Mines of El Dorado County

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

Three miles east of Pilot hill was the Pioneer Copper, Gold and Silver (Pioneer-Lilyama, Little Emma, Volo) mine. This multi-ore mine, located on 20.65 acres, was a consolidation of the Pioneer and Lilyama mines which were originally worked in the 1860s. However, it wasn’t until 1889-90 that the main copper deposit was found when adits were finally driven into the hill. The mine was idle until 1943 when it was reopened by the Volo Mining Company of Placerville. A considerable amount of copper, along with some silver and gold was produced until the mine was shut down in 1948. As mentioned before, in the fall of 1954 and spring of 1955, the mill on the property was leased to the Pillikin Mining Company to treat chrome ore. In 1955 work was done to rehabilitate the mine and some ore was mined and stockpiled. The deposit contains many different kinds of ore, including the lead ore scheelite, in addition to various copper ores, which are found in pods up to 100 feet in width. The deposit was developed by four crosscut adits on two levels, several shafts along with hundreds of feet of drifts, raises and winzes. On the hill above the mine are open cuts, trenches and two glory holes (the results of raises that reach the surface). In 1948 an assays of the concentrates from the mill averaged 28 percent copper, $28 to $34 per ton in gold and $14 per ton in silver.

The Placerville Channel mine was an isolated placer gold mine one and one-half miles north of Pacific House.

The Placerville Gold Mining Company, which was incorporated in 1911 as a successor to the Placerville Gold Quartz Company, Ltd., and English concern incorporated in 1878, operated numerous lode gold and placer gold mines in the county. These mines were along a portion of the Mother Lode extending from one mile south of the South Fork of the American River, through the Placerville City Limits to Weber Creek, a distance of some four miles. The mines included: the True Consolidated Mine with the Young Harmon, Old Harmon, Halleck and Berry claims; the Van Hooker, Grass, Brown Bear, Cinnamon Bear, White Bear and Eureka claims; the Epley Consolidated Mine composed of the Epley, Faraday, Henrietta and Mammoth claims; the Rose, Chester, Ida, Oregon and Oregon Extension claims and the Pacific Quartz Mine. Among these the most notable mines in this group were the Pacific Quartz Mine, the Epley Consolidated Mine and the True Consolidated Mine.
The first of these mines, the Pacific Quartz mine, was a lode gold mine located in Placerville, south of Town Hall and the Chamber of Commerce building, between Main and Pacific Streets (Pacific Street is named for this mine). It was active from 1852-59 and again from 1914-15 with a total recorded production of nearly $1,500,000 in gold (with gold varying in price from about sixteen to 30 dollars an ounce at the time). The deposit consisted of a number of ore shoots several hundred feet long and as wide as 12 feet. It was developed by a 700-foot shaft with a 1,365-foot winze from the 700-foot level. The gold-bearing quartz, once removed, was treated on-site in a 20 stamp mill.
Only a short distance from the Pacific Quartz mine, south of Placerville, between Chili Ravine and Weber Creek, was the second of these mines, the Epley Consolidated mine. It was active up until 1888. The vein of gold-bearing quartz averaged six feet in width and two ore shoots, 125 and 150 feet long were worked. The mine was developed by an adit and two shafts. The ore was treated with mercury (amalgamation) and the sulfides were concentrated for further processing.
The third of these mines, the True Consolidated mine, was located just north of Placerville in Big Canyon. Just prior to being acquired by the Placerville Gold Quartz Mining Company in 1893, this property was operated by the True Consolidated Mining and Milling Company. The deposit consisted of two veins of gold-bearing quartz, the east one averaging four feet in width; the west one averaging fifteen feet. The mine was developed by a 1,400-foot south drift adit and, on the Old Harmon part of the mine, a 560-foot shaft. There was some prospecting on this property in 1931.

There were two Placerville Placer mines, one on the south boundary of Placerville near the Mother Lode and the other three miles east of Diamond Springs.

The Plattsburg mine was uniquely both a lode gold and placer gold mine three-fourths of a mile north of Georgetown. It was active in 1896 when a 1 to 4-foot wide gold-bearing quartz vein, containing coarse gold, was developed. Little is known about the placer gold operation.

The Plattsville mine was a placer gold mine on 120 acres one mine north of Smith Flat.

Four miles northeast of Pleasant Valley was a lode gold mine known as the Pleasant Valley mine. It was active first in the 1880s and later in 1935. A 2 ½ to 6-foot vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by a 480-foot adit and a 110-foot shaft.

Another mine named the Pleasant Valley mine was a placer gold mine near Pleasant Valley that was prospected in 1894. It is not known if any real work was done at this mine.

The Plunkett mine was a placer gold mine one and one-half miles north of Smith Flat.

The Pocahontas (Pocahontas Quartz mine and Mill Site)  mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode, two and one half miles south of the townsite of El Dorado on 59.39 acres of the Mother Lode. It was opened in 1854 and by 1867 was in full operation. It continued to be active until 1896. It was later prospected around 1939. Two gold-bearing quartz veins, the Pocahontas and the Empire, about 300 feet apart were developed by 300 and 400-foot inclined shafts and about 1700 feet of drifts. The Pocahontas vein was drifted north 500 feet and south 200 feet on the 100-foot level and a total of 1000 feet on the 300 foot level. The depth of the mine reached about 525 feet. The ore, which ranged in value from $4 to $25 per ton, was treated in a ten-stamp mill propelled by a sixteen horsepower steam engine.

One mile north of Omo Ranch was a lode gold mine on 20.65 acres known as the Polar Bear (Polar, Empire Group, White Bear) mine. It has long been idle.

The Polhemus mine was a lode gold mine two miles west of Diamond Springs.

The strangely named Poor mine was a lode gold mine one mile northwest of Kelsey. It was active around 1938 when 200 to 300 tons of ore were mined. Development consisted of open cuts and a 37-foot shaft.

The Porphyry (Fisk) mine was a lode gold mine on the western edge of Placerville probably on a gold bearing quartz belt west of the Mother Lode often known as the Porphyry Belt.

The Potosi mine was a placer gold mine one and one-half miles east of Omo Ranch.

The Potossi mine was a lode gold mine one mile south of Diamond Springs on the Mother Lode.

The Potts and Maginess mine was a placer gold, drift mine three-fourths of a mile east of Newtown. It also has long been idle.

The Poverty Bar mine was a placer gold mine two and one-half miles northwest of Greenwood, near the Middle Fork of the American River.

The Poverty Point (Guildford) mine, which was listed in 1899 as “One of the most promising mines on the Mother Lode, in El Dorado County,” is a lode gold mine situated three miles north of Placerville. Nearly a mile in length along the course of the Mariposa slate, it is actually a group of claims that totaled some 500 acres: the Iowa, Hidden Treasure, Bantam, Baltic, Humming Bird, Poverty Point, Brighton, Bell and Fortuna. Since the property is on the south side of the river canyon, the gold could be mined through four adits at a lower operating cost than usual. It is claimed locally that the mine produced about $500,000 in gold, but there is only a record of a little over $200,000 in gold being taken out since 1901, nearly all of which was produced between 1912 and 1917 from ore that averaged from $4 to $5 a ton.
The Guildford Gold Mining company quit work in 1917 after running the River adit level (150 feet above the South Fork of the American River) 600 feet into the vein. In 1919 the 15 stamp mill burned and the mine lay idle until 1923 when El Dorado County Mining and Development Company took over the operation. They advanced the River adit level 685 feet and installed ten 1000-pound stamps, but milled only a little ore in 1925. Sometime later the Golden Horseshoe Mining Corporation took over, sinking a winze below the old 500-foot level adit which was 127-feet deep by 1932. The newspapers from the late 1920s have numerous stories about the Poverty Point mine, potential buyers, scheduled re-openings  and its richness.

The Promised Land mine was a lode gold mine three miles east of Diamond Springs.

The Prune Ravine mine was a lode gold mine about five miles east of Diamond Springs.

The Puglia mine as a placer gold mine on 19.32 acres two miles northwest of Garden Valley.

Four miles due north of Shingle Springs and one and one-half miles northeast of Rescue, on what some call the “West Gold Belt”, the Pyramid Group operated the Pyramid (Gold Reserve, Pyramid Gold and Silver) mine, a lode gold mine on 23.65 acres.
An interesting story associated with this mine is that sometime around 1895, the U.S. Post Office Department decided that they wanted to do away with the name Green Valley for a local town because there were already too many towns with that name. The Department requested the owner of the building that would house the post office to submit a list of new, one-word names for the town. One proposed name on the list was submitted by Andrew Hare, who had a nearby mining claim called the Rescue Claim. His claim had “rescued” him from poverty and he thought it would be a fine name for the town. The town became Rescue and the claim became the Pyramid Mine.
When the mine was first active in the 1890s, a ore shoot over 500 feet in length was worked through two 500-foot drift adits and a 50-foot shaft. In 1933 the mine was reopened and, for six years, was operated by several concerns.
Power for the stamp mills (around 20 stamps or more) and the 100 ton ball mill was provided by steam boilers and a 40 foot water wheel using water from Weber Creek. (Personal communication from Louis Wunschel, who worked there in the 1930s)
Ultimately, the mine was developed by an 818-foot inclined shaft with production chiefly from the 500, 700 and 800-foot levels. The total output of the mine was around $1,000,000 in gold.

Previous ArticleIndexNext Article

Mines of El Dorado County: “Q” and “R” (Part 1)

The Quail mine was a placer mine on 40 acres one mile northwest of Indian Diggings.

The Quail Consolidated mine was a lode gold mine consisting of two claims totaling 77.154 acres of the Mother Lode two miles south of Kelsey.

The Quartz Canyon Mine, a placer gold mine one mile south of Volcanoville, and appropriately located in Quartz Canyon. During the 1890s debris that had accumulated from other mining activities and natural forces was worked for gold in a “self-shooting” reservoir.

The Quiggle mine was a lode gold mine on 30 acres of the Mother Lode, two miles northwest of Kelsey. It was owned by one John Quiggle.

The Raffetto mine was a placer mine on 40 acres two miles southwest of Camino, south of Weber Creek.

The Railroad mine was a placer gold mine of 80 acres two miles north of Kelsey near Spanish Flat.

The Railroad Hill mine was a lode gold mine on the west branch of the Mother Lode two miles northwest of Greenwood.

The Rainbow (Wild West) mine was a 24 acre lode gold mine one and one-half miles northwest of Garden Valley on the western branch of the Mother Lode.. The deposit consisted of a system of gold-bearing quartz veins as much as twenty-three feet wide that was mined in 1896. The deposit was developed by open cuts and a twenty-five foot shaft. Ore was treated in a four-stamp mill.

The Raloom mine was a lodge gold claim adjacent to the town of Omo Ranch.

The Randall mine was a placer gold mine nine miles west of Rescue on the South Fork of the American River. It is now under Folsom Lake.

Two miles south of Placerville, near Weber Creek, was the Rattler mine, a lode gold mine. It was active prior to 1894 and developed by two adits.

The Rattlesnake Bridge (Alabaster Cave, Rattlesnake Bar) deposit was a very large limestone mine located one mile east of Rattlesnake Bridge (now under Folsom Lake) and five miles south of Auburn. The deposit was worked intermittently from the 1860s on by a number of different concerns, including the Auburn Chemical Lime Company (1930-1942); Auburn Lime Products Company (1946-1948); Hughes-Vertin Lime Company (1949-1954); and Vertin Lime Company (1954-1955) until the mine and plant were purchased by the Semon Lime Company in July of 1955.
The deposit, 4,000 feet long and 80 to 100 feet in width, is developed by four quarries, both north and south of the processing plant, up to 500 feet long, 25 to 50 feet wide and up to 75 feet deep. All limestone mined at this location and limestone purchased for a time from the California Rock and Gravel Company in Cool, was processed at a plant at the mine. Once processed the limestone was shipped to steel plants, the building-trades industry or sold as roofing granules, chicken grits, limestone flour and road metal (road surfacing rock).

The Rau and Patterson mine was a placer gold mine on 60 acres one and one-half miles north of Georgetown.

The Red Diggings mine was a placer gold mine one and one-half miles southeast of Volcanoville.

The Red Gold mine was an unreported type of gold mine about five miles southeast of Omo Ranch.

Two miles northwest of Garden Valley was the Red Hill mine, a lode gold mine on the west branch of the Mother Lode. It was active around 1914 when a vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by a 100-foot inclined shaft and a 350-foot drift. The ore was treated in a two-stamp mill.

There is a second Red Hill mine located on 21 acres of the Mother Lode one mile north of Kelsey on the Mother Lode. Both of these may be the same mine poorly described.

The Red Raven Consolidated mine was a series of four adjacent lode gold claims totaling 71.13 acres two miles east of Rescue.

The Red Rover mine was a lode gold mine three miles southeast of the townsite of El Dorado. It was active in 1894 and again in 1920, when a vein of gold-bearing quartz, which varied in width from half a foot to three feet, was developed by two shafts, 30 and 130 feet in depth, and 115 feet of drifts. There was a second Red Rover mine, a lode gold mine only described as being in the general area of Rescue.

The Red Top mine was a lode gold mine three miles south of the town of El Dorado on the Mother Lode.

Three miles south of the townsite of El Dorado was the Red Wing mine, a lode gold mine. Located on 20 acres of the Mother Lode (including the Red Top mine’s 5.7 acres) it was first active from 1914 to 1922 and again in 1926. At this location a five-foot vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by an upper 125-foot adit and a lower 525-foot crosscut adit and drifts. The ore was treated in a two-stamp mill.

The Reed and Kayser mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode, at the northwest edge of Placerville.

An iron mine known as the Reliance mine was located three miles north of Bass Lake (Bass Lake is between Cameron Park and El Dorado Hills). Two magnetite veins, four and one-half feet in width, were developed by three shafts, 50, 218 and 312 feet in depth. The shafts have since been caved in for safety purposes.

The Relief mine was an unknown type of gold mine two and one-half miles southwest of Omo Ranch.

The Relocated Eureka mine was a lode gold mine one -half mile south of Placerville on the Mother Lode.

There is a second Relocated Eureka mine, also a lode gold mine, one and one-half miles northwest of Placerville on the Mother Lode.

The Reon mine was a placer gold mine on 20 acres, one and one-half miles south of Smith Flat.

The Reuter and Co. Hydraulic mine was a placer gold mine one mile south of Camino near Weber Creek.

The Revenge mine was a lode gold mine on the west branch of the Mother Lode, one mile south of Greenwood. Later this mine would become part of the Revenge Consolidated mine group, consisting of four sites: the Revenge location, the Revenge mill site, Jerome Raber location and Jerome Raber mill site.

There is a second Revenge mine, also a lode gold mine, two and one-half miles north of Greenwood on the west branch of the Mother Lode.

Two miles south of Pilot Hill was the Revoir mine, a copper mine. It was located just south of the Costa Ranch Mine and not much more than a prospect.

The Ribbon Rock mine was a lode gold mine one and one-half miles south of Placerville on the Mother Lode.

A second Ribbon Rock mine, also a lode gold mine, was located one mile north of Placerville on the Mother Lode.

The Rich mine was a placer gold mine three miles east of Volcanoville.

The Rich Gulch mine was lode gold mine on the east branch of the Mother Lode, one mile north of Garden Valley.

The Richards mine was a lode gold mine one 20.008 acres of the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles south of Diamond Springs.

The Richelieu mine was a lode gold mine on 20.20 acres of the Mother Lode, two miles south of the townsite of El Dorado. It was active in 1932 when a small amount of gold was mined through a shaft of unknown depth and 275-foot adit. Some of the ore was treated at the Church Mine’s mill.

One mile southeast of the town of Fair Play was the Richmond mine (Richmond and Syracuse, Richmond Consolidated Group), a lode gold mine on 38 acres. Little more is known about it other than the ore was treated in an eight-stamp mill.

The Ringgold Lode and Keystone (also Rinegold and Keystone Lode) mine was a lode gold mine on 36.412 acres one and one-half miles east of Diamond Springs near Ringgold Creek.

The Rip and Tear (Dodson) mine was a copper mine located two miles north of Latrobe. Originally worked during California’s little known “copper boom” of the 1860s, it was reopened in 1918 when two carloads of copper ore was mined and shipped to a smelter. In 1943, W. J. Varozza, a Latrobe resident, cleaned out the workings of the mine and shipped a small amount of ore. The deposit consists of bands and stringers of copper ore as wide as five feet and containing as much as ten percent copper. Development at the mine consisted of a 100-foot main shaft and drifts. About a mile to the north of the main shaft was another shaft, forty feet in depth.

The Rip Van Winkle mine was a lode gold mine on 20.41 acres either two and one-half or five miles east of Garden Valley, depending on the report.

Previous ArticleIndexNext Article

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

Three miles southeast of Placerville, at Texas Hill, was a placer gold, drift mine known as the Rising Hope mine. Located on a claim somewhere between 100 and 228 acres in size, depending upon the date of the report, it was active from 1910 to 1920 and again in 1929. Here an ancient river channel of the South Fork of the American River two to seven feet thick and up to 700 feet wide, near the junction of the Newton (Newtown?) and Smith’s Flat channels, was developed by two drifts 3000 feet and 3500 feet in length. The gold was released from the cemented gravel using a 50-ton barrel mill.

The Rising Sun (Potter) mine was a 20 acre lode gold mine one mile northwest of Kelsey on the Mother Lode. It has been idle for a long time.

The River Hill group of mines, which included the Bell, Gentle Annie, Ball Consolidated, Lucky Star, Lyon and New Era, was located on 178 acres of the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles northwest of Placerville (in the area of the historic Gold Bug Mine). Originally worked around 1865 and then from 1890 to 1906, these mines were very rich, and produced quite a large amount of gold. Five parallel veins, with ore shoots up to thirty feet in width and 150 feet in length, were developed by 1550-foot and 600-foot inclined shafts, a 2400-foot adit and much drifting. The ore was originally treated in a ten-stamp mill, which was replaced with a twenty-stamp mill in 1901. They apparently also operated lode gold mines one mile south of Diamond Springs, also on the Mother Lode.
The River Pine Mining Company, Ltd., of San Francisco, operated a dragline dredge near Nashville in 1941-42, near Plymouth in 1946 and near Diamond Springs in 1949-50.

Another placer gold, drift mine at Texas Hill, two miles southeast of Placerville, was the Rivera (Revera?) mine, which was located on 63 acres. Prior to 1900 and then around 1905 a portion of a channel of the ancient South Fork of the American River was developed by a 900-foot adit, raises and drifts. An extensive amount of information on this mine appears in the California State Mineralogists’ Report for 1900. A copy of it is in the rare book case at the main library in Placerville.

There is also a Rivera and Deep Channel Consolidated placer gold mine shown to be located on 40 acres one mile south of Smith Flat. This and the previous mine may be the same mine reported at two different times, years apart.

The Robert B. Henderson mine was a placer mine consisting of 21.14 acres two miles north of cool on the Middle Fork of the American River.

The Robert H. Redd mine was a placer gold claim on 80 acres one-half mile east of Smith Flat.

The Robert Lee mine was an unknown type of gold mine six and one-half miles east of Grizzly Flat.

The Robert Nelson mine was a placer gold claim on 80 acres half way between Diamond Springs and El Dorado just north of Highway 49.

The Robert Veerkamp Prospect was a series of small holes on agriculture land about six miles north of Kelsey by road. It was located on the western side of the Mother Lode, about one mile west of the main lode. Little more is known about mining on this property.

The Rock Tunnel mine was a placer gold mine on 80 acres two miles north of Smith Flat.

One-half mile east of Greenwood was a lode gold mine known as the Rocky Bar mine. It was active prior to 1894 when a one-foot wide vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by open cuts and shallow shafts.

A second Rocky Bar mine was a placer gold mine consisting of 40 acres on the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River, near the Cosumnes Copper Mine and limestone deposit. It was active in the early 1920s when potholes in the limestone lying under the river were worked for placer gold with pumps and derricks.

A third Rocky Bar mine was a placer gold mine two miles northeast of Fair Play near Slug Gulch. This mine may be the same as the one listed above.

The Rocky Bend mine was a lode gold mine two miles south of Garden Valley on the Mother Lode. There is also a report of a Rock Bend mine about one-half mile south of it, also on the Mother Lode.

The Rocky Point mine was a placer gold mine located on 43 acres, two miles north of Cool on the Middle Fork of the American River.

The Roosevelt mine was a placer gold mine on 20 acres one mile south of Garden Valley.

There is a second Roosevelt mine on 8.402 acres of the Mother Lode about one-half mile north of the first one. These may be two different reports, several years apart, on the same mine.

The Roscoe mine was a lode gold mine located three miles northeast of Latrobe. Some prospecting of a twelve-foot wide vein of gold-bearing quartz was done in 1896. There is no record of any real production of ore.

The Rose mine was a lode gold mine one-half mile south of Placerville on 7.89 acres of the Mother Lode. It was at one time operated by the Placerville Gold Mining Co.

A second Rose mine was a lode gold mine on 14 acres just east of Pilot Hill.

The Rose Anita and Deutcherbund mine was a lode gold mine on 33.167 acres of the Mother Lode one mile north of Placerville.

The Rosecranz (Rosecrans, Rosencranz) mine was a lode gold mine on 20 acres of the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles northwest of Garden Valley. Prior to 1888 the deposit was worked to a depth of 200 feet through an inclined shaft and the ore then treated in a ten-stamp mill. In 1888 alone, more than $21,000 worth of gold was produced from a vein of gold-bearing quartz that yielded a rich $11 in gold per ton. Additional work was done on the mine between 1916 and 1918 and, from 1936 until the mine closed in 1939, the Lode Development Company of Auburn operated it. An irregular vein of gold-bearing quartz, containing 80 percent native gold and averaging three and one-half feet in width, was developed by deepening the original shaft to 350 feet and creating working levels at 100, 130, 200, 250 and 350 feet. Ore shoots up to 150 feet in length were worked both north and south and, on the 100-foot level, a 165-foot crosscut was extended east to the adjoining, equally rich, Taylor vein. The Lode Development Company treated the ore in a 100-ton mill with a Bendelari jig and a bank of five flotation cells. The mine and mill employed thirty men.

The Rose Kimberly mine was a lode gold mine two miles northwest of the town of Rescue on 150 acres. Two lens shaped (lensoid) quartz veins, containing not only gold but other ores, were developed by a 220-foot inclined shaft with levels at 60, 120 and 220 feet.

The Roundout (Round Out, Danaher) mine was a placer gold mine one and one-half miles northwest of Smith Flat. Around 1919 a 400-foot inclined shaft and 600-foot drift east were driven in an attempt to find an ancient river channel. There is no record of their success and in some documents only the name, and no location, is mentioned.

The Rowe and Co. mine was a placer gold mine on 40 acres two miles north of Georgetown.

The Rowland mine was a placer gold mine just south of the southern boundary of Placerville. Tons and tons of rock left from hydraulic mining in this area was used to construct today’s Highway 50.

Two and one-half miles east of Volcanoville on 35 acres was a placer gold, drift and hydraulic mine known as the Rubicon mine. The deposit of ancient river gravel four feet thick and twenty-seven feet wide was worked in the 1880s and 1890s, first by hydraulicking and later by a 110-foot drift. This mine would later be consolidated with the nearby Alhambra placer mine as the Rubicon and Alhambra mine, consisting of a total of 90.10 acres.

A second Rubicon mine was one of El Dorado County’s few tungsten mines, and was located just east of the junction of the Middle Fork of the American River and the Rubicon River at the northern county line. This deposit of scheelite (tungsten ore) was large and mined in both El Dorado and Placer counties.

The Ruby Consolidated mine was a chromite and lode gold mine located one mile south of Volcanoville. During World War I, three carloads of 46 percent chromite ore was mined. Intermittently, during the years 1928-1940, gold was also mined through a 900-foot adit and 180-foot vertical shaft. The gold ore was treated in a two-stamp mill.

The Rudolph and Schleicher mine was a lodge gold mine on 20.65 acres two miles east of Rescue.

The Russian American mine was a lode gold mine two miles south of Garden Valley on the Mother Lode.

The Ruxford (Rixford, Welsh) mine was a lode gold mine on the west branch of the Mother Lode one-half mile north of Greenwood.

One mile south of Kelsey was a lode gold mine known as the Ryan mine. Located on 20 acres of the Mother Lode, It has been idle for a long time.

A second Ryan mine was a lode gold mine two miles south of Shingle Springs.

The Rymal mine was a lode gold mine one-half mile north of Garden Valley on the east branch of the Mother Lode.

Previous ArticleIndexNext Article

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

The Sailor Flat and Irish Creek mine was a 160 acre placer gold mine one and one-half miles south of Garden Valley.

Two miles north of Georgetown, in the Georgia Slide area, was a 29.66 acre placer gold mine known as the Sailor Slide mine. It was active from 1919 to 1922.
One mile northwest of Kelsey on 20 acres of the Mother Lode was a lode gold mine known as the St. Clair mine. It was active prior to 1915 and again around 1940.

The St. John mine was a 183.03 acre placer gold mine located seven miles east of Georgetown and five miles southeast of Volcanoville, near Chiquita.

The St. Lawrence Group operated a lode gold mine on 25.52 acres of the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles southeast of Garden Valley. From 1867 to 1878 nearly a half-million dollars in gold (at 1870s prices) was produced from a six foot wide vein of gold-bearing quartz that ranged from $8.54 to $27 per ton in gold, but averaged from $10 to $17 per ton. By the time the 500-foot level had been reached, $2,000,000 in gold had been removed. The deposit was developed by a 900-foot inclined shaft with a working level at 100 feet and a 200 foot winze at the 900-foot level. The ore was treated in a twenty-stamp mill.

Another St. Lawrence mine was a seam gold mine that yielded $23,000 in gold by hydraulicking. Because the gold was hydraulicked, this is probably the St. Lawrence and Florida placer gold mine which consisted of 98.56 acres and was one mile south of Greenwood.

The St. Lawrence No. 2 mile was a lode gold mile on 5.45 acres of the Mother Lode two miles northeast of Kelsey. This could be a part of the St. Lawrence Group’s workings.

The St. Louis mine was lode gold mine on the Mother Lode three and one-half miles south of the townsite of El Dorado.

A second St. Louis mine was a lode gold mine consisting of 18.77 acres on the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles southeast of Garden Valley.

Three miles southeast of Diamond Springs was the Salisbury mine, a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode. It is adjacent to and an extension of the very rich, Grand Victory mine. A vein of gold-bearing quartz, 100 feet in width, was actively mined from 1896 on and developed by a 110-foot inclined shaft. The ore, which varied in value from $8 to $30 per ton depending on the depth from which it was taken, was treated in two twenty-ton Huntington mills.

One mile north of Greenwood on 20.66 acres of the western branch of the Mother Lode was a seam gold mine known as the Sam Martin (San Martin?)mine. It was active in 1894-96 and consisted of a 20-foot wide zone of quartz seams in slate. The upper portion of the deposit was mined by sluicing and the lower portion mined through an 80-foot adit. The mine was equipped with a 200-foot flume.

The Samuel Fleming mine was an 80 acre placer gold claim one mile north of Pleasant Valley near Newtown.

The Samuel H. Maginess mine was a 400 acre placer gold claim two miles southeast of Camino on the north side of the South Fork of Weber Creek.

The Sand Mountain mine was a placer gold mine at an unknown location, but probably near Sand Mountain, 11 miles east of Georgetown. It did have a ten-stamp mill.

The San Francisco Slate Company operated slate mines on the north side of the South Fork of the American River, opposite Chili Bar. During the 1890s roofing slate was produced from several quarries at this location.

The Santa Claus mine was a lode gold mine consisting of 20 acres on the western branch of the Mother Lode, one-half mile north of Greenwood.

The Santa Rosa mine was a placer gold, drift mine on Hopkins Creek, one mile east of Volcanoville. During the years 1894 through 1896, a southwest trending channel of gold-bearing gravel was developed by a 718-foot adit.

The Santa Ynez mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode two and one-half miles south of the townsite of El Dorado. The workings consisted of four mines, the Santa Ynez, Sam Hill, Lookout and Mohawk, consisting of a total of 61.631 acres.

The Sardine mine was a placer gold mine four miles northwest of Greenwood near the Middle Fork of the American River.

The Scaroni (Melton) mine was a lode gold mine located two miles north of Grizzly Flat

The Scheel mine was a placer gold mine on 20 acres, six miles southeast of Indian Diggings, just north of the South Fork of the Cosumnes River.

The Schleifer mine was a lode gold mine on the west side of Big Canyon, seven miles south of Shingle Springs. The deposit was low grade auriferous pyrite and was actively mined prior to 1894.

The Schneider and Co. mine was a lode gold mine one mile south of Diamond Springs on the Mother Lode.

The School Girl mine was a lode gold mine on 32 acres of the Mother Lode two miles southeast of the townsite of El Dorado. It would become part of the Union mine.

The Schwalin Marble Quarry was located on 13.47 acres three miles southeast of Clarksville on Marble Creek.

The Sebastopol mine was an 18.87 acre lode gold mine three miles north of Greenwood at Spanish Dry Diggings.

One mile east of Diamond Springs on 60 acres of the Mother Lode was a lode gold mine called the Selby mine. It was active prior to 1900 and developed by a single 240-foot shaft. It is reported to have processed pyrites for the nearby Larkin mine.

In 1939 the Sells Brothers, who were from Auburn, operated a dry-line dredge in the very northern part of El Dorado County, south of the city of Auburn.

The Serpentine mine was a lode gold mine located two and one-half miles northwest of Georgetown on the eastern branch of the Mother Lode.

The Seven Bells (Sporting Boy) mine was a copper mine four miles west of Placerville. A vein of copper and gold up to eighteen inches wide, it was prospected in 1917 and 1918 and developed by a 65-foot shaft.

The Shady Side (Shadyside) mine was a lode gold mine located one and one-half miles south of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode. It was later operated together with the Sunrise mine, the two consisting of a total of 30.722 acres.

The Sharp mine was a lode gold mine located six miles east of Placerville. It was first opened about 1870 and was again active twenty years later. The 12-foot wide vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by a 54-foot shaft along with 110 and 108-foot adits.

The Shaw (Shan Taz, Shan Tsz, Volo) mine was a lode gold mine located two miles north of the townsite of El Dorado and four miles southwest of Placerville. It was one of the better-known lode gold mines on what is often referred to as the West (gold) Belt in El Dorado County. The mine was originally active during the 1880s and again around 1915. In 1940 the Volo mining company leased the property and during 1941 and 1942 some ore was mined and milled experimentally. In 1942 the mine was shut down and then reopened in 1946 and operated until 1953. During the years 1943 and 1944, when the mine was inactive, and after it was shut down, the mill was used to process copper ore from as far away as the Copper Hill mine in Amador County. The ore body, which is a quartzitic schist, averages about 100 feet in width and has been worked for about 1000 feet. Prior to 1915, the mining was done underground through a 135-foot shaft, a 400-foot crosscut adit, a 300-foot south drift and a 200-foot north drift. When the mine was reopened in 1940, the mining method was shifted to an open cut that by 1955 was about 1000 feet long, 100 to 150 feet wide and 20 to 40 feet deep. The ore, which was relatively low grade containing only $2 to $4 of gold per ton, was blasted from the pit faces and trucked to the mill where it was treated by amalgamation (mercury) flotation and cyanidization.

The Shelly (Wolf) mine was a chromite mine located two miles southwest of Garden Valley. It was active in 1918, when chromium was a critical metal for the war effort, when 1,284 tons of ore containing 30 percent chromite was mined. The deposit, which consisted of irregular lenses of chromite in serpentine, was developed by an open pit and a shaft.

The Shepard mine was a lode gold mine on 12.43 acres of the western branch of the Mother Lode, one mile northwest of Greenwood.

The Shepard and Co. mine was a lode gold mine on 7.34 acres adjacent to the south boundary of Placerville.

The Sheplar and Co. mine was an 80 acre placer gold mine one-half mile east of Smith Flat.

Two miles west of Garden Valley was the Sheppard mine, a chromite mine. It was active during World War I, when more than 50 tons of 35 percent chromite ore was produced. This deposit also consisted of lenses of chromite in serpentine and was developed by open pits and shafts.

On the Mother Lode one mile north of Placerville was the Sherman mine, a lode gold mine. It was active in 1905 and 1908-11 with a total production of $136,000. The deposit, a five foot wide vein of gold-bearing quartz, was developed by a 750-foot inclined shaft with levels at 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 750 feet; a winze sunk from 750 feet and 5500 feet of drifts. The ore was treated in a mill that had ten 1000 pound stamps.

A second Sherman mine was a placer gold mine consisting of 80 acres one-half mile east of Smith Flat.

One mile east of Shingle Springs was a soapstone mine known as the Shingle Springs (Rossi) mine. Lenses of green soapstone in serpentine was developed by an open pit. The mined material was shipped for use as a roofing coating.

Another Shingle Springs mine was a quicksilver (mercury) mine five miles south of Shingle Springs. Only traces of cinnabar, an ore of mercury, was found at this location.

The Shoemaker mine was an 80 acre placer gold mine two miles southeast of Georgetown.

The Shumway mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode one mile southeast of Spanish Flat. It was prospected in 1938 and developed by a 100-foot shaft and 300-foot crosscut adit.

The Sierra Placerite quarry is one of the few dimension stone mines in El Dorado County. It is located just north of the junction of Newtown and Pleasant Valley roads in Pleasant Valley. The deposit, large beds of vitric crystal rhyolite tuff of Miocene age, some several hundred feet thick, occur in the region. The fine grained material is mined from open pits and then sawed and broken into the desired size for walls, building fronts, fireplaces, decorative items and the like. Naturally a light buff to white in color, it is often “cooked” to drive off moisture, which changes the color to shades of orange, red or pink. The “Rhyolite Building” on the north side of Pleasant Valley Road in Diamond Springs was constructed with material from this quarry.

The S. H. Goen and S. W. Wybles mine was a placer gold mine one and one-half miles north of the townsite of El Dorado.

The Sylvester (Silvester) and Schleicher mine was a placer gold mine of approximately 30 acres in size three miles south of Coloma in the Gold Hill area.

This mine surrounded another Silvester and Schleicher mine which was a 19.66 acre lode gold mine.

Two miles southwest of Garden Valley was a chromite mine known as the Simon mine. Like many of the others it was active during and right after World War I, when 94 tons of 35 percent chromite ore was produced. A deposit of lenses of chromite in serpentine, it was developed by open cuts.

The Simons mine was an iron prospect one and one-half miles south of Latrobe, near the Chaix mine. The deposit contained two ores of iron, magnetite and hematite.

The Simpson mine was a chromite mine located five miles north of Clarksville (Clarksville is near the southern end of El Dorado Hills). It was active in 1917, when 54 tons of ore of unreported purity was produced. The deposit of lenses of chromite near a serpentine-schist contact was developed by open cuts and shallow shafts.

The Sir Raleigh mine was a lode gold on the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles northeast of Diamond Springs.

The Skipper (Esperanza) mine was a lode gold mine located one-half mile east of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode. An unpatented claim known once as the Esperanza, the deposit consisted of a zone of gold mineralization 60 feet long and 40 feet wide. It was developed by an open cut with a 50-foot inclined shaft sunk in the bottom of the cut. There are also several other cuts and prospects on the property.

Previous ArticleIndexNext Article