around $4 per ton. The mine was developed by an open pit 175 feet long, 50 feet wide and 40 feet deep; two drift adits and two shafts, 100 and 300 feet in depth. The ore was treated in an 8-stamp mill.

The Havillah Group were a series of lode gold mines on the Mother Lode in Nashville. They are more commonly known as the Nashville mines and will be discussed under that name.

The Hayden mine was a soapstone quarry one and three-quarter miles south of Shingle Springs. The Industrial Minerals and Chemical Company mined soapstone at this location on and off for many years, trucking it to the company’s plant in Florin were it was ground for use in insecticides. The soapstone was quarried from an open cut about 100 feet long and 40 feet wide, with a 20-foot face at the north end (1956 figures).

The Hayward (Indian Diggings) mine was a drift and hydraulic placer gold mine at Indian Diggings. Around 1896 a 275-foot bank with 159 feet of gravel overlying limestone bedrock, was mined.

One of the large lode gold mines which just recently closed was the Hazel Creek mine, located fifteen miles east of Placerville and two miles southeast of Pacific House on Hazel Creek. Mining started in 1948 when the vein of gold bearing quartz was discovered in a logging road cut by one of the tree fallers. Soon afterwards an adit was driven and a mill erected. The deposit consists of principally two parallel veins that are as far apart as 40 feet, but converge near the adit portal (opening). The west vein is 5 to 6 feet wide, the east vein 5 to 12 feet wide and the two are connected by a cross-vein, several feet wide. The ore consists of native gold with considerable amounts of galena (lead ore) and auriferous (gold bearing) pyrite. Large amounts of high-grade ore have been removed from the area where the two principal veins converge and also where the cross-vein and the east vein intersect. By 1956, the mine had been developed by a 500-foot drift adit on the west vein and a 130-foot inclined two-compartment shaft sunk near the adit portal. The 100-foot level, at that time, was connected to the adit level by raises and stopes. The free gold was amalgamated (combined with mercury) and retorted, the resulting “sponge” gold being then sent to a smelter. The sulfides (mostly pyrites) were concentrated by a series of steps and the resultant material, assaying as high as $500 per ton in gold and silver (remember, gold was only $35 per ounce, and silver less than $1 in 1956) was also sent elsewhere for processing. Because of the amount of galena found, lead was also mined at this location.

The Helemar mine was a chromite mine located five miles southwest of Latrobe. It was active during 1944-45 when 57 tons of ore, containing 38 percent chromite, was produced.

The Helen mine was an isolated lode gold claim about six miles east of Garden Valley.

The Henness dredge was a dragline, placer gold mining operation in Garden Valley’s Manhattan Creek during the years 1946-47. The drag line would dig the gravel and drop it into the loading chute of the dredge. The dredge would work the gravel and separate the gold, then dump the tailings (or waste) back into the waterway.
Jerry Henness, who lives in Pollock Pines, recalls his family moving from Whittier to El Dorado County in 1946 when he was six. After his dad, Marion Henness, finished dredging in Garden Valley, he moved the dredge to the American River, where Folsom Lake is now located. From there he became involved in the lumber business, which resulted in his later involvement with the above Hazel Creek Mine.

The Henrietta mine was a lode gold mine on 13.85 acres of the Mother Lode near Weber Creek, one mile south of Placerville.

The Henry Bacon mine was a placer mine consisted of 330 acres on the North Fork of Weber Creek, one-half mile south of Camino.

The Henry Pass mine was a placer mine on 80 acres one mile east of Diamond Springs.

The Henry Waldrick mine was a lode gold claim on 56.27 acres of the Mother Lode north of Kelsey at Spanish Flat.

Two miles southeast of Georgetown was a chromite mine known as the Henser mine. In 1918, 13 tons of chromite was produced from this deposit.

The Herman H. Frers mine was a placer claim on 20 acres one mile west of Rescue.

The Herrick and Co. mine was a very isolated placer mine on 60 acres five miles east of Garden Valley.

The Herzig mine was a placer mine on the South Fork of the American River, about one mile down stream from Lotus. The ranch at this location was owned by the grandparents of Al Herzig, the former Placerville Fire Chief. He did not recall a mine by that name on the property, but did recall that in the late 1930s the entire South Fork of the American River had been commercially dredged all the way up to Coloma.

The Hess mine was a placer mine along Sweetwater Creek near Salmon Falls.

One mile northeast of Indian Diggings (about one mile south of Omo Ranch, nine miles east of Mt. Aukum, in the southern part of El Dorado County) was a lode gold mine known as the Hidden Treasure mine. Little is known about it since it has been idle for many decades.

The High Tunnel mine was a drift mine three miles northeast of Placerville, just north of White Rock Canyon. In the early days of mining and again in 1926, this ancient channel of the South Fork of the American River was mined. It was developed by a 500-ft adit.

The Hill mine was a lode gold mine one-mile south of Gold Hill. It consisted of 12.60 acres and was adjacent to another mine known as the Hill Quartz Mine and Mill Site.

The Hill, Seymour mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode, one mile east of Nashville.

The Hillside Extension and Hillside Extension No. 3 were two lode gold mines two and one-half miles southeast of the town of El Dorado. They consisted of nearly 100 acres and were operated together with seven other nearby claims, all of which were on a small branch of the Mother Lode.

The Hill-Top Chrome mine was located one mile southwest of Volcanoville. In 1918, the mine produced 7 tons of chromite ore. It was developed by a 22-foot shaft.

The Hinchman Gold and Silver Mining Co. operated a lode gold mine on “Johnson’s North Canon (canyon), about seven miles east from the city,” according to an article in the March 12, 1864 “Mountain Democrat” reporting on the dedication of their new stamp mill.
This mine does not show up on any of the maps or in any of the books used to prepare this list, but the Democrat story says that “The company have driven a tunnel into the hill about 400 feet and find every indication of richness through its entire length, and believe the rock will yield from $50 to $75 per ton.” Only six months later, on September 17, 1864, the stamp mill burned to the ground. “The fire is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary,” another article in the “Mountain Democrat” stated.
The Hinchman Mining Co. was incorporated in San Francisco on June 1, 1863 and put up for sale 1600 shares of stock at $10 per share. According to the El Dorado County Recorder’s Office, one day later, on June 2, 1863, the company acquired property in El Dorado County from several people, including a Hiram Hinchman. The president of the company was John Gallagher and the secretary N. G. French.

One mile to the northwest of Pleasant Valley was a drift mine called the Hinds (Los Angeles) mine. It was a bench gravel deposit containing placer gold that was discovered in 1927 and active in the early 1930’s. It was developed by a 48-foot shaft and a 200-foot northwest drift.

The Hines-Gilbert mine was on the north end of the western branch of the Mother Lode, one mile northwest of Spanish Dry Diggings on the American River in both El Dorado and Placer counties. Active 1921-28 and 1934, it was again prospected in 1954. The deposit consists of two gold bearing quartz veinlets about 200 feet apart that were developed by an open cut 150 feet in width and a 450-foot adit. The ore, which varied greatly in grade, was treated in a 10-stamp mill which, along with a three-drill compressor, was run by water power from Canyon Creek with a 600 foot fall.

The Hodge and Lemon mine was a seam gold mine at the north end of Quartz Hill, one mile north of Placerville. Mining was done in a 40-foot deep open pit.

Five miles southeast of Latrobe was the Hoff mine. Another chromite mine worked only during World War I, it produced 107 tons of 28% to 33% chromite. The deposit was a chromite lens 60 feet long that was developed by an open cut.

The Holly mine was a small lode gold mine on the Mother Lode in Placerville that was only active in 1918.

The Holmes mine was a placer mine on 79.80 acres one mine north of Georgetown near Georgia Slide.

The Homestake mine was a lode gold mine west of Spanish Dry Diggings and south of the Middle Fork of the American River.

The Homestead Mining Co. operated a 40 acre placer mine three and one-half miles north of Georgetown and one mile northeast of Bottle Hill, near or on Otter Creek. It was active for only a very short time, 1912-13.

A second Homestead mine was a copper mine three miles west of Greenwood. Both copper and gold were removed from a 14-foot vein.

The Hook and Ladder mine was a placer mine just south of Highway 50 and east of Smith Flat.

The Hoosier Gulch dredge was a placer gold mining operation by the Hoosier Gulch Placers Company, using a dragline dredge in Logtown Ravine (south of the townsite of El Dorado) in 1939 and near Shingle Springs in 1945 and 1947.

The Hoosier Gulch Placers Company also operated a dragline dredge near the Pillikin mine, six miles to the southwest of the town of Pilot Hill. Here, during the year 1942, they removed chromite-bearing river gravel from a location known as Granite Bar.

The Hope mine was the southern extension of the Mount Pleasant Mine, one mile west of Grizzly Flat. The Mount Pleasant Mine was the richest lode gold mine in the Grizzly Flat area.

Another Hope mine was a placer gold mine on an ancient river channel northeast of Volcanoville. It was in operation some time prior to 1892.

The Horatio L. Robinson mine was a placer claim on 40 acres just east of Smith Flat.

The Horseshoe Bar mine was a placer mine on 123.88 acres of land on the Rubicon River two miles north of Volcanoville.

The Horseshoe Dredging Company operated a dragline dredge on the North Fork of the Cosumnes River from 1938-40, near Youngs (on Mt. Aukum Road between Pleasant Valley and Somerset).

The Horseshoe Flat mine was a placer gold drift mine two and one-half miles east of Newtown. It has been long idle.

The Hoskins mine was a lode gold mine on the west branch of the Mother Lode, just east of Greenwood.

The Hugh B. Newell mine was a placer mine on 80 acres adjacent to Thompson Hill Road about one-half mile east of Gold Hill.

The Hume mine was a placer mine on or near the South Fork of the American River, one and one-half miles down stream from Lotus.

The Humiston mine was a lode gold claim just north of the Cosumnes River five and one-half miles east of the Sacramento County line

Hummingbird Ranch was the name of a serpentine quarry one mile west of Garden Valley. Serpentine, used as road metal (surfacing material) was mined by the El Dorado County Road Department (now Department of Transportation). The material was excavated by bulldozers and loaded into dump trucks. The quarry was an open cut 200 feet long, 30 feet wide and 10 feet deep.

The Humphrey mine was a lode gold mine two and one-half miles southwest of Fair Play. The deposit consisted of a 16 to 24-inch vein containing pyrite and galena. It was developed by a 15-foot shaft and 70-foot drift.

The Hunt mine was a lode gold mine somewhere between Pilot Hill and Cool.

The Hunton mine was a placer claim two miles east of Volcanoville.

The Hunton and Green mine was a placer mine at the same location. It may have been a consolidation of the Hunton and an unidentified mine known as the Green.

The Hustler mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode two miles south of the town of El Dorado.

The Hutchinson and Woodburn mine was a placer gold drift mine at Slug Gulch, three miles northeast of the town of Fair Play. It was only active in 1926.

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