Mines of El Dorado County

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

Three miles northwest of Slate Mountain (southeast of Georgetown) was the Slate Mountain mine, a lode gold mine. It was active intermittently from 1921 to 1941 and again in 1951. A one and one-half to six foot-wide vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by a 600-foot crosscut adit and 2400 feet of drifts. The ore was treated in a 10-stamp mill.

A second Slate Mountain mine, nearer Slate Mountain, was also a lode gold mine. The deposit consisted to two veins of gold-bearing quartz that was developed prior to 1898 through a 100-foot shaft.

The Sleeping Beauty mine was a lode gold mine consisting of 19.28 acres on the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles southeast of Nashville.

The S. L. Hunt mine was an 11.02 acre lode gold mine two miles south of Cool on the west side of today’s Highway 49.

One mile west of Spanish Dry Diggings and four miles north of Greenwood, on 47 acres of the western branch of the Mother Lode, was large lode gold mine known as the Sliger mine. It was originally worked in 1864 and the 1870s when the ore was treated in a five-stamp mill. The early work at the mine, a 300-foot shaft, produced around a quarter million dollars worth of gold. The mine was inactive until 1922, when the Sliger Gold Mining Company took over, deepened the shaft and added a 15-stamp mill. In 1932, they would build a whole new mill. In 1934 the Middle Fork Gold Mining Company took over operation of the mine and, in 1937, the Mountain Copper Company leased the mine and did some exploration. From 1938 until 1942, when the mine became idle, the Middle Fork Gold Mining Company again operated it. By 1953 most of the surface equipment had been sold. In the decade from 1932 to 1942 309,000 tons of ore were mined from which $2,625,000 of gold was recovered. The ore zone, which consists of numerous quartz veinlets with 40 percent free gold as pure as 92.5 percent fineness, averages 30 feet in width. The quality of the gold did not change from the 300-foot level down to the bottom of the 2000-foot shaft by which the mine was developed. The ore was mined in open stopes that were refilled with mine tailings.

The Slug Gulch (Cosumnes) Deposit was a limestone mine by the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River, three miles north of the town of Fair Play. The deposit outcrops for a distance of one and one-half miles from Slug Gulch to Rocky Bar and has an average width of several hundred feet. A little limestone was mined for road metal (road rock) from the north end of the deposit.

Three miles east of Fair Play, at Slug Gulch, was a placer gold, hydraulic mine known appropriately as the Slug Gulch mine. Located on 50 acres, the mine was first active in the early days of the Gold Rush, during the early 1900s and again around 1930. The gravel deposit was partially underlain by limestone.

A second placer mine also know as the Slug Gulch was located one mile south of Fair Play. This may be the same mine as above with an incorrect location description.

Three-quarters of a mile northwest of Latrobe was the Smith mine, a chrome mine. A deposit of lenses of chromite in serpentine and talc was mined from a 100-foot open cut.

There is a second Smith mine listed in the records, this one an isolated, 20.62 acre seam gold mine. It is located two miles northeast of Pilot Hill.

The Smith Consolidated mine was a placer gold mine on 40 acres, one mile east of Garden Valley.

The Snow (Snow Brothers) Consolidated mine was a placer gold, hydraulic mine two miles south of Camino and one and one-half miles northeast of Newton (Newtown), adjacent to Snow’s Road. Consisting of a total of 300 acres, it was active around 1896 when cemented gravel was mined in two pits. Years later, in the middle to late 20th century, the open pits would be further mined for the gravel and explored for gold.

At White Rock Canyon, four miles northeast of Placerville was a silica mine also known as the Snow mine. The deposit consisted of a massive quartz vein twenty-five feet wide, exposed for 600 feet.

The Snowflake mine was a 10 acre placer gold mine 2 miles east of Fair Play in the Slug Gulch area.

A second Snow Flake mine was an 11.213 acre lode gold mine one mile northwest of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode.

On a north side ridge, between Weber Creek and Pleasant Valley and south of Newtown, was a placer gold mine known as the Solari Tunnel mine. It was a portion of the Ventura Drift mine and was prospected in 1935 through a 351-foot adit in the search for gold-bearing gravel.

One mile north of the Pillikin mine, and now a part of the Folsom Reservoir, was the Southeastern Railroad mine, a chromite mine. A zone of small chromite pods was developed by open pits and adits.

The South End and Nashville mine was a lode gold mine on 19.95 acres of the Mother Lode, just to the east of the town of Nashville.

The South Ohio mine, a lode gold mine, was located one and one-half miles east of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode. It was active in 1896 when a vein of gold-bearing quartz in slate was developed by a 100-foot adit.

The South Slope Consolidated mine was a 160 acres placer gold mine 16 miles east of Georgetown near Lookout Mountain.

Inter-American Enterprises, Ltd., from Sacramento, operated a dragline dredge on the Middle Fork of the American River, at Spanish Bar, during the years 1950-51. It was known as the Spanish Bar Dredge.

The Spanish Group of seam gold mines, which included the Snow Flake, Fairweather and Fairweather North Extension mines, was located one mile northwest of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode. A belt of gold-bearing quartz seams, 100 feet wide was first mined in the early days of the Gold Rush and later prospected in the 1930s. Two methods of mining were used: hydraulicking, which yielded $13,000 in gold and drift mining through an adit of unknown length.

The Spanish Hill mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode, consisting of 50 acres on the southeast edge of Placerville. In 1934 the operator of the mine is listed as Pioneer Hardware of Placerville.

The Spanish Seam mine was a seam gold mine one-half mile northwest of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode.

The Spring mine was a 44.04 acre placer gold mine three miles south of Salmon Falls and four miles west of Rescue on Sweetwater Creek.

The Spring Canyon mine was a 33.70 acres placer gold mine two miles east of Volcanoville.

The Springfield mine is a lode gold mine located two miles southeast of the townsite of El Dorado near Deadman Creek. It is actually another name for the consolidation of the Church and Union mines. First worked in the early 1850s and originally known as the Frost, then the Church, then the Union and finally the Springfield, it may be the first underground gold-bearing quartz mines in California.                                                                                                         

The Springfield mine was one of the largest and most active lode gold mines in El Dorado County and ended up being the County’s largest landfill site.  In the early years of the Gold Rush the area boasted a town of some three thousand miners who worked the outcrops and nearby streams.  Soon, a shaft was sunk to further explore this large deposit of gold-bearing quartz.  Prior to 1868 the Union and Church mines were consolidated and worked as a single mine.  After that they were operated as separate entities although often still referred to together as the Springfield mine.

The Union Mine was active from 1871-1886, with the ore being treated in a 15-stamp mill.  In 1896 the Union Gold Mining Company took over operation of the mine and worked it for thirteen years.  They also enlarged the mill to 20 stamps (some time later it would double to an earthshaking 40 stamps).  Some prospecting was done during the years 1914 and 1915 and, in 1934 the Gold Fields American Development Company reopened it, deepening the shaft to 2000 feet and rehabilitating the lower workings. From 1936 until 1937, the Montezuma-Apex Mining Company operated the mine, trucking the ore to their mill near Nashville.  After 1937 the operations at the mine became sporadic and in 1940 the mine became idle.

The deposit consists of a number of veins of gold-bearing quartz five to ten feet in width, the three major ones being the heavily worked Poundstone (East Gouge), the McCosmic, 200 feet to the west, and the Klondyke, north of the main shaft.  Ore from the Poundstone vein yielded $8 per ton and from the McCosmic up to $25 per ton (there are some reports of mill runs as high as $40 per ton).  It is believed that the early surface workings were even richer than that.  Development of the mine consisted of a 2000-foot vertical main (Springfield) shaft that cuts into the Poundstone vein at 1200 feet and the McCosmic vein at about 1540 feet.  About 750 feet north of the main shaft was the 900-foot Clement shaft and 200 feet further north was the 500-foot Klondyke shaft.  There were also several crosscut adits that were driven west, one 700 feet in length near the main shaft and another about 600 feet in length near the Klondyke shaft.

At the Church mine 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 1700 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.

The Stafford mine was a chromite mine two miles northeast of Georgetown. It was active in 1918 when 198 tons of ore was produced and again in 1942-43, during World War II, when additional tons were produced. The deposit was a series of irregular lenses and pods of chromite that was mined in open pits.

One quarter of a mile north of Coloma was the Standard mine, a lode gold mine. It was active around 1894 when veins of gold-bearing quartz, two to twelve inches wide, were developed by a 230-foot adit.

Previous ArticleIndexNext Article

Mines of El Dorado County: “S” (Part 3)

The Staples and Co. mine was a 60 acre placer gold mine one and one-half miles northwest of Fair Play on Perry Creek.

The Starbuck mine was a placer gold (not coffee) mine two miles northwest of Rescue. A deposit of gravel lying on decomposed granite was intermittently mined by the use of a dragline dredge in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The operator was F. M. Starbuck, from Rescue.

The Starlight mine was a lode gold mine on 19.99 acres two and one-half miles south of the townsite of El Dorado on the Mother Lode. Located on Logtown Ridge, it was active from 1890 to 1894 when a three-foot vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by a 500-foot vertical and two shallow inclined shafts, along with several drifts and crosscuts. It had steam operated hoists and stamp mill. The mill had 10, 1000 pound stamps that dropped six inches one hundred times a minute. In 1900 the Starlight Mining Co. of San Francisco owned the mine with J. A. Vance of El Dorado as the Mine Superintendent.

The Stefano Zerga and Luigi C. Misone mine was a 40 acre placer gold claim one-half mile north of Newtown.

Two miles southeast of Placerville, between Chili Ravine and Weber Creek, was a placer gold, drift mine known as the Stewart mine. It was active in the 1880s and early 1890s.

The Stifle mine (often called the Stifle Claim) was a chromite mine three miles northeast of Garden Valley, near a tributary of Bear Creek. The deposit of small chromite pods in serpentine and talc was active in 1918 when four tons of 35 percent ore was produced from open pits.

One mile northeast of Omo Ranch was the Stillwagon (Still Wagon, St. Lawrence) mine, a lode gold claim. A two to three foot wide vein of gold-bearing quartz, rich in sulfides, was developed by two adits, one 200 feet in length and the other 400 feet in length. The ore was treated in a five-stamp mill.

The Stingle mine was a lode gold mine located on the Mother Lode, two miles north of Placerville on the north side of the South Fork of the American River.

The Strahle quarry was a slate quarry near Kelsey. It produced some of the highest quality roofing slate in the County, which was carried to Placerville by wagon and loaded on train cars. Prior to 1898 quarrying of the slate was only done when needed, although it was estimated that up to 200,000 squares (100 square feet in a square) of slate could be produced a year. This quarry may be the same quarry called the Eureka Slate quarry that ended up shipping dimension slate to Placerville by way of a 13,000 foot aerial tramway.

A second Strahle mine was a lode gold mine one-half mile west of Kelsey on the Mother Lode. The mine consisted of 35.54 acres and two locations that were worked, the Strahle location and the Doty location.

The Stuckslager mine was a lode gold mine located one mile southwest of the town of Lotus. J. R. Stuckslager and Co. filed a claim on this property on February 1, 1870, calling it the Mt. Pleasant Claim. Part of the Roger’s Ranch, it is believed that Mr. Rogers was planting a tree and uncovered some gold. He then sought assistance from Johnston R. “Sam” Stuckslager who filed the claim.
It was a rich claim with reports that as much as $180,000 in gold being taken out from the original cut, within 20 feet of the surface. The April 6, 1878 issue of the “Mountain Democrat” confirms its richness in noting that one bucket of ore “…yielded $1200 clean gold.”
Upon the death of Stuckslager, the mine was acquired by Wallace. B. McKenney and others at auction in 1884. The McKenney family acquired complete ownership in 1928 and has continued to own it since and worked it intermittently.
This deposit consists of veins and pockets of gold-bearing quartz, up to two feet in width. The mine is developed by a 500-foot drift adit and several shallow shafts. During the 1930s, the ore was treated in a two-stamp mill.
Because the crystalline gold showed different characteristics from that from other similar mines, early on it was sent to a laboratory for analysis. It was determined that it contained a rare vanadium mica, which was named Roscoelite in honor of Professor Roscoe of Manchester, England who had made vanadium a special study of his.
(E. J. McKenney, the grandson of Wallace B. McKenney, wrote “The Stuckslager Mine, El Dorado County, California, A History” in 1999, and was gracious enough to provide a copy to assist in the preparation of this story)

Two miles west of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode was a lode gold mine known as the Studhorse mine. It was active around 1896 when a vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by two shafts, one 30-foot and one 40-foot in length.

The Subway mine was a 67.80 acre placer gold mine seven miles east of Georgetown and  five miles southeast of Volcanoville near Chiquita.

The Sugar Loaf mine was a lode gold mine, two and one-half miles northeast of the town of Latrobe near Sugar Loaf Mountain (one of many in the county). A pocket gold mine on the West Belt, it was first worked by open cuts in the early days of the Gold Rush. It was reactivated in the 1880s, prospected in the early 1920s and, in the middle 1930s a shaft was sunk and some high grade ore removed. Since 1954, the Butler Mining and Development Company of Sacramento intermittently worked the mine. The deposit consists a native gold associated with pyrite and galena (lead ore) in a quartz vein averaging five feet in width. Development was by a 175-foot inclined shaft with levels at 100, 130 and 175 feet.

A second Sugar Loaf mine was a 40 acre placer gold mine one-half mile north of Diamond Springs.

The Sunday mine was a lode gold mine one and one-half miles west of Grizzly Flat. It was active around 1894 when a one to three-foot vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by an 110-foot shaft, 80-foot drift, 300-foot adit and open cuts.

The Sunny Side (Sunnyside) mine was a 40 acre placer gold mine four miles east of Grizzly Flat near the Steely Fork of the American River.

The Sunrise (Sun Rise) mine was a lode gold mine on 10 acres of the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles south of Garden Valley. (see Shady Side mine)

There was a second Sunrise mine, also a lode gold mine, one mile southeast of Coloma.

A third Sunrise mine was a 26.73 acres lode gold mine on the Mother Lode one mile south of Kelsey.

A fourth Sunrise mine was a small, 1.878 acre lode gold mine two miles south of Shingle Springs. It was sandwiched between two other mines, the Michael B. Ryan claim and the Meder.

The Sun Shine mine was a lode gold mine one mile south of Greenwood on the western branch of the Mother Lode.

The Superior (Tin Cup) mine was a lode gold mine on 26.82 acres of the MotherLode, one mile east of Diamond Springs. Originally located in 1867, it was active around 1888-90 and again in 1900. The deposit, three parallel veins of gold-bearing quartz, was developed by a 400-foot inclined shaft.

A second Superior mine was a lode gold mine two miles south of El Dorado on the Mother Lode. It consisted of two tunnels, 250 and 750 feet in length, that were driven to a depth of 160 feet. The gold bearing quartz vein that varied from two to ten feet wide assayed at $15 per ton. Originally steam powered it was later powered by water which was brought in through 5400 feet of 11 inch pipe.

The Swansea and Rocky Bend (Swansa) mine was a lode gold mine on 12.38 acres two miles west of Kelsey, possibly on the edge of the Mother Lode. Swansea is a town and county in Wales which was historically a large coal and limestone mining area. During the California Gold Rush, a large number of miners from Wales were hired by California mine owners because of the knowledge of underground mining they had gained in the coal mines of their native country.

The S. W. H. mine was actually a string of three lode gold mines four miles west of Greenwood that were consolidated. 51.62 acres in size, it consisted of the S. W. H., Indicator and Martha L. mines.

One mile east of Georgetown was the Swift and Bennett mine, a seam gold mine on the eastern branch of the Mother Lode. It was reportedly a rich mine, but for some reason only active in the 1870s.

The Swip mine was a placer gold mine on 40 acres one-half mile west of Garden Valley. It was a consolidation of two mines, neither of which have listed names.

The Swortfiguer (Expansion) mine was a chromite mine located four miles northeast of Shingle Springs. It was active from 1914 until 1918 when 80 tons of ore was produced. It was prospected again in 1943, during World War II. Development of the mine was by open pits.

The Syracuse Mine was a lode gold mine one mile east of the town of Omo Ranch. It was active in 1908, but not much more in known about it.

Previous ArticleIndexNext Article

Mines of El Dorado County: “T”

The Table Rock mine was a placer gold mine consisting of 11.27 acres on the north side of the South Fork of the American River, two miles north of Placerville on the south side of Rock Creek Road.

There were several mined and apparently unnamed talc deposits in the area of Latrobe. One was about three miles northeast of the town and the other about one and one-half miles northeast. There is no information on how much material was mined or for how long they were active.

The Tanksley mine was a placer gold mine consisting of 30 acres one and one-half miles east of Georgetown near Hotchkiss Hill.

The Taylor mine, also known as the Idlewild mine, was a large, lode gold mine on the 16.49 acres of the western branch of the Mother Lode two miles (one publication says four miles) northwest of Garden Valley on the western branch of the Mother Lode. Originally worked in 1865, it laid idle for a number of years and was active again from the late 1880s to about 1902 when some $50,000 of improvements were done including the installation of a 20-stamp mill, which was later increased to 40 stamps. During that time it was listed as the principal producer of gold in the county. Some additional work was done at the mine during the years 1939-41.

The vein of gold bearing quartz averaged 14 feet in width and produced $4 to $8 in gold per ton of ore. The mine was developed by a 1230-foot inclined shaft with levels every 100 feet. At the 600-foot level there was a winze to the 1230-foot level. The quartz vein started decreasing in size below the 500 foot level and by the ninth level there was no quartz nor gold. 100 foot crosscuts were dug at the tenth and eleventh levels without luck. Similar crosscuts were dug at the second and third levels to the edge of the property in search of other veins. None were found.

Mining was done by stoping with the voids being later filled with mine waste. Ore was crushed by a huge 40-stamp mill and the concentrates treated with cyanide. The estimated total output of the mine was one-million dollars.

The Teddy Bear Group operated one or more lode gold claims on the Mother Lode, three and one-half miles south of the town of El Dorado. One mine was called the Teddy Bear.

The Telegraph mine was a placer gold mine on 40 acres located two and one-half miles south of Omo Ranch. Adjacent to it was the Telegraph No. 2 mine, a 20 acre placer gold mine.

The Tennessee Creek mine was a 120 acre placer gold mine one-half mile north of Shingle Springs. From its name one can tell it was located on Tennessee Creek which flows north into Weber Creek.

The Texas Bar mine was a placer gold mine consisting of 26.99 acres on the south side of the Middle Fork of the American River, two and one-half miles northeast of Cool.

Two miles southeast of Placerville, at Texas Hill, was a placer gold mine known as the Texas Hill mine. It was active around 1894 when an ancient channel of the South Fork of the American River, with a deposit of gold-bearing gravel one to three feet thick and up to 100 feet wide, was developed by a 1500-foot drift, a 75-foot incline and a 157-foot shaft. The cemented gravel was treated in a ten-stamp mill and then washed in a 100-foot sluice. To get to the deposit the miners had to tunnel through 120 feet of andesite (lava).

The Theodore Rupley mine was an 80 acre placer gold claim on Empire Creek, eight miles east of Camino.

The Thistle mine was a placer gold mine consisting of 110 acres one and one-half miles north of Smith Flat.

The Thomas and Meldrum mine was a chromite mine located two miles east of the town of Rescue. It was active only during World War I when one carload of ore was produced from stringers and pods of chromite in a serpentine deposit. Development was by two shafts of unknown depth.

The Thomas Alderson mine was a 40 acre placer gold claim one and one-half miles east of Smith Flat.

A second Thomas Alderson mine was an 80 acre placer gold claim on the southern boundary of Placerville as it was in 1938.

The Thomas Cruson and Rufus B. Olmstead mine was a 40 acre placer gold claim one-half mile north of Smith Flat.

The Thomas Fraser mine was an 80 acre placer gold claim three miles east of Diamond Springs.

The Thomas Ward mine was a 147.78 acre placer gold claim one and one-half miles north of Smith Flat.

The Thorsen mine was a placer gold mine one mile northwest of Pleasant Valley.

One mile south of Rattlesnake Bridge, immediately east of the Zantgraf Mine, was the Threlkel (Winton) mine, a lode gold mine. It was active in 1924-26 and again in 1937, when a deposit consisting of several thin veins of high grade, gold-bearing quartz were mined through an adit. The ore was treated in a two-stamp mill. The mine is now a part of the Folsom Lake Recreational Area.

The Ticino and Swiss American mine was a lode gold mine on 61.15 acres eight miles east of Pleasant Valley.

One and one-half miles south of Kentucky Flat (south of Volcanoville and east of Georgetown) was a drift and hydraulic, placer gold mine known as the Tiedemann (Tiederman) mine. It was active prior to 1896 and from 1896 until 1902 when the Two Channel Mining Company operated it. It was again active from 1932-34. There were two channels of ancient river bed worked at this location. The main, or white, channel was hydraulicked while the blue channel was developed by two adits, one of which was 100 feet in length.

The Tin Cup mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode two miles south of Placerville. It was operated together with the adjacent Ribbon Rock mine. By 1900 a ribbon of gold bearing quartz had been followed 200 feet into the earth, making it the best property in the area at that time.

The Tipton Hill mine was a placer gold mine at Tipton Hill, seven miles northeast of Georgetown and about one mile south of Chiquita. Here, many years ago, a channel of the ancient Middle Fork of the American River was mined by drifting and hydraulicking.

The Tiree mine was a placer gold mine consisting of 40 acres and located one and one-half miles southwest of Placerville.

The Titler and McAvin mine was a 40 acre placer gold claim two miles east of Smith Flat.

At Smith’s Flat, east of Placerville, was a placer gold, drift mine known both as the Toll House and Hook and Ladder mine. It was originally active prior to 1890 when two shafts were sunk “to a considerable depth.” After repairing the shafts and tunnels and installing new equipment in the 1890s, a significant amount of new work was done. The mine was later reopened and worked from 1918 until 1932. Through a network of shafts, raises and several thousand feet of drifts, the miners worked the Deep Blue Lead (lead as in “to lead you”, not the metal lead) and Gray Lead channels of the ancient South Fork of the American River.

The Tong Quartz mine was a lode gold mine one-half mile east of Clarksburg, south of today’s El Dorado Hills. Located on 10.33 acres it is probably very close to or possibly partially covered by today’s Highway 50.

The Treat mine was a lode gold mine located two and one-half miles north of Grizzly Flat. 10.31 acres in size, it is sometimes shown as the Treat Extension of the Eureka mine. It was active prior to 1888 and again in 1896 when a vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by a 100-foot vertical shaft and adits of unreported length.

The Trench (Yellowjacket) mine was a lode gold mine in Quartz Canyon, one mile south of Volcanoville. It was active prior to 1894, but has been idle for a long time.

The Trimble mine was a placer gold mine consisting of 100 acres. It was adjacent to the Tanksley mine, one and one-half miles est of Georgetown, near Hotchkiss Hill.

The Trinity mine was a placer gold mine two miles northeast of Omo Ranch near the Steely Fork of Grizzly Creek. It consists of two separate claims totaling 270.27 acres in size.

During World War I the Trio Chrome Company placer mined chromite-bearing gravel from the Hoff and Helmar properties, five miles southeast of Latrobe, near the Cosumnes River.

The Tropper mine was a chromite mine one and one-half miles west of Garden Valley. It was active in 1918 when 110 tons of ore was mined. The deposit, a lens of chromite ten feet wide was developed by a 40-foot inclined shaft.

The Trowbridge mine was a lodge gold claim on the Mother Lode, two miles southeast of the town of El Dorado.

The True Consolidated mine was a group of mines about one mile north of Placerville on the Mother Lode. There are several references to this mine or mines, but not much information other than that they were operated in the late 1800s and early 1900s by the True Consolidated Mining and Milling Co.

The Try Again (Last Chance) mine was a placer gold, drift mine three miles east of Placerville. It was active around 1896 when an ancient channel of the South Fork of the American River was developed by a 1500-foot bedrock adit and 213-foot shaft.

The Tullis mine was a lode gold mine located on 15.65 acres of the Mother Lode, one mile southeast of the townsite of El Dorado and one mile south of Diamond Springs. It was active in 1896 when a two and one-half foot wide vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by a 200-foot inclined shaft and 175 feet of drifts. It is the source of the name Tullis Mine Road, which is on the western side of Diamond Springs.

The Tunnel Point mine was a placer gold mine consisting of 50 acres on the South Fork of the American River one mile down-river from Coloma.

The Turnboo Group operated a lode gold claim that was located four miles south of Shingle Springs.

In 1949 the Twin Forks Dredging Company operated a dragline dredge on the North Fork of the Cosumnes River near Youngs (a short distance up river from where Mt. Aukum Road now crosses this fork of the Cosumnes).

The Two Channel Mining Company operated numerous drift and hydraulic mines in the Volcanoville-Kentucky Flat area until about 1908. These mines and claims included the Amelia, Bitters, Kates or Norris, Kenna, Kentucky Flat, Morgan, Novis, Tiedemann and Wilton.

Previous ArticleIndexNext Article

Mines of El Dorado County: “U” – “V”

The somewhat mysterious Umatilla mine, which was owned by C.J. Gardner in 1898, was a placer gold, drift mine listed in most publications as being 12 miles northeast of Plymouth (Amador County). That puts it close to the town of Uno, which was located about two miles to the southeast of Mt. Aukum, on Cedar Creek. The town of Uno may have earlier been known as Coyoteville, which is why the location of the Umatilla Mine is difficult to establish. Even more confusing is that the Umatilla mine rarely shows up on early maps, and never on those produced after the 1880s.

The gravel channel mined at the Umatilla varied in width and had a thickness ranging from a few inches to more than four feet. The gravel was crushed in a Krough hexagonal mill and then dumped onto a shaking table that caught the gold (the El Dorado County museum has shaking tables on display). The equipment was powered by water.

The patriotically named Uncle Sam mine was a placer gold, drift mine two miles south of Fair Play. It was active in 1896 when two adits were run through bedrock into the gold-bearing gravel in an ancient channel of the Cosumnes River.

A second Uncle Sam mine was a lode gold mine on 19.189 acres two miles north of Georgetown on the eastern branch of the Mother Lode.

The Union (Springfield) mine was one of the largest and most active lode gold mines in El Dorado County. Located on the Mother Lode, two miles southeast of the townsite of El Dorado, it is the mine that ended up being the County’s largest landfill site. In the early years of the Gold Rush the area boasted a town of some three thousand miners who worked the outcrops and nearby streams. Soon, a shaft was sunk to further explore this large deposit of gold-bearing quartz. Prior to 1868 this mine and the Church Mine to the east, were consolidated and worked as a single mine. After that they were operated as separate entities. The Union Mine was again active from 1871-1886, with the ore being treated in a 15-stamp mill. In 1896 the Union Gold Mining Company took over operation of the mine and worked it for thirteen years. They also enlarged the mill to 20 stamps (some time later it would double to an earthshaking 40-stamps). Some prospecting was done during the years 1914 and 1915 and, in 1934 the Gold Fields American Development Company reopened it, deepening the shaft to 2000 feet and rehabilitating the lower workings. From 1936 until 1937, the Montezuma-Apex Mining Company operated the mine, trucking the ore to their mill near Nashville. After 1937 the operations at the mine became sporadic and in 1940 the mine became idle. The deposit consists of a number of veins of gold-bearing quartz five to ten feet in width, the three major ones being the heavily worked Poundstone (East Gouge), the McCosmic, 200 feet to the west, and the Klondyke, north of the main shaft. Ore from the Poundstone vein yielded $8 per ton and from the McCosmic up to $25 per ton (there are some reports of mill runs as high as $40 per ton). It is believed that the early surface workings were even richer than that. Development of the mine consisted of a 2000-foot vertical main (Springfield) shaft that cuts into the Poundstone vein at 1200 feet and the McCosmic vein at about 1540 feet. About 750 feet north of the main shaft was the 900-foot Clement shaft and 200 feet further north was the 500-foot Klondyke shaft. There were also several crosscut adits that were driven west, one 700 feet in length near the main shaft and another about 600 feet in length near the Klondyke shaft.

Another Union mine was a placer gold, drift mine two miles east of Placerville. A channel of the ancient South Fork of the American River, six inches to four feet thick, 400 feet wide and covered with a 100-foot thick andesite (lava) cap was developed by two shafts, 412 and 285 feet in depth.

The Union Tunnel mine was a placer gold mine on 38.15 acres one and one-half miles northeast of Smith Flat. It may be the same mine as the one listed above.

The Union Quartz Mine and Mill Site was located on 18.81 acres of the western branch of the Mother Lode one mile northwest of Greenwood.

The United mine was a lode gold mine on 20.66 acres of the Mother Lode, one and one-half miles southeast of Garden Valley.

The Unity mine was a placer gold, drift mine at Wisconsin Flat, two miles northeast of Placerville. It was active in the early 1890s when a portion of the Deep Blue Lead (lead as in “to lead you,” not the metal lead) up to 12 feet thick, 400 feet wide and capped with benches 200 feet wide, was developed by a 1700-foot drift with an inclined shaft. The gravel was treated in a 10-stamp mill and washed through a 160-foot sluice.

A second Unity mine was a lode gold mine consisting of about 30 acres two miles north of Rescue.

The Uno (also known as Uno and Croesus) mine was a placer gold, drift mine three miles south of the town of Fair Play, which, like the Umatilla mine, was near the site of the former town of Uno. It was active prior to 1896 and worked an ancient channel of the Cosumnes River through a 350-foot adit, partially in granite, and a 50-foot drift and raise. 1898 mining records indicate that in that year David Faulkner and Fred Hepburn owned the Uno mine, although there is no record of any production.

The Uno Gravel and Quartz Mining Company, owned by William Gardner and John Leventon in 1876, may have been the operator of the Uno Mine.

The Up-To-Date mine was a lode gold mine on 41.32 acres of the western branch of the Mother Lode, two and one-half miles north of Greenwood, near Hoboken Creek.

U.S. Chrome Mines, Inc. operated a mine on about 40 acres one half mile east of Pilot Hill. There is no information on production at this site.

North of Mt. Danaher (Mt. Danaher is northeast of the town of Camino) was the U.S. Grant (New Deal) mine, a lode gold mine. It was active in the 1870s and prospected in 1936. The deposit consisted of a vein of gold-bearing quartz, one to four feet in width, that contained two ore shoots. The mine was developed by a shaft and a 100-foot crosscut adit with a 400-foot north drift and a 200-foot south drift. In the 1870s the ore was treated in a ten-stamp mill.

The Vacinda Mining Co. had a 46.22 acre placer gold claim one mile south of Omo Ranch.

The Valdora mine was a lode gold mine north of and adjacent to the Mt. Pleasant Mine, one-half mile west of Grizzly Flat. It was active around 1888 and developed by a 110-foot vertical shaft.

Three-quarters of a mile north of Georgetown was the Van (Vann) mine, a lode gold mine on 20 acres of the eastern branch of the Mother Lode, near Georgia Slide. It has been idle for a very long time.

Four miles south of Shingle Springs, on the west side of Big Canyon was lode gold mine known as the Vandalia mine. Located on an Agricultural Patent (not a mining claim) of about 70 acres, this mine was originally worked in 1885 and then again in 1888, with the ore being treated in a five-stamp mill. It was idle during the 1890s, but around 1900 a cyanidation plant was built to process the ore from the mine and reprocess the mine tailings (cyanidation is a process that extracts gold from the auriferous [gold containing] pyrite often found in lode gold mines). Some work was done at the mine in 1926 and 1928 and then, during the years 1936-37, the Page Consolidated Mining Company prospected the site and erected a 150-ton mill and a new cyanidation plant. Unlike most of the lode gold mines that had veins of gold-bearing quartz containing native gold, this deposit consisted nearly entirely of several bodies of fine-grained silicified schist, over 80 feet wide and up to 300 feet long, containing disseminated auriferous pyrite. The mine was developed by several drift adits and open cuts. Although a lot is known about the working of this mine, little is known about its production.

The Vandergrift (Vandergreft) mine was a lode gold mine one and one-half (some places three) miles north of Nashville on 40 acres of the Mother Lode. It was active prior to 1914 and developed by a 250-foot inclined shaft and a 100-foot adit. The ore was treated in a ten-stamp mill.

Three people from Ione, named Van Dyke, Modrell and Warner, operated a 3/4 cubic yard, dragline dredge on property in El Dorado County, during the year 1941. The dredge was commonly called the Van Dyke dredge.

The Van Hooker mine was a lode gold mine one-half mile north of Placerville on the Mother Lode. It was part of the Harmon Group, which included this mine along with the Young Harmon, Old Harmon, Gross No.1 and No. 2 and the Eureka patented claims.
In the late 1920s an old adit at the Van Hooker was reopened and extended, having a total length of 1200 feet from portal to the north face and a vertical depth of 200 feet on the vein. A pay shoot 50 feet long had been stoped and raised upon to a height of 80 feet and for an average thickness of 5 feet in the late 1920s.The quartz vein containing the gold, varied in width from two to 12 feet. The ore yielded $7.25 to $27 a ton in gold. The mine had a mill of ten light stamps and a concentrator with a capacity of 24 tons a day. Electricity was used to run the mill and the air compressor for the drills.

The Van Winklin mine was a lode gold mine. It only shows up on the 1932 Wildman map and the location is so badly faded it cannot be read.

The C.H.M. Mining Company, from Sacramento, operated a dragline dredge, known as the Varozza Dredge, during the years 1946-47.

The Veerkamp mine was a chromite mine one and one-half miles southwest of Garden Valley. It was active in 1916 (World War I) when 38 tons of ore containing 41 percent chromic oxide was mined. The deposit, a number of small pods of chromite, was developed by open pits.

Another Veerkamp (Gold Coin) mine was a lode gold mine located one mile west of Garden Valley. Some prospecting on this property was done in the early days of the Gold Rush and, in 1933, some ore was mined from an open cut and treated at the Beebe mill, which was located on the north side of Georgetown. The ore had enough gold to make the mine appear profitable, so soon an adit was driven into the deposit. From 1935 to around 1940, a Canadian concern, Gold Company, Ltd., worked the property. There was further work at the mine in 1950. The deposit of gold-bearing quartz, which assayed at about $12 per ton, consisted of several quartz veins and veinlets containing varying percentages of gold. Some pockets of high-grade or were located and mined in the 1930s. Development at the mine consisted of an 180-foot shaft with levels at 60 and 97 feet. On the 60-foot level are 1200 feet of drifts and on the 97-foot level, about 1000 feet. There are also several adits and open cuts. The ore was treated by various methods, including flotation (a method of separating milled ore by putting it in a liquid that floats away impurities) and cyanidation.

The Ventura (includes the Solari Tunnel) mine was a placer gold, drift mine on the north side ridge between Weber Creek and Pleasant Valley, south of Newton (Newtown). It was active in the 1930s and early 1940s when a 1300-foot adit was driven south, through volcanic ash, in an attempt to reach an ancient river channel believed to contain gold-bearing gravel.

The Victoria mine was a lode gold mine four miles northwest of the town of Rescue, near the Boulder Mine. It was active in 1924-26 when a vein of gold-bearing quartz was developed by a 30-foot shaft and a 50-foot rift. The ore, which yielded $8 per ton, was treated in a two-stamp mill.

The Virginia mine was a lode gold mine on the Mother Lode one mile west of Kelsey.

The Vistula mine was a lode gold mine on approximately 20 acres of the western branch of the Mother Lode, one mile east of Greenwood.

The Volcano mine was a placer gold mine located on 67.36 acres one mile south of Omo Ranch.

The Volcanoville mine was a placer gold mine near the town of Volcanoville. Not much more is know about it other than the claim included the Volcanoville Post Office.

The Volo Mill, at the Shaw mine west of Placerville, was converted from gold to copper processing in the mid-1940s. The ore came from many of the local and not-so-local copper mines.

Previous ArticleIndexNext Article