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

The Calaveras mine was a lode gold mine four miles east of Latrobe. The quartz vein, containing both free gold and sulfides, was developed by 32 and 53-foot shafts and open cuts in 1896.

Two miles west of Kelsey was the Caledonia mine. Around 1900 a five foot quartz vein was mined for gold by way of a vertical shaft.

The California-Bangor Slate Company mine was located one mile northwest of Kelsey. It was active prior to 1915.

The California Location of the Perkins Consolidated mine was a lode gold mine located on the banks of the Middle Fork of the American River about six miles north of Georgetown.

The California Lode gold mine was located about one mile north of Diamond Springs on Weber Creek.

The California and Virginia Placer mine was on the Middle Fork of the American River one and one-half miles north of Volcanoville.

The California Consolidated (Ibid, Tapioca) mine was one mile southwest of Grizzly Flat. This lode gold mine was active in 1896 and reopened in 1938. The mine was developed by two crosscut adits, one 468 feet in length, the other 70 feet. The ore from the Tapioca claim, which was treated at the nearby Morey mill, yielded $11.30 per ton.

Another California Consolidated mine was located north of Nashville, about 2 miles from the Amador County line.

Three miles southwest of Georgetown was the California Jack mine. Prior to 1896 a 12-foot wide quartz vein was mined for gold by way of a 350-foot crosscut adit, a 200-foot north drift and a 90-foot shaft. The ore was treated on-site at a ten-stamp mill.

The California Slate Quarry was located three miles north of Placerville on the north side of the South Fork of the American River. It was active around 1889, but the slate turned out to be poor quality because of the presence of iron pyrite.

Three miles west of Coloma was the Cambrian mine, where three veins of copper bearing ore were mined in the 1850s, 1900 and 1908. The ore contained 10 percent copper, along with native copper and gold, and was developed by 113, 220 and 1360-foot adits, winzes and drifts.

The Camelback (Voss) mine was a copper mine located three miles southwest of Pilot Hill on Burner Hill. The ore was located in two massive, parallel quartz veins a half mile apart. One was developed by a 24-foot shaft, a 123-foot drift adit, and a 165-foot crosscut adit. The other, to the east of the first one, was developed by two shafts, one 200-foot deep, the other 40-foot deep.

The Campini mine was a lode gold mine located about two and a half miles north of Shingle Springs.

The Carlo Bacigalupo claim was a lode gold mine about two miles west of Newtown.

The Carpenter Ranch Placer mine was about five mines north of Georgetown and one mile south of the Middle Fork of the American River.

There was also another Carpenter mine, the Carpenter Blue Channel mine, near Smith’s Flat. The July 17, 1929 issue of the “Placerville Republican” reported that Ray Ruff, 21, had been killed by a falling rock at that mine.

The Carrie Hale mine was a placer mine at Henry’s Diggings, three miles south of Grizzly Flat. Active around 1894, an ancient river channel 60 feet wide and up to 5 feet thick was developed by a 400-foot bedrock adit. The “Pay Streak” was in blue gravel on granite bedrock and was mined in 12-foot “breasts” or increments.
On the east slope of Greenwood Hill was the Carrol mine, where gold in small seams of rock was removed by hydraulic methods.

The Case mine was a placer mine located on a branch of Otter Creek, about three miles north of Georgetown.

The Cash Boy mine was a lode gold mine located about one mile north of Shingle Springs.

On the Middle Fork of the American River, about one mile northwest of Volcanoville was the Cash Rock placer mine.

Another small seam gold mine was the Castile mine, one mile east of Garden Valley. Here two quartz veins in a seam zone 18 feet wide was hydraulicked in “the early days.”

The C. D. Lane claim consisted of 80 acres just east of the town of Fair Play.

The Cederberg (Drury) mine was a seam gold mine on the east side of American Canyon, two miles northeast of Greenwood. First mined in 1878 and then active in the 1890s and early 1920s, it consisted of small veins and veinlets in slate that yielded much specimen gold. Hydraulicked at first, it was later mined through a 318-foot shaft with levels at 100, 200 and 300 feet. There was also a Cederberg First Southerly Extension Mine adjacent to it.

The Cedar Creek mine was a placer mine on Cedar Creek, about two miles west of Omo Ranch in the southern part of the county.

Little is known about the Cedar Ravine mine, a placer gold mine that was located in Cedar Ravine, one mile south of Placerville. Well-cemented gravel was mined and treated at a 10-stamp mill.

The Cedar Spring mine was a drift placer mine also in Cedar Ravine, about one mile south of Placerville on the Green Mountain (gravel) channel. A 300 to 600 foot wide channel, with pay gravel 4 to 6-feet thick was mined from the 1870s into the early 1900s. The mine was developed by a 900-foot adit and 75-foot incline. There was also a second, lower adit of unknown dimensions.

The Cement Hill and Jordan placer mine was a drift placer mine on Cement Hill (named for the cemented gravels in the ancient river channel), three miles north of Georgetown. During the years 1894 – 96, it was prospected by digging 750 and 600-foot adits.

The Central El Dorado mine was a lode gold mine about one and a half miles northwest of the town of El Dorado.

The Central Pacific Railroad mine was a chromite mine located two miles southwest of Greenwood. During WWI, some 250 tons of ore were mined from a lens of 35 – 41 percent ore. Mining was by the open pit method.

The Central Railroad was also a chromite mine located near Flagstaff Hill, which is now part of the Folsom Reservoir property. It was a relatively small mine with a 200-foot shaft and some adits into a low grade ore body.

Just to the northwest of Placerville was the Chadbourne Consolidated mine. Little is known about it other than it consisted of 13.64 acres.

The Chaix mine was a chromite mine two miles southeast of Latrobe, worked first during WWI and then again during WWII. In 1953 several tons of ore were removed and trucked to the El Dorado Chrome Company’s custom mill at the Church Mine (south of El Dorado). From there, the concentrates were trucked to the Government stockpile at Grants Pass, Oregon. The ore, which averaged about 20 percent chromite, was mined by bulldozers from an open pit, 300 feet long by 200 feet wide by 30 feet deep.

The nearby Chaix Iron mine was located one and one-half miles south of Latrobe. A lens of magnetite and hematite as much as 25-feet wide that outcropped for some 60 feet was mined.

The Champion mine was located about one mile to the east of Diamond Springs, in a very heavily mined area.

The Chancellor mine was another of the lode gold mines near Indian Diggings, south of Omo Ranch.

Two miles northeast of Volcanoville there is a bend in the ancient channel of the American River. Here, the Barnes, Bend, Gray Eagle Bar and McCall claims were consolidated into the Channel Bend mine. During the 1890s the placer gold in this river bend was removed through a 136-foot shaft and 200 and 300-foot drifts.

The Chancellor mine was a lode gold mine about one and one-half miles north of Indian Diggings.

The Chaparral (Golden Queen) mine was on the Mother Lode, two miles southwest of Kelsey. A 6-foot wide quartz vein containing gold, yielding $7 to $15 per ton, was mined in both 1872-75 and 1901. The mine was developed by a 200- foot shaft and a 50-foot adit.

The Cherokee Flat mine was a lode gold mine about 3 miles north of Georgetown, near the mining town of Bottle Hill.

The Chester, a lode gold mine, was within the City of Placerville.

The Chili Bar Placer mine, which consisted of a claim of 30 acres on the South Fork of the American River, was very near the following, more familiar mine.

The Chili Bar Slate Quarry is on the south side of the South Fork of the American River, just east of the Chili Bar Bridge, three and one-half miles north of Placerville. It was first worked from 1887 – 1897 when roofing shingles and other forms of dimension slate were produced by the open-pit method. The quarry was idle until 1928 when it became an underground operation, producing roofing granules and slate-dust filler, among other products. It is still in operation, the material is crushed and sized on the property and trucked to users. Prior to the abandonment of the railroad, it was taken to Sacramento by train.

The Chili Ravine mine was a drift mine in Chili Ravine, two miles south of Placerville. During the years 1870-90 and 1912-15, the well cemented gravel, 3 to 12 feet thick, was mined for gold by the use of a 1200-foot crosscut adit and a 700-foot drift adit.

The China Hill mine was located three miles southwest of El Dorado. The five foot vein, consisting of small, rich shoots of quartz containing native gold, was mined prior to 1894. It was developed by a 200-foot crosscut adit, 200 feet of drifts and open cuts.

The Chouler mine was a lode gold mine located about two miles east of Pleasant Valley, south of Camp Creek.

At Henry Diggings, three miles south of Grizzly Flat, was the Christian mine. A drift mine in gold bearing gravels, it was worked intermittently in the 1940s and ‘50s.

The aptly named Chrome Divide mine was a chromite mine located on the Georgetown Divide, three miles east of Georgetown. During WWII, 51 tons of chromite was produced from a string of pods and lenses.

The Church mine was one of the better-known Mother Lode gold mines in El Dorado County. Located two miles southeast of the town of El Dorado, near Deadman Creek, it was first worked on a small scale about 1850. During the 1860s it was consolidated with the Union mine, to the south, yet later was worked separately. By 1868 the two mines had produced more than $600,000. Large amounts of mining went on during the 1880s and 90s and by 1896, the main shaft was 1200 feet deep. By 1900 the mining had reached the 1350 foot level. In 1907, the mine was shut down and then, in 1941, reopened with the shaft being rehabilitated, a new surface plant built and a 20-stamp mill installed. In 1942 the mine closed. The 20-stamp mill was used for a while in 1953 to process chromite ore for the El Dorado Chrome Company, who operated the Chaix, Murphy and other local chromite mines. Similarly, in late 1953 and 1954 tungsten ore was processed there.
The gold deposit at the Church mine consists of three parallel veins 5 to 10-feet thick. The west vein contained only low grade material and the east vein was worked at the Union Mine site. The middle vein, or Kidney vein, was where the principal mining was done, with working levels at 100, 200, 300, 350, 500, 600, 700, 850, 1000 and 1200 feet, where crosscuts were developed into the vein. Nearest the surface, the ore produced as much as $30 per ton, with the value decreasing to $17 per ton at the 1300 foot level and only $4 per ton beyond. Much of the Church mine is part of the County’s former landfill area.

On the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles southeast of Garden Valley was the Cincinnati mine. Active only in 1917-18, it was developed by open cuts and shallow shafts. The ore yielded only $3.82 of gold per ton, which was recovered by mercury amalgamation.

The C. J. Kuchel claim consisted of 155 acres about two miles east of Mt. Aukum.

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