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Desert Fever Future of Mining

Desert Fever Future of Mining

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Published by Russell Hartill

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Published by: Russell Hartill on Dec 22, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/01/2013

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SUM M ARY
O FM IN IN G
I N TH E C A L IF O R N IAD E S E R T
G o ld ,
fre e d
fro m
i t s
m atrix
b y
e r o s io n
a n d
d e p o s ite d
a s
nuggets, flakes,o r fine" c o l o r s " in stream bed gravel, p ro v id e d
th e
f i r s t
n o n -n a tiv e
A m erican
m in e ra l
p ro d u c tio n
i n
C a lifo rn ia .
T h e s e
p la c e r
d e p o s its ,
i n
w hat
w o u ld
la te r
b e
know n
a s
J a c k s o n
G u lc h
a n d
th e
P o th o le s
i n
Im p erial
C o u n ty ,w ere
w orkedfo r a b rie fp e rio d in 1780-81b y Spanish
p r o s p e c to r s .
G o ld
a ls o
w as
d is c o v e r e d
a n d
w orked
a t
P 1 a c e ritaC anyonn e a r N e w h a ll in 1 8 4 2 ,b u tn e ith e r d is c o v e ry
c a u s e d
a
w o rld w id e
r u s h
lik e
th a t
o f
M arshall's
fin d
i n
J a n u a r y , 1 8 4 8 . T heM o th e rL o d e inn o rth e rn C a lifo rn iaa c te d
a s
a
m agnet
d ra w in g
y o u n g
a n d
n o t-so -y o u n g
m en
t o
th e
W est
C oast.
D esp ite
c o u n try -c o u s in
com parison
w ith
th e
M o th e r
L o d e ,
th e
C a lifo rn ia
d e s e r t
s o o n
h a d
i t s
s h a r e
o f
v is ito rso n th e ir w a yt oth en o rth e rn g o ld fie ld s .
M in in g
i n
In y o
a n d
S an
B e rn a rd in o
c o u n tie s
b e g a n
i n
th e
w in te r
o f
1 8 4 9 -5 0 .
I n
In y o
C o u n ty
i t
b e g a n
w ith
th e
d is c o v e ry
o fsilver by
a m an nam ed Turner. He waso n eo fa t
le a s t
ah u n d r e d im m ig ran tsw ho
a c c id e n ta lly
d is c o v e r e da n d
e x p lo re d
D e a th
V a lle y
w h ile
o n
th e
w ay
t o
th eg o ld fie ld s in
n o rth e rn
C a lifo rn ia .
H a v in g
tu rn e d
s o u th
fro m
S a lt
L a k e
C ity , U ta h ,t o
a v o id c ro s s in gth e h ig h S ie rra in w in te r(a n a c t
th a th a d
cost som e m em berso fth e
D onner P a rty
th e irliv e s
ju s t
th re e
w in ters
b e fo re ),
th e s e
g o ld
s e e k e r s
w ere
n o n e th e le s s a n x io u st o
a rriv ei n S a c ra m e n to . W h e n a C a p ta in
S m ith
a p p e a r e d
b e a rin g
a
m ap
d e p ic tin g
a
s h o r tc u t
t o
Sacram ento
th a tw o u ld
s a v e
weeks on
th e irtrip ,th e y
c h o s e
t ole a v e
th e m ain
trail, going cross-country
t o
th e
w est. T he
s h o r tc u t b ro u g h tth e m
t o
D e a thV a lle y .T u r n e ro ro n eo f h is
c o m p a n io n s
nam ed
M artin
d is c o v e r e d
a
p ro m is in g
m in e ra l
d e p o s it
a n d
c a rrie d
som e
o f th e
o re
o u to f D e a th
V a lle y .
B ecause
th is
o re
w as
re p o rte d ly
u s e d
la te r
t o
fa s h io n
a
g u n s ig h t,
th is
has been
know n
a sth e
"L o st G u n s ig h t M in e "
e v e r
s in c e .
T h e ir
d is c o v e ry
w as
m ade
w ith in
s ig h t
o f
a
2 7 2
c a m p s ite
i n
th e
P a n a m in t V a lle y
th e y
s h a r e d
w ith
J o h n
B .
C o lto n
a n d
W illiam
B .
R o o d . T h ee x a c t lo c a tio n
o f th e o re
deposit found
b y
T u r n e ri s
unknow n,b u ti sb e lie v e dt o
b e
som ew here
i n
th e
P a n a m in t o r A rg u s
ra n g e s .I tc o u ldh a v e
b e e n
o re
fro m
w hat w as la te rt o b e c o m eth e M o d o c M in eo n
L o o k o u tM o u n ta in .
I n
S an
B e rn a rd in o
C o u n ty ,
g o ld
w as
d is c o v e re d
a t
S a lt
S p rin g s
n e a r
th e
A m argosa
R iv e r
i n
D ecem ber, 1849. This
d is c o v e ry
was m ade
b y
am em bero f th ep a rty
o f re m a in in g
w agons
w ho
c h o s e
n o tt o
fo llo w
C a p ta in
S m ith 's s h o rtc u t.
T h e y
w ere
b e in g le dt o
San Bernardino by Jefferson Hunt, a
v e te ra n
o f th e M o rm o n B a tta lio n . T h e m in e w as re w o rk e do n
a n d o ff u n t i la b o u t 1 9 0 2 .
F u e le d
b y
ru m o rs
o f
th e
L o st
G u n s ig h t,
a
stam pede
o f

prospectors scouredth e California desert after th e discovery o fthe C om stock silver deposits in 1858-1859.T h e y w ento u t i n

th e
a tte m p t
t o
p ic k
u p
th e
v e in
w h ic h
th e y
b e lie v e d
e x te n d e d
fro m
th e
C om stock
L o d e
southw ard
th ro u g h
th e
C a lifo rn ia d e s e rtt o th e silv e r m in e so f M e x ic o .
T w o g ro u p so fe x p lo re rs in th e l8 6 0 s , o n e le a d b y D r. D a rw in
F r e n c h ,
th e
o th e r
b y
S .
G .
G eorge,
fo u n d
a n d
nam ed
m o u n ta in peaks, a w aterfall, a live
" v o lc a n o "(a c tu a lly C o so
H ot
S p rin g s),
a n
a n tim o n y
m ine
i n
W ildrose
C anyon,
a n d

g o ld a n d s ilv e r m in e s in th e C o s o a n d S la te ra n g e s , w ithth o s e over-prom oted m ines being w orked u n til the m id-1860s. A lso, m in ers

fro m
A urora, N evada
tra v e le d
s o u th
t o
d is c o v e r th e
W h ite M o u n ta in C ity m in e s in1 8 6 1 .
O th e r
stim u li
t o
m m m g
i n
th e
C a lifo rn ia
d e s e r t
w ere
d is c o v e rie s
i n
n e a r b y
N evada
a n d
A riz o n a .
T he
P o to s i,
N evada
s ilv e r
d e p o s its
w ere
d is c o v e re d
i n
1 8 5 6 ,
y e t
n o t
a g g re s s iv e ly
m in e d
u n tilth e
sp rin g
o f1 8 6 1 ,
w hen
a sm elter
w as
e r e c te d .
G o ld
w as
d is c o v e re d
a t El Dorado
C anyon
i n
N evada,
o n
th e
C o lo ra d o R iv e r in
th e sp rin go f1 8 6 1 , a n d in
2 7 3
J a n u a r y ,
1 8 6 2 ,
th e
r i c h
d ry
p la c e rs
d is c o v e re d
a tL a
P a z ,
A riz o n a
sent hundreds
o f m en
tre k k in g
a c ro s s
present day
R iv e rsid e a n d S a n B e rn a rd in o c o u n tie st oth eC o lo ra d o R iv e r
m ines.
A s
a
r e s u l t ,
p r o s p e c to r s
d is c o v e re d
c o p p e r
i n
th e
W h ip p le
M o u n ta in s , T u rtle
M o u n ta in s
a n d

w esto f N eedles. T h e y a lso fo u n d g o ld in th e M u le M o u n ta in s (a n d p ro b a b ly in th e O ro c o p ia a n d C h u c k w a lla m o u n ta in s ) a n d silv e r s o u tho f th e G o v e rn m e n t R oad in th e P ro v id e n c e M o u n ta in s .

In 1865, the Cerro G ordo silver-lead ores w ere discovered,a s
w e ll
a s
th e
le a d
d e p o s its
o f
th e
G u n s ig h t
M ine
e a s t
o f
T e c o p a .
Cerro G ordo
was the
m o s t s ig n ific a n t d is c o v e ryo fth e1 8 6 0 s ,
a n d
w as
t o
L os
A n g e le s
w hat
th e
C om stock
w as
t o
S an
F r a n c is c o .
M in in g e n g in e e r M o r tim e r B e ls h a w
s y s te m a tic a lly
d e v e lo p e d
th e
w h o le
h ill,
c o n q u e rin g
p ro b le m s
i n
lin k in g
Cerro G ordo
t o
th e o u ts id e
w o rld , s m e ltin g o re a n d b rin g in g
w a te r
t o
th e
a re a .
C ritic iz e d
a s
a
ru th le s s
businessm an,
B elshaw
nevertheless furnished
th e te c h n o lo g y
a n d
o b ta in e d
th e
c a p ita l
n e e d e d
t o
e x tra c t
a
la rg e
p e r c e n ta g e
o f
th e
s e v e n te e n m illio n d o lla rsp r o d u c e d fro m
th e hill.
I n
1 8 6 6 , th e
S t.J o h n
G old M ine in Kern C o u n ty was found,
fo llo w e d
b y
th e
P aym aster silver m ine in Im perial C o u n ty in
1 8 6 7 . A lth o u g h
th e m in e sa t P ro v id e n c e , C o s o , S a lt S p rin g s
a n d inth eS la te R a n g e w e re v a c a te d in th e late 1860s because
o fIn d ia n
tro u b le s ,b y
1 8 7 0 ,th eth re a to f In d ia n
a tta c kh a d
b e e n
rem oved,
a n d
p r o s p e c to r s
b e g a n
h e a d in g
b a c k
t o
th e
a b a n d o n e d
p o rtio n s
o f
th e
d e s e r t.
T he
C o p p e r W o rld
w as
d is c o v e re d
by 1868a n ds ilv e ra t lv a n p a h in
1 8 6 9 . S ilv e r w a s
m in e da tth eM a c e d o n ia D is tric t in 1 8 7 2 a n d inth e N e w
Y ork
M o u n ta in s
d u rin g
1 8 7 3 .
G o ld
w as
d is c o v e re d
n e a r
T w e n ty n in e
Palm s
i n
1 8 7 3
and has been
w orkedo ff and
o n
u n til to d a y .
P ro sp e rity
re ig n e d
a fte r
th e
C iv il W a r a n d l a s t e du n til1 8 7 3 .
T heb a n k panic th a ty e a r and subsequent depression curtailed
2 7 4

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