Mines of El Dorado County

Mines of El Dorado County: Introduction

Fifteen years ago I ran a series of articles on the mines of El Dorado County in the Placerville “Mountain Democrat.” Since then a number of people  requested that the series be updated and rerun, often to find a name for their new street or to get more historical information on their property. About three years ago the list was substantially updated and rerun.

As you will see, this information is an early and important part of the history of our county and mining in California.

For the first few years following the discovery of gold at Coloma in 1848, mining was nearly everyone’s occupation. When a prospector found something promising in or near a creek or river, a claim would be staked out on a small parcel of land according to the “Miner’s Rules” for that Mining Region, there being no real government regulation at that time. Later a formal process evolved where the miner could file a claim with the government on larger parcels of land, which occurred mostly along the Mother Lode system, a large, north-south region of steeply dipping gold-bearing quartz veins within fine grained slate.

Thousands of mineral claims were filed for gold and later, for chromite, copper, lead, manganese, mercury and tungsten, along the badly needed building materials such as limestone, slate, soapstone and various kinds of gravel.

For identification purposes, each mining claim was named by the miner or miners who discovered or worked it. Like the towns they created, some reflected their personal name, the place they had left from on their trip west, loved ones left behind, a nearby physical landmark or often, something now totally obscure.

In time some of these claims grew into large mining operations operated by a cooperative “company” or large crews of hired miners. However, most were simply abandoned once any value was removed and soon became just a forgotten entry in the record books. Like the early towns and roads, these mines, and often their names, have become simply a part of our history.

Several mining terms are used that may be unfamiliar to the reader. These are: Adit: a horizontal or nearly horizontal entrance to a mine; Crosscut: a cutting that intersects the main lode or workings; Drift: a horizontal or nearly horizontal passage, usually following the deposit or ore body; Shaft: a vertical or inclined excavation often used for ventilation or to haul out material; Stope: an excavation from which the ore is removed either above or below a level in a series of steps; Winze: a small, inclined shaft from one level of a mine to another and Working Level: the vertical depth at which mining occurs.

Placer mining is the mining of existing or ancient river and streambeds for material washed from its source and usually done from the surface, by hand or machine (often a small or large dredge). If it is an ancient riverbed with later deposits above it, mining may be by tunneling, drifting or by high pressure water (hydraulic mining) which was outlawed in the late 1800s. Lode and seam deposits are in-place material which is mined either underground or by open pit depending upon its depth

IMPORTANT

I am often asked about some of the mines about which I have written and whether or not there is anything left worth viewing. By now most of them are on private property and you will need the owner’s permission to see them. How you find out the name of the owner is a matter of research at the El Dorado County Recorder’s Office and government mining documents such as “Mines and Mineral Resources of El Dorado County”, which can be found in the rare book collection at our main library.

You must always remember that a mine, working or abandoned, open pit or underground, is a potentially dangerous place. When following an adit into a mine  you may come across a winze or an air shaft, several hundred feet deep. If you fall in, they will never find you and your cell phone will probably not work! It is best to not go alone.

They are also nice locations to find rattlesnakes and other animals you may not want to meet.

Mine timbers were put there for a purpose when they were new, and now they are rotten and will not support anything. It may not take much to collapse the tunnel.

The best rule is: If you really want to see an old gold mine, go to Gold Bug Park in Placerville or a similar lit and ventilated mine and take the tour.

NEW INFORMATION

If you have information on a mine that is not listed, additional information on a mine that is listed or even have conflicting information on a mine, please leave a reply.

When I updated the original list I found a lot more mines that I had overlooked the first time, so I know that there are still more.

I am always looking for updates, photos, etc. and would appreciate receiving them.

 

Alphabetical List of Links to Mine Information:

A B1 B2 C1 C2 D E F G1 G2 H I J K L M1 M2 N O P1 P2 Q R1 R2 S1 S2 S3 T U-V W-Z

 

Sources for this information includes: “Atlas of California,” by Donley, Allan, Caro and Patton (1979); “A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals,” by Frederick Pough (1953); “California Gold Camps,” by Erwin Gudde (1975); “California Place Names,” by Erwin Gudde, 3rd Edition (1974); “History of El Dorado County,” by Paolo Sioli (1883), reprinted and indexed by the El Dorado Friends of the Library (1998); “Natural History of the Sierra Nevada,” by Storer and Usinger (1963); “Hand-Book of Mining Law,” by Henry N. Copp (1881); “California Mines and Minerals,” California Miners’ Association (1899); “The Mother Lode Region of California,” by W. H. Storms for A. S. Cooper, California State Mineralogist (1900); “Mother Lode Gold Belt of California,” by C. A. Logan (1934); “California Journal of Mines and Geology,” Walter W. Bradley, State Mineralogist (1938)”; “Mines and Mineral Resources of El Dorado County, California,” reprinted from the California Journal of Mine and Geology – California Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mines (1956); Map entitled “The Mines of El Dorado County, California,” Clifton Wildman (1932);“Map of Western Portion El Dorado County Showing Mining Claims,” C. A. Logan, District Mining Engineer (1938);Newspapers: “Mountain Democrat,” 1854-present; the “Empire County Argus” (Coloma), 1853-1856; the “Californian” (Monterey), 1846-47; the “Alta California” (San Francisco), 1849-1850 and the “Placerville Republican and Nugget” and “El Dorado Republican,” various issues.

Mines of El Dorado County: “A”

The Adams Gulch mine (also Stony Point or Sullivan mine) was located on a portion of the Mother Lode, two miles northeast of the early town of Nashville (on Highway 49) and just a few miles from the present Amador County line. Its four foot vein of gold bearing quartz was actively mined from 1902 until 1911 and again in 1914 and developed by 180 and 200 foot crosscut adits.

The Adam Colwell claim consisted of 40 acres about three miles east of Diamond Springs.

A few miles north of the Adams Gulch mine and about two miles southwest of the townsite of El Dorado (Mud Springs) was the Adjuster, or Hustler mine. It contained a five foot vein that was worked prior to 1914 by a 250 foot crosscut adit and about 100 feet of drifts. At one time there was a ten stamp mill on the property.

The Admiral Schley quartz mine was located on the west branch of the Mother Lode, about a mile north of Greenwood and consisted of 20.11 acres.

A copper mine named the Agara mine was located three miles northeast of the town of Fair Play, just north of the Cosumnes Copper mine. Little is known about it other than it was developed by a 25 foot shaft.

The Agren Placer mine was located about one and one-half miles southwest of Camino. It was 84.12 acres in size.

The Alabaster Cave mine was another copper mine that was located one mile east of Rattlesnake Bridge and taken by the government for the development of Folsom Lake. It was active prior to 1902, when miners followed an eight foot vein that contained 3 to 4 percent copper along with some gold and silver. Later it was also mined for limestone which was cooked for use in mortar. It was a large operation, developed by one 300 and two 50 foot shafts and a 100 and a 30 foot adit.
The cave itself was filled with interesting limestone formations and in 1862 was chronicled in “Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity in California -Alabaster Cave,” by James M. Hutchings. The cave must have been mined, since one of the etchings shows limestone being cooked.

One of only a few manganese mines in El Dorado County, the Alderson mine, was located about one and one-half miles southeast of Placerville. Assays on the 150 foot long deposit ran as high as twenty-five percent manganese. Little is known about its operation.

A famous lode gold mine, the Alhambra mine is located one mile east of Spanish Flat and two miles northeast of Kelsey. It was originally worked in 1883 when a 29 foot shaft yielded $27,600 in gold (remember, at around $16 to the ounce).
It became active again in 1886 and by 1890 there was a five-stamp mill on the property noisily hammering the mined quartz to release the gold.
In 1934 it was re-opened by Messrs. Jensen and Schneider who discovered two very high-grade pockets at a depth of about 90 feet, each yielding about $10,000 in gold. Soon thereafter, the Alhambra-Shumway Mining Company was formed and the mine was significantly deepened.
In 1939, a huge pocket of high-grade ore was found between the 225 and 275 foot levels that yielded over a half a million dollars in gold. Word of this discovery quickly spread, resulting is numerous newspaper and magazine articles, world-wide.
Through the 1940s, the mine produced over $1,250,000 of gold overall, at least 50 percent of which came from pockets of high-grade ore. It is developed by a 440 foot shaft and over 3000 feet of drifts and crosscuts.

The Allen Dredge was a short-lived (1945-47) suction dredge operation on the Bacchi Ranch near Lotus.

Another large lode gold mine, the Alpine mine, was located two miles southeast of Georgetown. Originally worked in the 1860s, by 1888 the quartz was being crushed by a ten-stamp mill. It was active around 1902 and 1912 and continuously from 1933 until 1938, when the Beebe Gold Mining Company, which also ran the nearby Beebe Mine, took over operations.
In the six years the Beebe Company operated the mine, some 64,349 tons of ore was removed and trucked to the Beebe Mine where it was processed, producing $434,665 worth of gold. The mine was developed by a 400 foot shaft with working levels at 100, 200, 300, 350 and 400 feet.

The Alveoro mine was a placer gold mine in an ancient river bed one-half mile north of Smith Flat. The deposit, which is 100 to 300 feet wide and 6 to 30 feet deep, was developed by a 4000 foot adit and 400 and 500 foot inclined shafts.

The Amelia mine was another placer gold mine some two miles east of Volcanoville, which is several miles east of Georgetown. In 1908 this mine, along with others, was operated by the Two Channel Mining Company.

A gravel mine known as the Anderson Pit was located adjacent to Highway 50 one mile north of Meyers in the Lake Tahoe basin. This pit was a major source for sand from decomposed granite that was used for road surfacing and in concrete.
The Apex mine was a chromite mine one mile southwest of Volcanoville. It was mined by the open pit method in 1918 when eight tons of ore was removed.

The Andrew Kinnenmouth claim consisted of 160 acres on the Mother Lode, just southwest of Garden Valley.1

Located at Henry Diggings, three miles south of Grizzly Flat, was the Armstrong and Roberts mine. It was a placer deposit 60 feet wide and 5 feet deep which was developed by a 600 foot adit.

The Argonaut (also Aultman and Golden Unit Mine) was a gold mine on the Mother Lode one and one-half miles southeast of Greenwood. Active in the 1880s, 1921 and 1927-28, it was a northwest striking vein up to 15 feet wide developed by a drift adit. The ore yielded up to $15 a ton.

A similarly named mine, the Argonaut Fraction mine, was a lode gold mine located one-quarter mile northeast of the Argonaut mine, by Georgetown Creek. Consisting of two parallel veins of ore, it was developed by a 100 foot adit (east vein) and 60 foot adit (west vein). It has been intermittently operated since 1933 with most of the ore stockpiled (as of 1956).

The Arizona Claim was a copper mine two miles southeast of Georgetown, containing outcrops as wide as 100 feet.

The Asbestos placer mine was an isolated parcel of 14.22 acres about one mile northeast of Spanish Flat.

Near Pleasant Valley, the Avansino mine was a placer mine that was active around 1893 and prospected in the early 1930s. Channel and bench gravels were developed by a 107 foot shaft with a 57 foot north drift on the 90 foot level and a 307 foot south drift on the 107 foot level.

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

The Badger Hill mine, located seven miles east of Placerville, was a placer mine, working an ancient channel of the American River.  It was mined by drifting and then sluicing the gold-bearing gravel.

Three miles south of Balderson Station, near Rock Creek, was the Balderson Tungsten mine.  Only minor amounts of tungsten ore was found and little is known about the total production.

The Ball mine was three and one-half miles southeast of Omo Ranch that was active around 1935. A well cemented gold-bearing gravel deposit 80-feet wide was worked by driving a 1,250-foot adit to the channel and then drifting 600-feet towards the south.

The Balmaceda mine was a lode gold mine located one and one-half miles northeast of Nashville, which is on Highway 49 near the Amador County line. Consisting of two parallel 4-foot quartz veins, it was active in 1914 and developed by a 500-foot drift adit on the west vein which was stoped to the surface.

The Baltic mine was a lode gold mine five miles north of Grizzly Flat on the north side of Baltic Peak. It was active in 1896 and 1907 and developed by a 500-foot drift adit and 130-foot inclined shaft. The ore was treated on-site in a ten-stamp mill.

Two miles southeast of Georgetown was the Barklage and Miller mine, which was worked for copper in 1908. A 100 foot wide deposit of copper ore in slate, it was developed by a 118 foot adit.

The Barnes-Eureka (Greenstone) mine worked a two-foot wide gold-bearing quartz vein lying between serpentine and fine-grained metavolcanic rocks, two miles northeast of Shingle Springs. It was active in 1912, 1936 and during the years 1947-49, and was mined by a 350-foot inclined shaft with levels at 100 and 200 feet and a second 250-foot shaft to the south.

The Base Bonanza mine was active prior to 1894 and located one mile west of Garden Valley. The vein of gold bearing quartz was between diorite and serpentine rock.

The Beebe mine, on the north side of Georgetown, was one of the larger sources of gold in El Dorado County and actually a consolidation of several claims, including the Brooklyn, East Lode, Iowa and Woodside-Eureka. The Eureka claim was first worked in the early days of the Gold Rush and up to 1908. The Beebe claim itself was prospected in 1917. From 1932 until 1939 the Beebe Gold Mining Company operated the mine and removed 306,241 tons of ore that produced $1,200,465 in gold. After 1939 a little gold was found while cleaning up. The vein averaged 12 to 15 feet in width and was reached by three shafts, the Eureka, old Beebe and Beebe No. 2 with levels at 130, 250, 370, 500, 600 and 700 feet. At the 370-foot level there was a 700-foot drift in ore and between the 500 and 700-foot level a winze. The last gold mined came from stopes at the 600 and 700-foot levels. Gold ore from this mine and also the Alpine mine was processed at a stamp mill on this property.
The “Placerville Republican and Nugget,” dated June 25, 1917, has a story stating that men were wanted to work at the Beebe Mine. Machine men would be paid $3.50 for an eight hour day, and muckers $3. Machine men are the people who run the drills, muckers shovel the ore.
In 2009 George Campini, whose family once owned the Beebe Mine, recalled a two-stamp mill that was moved from there to another deposit near Georgetown.

The Bella Vista mine was a drift mine three miles northeast of Mt. Aukum. Active in 1936, the gold was mined from the gravel in two ancient river channels, one above the other, by a 400-foot drift adit and a 200 foot drift. The deposit contained $1 to $1.50 in gold per cubic yard of gravel which was removed by processing it through a washing plant and sluice.

The Benfeldt (Rogers) mine, was a drift mine at Smith’s Flat, just north-east of Placerville. A gravel deposit some five feet thick and 50 to 120 feet wide was worked at this mine, yielding $2 to $8 per ton. It was active from 1888-96 and 1916-19. Development consisted of a 750-foot shaft and drifts and the gravel, once removed, was put through a 10-stamp mill and then a 150-foot sluice.

The Bernard, or Amador, mine was the only really active quicksilver (mercury) mine in el Dorado County. Located by Fanny Creek, two miles west of Nashville, it was active during the 1860s and then prospected again in 1903 and 1917. The mercury ore (cinnabar) was mined by a 75-foot shaft and 117-foot adit. The Cinnabar subdivision, which was proposed in this area some years ago, got its name from this nearby deposit.

The Bernett Property was a soapstone mine located four miles southwest of Shingle Springs at the Southern Pacific Railroad. Mined since 1953, it is a deposit of talc schist of unknown depth, at least 500 feet in length and 40 to 60 feet wide. It was mined by the stripping method in a open pit with the material being shipped to Berkley were it was ground for use as an insecticide carrier.

The Bidstipt mine was a lode gold mine two miles south of the town of El Dorado. Mined by a 35-foot shaft and 100-foot adit was a one-foot north-striking vein of gold bearing quartz.

The Big Buzzard (Hercules, Darrington) mine was a copper and zinc mine three miles southwest of Rattlesnake Bridge and a half mile east of the American River. Originally a gold mine, it was operated on and off for many years. During WWII some copper and zinc ore was shipped from the waste dump and later, the Morning Star Mining Corporation did preliminary tests on the ore. Consisting of a vein as much as ten feet wide, it contained a mix of many ores and as much as $14 in gold per ton of material. There is a 300 foot inclined shaft sunk on the vein with levels at 70, 160, 260 and 300 feet. Most of the work was at the 70 and 160-foot levels.

The Big Canyon Dredge was a mining operation using a three cubic foot dragline dredge on Big Canyon and Deer Creeks from 1937-42.

The Big Canyon (formerly Oro Fino) mine was a very rich operation located four and one-half miles south of Shingle Springs in Big Canyon. It was active prior to 1888, and between 1893 and 1901 produced $720,000 in gold from an ore body on the West Gold Belt that contained up to 20 percent free gold. In 1915 some development work was done but serious mining did not occur again until the mine was acquired by the Mountain Copper Company which took out $2,368,000 in gold between 1934 and 1940. Development at the mine consisted of two inclined shafts 400 feet apart, one 740-foot and the other 620-feet. Originally ore was stoped to the surface from the 500-foot level and later, drifts were extended several thousand feet along the ore body. In 1937 some ore was removed by the open-pit method. When in full operation, a crew of 150 men worked at the mine and originally water-powered mill, removing and processing 300 tons of ore a day. The mine has remained idle since 1940 although some serious exploration was done in the 1980s.

One half mile east of Kelsey was the Big Chunk mine. A three foot vein of lode gold was developed by a 100-foot shaft and 150-foot adit.

The Big Four (Golden Oak) Mine was on the Mother Lode one mile southeast of Garden Valley. It was active during the 1890s and prospected again in 1940. A thirty inch vein yielding $10 -$13 per ton, it was developed by a 96-foot inclined shaft and a 100-foot adit.

A lode gold mine with the name of Big Jim (also Phillips) was located two and one-half miles southwest of Latrobe. Active around 1896, the vein was developed by a shaft and 240-foot crosscut adit. After the quartz was mined, it was crushed on-site with a 2-stamp mill.

The Big Sandy (James Marshall) mine was on the Mother Lode, one-half mile south of Kelsey. The deposit was originally located by none other than James Wilson Marshall, the discoverer of gold at Coloma. During the 1890s, the vein, which was as wide as 15 feet, was worked and the ore treated in a 10-stamp mill. In the 1930s pockets of very high grade gold were found and several fine specimens of crystallized gold were removed. However, most of the ore in the mine was low-grade, worth $2.25 a ton or less. This ore was mined from a open cut 750-feet in length and a 340-foot vertical shaft with levels at 120, 227 and 333 feet.

The Black Hawk mine was located about half way between the Big Sandy mine and Kelsey. At this location, a 4-foot wide vein in slate was developed by a 200-foot drift adit.

The Black Gold mine was a placer gold, drift mine in Pleasant Valley. It was active in 1930-31 and 1936 when several thousand dollars of gold was removed. The deposit was a bench of fine loose gravel that was developed by a 60 foot shaft with drifts 100-feet west, 280-feet north and 127-feet east.

The Black Lead (not lead as in the metal but like “to lead a miner along a vein”) was a black appearing, gold bearing quartz vein six miles south of Shingle Springs. It was active prior to 1894.

The Blacklock mine was a placer gold mine one mile northeast of the center of Placerville. The four foot thick ancient river channel was first hydraulicked (high pressure water used to removed the material which was then run through a very long sluice) and later worked by drifting along the deposit.

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Mines of El Dorado County: “B” (Part 2)

The Black Oak (Clark, Davey, Dayton Consolidated) was one of the richest lode gold mines in El Dorado County. Located south of Black Oak Mine Road near the town of Garden Valley, it was originally worked as a pocket gold mine before 1934. In that year it was reopened, a new shaft was sunk and a mill erected. In a short time the property developed into one of the more important sources of gold in the county. By 1937 more than $400,000 had been produced, not including a large amount of gold stolen by “high graders”.
The story goes that some miners carried out and hid chunks of quartz holding lots of gold (high grade). When they had enough they moved to another state and tried to pass it off as having been mined there. When the gold reached the San Francisco mint it was assayed and, because the mine from which the gold came can often be identified by its “fingerprint” (the type and quantity of impurities), it was determined to be California gold. The thieves were soon captured.
In 1938 the Dayton Consolidated Mines Corporation merged the Davey claim, on the north, the Clark claim on the east and the Davenport claim on the southeast with the Black Oak. By 1942, when the mine was shut down, the total output had reached $1,250,000. The Black Oak mine was right at the place where the Mother Lode deposit divides into two branches, one extending towards Greenwood and the other towards Georgetown, which may account for its richness. The underground workings consisted of the 100-foot Clark shaft, the 180-foot Davey shaft and the main working entry, a 400-foot vertical shaft. A vertical winze extended from the 180 foot level to the 600-foot level. There were about 6000 feet of drifts and crosscuts. The ore was treated at a 35 ton mill.

Another Black Oak (Cassiorni) mine, was a chromite mine located two miles south of Georgetown on a ridge west of Traverse Creek. Like many chromite mimes, it was active during WWI and WWII with 36 tons of high grade (47.5% Chromium) ore taken out in 1918 and 107 tons in 1942-43. The deposit was lenses and pots of coarse chromite in serpentine and was developed by open cuts and three 40-foot shafts.

About eight miles east of Somerset were the Blackhawk Quartz mine and the Blackhawk South Extension, totaling some 17 acres.

The Blair mine was on a 300 – 400 foot wide gravel channel two miles southeast of Camino. Prospecting and drilling of the deposit occurred around 1890.

The Blasedel mine was located at Dark Canyon, two miles north of Georgetown. The gold was in a belt of very narrow veins (often called veinlets) of quartz. Because the gold is found in these narrow veins and not in massive quartz veins, this gold is commonly referred to as seam gold. Deposits like this are found along the Mother Lode, north of Placerville.

Six miles northwest of Shingle Springs was the Blue Bank, a lode gold mine. A one and one half foot wide vein was developed by a 120-foot drift adit, 100-foot inclined winze and open cuts. It was most active in 1896, when a two-stamp mill was brought to the site to crush the ore.

Five miles south of Diamond Springs was the Blue Cat (Madelia, Madeline, Magdalena) mine, which was actually a south extension of the Noonday mine. Mined for copper, although it contained a mix of ores, it was developed by a 90 and 100-foot crosscut adits, a 100-foot drift and a 105 foot shaft.

The Blue Gouge (Berg) mine was located by Camp Creek, 6 miles north-northwest of Grizzly Flat. In 1896 it was extensively prospected by Mackay, Flood and Associates of San Francisco. This work was soon abandoned, however a small amount of work was done at the mine before and up to 1925 and again in 1936. The ore body consists of a series of parallel gold-bearing quartz veins, 6 to 16 feet wide in an area 400 by 3500 feet. The mine was developed by seven crosscut adits ranging from 120 to more than 300 feet in length.

The Blue Lead mine, (not lead as in the metal but like “to lead a miner along a vein”), not to be confused with the Deep Blue Lead in Smith’s Flat, was a lode gold mine one and one half miles southeast of Garden Valley. It was active around 1867 when high quality “specimen ore” was produced.

Three miles north of Kelsey, along Traverse Creek, was the Blue Ledge Quartz mine. Little was reported about this 20.63 acre claim.

The Bobby Burns Quartz mine was located about one-quarter mile east of Camino on the south side of Mt. Danaher.

The Boles mine was really a barge mounted suction pump that excavated riverbed gravels three miles upstream from Rattlesnake Bridge on the South Fork of the American River. A diver directed the underwater nozzle and the pumped gravel was discharged into sluice boxes. The land was acquired by the U.S. Government for Folsom Reservoir.

The Boliver Hills Claim was located about two miles south of the town of El Dorado.

The Bolley Quartz mine was a small, less than five acre workings just north of Placerville.

One of two Bonanza Placer mines was located one mile south of Fair Play while the other was one and one-half miles west of Pilot Hill.

A chromite deposit know as the Bonetti mine was located three and one-half miles east of Latrobe and northwest of Big Canyon Creek. A lens of chromite 1 – 3 feet thick some 60 feet long was mined during the two World Wars. It was estimated to contain 200 tons of ore.

The Boston mine was a copper mine four miles southwest of Shingle Springs. Developed by a 400-foot shaft, good ore was produced during the 1860s and 1870s. The Boston Quartz Mine was located about two miles south of Pilot Hill.

The Bottle Hill mine, or Bottle Hill Diggings, was really a group of claims in an isolated patch of gold-bearing gravel, two miles northwest of Georgetown. Some miners described the deposit of gold as a large lake that had dried up, leaving the gravel and gold in its basin. Most of the mining was done by simply digging into the hill until 1856, when water was brought in through the Pilot and Rock Creek Canal. By that time Bottle Hill had become a thriving mining community with a book store and express office two grocery stores, a boarding house, a post office and the requisite number of saloons. Mining continued at Bottle Hill at least until the 1950s.

The Boulder Placer mine was located at Pilot Hill, where there was an old river channel remnant 20 to 40 feet deep. In 1936 it was worked by power shovel, with the gravel being treated in a stationary washing plant. The yield in gold was low, at only 13 to 60 cents per cubic yard when golds was $35 per troy ounce.

The Bower mine was a seam gold mine at Greenwood. It was active prior to 1892, when $2,000,000 in gold was removed. The seams were in a zone of slate and schist, 30 to 100-feet wide.

Three are three different mines known as the Brandon mine, most likely all named for the long-time Brandon family that lived in the area. The first was a chromite mine three miles east of Latrobe on a ridge between Hungry Hollow and Indian Creeks. It was active in 1918 when four carloads of ore were produced. The ore was found in a series of northwest-trending chromite pods.

The second mine was one of the few silica mines in El Dorado county. Located near Brandon Corner, south of Shingle Springs, the silica was mined from a massive quartz vein 10 to 35 feet wide that crops out for a distance of 250 feet.

Nearby was the third mine, the  Brandon (Richardson) soapstone mine that was active in 1920. One carload of soapstone was produced from a 2-foot lens, developed by a short crosscut adit and drift.

Browns Bar River Placer mine was in a deposit of bluish-gray limestone near Browns Bar on the Middle Fork of the American River. Later it became the Browns Bar River Consolidated Mine.

The Bryant mine was a chromite mine on the west bank of Big Canyon Creek two and one-half miles south of Brandon Corner. Like many other chromite mines it was active in 1918.

One and one-half miles to the northeast of Latrobe was the Bryant Ranch mine. A 64-foot shaft was sunk in the four-foot wide vein of copper oxide during the 1860s. Also on the Bryant Ranch was the Bryant soapstone mine. Small amounts of material were mined by Industrial Minerals and Chemical Company in 1954 for use as an insecticide carrier.

The Buchannan Placer mine was near Indian Diggings, in the south part of the county.

The Buck mine was a slate mine adjacent to the present Chili Bar slate mine. It was active in the 1880s.

The Buckeye Canyon claim, which along with the Browns Bar claim, was owned by the Ideal Cement Company in San Francisco, was another bluish-grey deposit of limestone. It was apparently never worked.

The Buckeye Hill (Flora) mine was a placer gold mine on Buckeye Point, two miles west of Volcanoville. The deposit consisted of alternating layers of gravel and cemented material as much as 1000 feet wide. It was mined in the 1890s and early 1930s by hydraulic methods and drifting from a 400-foot bedrock adit. The gravel yielded $1.33 per ton.

The Buck’s Bar mine was a dragline operation on the North Fork of the Cosumnes River, northeast of the crossing at Buck’s Bar. The gold-bearing gravel deposit, which was 8 to 16-feet deep, was worked in 1936.

The Bucks Bar tungsten mine was two miles west of Buck’s Bar crossing, by the North Fork of the Cosumnes River. Mined was small amounts of scheelite, an important tungsten ore.

Just to the west of Georgetown was the Buffalo Hill manganese mine, that was not much more than a prospect (initial evaluation). The ore assayed at 11.7 percent manganese.

The Bullion Quartz mine was one of many located about one mile southeast of Diamond Springs.

The Bunker Hill mine was a copper mine two miles southwest of Greenwood. Active in the 1860s it was developed by a 60-foot shaft.

The Burnett mine was a chromite mine one mile southwest of Salmon Falls on the north side of the American River. 139 tons of chromite was removed in 1918 from layered and disseminated bodies of chromite by open cuts and shallow shafts.

Three miles south of Volcanoville was the Burt Alley mine. It was a gravel deposit of unknown dimensions worked around 1894.

The Butler Pit was an aggregate and road surfacing material mine in the Tahoe Basin, two miles north of Meyers near the Truckee River. River gravel and sand from decomposed granite was mined.

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