Monthly Archives: May 2012

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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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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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.

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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