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

The Claghorn (Growers) mine was a drift mine on Cedar Creek, two miles south of Fair Play. Here an ancient gravel channel was mined for its gold by a 200-foot adit.

On the south side of Texas Hill, one mile southeast of Placerville was the Clark mine, a placer drift mine. Active only in the early days of the Gold Rush, it was developed by a several hundred foot adit, through which gold on several benches of the ancient river channel was removed.

The Clay Hill placer mine, was located on 80 acres just north of Placerville.

The Cleveland mine was a lode gold mine about two miles north of Kelsey.

About one mile north of Kelsey was the Climax mine, a lode gold mine.

The Clyde Lode, was a lode gold mine near the South Fork of the American River, about five miles west of Coloma.

The Clydesdale Consolidated mines were lode gold mines at two adjacent locations about 2 miles southeast of Georgetown: the Golden Gate Location and the Clydesdale Location.

The Coe Hill (Bathurst, Gold Star) mine was on the Mother Lode one mile south of Garden Valley. Active only in the 1920s, it was developed by shallow shafts and an adit. The veins yielded $6 to $20 of gold per ton.

The Cold Springs Sand and Gravel Company quarry was on Weber Creek, 4 miles west of Placerville. From 1950 to April of 1953, the El Dorado Rock and Sand Company produced sand, gravel and crushed rock from this deposit. In April of 1953, the deposit was leased by L. D. Forni who operated it under the name of the Cold Springs Sand and Gravel Company. Sand and gravel was excavated from the banks of Weber Creek by a dragline mounted on a truck and then processed and stockpiled nearby.

Near the South Fork of the American River, about two miles south of Kelsey was the Coleman and Berryman Consolidated mine, a lode gold mining operation. It consisted of two operations, the Coleman Location and the Berryman Location.
One mile to the northeast of Garden Valley was the Coloma Quartz mine’s Craft Location. It was mined along with other locations.

The Collins mine was a lode gold mine about one mile southeast of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode.

The Colwell mine was a placer mine on the South Fork of the American River about four miles west of Lotus. Nearer to Lotus, also on the same river was the Colwell 2 placer mine.

About five miles southeast of Pilot Hill and two miles southwest of Lotus was the Colwell Ranch lode gold mine.

The Collins and Bacchi mine was a very small operation near Garden Valley that was prospected prior to 1914.

The Columbia Flat placer mine was near Dutch Creek, about two miles north of Kelsey on the west side of the Placerville-Georgetown Road (now Highway 193).

The Comeback Consolidated (Bear Creek) mine was a tungsten mine 7 miles northeast of Placerville and 4 miles due east of Spanish Flat, near the north bank of Rock Creek. First located in 1930, it was worked during the years 1931-31, when $3,000 to $4,000 in tungsten ore (scheelite) was produced by sluicing. Adits 187-feet, 80-feet and 240-feet in length were used to remove the ore from a 2 to 3 foot vein of calcite. This property has been the source of the total recorded output of tungsten ore in the County.

The Confederate mine was a gravel drift mine two and one half miles southwest of Fair Play. Active in 1896, it was mined for gold by two adits, 250 and 200 feet in length.

The Confidence Consolidated mining operation consisted of a string of lode gold claims south of Nashville, near the Amador County line.

The Confidence and Glove Consolidated placer mining operation worked 40 acres on Ringgold Creek, about one and one half miles east of Diamond Springs.

The Consolidated Hydraulic claim consisted of 60 acres on Weber Creek about one mile south of Placerville.

The Consolidated Unity Extension mines, just north of Weber Creek about one and one half miles north of Rescue, consisted of the Laura Lode and the Emma Lode.

The Contraband (Ford) mine was two miles southeast of Georgetown. Active in 1860, 1902 and 1910, a 12-foot vein was mined for native copper and copper sulfides. Asbestos was also mined from this property before 1906.

Cooley Mine

The Cooley mine was a drift mine at Volcanoville. A William Ogles took some gold from it in 1934 and 1936.

The Cool-Cave Valley (Cowell-Cave Valley) mine is a limestone quarry on the largest limestone deposit in El Dorado County.  It is located 4 miles east of Auburn on the south side of the Middle Fork of the American River.  The two lenses of high purity (97% calcium carbonate) limestone at this location measure 5500 feet by 400 feet and 2000 feet by 600 feet.  Their depth is unknown, but they have been worked as deep as 800 feet at the north end.  No one knows for sure when limestone was first removed from this location, but during the 1880’s and 1890’s, limestone was quarried from the southern part of the deposit and burned in stone lime kilns for the production of cement.  From 1910 – 1940 the Pacific Portland Cement Company operated a massive quarry at the north end of the deposit, by the Middle Fork of the American River.  This deep quarry, known as Mountain Quarries, produced enormous amounts of limestone that was crushed, sized and shipped over a company owned railroad across the “No Hands Bridge” to Auburn and then to either their plant in Solano County or beet sugar refineries (limestone of very high purity is necessary for the production of beet sugar).  In 1942 the quarry was abandoned and the railroad dismantled.  Later, this portion of the quarry would be reactivated and later, be acquired for Auburn Reservoir.  The southern portion of this quarry is still mined with the limestone being used for beet-sugar refining and other purposes.  Mining at this location has been by many methods, one interesting one called “coyote” holes.  Several adits were driven into the quarry face and then branches perpendicular to it.  These were loaded with dynamite and a whole years supply of limestone was dislodged in one huge blast.

The Coon Hollow mine, which included the Excelsior Claim, was one of the largest drift and hydraulic mines in El Dorado County. It was located one mile south of Placerville at what is now appropriately known as Big Cut. From 1852 to 1861 the gravel was removed by drifting and between 1861 and 1871, by hydraulic means. Water for the water “cannons” was brought by ditch and pipe from miles up the American River Canyon. Through the use of water pressure, ten million dollars in gold was removed from gravel that averaged about $1 per yard (yes, that is 10,000,000 cubic yards of material, or more, that was removed). The tailings from the operation, which were deposited in the canyons to the south, were later mined for silica and even later for aggregate to build bridges, freeways and other roads.

The Copper Chief mine was a copper mining operation two miles east of Georgetown. Mining was done from two outcrops, 100 to 200 feet wide.

The Costa Ranch mine was a copper mine two miles southwest of Pilot Hill. The veins of ore were mined by a 60-foot vertical shaft and open cuts.

The Cosumnes mine was a copper mine four miles north of Fair Play, by the Cosumnes River. Originally worked in 1859, it was re-activated in both 1896 and during WWI. During WWII, some ore was produced from open cuts. In 1955 a lessee reopened some of the old workings. The mine is worked through a 150-foot crosscut adit driven westward with drifts running northeast and southwest along the mineralized zone. In addition, there is a lower crosscut adit about 40-feet below the main adit, connected to it by a winze, along with a number of open cuts on the surface.

Another Cosumnes (Melton, Middle End) mine was a lode gold mine located two and one-half miles north of Grizzly Flat. During the 1880’s and early 1890’s it was known as the Melton Mine. In 1928 it was reopened as the Middle End Mine and was operated until 1942. Cosumnes Mines Inc., reopened it again in 1945 and continued its operation until the 1950’s. The main, or Middle End, vein, had an average width of three feet, which contained as much as $25 per ton in gold. Gold sulfide concentrates, which were trucked to a smelter, yielded as much as $200 per ton of gold. The mine was developed by a 380-foot southwest crosscut adit and several thousand feet of drifts.

The Cothrin mine was a copper mine near Cothrin Station (north of Latrobe). It was developed by a 100-foot shaft.

The Cousin Jack (a name often given to Cornish miners) mine was located five miles southwest of Grizzly Flat and active prior to 1894. A one to 4-foot wide vein of gold bearing quartz was mined by 400 and 300-foot drift adits and a 70-foot winze.

The Cove Hill mine was a lode gold mine about three miles south of Georgetown.

The Cowell Lime mine, which was also known as the Blue Marble Quarry, became the above Cool-Cave Valley Quarry.

Another Cowell mine was a very small chromite mine three miles east of Clarksville. Four carloads of ore was removed during WWI.

The Coyote Hill lode gold mine was located about one and one half miles west of the town of El Dorado.

The Cranes Gulch (Whitesides) mine was a seam gold mine one mile south of Georgetown. Prior to 1874 $100,000 in gold was produced from an open pit 250 feet long, 150 feet wide and 70 feet deep.

The Crawford mine was a lode gold mine near Somerset.

The Croft mine was a lode gold mine about one mile southeast of Greenwood on the west branch of the Mother Lode.

The Crown Point Consolidated (Bald Eagle, Gold Queen) mine was on the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles southeast of Diamond Springs. Originally developed in 1894 and reactivated in 1923, three veins of quartz, 4 to 20-feet wide were developed by a 500-foot inclined shaft with working levels at 100, 200, 300 and 400 feet. Water was removed from the shaft by a 600-foot drain tunnel that intersected the shaft at the 300-foot level. There was also a second shaft, 150-feet deep, to the south of the main shaft.

On the Mother Lode two miles south of Diamond Springs was the Crusader mine. Active prior to 1914 and later in 1929, its 3-foot wide vein of gold bearing quartz was mined by a 100-foot inclined shaft with a 100-foot working level.
There were at least three lode gold mines in El Dorado County by the name of Crystal. The first was one-half mile north of Cool and active in 1896 and 1931. A gold bearing quartz vein was developed by a 25-foot shaft and two, 60-foot inclined shafts.

The second Crystal Mine was on the Cosumnes River, five miles southeast of Grizzly Flat. Active around 1894, its three veins were mined by 70 and 250-foot shafts and a 1200-foot crosscut adit.

The third and largest Crystal Mine, also known as the El Dorado Crystal Mine, was 3 miles south of Shingle Springs and a half mile south of the community of Frenchtown. A vein of quartz as much as 12 feet wide was originally worked prior to 1890, through a 250-foot inclined shaft and a 350-foot crosscut adit. The ore was treated on-site with a 10-stamp mill. The mine was reopened in 1937 by Ben Lockwood of Shingle Springs, who operated it until 1940. Ultimately, the mine was developed by the 250-foot inclined shaft and a 1,028-foot adit. 328 feet in from the portal (opening) of the adit, a 480-foot inclined winze was sunk with levels at 200, 326 and 456 feet.

The Crystal Complex mine was a lode gold mine about one mile north of Kelsey.

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