Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents

)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

TABLE OF CONTENTS
COVER PREFACE

Volume I — Part 1 of 2
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS AND MAPS — Volume I (Parts 1 and 2) I. INTRODUCTION TO DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL MONUMENT A. Summary of Mining Activity 1. Stow Beginnings 2. A New Century Brings Renewed Interest in Metallic and Nonmetallic Resources 3. Attempts are Made to Regulate Mining Within the National Monument 4. Validity Tests and Stricter Land-Use Regulations are Imposed 5. Controversial Aspects of Mining in NPS Areas 6. Death Valley National Monument Mining Division B. Setting 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Land of Varied Attractions Weather and Temperature Topography Panamint Range Amargosa Range Roads and Trails Water Hoies Tourism

C. A Note on Historical and Archeological Resources of Death Valley 1. Limited Scope of Present Study 2. Archeological Research and Fieldwork

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

II. EARLY MINING DISTRICTS IN THE OWENS AND PANAMINT VALLEYS A. Coso, Russ, Telescope Peak, and Argus Mining Districts 1. Darwin French Expedition 2. S. G. George and New World Mining and Exploration Company Expeditions 3. Indian Depredations and Crude Mining Methods Hinder Development B. Lone Pine Mining District 1. Rise and Fall of Cerro Gordo 2. Reopening of Cerro Gordo C. Panamint Mining District 1. Panamint City 2. Ballarat D. New Coso Mining District 1. Darwin 2. Revitalization of the Darwin District E. Lookout and Modoc Mining Districts 1. Short Existence of Lookout 2. Modoc District Supported by George C. Hearst F. Summation III. INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES: THE WEST SIDE A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road 1. Panamint Mining District a) Formation and Establishment of Boundaries b) The District's Future Seems Assured c) Mining Activity Spreads in Southern Inyo County d) Interest in the Panamints Spreads to Nevada e) Consistent Production Continues into Late 1900s f) Impact of Panamint and Other Early Mining Districts on Southern Inyo and Death Valley

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

History g) Panamint City h) Personalities i) Sites (1) Wonder (of the World?) Mine, Bob Stewart Lode, Mina Verde, and Sunnyside (2) Ino, Jim Davis, Hill Top, Alta, Comstock, Gold Star, World Beater, Big Bill, Elephant, Florence, Gem, General Lee, Gold Note, Golden Terry, Little Till, Lookout, Mammoth, and Summit Mines (3) Mohawk Lode (4) Silver Queen Lode (5) Homestake Lode, Home Stake Lode (6) Sheba Lode (7) Sun Set Mine (8) Nellie M Mine (9) Star of the West Mine (10) Christmas Lode (11) Christmas Gift Mine and Co., No. 1 Mine (12) Exchequer Lode (13) North Star Mine (14) Argenta Lode (15) Uncle Sam Lode (16) Magnet Mine (17) Grand View Mine, Anaconda Mine (18) Willow Spring Mine (19) Mountain Girl Mine (20) Black Rock Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 (21) New York, Idaho, and Dolly Varden Mines (22) Republican Mine (23) Cooper and Mountain Boy Mines (24) Valley View Mine 2. Gold Hill Mining District a) History (1) Taylor Quartz Mine and Mill Site (2) Gold Hill Quartz Mine and Mill Site (3) Death Valley Mine (4) Treasure Quartz Mine (5) No. 1 (No One) Mine (6) Silver Reef (Reefe) Mine (7) Ibex Mine (8) May Mine (9) Breyfogle Mine (10) Oro Grande Mine (11) Beckerton Mine. (12) Georgia Mine b) Present Status (1) Gold Hill Area (2) Panamint Treasure Claim Group c) Evaluation and Recommendations (1) Gold Hill Area
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(2) Panamint Treasure Mine d) Related Sites (1) Arrastre Spring (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations 3. Butte Valley Mining District a) History (1) Warm Springs (2) Mysic Mill Site (3) Queen of Sheba Quartz Mining Claim (4) Golden Eagle Claim (5) Emigrant Mining Claim (6) Hidden Treasure, Golden Treasure, and Bunker Hill Claims (7) Nutmeg Mine b) Sites (1) Anvil Spring (a) History (b) Present Status i) Anvil Spring and "Geologist's Cabin" ii) Butte Valley Stamp Mill and Environs (c) Evaluation and Recommendations i) Anvil Spring and "Geologist's Cabin" ii) Butte Valley Stamp Mill and Environs (2) Greater View Spring (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (3) Russell Camp (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (4) Willow Spring (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (5) Squaw Spring (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations 4. Anvil Spring Canyon a) History b) Present Status 5. Wingate Wash a) History (1) Location, and Derivation of Name (2) Chloride Cliff Trail

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(3) Twenty-Mule-Team Borax Route (4) Mining Activity (5) Epsom Salts Monorail (6) Development of Manganese and Lead-Silver Deposits (7) "Battle" of Wingate Pass b) Present Status (1) Epsom Salts Monorail (2) DV Group of Silver-Lead Lode Mining Claims (3) Wingate Pass "Battle" Site c) Evaluation and Recommendations (1) Epsom Salts Monorail (2) DV Group of Silver-Lead Lode Mining Claims (3) Wingate Pass "Battle" Site (4) Twenty-Mule-Team Borax Route 6. Panamint Mine a) History b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 7. Warm Spring Canyon Talc Mines a) Growth of Talc Mining in the Region b) Growth of Talc Mining in Death Valley c) Sites (1) Grantham, Warm Springs, Warm Springs West, Warm Springs Nos. 2 and 3, and White Point Mines (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations 8. Warm Spring Camp (Gold Hill Mill Site) a) History b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 9. Pink Elephant Fluorite Claim a) History b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 10. Other Mineral Deposits in Warm Spring Canyon a) Barite b) Fluorite c) Wollastonite, Feldspar, and Mercury 11. Montgomery (Panamint) Mine
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

a) History b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 12. Carbonate (Carbonite) and Queen of Sheba Mines a) History (1) Clarence E. Eddy Locates Original Outcrop (2) Jack Salsberry Tackles a Multitude of Problems (3) Progress of the Carbonate Lead Mines Company (4) New Sutherland Divide Mining Company Takes Over (5) Waning Years b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 13. Galena Canyon Talc Mines a) Sites (1) Bonny Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (2) Mongolian Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (3) Mammoth Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (4) Death Valley Mine (White Eagle Claim) (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations 14. Hungry Bill's Ranch a) History of Indian Ranching In and Near Death Valley b) Hungry Bill and His Family c) Hungry Bill and Death Valley Mining d) Mining in Johnson Canyon e) Hungry Bill's Homestead f) Present Status of Hungry Bill's Ranch Site g) Evaluation and Recommendations 15. Hanaupah Canyon Mines a) History b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

16. Trail Canyon Mines a) History (1) Death Valley Wonder Mining & Milling Company (2) Wild Rose Mining Company (3) Trail Canyon Mining Company (4) Old Dependable Antimony Mine (5) Tungsten Mines b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon 1. Thorndike Camp a) History b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 2. Wild Rose Mining District a) Early Activity b) First Locations c) Formation of District and Establishment of Boundaries d) Mining Companies and Further Locations e) Heliograph Dispatches f) Settlement of Emigrant Spring Brings Need for Road to Keeler g) More Properties Located Throughout 1940s h) Historic Wildrose Station i) Sites (1) Wildrose Canyon Antimony Mine (a) History i) Possible Site of Earliest Mine Location in Monument ii) Antimony Mining in the Region iii) Development of the Monarch, Combination, and Monopoly Mines and the Kennedy Claim (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (2) Wildrose Spring Cave House (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (3) A Canyon Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (4) Nemo Canyon Mines (a) History
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

(b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations

Volume I — Part 2 of 2
III. INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES: THE WEST SIDE
(continued)

B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued) 2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) (5) Christmas (Gift) Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (6) Bald Peak Mine. (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (7) Argenta Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (8) Napoleon Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (9) Harrisburg (a) History i) Shorty Harris and Pete Aguereberry Strike Ore on Providence Ridge ii) The Area Fills Up Rapidly iii) Cashier Gold Mining Company is Formed iv) A Multitude of Claims are Located in the Area v) A Mill Appears Imminent vi) Litigation Over Aguereberry's Eureka Mine vii) Cashier Mill Opens for Business viii) Waning Years ix) Mines in the Harrisburg Vicinity (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (10) Jordan Mine (11) Star of the West Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (12) North Star Mine (a) History (b) Present Status

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(c) Evaluation and Recommendations (13) Journigan's Mill (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (14) Mill Site North of Journigan's Mill (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (15) Gold King Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (16) Tiny and Sunset Mines (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (17) Cabin 1-1/2 Miles Southeast of Skidoo (18) Blue Bell (Garibaldi) Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (19) Skidoo (a) History i) Ramsey and Thompson's Great Discovery ii) E. A. Montgomery Acquires the Property iii) Granite Contact Mines Company iv) A Townsite is Established v) A Communications Link to Rhyolite Needed vi) The Skidoo News Arrives vii) Conditions Continue Promising viii) Leases Opened on the Skidoo Mines Company Property ix) The Townsite Expands x) Transportation Problems Arise xi) Continuing Activity by the Skidoo Mines Company xii) Skidoo Continues Systematic Development xiii) The Skidoo Pipeline is Finally a Reality xiv) The Hanging of Joe Simpson xv) The Skidoo Mill Supports the Town xvi) A Fire and Litigation Bring an End to Mining Activity xvii) Revival of Mining in the Area in the Later 1900s (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations i) Skidoo Mine and Mill ii) Del Norte Group iii) Skidoo Historic District (20) Saddle Rock (Saddlerock) Mine (a) History
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

(b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (21) Nellie Grant and Uncle Sam Mines (22) Junietta, Blizzard, and Virgin Mines (23) Tucki Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (24) Telephone Spring (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (25) McLean Spring (26) Lemoigne Mine and Junction Camp (a) History i) John Lemoigne Arrives in Death Valley ii) Lemoigne Properties iii) Lemoigne Castle at Garlic Spring iv) Controversy Surrounding Lemoigne's Death v) Later History of the Lemoigne Mine (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations C. Cottonwood Mountains 1. Hunter Cabin a) History b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 2. Ubehebe Mining District a) Copper Veins Attract Attention b) Boston Capitalists Become Interested c) Rising Copper Prices Benefit Ubehebe d) Townsites are Discussed and a Mining District Formed e) Ubehebe Copper Mines and Smelter Company Determines to Construct Railroad into Area f) Work Continues Despite Panic of 1907 g) Mining in Ubehebe Hampered by Isolation and Transportation Problems h) Variety of Metals and Nonmetals Contribute to Ubehebe's Production Record i) Other Ubehebe Properties j) Sites (1) Ulida Mine and Ulida Flat Site (a) History (b) Present Status i) Ulida Flat Site ii) Ulida Mine

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

(c) Evaluation and Recommendations i) Ulida Flat Site ii) Ulida Mine (2) Goldbelt (Gold Belt) Spring and Mining District (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (3) Ubehebe Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (4) Lost Burro Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (5) Lippincott (Lead King) Mine (a) History (b) Present Status (c) Evaluation and Recommendations (6) Ubehebe, Keeler, and Quackenbush Talc Mines (a) History i) Ubehebe (Stone Pencil) Mine ii) Keeler (White Horse) Mine iii) Quackenbush (Gold Belt) Mine (b) Present Status i) Ubehebe Mine ii) Keeler Mine iii) Quackenbush Mine (c) Evaluations and Recommendations 3. Skookum Mining District a) Death Valley Gold Mining Company Working Property Near Sand Spring b) World Exploration Company Enters Area c) Demise of Mining Operations D. The Valley Floor 1. Presenting Death Valley to the World a) Resorts Open in the 1920s b) Tourism Increases When Area Becomes National Monument 2. Stovepipe Wells Hotel a) History (1) Old Stovepipe Wells (2) Eichbaum Toll Road Brings Visitors to Death Valley

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

(3) Construction of the Resort Begins (4) Easter Sunrise Celebration the First of Several New Tourist Services (5) Toll Road Abolished After Creation of National Monument b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 3. Furnace Creek Inn a) History (1) Pacific Coast Borax Company Foresees Tourist Potential of Region (2) Union Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads Encouraged to Promote Death Valley (3) Furnace Creek Inn Opens to the Public (4) Sightseeing in the Valley b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 4. Furnace Creek Ranch a) History (1) Greenland Ranch Supplies Food to Borax Workers and Serves as Mule Train Depot (2) Pacific Coast Borax Company Takes Over Ownership, and Ranch Becomes Friendly Oasis for Prospectors (3) Precautions Necessary Because of Unbearable Summer Heat (4) Indian Population (5) Ranch Contemplated as Health Resort (6) Official Weather Station (7) Date Growing Introduced (8) Ranch Turned into Tourist Resort b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 5. Nevares Cabin and Homestead a) History b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 6. Corduroy Road a) History b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations 7. Shoveltown a) History b) Present Status c) Evaluation and Recommendations
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

E. Furnace Creek 1. Borax Mining in Death Valley a) Early Production in Region Limited b) Harmony and Eagle Borax Works Process "Cottonballs" c) Discovery of Colemanite Revolutionizes Industry d) Pacific Coast Borax Company Turns Attention to Calico Mountain Deposits e) Borax Mining Returns to Death Valley and the Lila C. f) The Death Valley Railroad Shifts Activity to (New) Ryan 2. Furnace Creek Wash a) History (1) Early Mining Districts (2) Development of Area by Pacific Coast Borax Company b) Present Status (1) Dantes View Road Sites #1 and #2 (2) DeBely Mine (3) Corkscrew (Screw) Mine (4) Monte Blanco (5) Gower Gulch c) Evaluation and Recommendations (1) Importance of Borax in Death Valley Mining History (2) Variety of Cultural Resources Present (3) National Register Nominations APPENDIXES A. Mining Laws of the Panamint Mining District, 1873 B. Establishment of Rose Springs Mining District, 1888 C. Organization and Laws of Monte Blanco Borax and Salt Mining District, 1882 D. By-Laws of Death Valley Borax and Salt Mining District, 1883

Volume II — Part 1 of 2
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS/LIST OF MAPS — Volume II (Parts 1 and 2) IV. INVENTORY OF HISTORIC RESOURCES--THE EAST SIDE

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

A. The Bullfrog Hills 1. Introduction 2. Original Bullfrog Mine a) History b) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 3. Miscellaneous Bullfrogs and Tadpoles a) Bullfrog Extension Mining Company b) Big Bullfrog Mining Company c) Bullfrog Fraction d) Bullfrog Apex Mining and Milling Company e) Original Bullfrog Extension f) Bullfrog Red Mountain-- Rhyolite Bullfrog g) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 4. Bullfrog West Extension Mine a) History b) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 5. Gold Bar Mine a) History b) Miscellaneous Gold Bars c) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 6. Homestake-King Mine a) History b) Miscellaneous Homestakes c) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 7. Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad a) History b) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 8. Leadfield a) History b) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 9. Miscellaneous Bullfrog Hills Properties a) Happy Hooligan Mine

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

b) Currie Well c) Mexican Camp d) Phinney Mine e) Strozzi Ranch B. The Funeral Range 1. Introduction 2. Chloride Cliff a) History b) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 3. Keane Wonder Mine a) History b) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 4. Johnnie Cyty and the Big Bell Mine a) History (1) Big Bell Mine (2) Cyty's Mill b) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations (1) Big Bell Mine (2) Cyty's Mill 5. South Bullfrog Mining District a) History b) Death Valley Lone Star Mine c) Capricorn Mine d) Howard Little Exploration Company e) Monarch Canyon Mine (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations f) King Midas Claim g) Keane Springs and Townsite (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations

Volume II — Part 2 of 2
IV. INVENTORY OF HISTORIC RESOURCES--THE EAST SIDE
(continued)

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B. The Funeral Range (continued) 6. Echo-Lee Mining District a) History b) Lee, California c) Hayseed Mine d) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 7. Echo Canyon a) Inyo Gold Mine (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations b) Schwab Townsite (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations c) Echo Townsite d) Miscellaneous Echo-Lee District Sites e) General Echo-Lee District Recommendations C. The Black Mountains 1. Introduction 2. The Greenwater District a) History b) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations (1) Greenwater, Furnace and Kunze (2) Greenwater Springs (3) "Coffin" Mine 3. Greenwater District Mines a) Mines and Mining in Greenwater b) Furnace Creek Copper Company c) Greenwater Death Valley Copper Company d) Kempland Copper Company e) Greenwater Death Valley Copper Mining Company f) The Greenwater Boom 4. Greenwater Suburbs a) Willow Creek and Gold Valley (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations b) Rhodes Springs (1) History
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Table of Contents)

(2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations c) Virgin Springs (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 5. Miscellaneous Black Mountain Properties a) Desert Hound Mine (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations b) Ashford Mine and Mill (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations c) Confidence Mine and Mill (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations d) Bradbury Well D. South Death Valley and the Ibex Hills 1. Introduction 2. The Ibex Springs Region a) Ibex Hills Gold and Silver Mining (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations b) Ibex Springs Area Talc Mines (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations c) Ibex Springs (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 3. Gold and Nitrate a) Amargosa Gold Placers (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations b) Amargosa Nitrate Mines (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations 4. The Saratoga Springs Region

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a) Saratoga Springs Area Talc Mines (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations b) Saratoga Springs (1) History (2) Present Status, Evaluation and Recommendations V. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TREATMENT OF DEATH VALLEY MINING SITES A. General Proposals B. National Register Properties C. List of Classified Structures GLOSSARY BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (History of Mining)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

Death Valley National Monument Historic Resource Study A History of Mining
Volume I (Parts 1 and 2) Linda W. Greene Volume II (Parts 1 and 2) John A. Latschar

March 1981

Historic Preservation Branch Pacific Northwest/Western Team Denver Service Center National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Denver, Colorado

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Preface)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

PREFACE
This Historic Resource Study is the culmination of a two-year-plus research project focusing on the mining history of Death Valley National Monument. Its purposes are manifold: 1. to comply with E. O. 11593 with respect to the monument's mining history, emphasizing hard-rock mining, by producing an overview of the various mining phases in the valley and by completing individual narratives of each camp and mine; 2. to identify sites with sufficient integrity to justify their nomination to the National Register, and to thus hopefully correct an imbalance on that official listing by adding sites and structures significant in the very important theme of westward mining expansion; 3. to provide needed information relative to the significance of historical structures and sites located on patented or valid mining claims to ensure that their continued existence is not jeopardized by further mineral development; 4. to gain for monument interpreters information that has not heretofore been compiled on the area's cultural, historical, and industrial heritage, and thus influence future park interpretive programs and visitor-use plans; 5. to enable park management to determine methods of treatment or disposal of surviving relics of the valley's mining past. This involves questions pertinent to visitor safety, such as which dangerously-exposed shafts and adits may be capped, and which dilapidated, unsightly structures are not deemed sufficiently significant to warrant expenditure of time and money in their stabilization or restoration 6. to furnish a sound reference base for future park planning efforts; and, last but not least, 7. to dispel or at least qualify as many as possible of the myths and legends concerning the monument's history that have been promulgated by generations of writers and that have no basis in historical fact. The writers sincerely hope that they have succeeded in fulfilling these objectives in a helpful and satisfactory manner. In 1975 a team of National Park Service professionals assembled to prepare a List of Classified Structures for the Western Regional Office. Utilizing Ben Levy's 1969 history study of Death Valley to determine the scope of the project

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Preface)

in that particular area, the team then proceeded with an on-site survey of the monument in December of that year. During the next six months they performed research in mining journals and other sources as time and projects permitted, under the guidance of the regional historian. On the basis of this entire effort a revised estimate of the scope of the research problem in Death Valley was made, resulting in the funding of this more thorough mining history. The amassing of data for this report has been an exhaustive and time-consuming task made bearable primarily by the enthusiastic cooperation of many individuals and institutions. The writers would first like to extend their thanks to former Superintendent Donald M. Spalding and to Superintendent George Von der Lippe and the various members of their staff who made our visits to the park pleasant and profitable during the course of our research and fieldwork. Chief Ranger Richard S. Rayner arranged several times for rangers to serve as chauffeurs and guides into some of the more remote sections of the monument, and their familiarity with the area and willingness to traverse miles of rugged terrain probably saved both writers from becoming additional "Death Valley victims." Robert T. Mitcham, mining engineer, and Anne Madsen, then of the mining office, contributed information from their vast files and knowledge of the area, in addition to xeroxing services, that greatly facilitated the research effort. Mr. Mitcham's knowledge of all aspects of the park's mining operations is indeed impressive. Also to be thanked is Virgil I . Olson, Chief Interpreter, who freely lent negatives from the visitor center photograph file for use in our report and assisted in other ways with interpretive information Several private individuals were also consulted, who were either frequent visitors to the area or else are engaged in personal research on some facet of the valley's history. They were all most generous with their time and knowledge of the region, and include William G. Fiero, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and Richard E. Lingenfelter, University of California at San Diego. Many institutions also provided assistance, and the authors would like to thank the staffs of the California Historical Society; the Bancroft Library; the California State Bureau of Mines and Geology; the California State Library; the Nevada State Library; the University of Nevada-Reno Library; the Colorado School of Mines Library; the University of Colorado Library; the California Secretary of State's Office in Sacramento; the South Dakota Secretary of State's Office in Pierre; the Office of the Nye County Recorder and Auditor in Tonopah, Nevada; the Office of the Inyo County Clerk-Recorder, Independence, California; the United States Geological Survey Library in Denver; and the National Archives and Records Service of the General Services Administration, the Library of Congress, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C. On several occasions, certain individuals stood out from the crowd in their enthusiasm, interest, and expertise. Chief among these was Guy Rocha, Curator of Manuscripts for the Nevada State Historical Society. A special debt of gratitude also goes to Ruth Larison, the overworked Librarian of the Denver Service Center, who spent much time and effort in securing research material and microfilm copies of early mining papers and journals for our perusal. Finally, we wish to acknowledge the guidance and moral support offered by our colleagues Gordon Chappell, Western Regional Historian, San Francisco, and Erwin N. Thompson, Senior Historian, Pacific Northwest/Western Team, Denver Service Center, on this study, our first research project for the National Park

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Preface)

Service. Linda W. Greene John A. Latschar November 1979

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS AND MAPS Volume I — Part 1 of 2
1. "Mining Map of Inyo County," by J. M. Keeler, 1883 2. Ballarat in 1913 3. Ballarat in 1973 4. Darwin, about 1908 5. "Map of Inyo County Cal." 1914. 6. Panamint City, 1875 7. Panamint City Mill, about 1877 8. Ruins of Panamint City smelter, no date 9. Area of early mining camps west of Death Valley (north half) 10. Area of early mining camps west of Death Valley (south half) 11. Map of Gold Hill and Butte Valley mining districts 12. Ruins of stone structure on Gold Hill, from northwest 13. Ruins of stone structure on Gold Hill, from southwest 14. Panamint Treasure Claim 15. Air compressor, Panamint Treasure Mine 16. Working adit, Panamint Treasure Mine 17. Adit used as living quarters, Panamint Treasure Mine 18. Metal tramway terminus, Panamint Treasure Mine 19. Route of aerial tramway, Panamint Treasure Mine 20. Tent site, Panamint Treasure Mine 21. Adit near tent site, Panamint Treasure Mine 22. Petroglyphs near Arrastre Spring 23. Petroglyphs near Arrastre Spring 24. Arrastra at Arrastre Spring 25. Close-up view of arrastra wall, Arrastre Spring 26. "Geologist's Cabin," Anvil Spring, north and east elevations 27. "Geologist's Cabin," west and south elevations 28. "Geologist's Cabin," interior, north wall 29. "Geologist's Cabin," interior, south wall 30. Butte Valley Stamp Mill 31. Concrete foundations, Butte Valley Stamp Mill 32. Stamp casing, Butte Valley Mill 33. Water reservoir, Butte Valley 34. Big Blue #1 Mine, Butte Valley 35. Tent site (?), Butte Valley 36. Cave house, Butte Valley 37. Lead mine, Butte Valley 38. Carl Mengel at his home in Butte Valley, 1940

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

39. Mengel cabin at Anderson Camp, Greater View Spring 40. Panoramic view, Anderson Camp 41. Russell Camp, Butte Valley 42. Old mining equipment on display, Russell Camp 43. Cabin ruins at Willow Spring, Butte Valley, 1975 44. Cabin ruins at Willow Spring, 1978 45. Cistern near Willow Spring 46. Mill foundations east of Willow Spring 47. Cabin, Squaw Spring 48. Map of Wingate Wash area 49. Devil's Golf Course Road, pre-1930s 50. Borax routes in the Death Valley region 51. Route of Epsom salts monorail 52. Epsom salts monorail, about 1924 53. Monorail in Wingate Pass, 1935 54. Monorail supports in Wingate Pass 55. Map of Warm Spring Canyon mining area 56. Panamint Talc Mine 57. Buildings east of Panamint Talc Mine 58. Site map, Warm Spring Canyon talc mines 59. Adit north of Warm Spring Canyon road 60. Adit south of Warm Spring Canyon road 61. Grantham Mine, Warm Spring Canyon 62. Warm Spring No. 6 Mine, Warm Spring Canyon 63. Warm Spring Mine, Warm Spring Canyon 64. Warm Spring West and Nos. 2 and 3 Mines, Warm Spring Canyon 65. No. 4 and White Point workings, Warm Spring Canyon 66. Mine adjacent to Warm Spring mining camp in Warm Spring Canyon 67. Talc mines, Warm Spring Canyon 68. CCC Camp, Warm Spring, 1934 69. Warm Spring (Grantham) mine camp 70. Warm Spring camp and former ore-processing machinery (Gold Hill Mill site) 71. Diesel engine and ore bin, Gold Hill Mill site 72. Arrastra, Gold Hill Mill site 73. Blake jaw crusher, Gold Hill Mill site 74. Ball-mill, Gold Hill Mill site 75. Cone crusher, Gold Hill Mill site 76. Pink Elephant Mine 77. Compressor house foundations, Pink Elephant Mine 78. Montgomery (Panamint) Mine 79. Miner's cabin on road to Montgomery (Panamint) Mine 80. Earliest workings at Montgomery (Panamint) Mine 81. Old ore bin, Montgomery (Panamint) Mine 82. Carbonate Mine 83. Queen of Sheba Mine and Mill site, 1962 84. Queen of Sheba Mill site 85. Queen of Sheba ore bin and mill ruins 86. Map of Galena Canyon mining area 87. Bonny Talc Mine, Galena Canyon 88. Death Valley Talc Mine, Galena Canyon 89. Platform area, Death Valley Talc Mine 90. Kennedy Minerals Camp, Galena Canyon 91. Map of Johnson Canyon, showing area of proposed Hungry Bill's Ranch
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

Historic District 92. Arrastra in Johnson Canyon 93. Arrastra in Johnson Canyon 94. Drift fence, Johnson Canyon 95. Arrastra, Johnson Canyon 96. Stone wall of corral, Johnson Canyon 97. Stone pen, Hungry Bill's Ranch site 98. Hungry Bill's Ranch site, view to northwest 99. Stone windbreak (?), Hungry Bill's Ranch site 100. Building site, Hungry Bill's Ranch site 101. Map of Hanaupah Canyon mining area 102. Mine camp, South Fork of Hanaupah Canyon 103. Mine road in Hanaupah Canyon 104. Map of Trail Canyon mining area 105. Ronald "A" #1 Mine and camp, Middle Fork, Trail Canyon, 1962 106. Ronald "A" #4 Mine, Middle Fork, Trail Canyon, 1962 107. Broken Pick Millsite and Small Hill Millsite, Middle Fork, Trail Canyon, 1962 108. Broken Pick Mine, North Fork, Trail Canyon, 1962 109. Lucky Find Millsites *1 and #2, South Fork, Trail Canyon, 1962 110. Map of Wild Rose Mining District (south half) 111. Sleeping cabin, Thorndike Camp 112. Garage and shop, Thorndike Camp 113. Toilet, Thorndike Camp 114. Water tank, Thorndike Camp 115. Living quarters, Thorndike Camp 116. Cabin, Thorndike Camp 117. Kitchen and dining room, Thorndike Camp 118. Laundry and shower room, Thorndike Camp 119. Layout of Thorndike homestead 120. Goldfish pond (?), Thorndike Campground 121. Stone steps and wall, Thorndike Campground 122. Emigrant Spring, no date 123. Wildrose Station, Wildrose Canyon, 1964 124. Wagon roads in western Death and Panamint valleys, 1907 125. Prospect, Wildrose Antimonium Group of Mines 126. Wood debris, Wildrose Antimonium Group of Mines 127. Entrance to cave house, Wildrose Spring 128. Cave house and adjacent building site (?) 129. Headframe and tool shed, A Canyon Mine 130. Forge, A Canyon Mine 131. Moonlight Claims, Nemo Canyon 132. Nemo #1 Mine (Christmas Mine)

Volume I — Part 2 of 2
133. Christmas Mine camp 134. Caved-in shaft, Christmas Mine 135. Skidoo pipeline support, Christmas Mine area 136. Shaft lined with pinyon pine logs, Christmas Mine 137. Open stope, Christmas Mine 138. Metal cabin at mine miles northwest of Bald Peak
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

139. Ore bin at mine 1-1/2 miles northwest of Bald Peak 140. Main street, Argenta Mine, 1969 141. Main street and upper workings, Argenta Mine, 1969 142. Main street, Argenta Mine, 1978 143. Upper workings, Argenta Mine, 1978 144. Shaft and ore chute, Napoleon Mine 145. Ore bin and collapsed chute, Napoleon Mine 146. Map of Emigrant Canyon and Wild Rose Mining District (north half) 147. Harrisburg Camp, 1908 148. Pete Aguereberry, no date 149. Cashier Mill ruin and Pete Aguereberry, 1916 150. Aguereberry Camp, 1978 151. Collapsed dugout, Aguereberry Camp 152. Eureka Mine, Harrisburg 153. Stone dugout near Cashier Mill ruin, Harrisburg 154. Cashier Mill ruin 155. Dugout, Harrisburg hill 156. Journigan Mining and Milling Co., 1935 157. Buildings on Journigan's Mill site, 1962 158. Journigan's Mill ruins 159. Cyanide tanks, Journigan's Mill 160. Stamp on hill below cyanide tanks, Journigan's Mill ruins 161. Cyanide mill ruins north of Journigan's Mill 162. Cyanide tank at mill ruin north of Journigan's Mill 163. Shaft, Gold King Mine 164. Dugout, Gold King Mine 165. Mill ruin, Tiny Mine 166. Reservoir, Tiny Mine 167. Building site, Tiny Mine 168. Headframe, Sunset Mine 169. Cabin 1 miles southeast of Skidoo 170. Cabin 1 miles southeast of Skidoo 171. Stock certificate, Garibaldi Mining Co 172. Cabin on Blue Bell mining claim 173. Hanging Cliff Mill site 174. Aerial tramway, Hanging Cliff mill site 175-176. Two stone dugouts, Garibaldi Mine site 177. Adit, Garibaldi Mine 178. Ruins of stone mill buildings, Garibaldi Mine 179. Office of Skidoo News, 1907 180. Plat of the town of Skidoo, January 1907 181. Plat of the town of Skidoo, May 1907 182. Rhyolite-Skidoo stage 183. Skidoo Club, 1907 184. Townsite of Skidoo, 1907 185. Community of Emigrant Spring(s), 1907 186. Skidoo Mines Co. camp, 1907 187. Skidoo Mines Co. headquarters building, 1943 188. Skidoo Mines Co. stock certificate 189. Team hauling Skidoo pipeline, 1907 190. Skidoo Mines Co. camp, 1909 191. Skidoo Mines Co. mill, 1909 192. Skidoo townsite, post-March 1907 193. Skidoo townsite, 1916
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

194. Skidoo Mines Company camp, 1916? 195. Skidoo main street, 1916? 196. Skidoo townsite, 1916? 197. View east of Skidoo townsite, 1978 198. Ruins of Skidoo Mill 199. Stamps in Skidoo Mill 200. Kennedy Mine near Skidoo, 1916? 201. Remains of heap cyanide leaching process, Del Norte Mine site 202. Digging up Skidoo pipeline, CCC crew 203. Skidoo pipeline scar across Harrisburg Flat 204. Masonry support for Skidoo pipeline 205. Mining activity at Saddle Rock Mine 206. Adit, Saddle Rock Mine 207. Tucki Mine, 1975 208. Tucki Mine, 1978 209. Mill ruin, Telephone Spring 210. Arrastra gold mill, Telephone Spring, 1934 211. Wooden bridge, McLean Spring 212. Map of Lemoigne Canyon 213-214. John Lemoigne, about 1915 215. John Lemoigne, no date 216. Tramway, mine dumps, ore bin in Lemoigne Canyon 217. Building foundations and debris, Lemoigne Canyon 218. Stone dugout, Lemoigne Mine 219. Tent site, Lemoigne Canyon junction camp 220. Grave of John Lemoigne 221. Map of Hunter Mountain 222. Map showing "Hunter Ranch," 1924 223. Map showing "Hunter Ranch," 1927 224. Hunter cabin 225. Corral complex, Hunter cabin 226. Map of Ubehebe Mining District 227. Advertisement for Lost Spanish Mine, Ubehebe Mining District 228. Ubehebe Mining District, 1908 229. White Top Mountain mining area 230. Tin Mountain mining area 231. Ulida Flat site 232. Stone smelter, Ulida Mine 233. Main adit, Ulida Mine 234. Garden, Goldbelt Spring, 1959 235. Ruins of community at Goldbelt Spring 236. Loading dock, Cal-Met Mine 237. Mine workings and aerial tramway, Ubehebe Mine 238. Cabins, Ubehebe Mine 239. Cabin, Lost Burro Mine 240. Mine workings, Lost Burro Mine 241. Ruins of stamp mill, Lost Burro Mine 242. Map showing Tin and White Top Mountain mining areas and approximate route of Lost Burro Mine pipeline to Burro Spring 243. Sally Ann Copper Mine 244. Mining camp, Lippincott Lead Mine 245. Lead King Mine 246. Stope, Lippincott Lead Mine 247. Mine camp, Lippincott Lead Mine
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

248. Cabins, Lippincott Lead Mine 249. Cabin, Ubehebe Talc Mine 250. Mine workings, Ubehebe Talc Mine 251. Headframe and ruins, Keeler Talc Mine 252. Dozer cut, White Horse #2 Claim 253. Headframe, Quackenbush Talc Mine 254. Adit and headframe, Quackenbush Talc Mine 255. Map showing old Stovepipe Wells, Stovepipe Wells Hotel, Eichbaum Toll Road route, and McLean Spring 256. Bottle dugout, old Stovepipe Wells 257. Stovepipe Wells waystation, 1908 258. Present old Stovepipe Wells site 259. Eichbaum toll road and "Bungalow City," Ca. 1920s 260. Stovepipe Wells Hotel 261. Map showing Nevares cabin, Furnace Creek Ranch, Furnace Creek Inn, Corduroy Road, Shoveltown, and Furnace Creek Wash sites 262. Union Pacific tour bus used by Death Valley Hotel Company 263. Aerial view, Furnace Creek Inn 264. Furnace Creek Inn 265. Furnace Creek Ranch, about 1909 266. Furnace Creek Ranch, about 1915 267. Furnace Creek Ranch, 1916 288. Date orchard, Furnace Creek Ranch 269. Entrance, Furnace Creek Ranch 270. Dolph Nevares, no date 271. Nevares homestead, 1950 272. Entrance to Nevares cabin 273. Entrance to root cellar, Nevares homestead 274. Pelton wheel, Nevares cabin 275. View east along Corduroy Road 276. Bridge on Corduroy Road 277. Site of Shoveltown, 1969 278. Furrowed salt mud at Shoveltown, 1969 279. Ruins of buildings, and waste dumps, at LilaC Mine, 1943 280. Ryan, 1964 281. Map showing (New) Ryan, Dantes View road sites, and DeBely Mine 282. Adit, Dantes View Road site #1 283. Adits and stone mound, Dantes View Road site #2 284. Stone wall, Dantes View Road site *2 285. DeBely Mine 286. Corkscrew Mine 287. Adit along Twenty-Mule-Team Canyon Road 288. Sandbag dugout near Monte Blanco 289. Monte Blanco 290. Stone loading platform and wooden chute on face of Monte Blanco 291. Wagon road and mining area east of Monte Blanco 292. Stone mounds at borax site east of Monte Blanco 293. View of Eagle Borax Works showing stone mound similar to those found at Monte Blanco and other borax sites in monument 294. Monte Blanco assay office/bunkhouse, Twenty-Mule-Team Canyon 295. Cellar of Monte Blanco assay office 296. Tent site across road from Monte Blanco assay office site 297. Wagon road from Zabriskie Point to Gower Gulch 298. Building site in Gower Gulch
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

299. Two types of stone structures found in Gower Gulch 300. Scene of borax mining activity at west end of Gower Gulch 301. Trail leading over ridge from borax mining site in Gower Gulch

Volume II — Part 1 of 2
1. Advertisement for Bullfrog Townsite, June 1905 2. Bullfrog, November 1905 3. Rhyolite, Nevada, November 1905 4. Rhyolite Brokerage House, June 1906 5. Death Valley Victim 6. Rhyolite, Nevada, February 1909 7. John S. Cook Bank ruins, 1978 8. Rhyolite jail ruins, '1978 9. Golden Street, Rhyolite, 1978 10. Rhyolite school, 1978 11. Stock Certificate, Original Bullfrog Mines Syndicate, 1908 12. Original Bullfrog mine, summer 1905 13. Original Bullfrog mine, November 1905 14. Original Bullfrog mine, June 1906 15. Big Bullfrog mine, November 1905 16. Stock Certificate, Bullfrog Apex Mining & Milling Company 17. Advertisement, Bullfrog Apex Mining & Milling Company, November 1905 18. Disputed Ground Around Original Bullfrog mine, July 1906 19. Bullfrog Extension mine, 1978 20. Advertisement, Bullfrog West Extension Mining Company, October 1905 21. Advertisement, West Extension Leasing and Milling Company, February 1908 22. West Extension and Original Bullfrog mines, March 1907 23. West Extension and Original Bullfrog mines, from site of Amargosa, 1978 24. West Extension and Original Bullfrog mine ruins, 1978 25. Original Bullfrog mine, 1978 26. West Extension mine, 1978 27. Gold Bar and Homestake mining camp, November 1905 28. Gold Bar and Homestake mines, 1905 29. Gold Bar shaft and whim, November 1905 30. Gold Bar mine, June 1096 31. Gold Bar hoisting plant, June 1906 32. Stock Certificate, Gold Bar Consolidated Mining Company, 1908 33. Gold Bar-Homestake camp, January 1908 34. Gold Bar Mill, January 1908 35. Gold Bar-Homestake camp, June 1906 36. Homestake hoist, June 1906 37. Homestake-King Mill, May 1908 38. Homestake-Gold Bar camp, June 1908 39. Battery room, Homestake-King Mill, June 1908 40. Tube mills, Homestake-King Mill, June 1908 41. Homestake-Gold Bar camp, 1978 42. Gold Bar mine, 1978 43. Gold Bar Mill, 1978 44. Homestake-King headframe, 1978
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

45. Homestake-King Mill foundations, 1978 46. Homestake-King Mill foundations, 1978 47. Homestake-King Mill ruins, 1978 48a. 48b. Two views of Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad grade, 1978 49a. 49b. Two views of Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad grade, 1978 50a. 50b.Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad station, Rhyolite, Nevada 1978 51. Advertisement, Death Valley Consolidated Mining Company, March 1906 52. Leadfield rush scene, ca. 1926 53. Leadfield, March 1926 54. Leadfield, ca 1926 55a. 55b. Two views of Leadfield, 1978 56. Western Lead mine ruins, 1978 57. Main street, Leadfield, 1978 58. Advertisement, Happy Hooligan Mining Company, March 1906 59. Happy Hooligan mine ruins, 1978 60. Currie Well, 1978 61. Phinney Mine ruins, 1978 62. Strozzi Ranch, 1978 63. Stock Certificate, Death Valley Mining & Milling Company, 1905 64. Franklin mine, 1978 65. One-stamp mill below Franklin mine, 1978 66. Chloride City dugouts, 1978 67. Chloride City site, 1978 68. Chloride City boarding house ruins, 1978 69. Chloride City gravesite, 1978 70. 1916 Lane mill ruins, 1978 71. 1941 mercury mill ruins, 1978 72. Advertisement, Keane Wonder mine, April 1906 73. Keane Wonder mill, December 1907 74. Keane Wonder Mill complex, December 1907 75. Keane Wonder mine, 1909 76. Keane Wonder Mill, March 1909 77. "Old Dinah" hauling borax in 1898 78. "Old Dinah" at rest, 1978 79. Keane Wonder Mill and Cyanide Plant, 1938 80. Keane Wonder upper tramway terminal, 1978 81. Keane Wonder mine complex, 1978 82. Keane Wonder upper tramway terminal workings, 1978 83. Keane Wonder mine hoist, 1978 84a. 84b. Keane Wonder tramway towers, 1978 85. Keane Wonder tramway tower, 1978 86. Keane Wonder Mill complex, 1978 87. Keane Wonder lower tramway terminal, 1978 88. Keane Wonder Cyanide Plant ruins, 1978 89. Advertisement, Death Valley Big Bell Mining Company, December 1906 90. Broadside, Unique and Adobe Concert Halls, ca 1907 91. Big Bell mine complex from above, 1978 92. Big Bell cable road anchor, 1978 93. Big Bell mine complex, 1978 94. Details of Big Bell mine complex, 1978 95. Big Bell mill ruins, 1978 96. Machine drill, 1978 97. Big Bell mine, 1978 98. Big Bell mill, 1978
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

99. Big Bell living complex, 1978 100. Detail of rock shelter walls, 1978 101. Cyty's mill and shack, 1978 102. Cyty's mill, 1978 103. Cyty's shack, 1978 104. Advertisements, South Bullfrog Mining District, 1906 105. List of South Bullfrog District Mining Companies 106. Advertisement, DeForest Mining Company, June 1906 107. Advertisement, Hartford-Montana Mining & Milling Company, April 1907 108. Advertisement, Death Valley Lone Star Mining Company, March 1906 109. Advertisement, Capricorn Mining Company, November 1908 110. Monarch Canyon mill ruins, 1978 111. Monarch Canyon stamp mill, 1978 112. Advertisement, Keane Springs Townsite, April 1906 113. Keane Springs pumping station, ca 1935 114. Keane Springs pumping station, 1978 115. Keane Springs pump ruins, 1978 116. Keane Springs townsite, 1978 117. Keane Springs tent platform, 1978 118. The Funeral Range, from Keane Springs, 1978

Volume II — Part 2 of 2
119. Advertisement, Echo Canyon, October 1906 120. Advertisement, Lee Imperial Mining Company, December 1906 121. List of Lee, California, mines 122. List of Lee, Nevada, mines 123. List of Echo Canyon mines 124. Stock Certificate, Lee Gold Grotto Mining Company, 1907 125. Advertisement, Echo Gilt Edge Mining Company, March 1907 126. Echo-Lee mine, March 1907 127. Advertisement, Echo-Lee Mining Company, March 1907 128. Advertisement, Lee, Nevada, townsite, March 1907 129. Advertisement, Lee, California, townsite, March 1907 130. Advertisement, Lee merchant, March 1907 131. Sample advertisements, Lee merchants, August 1907 132. Panorama, Lee, California, 1907 133. Advertisement, Hayseed Mining Company, March 1907 134. Panorama, Lee, California, 1978 135. Main Street, Lee, California, 1978 136. Lee, California, from Lee Addition, 1978 137a. 137b. Ruins of rock retaining walls, Lee, California, 1978 138. Hayseed mine, 1978 139. Hayseed engine foundation, 1978 140. Retaining wall, Lee Addition, 1978 141. Rock corral, Lee Addition, 1978 142. Inyo Mine and Mill, ca 1938 143. Inyo Mine and Mill, 1973 144. Inyo Mill ruins, 1978 145. Inyo cookhouse, 1978 146. Winch drum and engine, "Furnace" mine, 1978 147. Cable drag road, "Furnace" mine, 1978
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

148. "Furnace" Mill complex, 1978 149. Ore furnace remains at "Furnace" mill, 1978 150. Advertisement, Schwab Townsite, March 1907 151. Schwab town site, 1978 152. Two tent platform remains, Schwab townsite, 1978 153. Beer cellar, Schwab townsite, 1978 154. Gravesite, Schwab townsite, 1978 155. Echo Townsite, 1978 156. Ruins of "Saddle" cabin, 1978 157. Cabin in Upper Echo canyon, 1978 158. Collapsed building in Upper Echo canyon, 1978 159. Mine ruins in Upper Echo canyon, 1978 160. Access road to Upper Echo canyon mines, 1978 161. Abandoned mine in Upper Echo canyon, 1978 162. Abandoned shack, 1978 163. Advertisement, Greenwater townsite, August 1906 164. Ramsey, October 1906 165. Advertisement, Greenwater Saratoga Copper Company, October 1906 166. Kunze's Greenwater, late 1906 167. Kunze's Greenwater, late 1906 168. Greenwater Times and Post Office building, late 1906 169. Main Street, Kunze's Greenwater, late 1906 170. Advertisement, Furnace Townsite, December 1906 171. Cover of Death Valley Chuck-Walla, April 1907 172. Advertisement for Death Valley Chuck-Walla, February 1907 173. Advertisement, Butte & Greenwater Copper Company, February 1907 174. Advertisement, Greenwater Townsite, February 1907 175. Advertisement, Furnace Townsite, March 1907 176. Advertisement, The Mining Advertising Agency, April 1907 177. Advertisement, Alkali Bill's Death Valley Chug Line, April 1907 178. Furnace Creek Copper Company mine, 1978 179. Hoisting platform ruins, Furnace, Creek Copper Company, 1978 180. Furnace townsite, 1978 181. Kunze townsite stone shelters, 1978 182. Mine ruins at Greenwater Springs, 1978 183. "Coffin" mine ruins, 1978 184. List of Incorporated Mining Companies, Greenwater District 185. California and Calumet mine, 1906 186. Furnace Creek Copper Company mine, December 1906 187. Greenwater Death Valley Copper Company mine, December 1906 188. Inside a shaft of the Greenwater Death Valley Copper Company mine, December 1906 189. Advertisement, Greenwater Clinton Copper Mining Company, April 1907 190. Advertisement, Willow Creek Townsite, May 1907 191. List of Willow Creek and Gold Valley Mining Companies 192. Gold Valley townsite, 1978 193. Willow Creek townsite, 1978 194. Cone-crusher from Rhodes Springs mill, 1978 195. Rhodes Springs mill ruins, 1978 196. Rhodes Springs pumphouse, 1978 197. Rhodes Springs shack, 1978 198. Small stone ruins, Virgin Spring canyon camp, 1978 199. Large stone ruin, Virgin Spring canyon camp, 1978 200. Tent sites, Desert Hound mine, 1978
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

201. Desert Hound mine, 1978 202. Ashford Mill, ca 1915 203. Modern complex, Ashford mine, 1978 204. Old complex, Ashford mine, 1978 205. Ashford mill office building, 1978 206. Ashford mill ruins, 1978 207. Confidence Mill, 1909 208. Confidence mine site, 1978 209. Confidence mine ore tipple, 1978 210. Confidence mill ruins, 1978 211. Bradbury Well, 1978 212. Ibex mine area, 1978 213. Homestead at the Monarch Talc mine, 1962 214. Pleasanton Talc mine, 1962 215. Lower level, Pleasanton talc mine, 1978 216. Upper level, Pleasanton talc mine, 1978 217. Moorehouse talc mine complex, 1962 218. Strip mining at the Moorehouse talc mine, 1978 219. Ibex Springs townsite, 1962 220. Ibex Springs structure, 1978 221. Ibex Springs stone ruins, 1978 222. Death Valley Niter beds, 1909 223. Superior talc mine ruins, 1978 224. Ponga talc mine ruins, 1978 225. Whitecap talc mine headframe and hoist, 1978 226. Saratoga talc mine, northern complex, 1978 227. Saratoga talc mine, southern complex, 1978 228. Stone cabin ruins, Saratoga Springs, 1909 229. Stone cabin ruins, Saratoga Springs, 1978 230. Construction at Saratoga Springs, 1909 231. Pacific Nitrate company camp, Saratoga Spring, 1910 232. Spring house at Saratoga Springs, ca 1930

LIST OF MAPS

Volume II — Part 1 of 2
1. Bullfrog Hills Area 2. Sketch Map, Bullfrog District 3. Sketch Map, Bullfrog claims, 1905 4. Sketch Map, Original Bullfrog-west Extension Historic Site 5. Sketch Map, Homestake-Gold Bar claims, 1905 6. Sketch Map, Homestake-Gold Bar Historic Site 7. Sketch Map, Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad grade 8. Leadfield area 9a 9b. Grapevine Mountains 10. Funeral Range Area

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (List of Illustrations and Maps)

11. Chloride Cliff Area 12. Sketch Map, Cloride Cliff 13. Keane Wonder area 14. Sketch Map, Keane Wonder mine and mill complex 15. Big Bell mine area 16. South Bullfrog Mining District

Volume II — Part 2 of 2
17. Echo-Lee Mining District 18. Sketch Map, Lee, California and Hayseed mine 19. Echo Canyon area 20. Miscellaneous Properties, Echo Canyon area 21. Black Mountain area 22. Sketch Map, Greenwater District, 1906 23. Greenwater Mining District, 1907 24. Greenwater District, 1978 25. Willow Creek and Gold Valley area 26. Rhodes Springs and Virgin Spring area 27. Desert Hound mine and Ashford mine area 28. Confidence mine and mill area 29. South Death Valley and Ibex Hills area 30. Ibex Springs area 31. Saratoga Springs area 32. Death Valley National Monument (omitted fron on-line edition)

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deva/hrs/illustrations.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/deva/illustrations.htm[7/26/2008 3:04:52 PM]

Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section 1)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION I:

INTRODUCTION TO DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL MONUMENT
A. Summary of Mining Activity
1. Slow Beginnings The mineral resources of the Death Valley area have been assessed and investigated ever since the days of the California Gold Rush. Extending over a period of at least 120 years, the fascinating and often complex mining history of the region has unfortunately been overshadowed by the much shorter but more romantic adventures experienced by the Bennett-Arcane party and other groups of the '49ers who attempted to cross the valley floor on their way west to the goldfields. For several years after their harrowing travails this desolate area was regarded as a vast, forbidding tract, and only a few daring souls finally ventured into it again in the 1850s, enticed by rumors of the Lost Breyfogle Mine and the fabulously-rich Gunsight Lead. Many unfortunates, unaware of and unequipped for the hardships involved, perished from the heat, the lack of water, and other excruciatingly painful inflictions perpetrated by the harsh environment. Their persistent endeavors, however, not only resulted in formation of several early mining districts, but also contributed enormously to the growing store of knowledge about the topography and resources of the region that was slowly being acquired through military surveys and personal exploratory forays. Mining in Inyo County, and especially in Death Valley, was slow in gaining momentum, though by the early to mid-1860s there were reportedly fourteen quartz mills and 130 stamps at various locations in the county. [1] Despite their enthusiastic beginnings, the early mining districts met a notable lack of success in their endeavors to extract and process their ore due to a variety of reasons, including lack of money, primitive and inefficient technological methods, the constant threat of Indian depredations, the scarcity of water and fuel, and especially the absence of nearby transportation facilities, which made it economically impossible to mine any but the highest-grade ores. The silver excitement at Panamint City, lasting from about 1874 to 1877, roused the mining community for awhile from its sluggish state, and was soon followed by the establishment of other mining ventures in such places as Chloride Cliff, Darwin, Lookout, and Lee. From the 1880s to the early 1900s, however, only sporadic and limited mining operations were attempted in the Death Valley region. None of the camps lasted, again due mainly to the factors mentioned earlier, which still exercised a strong influence over the course of mining in the valley and the surrounding mountain ranges. The still-limited financial means of most miners left them little option--to either strike enough pay dirt immediately to finance future operations, or else shut down. The exciting discoveries of gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota, at Leadville, Colorado, at Tombstone, Arizona, and elsewhere in the West attracted many men away from the region who were already discouraged by their inability to make paying propositions of their remote and inaccessible mines in Death Valley. It was
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section 1)

actually the discovery of nonmetallics in the area, initially of borax and later of talc, that ensured the region's industrial future, for in time these commodities far outweighed the more sought-after metallic elements in lasting commercial value. 2. A New Century Brings Renewed Interest in Metallic and Nonmetallic Resources Not until the early 1900s did conditions become conducive to large-scale hard-rock mining operations, prompted by a renewal of interest in gold and silver. By this time more people had penetrated the desert regions, and responsible authorities were encouraging the immigration by locating and marking water supplies, roads, and trails with signs and designating them on maps. The primary instigator of this move was the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, which had earlier negotiated passage of a law in California calling for the erection and protection of water supply sources in the state's deserts. The U.S. Geological Survey improved on the situation by surveying certain parts of the southwestern deserts and subsequently publishing maps showing existing trails and water supplies. [2] A variety of metallic minerals were exploited in Death Valley during the 1900s, including gold (Bullfrog Hills, Skidoo area, Ubehebe, Chloride Cliff, Funeral Mts., Black Mts.); antimony (Wildrose Canyon); copper (Greenwater District, Black Mts.); lead, zinc, and silver (Ubehebe, Lemoigne Canyon, Galena Canyon, Wingate Wash); and tungsten (Harrisburg Flats, Trail Canyon). This activity resulted in the formation of several boom towns whose progress paralleled for a while the maturation of Goldfield, Tonopah, and Rhyolite in Nevada. Much of the productivity witnessed in places such as Bullfrog, Skidoo, and the Ubehebe region was directly attributable to lessees. Often large companies working a particular mine were not immediately successful in blocking out large quantities of shipping ore, due either to time or circumstances, and consequently requested that lessees take over and try their luck. More often than not they were remarkably successful, tending to be more careful in their prospecting work and generally more interested in quality than quantity. Striving to find pay ore as quickly as possible, they worked hard, and were one of the prime factors in the successful development of a mine and thus of the surrounding area. The larger Death Valley towns of the first decade of the twentieth century flourished until the financial panic of 1907 hit, causing in most of them an immediate slowdown of work and often total cessation of mining activity. Prosperous large-scale metallic mining in Death Valley ended, for all practical purposes, by about 1915, though Skidoo, for one, managed to hold on for a few more years. During World War I nitrate prospecting was carried on in the Ibex and Saratoga springs areas, prompted by the nation's need for the product for use in explosives and fertilizers. After World War II, in the 1950s, tungsten prospectors combed the hills near Skidoo and in Trail Canyon, mostly covering areas previously claimed or prospected. This activity was a direct result of new price stability and the absence of tungsten exports from mainland China. [3] Lead and silver deposits in Wingate Wash were also investigated at this time. A major talc industry that had begun during World War I but that had never thrived because of a limited market and the remoteness of the deposits started up again after the Second World War, as did uranium prospecting. The search for and mining of metallic resources in the monument has generally been sporadic because of its dependence on the fluctuating selling price of a certain commodity, which in many cases has resulted in the development of particular properties over and over again and the reopening of others because the initial owners were ignorant of a mineral that had since become of economic significance. Most nonmetallic mineral deposits, except for the major talc and borate ones still being worked today, have been of only marginal importance, detrimentally influenced to a great degree by their scattered occurrence in isolated geographic locations, the high transportation costs involved in taking them to market, and the always

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section 1)

variable law of supply and demand. All mining in the area has been subject to shifts in international. monetary policies and market controls and to stiff competition with foreign vendors. 3. Attempts are Made to Regulate Mining Within the National Monument Prior to establishment of the national monument, all publicly-owned lands in the area were open to mineral entry under a federal mining law of 1872 that was designed to promote American mineral development in the nineteenth century. Although lands withdrawn by Presidential Proclamation are normally not open to further mineral location, an Act of 13 June 1933 specifically reinstated rights to mineral entry in some parks, subject to regulations regarding their surface use. Existing claims with valid rights could also continue work. By January 1976 active interest was being maintained in about 1,700 unpatented claims (34,000 acres) in Death Valley. [4] On the valid ones the owner held prospecting and mining rights, but not title to the surface. Before the repeal of mineral entry provisions in certain units of the National Park System by Public Law 94-429 on 28 September 1976, many inflammatory arguments had arisen between those (primarily in the mining profession) holding the extreme view that mining and prospecting should be allowed to continue unrestricted regardless of any harmful effects, and advocates of the diametrically-opposed belief (NPS officials and environmental groups) that lands within a national park or monument should not be exploited for commercial production, especially of minerals. By 1971 approximately 50,000 unpatented mining claims were estimated to have been located within the monument, 30,000 of which had been filed since 1920, during an era when people were desperate for extra sources of income. About 8,000 acres of private inholdings were patented, the majority of which are mining properties. Today five privately-owned companies possess the largest holdings: U.S. Borax and Chemical Corporation; American Borate Corporation; Pfizer, Inc.; Fred Harvey, Inc.; and Trevel, Inc. Until passage of P. L. 94-429 an average of 200 to 300 new claims were being located in the park annually. Under this law those claims not recorded with the Interior Department by 28 September 1977 were declared null and void. [5] 4. Validity Tests and Stricter Land-Use Regulations are Imposed Although this law successfully prohibited new mineral entries, existing patented and unpatented claims were still a problem to be dealt with. This has necessitated long and costly investigation by NPS officials and scientists into the validity of unpatented claims within several units of the NPS. If a claim is judged valid, the Park Service may exercise either of two options: permit mining to continue, subject to regulation by the Secretary of the Interior in accordance with strict environmental safeguards, or, if mining activity in that particular spot is potentially detrimental either physically or aesthetically, the federal government has authority to purchase the property. If a claim is determined to be invalid by NPS personnel, the government will initiate court action to declare it void. Patented mineral deposits of known economic value in Death Valley are limited to talc and borates, whose large reserves ensure new exploration and development attempts in the near future. Today, in order to mine Inside a unit of the park system, the owner of an unpatented valid mining claim or even of a patented one must submit a proposed plan of operations to the park superintendent and regional office that complies with the environmental safeguards set by Congress in 1976, which incorporate provisions of the National Environmental Protection Act. Archeological and historical clearance must also be given to the project. Other restrictions are imposed by permits that are necessary for constructing roads or vehicle trails or for many other mining-related activities.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section 1)

5. Controversial Aspects of Mining in NPS Areas One of the most recent threats to the integrity of the national parks related to mining exploration was that posed by a National Uranium Resource Evaluation group intending to survey thirty-seven national parks for forty-five minerals and metals under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy. The stated purpose was to identify lands favorable for the exploration of nuclear-energy fuels. The survey had been authorized by Congress in 1974 to determine whether this country had enough uranium to operate nuclear power plants. The proposal greatly alarmed environmentalists, who feared it would lead to wholesale commercial development of natural areas within the park system. Antagonism also arose between park superintendents and survey personnel, the former also of the persuasion that exploration of such resources in a national park is improper and that it is generally impossible to reconcile large mining operations with an area's integrity as a historic, scenic, and natural preserve. The surveyors, on the other hand, generally held the belief that parks should be opened to mining on a limited basis if the presence of a commodity sufficiently valuable to the national welfare is indicated. The potentially voluble argument was ended by NPS Director William J. Whalen's directive prohibiting such surveys within National Park Service areas. [6] 6. Death Valley National Monument Mining Division Mining operations in the Death Valley region are carefully monitored by an efficiently manned mining office, headed by Robert T. Mitcham, monument mining engineer. Death Valley is the only Park Service unit requiring such a large, full-time mining office and staff to administer its minerals management program. This office, aided by rangers who keep tabs on mining activity and enforce the regulations and conditions of the special-use permits, attempts to minimize the impact of mineral exploration and development on the monument, to discourage any prospecting activity involving surface disturbance unless it is related to valid mining claims or demonstrated mineral potential, and to determine officially the status of claims being used illegally and/or on which there are dilapidated structures and brokendown equipment. [7] Without the dedicated efforts of this office, working closely with the park superintendent, the Western Regional Office, and mining company officials, the effects of mining on the human, animal, and plant ecology of the area would have been irreparably damaging. Within the boundaries of Death Valley National Monument today are the remains of mining ventures whose periods of productivity spanned the years from the late 1850s, when Mexicans first reportedly attempted to work silver and gold deposits using only the most primitive of mining techniques, to today's modern talc and borate operations that employ massive machinery and precise scientific methodology to locate and extract the ore. Only traces of the earliest mines and their associated camps can be found, although in several instances valid, historically significant structures remain in the form of mining-related apparatuses or dwelling and milling structures. Unfortunately, more recent activities involving the search for gold and tungsten in the 1930s and 1950s resulted in the abandonment of a tremendous assortment of unsightly junk on many claims within the park. Despite the fact that many metal and wood components have been salvaged over the years either for scrap or use at other claims, there are still plentiful reminders of past occupation in the form of rusty cars, battered appliances, and dilapidated tin shacks.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section 1)
deva/hrs/section1a.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/deva/section1a.htm[7/26/2008 3:04:56 PM]

Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section 1)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION I:

INTRODUCTION TO DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL MONUMENT
B. Setting
1. Land of Varied Attractions Death Valley National Monument lies mostly within the state of California, although the Bullfrog Hills area in its northeast corner extends over into Nevada. The park was created by Presidential Proclamation on 11 February 1933, and after some boundary changes it now encompasses about 3,000 square miles of varied desert and mountain terrain. Its landscape has been shaped by tremendous volcanic forces resulting in faulting and folding of the earth's crust. Subsequent erosion and deposition have resulted in the spectacular badlands formations along Furnace Creek Wash and in the large alluvial fans at the mouths of the many canyons that open onto the valley floor. Evidence still remains of the Ice Age lake that once filled the valley, formed by runoffs from the nearby Sierra Nevada glaciers. It is a land of strong visual contrasts, none of which were appreciated by the first white men who entered the region. This group of '49ers became lost in Death Valley while seeking a shortcut to the California goldfields, and escaped only after days of severe hardship and deprivation. Today's visitor is able to view the spectacular scenery from well maintained roads, and comfortable accommodations help make a visit to the area a most enjoyable experience. Driving along the valley floor from the southeast to the north one passes through about 200 square miles of salt flats, beginning in the sticky playa clay around Saratoga Springs and ending in the salt pinnacles, pools, and marshes that make up the salt pan in the middle section of the valley. Here also is Badwater, lowest elevation in the United States and consequently one of the park's main tourist attractions. Further north near Stovepipe Wells Resort are fourteen square miles of picturesque sand dunes, fascinating because of their instability that makes them victim to the ever-shifting vagaries of the wind and light. In the most northern section of the monument is the Ubehebe, an area of volcanic activity characterized by several craters, foremost among them being Ubehebe Crater, 800 feet deep and one-half mile in diameter. Other tourist attractions in this area include the Racetrack Valley, stage for the moving rocks, and Scotty's Castle, a mansion blending Spanish and Italian designs that was built in the Grapevine Mountains by Albert Johnson, a Chicago millionaire, for Death Valley's enigma, Walter Scott. In contrast to the parched valley floor, the surrounding high mountain ranges harbor forests of juniper, mountain mahogany, and pinyon and other assorted pines, while thirteen species of cactus are found at slightly lower elevations. Animal life in the area covers a broad spectrum, ranging from chuckwallas, lizards, and snakes, to rodents, the more exotic pupfish and tarantulas, and larger mammals such as the coyote, fox, feral burro, and desert bighorn sheep. The extreme heat of the valley forces a nocturnal life-style on the animal population, somewhat restricting the public's view of them.
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section 1)

2. Weather and Temperature For about six months of the year, in fact, the heat on the valley floor is unbearable, with temperatures in summer normally climbing well above 100 degrees F., resulting in a phenomenally high ground temperature, especially on the salt pan. The mountain air is generally several degrees cooler, however, prompting the early Indian inhabitants to live on the floor of the valley only during the winter, and migrate to the higher spots in the summer. Rarely is rain able to pass over the enclosing mountain ranges, making precipitation almost nonexistent on the salt flats. Average annual rainfall is about 1.7 inches, though in some years rainfall is inordinately heavy, washing out roads and precipitating flash floods. The unfortunate effects are somewhat alleviated by the appearance in spring of numerous patches of glorious wildflowers, contrasting strikingly with the dark volcanic hillsides. 3. Topography Death Valley itself is a deep north-south trough thousands of feet below the summits of the mountains that border it. The driving distance from the foot of the Last Chance Mountains in the extreme northwest corner of the park to a point near Saratoga Springs in the southeast corner is a little over 130 miles; the width of the valley varies from around five to over fifteen miles. At about its midpoint the valley narrows and its axial direction swings to the northwest-southeast. Also at this point low sedimentary hills begin to intrude on the desert floor, and have been construed by some as dividing the valley into two separate and distinct entities. An early 1890s government report, in fact, referred to the southern section of the park as Death Valley proper and to the northern arm as Lost Valley, a distinction continued by a host of later writers. Today, however, the entire area is considered an integral whole despite its variations in topography. 4. Panamint Range The Panamint Mountains that parallel Death Valley on the west were thus designated by Dr. Darwin French in 1860, although the significance of the name is not known. Highest point in the range is Telescope Peak, 11,049 feet above sea level, and a prominent landmark that remains snow-capped most of the year. It is particularly impressive in contrast to the flat, arid desert floor immediately in front of it. The northwest quadrant of the park is bordered by the northern extension of the Panamints, the Cottonwood Mountains, which stretch north from Towne Pass. Their northern tip extends into the Ubehebe area, separating Hidden Valley from the main valley floor. Highest peak of this range is Tin Mountain, 8,953 feet in elevation. Bordering on the west side of Racetrack Valley is the extreme southern end of the Last Chance Range. 5. Amargosa Range Extending down the east boundary of the park is the Amargosa Range, an all-encompassing term that includes three distinct series of mountains: the Grapevines, in the northeast corner, possessing the longest valley frontage end the highest ridges, culminating in Grapevine Peak at 8,738 feet above sea level; the Funeral Mountains, facing the midsection of the valley and located between Boundary Canyon and Furnace Creek Wash; and the Black Mountains, rising steeply from the salt flats in the southern end of the monument and extending south to merge with the Ibex Hills. The Owlshead and Avawatz mountains close off the southern end of the valley. 6. Roads and Trails Access to Death Valley is possible via a comparatively large number of mountain passes,
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section 1)

many of which, due to the valley floor's situation below sea level, possess relatively steep grades. From the west, entrance can be made via Searles Lake and Trona across the Panamint Valley to Ballarat, thence up into the Panamint Range through Wildrose Canyon, along the old road once used by freighters carrying goods from Johannesburg to Skidoo and environs. The route was originally pioneered by burro trains hauling charcoal from the kilns in Wildrose Canyon to the Modoc Mine in the Argus Range. In Wildrose Canyon the road forks, the southern branch proceeding on to the kilns and Thorndike's camp close to the Panamint crest near Telescope Peak, the other going north toward Harrisburg Flats and Emigrant Spring. Old trails lead across the flats to Skidoo and other nearby mines and prospects. The Harrisburg road has been extended on to the crest of the Panamint Range at Aguereberry Point from which a gorgeous panorama of the valley floor unfolds below. North of Emigrant Spring the road exits from Emigrant Canyon out onto Emigrant Wash, in the north-central part of the valley, joining California State Highway 190 just east of Towne Pass. This faster route crosses over the Panamints from Lone Pine, following the tracks of the old Eichbaum toll road, a forty-mile stretch built in the 1920s from the foot of Darwin Wash to Stovepipe Wells in order to promote tourism in the valley. These two routes are handy for traffic bound between Los Angeles and Goldfield or other northeast Nevada points. In the extreme north part of the valley, entry can be made from the east over a good paved road from Sand Spring through Death Valley Wash. Another good route from the east leaves U.S. Route 95 at Scotty's Junction and winds down Grapevine Canyon past Scotty's Castle. Titus Canyon, a little further south in the Grapevines, is a one-way road from the east branching off of the Beatty-Daylight Pass Road, and is characterized by a sandy and tortuous grade varying in width and steepness throughout its approximately twenty-eight-mile length. Originally built to promote the short-lived boom town of Leadfield, it is often closed due to washing and erosion. It is now used mostly for leisurely sightseeing trips. The next large pass south, Boundary Canyon, is one of the earliest-known entryways, probably having been traversed by one group of the '49ers. Travelers from Beatty or Rhyolite enter here, and then can go either south to Furnace Creek, west to Stovepipe Wells Hotel, or north to Ubehebe. Furnace Creek Wash is the most famous early passage to the valley, as evidenced by its designation as the "Gateway of the '49ers." It provides access northwest from Shoshone or Death Valley Junction and, like Boundary Canyon, is a natural break in the mountains. Travelers can also enter the monument west from Shoshone and Tecopa via Salsberry Pass. In the southeast corner of the monument several smaller routes unite near the south boundary before entering the valley below Ibex Spring. One comes from Mojave, Randsburg, and Johannesburg via Granite Wells and Owl Holes Wash; one originates in Barstow and Daggett and approaches the valley by way of Garlic Spring, Cave Spring, and Cave Spring Wash; while a third enters from Silver Lake through Riggs Valley. These are old desert roads built from water hole to water hole, and their use varies according to climatic conditions. Another now-unused route entered the southwest corner of the valley via Wingate Pass, rounding the south end of the Panamints. This road, originally used by the borax-carrying twenty-mule teams, is always sandy, sometimes washed, and always tricky to navigate. Only twenty or so miles of the route are now open to travel, the remainder being part of the Naval Weapons Range. 7. Water Holes Water is always a precious commodity in desert environments, and no less so in Death Valley, which contains an about-average supply of watering places, although slightly more than Panamint Valley, its higher neighbor to the west, and many more than Saline Valley to the northwest, which contains not a single water source. Most of Death Valley's supply, however, is characteristically warm and tainted with minerals. Several important water holes are located along West Side Road, including Gravel Well; Bennetts Well, named for Asa

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section 1)

Bennett of the Bennett-Arcane party of '49ers; Shortys Well; and Tule Spring, now thought to have been the last camping spot of the Bennett-Arcane party before their rescue. In the Panamint Range are Wildrose and Emigrant springs, both heavily used by Indians and miners. Further north on the valley floor are Salt Well, located beside the main valley road four miles southwest of old Stovepipe Wells, actually nothing more than a pothole filled with saline water that is used mostly by stock; Stovepipe Wells, originally two holes about five feet deep providing good water for early Indian and miner transients and later for the Rhyolite-Skidoo trade; Sand Spring, north of the monument boundary; Grapevine Springs near Scotty's Ranch; Daylight Spring near Daylight Pass; Hole-in-the-Rock Spring in Boundary Canyon; Furnace Creek; Bradbury Well in the Black Mountains; and Ibex and Saratoga springs further southeast. Valley watercourses consist of the Amargosa River, an intermittent stream flowing north through the southeast corner of the monument near Saratoga Spring and continuing up to the vicinity of Badwater Basin where it loses itself in the salt flat. Because it never carries much of a flow it often peters out before reaching even this point. Salt Creek, an undrinkable stream, flows south from about the vicinity of Stovepipe Wells thirty miles down the middle of the valley, and is responsible for the often marshy conditions near the salt pools where it terminates in the Middle Basin area. Furnace Creek, given this name by Dr. Darwin French in 1860 supposedly because of the presence of a crude ore reduction furnace in the vicinity, is fed by Funeral Mountain springs, mainly Travertine and Texas. Its plentiful water supply has enabled the Furnace Creek Wash area to become a veritable garden spot and eventually the site of two large resorts. 8. Tourism In the years since its opening to the public Death Valley National Monument has become one of California's most popular scenic areas. Its rich and varied history involving the Indian, emigrant, and mining communities, is a constant source of interest and amazement to visitors. Their new appreciation of the area's scenic splendor and of its wealth of prehistorical and historical resources linked to its early aboriginal and mining cultures has done much to dispel the vision of Death Valley as a hot, barren wasteland. [8]

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http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/deva/section1b.htm[7/26/2008 3:04:59 PM]

Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section 1)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION I:

INTRODUCTION TO DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL MONUMENT
C. A Note on Historical and Archeological Resources of Death Valley
1. Limited Scope of Present Study The reader who is looking in this study for another rehashing of the adventures and adversities of the '49ers as they groped their way out of Death Valley, or for another summary of the early penetrations into the region by the Dr. Darwin French and Dr. S. G. George expeditions of 1860, the surveying mission of Lt. J. C. Ives in connection with the U.S.-California Boundary Survey of 1861, or for a resume of the accomplishments of the Wheeler Expedition of 1871 or of any of the later government surveys or U.S. Army reconnaissances, or of the biological survey of 1891, will be sorely disappointed. Although carrying the general title of Historic Resource Study, this work focuses totally on a history of Death Valley mining activities, past and present, and has consciously ignored more than a cursory mention of earlier white visitation. Mention of them can be found in varying degrees in almost every book on Death Valley, and Benjamin Levy's background study written for the NPS in 1969 contains detailed information on their various contributions. 2. Archeological Research and Fieldwork In the realm of archeological resources, the park is estimated to contain approximately 1,400 archeological sites, most of them prehistoric. A few specialized archeological investigations have been undertaken in the past, such as those conducted by William J. Wallace and Edith S. Taylor in the Butte Valley and Wildrose Canyon areas, but most surveys have been accomplished only under threat of some type of imminent surface disturbance. The most recent archeological work has been carried out by personnel of the Western Archeological Center, Tucson, in the form of reconnaissance surveys requested to be made within 117 claim group areas to determine what resources are present, their condition, and the probable effects of renewed mining activity on them. Little historical archeology has been carried out in the monument in past years, but a number of new sites with potential for historical archeologists have been discovered as a result of the archeological center's recent work and of field explorations by historians from the Denver Service Center. Recommendations of the latter as to historical sites warranting further investigation by archeologists are found in this report. These sites could add substantially to our knowledge of mining techniques, communication and access routes, life-styles, and dwellings of this desert environment.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section 1)

Illustration 1. "Mining Map of Inyo County," by J. M. Keeler, 1883. Courtesy of Inyo Co. Clerk and Recorder, Independence, Ca. (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION II:

EARLY MINING DISTRICTS IN THE OWENS AND PANAMINT VALLEYS (continued)
The following is a very brief summary of the development of the mining industry in the Owens and Panamint valley areas west of Death Valley. Although this region is outside the boundaries of the national monument, the districts and camps that once thrived here were precursors of the mining ventures in Death Valley and involved many of the same individuals, both prospectors and investors, who moved freely throughout southern Inyo County. Through the years the growth of these districts were reflections of the same market trends that determined and guided the fortunes of the Death Valley camps. A fuller discussion of Panamint, the first Death Valley-vicinity bonanza town, and of the Panamint Mining District that evolved from it and embraced the first large-scale mining activity within Death Valley proper will follow. This synopsis by no means includes all the early mining districts in the Owens and Panamint valley areas, but deals with the major ones that were contemporaneous, or nearly so, with prospecting efforts in the Panamint and Amargosa ranges. The first strikes in the Owens and Panamint valleys were made in the early to mid-1860s and centered mostly around the extraction of silver, although lead and gold also appeared in promising amounts. High transportation costs, low yields, expensive machinery unsuited for the job at hand, and falling lead and silver prices soon contributed to the demise of these enterprises. By the late 1870s the earliest southern Inyo camps were already collapsing. Even the arrival of the narrow-gauge Carson and Colorado Railroad at Keeler in 1883, enabling tower freight rates for the Inyo County mines, could not stave off oblivion. In the early 1900s, however, a revival of the mining industry occurred, and old mines were reopened and new prospects were further developed. By 1908 districts in the region all the way from Mazourka Canyon, east of Independence, south were showing explosive activity. The development of electric power in the Sierras, the extension of the standard-gauge Southern Pacific Railroad north from Mojave, and the dawning realization of Inyo County's varied wealth in metals and nonmetals, including gold, silver, lead, copper, zinc, sulphur, graphite, borax, soda, salt, soapstone, talc, magnesium, tungsten, molybdenum, and marble, were all contributing to a growing optimism within the mining community. In the postwar years these valuable commodities could be mined even more profitably by improved processing equipment, which has added stability and certain success to this facet of Inyo County industry.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION II:

EARLY MINING DISTRICTS IN THE OWENS AND PANAMINT VALLEYS (continued)
A. Coso, Russ Telescope Peak and Argus Mining Districts
1. Darwin French Expedition The experiences of the '49ers in Death Valley, though made even more horrifying in the retelling, nonetheless served to stimulate the interest of prospectors and miners in Death Valley, the Panamint and Owens valleys, and the Argus and Slate ranges. The tantalizing possibility of relocating the fabulous "Gunsight Lead" not only attracted the ever-inquisitive desert prospector, but also prompted some noteworthy early exploration by organized expeditions. In the early summer of 1860 Dr. Darwin French and companions, entering from the west, initiated exploration of the Coso Springs and Darwin Wash areas, ultimately penetrating as far east in Death Valley as Furnace Creek Wash, which they are credited with naming. Among the other accomplishments of this group was the discovery of ore near Coso, the creation in the spring of 1860 of the Coso Mining District, and the formation by some of the French party of the Coso Gold and Silver Mining Company. [1] 2. S. G. George and New World Mining and Exploration Company Expeditions In this same year a group of men led by Dr. S. G. George met and united with the New World Mining and Exploration Company expedition headed by Colonel H. P. Russ, and the two detachments entered the Owens Valley region together. The Union lode was discovered at this time, incorporating the Union, Eclipse, and Ida claims, arid while Russ undertook to organize the Russ Mining District (hailed by one writer as "the first semblance of any form of civil government in the territory now included in Inyo County") [2] and name the Inyo Mountain Range, a subdivision of the George party traveled further east from the Owens Lake area to explore the Panamints. In the course of their trek they discovered and named Telescope Peak and Wildrose Canyon and explored in the Slate Range. The Christmas Gift antimony mine was discovered in the Wildrose Canyon area, and the Telescope Mining District was also organized at this time. Little actual mining work was done, however. The year 1860 also saw the formation of the Argus District by unknown parties. 3. Indian Depredations and Crude Mining Methods Hinder Development The further development of any of the mines found during these early forays was hindered by the constant threat of attacks by hostile Piutes who were resentful of the encroachment upon their lands by miners arid settlers in the Owens and Panamint valleys. The frequency and

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

ferocity of their attacks led to the establishment of Camp Independence in the Owens River Valley on 4 July 1862. This action did not deter the Indians, however, who continued to raid and prey on small groups of settlers and miners. Severe retaliation by soldiers and citizens alike culminated in 1865 in the slaughter and drowning of about 100 Indians at the mouth of Owens River. This act broke the resistance of the Piutes, and the way into these fertile and mineral-rich lands was opened for settlers, farmers, and miners. [3] Before long, however, it was clear that other factors would impose even more detrimental effects on the rapid development of the region: crude mining methods and/or lack of adequate facilities forced the miners to attempt working their ore without roasting it first, and the resulting poor production levels led to the conclusion that the ores in the area were too base to be profitably worked. This, coupled with the isolation, lack of a nearby supply depot, exorbitant transportation charges, and the need for expensive machinery whose acquisition was impossible because of a lack of capital, precipitated an exodus of miners from Inyo County, which lasted until the fabulously-productive Cerro Gordo Mine provided a hint of the vast mineral wealth of the area that was obtainable by more refined and systematic mining methods.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION II:

EARLY MINING DISTRICTS IN THE OWENS AND PANAMINT VALLEYS (continued)
B. Lone Pine Mining District
1. Rise and Fall of Cerro Gordo Cerro Gordo, on the western slope of the Inyo Mountains about seven miles east of Keeler and thirty miles south of Independence, was the first major silver strike in Owens Valley. Originally a small-scale operation worked by Mexicans between 1862 and 1866, the mine was included in the Lone Pine Mining District organized in April 1866. Three years later Americans took over the property and ultimately turned it into the largest producer of silver and lead in California, yielding ores that assayed at least as high as $300 per ton. [4] In the early 1870s two smelters were erected at Cerro Gordo and one on Owens Lake near the rival town of Swansea. Contributing to Cerro Gordo's commercial success was the fact that this was an excellent area for smelting works: water and wood were abundant, good fire-clay was available, and because of the wide variety of ores in the district, necessary fluxes were obtainable. Productive mines of the area were the historic Union Mine, and the later Cerro Gordo, Cerro Gordo Extension, Estelle, Silver Reef, and Santa Rosa mines. [5] Mule teams transported the ore to Los Angeles, 275 miles away, necessitating high-class ore and bullion in order to make a profit. In 1875 Cerro Gordo suffered a series of setbacks, necessitating the shutdown of its furnaces. These problems resulted from a scarcity of ore in the mine, which had lasted for several months, and the temporary drying up of its water supply; no small factor in the slowdown of production was the litigation that had been initiated in 1870 over ownership of the Union lode. [6] This latter question was finally settled, and on 13 January 1876 the Union Consolidated Mining Company of Cerro Gordo was created and preparations made to return to full-scale production. The revival was not destined to last, however, and by late 1876 and early 1877 the Union Mine appeared to be played out. A fire that raged through some of the mine buildings and the Union shaft was the final straw; the furnaces were closed the following February. A more lethal blow was dealt by falling lead and silver prices, effectively ending this era of activity at Cerro Gordo. 2. Reopening of Cerro Gordo By 1905 mining activity was reviving in the Panamint region, and hope was seen for many of the old productive mines. Cerro Gordo was purchased by the Great Western Ore Purchasing and Reduction Company, which envisioned building a 100-ton smelter for custom work and also to process ore left on the Cerro Gordo dumps, earlier considered too low grade for the technological methods then in use. By modern methods the ore could be worked profitably. [7] By 1907 high-grade zinc was found in the old Cerro Gordo stopes, and ore shipments were begun. [8] In 1912 the Cerro Gordo group, whose property now consisted of tunnels and
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

shafts and an aerial tramway connecting the mine with the narrow-gauge Southern Pacific Railroad at Keeler, which had absorbed the old Carson & Colorado, was acquired by Utah mining men. Shipping 1,000 tons of ore daily, Cerro Gordo now became the largest producer of zinc carbonates in the United States. [9] In 1920 about ten men were still employed by the Cerro Gordo mines company and silver-lead ore was being shipped. A few years later, in 1924, silver-lead ore on the old dumps was to be worked by concentration and flotation after five concentrators were installed in the Keeler mill. [ 10] Gross production of the Cerro Gordo camp from its early profitable years up until 1938 was probably around $17 million. [11] As a sidelight to this story, the old Swansea Mining District, seven miles southeast of Lone Pine and a competitor of Cerro Gordo in the 1860s, was also producing again in 1924 as its old dumps were slowly sampled.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION II:

EARLY MINING DISTRICTS IN THE OWENS AND PANAMINT VALLEYS (continued)
C. Panamint Mining District
1. Panamint City As if to keep up morale among the mining community in the Panamint Valley, immediately on the heels of the strike at Cerro Gordo erupted the loudest, wildest, most frenzied boom ever to be seen on the west slope of the Panamint Range. It began in January 1873 with the discovery of copper-silver ore in Surprise Canyon. Silver samples assayed as high as $3,000 per ton, with the probable average value of metal-bearing ore being at least $125 a ton. [12] By August 1874 a road had been completed through Panamint Valley and up Surprise Canyon, providing contact with Los Angeles for freighting and supply purposes. The boom lasted only until about 1876 when the two major mines were depleted, but while it lasted memories and legends were created that ensured its place in the history of this region. A more complete narrative concerning Panamint City and the Panamint Mining District follows later in this report. 2. Ballarat Around 1897 another town in the vicinity of Panamint rose to prominence. This was Ballarat, named for an important Australian gold camp near Melbourne. It was located one-half mile north of Post Office Spring, which had served as a communications center and overnight stop for prospectors during the Panamint boom. The main mine, the Radcliffe, produced 15,000 tons or more of ore from 1898 to 1903. From 1927 to 1942 its tailings were cyanided with a reported recovery value of one quarter of a million dollars in gold. [13] In 1941 the Ballarat Mining and Milling Corporation, a Nevada company, bought property in the Slate and Panamint ranges in San Bernardino and Inyo counties. A Los Angeles company intended to make exhaustive metallurgical tests, paving the way for a projected modern fifty -ton reduction mill south of town to perform custom work. An assay office and metallurgical laboratory were to be part of the complex, [ 4] and once again Ballarat would see a 1 resurgence of mining activity.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION II:

EARLY MINING DISTRICTS IN THE OWENS AND PANAMINT VALLEYS (continued)
D. New Coso Mining District
1. Darwin Around 1870 gold, silver, and lead deposits were again discovered in the Coso Range, resulting in formation of the New Coso Mining District circa 1874. Darwin was the main commercial center, and the Defiance the principal mine of the district. Other producers were the Argus-Sterling, Christmas Gift, Lucky Jim, Custer, Independence, Keystone, Thompson, and Wonder. During the period 1870 to 1877 three smelters were erected and water was piped in from the Coso Mountains. By the end of 1875 the town boasted two smelters, twenty working mines, 200 frame houses, seventy-eight business establishments, and a population of 700. [15] In the late 1870s, as was happening in other Inyo County camps, Darwin began to falter in production. The Defiance furnace was shut down in August 1876; all it took to completely depopulate the town were strikes in Bodie and Mammoth City around 1878, and the remaining miners took off for these promising new frontiers.

Illustration 2. Ballarat in 1913, a typical desert mining community. Photo courtesy of Death Valley National Monument.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

Illustration 3. Ballarat in November 1973, its adobe ruins slowly sinking back into the sandy desert floor. Photo courtesy of G. William Fiero, University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

2. Revitalization of the Darwin District Darwin's rebirth also occurred during the revival of industry in southern Inyo County around 1906. Earlier left on the dumps or not mined because it was considered worthless, copper was now a valuable metal and copper mining was showing unprecedented profits. In 1907 Senator Tasker L. Oddie of Nevada bought nine claims in the Darwin area, while Nixon and Wingfield of Goldfield Consolidated fame also took over some property there. [16] That Darwin had caught the fancy of miners again is evidenced by the statement of one Greenwater miner who said that Darwin's showing of copper was even more promising than that of the famous bonanza town in which he currently lived. [17] Also by 1907 the Lucky Jim Mine was shipping lead-silver ore to Salt Lake smelters. In June 1919 the Darwin District, especially the Lucky Jim and Christmas Gift mines, was still going strong, given impetus by an advance in the price of silver. It was showing up so well, in fact, that in 1920 the stock of the Lucky Jim was placed on the New York Stock Exchange. [18] By 1927 the Darwin District's future seemed assured, for the area was found to contain ores of nearly all the metallic minerals: silver, lead, gold, tungsten, and copper. Production for the area from 1870 to October 1938 reached approximately $3 to $5 million, [19] some estimates being as high as $7 million by 1945. In that year the Anaconda Copper Mining Company purchased the principal mines and took over operations there. Darwin became the chief source of lead in California, producing two-thirds of all that commodity used in the state. The total value of all lead, silver, and zinc produced has been put at $15 million. [20]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

Illustration 4. Darwin, probably about 1908. This picture might have been taken on the Death Valley Expedition by Veager and Woodward. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION II:

EARLY MINING DISTRICTS IN THE OWENS AND PANAMINT VALLEYS (continued)
E. Lookout and Modoc Mining Districts
1. Short Existence of Lookout While Darwin was flourishing, silver strikes were erupting all over in various areas, notably in the Waucoba District opposite Big Pine in the Inyo Range, in Wildrose Canyon in the Panamint Range, and in the Lee District between Owens Lake and Death Valley. In May 1875 the Lookout District was formed, whose main camp of Lookout consisted only of rock and wood buildings, some general stores, and the ever-present saloons. The Lookout District peaked in 1877 and production soon began to fade. 2. Modoc District Supported by George C. Hearst From this initial effort, however, the Modoc District was born between 1880 and 1890 on the east slope of the Argus Range, fifteen miles southeast of Darwin. Producing mines were the Minietta and Modoc, the latter, along with the Lookout smelters, having been bought in 1876 by George C. Hearst and other capitalists who proceeded to form the Modoc Consolidated Mines Co. of San Francisco. At first the Modoc, Lookout, and Minietta ores were reduced in the Surprise Valley mill at Panamint City, but in the fall of 1876 Hearst had two thirty -ton furnaces built at the Modoc Mine. Remi Nadeau, freighter for Cerro Gordo and Panamint City, built a road up the Panamint Valley from the foot of the Slate Range to the Modoc and Minietta mines and soon was hauling charcoal by wagons and muleback to the Modoc furnaces from the ten charcoal kilns in Wildrose Canyon. The Minietta operated on and off until 1915. In 1924 this silver-lead-gold mine was reopened and the Modoc Mine was leased. [21] Their slag piles and dumps were reworked, yielding gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc. In the mid-1930s the Minietta was leased and refinanced and a mill and modern equipment were to be installed. If gold and silver prices held, the future of the mine seemed bright. [22] By 1938 the Modoc Mine had produced $1,900,000 worth of ore and the Minietta $1,000,000. [23]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION II:

EARLY MINING DISTRICTS IN THE OWENS AND PANAMINT VALLEYS (continued)
F. Summation
These were the principal mining towns and districts of the Owens and Panamint valley regions in the 1800s, none of which had any more exciting and robust a growth than Panamint City. A multitude of books and articles, many listed in the bibliography of this report, have exposed the hardships, dreams, and disappointments experienced by miners and promoters alike in this rip-roaring camp at the head of narrow Surprise Canyon, and it is not the writer's intention to rehash any of this. A brief narrative on the town, however, and the resultant Panamint Mining District, and especially a history of some of its principal mines, many of which bore names similar to later claims in Death Valley, may help clear up some confusion created by this duplication, as well as help determine which properties were located outside the monument boundaries and which were within. (Note: The Panamint Mining District also included the Gold Hill area, immediately northeast of Butte Valley. The history and sites of this region will be treated separately, however, since they are of major importance to this study.)

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section II)

Illustration 5. "Map of Inyo County Cal." (Segment.) (San Francisco: C.F. Weber & Co., 1914). Courtesy of Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road
1. Panamint Mining District a) Formation and Establishment of Boundaries The precursor of the Panamint Mining District was the Telescope District, organized in 1860 by members of the Dr. S.C. George expedition who had penetrated into the Wildrose and Panamint regions. Named for nearby Telescope Peak, this early district was located on a spur of the Panamint Range bordering Death Valley on the west. Although the mines in the area were not heavily worked in the first few years after their discovery, the late 1860s and early 1870s saw some rough beginnings of a mining industry there. An 1872 newspaper article speaks favorably of the richness and extent of the Telescope District mines, which, it states, had been located some three years earlier. The lead, silver, and gold ores were said to be comparable to those of Cerro Gordo, besides being easy to smelt because of the nearby pinyon pines and clay necessary for the reduction process. [1] On 1 February 1873 four notices were posted in the mountains of the Panamint Range, informing the prospecting community that: There will be held at the camp of R.C. Jacobs & Co., in Mormon Canyon at the southern end of the Panamint Mountain Range, on February 10, 1873, a miners' meeting, for the purpose of organizing a new mining district, and forming laws to govern the same. All claim owners are respectfully invited to be present at said meeting. R. C. Jacobs W.L. Kenneday [Kennedy] R. Stewart [2] The meeting was subsequently held as advertised, resulting in the formation of the Panamint Mining District. Boundaries were established as follows: Commencing in "Windy Canyon" (a point four miles north of Telescope Peak) at a point called Flowery Springs, and running thence in an easterly direction, following the said "Windy Canyon" to the summit of the range; thence down the east side and out to the center of Death Valley; thence southerly to "Mesquit Springs," on the eastern slope of "Slate Range;" thence westerly to the summit of "Centrie Canyon," and down the same to its mouth, continuing the same course westerly to the center of "Slate Range Valley;" thence northerly to a point in

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

"Panamint Valley" ten miles due west from "Flowery Springs;" thence easterly ten miles to the place of beginning." [3] Laws and regulations were adopted and Robert Stewart elected recorder for a one-year term beginning 10 February 1873. The recorder's office was to be located in Surprise Valley, where most of the principal claims were found. b) The District's Future Seems Assured By 30 August 1873 the prospects of the new district still looked favorable: It is represented by experts, who have visited it for speculative purposes, as being one of the very richest and most prolific districts on the Pacific Slope in silver ores. Some one hundred silver lodes have been discovered and located, which for body and richness stand, at least in the State of California, unrivalled--the lodes running from two to thirty feet in width, and assaying from $200 to $1,200 per ton of ore. [4] Even allowing for the tendency toward excitability and gross exaggeration common to the average California mining prospector of this era, men of some experience and supposed sound judgement and caution felt that this district had distinct economic possibilities. The best route to the mines was said to be from Havilah by stage to Little Owens Lake, seventy miles away by the Havilah and Independence stage route, and from there by mule trail, "a short two day's ride of fifty-five miles." [5] Newspaper clippings and journals of the time give some indication of the ensuing fortunes of the Panamint District. In December 1879 some Panamint miners organized the "Breyfogle" District twenty miles north of Panamint. The main lode, of the same name, produced ore assaying from around $500 to almost $4,000. [6] By the year 1881 the Inyo Consolidated Mining Company of New York, which had purchased the Garibaldi and North Star mines in the Rose Springs (Wildrose) District circa 1876, had also purchased the only mill and several promising locations in the Panamint District and were working vigorously with much success, the mines and mill having produced about $60,000 worth of ore already. [7] c) Mining Activity Spreads in Southern Inyo County In July 1887 valuable ores were stilt being discovered in the surrounding country, but discouraging to miners was the fact that the rich ore could not be shipped easily or speedily to market. By May 1894 the California mining news correspondent of the Engineering and Mining Journal was projecting 11a decided tendency toward a mining boom in Southern California this year. Never within 10 or 12 years has such general interest been manifested as is shown at present. There are now more new enterprises, and apparently substantial ones, than ever before. . . ." By this time a new district referred to as South Park was springing up around Red Rock and Goler canyons, with lucrative results appearing inevitable. [8] The Redlands Gold Mining Company was in business by the summer of 1894 and was enthusiastically purchasing prospects. It even erected a ten-stamp mill five miles south of Panamint Canyon, which two years later, however, was not producing much. [9] Hampering progress in this more southerly area too was its distance from a railroad and lack of wood and water. A correspondent of the Pacific Coast Bullion made a trip to Death Valley about this time, and in addition to describing the sights and geologic wonders of the area, reported on the current mining situation. Panamint City, he said, now housed only a watchman guarding the mill and storehouses, leaving itinerant prospectors the run of the town. He went on to explain that lawsuits had closed the mines for awhile, but the litigation was now settled and eighteen
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

claims had been recently patented; unfortunately the current price of silver was too low to work them profitably. The correspondent remarked that few mines were being worked in the Panamints. Charles Anthony's Defiance Mine near Post Office Spring at Darwin was operating, although no mill existed on the property. The only other mining activity centered around the Redlands Gold Mining Company. Heavy transportation costs were still hindering mining in the mountains contiguous to Death Valley. [10] The revival of a large-scale mining industry in the Panamint District in the late 1800s evidently centered around Tuber Canyon properties. In April 1897 a Mr. Donahue and others purchased property there for $15,000 preparatory to commencing exploratory work. [11] A correspondent to the Independent wrote from the new town of Ballarat in the Telescope Range in June 1897 that "the future of this camp and district as a gold mining proposition is very bright and assured." [12] The country had a good water supply, plenty of wood available on the nearby summits of the Panamint Range, and fruit could be grown in the mountains. Quail were an abundant food source. [13] Among current activities mentioned was the work in Tuber Canyon, where development and prospecting were pushing ahead vigorously, with considerable San Francisco capital being invested there. [14] The Tuber and Aurora claims were active, while in Jail Canyon the Gem and Burro groups were being worked. In Pleasant Canyon, near the old town of Panamint, the Worldbeater and other Montgomery properties had closed down until a new bigger mill nearer the mines could be bought and installed. Claims in the Mineral Hill and Redlands Canyon areas further south were showing some unrest, with many claims changing hands. The prospecting stage here had passed, and efforts were now being made to further develop those lodes whose extent and richness were becoming evident. A custom mill was sorely needed, although it was being rumored that a three-stamp mill would be moved into the vicinity soon. [15] Other southern Inyo County mining efforts consisted of "chloriding" operations, notably in Shepherd's, Cottonwood, and Emigrant canyons, where development of the lodes was much hampered by their inaccessibility. Revenue Canyon mines on the western edge of Panamint Valley also harbored rich strikes. [16] The new town of Ballarat was now the gathering place for Panamint Range miners, prospectors, and the Indian community. The Fourth of July celebration in the year 1897 was replete with "foot races, hammer and stone-throwing, burro and horse racing, giant powder salutes and a grand tug of war, in which every male inhabitant and visitor to the place, Indians included, took part, save one who from his immense size and strength was debarred from either side and officiated as referee." [17] Talks on the significance of the day entertained the visitors from almost every canyon in the evening. A stage and mail line between Ballarat and Garlock was about to commence, consisting of a single round trip weekly, to be increased to tri-weekly when cooler weather came and mining activity resumed. The main portion of the town's business and freight came through Mojave and Garlock (which evidently had the nearest custom mill, 150 miles away) because of lower freight charges and passenger fares from that direction. Although mail communication was desired through Owens Valley and Independence, the residents there were antagonistic toward facilitating this because of the camp's close communication and financial ties to the southern towns. [18] Also in this year mention was made of construction of a Randsburg Railway from Kramer station on the Santa Fe and Pacific to Randsburg, and a possibility evidently existed of the line being projected to Salt Lake City, thus making another transcontinental route. The Los Angeles trade would be increased tenfold, it was argued, by bringing the line north into the Panamint Valley from Kramer and tapping the Searles borax fields, the Argus and Slate

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

ranges, and all the mining camps in Redlands Canyon, Mineral Hill, Pleasant Canyon, Happy Valley, Surprise, Hall, Jail, and Tuber canyons, and the Wildrose area, not to mention the Argus, Revenue, Snow Canyon, and Modoc mines on the west side of the valley. [19] By 1897 new placer locations had been found on the east side of the Panamints, panning $30 to $40 per day. The central Panamints were still quiet, Panamint City now containing but two residents, sole witnesses to the steady decay of the town's large stores, saloons, and billiard halls full of furniture. The only operating business was a large, fully-stocked hardware and implement store selling goods to miners at incredibly low prices. Several mills in the vicinity full of machinery were idle. [20] By April 1898 Ballarat sported a population of nearly four hundred, at least one hundred of whom were gainfully employed. It contained substantial adobe houses and was the outfitting point for the Panamint Range, Snow Canyon, and other nearby districts. Mines were being worked near Willow Spring to the south; the Burro Mine in Jail Canyon had recently been bought, the new owner also purchasing the Redland Company's mill; the South Park mines were producing; and the Tuber Canyon mines were doing well, as were the Mineral Hill properties four miles south of Ballarat. [21] From 1898 to 1899 freight teams left Johannesburg, sixty miles south of Ballarat in Kern County, for the Argus Range hematite iron-ore deposits, some yielding $8 a ton in gold, and for the Panamint District high-grade silver-lead ore mines. Although Johannesburg was the best outfitting point for a prospector coming to Panamint from the south, Keeler, the closest railroad stop to the Panamint Range, was more accessible for people from the north or from Nevada. [22] d) Interest in the Panamints Spreads to Nevada By February 1900 the Panamint District continued strong and reported much activity. Ballarat, in the process of heavy construction, held much commercial importance in the area because of its central location arid accessibility to miners in the adjacent mountains, its good water supply, and its proximity to the railroad. Mines in the Panamints were producing ore that could be easily milled or on which cyanide treatment was effective. Principal mines in the western Panamint Range were still in Tuber, Jail, and Pleasant canyons, and at Mineral Hill. In Tuber Canyon a twenty-five-ton Bryan mill had been erected and in Jail Canyon a three-stamp mill was operating. The Radcliffe Consolidated Gold Mining Company was running a twenty-stamp mill in Pleasant Canyon, and ore was being transported from the property by tramway at low cost. [23] By 1902 the Inyo Gold Company of Los Angeles, which owned mines in Tuber Canyon, near Panamint, and the Tuber Mine at Ballarat, was shipping in a fifty-ton cyanide plant to wash tailings from the Tuber and also ore from there. This was in addition to a six-stamp mill already on the Tuber Mine property. [24] In the early 1900s the Panamint District began attracting the attention of prospectors from the Goldfield, Nevada, area. [25] Because earlier prospectors had been intent only on silver, it was now thought that vast amounts of gold probably remained. Geologically, the southernmost part of the range seemed to be similar to the Tonopah, Goldfield, and Bullfrog districts, and good opportunities were imagined to exist for those who took the time to look. Jail Canyon was still the best producer in the Panamints, boasting the Gem Group and rich Burro Mine. In Surprise Canyon, Jack Curran had located some good gold claims near Panamint City. The Radcliffe Group in Pleasant Canyon was still producing, as was the World Beater just above it. Coyote Canyon, between Goler and Redlands, was the location of a great strike showing ore of a high assay value, more than $35, some shoots running up to

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

$125 and $230 per ton. Prospects looked good further south except for a lack of capital. [26] New locations were constantly being made, though, since water and wood were plentiful. Several companies were already operating in the Redlands area and it was thought that summer and fall would bring an influx of desert prospectors. By autumn the entry of prospectors from the Tonopah, Goldfield, and Bullfrog fields into the Panamint region seemed even more imminent, despite the region's isolation from railroad transportation facilities and roads, which cast doubt on the success of every mining venture. But because remote areas of Nevada were proving to be profitable, new hope was seen for the Panamint area, especially because these prospectors from Nevada were familiar with the problems and frustrations of desert mining. [27] In the meantime the original Panamint Mine seemed slated for a comeback. An October 1905 newspaper article stated that Jack Curran, the "King of the Panamints," had relocated the old mine, which it reported was at one time bonded for $5,000 to an English syndicate. Some later history of the once-roaring silver camp was presented, although some facts, such as those regarding population figures, are open to question. The article reported that $700,000 was spent developing the old mine (improvements, wages, etc.). Currently remains of the twenty-stamp mill, saloons, and stone warehouses could still be seen. The canyon was deserted, the article continued, when silver, once selling for $1.29, was demonetized, and the lack of good transportation facilities in addition made mining in the area unprofitable. After the camp was deserted, the owners of the mine fell into dissension over some matter. The workmen were not paid, and in retaliation took over possession of the property, which they worked until they received due compensation. After setting fire to some of the buildings, they scattered, and the town was left to the elements. [28] Several more well-known prospects were appearing in the Panamints at this time in Hall Canyon, such as the Pine Tree Mizpah and the Valley View, and prospecting was becoming a much more organized and systematic business. A party of four men from Goldfield came into the Panamint Range in November 1905 equipped with fourteen burros, an elaborate camp outfit, and a determination to cover as large a territory in as short a time as possible. The head of the party, who also held interests in Colorado mines, stated that in the Panamints he saw the same class of ore as at Leadville, but of higher grade. Colorado investors, he allowed, were very interested in the value of ores that could be found here. [29] During the early 1900s mining in the Panamint section was booming: mineral resources were good, geological conditions promising, new mining camps were being established nearby at Greenwater, and at Emigrant Spring, Harrisburg, and Skidoo, and Nevada mining men were now investing large sums in the Panamint region. Full forces of men were at work, reminding people of the early days of Tonopah and Goldfield. The new camp of "Panamini," mentioned earlier, was predicted to be one of the most prosperous of western mining camps, with water being piped a mile and a half to supply all needs. [30] Mining was not easy for men in this region, as evidenced by the statement of a mining engineer in 1906 that the bodies of eight prospectors who had died from heat stroke in the Panamints were brought in during his stay. The average temperature for several days was 116°F., even at midnight, while the thermometer would rise to 135°F. by noontime. In contrast, by the first of March 1907 Skidoo and Ballarat were buried in deep snow. Other problems existed in addition to vagaries of the weather, one group of prospectors reporting a difficulty centering around settlers in the Panamint Valley who staked and restaked mining claims, but never worked them, effectively preventing their exploration by bona fide mining men. [31] The price of silver in 1907 was holding steady, running around 75¢ in New York, as high as

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

it had been for several years. Locations were still being made at this time around old Panamint City. While another new "Panamint" was in the throes of birth just across the mountains in Johnson Canyon, miners arriving to work there were also crossing over to the old townsite and staking claims in this still-mineral-rich area. The finding of high-grade silver ore was mandatory in order to realize a profit because of transportation problems. One miner locating here reported sixteen patented locations around the old mill site, where a dozen vacant buildings were left from the boom days. [32] e) Consistent Production Continues into Late 1900s For the next few years mining continued in southern Inyo County on a profitable scale. At Cerro Gordo, Darwin, and other places on the west side of the Panamints steady ore production was maintained. By 1912 the Panamint Mine had been purchased by Al Meyers of Goldfield-Mohawk fame, the property's productive record having reportedly been two to three million dollars. The mine had been idle since 1893, but rehabilitation work was to commence immediately; the ore was to be shipped to Randsburg, the nearest railroad point, seventy miles away. A summary of Panamint Range mining activity in the early 1920s appeared in the Inyo Independent Most operations in the section were concentrated on the western slope, except for the Carbonate silver-lead mine on the east edge and small gold mines at Anvil Spring in Butte Valley. The Trona Railroad and American Magnesium Company's monorail system were ameliorating somewhat the transportation and isolation problems that had existed in the area for such a long time. Producing properties were located in Goler Canyon (Admiral Group, Shurlock, Gold Spur); South Park Canyon (Gibraltar); Hall Canyon (Horn Spoon); Jail Canyon (Gem Group, Burro Mine); and Tuber Canyon (Salvage Mine and mill, Sure Thing Group). The Pleasant Canyon mines (World Beater, Radcliffe, and Anthony mines) were now all idle. The Panamint Mine under Myers's ownership was being resurrected by modern mining and milling equipment. [33] The Panamint Mining Company determined at this time to construct a stone and gravel toll road beginning at Surprise Canyon and climbing east 5-1/2 miles to the old Panamint City site. The purpose of the toll was to get revenue from miners in that area to assist in road maintenance, and as such was a venture similar to the later Eichbaum toll road built further north a few years later. [34] All along the Panamints refinements in technique were expected to finally make the old silver-lead deposits below the 200-foot level pay. By the early 1930s silver was expected to stabilize at a high market figure, and the mining community eagerly anticipated great things for the Panamint Valley and environs. In the mid-1930s Tuber and Jail canyon mines were operating on a large scale, the development of mines in Pleasant Canyon was being well financed, and Goler Wash, now more accessible, was being explored. No big strikes were made during the late 1920s and early 1930s, but prospectors kept combing the hills and earlier operations kept producing. [35] Leasers and owners both were working in the Ballarat District by the late 1930s, and the consensus of opinion was that "taken as a whole the Panamint Range, while not spectacular, is a consistent [sic] producer, an estimated 5000 tons having been shipped from there during the present year." [36] The diversified resources of Inyo County were just now starting to be fully realized, and companies such as Sierra Talc and the Pacific Coast Talc Co. were involved in development work in the Darwin district. This somewhat offset losses in lead and silver mining in the area, whose condition was stagnant due to the low market price of these particular metals. Despite this, it was concluded by mining officials in the county that "the mining industry in southern Inyo seems to be thriving at the present time. It has as always

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

many difficulties to contend with, especially in the gold producing districts. The greatest need there is milling facilities closer to the properties. It should be borne in mind that the shortest mine to mill [route] established in the immediate vicinity, (and] a program of more and better improved roads would be the greatest single factor toward increased prosperity of the miner and thereby of our whole county. [37] Overall, production levels reached now seemed to stabilize due to increased values in market prices, newer machinery, and improved roads and processes. On through the 1940s and 1950s the Darwin District, Tecopa District, and Modoc and Slate Range regions continued to produce steadily. The Panamint mines were leased in 1947-48 by the American Silver Corporation, which performed some work on them. The properties that originally initiated exploratory work in the area--the Alabama, Hemlock, East Hemlock, and High Silver patented claims, and the unpatented East Hemlock and High Silver mill sites--were privately owned, as were the Challenge, Comstock, Eureka, Hudson River, Marvel, Stewart's Wonder, Wyoming, Star, Little Chief, Independence, Ida, and Panamint Central patented claims, and Stewart's Wonder, Challenge, Little Chief, and Wyoming patented mill sites, plus four other unpatented claims, but all were idle. [38] Tungsten was later found on the Stewart's Wonder, Challenge, and other claims in the Panamint mines complex, and soon a strong resurgence of interest in the Panamint Range centered around this strategic mineral. The renewed interest was attributable to some price stability occurring as a result of the federal government's stockpile sales policy and to the absence of tungsten imports from mainland China. [39] Exploration in this new field was short-lived, however, as it proved to be further north on Harrisburg Flats. f) Impact of Panamint and Other Early Mining Districts on Southern Inyo and Death Valley History The mining districts west of Death Valley have played an important and productive role in Inyo County's economic and social history, and are worth further study on their own. What is important, and what has hopefully been transmitted in this short chapter, is a realization of the extreme and lasting influences exerted by these early communities and their inhabitants on the later mining progress of southern Inyo County, including especially that of Death Valley. The amount of territory covered by Owens and Panamint valley prospectors, and by businessmen on the lookout for a promising investment, was phenomenal, especially in light of the dearth of transportation facilities available at the time. These peregrinations were the primary means by which men in the Death Valley camps and in the Nevada fields further east were kept apprized of mining conditions in surrounding areas and the methods most successfully used in extracting ore. The exploitation of these western mining districts has been at times energetic, at times frenzied, and always sporadic. By dint of much persistence and experimentation, however, the groundwork was laid here for the more systematic and technologically sound methods that ultimately produced such gratifying results in later mining operations in the southern Panamint, Wildrose, and Ubehebe sections of Death Valley during the next few years. g) Panamint City The first boom town of the Panamint Range was Panamint City, in an area first discovered in January 1873 by R.C. Jacobs, W.L. Kennedy, and R.B. Stewart, who located eighty or ninety claims in the vicinity. Two necessities for successful milling operations--timber and water-were plentiful near the site immediately south of Telescope Peak and about 100 miles from Independence. As word of the strike leaked out, excitement once again prevailed in southern Inyo County. Numerous parties left immediately for the district with wagonloads of tools and provisions.

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Principal lodes were the Wide West, Gold Hill, Wonder, Wyoming, Marvel, Pinos Altos, Surprise, Challenge, Beauty, Chief, Cannon, Venus, King of Kayorat, Esperanza, Silver Ridge, Garry Owen, Balloon, Panamint, Mina Verde, Blue Belle, Sunset, and Pine Tree. [40] Optimism about affairs at Panamint ran high. An August 1873 edition of the Independent quoted a Lagunita, California, resident who told of the "exceedingly fair ores" being taken out of the district. "Panamint prospects are improving daily," he stated, "I think we have in this camp the most intelligent and liberally inclined miners that perhaps ever got together. [41] To reach the Panamint Valley and the scene of the new strike, on mules or in wagons, afoot or on burros, one had to branch east from the bullion trail at Lagunita (Little Lake), about fifty-five miles distant, and follow a burro path across the Coso and Argus ranges. Jacobs, realizing that the area's development was dependent upon a good communications system, proceeded to raise funds in Los Angeles by subscription for a more convenient road going south of the mountains via what is now Searles Lake and the north end of the Slate Range. Because the future of the Panamint mines seemed promising enough at this point to warrant such investment, money was quickly raised on the West Coast, many of the businessmen there recalling the lucrative trade the city had established earlier with Cerro Gordo. By mid-June 1874 the road was completed over the Slate Range where it connected with the Surprise Canyon section. Although this latter road was almost immediately washed out by a cloudburst, it was soon repaired and the entire route ready by mid -August 1874, whereupon Jacobs hurriedly shipped in a ten-stamp reduction mill from San Francisco to process ore from his Wonder Mine. Earlier, around 18 December 1833, E.P. Raines, a well-known mining man and promoter, in an effort to finance the camp, journeyed to Los Angeles to enlist support for the Panamint District. An article in a Los Angeles paper of 13 December stated: Messrs. Vanderbilt, Kennedy and Rains arrived here Wednesday from Inyo county with some very rich specimens of silver ore from the Panamint district. The specimens are exhibited at the Clarendon creating quite a little excitement, particularly among those who are unfortunately not interested in the lead. The ore is familiarly known as copper silver glance, but does not contain enough copper or other base metals to prevent it from being easily crushed. The claim is situated about sixty miles south east of Cerro Gordo and was located last January by Mr. Kennedy. It presents the most encouraging prospects and will be developed as soon as the necessary tools and machinery can be procured. It is estimated that the ore will turn out about $1,000 to the ton [42] Raines did finally succeed in persuading Senator John P. Jones of Nevada, who had already made a fortune in the silver mines of Nevada's Comstock lode, to look into the matter in the spring of 1875; impressed, he in turn interested his fellow senator, William M. Stewart of Nevada, and other capitalists in investing in the Panamint lodes. Together they organized the Panamint Mining Company in 1875 with a capital outlay of $2,000,000. [43] With the entry of these moguls onto the Panamint mining scene, the attention of the western mining community was safely captured. Jones's and Stewart's Surprise Valley Mill and Water Company became the area's principal business enterprise. Stewart ultimately bought up Jacobs's ten-stamp mill; the Surprise Canyon Toll Road that ran up Surprise Canyon to Panamint, built by Bart McGee and others for $30,000; a site for a twenty-stamp quartz mill; and all principal mines of the area. 44 First-class ore was shipped to England for smelting (an indication of its richness); the rest would be reduced in the projected local mill and furnace. [44]

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In November 1874 a wagon road from the Owens Valley through the Coso and Argus ranges to the Panamint Valley was opened, and twice-weekly service was initiated. Later in November a second stage line brought visitors east from Indian Wells, connecting with San Francisco and the West Coast. Stages also were routed from San Bernardino and Los Angeles. By November 1874 the population of Panamint City was close to 1,000. The main, mile-long, muddy, rutted street was lined with rubbish and tents, about fifty buildings, either frame or stone, and log or rock huts in which the hardy miners huddled for warmth. The town supported many business establishments and the usual number of saloons, all demanding exorbitant prices for goods. The Bank of Panamint was begun, a first indication of stability, and even a newspaper, the tri-weekly Panamint News printed its first issue on 26 November 1874. A cemetery was located a short distance up Sour Dough Canyon. Senator Stewart soon made known his need for someone to export his ore and bring in machinery essential for the continuing productivity of his mills. Remi Nadeau, the FrenchCanadian involved in Cerro Gordo freighting, was the logical choice, but too expensive. A San Bernardino freighter was contacted, and he began hauling freight through Cajon Pass and across the Mojave Desert in October 1874, creating as a side effect a vast new business for his hometown. Realizing the profits that were daily being lost, Los Angeles teamsters entered the trade by early November, directing their teams past Indian Wells and on to Panamint. And not surprisingly, soon Remi Nadeau and his Cerro Gordo Freight Company joined in transporting the heavy flow of goods passing between Panamint City and Los Angeles. The latter truly began to share in the prosperity created by the Panamint boom, as lumber, grain, flour, and whiskey passed in large quantities to the growing camp full of thirsty men. By December 1874, the height of Panamints career, the Surprise Valley Company operated six mines and employed 200 'miners. [45] In the middle of that month Jacobs's ten-stamp mill began production. Population of the camp was now between 1,500 and 2,000 men. A Frenchman, Edmond Leuba, deciding to visit the active town, left Los Angeles around December 1874. He constantly met people on the road going to and from Panamint, attesting to the thriving commercial activity between the two places. Unfortunately he arrived at the mouth of Surprise Canyon at nighttime and had difficulty avoiding the teamsters who were coming down the steep, narrow canyon road even at this time of day. This was a toll road, costing Leuba $3.00 for his two horses and a wagon. Three miles further east the ravine opened out and the lights from many fires were visible in the canyon. Mining blasts sounded every instant. He found a place for his horses in the shelter of a tent and lodging for himself in the dug-out cellar of a restaurant, which he shared with "a dozen figures looking more or less like candidates for the gallows." [46] Next morning the Frenchman commented on the bright sun and intense heat of the canyon. Panamint camp, he saw, was "composed of about fifty huts made of logs, tents and little houses partly dug out of the rocks." [47] Work there progressed until January when the snow became too deep. At that time many of the miners left camp for warmer regions, and the population dwindled markedly.

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Illustration 6. Upper part of Panamint City, 1875. Photo courtesy of G. William Fiero, UNLV.

Commenting on the quantity of saloons in the town, Leuba next proceeded on a guided tour of the Panamint mines, which he stated have been very little worked as yet. The deepest shafts are not more than seventy-five feet below the surface and the tunnels showed very little development. But it is in these first workings that they have found the richest ore and that which is easiest to work. Only two mines, so far as I know, have produced good ore to a depth of five hundred to six hundred feet. There is no mill for the reduction of this ore as yet at Panamint. The richest ore is sent to San Francisco at a transportation cost of $80 to $100 a ton, while the second class ore is heaped up at the mouth of the shafts from which it is extracted, awaiting the time when it can be treated here. [48] Leuba seemed to think the mines were daily diminishing in value, and the reduction processes becoming more and more difficult. He says this condition lasted over into the next year, when Panamint began losing people to Darwin, where lead in the deposits made reduction easier and less costly. By the spring of 1875 full-scale production in the area was almost a reality, and toward the end of June 1875 the Surprise Valley Company's twenty-stamp mill was started up. Bullion was regularly shipped via the Cerro Gordo Freight Company's mule teams, and work for everyone was plentiful. The economic mainstays of the camp--the Wyoming and Hemlock mines--were producing heavily.

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Illustration 7. Jones's and Stewart's twenty-stamp mill and furnace in old Panamint City. Date unknown, but probably prior to 1877. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

Illustration 8. Ruins of old Panamint City smelter, date unknown. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

As happens in boom towns, however, the halcyon days could not last, and by the end of 1875 the thriving era of Panamint was coming to a close. As Leuba had noticed, many miners were now heading toward Darwin and the New Coso Mining District, where it was warmer and prospects looked good for employment. The Panamint News even moved there early in November, becoming the Coso Mining News By the spring of 1876 the Wyoming and Hemlock mines were depleted. This, in addition to other discouraging factors--no new discoveries in the area; the demonetization of silver; setbacks experienced by Jones and Stewart at their silver prospects in the Comstock lode, resulting in depletion of their financial reserves; and the impossibility of realizing a profit on refractory ores whose yield was not commensurate with their recovery

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cost--caused the Surprise Valley mill and mines to shut down in May 1877. Stories also circulated of "stock jobbing; of grafting and trouble among the grafters; of seizures by stockholders who were not mining men; of fortunes spent in building a mill where a smelter was needed; of consequent failure, disappointment, abandonment and complete depopulation of the once flourishing camp." [49] h) Personalities Though the rip-roaring early boom days of Panamint might have ended, the townsite and surrounding area still supported some interesting characters, both male and female. Men such as John P. Jones and William M. Stewart (founders of Panamint City), Jack Curran ("King of the Panamints"), Frank Kennedy ("The Duke of Wild Rose"), January Jones, Clarence Eddy ("The Poet Prospector"), Harry C. Porter ("Hermit of the Range"), Shorty Harris, and Chris Wicht ("Seldom Seen Slim") all made their contributions to the history of mining in the Panamint Range. The women are not without their share of the limelight, too, however. Notable among them was Mrs. Mary A. Thompson, owner and operator of the Panamint lead mine in 1926. Mrs. Thompson had stirred up some local animosity by not allowing prospectors on certain sections that she considered part of her holdings. She was brought to court over this in Independence where she was convicted and given a suspended sentence. Her affairs did not improve, as seen by a later newspaper report that she was searching for her two children, ages 16 and 20, who, she claimed, had been spirited away by "the lawless element of Death Valley," consisting of "numerous bootleggers who ply their lawless trade far from the seeing eyes of the law." Despite their attempts to steal her mine because she had attempted singlehandedly to drive them from the region, she did not intend to give in: "I will fight them until I get my children back and rid Death Valley of them." [50] In the mid-1930s Mrs. Thompson was still in trouble. Convicted on ten counts of failing to pay wages to laborers, and facing 600 days in jail or a $1,200 fine, she was appealing her case to the superior court at Independence. It must have been quite an interesting court session when, during one afternoon's proceedings, Mrs. Thompson became hysterical and fainted, necessitating an adjournment of court for the day. [51] A 1969 newspaper article mentions another woman living in the Panamint Range area. In 1935 Panamint Annie (Mary Elizabeth Madison) began her reign as "Queen of Death Valley." A truck driver on the New York to Chicago route, she quit that job and moved to Death Valley to live out her days. Residing in a shack at Beatty, Nevada, she spent her time prospecting and puttering around the junk piles at her home. She was still alive in 1969 at age 58. [52]

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Illustration 9. Area of early mining camps west of Death Valley (north half).

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Illustration 10. Area of early mining camps west of Death Valley (south half).

i) Sites The following is an attempt to locate and briefly identify some of the more important mines on the western slope of the Panamint Range. This list is by no means conclusive. An attempt has been made to mention these mines chronologically in order of discovery date. The similarity in name between many of these and other claims within the borders of Death Valley NM makes the task of sorting out relevant material a time-consuming one. (1) Wonder (of the World?) Mine, Bob Stewart Lode, Mina Verde, and Sunnyside These mines were among the principal claims filed on by the founders of Panamint City. On 21 June 1873 deeds were submitted by R.C. Jacobs transferring to someone referred to as "Paladio" one-eighth interests in the "Bob Stewart" lode and the Mina Verde, Wonder of the World, and Sunnyside mill sites and timber claims for $1,500 plus other considerations. [53] In November of the same year notice appeared of the sate by "R.T. [B] Stewart" of a one-half interest in the Wonder Mine for $20,000 to "a San Francisco party by the name of Rains (probably E.P. Raines]." [54] The Wonder Mine was the original find of R.C. Jacobs. In the Death Valley NM mining office a memo was found with the notation "Scotty's Claim

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

locations." One of these is for a quartz claim "in the Furnace Mountain Mining District," lying on the "Death Valley slope about 40 miles west of Saratoga Springs." Date of discovery was 1 January 1905, the claim to be known as the Death Valley Wonder No. 16 Mine. This would appear to be east of the original Wonder Mine, possibly in the Butte Valley District. [55] (2) Ino, Jim Davis, Hill Top, Alta, Comstock, Gold Star, World Beater, Big Bill, Elephant, Florence, Gem, General Lee, Gold Note, Golden Terry, Little Till, Lookout, Mammoth, and Summit Mines By 1897 these claims in Pleasant Canyon were all owned by the South Park Development Company. [56] (3) Mohawk Lode This claim was originally filed for record on 18 July 1874 so that a shaft could be sunk and developed for whatever metal it contained. The lode was situated on a hill north of Surprise Canyon and Browns Camp, and was located by C.D. Robinson and R.D. Brown. A second location, filed for record on 8 October 1874 by William Welch and George Ranier[?], locates the claim about 500 feet above the Wonder Mine. [57] 4) Silver Queen Lode Situated "about 500 yds. SW of the Bullion Lode," this claim was filed for record on 22 August 1874 by C.D. Robinson and John Mantel. [58] (5) Homestake Lode Home Stake Lode Two claims by this name appear on the records. The Homestake Lode "situated about 3/4 mile from the mouth of Woodpecker Canon on w. side of the gulch" was filed for record on 7 September 1874 by W.W.(N?) McAllister. The Home Stake Lode "about 1/4 mile East of Hemlock [Mine]" was filed for record 22 September 1874 by John Kelle and J.B. Durr. [59] (6) Sheba Lode This was situated near the summit of the divide between Marvel Canyon and "Canon Gulch," about one-half mile from the divide separating Surprise and "Happy Valley" (Happy) canyons. It was filed for record 8 September 1874 by persons unknown. [60] (7) Sun Set Mine A relocation of the Star of Panamint, this claim was filed on 20 October 1874 by Henry Carbery(?), W. McCormick, and W. Scott. [61] (8) Nellie M Mine This mine, not to be confused with the Nellie Mine north of Hungry Bill's Ranch in Johnson Canyon, was filed for record on 2 November 1874 by John Small, R.M. McDonell, Charles W. Dale, and L. Rodepouch. It was situated in Woodpecker Canyon on the west side "opposite the third ravine." [62] (9) Star of the West Mine Filed for record on 1 December 1874, this mine, located by J.J. Gunn, John Gough, and John
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Williams, was situated on the west side of Woodpecker Canyon about 200 yards north of the Bismark Mine. [63] (10) Christmas Lode "This lode is situated on a hill whose ridge runs nearly eaqual and paralell with Sour Dough Canon, and about one mile from Surprise Valley, said lode is situated between the red formation nearly at the Base of said hill and runs for thirty along crest of the hill Fifteen hundred feet to a white formation at the Northerly line of the lode." It was filed for record 31 December 1874 and claimed by Wellington Hansel Jackel. [64] A North Extension of the Christmas Lode comprised 1,500 feet on the north side of Surprise Canyon filed for record 5 February 1875 by John Fruke, Arthur Bryle, Michael Bryle, and E.H. Boyd. [65] (11) Christmas Gift Mine and Co. No 1 Mine To add further confusion, this claim was filed for record on 3 January 1875 by WalterR. Maguire and R.J. McPhee. It was situated "about 300 feet more or less in a North by East direction from the Harrison boarding house. . . ." [66] The No. 1 Mine joined the east end of the Christmas Gift, and was located 5 July 1896 by John Casey, Charles McLeod, and John Curran. [67] (12) Exchequer Lode James Dolan, W.W. Kitten, and Thomas Sloan filed this claim about one mile west from the head of Woodpecker Canyon on 25 October 1874. [68] (13) North Star Mine Filed for record on 20 January 1875 by M.G. Fitzgerald, A. McGregor, D.J. Sweeny, and M. Holland, ". . . this Ledge to be known as the 'North Star' . . . is situated part on the East side of a ridge running into Narboe Canon & crossing the divide about 1,000 feet West of the Gipsy Bride ledge, between Surprise Valley and Narboe Canon and about 2-1/2 miles in a Northwest direction from the town of Panamint." [69] (14) Argenta Lode This claim was filed 27 April 1875, and was located in the center of the west fork of Silver (Sour Dough) Canyon. [70] (15) Uncle Sam Lode On 11 April 1880 John Lemoigne filed a claim on the Uncle Sam Lode, situated one mile north of the Torine Mine. [71] (This latter was located 3/4 mile south of the Gambetta Mine and one mile east of a spring in Happy Valley Canyon.) Another Uncle Sam Lode was recorded 17 December 1883 in the Union District about one mile East of the Barns Mill site. [72] In 1931 an application for a patent for an Uncle Sam Lode in the Slate Range Mining District appeared. [73] (16) Magnet Mine First mention found of this mine was an 1884 notice that this property in the Telescope Range, south of Panamint, owned by Spear and Thompson, was doing well, much development work having been performed in the past few months. [74] Another report of the mine in 1884 called the Magnet "the only mine in the district [Panamint District] which promises good returns." [75]

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(17) Grand View Mine Anaconda Mine This mine, located rather nebulously "2 miles in northerly direction from spring in Emigrant gulch and about 2 miles in southerly direction from Mineral Hill and about 5 miles in NW direction from Anvil Springs and just south of Buckeye Mine in Panamints," was discovered by W.M. Sturtevant and recorded 11 October 1888. [ 76] By September 1892 a Grand View Quartz Mine in the Panamint Mining District was owned by the Death Valley Mining Company. The location given of T21S, R45E, would seem to place the mine east of the Panamint City area and north of Gold Hill. [77] This is probably the same mining company owning the lodes in the Gold Hill area. The Death Valley Mining Company, represented by J.H. Cavanaugh, was listed as being delinquent with $23.96 in taxes in 1912. The properties concerned were Lot No. 62, the Anaconda Mine, and Lot No. 63, the Grand View Mine. [78] In February 1917 the Anaconda Mine (20 acres) and the Grand View Mine (18 acres), owned by John W. Cavanaugh and the Death Valley Mining Company, were offered for sale by the Inyo County tax collector. [79] The two properties were still being advertised a month later. The least amount for which the properties could be purchased was $281.50. [80] A note in the mining office at Death Valley National Monument stated that the "Anacada (Anaconda?)" quartz and Grand View quartz mines were located near Panamint City in Woodpecker Canyon, "a stones throw away" from the monument boundary. [81] (18) Willow Spring Mine This mine, recorded in 1896, was located three miles west of Panamint Toms stone corral. This probably refers to the stone structure up Pleasant Canyon. [82] (19) Mountain Girl Mine In 1930 this gold mine was situated at the head of Happy Canyon, about four miles south of the Panamint City townsite. [83] (20) Black Rock Nos. 1 2 3 and 4 These quartz claims in the Panamint Mining District were deeded in 1922 by J. B. Oven to Mrs. C. Kennedy. [84] (21) New York Idaho and Dolly Varden Mines In 1898 a one-third interest in these claims was given by J.F. Ginser to Peter B. Donahoo for $10. [85] (22) Republican Mine A mine owned by George Montgomery and associates, it was working steadily and milling high-grade ore in the early 1900s. [86] (23) Cooper and Mountain Boy Mines Located near the base of Sentinel Peak, these were owned in the early 1900s by the Gold Crown Company, which intended building reduction works. Much high-grade ore was present. [87] (24) Valley View Mine

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

This claim, recorded in 1896, was located on the west side of the Panamint Range, one mile south of Pleasant Canyon and 1-1/3 miles east of Post Office Spring. [88]

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deva/hrs/section3a1.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
2. Gold Hill Mining District a) History Some confusion in researching Gold Hill results from the fact that two similarly -named regions existed in the vicinity of Death Valley. A very early Gold Hill Mining District was formed east of Death Valley in the 1860s by a certain Mr. Shaw, and accounts from this area, also referred to as Gold Mountain, appeared quite frequently for a time. The Gold Hill region within Death Valley National Monument is in its southwest corner, in the Panamint Mountain Range, at the northeast end of Butte Valley and north of Warm Spring. It did not see its first activity until around the 1870s. [89] On 7 May 1875 a Certificate of Work on the Gold Hill No. 1 claim was filed, the work consisting only of an open cut. It is doubtful that this claim was actually located on what is today known as Gold Hill, because an 1881 location notice for the Bullion Mine, "formerly known as Gold Hill No. 1, Richmond, and Victor Mine," filed by Robert Mitchell, describes it as being situated "at or near head of Quartz Canyon, about 2-1/2 miles from Town of Panamint." [90] The first positive documented evidence of mining activity occurring on the Gold Hill just north of Butte Valley consists of several site locations filed by Messrs. R.B. Taylor (president of the Citizen's Bank at South Riverside), W.C. Morton, and R.W. Beckerton of South Riverside, San Bernardino County, California. [91] These early claims were filed within the Cleaveland Mining District, which at some early date encompassed, or was thought to, some of these mining properties. No information on the boundaries or establishment dates of this district were found in the Inyo County Courthouse.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 11. Map of Gold Hill and Butte Valley mining districts.

The ten mines these men located probably included some of the following: (1) Taylor Quartz Mine and Mill Site The Taylor Quartz Mine (20.54 acres), situated in the Cleaveland Mining District one hundred yards west of the Treasure Mine, was located first on 11 May 1889 and relocated on 28 August 1890, probably to change the mining district name and at the same time affirm ownership by the Death Valley Mining Company. It was recorded in the district 11 May 1889 and 1 September 1890, and was filed with the county recorder on 6 June 1889. Over $100 worth of assessment work was carried out on the Taylor Mine at Gold Hill, then said to be located in the Panamint Mining District, for the year 1890. The mine was subsequently patented on 21 December 1893. [92] The directions given for the associated Taylor Mill site (4.42 acres) variously describe it as being located in Indian Toms (also referred to as Panamint Tom's) Canyon, four miles easterly from Gold Hill, and about two or two and one-half miles east from Butte Valley. Water from the mill site, to be used for mining, milling, and domestic purposes, was to be conveyed partly by six-inch-diameter iron pipes and partly by a ditch two feet wide and one foot deep. The mill site, located on 28 August 1890 by the Death Valley Mining Company, and recorded 1 September 1890, was patented on 21 December 1893. [93] (2) Gold Hill Quartz Mine and Mill Site The Gold Hill Quartz Mine (19.66 acres) was first located on 30 April 1889 by Morton, Beckerton, and Taylor. Said to be situated in the Cleaveland Mining District, five miles west of Death Valley and about 2-1/2 miles east of the "Chief Mine, it was recorded in Inyo County on 6 June 1889. The mine was relocated in the Panamint Mining District on 28 August 1890 by the Death Valley Mining Company, with the following note appended to its papers:

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The above notice was recorded through error in what was thought to be Cleaveland Mining District but upon the 30th day April 1889 and sic] [ rerecorded in Panamint Mining District Inyo County Cal. upon day and year as above stated. The mine location was given as on the north slope of Gold Hill, about two miles east of the Chief Mine and about 500 yards east of the Treasure Mine. Over $100 worth of assessment work was performed on the Gold Hill Mine for the year 1890, and it was subsequently patented on 1 May 1893. [94] The associated five-acre mill site plus water recorded in the Cleaveland Mining District on 30 April 1889 were to be used by Morton, Beckerton, and Taylor in connection with mining, milling, and domestic purposes. Both mill site and water claim were said to be situated in Marvel Canyon, about five mites west of Death Valley. They were recorded in the Inyo County recorder's office on 6 or 7 June 1889. [95] (3) Death Valley Mine The original Death Valley claim in the Panamint Mining District, "situated 1/2 mile south of where the Panamint and Death Valley Trail crosses the summit and on the Death Valley side of the ridge," was discovered by John Lemoigne and others on 6 June 1879. The next possible mention of the claim occurs in the form of a location notice for a Death Valley Mine, situated in the Cleaveland Mining District, "about 1-1/4 miles north of Chief Mine." It was located 13 May 1889 by Taylor and Beckerton and was recorded on 6 June 1889. The claim was evidently relocated and rerecorded on 14 November 1890 by the Death Valley Mining Company, who described the mine as being "Situated 1-1/4 mile NE of Chief Mine and about 2 mites North of Death Valley Mining Company's Boarding House at Gold Hill and adjoins the Beckerton Mine to which it runs parallel in Panamint Mining District." A third relocation notice by the Death Valley Mining Company on 9 August 1893 located the claim "about 1-1/4 miles NE of 'Ibex' Mine and about one mile north of Death Valley Company's Boarding House." Possibly the Ibex Mine is a later relocation of the Chief Mine, about which the writer could find no mention in the county courthouse records. [96] (4) Treasure Quartz Mine This claim (20.39 acres) was first located on 30 April 1889 by Beckerton, Morton, and Taylor. Said to be situated in the Cleaveland Mining District, two miles northwest of the "Chief Mine," it was recorded in the county records on 6 June 1889. According to the survey plat of the claim, the mine was relocated on 28 August 1890 and rerecorded 1 September 1890. At the request of R.B. Taylor, president of the Death Valley Mining Company, for an inspection of the claim, the Panamint Mining District recorder found that over $100 worth of assessment work had been accomplished at the mine for 1890. It was patented on 20 March 1893. [97] (5) No 1 (No One) Mine This claim, situated in the Cleaveland Mining District, 1,000 feet west of the Taylor Mine and joining the Gold Hill Mine on the east, was located 10 May 1889 by Morton, Beckerton, and Taylor and recorded with the county on 6 June 1889. Over $100 worth of assessment work was performed on the mine in 1890. Whether or not this mine is a relocation of the Gold Hill No. 1 located in 1875 is conjectural. [98] (6) Silver Reef (Reefe) Mine

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

This claim was first recorded on 6 June 1889 in the Cleaveland Mining District, having been located on 17 May 1889 by Morton, Taylor, and Beckerton. It was relocated and refiled on 11 December 1890 by the Death Valley Mining Company. In the relocation notice its position is given as "1/2 mile west from Death Valley Mining Company's Boarding House at Gold Hill and is crossed by trail leading from Gold Hill to Panamint in Panamint Mining District." [99] (7) Ibex Mine (formerly Chief Mine?) This claim, situated "alongside trail leading from Panamint to Gold Hill about one mile west from Death Valley Mining Company's Boarding House at Gold Hill," in the Panamint Mining District, was not located and filed on until December 1890 by R.W. Beckerton, so it was probably not one of the original ten Gold Hill properties. [100] (8) May Mine This claim was located on 7 May 1889 by Morton, Beckerton, and Taylor, and recorded with the county on 6 June 1889 in the Cleaveland Mining District 14 mile southwest of the Chief Mine. Rerecorded and refiled on 11 December 1890 by the Death Valley Mining Company, its location was further stated as "3/4 mile west from Death Valley Mining Co's Boarding House being crossed by trait leading from Gold Hill to Panamint and is on west slope of Gold Hill" in the Panamint Mining District. [101] (9) Breyfogle Mine This claim "west of trail going to Panamint and about 600' south of Ibex Mine," was located in the Panamint Mining District on 9 August 1893, and so was not one of the original, ten claims in the area. It was a relocation of the "Bryfogle [sic] Mine' 600' south of Ibex Mine to north of Gold Hill trait which it crosses." A man by the name of S. Smith relocated the mine again as the "Bryfogle Quartz Mining Claim" on 1 January 1896. The mine was described as a lode of quartz-bearing copper adjoining the Nutmeg Mine "on SW side tine and is south of Panamint Trail about 1000 feet and North West of Gold Hill about 3/4 of mile. Is on low divide between Panamint Mts. and Gold Hill." A second notice of relocation in 1896 gave its spelling as "Breyfogle" again and stated it was a relocation of the Breyfogle Mine formerly claimed by Henry Gage. [102] (10) Oro Grande Mine The first mention found of this claim was a 9 August 1893 relocation notice filed by Henry T. Gage. The location given was "on south slope of Gold Hill about 2000' west from Taylor patented mine and about 2000' SW from Treasure patented mine in Panamint Mining District." Four years earlier, on 27 May 1889, a Notice of Appropriation for the waters of Oro Grande Springs, "situated 3 mites west of Chief Mine and about 8 miles north of Anvil Spring in NW corner of Butte Valley in Butte Valley Mng. District," was filed by Frank Winters and Stephen Arnold. The waters, to be used for mining, milling, and domestic purposes, were to be developed by ditches, pipes, and flumes. [103] (11) Beckerton Mine This mine was located 14 May 1889 by Morton, Beckerton, and Taylor, and recorded with the county on 6 June 1889. It was situated in the Cleaveland Mining District, 1-1/4 miles northeast of the Chief Mine and 1,000 feet north of the Death Valley Mine. [104] (12) Georgia Mine This claim was located 19 May 1889 and recorded on 6 June 1889. Also in the Cleaveland

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Mining District, it was situated 1-1/2 mites north of the Chief Mine and was supposedly a northern extension of the Breyfogle Mine. [105] If so, there must have been an earlier recordation of this latter mine than the one found by this writer. According to the Inyo Independent the mines in the Gold Hill region were first discovered by an Indian who imparted the information to a man named Carter who immediately told R.B. Taylor, C.M. Tomlin of Riverside, and a Mr. Nolan about them. These four men went and examined the ledges, located several claims, shipped in provisions, and hired two young men, Stephen Arnold and Frank Withers, to work their claims. As incentive they gave the boys some nearby properties, and then returned home. Although word of the find slowly leaked out after the boys returned to the coast, causing others to take an interest in the area, no one knew much about the ore, which was rumored to range from $80 to $250 per ton. It was also said that Taylor was contemplating opening a road into the property. [106] Papers incorporating the Death Valley Mining Company "to do a general mining business" for fifty years were filed in the office of the Secretary of State on 13 July 1889. The principal place of business was South Riverside, San Bernardino County, California, and the following were listed as directors: R.B. Taylor (S. Riverside), W.C. Morton (San Bernardino City), R.W. Beckerton (S. Riverside), H.R. Woodall (S. Riverside), and J.H. Taylor (S. Riverside). The corporation had one million dollars of capital stock divided into 10,000 shares worth $100 each, though the amount of capital stock actually subscribed was $60,000, raised by the five directors plus James Taylor, Sr., and W.A. Hayt. [107] Soon after its organization the company obtained U.S. patents for at least five of its mines: Treasure (20 March 1893), Gold Hill (1 May 1893), Taylor (21 December 1893), Grand View, and Anaconda. Further news of the new camp was available a couple of months later, when it was reported that the "ores are rich in gold, the veins strong and well defined, and as far as opened have every indication of permanency." [108] Prospects appeared so encouraging and Taylor and his associates had accomplished enough labor that reduction works seemed warranted. Other miners had also moved into the area and owned promising properties. In these early days at Gold Hill it is probable that Indian labor was utilized at the mines and that they were taking the ore three miles west to Arrastre Spring to process it. By 1896 the mines at Gold Hill were still being worked. A Richard Decker was evidently running the operations for R.B. Taylor, and the veins still looked promising. [109] The mines produced so well, in fact, that by the fall of 1897 R.B. Taylor and his business partners James P. Mathes of Corona and W.A. Hayt of Riverside were able to sell a group of five of their free-milling mines to an English syndicate for $105,000. The Independent reported that "This is the most important sate of Inyo mining property that has yet transpired in the 'southeastern' districts. . . ." [110] The mines involved were the Treasure, Taylor, Gold Hill, Grand View, and Anaconda, located "about seven miles southeast from Panamint and ten miles northeast from the head [mouth?] of Pleasant Valley; are at the north end of Butte Valley and near the head of Anvil Canyon. . . ." Dumps In the Gold Hill area had already accumulated 500 to 600 tons of ore, not free-milling as had been rumored, but impregnated with copper and iron. Water could be piped to the mines from Arrastre Spring and of course lumber was available on the higher mountains. The only major problem hindering development revolved, as usual, around lack of easy access to mine and market. It was suggested that a road be cut down Butte Valley past Anvil Spring to connect with the old "Coleman road," probably meaning Wingate Pass. [111] Taylor evidently had negotiated a further sale of Gold Hill property by 1899, for reports were found that he then sold the Gold Hill mine "known as the Death Valley mining property" to New Yorkers for $207,000. They were supposedly going to spend another $100,000 erecting a forty-stamp mill, bringing in other machinery, and in making needed improvements. The

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

sale was made because the owners (Taylor and Beckerton) did not have sufficient capital to fully develop the mine. [112] By the next year the Death Valley Mining Company had reportedly been doing extensive work in opening up its properties in order to fully determine their extent and richness. A sixteen-foot vein of solid auriferous ore had been exposed, and some sort of reduction works were needed. An Inyo newspaper reported that This section in the near future will become an important factor in the gold production of the State. The veins are large, the nature of the ground admitting of extraction at a minimum expense with water and fuel handy. [113] The year 1900 also saw the entrance of a new mining company into the Gold Hill region as the Gold Hill Mining Company, a wealthy New York-based firm, announced intentions to begin activities there around the first of March. [114] Future transactions concerning the Gold Hill Mine are somewhat confusing. In April 1900 the Independent reported that this claim had been resold on the seventeenth "to Mr. Taylor, a banker of South Riverside, for $207,000." [115] In May an article stated that the Gold Hill "lead mines" had been sold to some southern California capitalists (possibly including Mr. Taylor) who were envisioning commencing operations there immediately. [116] By 1904 the Gold Hill Mining and Development Company was in some financial difficulty, appearing on the Delinquent Tax List of Inyo County for the year 1903 because of taxes due on the Taylor Mine and Mill Site (Lots 39A and B, comprising twenty-five acres), the Gold Hill Mine (Lot 37, twenty acres), and the Treasure Mine (Lot 38, twenty acres). The amount assessed the company was $39.46. An assessment of $8.10 for the very same property was made against an L.A. Norveil, who apparently held a mortgage on-these properties, possibly as executor of the W.H. Greenleaf Estate that is mentioned in the assessment. [117] Suffice to say, ownership of the claims had become fairly involved by this time. No detailed mention of the mines in this area over the next few years came to light. In 1906 two other persons, Ralph Williams and Bob Murphy, were mentioned in connection with mining properties on Gold Hill, and both reports indicate that satisfactory progress was still being made in the area. [118] By 1911 the Delinquent Tax-List of Inyo County listed John W. Cavanaugh as being assessed $25.01 in state and county taxes for the Anaconda Mine (Lot No. 62 Mineral Survey, twenty acres) and the Grand View Mine (Lot No. 63 Mineral Survey, twenty acres). The Gold Hill Mining and Development Company, of which Cavanaugh was the secretary, was assessed $25.51 in overdue state and county taxes again for the Taylor Mine and Mill Site and the Gold Hill and Treasure mines. [119] In February 1917 these three mining locations are reported as having been sold to the state on 28 June 1904 for 1903 taxes (Deed No. 72). Since no effort had been made in the past five years by the Gold Hill Mining and Development Company to redeem the properties, they were being offered for sale. The total assessment levied, including overdue state and county taxes for 1903, penalties on delinquency and costs, total interest at 7% per year from 1 July 1904, plus smaller miscellaneous costs, fixed the price asked at at leas? $82.60. [120] The Anaconda and Grand View mines had already been sold to the state on 25 June 1901 for non-payment of taxes during 1900. Cavanaugh and the Death Valley Mining Company were being assessed a total of $149.50 in back taxes, $27.19 in penalties, and $84.99 in total interest charges. This plus miscellaneous costs brought the minimum purchase price of the two properties to $281.50. The minimum purchase price of the Taylor, Gold Hill, and Treasure mines, still up for sale, had fallen slightly, to $799. [121] The 1932 Journal of Mines and Geology presents a capsulized summary of the current workings at the Gold Hill Mine. It comprised four patented claims on the east slope of the

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Panamints at an elevation of 5,400 feet. The owners at that time were Fred W. Gray of Los Angeles and William Hyder of Trona, California, but the property was under lease at the time to Miss Louise Grantham, also of Los Angeles. Gray and Hyder said the property, patented in 1894, had been deeded to the state, from whom they bought it in 1919. The owners claimed there were three tunnels on the property (the longest, 300 feet) from which were coming "lead carbonates and galena, with gold and silver as associate minerals." Rumor was that Miss Grantham intended to construct a mill to process the ore at Warm Springs, about four miles southeast of Gold Hill. [122] (More information on this mill will be found in the Warm Spring section of this report.) A 1948 USGS Bulletin stated that the Gold Hill Mine, producing gold, silver, and lead, was owned (or operated) by Messrs. James and Dodson of Lone Pine, California, in 1940. [123] In 1951 the Journal mentions several Gold Hill area mines: 1) Golden Eagle Group of six claims on the southwest slope of Gold Hill (T22S, R46E, MDM). These were owned by Louise Grantham and development consisted of a 40-foot tunnel with 10-foot winze. Highgrade gold, silver, and copper was present, but in this year no activity was recorded; [124] 2) Panamint Treasure Mine (Taylor, Treasure, Gold Hill) on the southeast slope of Gold Hill. This ninety-acre holding comprised the three patented claims above plus three unpatented fraction claims and a mill site at Arrastre Spring, all owned by Louise Grantham and associates of Ontario, California. A 50-foot adit and a 100-foot adit were present on the Taylor Claim with ore assaying on the average 1.02 ozs. gold, 9.4 ozs. silver, and 3.2% lead. From 1931 to 1941, 150 tons of ore were shipped and 300 tons milled, but the property was now idle; [125] 3) Red Eagle Group (Blue Bird Group) on the southwest slope of Gold Hill comprised six unpatented claims also owned by Louise Grantham. Workings on the now idle property consisted of a 50-foot shaft, an open cut, and a 100-foot adit. Assays on the ore returned lead, silver, and smaller amounts of gold. [126] A partial list of mining claim locations within the monument in 1960 reveals that the Gold Hill area contained at least twelve unpatented and three patented gold, silver, and lead claims. [127] The files in the Death Valley National Monument mining office offer a more complete look at the more recent claims and the present mining situation in the Gold Hill area: In 1975 Gold Hill proper contained fifteen claims owned by Ralph Harris of Victor Material Co. of Victorville, California, and his son Harold: the Treasure Quartz Mine (patented), Taylor Quartz Mine (patented), and Gold Hill Quartz Mine (patented); Panamint Treasure Fractions #1, #2, and #3 (located 20 February 1937); Golden Eagle #1, #2, and #3 (located 30 July 1935); Red Eagle #1, #2, and #3 (located 31 July 1935); and Bullet #2 and #3 (located 30 April 1942), and #4 (located 19 September 1956). All claims were located for gold, except the Red Eagle Group, which was located for lead and silver. The patented Taylor Mill site, although associated with mining at Gold Hill, is located at Arrastre Spring about four miles west. The Red Eagle Mill site (located either 19 or 24 April 1946) is located at Six Springs, two miles northeast of Arrastre Spring in Six Spring Canyon. b) Present Status The claims listed earlier are all included within the Panamint Treasure Claim Group and lie in the vicinity of Gold Hill, north of Warm Spring Canyon, in protracted Sections 14, 23, and 24, T22S, R46E, MDB and MDM. (1) Gold Hill Area The Gold Hill area is reached by a rough dirt road taking off in a northerly direction from the Butte Valley Road about 2-1/2 miles west of its intersection with the Warm Spring Canyon Road. About 1/4 mile north on this road some ruts veer to the west, leading about another 2-

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

1/2 miles up a steep four-wheel-drive slope to Arrastre Spring. Proceeding north on the main road, however, for about another two miles leads to a fork in the road, the northernmost route leading up over a hill to a site marked "Prospect" on the USGS Bennetts Well quadrangle. This area is on the Bullet claim, and according to on-site observations made by Rich Ginkus in July 1974, the site contains a 30-foot shaft fifty feet south of the road approximately 1,500 feet from the road's end where remains of two old wooden buildings were found along with a rusting gas or diesel generator. A nearby adit about 100 feet long contained mine rails. Three other smaller cuts are also present. It did not appear that any recent work had been done in the area. [128] The southern fork leads to an area marked "Mine" (Red Eagle Claim) on the USGS quadrangle. This road has been extended since the area was officially mapped, so that instead of ending in the wash below the prospect area, it switchbacks up the side of the hilt, finally trending on east toward the summit of the saddle south of Gold Hill. The mine workings viewed by this writer along this newer extension of the road appear to be exploratory in nature, consisting of small adits and open cuts along the sides of three gullies, with no structures or mining artifacts in association. The writer followed along the road to about the 5,000-foot elevation point on the saddle below (south of) Gold Hill. Here were found the remains of a small stone structure, whose walls measured approximately twelve by fifteen feet. Some wood scraps, fragments of metal cans, and pieces of murky white glass lie in and around the ruins. About thirty -seven paces northeast is a small beehive-shaped mound of stones one to two feet high--probably a claim marker. This structure was the only item of historical interest found during this exploration of Gold Hill.

Illustration 12. Ruins of small stone structure on saddle south of Gold Hill, view from northwest. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 13. View of stone structure from southwest. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978

(2) Panamint Treasure Claim Group Investigation of the Panamint Treasure Fraction #1-#3 lode claims, made a month later, proved much more productive. The best way to reach the area (other than by helicopter) is on foot via a burro trail leading west from the Sunset Mine, which is located at the end of a road veering west from the stockpile of the Montgomery (Panamint) Talc Mine. After an exhausting uphill climb of two hours duration the site was found on the southeast slope of a ridge southeast of Gold Hill. The complex consists actually of two distinct sites. The most easterly one contains two adits-an upper 226-foot tunnel that was worked and a lower one used as living quarters. The second site, around west on the south slope of the same ridge, contains a third adit and a tent site. An extensive tramway system still exists at the first location, complete with cable and supports This was used to transport ore from these main workings down the mountainside 11/2 miles probably to the wash just north of the ridge that lies northwest of the Warm Spring Canyon-Butte Valley roads junction. Time did not permit driving up this wash to see if any structures remained at the bottom of the tramway.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 14. View toward west-northwest of Panamint Treasure Claim. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 15. Model A frame possibly supporting air compressor for Panamint Treasure adit. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Reportedly, work on the lodes here stopped in 1941, a date that corresponds closely with the cultural remains left on site, of which there are many. Examining the property is difficult because of the steepness of the slope and the fact that it is covered with loose rock from mining activity. Descent to the lower workings is possible only by holding on to the tramway cable. In front of the upper adit is a Model A frame containing a Phillips 66 battery, which might have functioned as an air compressor. A pipe with a gate valve leads from here to a nearby adit. Various debris (tin cans, rubber hosing, nails, hand drills, a windlass, an axe handle, and drill stems) is scattered over the slope. In the upper adit, whose main tunnel branches off in about seven different directions, creating a fairly large open central area, were many items of interpretive interest. Just inside the entrance on the floor is an almost-full box of bits and

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

some drills (labelled "Timken Roller Bearing Co., Mt. Vernon, O."). A large Fairbanks scale on wheels stands nearby, all its weights still in place. Also on the floor near the entrance are an adze handle, coiled rubber hosing, and a small rusted oil can. In the exploratory tunnel furthest west are two picks leaning against the wall. The tunnel at this point was being excavated upwards for a height of about six feet, and the entire excavation was filled with crickets. Nearby are the remains of a dynamite box and a burlap specimen bag. As stated earlier, several exploratory tunnels branch off from the main one, but some were backfilled or went in only a few feet. On the south side of the main tunnel is a stoped-out area below a short cut-off bank. An ore cart built from half of a steel drum placed on wheels was pulled by a cable up short wooden tracks to the main tunnel level. Pieces of rope, big sheets of burlap, and blanket remains are scattered around. On one of the latter is imprinted: "Plummer Bag Mfg. Co., Bags, Tarpaulins, & Tents, San Pedro & L.A., 108#. An old shoe, made in Taiwan, lies on the floor. Atlas powder box fragments and fuses are also found.

Illustration 16. Adit to Panamint Treasure Mine to right, storage pit to left. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 17. Adit used as living quarters, Panamint Treasure Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Near a shallow pit just outside the tunnel entrance is a dugout storage area. Scraps of the Los Angeles Examiner, dated in April (probably 1940 or 1941 judging from the news content), and some canvas bags (sample sacks?), one with a drawstring, were found here. Further searching revealed four dry-cell batteries fastened together, some waxed paper from dynamite boxes, and the head of a sledgehammer. Below this first tunnel is a stone wall, undoubtedly shoring up the entrance and providing a working platform area. The next tunnel downhill was definitely used as living quarters. A stovepipe projects from the entrance, which has a wood frame opening to which a canvas door is attached. In front of the door were found soldered tin cans and Mason jars. Inside the tunnel are a wealth of household goods: Alber's Flapjack Flour cases, Fluffo vegetable shortening (4 lbs./49¢); a 1941 Saturday Evening Post a dime western magazine; a Los Angeles Times dated 15 December 1940; a five-gallon oil can; a shovel; another Mason jar with vertical ridges encircling it; a saw; a cooking pan; a wall shelf fashioned from an explosives box; a coffee can full of pinto beans; a can of Diamond A cut green beans; a 241/2 lb. A-1 flour sack made into a pillow covering; two sacks of flour; a spoon; a skillet; strips of jerky in a bottle; two pie tins; a small square pie pan; two small homemade stools; a four-legged table; and two metal bunks, one with a feather pillow. A cardboard box was found addressed to "K.H. Grantham, Wilmington, Ohio." Nearby was a postcard addressed to "Fritz" from "Mother and Dad Gibson." Outside the entrance are a small warming oven with shelves, a homemade pitcher, a milk can with a wire handle, the remains of a water bag, gear parts, and an electric line fastened to the rocks above the door.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 18. Metal tramway terminus, Panamint Treasure Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 19. View south down slope along route of tramway cable. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

A metal terminus for the cable tramway is located outside and a little below the tunnel entrance. Lying just west of the terminus, against the rocks are some spare parts and wooden ties, possibly an equipment storage area. The cable tramway operated like a ski lift. Six supports for it are left, one of which is metal, the rest wood. Two buckets lie on the ground

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

under the cable. Visible from this point across the valley to the east, below the trail by which the mine is reached, is another adit, but work here does not appear very extensive. Farther down the hill and around the slope to the west, is another adit with what appears to be an early tent site in front of it. A rock wall has been built to shore up the cleared space, and timbers are strewn about. Some legs from cots remain. Also found were square-headed nails, a plastic button, china fragments, and purple glass. A large white glass fragment from an apothecary bottle was also found. Inside the adit were boards with pegs that were hung on the wall to store clothes, etc. Two metal bunks and a shovel were also present. On the dump down the hillside in front of the tent site were tin cans, screen fragments, and other debris. Tent stakes were driven into the ground on top of the stone retaining wall. On top of the ridge above these sites is a claim marker in a cairn: "Panamint Treasure Fraction #1, Aug. 10, 1976, east end center." Also found were some old wooden stakes in cairns with markings that appeared to be "WBV, 8 Bill." Near these are three prospect holes, with a shovel and a horseshoe on a nearby rock. North and east of the mine workings is a marker on the ridge up which the trail came from the Panamint Mine. It consists of a metal cross-shaped plate imbedded in a rock and affixed with melted metal.

Illustration 20. Tent site, view to southwest, Panamint Treasure Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 21. Adit at northeast corner of tent site, used as living quarters. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

c) Evaluation and Recommendations (1) Gold Hill Area The Gold Hill Mining District is one of the oldest mining areas within the boundaries of Death Valley National Monument, with prospecting and mining work dating from at least the 1870s. Documentary data regarding specifics on the district is scarce, however, not providing much more than a broad overview of mining activity. Most of the workings that are visible now in the areas marked "Prospect" and "Mine" on the USGS quads date from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, and have no historical significance in themselves. The stone ruins on top of the saddle south of Gold Hill could well be the structure labelled "Iron Cabin" and located in the extreme northwest corner of the claim on the 1891 survey plat of the Treasure Quartz Mine. Whether the name refers to construction materials used on the cabin (corrugated iron), or to its use possibly as a blacksmith shop, is unclear. It appears to have been situated alongside a trail, shown on the plat, cutting across the claim from east to west. The only other structure mentioned in the documentary data is the Death Valley Mining Company's boarding house, but its location appears to have been further west and north of this area. These stone foundations are interesting but do not warrant restoration or stabilization. Nor should they be willfully destroyed, since they are probably part of early Death Valley mining history. A policy of benign neglect is recommended. (2) Panamint Treasure Mine This property possesses educational potential and historical significance due to the presence of workings dating from a turn-of-the-century tent site with associated dump up through a
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

mining operation of the 1930s and 1940s. Their further study by historians and historical archeologists relative to the lifestyles and technological processes common to small, remote desert mining operations of the late 1800s and early 1900s is recommended. Any personal items found in the adit near the cable tramway or in association with the earlier site around the corner of the ridge have the potential to yield information pertinent to behavioral patterns of miners from the 1890s through the 1940s, providing data on eating habits, amusements available (reading matter, etc.), type of furniture used, and so forth. The mining -related objects found in the upper adit are scientifically significant because they can contribute to an understanding of the technological processes used on a small desert claim. Many of the houseware and machinery items are makeshift, fashioned from everyday materials at hand, and thus are instrumental in showing the adaptations miners had to make because of their distance from supply sources. Rarely in the monument does a situation such as this exist where the residents of an area have left the premises virtually intact and nothing has been vandalized or stolen. Even at Harrisburg, where the living quarters are intact, there is no such complete abandonment of mining equipment. Because the Gold Hill Mining District in which this site is located was one of the earliest commercially-operated areas within the national monument, and due to this particular site's long history, excellent research potential, and the obvious assets of being able to use this data for comparative purposes, the site is determined to be of local significance and eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Some uncertainty exists as to whether the aerial tramway and its associated adits are located on the Taylor Quartz Mine site, which is patented, or on the Panamint Treasure Fraction #1 to #3 claim, which is not. If these structures are on unpatented land and the claims are found to be invalid, every effort should be made to preserve the materials on site. Any interpretive effort here would be impractical because of the site's inaccessibility, but selected artifacts could be recorded and then removed to the monument museum collections for study and interpretive use. If the site is on patented property and is not added to the National Register, it is suggested that attempts be made to acquire significant items from the owner after documenting their location and photographing them in situ. If the owner is unwilling to donate or sell them to the park, attempts should at least be made to thoroughly inventory and photograph all artifacts on the site as well as to map the area and designate the relationships of the various components of the site to each other. d) Related Sites (1) Arrastre Spring (a) History Documentation on early activity at Arrastre Spring is practically nonexistent. A swift perusal of the Index to Land, Water and Mining Claims of Inyo County turned up notice of a filing on an "Erastra Spgs." involving a mill site of five acres, by Messrs. William Bradley, James Bradley, A.F. Brown, and W. Morrison on 25 January 1883, but the subject property was said to be located "near head of Cane Canon." [129] Since no canyon by this name appears in the vicinity of Gold Hill, it would be premature to say that the two sites were the same. By the 1890s, however, Arrastre Spring was the scene of some activity, for Indians working in the gold mines at Gold Hill were reportedly carrying the ore by burros the 2-1/2 to 3 miles to the arrastra at the spring for reduction. [130] When Louise Grantham and associates took over ownership of the Taylor, Treasure, and Gold Hill mining claims on Gold Hill, included was the patented Taylor Mill site at Arrastre Spring. (b) Present Status
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The spring is reached via a steep, rough road branching to the northwest one-quarter of a mile north of the junction of the Gold Hill and Butte Valley roads. This road ends on a slope below the spring, necessitating a walk of about one-half mile in order to reach the willow grove in which the spring is located. One of the notable aspects of this site is the vast number of prehistoric petroglyphs, numbering in the hundreds, on boulders around the spring. Many of these abstract designs are only about 2-1/2 to 3 inches high. The remains of the arrastra are located northwest of the spring above a clump of dead willows and behind a large willow thicket that covers many of the remaining rocks. One dragstone and a portion of the arrastra walls are visible. Two holes have been drilled in the dragstone, eighteen inches apart., and fragments of wood are still visible in both of them. The diameter of the arrastra is about six feet. Nine feet southwest of the arrastra remains is a small depression possibly associated with the ore processing in some way. Somewhere in the general vicinity of the spring is the patented Taylor Mill site, although there is evidently some confusion as to its exact location. According to Mineral Survey 3097B, the mill site is located on the monument boundary as shown on the NPS Land Status Map 44 and not at Arrastre Spring. According to the owners, Ralph Harris and Louise Grantham, however, it is definitely at the spring site. Other than the remains of the arrastra, no artifactual remnants were found in the vicinity except for one metal kerosene can. In the wash below the spring and arrastra are some pieces of timber and metal debris.

Illustration 22. Petroglyphs along trail on way to Arrastre Spring. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 23. Petroglyphs on rock wall near Arrastre Spring. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 24. Remaining wall of arrastra and dragstone, rapidly being overgrown by thicket surrounding Arrastre Spring. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 25. Close-up view of arrastra wall. Note floor has completely gone to seed. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

(c) Evaluation and Recommendations The historical interest generated by Arrastre Spring hinges mainly on its relationship to the mining activity performed at Gold Hill. It is probable that during the early years of exploration work there, local Indians were employed to help at the mines, and in the process transported the free-milling ore to Arrastre Spring for reduction. The Treasure, Taylor, Gold Hilt, Grand View, and Anaconda mines were all reputed to be free milling in 1897. [131] Exactly how long a period of activity might have been involved here is unknown, although newspaper reports tend to indicate that by the early 1900s enough mining was being pursued that one arrastra simply would not suffice to process all the ore being found. On the other hand, no other mill or reduction plant is mentioned in the area until Mrs. Grantham built the ore-processing plant at Warm Spring around 1937 to treat ore from her Gold Hillmine. Whether any Gold Hill ore was treated at the Butte Valley Stamp Mill around 1917 or in the mill near Willow Spring is conjectural. The arrastra at Arrastre Spring should be left to benign neglect; it will undoubtedly soon be covered by the surrounding undergrowth. For interpretive purposes, other arrastras can be found within the monument (notably at Warm Spring) that are in better shape and more readily available for viewing by the public. No effort need be made to stabilize or restore this particular example.

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deva/hrs/section3a2.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
3. Butte Valley Mining District a) History Butte Valley is a beautifully-secluded spot in the southwest corner of Death Valley National Monument. It descends in elevation from about 4,500 feet on its west edge to around 3,800 feet on the eastern side. From near the middle of its brush-covered floor rises the geologic phenomenon that inspired the area's name--a sandstone peak distinguished by striated bands of deep browns, yellow, orange, blue, and gray that rises to an elevation of about 4,770 feet. Several canyons pierce the mountain ranges that surround the valley on all sides, while a variety of dirt roads radiate from near Anvil Spring, a small oasis toward the southern end of the valley, leading to various operating or abandoned mines in the area. Access to the valley is gained either from Death Valley to the east or from Panamint Valley to the west. Entrance is probably easiest via Warm Spring Canyon, the road here being well maintained because it services active talc mines. It joins the West Side Road about four miles west and north of its junction with the Badwater Road that parallels the east side of Death Valley. From the junction of the Warm Spring-Butte Valley roads the seven or so miles into the heart of Butte Valley are rugged and washed. This area has been inhabited mainly by weekend prospectors during the past few years, and these homes now are deserted most of the time. Anvil Canyon (to the east, but now impassable), Goler Wash (to the south), and Redlands Canyon (to the west) also enter Butte Valley, but weather conditions and lack of maintenance on these roads make them definite four-wheel-drive routes.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 11. Map of Gold Hill and Butte Valley mining districts.

The region was first entered for serious mining activity as early as the 1870s, when several mines were located and claimed in the vicinity of Gold Hill, a rich mining deposit in the mountains at the north end of Butte Valley. The Gold Hill District was mined through the 1930s. Butte Valley was also combed in connection with early exploration and development in the South Park, Redlands, Coyote, and Goler canyon areas west of Butte Valley and southeast of Ballarat about fifteen miles. Goler Canyon deposits were supposedly located in 1860 by a German prospector by that name. [132] By 1889 the Butte Valley Mining Company had been incorporated, with its principal place of business in Santa Ana, California. The capital stock of $300,000 was divided into an equal number of shares with a par value of $1.00 each. John G. Kimball, D.M. Tomblin, George L. Morgan, and O.R. Scholl were directors of the company. They must have very quickly established a mill in the Goler Canyon area, because a water location notice for the Mysic Millsite, recorded in the Butte Valley Mining District on 7 June 1889 stated that the site, located by Morton, Beckerton, and Taylor, was in "Goller Canyon" 2-1/2 miles east of the Butte Valley Mining Company mill. [133] A report on the "Goller" Canyon area appeared in the Engineering and Mining Journal in 1892. It stated that two prospectors, J.A. Mack and D.R. Kimball, had just returned from performing assessment work on their group of mines "known in former times as the Goller mines." Gold, silver, and tellurium were said to abound in the area. The two most promising locations were the Queen of Sheba and the Belmont, both found on the south side of Goler Canyon and up a hill at whose base a Mesquite Springs provided a steady water supply. By 1894 this area was yielding good placers, with gold running as high as $10 and sometimes $20 an eighty-pound sack of ore., Men named Hay and Canfield were the principal locators of these deposits. [134] The promising quartz veins of the Butte Valley area were being singled out for comment as early as 1898 by the Los Angeles Review, which at the same time noted that lack of communication and transportation facilities had so far prevented Butte Valley from becoming
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

"one of the most productive mining regions in the southwest." [135] A report on the mineral formation of certain areas in the Panamint Range published in the Independent in 1900 mentioned the Anvil Spring area. The ore veins here, it was stated, were not as large as at Gold Hill but could be profitably worked if undertaken by someone in an intelligent manner; water and pinyon pine were abundant for mining and milling purposes. Probing the mining situation further, the article continued: The section has had a slow but healthy growth. Two obstacles have greatly retarded its progress; one being lack of capital, the owners being unable to develop their properties sufficiently to enable cheap extraction and placing plants for reduction of the ores. The other, lack of cheap transportation, the ores as a general thing not being of sufficient grade to admit of shipping to distant reduction works, in some cases as far as 70 miles, producing difficulties in successful working of the properties which only capital could overcome. But capital is now taking hold, and with the advent of a railroad the whole section will have new life infused into it and become one of the busiest sections of the State and a large producer of the precious metals. [136] In the late 1800s there was a large amount of activity in the Anvil Spring area centering around gold and silver veins, with as many as thirty men at work at the camp there at one time. A Randsburg, California, man who visited the Butte Valley camp in 1899 was full of optimism as to its future. In addition to extolling the camp's obvious advantages, he noted the recent name change: The new mining camp, Striped Butte, formerly known as Anvil Springs, is destined to add a comfortable percentage to California's gold output in the near future. The geological conditions are such as to show, with what has already developed, that it will undoubtedly be a permanent camp. . . Several sales have recently been made and reduction works will soon be installed. Two routes were suggested for reaching the area, one via Redlands mill seven miles by pack train; the other over Wingate Pass. The Randsburg gentleman further stated that within a month a good wagon road was to be constructed through a canyon (probably Goler) providing almost direct access to Randsburg. He ends his report on the area by noting that The natural facilities and climatic conditions make this a mot enviable location for a desert mining camp there being a great quantity of water and the mountains are covered with an abundance of pine timber . . . . There are several parties running arrastras on these mines at present. [137] By the early 1900s the new Anvil Spring District supported at least two full-fledged mining companies. By the 1920s most of the producing mines in the southern Panamint Range were on the western slope, although the gold claims around Anvil Spring were still being worked. [138] In the 1930s the Western Talc Company held two small claims in Anvil Spring Canyon, employing three men in driving a tunnel. [139] The precise boundaries of the "Butte Valley Mining District" are hard to pinpoint, a certain overlapping of districts having eventually developed in the area. The mines in the region around South Park were considered part of the South Park Mining District, which often extended into the vicinity of Anvil Spring. The Gold Hill mines north of the valley were first recorded as being in the Cleaveland Mining District and later in the Panamint District, the latter often reaching further south into the Anvil Spring area. Mines in Goler Canyon were
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

recorded a being in the Butte Valley Mining District, as was the lush water supply at Warm Spring. An Anvil Spring District was being referred to by the early 1900s. The following are some of the early locations filed, all of which are in the Butte Valley area, but some of which were listed as being in other mining districts. No further detailed descriptions of them were found. As in the Panamint District, their similarity in name to later claims in neighboring areas can be a source of some confusion. (1) Warm Springs (Butte Valley Mining District The locators of this water source, Frank Winters and Stephen Arnold, stated in May 1889 that the spring would be used for milling and mining purposes and was to be developed by ditches, pipes, and flumes. [140] (2) Mysic Mill Site (Butte Valley Mining District Located in "Goller" Canyon by Morton, Beckerton, and Taylor, water on this mill site, situated 21/2 miles east of the Butte Valley Mining Co. mill, was to be used for mining, milling, and domestic purposes. It was recorded on 7 June 1889. [141] (3) Queen of Sheba Quartz Mining Claim This claim, not to be confused with the later Queen of Sheba Lead Mine near the mouth of Galena Canyon, was located one-half mile south of Mesquite Springs or Pages (Payes) Mill in Goler Canyon. The site of the former abandoned Eclipse Mine, it was located by D.R. Kimball on 2 January 1891. A later Notice of Intention to hold and work this claim was filed in December 1893. A second location notice for the Queen of Sheba was filed by Kimball and J.A. Mack on 23 January 1896 in which it was further stated that the claim was on the south side of Goler Canyon and adjoining a Trinity Mine on its east end. [142] (4) Golden Eagle Claim (Butte Valley Mining District This property, similar in name to the Gold Eagle Claim at Skidoo, was recorded as being 13/4 miles south of Pages Mill and located on 22 October 1892 by D.R. Kimball and J.A. Mack. [143] (5) Emigrant Mining Claim The questionable description of this particular property, situated about 3-1/2 miles west of Anvil Springs in Butte Valley and on North side of Emigrant Canyon, leaves its actual location open to conjecture. Although it would seem to be located in the Redlands Canyon area, the reference to Emigrant Canyon adds a certain element of doubt. The claim was located by D.R. Kimball and J.A. Mack on 9 January 1893. [144] (6) Hidden Treasure Golden Treasure and Bunker Hill Claims (South Park Mining District These three claims, located around 1896, were placed about one mile west southwest of Anvil Spring in Butte Valley, but were recorded as being in the South Park Mining District. [145] (7) Nutmeg Mine (Panamint Mining District Registered in the Panamint Mining District, this claim, described as 'running 750 feet in a North Westerly direction 750 feet in a SE direction about 1-1/2 miles from Anvil Spring on east side of Butte Valley and on east slope of Panamint Range about 300 yards north of

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

spring," would appear to be in the Butte Valley area. James Davis, T.H. Heneby, and others filed on the site on 3 July 1896. [146] Several sites exist in or near Butte Valley of both historical and archeological interest. These include the stone cabin lived in by Carl Mengel at Greater View Spring; the remains of a three-stamp gold mill, a nearby rock shelter, and some cabin sites northwest of Anvil Spring; stone mill ruins at Willow Spring; and many prehistoric sites, including open campsites, rock shelters, and quarries. b) Sites (1) Anvil Spring (a) History Anvil Spring and Anvil Canyon both acquired their name after Sergeant Neal, a member of the Bendire expedition of 1867, found an anvil, wagon rims, and some old iron scraps near the spring site in Butte Valley. Although it has been postulated by some that these were remains of a blacksmith outfit brought into Death Valley by Asabel Bennett in 1849, it appears that actually they were a later addition to the spring. Milo Page, writing about some of the first mining locations in Inyo County, explains that in the fall of 1858, as a discharged government teamster, he and some other fellows in the same situation purchased a team and some supplies at Salt Lake City and headed for San Bernardino along an old Mormon route. Shortly after leaving the Kingston Mountain Range the group met a party of four or five Mormons with a six-mule team pulling a wagon heavily loaded with silver-lead bullion that they were transporting to Salt Lake for refining. When queried as to the location of their find they said that under instructions from Church leaders they had gone out "to see what they could find," and had succeeded in locating a mine of carbonate ore, near which they had erected a crude furnace for smelting. (Page states that in 1874 he saw the remains of the old furnace near Anvil Spring.) Eight years after the Mormons worked this mine, several men who had heard of their find left San Bernardino under the leadership of one Joseph Clews. Included in their outfit was a large anvil. Near the carbonate mine, "on the west side of a small valley," was a large spring where they camped; upon their departure from the area a few months later, they threw the anvil into the spring, where it was evidently later seen by the Bendire expedition and from which it was retrieved for use by a Judge Hanson in 1880. [147] The cycle of mining in the Anvil Spring area was characterized by a continuous note of optimism on the extent and richness of veins, regret over the country's inaccessibility, which made the mines unprofitable, and recurring calls for the custom mill that would quickly turn the Anvil Spring District into the new bonanza area of southwest Inyo County. The first detailed account found specifically mentioning the deposits at Anvil Spring appeared in 1889. It mentioned promising gold and silver discoveries and the fact that further exploration was needed, but admitted that there was no way to profitably handle the ore. Freight charges to the nearest railhead were $60 per ton, plus $8 on to San Francisco. An additional $15 charge for reduction meant that each ton shipped cost $83 total. [148] By 1899 prospects for the area still seemed promising, for it was reported in the Mining and Scientific Press that certain Los Angeles parties who had just bought some property at Anvil Spring for $4,000 were planning to erect a mill there within a month. By April of that year at least twenty-five men lived at a chlorider's camp near the spring. This number had risen to
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

thirty by May. [149] No reduction facilities had been erected in the area by 1900, although a mill was still contemplated and the mines were still producing well. [150] Two months later a letter appeared in the Inyo Independent from a gentleman who had just "struck it rich" at an Anvil Spring mine. Its overwhelming enthusiasm and probably overly-optimistic predictions are typical of the type of information that must be weighed carefully by modern researchers in order to ascertain a true picture of the actual conditions in a mining district. The miner involved is Dick Chilson, who located a claim at Anvil Spring that was owned co-equally with a J.B. Bushard of Ocean View, California. Chilson sent the following letter to his partner, painting a vivid picture of their new-found bonanza: ANVIL SPRINGS, Ballarat, Inyo County, 3-18-'00 John Bushard, Esq. Dear Sir--I have just put off a blast and took out 800 pounds of ore. It is worth fifty cents a pound. We took out two nuggets this morning, weighing about 200 pounds apiece, and George and I can't get them out of the shaft. You can see the gold and silver in them. They are pure metal. We have taken out about 3000 worth of ore this week. We have a carload of pure metal. You can send a team out; we can keep it hauling ore all the time. We have enough in sight to keep us at work for a year. The ledge is eight feet wide and God knows how much wider, and there is lots of good ore at the bottom of the shaft. The boys think the ledge is 25 feet wide, and some think the whole hilt is metal. We can't go down any deeper till you come out and get some lumber to put up a hoist, for the richest gold is at the bottom of the shaft and I am anxious to sink down. [151] A stamp mill is again mentioned as a possibility for the area's future the next month: "Messrs. Bowshard & Son, owners of the Anvil Springs mines, have gone 'inside' to get a stamp mill" for their lead property. [152] What held up acquisition of a mill is unknown, but there seems to have suddenly been a hiatus in mining activity here. A 1903 account reports that no work had been done in the area, which was still only accessible by trail, until recently, and now the Anvil Springs Mining Company had eight claims staked and was preparing to erect a mill. The report hints at formation of another Los Angeles-backed company to work the district. Most of the exploration mentioned is still referred to as preliminary. [153] Evidently no mill had yet been erected by 1904, or if it had, it was not being run, for in that year both an Under-Sheriff and Sheriff had journeyed from Independence to Anvil Spring to serve some attachment papers on business connected with a suit against the Anvil Springs Mining Company. They reported that George Montgomery's mill at the Worldbeater Mine (located in Pleasant Canyon) was the only operative mill in the district, although five had been erected in this general vicinity and near Ballarat. [154] In 1905 a group of mines lying fifteen miles southeast of Ballarat (which could place them in the Anvil Springs District) were bonded to eastern parties for $250,000, and other properties were also changing hands as new richer strikes were made. [155] A couple of months later a more detailed description of the Anvil Spring camp appeared. It mentioned that the spring was situated only about six miles from the Redlands mill, so it is possible that ore from the camp was processed there during those years that the area was without a means of reduction. The strength of the district lay in the presence of many medium-sized veins from one to six feet wide, which, despite their size, were long and

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

appeared permanent. Amalgamation could not be used on the ores (ruling out use of the arrastra at Arrastre Spring), which had to be roasted and then subjected to a cyanide process. Isolation was still a problem at this time, reducing the profitability of mining efforts. Nevertheless, more than a half dozen mines are mentioned as being in operation. These included the Ducummon, owned by Joe Goseline, having a forty-foot shaft containing ore averaging over $50 per ton; the. Midnight Belle, with a hundred-foot shaft and $60 ore; and the Ferris, Goseline, Grey, and Thurman claims, all showing good veins and all with shafts, which were necessary because "the mines are located in a rolling country." This would suggest that the mines had been dug among the foothills to the west of the flat plateau area around Anvil Spring. The article states that the average assay of ores from the district was between $40 to $50 a ton, with some samples assaying slightly higher, into the hundreds of dollars. These values, although they would be considered high-grade in a district near milling facilities, were too low-grade to mine economically here because they had to be shipped such a distance. Another cry went out for a large custom mill that "could undoubtedly be kept running continuously from a half dozen of the principal mines of the camp." Ending on a note of optimism, the author prophesied that "with abundant wood and water, high grade milling ore, and a delightful climate, Anvil Springs is destined to attract attention in time." [156] By the next month two of the companies in the district, the Concord and Anvil, were preparing to start work on their respective claims. Once again the properties had "good showings of ore that warrant the erection of reduction plants, and it is predicted that these properties will develop into large producers." [157] Anvil Spring was also turning into a camping spot for those prospectors, many from the Ballarat area and some from as far away as Cripple Creek, Colorado, who were headed for the porphyry country south of Goler Canyon and east of Anvil Spring on the Death Valley slopes. It had recently been discovered that this southern section of the Panamints contained volcanic formations similar to those in which Tonopah, Bullfrog, and Goldfield were located. These porphyry veins appeared richer, than those occurring in the more common granite, slate, quartzite, or limestone formations. As a result, much location work was being done at this time south and east of Anvil Spring. [158] Optimism over the deposits in the Panamint Range region near the head of Goler Canyon continued into the next year, prompted primarily by the investment of Eastern capital in the region, forecasting continuing and substantial development work. In 1908 activity still centered around Anvil Spring, drawing miners from as far away as Rhyolite. Two men from there, Charles Shepherd and Joe Murphy, reported a total of forty-two gold and silver claims in the vicinity of the spring. [159] The grand visions of the future never materialized, and by the 1920s activity in the area was only sporadic during the revival of mining that was taking place throughout the rest of the Panamints. Most producing mines at this time were on the western slope of the Panamints, with only the Carbonate silver-lead mine and minor gold operations at Anvil Spring producing on the Death Valley side. [160] Some new mining locations were being made, but only on a small scale. The Mah Jongg Nos. 1-6 and Topah Nos. 1-4, for example, were originally located in October 1924 by Carl Mengel. These and several other claims in the area managed by the Topah Mining Company, Limited, were offered for sale in 1931 by the Inyo County Sheriff. They were all stated to be in the South Park Mining District, and all went through later relocation and resale proceedings from the 1940s to the 1970s. [161] A story relating what was probably a typical mining experience appeared in Desert Magazine

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

in 1968. It concerned two prospectors, Ernie Huhn (later connected with mining activities in Warm Spring and Anvil canyons) and Asa M. Russell, who came to Butte Valley in 1925 to see what the area had to offer. They entered via Anvil Spring Canyon and set up camp at Carl Mengel's old stone cabin at Greater View Spring. From this central point they scouted the surrounding hills, eventually searching over Manly Peak to the west. On the southwest slope of this mountain they discovered a rich vein of free-milling gold ore, panning, they estimated, $15,000 a ton, which of course would have made them rich men. Neglecting to mark the site of the discovery, however, they were unable to relocate it by the time they were ready to work the lode three weeks later. [162] The perennial advice to all antique hunters seems applicable here in a somewhat revised form: the time to work a mine is when you find it. How many disappointments in Death Valley might have been avoided if men had not attempted to rely solely on their memories. The Anvil Springs Mining Company, in the 1920s, owned the Golden Star-Apex Group of lode mining claims, registered in the South Park Mining District, on the east slope of the Panamints. It consisted of five full mining claims: the Golden Star #1-#3, Apex, and Lucky Strike. Adjacent to these was the Ready Cash-Sunrise Group, consisting of nine full mining claims and a fraction: the Summit, California Gold and California Gold #1, Lone Pine, Sunrise, Sunrise #1-#2, Ready Cash, Ready Cash #1, and Nipper (fraction). This latter group was evidently owned by private individuals, F.W. Gray of Los Angeles being one of the early owners of the Nipper fraction. The overall outlook on mines in this area was still slightly hopeful, for according to Archie Burnett, a mining engineer retained by the Anvil Springs Mining Company, "pannings of the vein on the surface [of the Nipper fraction] show gold in an amount to be easily made commercial." [163] Burnett pointed out that the ore could be treated by simple amalgamation, and that the building of a five-stamp mill was certainly justified by the extent and amount of gold-bearing ore exposed. The mill could also perform custom work for leasers on outlying claims, with provision being made to add another five stamps as the full extent of ore reserves was established. Amalgamation plates and concentrating tables could also be constructed as required. Transportation facilities were certainly not ideal, but no particular difficulties existed other than distance --fifty miles to the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad at Shoshone. Another important asset of the valley was that the ground was easily mined, making power drilling unnecessary and thus reducing the amount of investment capital needed. Margaret Long, who made several trips into the Death Valley country, reports visiting the mine and cabin of someone named "Earnest" (Ernie Huh,,?) in the late 1920s, "just across Butte Valley from Telescope Peak." The gentleman, a graduate of the University of Washington, alternately lived there and at Shoshone. [164] The same Asa Russell mentioned earlier evidently found that rich ledge he and Huhn lost, or else another one just as good, for he returned to Butte Valley around 1930, built a stone cabin at the foot of Manly Peak, and started to tunnel by hand into the Good Faith Mine on the slope of the mountain, performing assessment work on his various claims only two weeks out of every year. [165] This was probably the last serious mining done in the area, for by the 1960s only remains were left of the several mining claims in the Anvil Spring vicinity. The only work performed was annual assessment duties, carried out mostly by absentee owners on weekends. The most current workings at Anvil Spring are those encompassed in the Anvil Spring #1-#3 unpatented claims, covering the hills and open stretches bordering the spring. (b) Present Status (1) Anvil Spring and "Geologists Cabin

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The Anvil Springs Claim includes the spring itself, the stone cabin immediately north of it, and an old three-stamp mill located in the northwest corner of the claim area. The stone cabin, known familiarly over the years as the "Geologist's Cabin," is a distinctive landmark in the Butte Valley area. It is not particularly old, however, having been built by Asa Russell (Panamint Russ) when he first started work on his nearby claim. In his article cited earlier concerning his mining ventures in the region, he makes the statement that "my cabins are [at] the base of 7200-foot Manly Peak in the Panamint Mountains, Death Valley, California. I started building them in 1930, the same year I found the gold high up the side of old Manly and began my mining operation. . . ." [166] A picture accompanying the article shows him leaning against a wall near the front entrance of what is, unmistakably, the "Geologist's Cabin." What other structures he refers to is unknown, for no other foundations are visible in the immediate vicinity. (Perhaps he is referring to cabins at his Big Blue #1 Mine also, mentioned later in this section.) Russell himself has somewhat clouded the early history of this cabin by stating in his article on his prospecting activities in Butte Valley in 1925 that "at Anvil Springs there was a stone house and plenty of water." He further remarks that Carl Mengel, an early German prospector in the vicinity, had also stayed in the cabin at one time. Later he states: "We located the spring and the stone house and set up camp. We were never able to find out who built the house, but it was built to last. It dated back to the early 1880s and was as good as ever." [167] Because of Russell's later statement that he built the cabin at Anvil Spring in 1930, and because, in a 1929 photo of Anvil Spring by Margaret Long, the "Geologist's Cabin" does not appear, the obvious conclusion is that Russell was simply confusing Anvil Spring with Greater View Spring one-half mile further south, where indeed there is a spring and also an old stone structure possibly built as early as the 1860s or 1870s. This would seem to be proved by the picture of the cabin in which Russell and Huhn camped, which accompanies the article, which definitely is the Mengel cabin at Greater View Spring. Further confusion is provided by the map in the article, which shows Huhn and Russell's location at what is today known as "Russell Camp," another one-quarter mile or so south of Greater View Spring. This particular complex, however, was also built by Russell when he returned to mine in Butte Valley in the 1930s. Russell developed Anvil Spring by containing it within a rock-lined cistern and covering it with a wooden trap door. An overflow pipe attracts the ever-present burro population, as attested to by the number of tracks visible. Russell had planted concord grapes near the spring and reportedly experienced good success with them.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 26. North and east elevations of "Geologist's Cabin" at Anvil Spring in Butte Valley. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 27. West and south elevations of "Geologist's Cabin." Note remains of small stone oven on terraced area. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 28. Interior along north wall of "Geologist's Cabin" in Butte Valley. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 29. Interior view toward south wall of "Geologist's Cabin." Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

The stone cabin has most recently been lived in by a group of six retirees working the Anvil Spring claims. The one-room stone and masonry structure is solidly built with a green composition-paper roof that has been partially ripped off by vandals within the past year. The floor is cement and the wooden roof framing allows for storage space underneath the roof on
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

the interior. Inside the cabin are a gas stove, an empty refrigerator, and shelves stocked with canned goods, some appearing to have been recently added. Two tables (one for eating and one for working) and some chairs are found inside. On the south wall is a built-in fireplace with a round mirror positioned on the mantel. A wooden door (covered by kitchen shelves on the interior) is situated at the north end of the east elevation, and a large window has been placed on the south end. There are also a window on the north elevation, two windows (one on either side of the fireplace) on the south elevation, and two doors (the southernmost one boarded up) on the west elevation. A small stone oven on the outside terraced area west of the cabin has been vandalized and broken up. This may or may not have been part of the original complex. An outhouse and trash dump lie several yards north of the cabin. The house is wired for electricity, but no signs of a generator were found. (ii) Butte Valley Stamp Mill and Environs In the northwest corner of the Anvil Springs Claim are the ruins of a three -stamp mill backing against a small cliff. In front (north) of the stamps are some concrete machinery pilings and foundations, while the wooden framework of the mill itself climbs up the cliff immediately south. The stamp casing is still intact and bears the words "Baker Iron Works-Los Angeles." Metal flashing remains in the chute leading to the stamps from the hill above. Some timbers of the mill were originally painted boxcar-red, and some are green--obviously having been cannibalized from elsewhere. On top of the hill behind the wooden framework are some stone foundations and a concrete platform area.

Illustration 30. Butte Valley Stamp Mill. Wooden ore bin is to left of picture. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 31. Concrete foundations of Butte Valley Stamp Mill. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

Illustration 32. Stamp casing, Butte Valley Mill. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 33. Cement-lined water reservoir, Butte Valley. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

Illustration 34. Big Blue #1 Mine of Asa M. Russell in Butte Valley one mile west of Anvil Spring, 1962. Photo by Park Ranger Warren H. Hill, courtesy of DEVA NM.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 35. House or tent site in vicinity of Butte Valley Stamp Mill. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

This mill probably serviced the vertical shaft located just south of the concrete platform area. This untimbered excavation with gently sloping sides is at least 100 feet deep. Between the stamp mill and a reservoir several yards southwest of it, a road leads on southwest up a small arroyo to an adit and what appear to be the foundations of two structures or tent sites. A door stoop still remains in front of one of them. This is the location of the Big Blue #1 Mine of Asa Russell, about one mile west of Anvil Spring. Approximately 200 yards southwest of the mill ruin is a shallow, cement-lined water reservoir with stone reinforcing along the walls. The area has recently been fenced with barbed wire connected to pipe fence posts in an effort to keep burros from walking on the concrete pad. Pipes lead northwest from the reservoir to a small 3 x 2-1/2-foot stone-lined holding pond alongside the road leading west toward "Robber's Roost" and other mine sites. About fifty yards due north of the large reservoir, and just north of the road, are at least three leveled house or tent sites supported by shallow stone retaining walls. This road leading west from the stamp mill and reservoir ends in a sort of cul-de-sac containing a rock shelter and several mines and prospects. It passes, on the south, a claim marker in the form of a large rock with the words "NW/SE Corner" painted on it. A nearby claim post identifies this as the Majong #6, one claim of twenty acres, owners John Matarazzo and John Persico of Downey, California. Nearby to the west is a filled-in prospect hole. Remnants of at least five other mining ventures are found on down this road to the west and on trails taking off from the loop the road forms. Two of the undertakings are simply prospect holes, one only about thirty feet deep and the other one having caved in so that no estimate of its actual length is possible. It did, however, have a stone wall built partially across the entrance. These two excavations are located on a road taking off to the southwest from the cave house, which dominates the center of this small valley. Referred to variously as "Robber's Roost" or "Outlaw Cave," this shelter is formed by the overhang of a huge boulder resting on other large rocks and on the hillside itself. The eastern entrance once was protected by a dry-laid masonry wall with a doorway. Although this wall has crumbled somewhat, in earlier times it completely closed in the east facade, effectively sheltering the occupants from the elements. Early views of the site show a high, sturdy dry-stone wall and a stove outside the entrance. [168] At the present time a campfire exists to the southeast in front of the stone wall, and another is found to the north just inside the front entrance.

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Although tales circulate about such caves being the hideout of robbers or highwaymen, it is more likely that this refuge harbored a desert prospector working nearby claims. West and up the slope from the rock house is an adit with a cement door frame and wooden door. The tunnel inside connects with a partially caved-in shaft coming down about fifty feet vertically from the hillside above. This tunnel, used as living quarters for a miner in fairly recent times, contained an old iron stove, a rug, bunk, table, shelves, assorted implements, and pyrex dishes. According to the monument photo file this is an old lead mine that in 1962, when its picture was taken, had been inactive for years. According to a 1978 mineral report in the monument files, this is the Mah Jongg No. 6 mining claim. [169] Further north of this tunnel and shaft are another connecting pair of excavations on the hillside. The sides of the untimbered adit are very crumbly and the collapsed shaft above is only about twenty feet deep. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations i) Anvil Spring and "Geologist's Cabin The stone cabin at Anvil Spring, because of its prominent location on the hillside, has long been a familiar landmark to prospectors and tourists alike who venture into Butte Valley in search of fortune or merely a day's adventure. The lone tree at the spring and the inviting shade of the cabin have attracted picnickers for years, many of whom abused the privilege offered by this oasis, necessitating a padlock on the cabin door.

Illustration 36. Cave house west of Butte Valley Stamp Mill. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 37. Old lead mine, 3/4 mile WNW of Anvil Spring, Butte Valley, 1962. Inactive for many years. Photo by Park Ranger Warren H. Hill, courtesy of DEVA NM.

Although the structure is aesthetically appealing, it is not historically significant in Death Valley mining history. Built in the 1930s, it provided a home base for Asa Russell while he conducted periodic mining work on the slope of Manly Peak. Russell is one of the familiar names associated with mining in Butte Valley, but he evidently did not venture much outside that area. His association with the cabin is not important enough to warrant its nomination to the National Register. Possibly the cabin could be utilized as a backcountry shelter for monument rangers patrolling Butte Valley. ii) Butte Valley Stamp Mill and Environs The three-stamp mill situated about 3/8 of a mile northwest of Anvil Spring is of definite historical interest and significance. Current popular guidebooks to the area prolong the story that this gold mill was built by Carl Mengel around 1898, after he had purchased the construction materials in Los Angeles (reportedly salvaging timbers from construction of the old Third Street tunnel) and hauled them through Goler Wash by mule team. [170] This writer has not yet seen any primary documentation to support this statement. As mentioned earlier, several statements have been found referring to the fact that various mining concerns operating in Butte Valley were contemplating erection of some sort of reduction works as early as 1899. By 1900 Messrs. Bowshard & Son, owners of the Anvil Spring mines, were reported to "have gone 'inside" to get a stamp mill. The Anvil Springs Mining Company, which operated some lode claims in Butte Valley in the 1920s, hired a mining engineer, Archie Burnett, to examine the Golden Star-Apex and Ready Cash-Sunrise Group of mining claims near Anvil Spring. In speaking of the Ready Cash Group, whose principal workings were on the Nipper Claim, 1-1/2 miles west of Anvil Spring, the engineer said that they had been worked considerably in 1896, and the ore shipped to the nearest custom mill at Garlock, 150 miles west, for processing. In that year one shipment of five tons to that distant point netted $120 per ton. In 1912, Burnett says, about twelve tons off the dump were milled and produced $380 in gold bullion. In order to determine projected values, he inspected current tailings "produced from ore from the property which was milled in a small 3 stamp mill nearby. . . . The mill referred to is a small 3 stamp mill erected some 15 years ago [ca. 19131, and whatever the plans of its sponsors may have been, it is quite obvious that little, if any, intelligent effort was made to develop the property itself. [171]

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This statement that the mill was built around the first decade of the twentieth century (though it is doubtful that it was the Anvil Springs Mining Company that built it because the report indicates that the Nipper Claim was not owned by them but was merely adjacent to their holdings) is much more plausible than the more romantic explanation that Mengel hauled the materials in from Los Angeles via Goler Wash on muleback prior to 1900. Puzzling, however, are the initials and date "REW Feb 1937" scratched on one of the concrete foundations. Possibly the original mill was added on to by miners or other interested parties in the late 1930s, during which time there was still mining activity in the area, or this may just be graffiti. The mill itself is unusual in that it held three stamps instead of the usual two or five. Remaining vestiges consist of concrete foundations and machinery pilings and the heavy cast steel housing for the stamps, none of which remain. (As will be mentioned again later, some old mining relics are exhibited at Russell Camp near the front entrance of the house. One of the items is a stamp. Whether or not it came from this mill is uncertain, but the possibility exists.) Although the mill is not sufficiently outstanding in Death Valley mining history to meet the criteria of eligibility for the National Register, and in addition lacks some integrity of design due to the loss of its stamps and other miscellaneous machinery, it should not be destroyed. No stabilization measures appear necessary. The deep vertical shaft on the level above should be capped in some manner to prevent accidents--the current situation is very dangerous for people and animals. Dumps and ground refuse in the general vicinity of the mill offer potential for historical archeology fieldwork. Examination of objects here might help determine more conclusively the time span during which the mill operated. The reservoir southwest of the mill appears to be a 1930s or 1940s addition, built to implement the mining activity going on in the adits and prospects further west and south. No mention of its construction was found. Neither the reservoir nor the small holding tank (?) west of it are historically significant. The construction period of the stone house or tent foundations north of the reservoir is unknown. Possibly they date from mining activity around the turn of the century; further exploratory work by archeologists might reveal artifacts that would more precisely establish their age. They do not intrude on the visual scene and should be left to benign neglect. The rock shelter further west is an item of historical, architectural, and archeological interest. Seeking shelter or work space in natural cavities found in the rock cliffs and hillsides in Death Valley has been a custom of the native peoples since prehistoric times. This practice was also followed by prospectors, for rock and cave shelters provided a convenient and instant haven that could be made relatively airtight simply by the addition of a stone entrance wall with a door. [172] The Butte Valley cave house is a particularly good example of latterday use of such a natural shelter, though through recent camping and recreational use it has lost some of its integrity--the front wall has crumbled and the old stove that used to be located by the front door has been appropriated. Its large size and picturesque setting, in addition to its probably apocryphal reputation as a robber's hideout, make it an interesting resource. The adits and prospect holes in the surrounding area are not viewed as historically significant. Although some of them were probably originally worked in connection with the earliest mining activity in the area, they have been so thoroughly tested and explored throughout the past forty or fifty years that their original associated artifacts have been removed and even their original appearance has undergone alteration. (Some of these adits might have provided ore for the three-stamp mill if it performed custom work.) The possible tent or house sites located along the road leading off southwest from the stamp mill toward the Big Blue #1 Mine could be examined further by historical archeologists to determine if any estimate can be made of the site's earliest occupation period. Many archeological sites

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exist in Butte Valley, and it is the writer's understanding that the entire area is being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places as an archeological district. Before any measures are taken to remove any historical structures or to restore the land to its natural state, archeologists should be consulted to make sure no important sites are disturbed. (2) Greater View Spring (a) History Not much data on early settlement at Greater View Spring was found prior to its mention in connection with Carl Mengel, an early prospector in the Butte Valley area and contemporary and friend of such well-known Death Valley personalities as Shorty Harris and Pete Aguereberry. The site is located about one-half mile south of Anvil Spring and commands a grand view over Butte Valley toward the Amargosa Range on the east side of the salt pan. Carl Mengel was born in San Bernardino, California, in 1868, and after various attempts at mining, farming, and fishing for a living, by at least the early 1900s had entered the Butte Valley region of Death Valley, presumably by way of Goler Wash. He is said to have purchased the Oro Fino Claim in Goler Wash in 1912, and later found even richer deposits there. [173] In October 1924 Mengel filed on several claims south and west of Anvil Spring: Topah Nos. 1-4, Topah Extension, and Mah Jongg Nos. 1-6. He died in 1944 and his ashes were put in a stone cairn atop Mengel Pass approximately fifty feet outside the boundary of Death Valley National Monument. After his death the claims located by Mengel in Butte Valley underwent numerous resales through the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. The Topaz (Topah) Extension, Topaz (Topah) No. 1, and part of the Topaz (Topah) Extension claims were later amended and located as the Greater View Springs, Greater View Springs No. 1, and Greater View Springs Millsite, respectively, in 1962 when Clinton and Stella Anderson were granted the property by Asa Russell. Work carried out by the couple on these gold, silver, lead, and mercury claims has consisted mainly of small pits, open cuts, and a small adit, mostly on the Greater View Springs Claim. [174] Stella and Clinton Anderson lived on the homestead, prospecting in the surrounding hills together until Clinton died in 1973. According to a newspaper article featuring Mrs. Anderson's unique lifestyle, she continued to live there, and was later joined by her young grandson Bobby. With no electricity, plumbing, car, or telephone, their contact with the outside world was limited to an occasional ride into town, hitched with a nearby miner, to stock up on provisions. A windmill was once employed to furnish electricity, but it broke down. Mrs. Anderson obviously enjoyed most of her days spent here, feeling that the natural advantages of the Butte Valley area, "the fresh, clean air, the good water, the peace of mind of being out of the hubbub of the city--all these things make you forget the other things you don't have." [175] Although appearing to be over seventy years of age in 1976, Mrs. Anderson spent most of her time in prospecting forays into the neighboring hills, tracing promising veins. Hers was the universal attitude of all miners toward their lot in life--"My claim's not too productive right now, but you never can tell. . ." [176] Mrs. Anderson was not living at Greater View Spring when this writer conducted a site survey of the area, although she reportedly did visit there occasionally from her home in Trona. (b) Present Status The Greater View Spring complex consists of a stone cabin (main living quarters), an adjacent frame and tin structure and a trailer also utilized as housing, a workshop, a privy, a
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

garden area, and some miscellaneous foundations. The stone cabin that both Carl Mengel and Stella Anderson lived in has a corrugated-metal roof and a small tin-covered addition (somewhat modified from the original) on the west elevation. The east wall above the eave line is constructed of vertical wood planking, whereas on the west side the corresponding area is covered with corrugated metal. The structure's north elevation abuts the hillside so that the roof edge drains into a ditch dug east-west along the hillside. The interior of the cabin contains a bed, an old chair, a table, canned goods, a sink, a combination oven-fireplace fashioned from a tin drum, a four-burner gas stove, and a refrigerator. The cement floor is covered by a rug, and the rough rock walls on the north are plastered.

Illustration 38. Carl Mengel with dog "Whitey at his home in Butte Valley, April 1940. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

Illustration 39. East elevation of Mengel cabin at Anderson Camp in Butte Valley. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

West of the cabin is a corrugated-metal equipment shelter, some miscellaneous lumber and appliances, and what appear to be some stone foundations. A spring is also located here. East of this main cabin is another structure used as living quarters that is sided with corrugated
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

metal except again between the eave line and gables, where vertical wood planking is used. Inside are a stove and a closet still containing men's shirts. East of this cabin is a cement foundation on which a clothesline has been erected. East beyond this, near the entrance gate to the complex, is what seems to be a fenced-in garden area where some attempt at terracing has been made and a small arrastra-like fountain or watering system added. According to one writer, Mengel grew fruit trees on the site and also cultivated a rose garden. [177] On the south side of the road leading into the property are a two-room rectangular wooden house trailer used as living quarters, and containing a bed, stove, and sink; a wooden cabin with a metal roof and siding used as a workshop; and a wood privy. The generating system for the complex is further up on a hill northwest of the residences. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The main importance of Greater View Spring lies in its association with Carl Mengel, one of the lesser-known names in the Death Valley region. Mengel was not strikingly different from other miners except that he was a quiet, dignified individual and stayed longer in one place than most people in that profession. Because of this he left his imprint on Butte Valley. The oldest structure at Greater View Spring appears to be the main stone house. Its exact date of construction and the name of its builder are not known. According to Stella Anderson, the sturdy stone cabin was built by Mormon settlers in 1869. L. Burr Belden states that Mengel "built a rock house and then a second cabin alongside just so he could be hospitable and accommodate visitors." [178] Although it is difficult to determine who might be correct on this question, a remark of Asa Russell in his article describing his stay at Greater View Spring tends to support Mrs. Anderson's statement. Here Russell quotes his partner Ernie Huhn, who, in speaking of the cabin where they intended to stay in Butte Valley (and which was confirmed earlier in this report as Mengel's stone house), said that "Carl Mengel, who has only one leg, says he came through there with his burros--stayed at the stone house and says the area looks like good gold country to him." [179] This tends to suggest that Mengel did not build the cabin himself but found it there by the early 1900s.

Illustration 40. Panoramic view of Anderson Camp at Greater View Spring, former home of Carl Mengel in Butte Valley. Photos taken by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

The exact dates of erection of the other outbuildings are also conjectural. Possibly Belden was correct in saying that Mengel added the guest cabin east of the stone house, for the corner of a structure in this location appears in a 1940 picture of Mengel and his dog (Illus. 38). The other items (trailers, workshop, etc.) were added in more recent years either by Asa Russell or the Andersons. Unfortunately no important information was gleaned from perusal of the location descriptions found of the mining claims covering Greater View Spring. No statement was found of any structures standing on the property when Mengel first filed on it in 1924. Data on existing buildings is scanty up to 1961 when it is mentioned that the Topaz
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Extension included three springs, a stone house, and a cabin. By April 1962 the Topaz Extension (renamed Greater View Springs) supported a stone house, a guest house, fourteen trees, three springs above the houses, and one spring below. The Greater View Springs Millsite contained a stone house in the center of the claim, a small wooden guest house, a garage, four springs, fifteen trees, a wire fence, and a gate. [180] If Stella Anderson's mining claims are determined to be invalid, the main stone residence at least should be kept. The additional guest cabin east of the stone house, the trailer, workshop/garage, and privy are all later additions that have no historical significance. The possibility exists that the main stone cabin was built long before Carl Mengel entered the Butte Valley area. Whether Mormons had anything to do with its construction has not yet been confirmed, although there is information to the effect that some of these people had visited the Anvil Spring area by at least 1858 and had worked a mine and operated a smelting furnace there. [181] The uncertainty of the cabin's origin, but the possibility of its erection prior to 1900, and its use as a home by Carl Mengel, are enough to warrant its protection. On the basis of documentary data on the structure found to date, the building does not meet the criteria for eligibility to the National Register. Its connection with Mengel is not significant, its appearance is not architecturally outstanding, and in addition it has undergone loss of integrity through minor structural changes even since its occupation by Mengel-the small screened porch on the west elevation, for instance, has been slightly enlarged and sided with metal, probably to keep out intruders and vandals. The interior construction of the cabin is interesting because the house abuts the hillside on its north elevation, the interior wall here being rock roughly plastered over. In this respect the structure is almost a partial dugout. (Inquiries should be made of the present owner as to whether any of Mengel's personal possessions or any interesting artifacts related to him are still in the area that could be used for interpretive purposes.) An adaptive use might be made of this building as a backcountry camping facility for monument rangers on patrol. (3) Russell Camp (a) History The site appearing on the 1950 Manly Peak quadrangle as Russell Camp is located about one-quarter mile south of Greater View Spring. Asa Merton Russell, a prospector in the Butte Valley area for several years first established the camp in the early 1930s. After retiring from the Los Angeles Water and Power Company in May 1960 he took up permanent residence in the valley in the fall. This was after he had constructed the stone house at Anvil Spring, and was probably an attempt to establish a more permanent location in the valley in a more protected spot. The cabin, shed, and burro corral complex are located on the Ten Spot Millsite, originally called the Last Chance Claim when it was filed in 1930. A location certificate covering the five-acre Ten Spot Millsite, encompassing a spring, the cabins, and all the miscellaneous equipment on site, was formally filed on 1 July 1940. The mill site was said to be 1-1/2 miles south of Anvil Spring, with its northerly side lines joining the southerly side lines of the Greater View Springs Claim. [182] One of the first claims Russell filed on was the Lucky Strike Quartz Mining Claim on 11 March 1931. Part of the Butte Valley road toward Russell Camp intersects the northwest corner of this claim, which is about mile northeast of the Ten Spot Millsite. This property was relocated on 9 July 1933. [183]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 41. Complex of structures at Russell Camp in Butte Valley. Note some mining-related structures back on hillside at east end. Photos by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Asa Russell also registered several other claims in the area: the Nipper Quartz Mining Claim, located 9 July 1933; the Nipper No. 1 Quartz Mining Claim, located 9 July 1933; the Ready Cash Lode Mining Claim, located 20 July 1947 and relocated 11 March 1974; the Big Blue Quartz Mining Claim, located 9 July 1933 and relocated 11 March 1974; and the Ten Spot Lode Mining Claim, located 1 July 1940. [184] (b) Present Status The Ten Spot Millsite, originally used as a residence by Asa Russell, has been lived in most recently by a Steven Penner, one of the claimants of the unpatented Lucky Strike Lode Claim and the Ten Spot Millsite Claim. During the on-site survey made by this writer in September 1978 no one appeared to be living at the complex, which consists of two cabins, some sheds, a burro pen and barn, and some mining-related structures.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 42. Display of old mining equipment at Russell Camp in Butte Valley. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Some primitive mining equipment is on display at the entrance gate near the main house. This cabin is built of vertical wood planking and is covered with a metal roof. The cabin adjacent on the east is also of wood planking with metal siding. A metal shed east of this second cabin showed evidence of having been used as a workshop to test ore samples as well as being used to store mining equipment, such as a sluice box. Bird and snake cages are attached to the north exterior shed wall. Sporadic mining activity has been carried on in the area by both Russell and Penner, the latter most recently working on the Lucky Strike Claim. In January 1978 an ore bin of corrugated sheet metal on wooden supports, containing some ore, was found on the property. No equipment for the crushing, grinding, or separating commonly associated with active milling sites was found. [185] The Lucky Strike workings consist of several prospect pits, the deepest about ten to fifteen feet and four to five feet in diameter. Production from this site has evidently been low, for no records of any have been found. [186] (c) Evaluation and Recommendations None of the structures located on the Ten Spot Millsite claim are historically significant. They have been built since the 1930s, and some as recently as 1958. The spring supplying the cabin and trees was developed in 1929 by Russell, and the 500-gallon water tank connected with the extensive water system from the spring to the cabins and elsewhere around camp was added in either the late 1950s or early 1960s. [187] An attempt should be made to acquire the mining relics on exhibit at the camp for the monument's visitor center. The camp here has always posed a problem, for other people have been encouraged to move

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

into the area by Russell's presence there. Most unsettling to monument authorities, for example, was a notice that appeared in the classified advertising section of the July 1960 issue of Desert Magazine Prospector retired, with 10 partly developed gold and silver claims and millsite in Panamint Mountains, wants contact with someone interested in prospecting, writing or painting. Should be free and self sustaining. Scenic spot, ideal for health condition. Elevation 4500 ft. good water and cabins. A.M. Russell Shoshone, Calif. The tendency of more and more retirees to establish homes in the Death Valley area under the pretext of mining has been a major problem in the past that hopefully will be resolved by the validity tests conducted by the National Park Service. (4) Willow Spring (a) History Several watering spots known as "Willow Springs" exist in Death Valley arid the surrounding area, several of which are mentioned in connection with early mining activity. Two that were west of Death Valley should be noted: a "Willow Spring" on which water rights were filed around 1874 was located "1-1/4 mites down in canon from Town of Panamint"; [188] another "Willow Springs," the scene of a fair bit of mining work by 1898, was located in the southern end of Panamint Valley and was projected as a possible new townsite when the Utah and Pacific Railroad was extended through to the coast from Utah. The latter, because of its proximity to the Goode Springs District lead ores and to the high-grade Argus Range hematite iron ores, seemed the natural place for a smelter. Among the several mines in the area only one is specifically mentioned by name--the Bowman. This spring is possibly the one known as "Lone Willow Spring" on the east slope of the Slate Range just north of the narrow pass at the south end of Panamint Valley, within a mile or two of Early Spring. [189] The Willow Spring near Gold Valley in the Black Mountains was the scene of some mining enterprises during the Greenwater era, and is discussed in a later section. No information prior to 1934 was found by this writer relative to the location of claims or construction of buildings at or near the Willow Spring site in the southeast corner of Butte Valley. In 1934 a "Cabin and pipe line and the mining claim [on] which the cabin stands or [is] built on," located at the head of Anvil Canyon in the Panamint Mountains, was sold by Charles Brown, Attorney for Ruth Nellan, to Wallace Todd. The property formerly belonged to M.E. (Bud) Nellan, deceased. [190] In 1961a quitclaim deed was filed between Wallace Todd and James H. Barker concerning "That placer mining claim (containing twenty acres more or less) known as the Willow Spring Claim, which surrounds Willow-Spring at the head of Anvil Canyon adjoining Butte Valley, in the South Park Mining District . . . . at the center of which claim is a stone cabin. The said claim is the one bought by Wallace Todd in 1934 from Senator Charles Brown, Administrator of the Estate of Bud Nellans [sic], the original locator. . . ." [191] The assumption would be that "Bud" Nellan originally located this claim sometime in the 1920s. The placer mining claim at Willow Spring was quitclaimed to the Public Domain by Mrs. Barker following this transaction, according to another miner, Ralph Pray. The Death Valley mining office, however, states that Arlene Barker held the ground through another mill site location under the name of Willow Spring for several years. Eventually she and the Keystone Canyon Mining Company, Inc., on 4 August 1973, in order to secure water and site rights for
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

the Silver Butte Lode Mining Claim, filed as co-locators on five acres of nonmineral land to be known as the Willow Spring Millsite and located "in the southwest portion of Death Valley National Monument, at the western terminus of Anvil Spring Canyon. . . ." [192] 190. Bill of Sate, Chas. Brown, Attorney for Ruth Nellan, to Wallace Todd. Dated 25 September 1934, recorded 22 September 1941, Deed Books, Inyo Co., Vol. 53, pp. 363-64. By 1975, according to correspondence between the monument and the Keystone Canyon Mining Company, the latter had determined that the copper, lead, silver, and gold veins of its Silver Butte Claim in Butte Valley were too sporadic and too low in concentration to warrant further development of the property. They did want to retain the Willow Spring Millsite as a water source. In this same letter the company requested a permit allowing them to burn and dismantle the structures at Willow Spring. [193] A Special Use Permit was granted from 10 April 1975 through 1 October 1976 for "burning and dismantling the cabin and debris. . ." [194] By June of that year the Willow Spring cabin had been razed. All timber was burned, leaving only the masonry walls and sheet metal from the roof. [195] By November 1976 the Keystone Canyon Mining Company reported that a three-man crew had demolished the standing rock walls on the site, all metallic remains (beds, doors, screens, barrels, etc.) had been removed from the area, and the Willow Spring Millsite had been remonumented. [196] (b) Present Status Two areas showing historic ruins exist in the Willow Spring area, only one of which was visited by this writer in September 1978 due to limitations of time and fuel. The second site was visited during the Cultural Resources Survey of Death Valley National Monument performed in 1975 by Western Regional Office personnel. A cement wellhead currently surrounds the Willow Spring source, and on a hill immediately to the west is a modern burro corral. A dismanteled water pipe system leads east from the spring about 200 yards to a masonry water-tank platform located on the hillside above a house site. The structure here was the one the Keystone Canyon Mining Company demolished in 1976. The house was still partially standing when the LCS survey was made, but had already been razed by fire. The walls were solid stone masonry with cement mortar. The house appeared to have had two levels with wood framing. Miscellaneous metal debris, such as bedsprings, drums, screens, etc., twisted by the fire, were still on site near the cabin. These were later removed and the standing rock walls demolished by NPS request at the end of 1976. Much glass, metal (nails and hinges), china, and other household debris remains scattered around the area. A few hundred yards east of the house site and at the edge of the wash bordering the site on the south, a masonry-lined two-compartment cistern was built under a rock overhang.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 43. Cabin ruins at Willow Spring, 1975. Photo courtesy of William Tweed.

Illustration 44. Cabin ruins at Willow Spring, 1978. Water pipe in foreground leads to high rock on which a water tank once stood. Photo by Linda W. Greene.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 45. Masonry-lined cistern built under rock overhang between cabin and mill sites, Willow Spring. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 46. Mill foundations east of Willow Spring and east of cabin ruins. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

What appear to be the ruins of a small stamp mill are located about 1/4 mile east of the house site. All that remains are three foundation levels of dry-masonry walling, each level measuring about twenty feet by eight feet. Some metal debris is scattered around, and immediately in front of the lowest foundation wall some pipes stick up through the ground. No purple glass was seen on the site. About 1/4 mile further east from the mill ruins and on the north side of the road are two building sites not visited by this writer. According to the 1975 LCS survey there are two building sites here, one with a concrete floor and an adjacent site consisting only of a small leveled spot. At the prospect site shown on the USGS Manly Peak quadrangle about 1/4 mile southeast of these building sites, and 1-2 mile east of Willow Spring, no structures remain. A building site along the road leading south from the Anvil Spring Canyon Road contained much 1920s period and later debris. The road to the mine (the Silver Butte?) ends at a

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

masonry retaining wall, possibly the foundations of a loading area, in the canyon below two mine tunnels and a dump a short walk up the hill. The adit mouth is braced with wooden timbers. Several 1920s-1930s car wrecks were also found in the area. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The exact age of the various mill ruins and house sites in the Willow Spring vicinity and further east is hard to determine. The earliest document found pertaining to the Willow Spring Millsite is a 1934 bill of sale, but it suggests that the site might originally have been worked in the 1920s. No information could be found on who built the house or lived in it, although possibly it was the fellow referred to in the early bill of sale as the "original locator" of the claim, Bud Nellan. According to Bill Tweed and Henry Law, who visited the other sites in the area during the LCS survey, assorted garbage on the site of the two building foundations northeast of the mill ruin suggests a 1930s or later occupancy period. At the mine site southeast of this location, various parts of 1920s autos were found. The stamp mill is probably the most significant ruin and raises the most intriguing questions. It is unfortunate that more information has not come to light on this structure. No mention of a mill in this vicinity was found, although as previously cited, references exist to a Butte Valley Mining Company mill in "Goller Canyon" in 1889 and to a Pages (or Payes) Mill in Goler Canyon around the early 1890s. These mill ruins might date from at least the early 1900s or late 1890s, since there is no mention of a mill being constructed later during mining activities in the area from the 1930s on, which time period is fairly well documented, or having any connection with the claimants of the Willow Spring Millsite from the mid-1930s on (the bill of sale in 1934 mentions only a cabin and pipeline on the property). It is recommended that the stamp mill foundations not be disturbed, but be treated with a policy of benign neglect. Stabilization is not necessary, nor is reconstruction feasible primarily because of lack of data. None of the Willow Spring ruins meet the criteria for eligibility to the National Register. The paucity of data found on them to date would seem to indicate a lack of importance in the area. The LCS crew determined that the Willow Spring remains did not hold potential for further historical or archeological investigation or evaluation. It is suggested by the available documentary evidence and from on-site observations that this part of Butte Valley was mined most actively during the 1920s and 1930s, although initial discoveries might have been made during the early 1900s when the Anvil Spring Mining District was at its peak. (5) Squaw Spring (a) History No early historical data was found on the shanty located at Squaw Spring. The area has not been mentioned in connection with any early mining activity.

Illustration 47. Squaw Spring cabin. Photo courtesy of William Tweed,

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

1975.

(b) Present Status Squaw Spring, last visited by NPS esearch personnel in December 1975, is reached via a rough jeep trail 6-1/2 to 7 miles east and south from the building sites in the Willow Spring area. The difficulty posed by condition of the road, whose surface has been even further deteriorated by rains since 1975, and limitations of time and fuel precluded this writer's reaching the cabin site. In 1975 remains consisted of a two-room wood frame house of poor quality and light construction, fashioned mainly of panels from wooden orange crates covered with tarpaper and having chickenwire screens. The cabin stands very near Squaw Spring in a cottonwood grove also harboring exotic plant species such as oleanders and watercress. On the edge of the grove and on a hill above the cabin and spring is a windmill made out of a Studebaker frame. No well is visible beneath it, so it is surmised that it drove an electric generator. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations No documentary data was found on this structure. The LCS crew referred to it as a "HoovervilIe Shanty," and suggested that it was lived in by a squatter during the Great Depression. The site contains some items of historical interest and possible interpretive value. Its isolated situation and the unfavorable condition of its access road suggest that there has been little vandalism to the site through the years. Lack of data on the cabin precludes according it any associative significance with either people or mining events in Death Valley. As a possible exemplification of a 1920s Depression-era lifestyle in an isolated desert region, the cabin should be left to benign neglect.

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deva/hrs/section3a3.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
4. Anvil Spring Canyon a) History Ernest Huhn first located a single claim here in the late 1930s at an elevation of about 2,100 feet. The property was then acquired by the Western Talc Company in the late 1930s or early 1940s, which commenced driving an exploratory adit trending north and then east in an attempt to reach the talc vein. The only other works consist of several pits and trenches. Three men were employed at the mine, living in a tent and carrying on their work by means of a portable compressor. As of 1961 the deposit was still unproductive and generally unexplored. [197] b) Present Status Anvil Spring Canyon was not traveled by the writer because there is no longer an established road through it. The route, therefore, has not been explored for evidences of mining activity, but it is known that no active mining is currently taking place there. The area has not been subject to either historical or historical archeological survey.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
5. Wingate Wash a) History (1) Location and Derivation of Name Wingate Wash flows from the Amargosa River across the southwest corner of Death Valley National Monument southeast of Butte Valley. The pass itself is a break in the mountain range that forms the western wall of Death Valley, the Panamints stretching northward and the Brown and Quail mountains veering to the southeast. From the west the road into Death Valley through Wingate Wash turns east about two miles north of Layton Canyon. A lowgear, short, and relatively abrupt slope leads to the broad pass, which is about five miles wide, ten miles long, and about eleven miles outside the present monument boundary. Since World War II the west side of Wingate Pass, located on the Naval Ordnance Test Station Range, has been open to travel only by special permission. [198] Today the road leading into Death Valley over Wingate Pass intersects the Warm Spring Canyon road from the south near the Panamint Mine site at the mouth of Warm Spring Canyon. It has been surmised that either Lieutenant Bendire, when crossing the Panamint Mountains through this pass on his 1867 expedition, named it to honor Major Benjamin Wingate, who died in 1862 of wounds received during the Battle of Valverde, New Mexico, or that it is a modification of "Wind Gate" or "Windy Gap," names bestowed by twenty-mule-team drivers to characterize the strong gusts they had to battle as they came through the pass. [199]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 48. Map of Wingate Wash Area.

Illustration 49. Devil's Golf Course Road, pre-1930s. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

(2) Chloride Cliff Trail After the discovery of silver at Chloride Cliff circa 1873 and the start of limited mining operations there, a road was needed to carry the ore south to a transportation center. As a consequence, a road used for only a few years was built heading south, across the salt flats, and along the west side of the valley into the area of present-day Barstow via Wingate Pass, a route that became one of Death Valley's first major connections with "civilization." (3) Twenty-Mule-Team Borax Route By the early 1880s the Harmony Borax Works, located about two miles above the mouth of

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Furnace Creek Wash, needed a new borax freight line from their deposits in the valley to the Southern Pacific railhead at Mojave. A dependable low-cost route was needed, and luckily William T. Coleman was able to utilize part of the old Chloride City trail over Wingate Pass-all that was needed was a good connection from the east side of the valley to the west and a general overhaul of the whole road. The general 165-mile course followed by the twenty-mule teams was from Mojave northeast past Castle Butte and Cuddeback Dry Lake to Blackwater Well, a water stop. At or near present-day Granite Wells, about seven miles northeast of Blackwater, the route joined the old San Bernardino & Daggett to Postoffice Springs & Panamint City freight road. This was followed twenty-six miles to Lone Willow Spring, another water hole. Six miles north of Lone Willow, the road took off east from the old freight road through Wingate Pass, up Long Valley along Wingate Wash to the lower end of Death Valley, and then up the west side of the salt pan to the Devil's Golf Course road, which cut east to the borax works below the mouth of Furnace Creek. [200]

Illustration 50. Borax routes in the Death Valley region: heavy solid line--Harmony Borax Works to Mojave broken line--Amargosa-Daggett route square dots--Searles Lake-Mojave route light dots--oldest route, between Eagle Borax Works and Daggett light solid line--Borate-Daggett run Taken from 100 Years of U.S Borax, p. 40.

Numerous obstacles were involved in building and traversing this route. The major problem involved construction of that part of the road connecting the west side of the valley to the east side where the borax works were located. Because drinkable water could not be found east of the salt pan below Furnace Creek, it was necessary to cross over and travel down the

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

west side toward Mesquite Wells. None of the options available for the route of this connecting road were very promising. Most of the acrid slushy marsh was too soft and wet to support the weight of the borax wagons, which would sink hopelessly into the mire. Of necessity, then, the road had to be constructed across the jagged salt crust which had formed over part of the marsh and where, as described as early as 1892, there was scarce a level square inch on the whole bed, for the salt crust had, probably through the influences of heat and moisture from below, been torn and twisted and thrown up into the most jagged peaks, pyramids, and cris-crossed ridges imaginable. They were not high--none, perhaps, more than four feet--but there was not even level space for a man's foot between them. [201] By means of sledgehammers a graded path six feet wide was constructed across an eightmile-wide bridge of solid salt. [202] Once the road was completely built, however, many hazards stilt existed. The name "Windy Gap" reportedly was given by the borax mule-team drivers to the pass because of the breezes that seemed to be constantly circulating. (Gudde's less colorful suggestion is that the name "Windy Gap" was recorded by Wheeler on his atlas sheet 65 due to a misreading of Lt. Bendire's notes.) [203] In addition to wind problems, the gap was known as the bed of torrents that come pouring down after a cloud-burst on the mountain top. Volumes of water, in foaming waves twenty feet high, are said to be common enough, and others much higher are told about by the white Arabs. When a wave has passed, boulders are found scattered in all directions, gullies are cut out, and at the best only a bed of yielding sand is found for the wheels to roll over. Worse yet, this bed of sand rises on an average grade of one hundred feet to the mile for forty miles, while the grade for short distances is four times as much. [204] Although use of the road was discontinued by the borax teams around 1888, it was still frequented by miners and prospectors and some monument visitors, most of the latter preferring the easier Saratoga Spring route. The pass came into more and more disuse as modern highways penetrated the new national monument in the 1930s. In 1936 a twentymule team that had been used in the "pageant of transportation" that crossed the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was shipped by train to Mojave, harnessed to freight wagons, and driven north to the site of Harmony Borax Works over the old road and Wingate Pass, which had been newly reconditioned for the occasion by CCC personnel. [205] (4) Mining Activity Even after the end of the freight route through Wingate Pass, interest in the area did not lessen. During the early 1900s the enthusiasm that was' raging anew for the prospects of the Panamint Range region was reaching here also, for a "Ballarat Letter" of 1905 mentioned that many well-known prospectors had left Ballarat for "Wind Gate Pass" and a several weeks prospecting jaunt, the party containing Shorty Harris among others. [206] There evidently was gold to be found there, for in 1907 word reached Rhyolite that a very rich strike had just been made in the vicinity of the pass, and men were flocking to the area. [207] In 1908 mention was made of several prospecting outfits in the valley, both from neighboring towns such as Rhyolite and from "outside." According to Clarence E. Eddy, referred to as the "poet-prospector," and a well-known personality of the region who had located several placer claims in the vicinity of Bennett's Well, a group from California was planning to
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

relocate some quartz claims in Wingate Wash. [208] Some ore from the Prize Group in Wingate Pass, assayed at this time, showed a gold content of $37.03. The mine was owned by Mike Lane, Tom McNulty, Shorty Harris, and Roy Newton. Some earlier samples from this group had assayed $157.40 and $58.70. [ 209] Another group of claims must have been staked by the same men, for in the next month they were reported as owning the Gold Links Group. Average results from the bottom of the twenty-five-foot shaft on the property returned $10 in gold, 4 ozs. in silver, and 64% lead. Some samples had assayed as high as $500. [210] In June of 1908 an article appeared on discoveries made by Shorty Harris in the Hidden Springs area, ten miles southeast of Wingate Pass. Although Harris was displaying great optimism for the future of the area, others were skeptical of the find's potential, stating that the samples seen were not unlike those that could be found at several points within Death Valley. Due to a lack of water, little development had been carried out so far. The site was pronounced accessible by wagon road from Panamint or Goldfield or by way of Daggett or Barstow. [211] Although the showing of these claims appeared good, the values discovered at depth were not as high as surface showings. A week after the Rhyolite Herald's optimistic article on the location, Harris and Lane had returned to Rhyolite, disappointed in their prospects in Wingate Pass. [212] Their bad luck discouraged neither other prospectors, a couple of whom (Ernest Mattison [Death Valley Slim] and Bill Keys) mined for lead ore in the pass, nor themselves, for by 1910 Shorty was sinking a shaft on a thirty-foot gold-bearing dyke there. Tom McNulty, Roy Newton, and Mike Lane had an interest in this mine, also, which by the next month was down fifty feet and exposing $20 ore. [213] But the big bonanza for the Wingate Pass area was yet to be discovered, and was actually going to revolve around the discovery of new mineral types that had never before been considered valuable by miners in Death Valley. It was only fitting that Shorty Harris should be the one to inaugurate this new era of mining activity. While on a two-month prospecting trip near his gold claims in the Wingate Pass section, Shorty spied some likely-looking rock and chipped out some samples of what everyone in the party declared to be tungsten. The spot was located twelve miles from Hidden Springs, the only water source around. [214] Despite Shorty's firm belief that because of his find his financial worries would soon be at an end, the future of this part of the valley (and of Shorty) did not lie in the development of this discovery. (5) Epsom Salts Monorail By 1918 deposits of mineral salts of commercial value (Epsom salts or magnesium sulphate, used chiefly in medicine) were being explored by Thomas Wright and some interested investors in the hills to the south of Long Valley. A temporary mining camp to work the deposits was established in Crystal Hills Wash in the Brown Mountain area, the drawback being that the camp could only be supplied by truck over a sixty-three-mile tortuously-rough road. During the postwar depression, while mining activity here stopped, Wright and his associates attempted to figure out another method of access to the site. The major factor to consider in the mining of these salts was that a cheap form of transportation was needed in order to make it economically feasible to extract the ore. The prospective operators decided that construction work (mainly grading operations) for a narrow-gauge railroad would be impractical and prohibitively expensive. The only answer seemed to be a twenty-eight-milelong monorail system connecting with the Trona Railroad and the Southern Pacific at Searles, making a direct connection with Los Angeles. [215] On the west side of Searles Lake, about six miles south of Trona, a new station named Magnesium Siding (Magnesia) was erected by the Trona Railroad. The American Magnesium Company of Los Angeles, with Thomas Wright as president, began construction of its

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

monorail from this point. It then crossed eight miles of the salt lake, entered Layton Canyon up a 7.5% grade to Layton Pass, whose summit is 3,500 feet above sea level and about 200 yards' wide. The track then proceeded through Wingate Pass up the wash to a fork about 71/2 miles east. Here the monorail route turned south to the low Crystal Hilts, among which, about four miles from the road fork, are the Epsom salt deposits. Reportedly, grades of up to ten and twelve percent had to be overcome. The estimated cost of the entire system was around $7,000 a mile in the mountain passes and $5,000 per mite on the flat stretches. The Douglas fir construction consisted of A central "riding beam," six inches by eight inches in size, . . . supported on a series of A-frames or bents spaced eight feet apart, the central posts of which carried most of the load. The running rail, of standard T-section design and variously reported as being of 50-, 65-, 70- and 80-pounds to the yard, was centered on top of the "riding beam." To the diagonal legs of the A-frames, horizontal crosspieces were affixed extending several inches beyond the legs on either side to enable two-inch by eight-inch side rails to be attached to their ends, parallel to the running rail, to serve as sway stabilizers. Each A-frame was spiked to a broad wooden sill for a base, and the sills were sunk into the ground several inches wherever practical for additional stability. Above ground the structure was laced with supplemental diagonal bracing wherever necessary as a stiffener. [216]

Illustration 51. Route of Epson salts monorail. From Desert Magazine (January 1963), p. 13.

The machinery used on this unique system was of great interest in itself. The basic unit was a rectangular steel frame mounted on two double-flanged wheels, one at either end. Steel supports angling downward parallel to the slope of the A frames were affixed on either side to balance the unit on the rail atop the riding beam. Platforms were added to these steel supports on a horizontal plane just above ground level and loads were stacked on these, balancing each other like saddlebags. [217] The train carriages glided along the single rail attached to a heavy timber running along the top of a series of four-foot-high A frames set ten or twelve feet apart, maintaining their equilibrium by pressing with roller bearings against the guiding rails. The first engine used, which utilized a battery-powered electric motor, was unable to produce sufficient power to haul up grades. The construction of the basic engine was similar to that for the cars:

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The homemade, double-flanged, two-wheel-in-line locomotives were powered with rebuilt Dodge engines and kept in an upright position by rollers running to 2 x 6 guides spiked to the sides of the 'A' frames a foot or so above the ground. The balanced load was carried in saddle-bag-like compartments on either side of the locomotive or in similarly designed two-wheel-in-line cars. [218] To provide more power, Fordson-motored tractor/engines built into a steel frame were introduced, averaging seven miles to the gallon of distillate. They were supposedly capable of pulling fifteen to twenty-five tons at eight miles per hour on the upgrade and ten to fifteen miles per hour on the flat stretches. According to Thompson the engines developed only enough power to pull three loaded cars. Myrick says each locomotive could handle only one or two trailers, depending on their load. Lee says the cars only carried three tons a trip. [219] Permissive maximum speed for the monorail was set at thirty-five miles per hour, though most trains held to thirty on the flatlands (which was still harmful to the track). Each locomotive was restricted to a maximum payload of approximately 3,400 pounds; trailer carloads were permitted up to 8,500 pounds. [220]

Illustration 52. Epsom salts monorail. Train is just east of Layton Pass in Slate Range. Photo taken in 1924 or 1925. Photo by James Boyles, courtesy of DEVA NM.

By the fall of 1923, only about sixteen miles of the system had been built, but work on the last twelve miles was fast progressing. Hopes were that a ton of ore could be hauled to the railroad for less than $1.00. [221] The system was finally finished in 1924. Immediately after its inauguration the project had appeared successful for several reasons: no bridges were
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necessary over rivers or roads; little grading was required because the trestle height could be varied to conform to dips and hills; the equipment, because of its design, ran well despite the varying grades and curves; costs of construction, equipment, and operation were low; and the open trestlework seemed at first to eliminate drainage problems. The American Magnesium Corporation was now one of the two companies producing magnesium in the United States after the war. Germany, which had previously controlled the trade, was expected to try and recover her former position in this regard. [222] This system was also heralded as the godsend that would resolve the problems that had afflicted mining operations along the Panamint and Argus ranges for many years, namely isolation and the need for a cheap form of transportation that would make further prospecting and thorough development of the big lead-silver deposits in the region economically profitable in the future. [223] The Epsom salts in these deposits south of Death Valley had, according to some, originally "blanketed the surface in a layer from two feet to twelve feet in depth, and portions of it . . . were 100 per cent pure . . . ." According to others the purity of the deposit was low, only around fifteen percent. [224] The purer material was scraped off the surface and the less pure material dug out of the ground. The ore was sacked, sent by monorail to Magnesium Siding, and then via Trona and the Southern Pacific Railroad to a small refinery in Wilmington, California, for processing. It turned out that the high-quality ore was limited in quantity; most of the material could not be scraped up in the large quantities needed without the inclusion of much sand, debris, and other salts. This situation was a serious drawback to the economics of the operation, and it was soon determined that cheaper and purer salts could be found elsewhere.

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Illustration 53. Monorail in Wingate Pass, 1935. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

Illustration 54. Supports of old monorail line near top of Wingate Pass. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

In addition, the desert heat was having detrimental effects on the flimsy trestle construction. Despite efforts to improve the system by adding a heavier locomotive with a Buda engine (whose weight caused the Searles Lake trestle to break and tip), and before the introduction of a new more powerful gas-electric engine permitting longer trains and enabling bigger payloads, sun and heat had splintered and warped the green timbers and loosened nails, screws, and bolts. Occasional flooding on portions of the route, the tack of sufficient ore to keep the refinery running at capacity, and a complicated legal situation hampered operations so much that the salt mine was shut down in 1926. In the late 1930s the single rail was scrapped and the riding beam and other horizontal timbers were removed, leaving only a line of A-frames across the countryside. [225] When Bourke Lee visited the old Epsom salts camp at Crystal Springs, probably in the 1930s, there were still five frame buildings and one stone house grouped near the monorail terminal, complete with cookstoves and pinups on the bunkhouse walls. An interesting sidelight on this whole venture is that Death Valley Scotty, true to form, took entire credit for the enterprise. "Thar's the monorail," he remarked. I told a feller in Los Angeles thirty years or more ago about an epsom salts deposit. He raised thousands to build this monorail over the mountains to Trona. When they opened it they nearly mobbed me when I told them they would lose it all. Theda Bara and Griffith lost their wads. [226] (6) Development of Manganese and Lead Silver Deposits The Wingate Wash area has also contributed in a small way to the national supply of manganese, a hard and brittle grayish-white metallic element resembling iron, although the ore bodies found there on the average are small and low grade. Because of this they are only

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profitably mined during those times when other sources are cut off, such as during wartime. The following illustration is presented to demonstrate the contribution of Death Valley in this field: in 1954 the total U.S. consumption of manganese was 1,740,648 tons. California's total production from 170 mines during a sixty-seven-year period, from 1887 to 1954, was only about 240,000 tons. The southeastern desert area of the state produced about 80,000 tons of this total, and the New Deal mine specifically, in the southern Owlshead Mountains, five miles west of the southwestern corner of the monument, produced about 15,000 tons of this, mainly during World Wars I and 11. [227] Information found indicates that a small amount of manganese ore was shipped from one property in Wingate Wash in 1943. (A plat of a group of mining claims near Wingate Pass, owned by Frank W. Orr, Roy Huntley Chapin, and Arthur R. Cassidy, dated 12 November 1940, was found by the writer in the Inyo County Courthouse records. The group consisted of the Manganite Nos. 1-3 claims, and might be the ones referred to here. [228] But it is the Manganite Group in the southern end of Death Valley that has been responsible for most of the manganese production from within the monument. In 1951 the group consisted of six unpatented claims (Reward Nos. 1-3, Good Hope Nos. 1-2, and Reward) in T21N, R2E, SBM, Secs. 28 and 33; Reserves were then estimated at about 40,000 tons of ore with a manganese content of 6.18 to 11.1%. Development work consisted only of a few surface cuts, and activity was sporadic. Total production is estimated at around 1,000 tons. [229] As will be noted later, this group underwent several relocations as a lead-silver mine. The Wingate Wash (Black Dream) Manganese Deposit, whose location is given as about seven miles west of West Side Road in Death Valley alongside the Wingate Wash road in T20N, R1 or 2E, SBM, was idle in 1951. It consisted of eleven unpatented claims owned by Roy C. Troeger. Development comprised a series of open cuts; production by lessees had not exceeded forty tons. [230] Lead-silver deposits also were discovered in the Wingate Wash area. In 1923 a lead mine owned by Messrs. Gray, Warnock, and Wicht, six miles north of Wingate Pass, was mentioned as having a carload of good grade ore ready to ship, and the extent of the deposit looked promising. [231] In 1960 a Death Valley lead mine, located two miles east of the Wingate Wash Manganese Deposit, was mentioned on a list of mining claims within the monument. [232] The Manganite Group reported on earlier evidently was later referred to as the Canam Mine. Although small deposits of manganese had been mined here during World War II, in 1964 the operators, Canam Mines, Inc., discovered lead and silver ore. [233] By the time several pits were opened in 1969 this property was referred to as the DV Group, encompassing some former Pymco lode claims, and consisted of thirty-three lode mining claims in T21N, R2E, SBM, Secs. 28, 29, and 33. Development through the 1970s resulted in excavation of a pit 150 feet long, 70 feet wide, and 15 feet deep dug on one of the claims. The claimant, Charles Sweet, indicated that in May 1969 about 15 tons of rock from this large pit were shipped to a smelter at Selby, California; the total return was $726.81. In the mid- to late-1970s several shallow holes were drilled and claimants hand-sorted several tons of high-grade rock that was stockpiled awaiting shipment. By 1978 about 9,000 tons of material had been removed from the large pit. [234] (7) "Battle" of Wingate Pass Probably the most publicized event in the Wingate Pass area concerns one of Death Valley Scotty's most infamous hoaxes, referred to as the "Battle" of Wingate Pass. Conceived as a last-ditch effort to discourage further investigations by a mining engineer who was insisting on actually seeing Scotty's bonanza gold mine before recommending that his employers invest any money in it, the attack turned out to have almost fatal consequences for one of Scotty's brothers, put Scott himself in and out of jail several times during the ensuing months, and ultimately, six years after the incident, resulted in his confessing in a Los Angeles courtroom

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to long-term and full-scale fraud and deceit. (The most concise version of this tale appears in Hank Johnston, Death Valley Scotty: "Fastest Con in the West" and serves as the basis for the following account.) The escapade had its beginnings in February 1906 when a New England mining promoter, A.Y. Pearl, whom Scott had met in New York, interested some bankers and businessmen in investing in Scott's supposedly rich mining properties in Death Valley. Before committing any money, however, the Easterners insisted that Daniel E. Owen, a respected Boston mining engineer who happened to be in Nevada at this time, personally inspect the property and give his opinion of its worth. Arrangements were accordingly made with all the parties involved, and by February 1906 Owen, Pearl, and Scott were in Daggett preparing for the journey into Death Valley. Other members of the expedition were: Albert M. Johnson, president of the National Life Insurance Company of Chicago (soon to become Scotty's long-term benefactor), who had recently arrived from the East and, intrigued by the stories of Scotty's untold wealth, asked to accompany the party; Bill and Warner Scott, brothers of Death Valley Scotty; Bill Keys, a half-breed Cherokee Indian who had prospected with Scott in the Death Valley region for several years, who had found the Desert Hound Mine in the southern Black Mountains, and who several years later, after the "ambush" incident, moved to a ranch in what is now Joshua Tree National Monument; A.W. DeLyle St. Clair, a Los Angeles miner; and Jack Brody, a local desert character. The entire trip, if carried out as planned, had the potential of proving extremely embarrassing for Scott, who, after all, did not have a mine to show in order to consummate this lucrative transaction. Desperate for a solution, he turned to his friend Billy Keys and persuaded him to let him show Owen the Desert Hound instead. Although not as large as Scott had reported his bonanza to be, at least the Hound was there on the ground for Owen to see. Papers of agreement were drawn up to the effect that Scott and Keys would split the proceeds from the mine sale. Later, fearful that Owen would reject this mine as being too small a producer to warrant investment by his employers, Scott devised a scheme that he hoped might succeed in scaring Owen away from the area and dampening his enthusiasm for penetrating into the Death Valley region as far as the mine. A shootout would be staged and hopefully be authentic enough to disrupt Owen's intended mission. Starting out on 23 February 1906 with two wagons fully loaded with provisions, extra animal feed and fresh water, and a string of extra mules and horses, plus a liberal supply of whiskey, the party journeyed on to camp the next evening at Granite Wells. On Sunday, 25 February, the caravan pushed on twenty-six miles toward Lone Willow Spring, site of their next camp. In the morning Scott directed his brother Bill to stay at the spring with the extra animals and told Bill Keys and Jack Brody to proceed on ahead and look for any danger. After giving these two a reasonable head start, the rest of the party began the trek toward Wingate Pass and, surmounting that obstacle, proceeded on down the wash into the south end of Death Valley. Toward dusk that evening, as the party was trying to decide where to camp, shots were heard and a lone rider appeared from the north. He turned out to be an ex-deputy sheriff from Goldfield, Nevada, who excitedly reported that he had just been fired on from ambush and his pack train stampeded. Receiving Scott's assurances that he could fight off any outlaws, the party warily resumed its journey. A little further up the road beyond Dry Lake, near the site of the earlier shooting, Scotty suddenly drew his rifle and fired two shots. Startled, the mules pulling Warner Scott and Daniel Owen in the lead wagon began to buck, the force tipping Owen over backwards;

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a sudden shot from behind a stone breastwork on a cliff to the south hit Warner in the groin. It was at this point that Scotty made the fatal blunder that, in the recalling, forced Owen to doubt the authenticity of the ambush. Upon realizing that his brother had been seriously wounded, Scotty, nonplussed, galloped away toward the "ambushers" yelling at them to stop shooting. Establishing camp quickly, an attempt was made to close Warner's wounds. In the morning the party headed the wagons quickly back toward Bill Scott and Lone Willow Spring, and eventually toward Daggett, leaving their provisions behind by the side of the road. Keys and Brody never did rejoin the group. Reaching Daggett on 1 March, the group put Warner on a train for Los Angeles; Scotty hurriedly took off for Seattle where he was about to star in a play, "Scotty, King of the Desert Mine." Johnson left immediately for Chicago and, due to some fast legal work by his lawyer, was not involved in any of the ensuing litigations. The incident struck the fancy of Los Angeles newspapermen, who, however, were hard put to locate the principals involved or determine the true facts of the case. Pearl circulated a good story of fighting off four outlaws, but Owen, disaffirming this tale, and evidently convinced that Scott had meant to kill him, reported the true facts to the San Bernardino County sheriff and later to the press. Two weeks later warrants were issued for the arrest of Walter Scott, Bill Keys, and Jack Brody on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. In an attempt to determine the identify of the party's attackers, the San Bernardino County sheriff, John Ralphs, and an undersheriff entered the Death Valley country to find Keys and Brody. Although these two managed to elude the law this time, the provisions that had been hurriedly left at the scene of the attack by the Scott party were found at Scotty's Camp Holdout; other incriminating evidence took the form of a statement by Jack Hartigan, the Nevada lawman who had also been shot at, that he had backtracked and seen Keys running from the scene after Scott's plea to stop shooting. Publicity given to Scotty and the incident was becoming unfavorable, many people now deciding it was time to show Scotty up for the fraud and liar he was believed to be Scotty, working in his play out of town while loudly condemning these attacks on his character and reputation, continued to propogate the story of a bona fide attack by outlaws who were after his life and his valuable claims. Sarcastic poems and invective cartoons began to appear in the Los Angeles Evening News his primary accuser, which had earlier asked in an editorial, "What is the truth about this desert freak? He has ceased to be a joke. People are getting shot and action must be taken. . . . " [235] In the midst of all this attendant publicity that for a while brought full houses to his play, Scotty was arrested around 24 March by order of the San Bernardino sheriff; he was released later that night on a writ of habeas corpus, his bail of $500 having been raised by Walter Campbell of the Grand Opera House. Seemingly true to the profile presented in the News commenting that "He [Scott] occupies the cheapest room in the Hotel Portland, drinks nickel beer, and leaves no tips!," [236] after release from jail this time Scotty asked the crowd in attendance "to have a drink. Every body had visions of wine and popping of corks, but Scotty announced it was a case of steam beer or nothing." [237] Scotty was arrested again two days later and again released on bail, and then on 7 April 1906 Scott pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Out again on $2,000 bail, more bad luck was awaiting him in the form of a $152,000 damage suit filed by his brother Warner, now out of the hospital, in Los Angeles Superior Court against Walter and Bill Scott, Bill Keys, A.Y. Pearl, and a "John Doe." Three days later Keys was arrested at Ballarat, and, also pleading not guilty to the two charges against him, was summarily slapped in jail. Luckily for Scotty, Keys kept silent on the whole matter.

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On 13 April, for the fourth time in under three weeks, Scotty was arrested; this time A.Y. Pearl and Bill Scott were also taken into custody. All ended up in the San Bernardino County jail. Out again through habeas corpus proceedings the next day, Scott rejoined his acting troupe. Then, on 27 April, only four days before the preliminary hearing on the case was to start, all charges were dismissed by the San Bernardino County Justice at the request of the District Attorney. To the disappointment of many of Scott's detractors, but true to the luck that seemed to always rescue him from tight places, a jurisdictional problem had arisen over the fact that the scene of the shooting was actually in Inyo County, which alone had jurisdiction to prosecute the case. Because Inyo County authorities seemed loathe to proceed, all prisoners were released from custody and the final act of the long, drawn -out affair seemed over. One newspaper article published soon after Scotty's death (besides stating erroneously that one of the "outlaws" in the fracas had been Bill Scott) charged that Scotty himself moved the surveyor's post marking the Inyo-San Bernardino County line. [238] This seems to be borne out by Scotty's own version of the whole affair, which of course pursues the theory that outlaws were trying to get title to his "claims" by permanently removing him from the scene. After several supposed attempts on his life (this most recent encounter not the only one that had taken place in Wingate Pass) from which he always recovered. Our gang, including my brother Warner, who was working for me and spying for the other crowd, came into Death Valley through San Bernardino County. The two 'frictions' met in Wingate Pass. They thought we was the Apache gang. Somebody began to shoot. I said to Johnson, 'Get back where the bullets are thickest.' That was in the ammunition wagon. I knew something was wrong. When I hollered, 'Quit shooting!' things quieted down. The other gang disappeared. We look around and find Warner has been shot in the leg. The same bullet has gone around and lodged in his shoulder. Johnson took eighteen stitches in it. We hauled Warner a hundred miles to a doctor. Had him in a buckboard. Made it in ten hours. At this time I had a show troop. While it's playing in San Francisco, I am arrested. I get out on a two-thousand-dollar bond. Later I was re-arrested, and this time the bond is five thousand, but between the two arrests, I've had time to get things fixed. You remember, the fight took place in San Bernardino County, and i don't want to be tried there. I decide I'll move the county boundary monument. When I was a boy, I'd been roustabout for the crew. that surveyed that part of the country, so I know it like a book. I go back and move the pile of rock six miles over into San Bernardino County. That puts the shooting into Inyo County. The trial starts in San Bernardino. I say, 'If you investigate, I think you'll find this affair occurred in Inyo and that this court has no jurisdiction.' The trial stopped. They investigated. Sure enough, they found the boundary marker. According to the way the line ran, the battle occurred over the line in Inyo County. Inyo County wasn't interested. The case was dismissed. [239] The true nature of the whole affair was later revealed by Bill Keys who admitted before his death that he and a companion (possibly the teamster Jack Brody, although according to Keys
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it was an Indian named Bob Belt) had faked the ambush at Scotty's behest. The shooting of Warner had been accidental, his partner being too drunk to aim his gun properly.[240] Warner Scott dropped his damage suit against his brother on condition that he assume the medical bill of over $1,000 owed to a Dr. C.W. Lawton of Los Angeles. Scott agreed and then promptly left the city. Lawton obtained a judgement against Scotty, but the latter proceeded to ignore it, having no tangible assets anyway. During the next few years, Scott still had some associations with Wingate Pass, a notice being found that in 1908 he interested Al D. Meyers of Goldfield and a couple of associates in a strike made there. Notwithstanding Scott's earlier famous experience, the men outfitted in Barstow and accompanied him to inspect the property. There is no evidence that they encountered any difficulties, though nothing further was heard of the outcome of the proposition. Bill Keys was also mining for lead ore in Wingate Pass in 1908, in partnership with Death Valley Slim. [241] Six years after the Wingate Pass incident, however, on 20 June 1912, the past caught up with Walter Scott, and in a rather spectacular trial in a Los Angeles courtroom, Scotty was forced to acknowledge a multitude of sins. In order to secure his release from jail where he had been confined for contempt of court for not paying the doctor's bill for his brother Warner's medical care, Scotty was forced to confess to the shams involved in the ambush in Wingate Pass, in the big rolls of money he always carried (which he confessed were "upholstered with $1 bills"), and in the reports concerning the vast amounts of money he was reputed to have received from the Death Valley Scotty Gold Mining and Development Company. He had, he continued, never located a mine or owned one, and was completely at the mercy of mining promoters and schemers who profited from the advertising his various stunts provided for them. Exposed as a fraud and a cheat, Scott was returned to jail pending further investigation by the District Attorney's office--a long-awaited and seemingly conclusive finale to the strange affair known as the "Battle" of Wingate Pass. [242] b) Present Status The Wingate Wash road was not traveled nor was the Wingate Pass summit scaled either during the List of Classified Structures Survey in 1975 or by this writer during field work in 1978. The distances involved were too great and time too limited for such an excursion. Observations on physical remains in these areas, then, are based on secondhand information. (1) Epsom Salts Monorail According to Bourke Lee, by about 1930 al that remained at the Epsom salts camp terminal in the Crystal Hills Wash were five frame buildings and one stone house, with iron cots and cookstoves still to be found in some of the buildings. [243] A picture in the monument files (Illus. 54), unfortunately bearing no date but certainly taken after the late 1930s and after the single rail and other horizontal timbers had been taken up for scrap, shows a few A-frame supports left near the top of Wingate Pass, most of which had toppled over and resembled small piles of kindling marking the route. Whether many of these timbers still remain is conjectural, for some have probably been carried off to fuel desert campfires. (2) DV Group of Silver-Lead Lode Mining Claims According to the mineral report for this group of claims, the only improvement on site is a six-foot by eight-foot lean-to open on three sides. [244] (3) Wingate Pass "Battle" Site

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The only physical evidence marking this spot was in the form of five stone breastworks erected by Bill Keys and his fellow "outlaw" to give credence to Walter Scott's story that several men were involved in this attempt on his life. In 1910 Shorty Harris, returning from a long prospecting trip to his claims in the Wingate Pass area, and no doubt seeing these mounds, spoke of the "row of counterfeit graves--mounds of rocks arranged as grave coverings where no graves exist." [245] In 1941 Walter Scott and a New York Sun reporter journeyed over the Wingate Wash road. One of the sights they mentioned seeing twelve miles up in the Wingate Pass saddle was the rock breastworks from behind which Scotty's brother had been shot thirty-five years earlier. Hank Johnston, during the research for his book on Walter Scott, visited the "battle" site about one mile inside the present monument boundary and just north of Dry Lake. Much to his surprise the five stone "forts" were still standing on top of the escarpment south of the road. The chances are good that these structures still remain. c) Evaluation and Recommendations (1) Epsom Salts Monorail It is unfortunate that no section of the route of this historical transportation system extended into the monument boundaries so that some protection could have been afforded it over the years. Although its construction was loosely based on that of a similar railway erected on the north shore of San Francisco Bay in 1876, the idea of building such a system from Searles Lake over Layton and Wingate passes to Crystal Spring was a novel and inventive (although ultimately unsuccessful) approach for the times to the problems faced in getting food, supplies, and ore bags between a railhead and a remote desert mining camp. It is doubtful that many of the wooden A-frame supports for the track are still extant. In the writer's opinion, however, the route of the Epsom salts monorail (and any ruins associated with it) would be eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places as being of the Second Order of Significance because of its impact on the technological and industrial history of the area. Numerous improvements to the system in regard to engine and car designs and the size and form of the attached bins used to haul the supplies were made over its short lifetime of approximately three years. These revisions provide interesting insights into the peculiar technological problems involved in running the line over desert terrain. Such a nomination, could not be made, however, until a close survey was made of the entire route to ascertain what if anything remains of the railroad. (2) DV Group of Silver-Lead Lode Mining Claims From information available there do not appear to be any structures of historical significance on this site, which is of fairly modern vintage. (3) Wingate Pass "Battle" Site The Wingate Pass Battle" Site, actually located quite a ways north of the pass itself, is eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places as being of local significance. The "battle" itself was simply another farce perpetrated by Death Valley Scotty, who nevertheless, by means of such antics, probably did more to publicize the Death Valley region than any other man in its history. Although the purpose of the whole escapade on Scotty's part was to save face and protect his reputation for owning a valuable mine, the ultimate consequences turned out to be much more far-reaching than anyone could have thought at the time. The caustic and unfavorable publicity engendered by the affair on the West Coast showed clearly that some people were becoming offended by Scotty's heavyhanded jokes and publicity-grabbing pranks and were beginning to see through to the basic
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deceit inherent in many of his schemes. It seems people ultimately do tire of being hoodwinked. The culmination of the event in 1912, which Scotty survived and which he ignored by continuing to insist later that he had been ambushed by outlaws, resulted in his public unveiling as a fraud and continual liar. The site of the ambush should be designated by an interpretive marker that briefly outlines the story of the "battle" and indicates the rock "forts" (if still extant) on the cliffside above the road. (4) Twenty-Mule-Team Borax Route The route followed west out of Death Valley by freighters from Chloride Cliff and later by the twenty-mule-team borax wagons hauling ore from the Harmony Borax Works to the railhead at Mojave is eligible for inclusion on the National Register. It is considered by the writer to be of national level of significance both because it was one of the earliest transportation routes in the region and because of its association with the famous twentymule teams of Death Valley, which later came to be considered part of our national heritage. The 165-mile stretch between the Harmony Borax Works and Mojave began at the plant, crossed the salt pan via the Devil's Golf Course south of Greenland (Furnace Creek Ranch) to the west side of the valley, proceeded down past the site of the deserted Eagle Borax Works, skirting the eastern edge of the Panamints, to Bennetts Well, the first potable water, twentysix miles away. Mesquite Well (now Gravel Well) lay five miles further south. It was then fifty-three miles to Lone Willow Spring, twenty-six to Granite Wells, six to Blackwater, and a final fifty waterless miles to Mojave. Ten days (averaging seventeen miles per day) were required to make this journey, necessitating ten overnight stops, half of them dry. Water needs were filled by caches of large (500- or 1,200-gallon) iron tanks on wheels that were towed by the teams to the camps from nearby springs and back again for refilling. Stores of hay and grain were also left at these stops. Teams returning north filled the feed boxes and emptied them on the haul south. Sometimes ten outfits at a time maneuvered along the road. Although this comprises the most famous use of the Wingate Pass road, it was traversed earlier by a man named Ed Stiles who hauled borax from the Eagle Borax Works to Daggett with a twelve-mule team. When this outfit was sold to the Amargosa Works he accompanied it, and along with Superintendent W.S. Perry subsequently formed the twenty-mule teams pulling the enormous handbuilt wagons with seven-foot-high rear wheels. A complete outfit consisted of two wagons carrying ten tons each and dragging a water tank wagon behind. Stiles probably also drove the first caravan between Harmony and Mojave. For six years (1883-88) the Harmony-Mojave run was made without a breakdown, resulting in about fifteen million pounds of borax being hauled out of the Death Valley region. It was only the discovery of colemanite at Borate nearer the railroad at Daggett, coupled with the collapse of Coleman's financial empire, that ended this operation. The twenty -mule team became the nationally-known romantic trademark of the Death Valley borax industry, and is still used on U.S. Borax products today. It symbolized one of the most ingenious, colorful, and courageous experiments ever attempted in the history of early western transportation. Despite often overpowering heat, lack of adequate water and food, and over 100 miles of grueling desert terrain, the mule teams introduced American borax to the world market and made its production in the Death Valley region the important industry it still is today and its use in American homes an every-day event. A vigorous public relations campaign that captured the public imagination kept the teams in the public eye long after their practical use was over. From 1904 to 1950 they made a series of promotional and ceremonial appearances beginning with the St. Louis World's Fair and including participation in Woodrow Wilson's inaugural in 1917 and several grand tours of the country. [246]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

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deva/hrs/section3a5.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
6. Panamint Mine a) History The Panamint Mine, about one-half mile south of the mouth of Warm Spring Canyon, is located a short distance west among a group of ridges between Warm Spring and Anvil canyons. The majority of the five claims comprising the property were located in 1935 by Ernest Huhn, probably around the same time he and Louise Grantham were staking the claims that later became the Grantham Mine in Warm Spring Canyon. Southern California Minerals Company of Los Angeles later acquired the property, concentrating most of its sporadic activity in the years between 1952 and 1957. Talc output of the property to 1968 has been around 4,700 tons. [247] It is now owned by Pfizer, Inc.

Illustration 55. Map of Warm Spring Canyon mining area.

b) Present Status

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Today the Panamint Talc Group consists of ten unpatented claims: Panamint #3-5 claim, Panamint Millsite, Panamint Millsite No. 1, Panamint Talc Nos. 1-2 lode mining claims, and Panamint Talc Nos. 6-8. The mining area is reached via a dirt road jutting off to the south at the mouth of Warm Spring Canyon. (This route continues on south through Wingate Wash.) About one-quarter mile south on this road are two structures of recent origin. One is a large, two-room, corrugated-metal residence building with a poured concrete floor and plywood walls covered with graffiti, containing two metal bunks. The other empty structure is a small wood and composition-paper shack. The road turns west from here for about one-half mile, becoming a four-wheel-drive route, and leads to an abandoned ore bin and adit. Evidence of exploratory activity is evident for a half mile along the south wall of the canyon. At its upper end is a large three-chute ore bin positioned on a truck-loading level with the remains of a single ore chute hanging from the hillside above. Ore cars evidently trammed the ore to the surface of the mine and outside, proceeding up an inclined set of tracks and dumping their load into the single chute, which emptied into cars on the second level; these cars then dumped the ore into the lower threechute bin, from which it was guided into trucks for transport. The workings in this area consist of an inclined shaft about sixty feet long with a twenty-foot drift extending west from the bottom of the shaft. Above the mine portal on the hillside is a frame equipment shelter. These are the oldest workings on the Panamint property, dating from the early 1950s; they produced only a small amount of talc. Most of the talc shipped from this group has come from a deposit about 1,000 feet south-southwest of this shaft--an area mined by an open cut in the mid-1950s. [248]

Illustration 56. Ore bin and workings at Panamint Talc Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 57. Modern buildings east of Panamint Talc Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

c) Evaluation and Recommendations The ore bin, ore chute, and tramway ruins of the Panamint Talc Group are of recent (1950s) vintage. Neither they nor the two ruined buildings near the Warm Spring Road junction are historically significant.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
7. Warm Spring Canyon Talc Mines a) Growth of Talc Mining in the Region Most modern large-scale mining activity in the Death Valley region has centered around borate and talc, the latter operations being conducted mainly in the southeastern Panamint Range where large deposits of commercial-grade ore have been found. The first major talc bodies to be opened in the region were developed in the Mojave Desert area in the early 1900s; these became the Talc City Mine near Darwin, the Western Mine in southern Inyo County, and the Silver Lake Mine in northern San Bernardino County. Serving as the principal talc sources in California from about 1916 through the mid-1930s, their product was extensively used for paint extenders, cosmetics, and insulators. From 1933 to 1943 talc became important in the making of wall tile: A higher-grade talc, steatite, also became a major ingredient in the manufacture of the high-frequency electrical insulators used in some types of electronic equipment, and because of threatened shortages, became a critically-needed material for several months during World War II, with rigid restrictions placed on its use for non-strategic purposes. Wartime uses and the expansion of industry and population on the Pacific Coast were spurs to the greater production of talc, which was mainly acquired now from mines in the southern Death Valley-Kingston Range belt. After the war the Talc City, Western, and Silver Lake mines continued as primary domestic sources of talc, while other mines concurrently underwent further development, including the Death Valley, Grantham, Monarch, and Superior mines in the Death Valley region. The postwar building construction boom and resultant higher demands for paint and wall tile imposed a great strain on the talc reserves in California. As some became depleted or as it became too costly to operate small underground mines, fewer companies stayed in production, and more dependence was put on the Death Valley mines for the talc that was now being used in a variety of products: cosmetics, insecticides, roofing, rubber, asphalt filler, paper, and textiles. Preliminary data for California talc production in 1975 indicates that over 90% of the total statewide production that year came from Galena and Warm Spring canyons. [249]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 58. Site map, Warm Spring Canyon talc mines.

b) Growth of Talc Mining in Death Valley The talc deposits in Warm Spring Canyon, together with those located in Galena Canyon to the north, are the most westerly group of talc claims within Death Valley National Monument. These deposits are located on the east slope of the southernmost part of the Panamint Range along the steep sides of mountain ranges trending northwest-southeast. Warm Spring Canyon connects with Butte Valley on the west and the Death Valley basin to the east. The mines here are reached via a well-graded gravel access road that is constantly traveled by large ore-bearing trucks heading from the mines to mills at Dunn Siding, Los Angeles, and Victorville, California. The Warm Spring road leads west off of the West Side Road about five miles north of the latter's junction with the Badwater Road just north of the Ashford Mill site. These Warm Spring Canyon talc deposits are located on the west end of a belt that stretches for approximately seventy to seventy-five miles from the southeast slope of the Panamints across southern Death Valley eastward into the Ibex Spring and Kingston Range region. The part of the belt included in Inyo County contains four talc properties yielding more than a few hundred tons (Warm Spring Group in Warm Spring Canyon; Ibex-Monarch Group in the Ibex Hills; Western Mine in the Alexander Hills; Excelsior Mine in the eastern Kingston Range) but only one of these (Warm Spring) has been worked continuously since the 1940s. [250] c) Sites (1) Grantham, Warm Springs, Warm Springs West, Warm Springs Nos. 2 and 3, and White Point Mines (a) History The original eleven claims filed on the most obvious ore exposures that now are covered by the main mine workings in Warm Spring Canyon were located from 1931 to 1935 by Louise Grantham and Ernest Huhn. Seven of these claims (Big Talc, Warm Spring No. 5, High

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Grade, Warm Spring, and Warm Spring Nos. 2 to 4) extend from east to west for about two miles along the south wall of Warm Spring Canyon; across the road on the north canyon wall are found the Warm Spring Nos. 6 to 9. The Warm Springs Talc property now consists of fourteen unpatented lode claims: Warm Springs Talc, High Grade Talc, Warm Springs Talc #7-8; G.M. #2, 24-30, 43; and G.M. Fraction No. 2, all located during the period from 1932 to 1955. The Warm Springs Talc Claim was located on 22 April 1932, prior to establishment of Death Valley National Monument, whereas the others in the claim group were located after the proclamation, giving the federal government the right to regulate surface disturbance. Three of the early properties--the Big Talc, Warm Spring Talc No. 5, and Gold Hill Mill Site, located on 9 June 1932, 24 August 1932, and 5 (or 11) February 1933, respectively--were located prior to establishment of the national monument but during a period when the area was closed to mineral entry by temporary withdrawal. These claims were amended on 28 June, 29 June, and 3 July 1974, respectively. In 1938 the Warm Springs Canyon Talc Deposit was said to consist of five claims on the south side of the canyon owned by Miss Louise Grantham of Los Angeles. Development work was reported as slight, consisting only of two tunnels and several open cuts. The deposits seemed large and of good quality, but activity was only sporadic. The first development of the Warm Springs Talc underground deposit possibly began in the late 1930s, the workings consisting of a forty-foot shaft and an eightyfoot drift. In the 1950s work stopped when Louise Grantham acquired all the Warm Spring Canyon claims. From 1942 on, the Big Talc Mine was worked, yielding about 310,000 tons of commercial talc through 1959, producing more of the substance than any other mine in the western United States. [251] The product of the Warm Spring mines became increasingly important during World War II, as evidenced by a letter in the monument files from Kennedy Minerals Co., Inc., to then Regional Director O.A. Tomlinson requesting him to investigate conditions of the road leading west from the state highway in the south end of Death Valley into Warm Springs Canyon. The road was so rutted that it was difficult to drive trucks over it, making it almost impossible to operate his mine. Kennedy states in this communication that the talc from his Warm Spring property on the south side of the canyon had been approved by the Maritime Commission for use in paint; as a result the War Production Board had asked the company to increase their production. [252] Another letter, this time from the vice-president of Sierra Talc Company, repeated this complaint on the road, and stated that his company held a Navy contract to supply all the talc used by the Navy paint factory at Mare Island in the manufacture of paint for all naval vessels built and reconditioned In that yard. It also indirectly supplied the Maritime Commission through major paint manufacturers on the Pacific Coast. The material it supplied blended the products of three of its mines, including the one in Warm Spring Canyon, in order to meet rigid Navy specifications. A monthly production rate of 600 tons was needed from the Warm Spring mine, and they could not approach this unless the roads were in better condition for hauling. [253] Another question in regard to roads arose in 1968 when a newspaper article announced that Grantham Mines and United Sierra Division of Cyprus Mining Corporation in Warm Spring Canyon were desirous of changing the current truck route they used for shipping their product to market by obtaining Park Service permission to improve and use the existing road through Butte Valley and Goler Wash into and across Panamint Valley via Manly Pass to Trona. This would result in shortening their trip to the railway from the current 142 miles (to the Union Pacific RR at Dunn, Ca.) to a much shorter 37 miles west (to the Trona RR). Considering not only the amount of industrial traffic this would have brought into another area of the monument, but also the encouragement it would provide to residents of Trona,

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

China Lake, and Ridgecrest to use this new access to cut their mileage to Shoshone, Death Valley's superintendent, John Stratton, must have shuddered at the idea. Wisely refraining from giving any encouragement to the request, he reiterated the Park Service policy of preserving the monument grounds in as primitive a state as possible. [254] Johns-Manville Corporation acquired all of Miss Grantham's Warm Spring Canyon claims in 1973 and undertook heading and pillar operations in the Big Talc and No. 5 and in the nearby Warm Springs Mine properties. Development work in the Big Talc was unable to keep ahead of the extraction rate, and only a few headings were made in commercial-grade talc. These were considered uneconomical to process because of the long hauling distances involved in reaching market, the stiff ventilation requirements that were being enforced, and an uncertain ore zone. Operations in the Big Talc were continued until July 1973 when the California Division of Industrial Safety shut down the lower Big Talc for lack of an adequate ventilation system. In December 1973 underground mining was completely stopped, after which time ventilation surveys were conducted. In order to keep the company's mills going after the shutdown of the lower Big Talc, a program was started to open pit No. 3, but this proved unsatisfactory when the talc became stained and contaminated by dozer scraping. More satisfactory in September 1973 was openpit mining of the Warm Springs Talc Deposit, although customers soon objected to the poorer quality of open-pit talc compared to that of underground material. Open pit mining continued for twenty-one months, or until June 1975, to a depth of eighty feet and stopped there because of the steepness of the deposit and the low quality of the talc. The Warm Springs stockpile supplied Johns-Manville's market until July 1976 when the Big Talc Mine was reentered to rob pillars for high-quality talc to blend with the stockpiled talc in order to maintain an acceptable product. Poor methods employed in this contract underground mining job, however, resulted in a lower quality material. Another blow was dealt when Johns-Manville's environmental control group decreed that since the talc in this deposit contained tremolite it had to be packed in sacks marked as hazardous, which definitely influenced customer attitudes and buying habits. Business was further jeopardized when the company's Canadian asbestos dust control team surveyed the mills and shut the operation down because it felt the plants could not economically comply with new proposed asbestos (tremolite) standards. When a new president took over JohnsManville, the mills and mine were shut down in August 1976. Prior to the shutdown, mine production had reached 60,000 tons per year. [255] At this point, the company decided to sell its talc properties in Warm Spring Canyon. In August 1976 the company offered all its properties in the monument for sale, plus its grinding plant in Dunn, California. Johns-Manville considered donating its talc claims to the National Park Service in the summer of 1976, but on 1 September 1977, Desert Minerals, Inc., a Kentucky-based company, purchased them. Before operations began, in May 1978, the claims and the company plants in Dunn and Los Angeles were acquired by Continental Minerals Corporation of Las Vegas, Nevada, by lease and option sales agreements. The new owners expressed their intention to resume production at the Big Talc, and hoped to supply talc competitively by late 1978. Mining beyond the near future depends on implementing major exploration and development. In addition to supplying the developing Japanese market for Second Layer talc, which is used as a paper filler, Continental is also attempting to reassert its mines' former position in the domestic market. [256] The Warm Spring Canyon mine complex now consists of about eight-seven contiguous unpatented mining claims (eighty-four lode and three millsites) controlled by Continental Minerals Corporation and located between about 1,800 and 2,400 feet in elevation along the south canyon walls in Warm Spring Canyon. The Big Talc property consists of fifteen of the

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

lode claims and two of the millsites (located at Warm Springs Camp) of the Continental Minerals claim group: The Big Talc, Warm Springs Talc No. 5, G.M. Nos. 20 to 23, G.M. Nos. 200 to 201, L.G. Nos. 302 to 308, Gold Hill Mill Site, and Gold Hill Mill Site #2. The Big Talc and Warm Springs Talc No. 5 are interconnecting works and the most easterly of the mines within the larger claim group. Warm Spring, on the west end of the chain of claims, is also owned by Grantham Mines and, besides providing water, serves as a camp and equipment storage area for the nearby mines. [257] It will be discussed later in a separate section. The Grantham Mine (Big Talc-No. 5) workings are the most easterly in the canyon and the most extensive, consisting of a complex system of drifts, winzes, stopes, and levels driven off the main haulageways. Most work has been concentrated in the lower of three talc layers where the zone is of uniform thickness and composition. "Room-and-pillar" mining methods in a checkerboard pattern have been used because the caving characteristics of the talc zone here make ground support a major problem. Although initially this makes for less talc recovery, in the end the pillars can be removed and reduced also, and the percentage of recovery thus increased. Originally mucking machines loaded the ore into mine cars, which were then hoisted up the winzes and trammed to the surface. Fifteen-ton-capacity, rubbertired diesel haulers and diesel, rubber-tired, four-ton-bucket-capacity front-end loaders maneuver on inclined haulageways, and have been used since the mid-1950s. The full extent of the deposits here are unknown, but reserves are known to be high. Total production up to June 1978 has been 830,000 tons. [258] Before 1974 all mining in Warm Spring Canyon was done underground, principally in the Big Talc-No. 5 workings. The Warm Springs Mine, about 4,000 feet west, also supported some underground activity, as previously stated, but since January 1974 surface mining has been carried on in an open pit on the site, about 80 feet deep, 400 feet wide, and 800 feet long. The total area disturbed by the pit, waste dump, equipment storage area, and flood control dike is twenty-four acres on the Warm Springs Talc and High Grade Talc claims. Production here was discontinued because of excessive overburden and contamination of the talc beds. Continental Minerals proposes to remove the existing 13,000-ton stockpile, accumulated between 1973 and 1975, to points outside the monument within eighteen months after their Plan of Operations is approved. The Warm Spring West deposit, located between the Warm Spring and the 442 deposit, has not been fully explored, but there appear to be resources underground. It will be developed by the room-and-pillar method. The Warm Spring Nos. 2 and 3 workings west of the Big Talc-No 5 are small bodies that have been exposed through recent dozing exploration and will be developed by open pits, at least initially. Measureable reserves are present. The westernmost talc exposures in this canyon, found in the No. 4 or White Point area, about 9,200 feet west of the main workings, have evidently had no production but have been explored and show rich deposits of commercial value. [259] The Plan of Operations for the Big Talc-No. 5 workings, submitted in February 1978 and supplemented in December to include Second Layer talc mining, involves three separate phases: 1. Removing 3,000 tons of ore stockpiled underground 2. Developing new areas beyond the present mine faces, adding possibly another 379,000 tons to reserves 3. Mining pillars by drilling and blasting. (These measured reserves are estimated, at 1.3 million tons.) This involves development in both the First and Second talc layers.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

According to the plans, ore would be crushed at the surface in a 20" x 36" jaw crusher capable of a 50- to 90-ton per hour capacity. Crushed ore would then be sent by conveyor belt to a steel 250-ton ore bin for loading onto 25-ton-capacity gondola trucks that would haul six loads a day seven days a week to plants at Dunn Siding or Los Angeles. Production of 36,000 tons a year was anticipated by the middle or latter part of 1978. Attaining the previous production level of 60,000 tons per year depended on recapturing lost markets. Mine life is estimated at ten to fifteen years, but additional reserves will probably be found. Reclamation will follow closing of the mine, consisting of removing manmade structures and debris, masking of dumps with dark gravel, and blocking portals with waste rock. [260] (b) Present Status Much of Warm Spring Canyon's primitive character has been obscured due to the impact of environmental disruptions resulting from the last fifty years or so of mining activity. Currently there are two open pits, a huge underground complex at the Big Talc, and camp development at Warm Spring, with threats of increased usage hanging over the latter area. The reclamation encompassed in the various Plans of Operation can be only cosmetic at best. On first entering Warm Spring Canyon, an old adit is visible about one mile east of the Big Talc Mine and on the north side of the road. The adit is timbered, but the framing has fallen over partially on its side and now resembles an A-frame. About one-half mile further west, on the south side of the road, is another old timbered adit whose entrance timbers have been shored up with loosely-piled rocks. The history of these particular exploratory efforts is unknown.

Illustration 59. Timbered adit (#1 on site map) north of Warm Spring Canyon Road. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 60. Timbered adit (#2 on site map) south of Warm Spring Canyon Road. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Approximately three-quarters of a mile further west, on the south side of the road, is a large metal ore bin and conveyor-belt system marking the site of the Grantham (Big Talc-No. 5) Mine. An extensive system of access, turnaround, and loading roads has been added. The entire complex consists of two 500-gallon diesel tanks, three 750-gallon and one 3,000-gallon diesel tanks, two diesel electric plants, two diesel air compressors, a jaw crusher, two ore bins and conveyors, a 500-gallon water tank, and a sump and drainage system. [261] Terraced cuts and levels have completely scarred the areas along the hillside in the vicinity of the main portals; no historical structures are visible. Across the road from this operation is the site of the Warm Springs No. 6 Mine--older works consisting of a wooden one-chute ore bin serving two timbered adits, one of which has caved in. Remains of a tramway are still visible entering the second tunnel. Approximately one and one-half miles further west on the main road, and alongside it on the south, is a timbered adit closed off with a framework X, located at the foot of a huge waste dump. This is the site of the Warm Spring Mine. On top of this great mound of earth is the large open pit that was begun in 1974.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 61. Grantham Mine (Big Talc-No. 5) south of Warm Spring Canyon Road. Big Talc Portal to left, Riley Portal in center, and #5 Portal to right.

Illustration 62. Warm Spring No. 6 Mine (#4 on site map) across road from Grantham Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 63. Warm Spring Mine (#5 on site map), view from west. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Proceeding west again, much terracing and scraping is visible south of the road a distance off along the hillside. This activity surrounds the operations of the Warm Spring West and No. 2 and No. 3 mines.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

At the curve about one mile east of the Warm Spring camp, and south of the road, is a mine operation with two entrances and associated dumps. The area is posted NO TRESPASSING, and both tunnels are closed off. This is the site of the No. 4 and White Point workings. Between this site and the Warm Spring community is another mine on the hillside, south of the road. Its workings consist of an adit with a generator at its mouth, some tram rails descending into the tunnel, and an old car frame used as a winch. Some chute remains are also present. This may be the site of either the Old Quartz Millsite Claim or the Old Mill Stream Mining Claim. [262] (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The hillsides in Warm Spring Canyon have been so completely scarred and defaced by the formation of large open pits and by dozing and scraping and waste dump operations that, although there might have been some earlier gold and silver prospecting activity here contemporaneous with mining in the Butte Valley-Gold Hill areas, any evidence of it has probably been completely obliterated. No documentary data on any early gold or silver discoveries in this area has been found.

Illustration 64. Activity around Warm Spring West and No. 2 and No. 3 Mines (#6 on site map) south of Warm Spring Canyon Road. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 65. Site of No. 4 and White Point workings (#7 on site map) along curve of road just east of Warm Spring (Indian Ranch). Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 66. Claim immediately east of Warm Spring Camp in Warm Spring Canyon (#8 on site map). Possibly Old Quartz Millsite Claim or Old Mill Stream Claim? Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 67. View east down Warm Spring Canyon of talcmining activity. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

The Grantham Mine (Big Talc-No. 5) in Warm Spring Canyon is considered eligible for inclusion on the National Register as being of regional significance. Since the location of its first claims in the early 1930s, it has developed into probably the most extensive underground talc-mining operation in the state and from 1942 to 1959 produced more commercial talc than any other mine in the western United States. It is considered of exceptional importance in modern Death Valley mining history. NOTE: Since approval of the Plan of operations for the Big Talc, mineral examinations of the fifteen mining claims and two millsites of the property have found only two of the claims, the Big Talc and No. 5, and one millsite, the Gold Hill, to be valid. The rest are being

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

contested. Of the fourteen Warm Springs Talc Group claims, only the Warm Springs Talc Deposit has been determined valid. [263]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
8. Warm Spring Camp (Gold Hill Mill Site) a) History In the early 1930s when the Gold Hill Mine was under lease to Louise Grantham, it was rumored that she intended to build a mill at Warm Spring, about four airline miles southwest of Gold Hill. [264] This was not the first attempt at utilizing the waters of this desert oasis for mining purposes. A Notice of Appropriation of Water, recorded 27 May 1889 stated the intention of the claimants (Frank Winters and Stephen Arnold) to take water from the spring, develop it by ditches, pipes, and flumes, and use it for mining and milling purposes connected with their claims in the Butte Valley Mining District. [265] By at least the 1880s and 1890s the spring area, with its dependable water supply and lush vegetation, was undoubtedly considered a comfortable home base from which to conduct mining exploration in the surrounding hills. The Gold Hill Mill Site was located on 5 February 1933, immediately prior to establishment of Death Valley National Monument. The Gold Hill Mill itself was evidently built in the late 1930s, although no information has been located on the structure or the machinery that was put to work processing the gold ore brought down from nearby Gold Hill. By the time the mill was a going concern, Mrs. Grantham was becoming involved in talc mining in the vicinity. As a result, she proceeded to establish a camp on the Gold Hill Mill Site Claim to serve her Grantham Mine. It is included within the boundaries of what appears on the USGS Wingate Wash quadrangle map as Indian Ranch (Bob Thompson Indian Allotment). The superintendent of Death Valley National Monument reported in 1955 that Mrs. Grantham has undoubtedly the finest mining camp of any in the Monument. Her residence, the mess hail, shop, and generator building are all of substantial cement block construction and there are four frame buildings including a dormitory and two small houses. There are eight employees at present and this number may be increased to twelve or fifteen. The buildings are equipped with flush toilets, estimated at six, and shower baths. There is a community mess. . . . [266] One confusing remark in this letter states that Mrs. Grantham does not have a mill at present but it is understood that she plans to install a small mill for processing gold ore on the millsite across the road from the camp At present she is mining only talc. [Underlining added] [267]
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 68. CCC spike camp at Warm Spring, 1934. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

Illustration 69. Grantham mining camp at Warm Spring, view to south. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

b) Present Status The profuse waters of Warm Spring have created a very pleasant environment in Warm Spring Canyon. For a number of years an irrigation system has fostered the growth of wild grape, giant reeds, oleander bushes, and fig trees planted just above the camp. There is also plenty of water for domestic purposes and for leisure activities such as swimming. The mining camp located today on the Gold Hill Mill Site consists of two houses, a mess hall and office, and a powder house and garage across the entrance road. Further north are the goldprocessing mill ruins. The Gold Hill Mill Site No. 2, contiguous to the No. 1 on the south and incorporating the spring site, also supports a water entrapment system serving the mining camp and the mines. [268] A plastic pipeline transports the spring water to the mines where it aids in dust control and will be used for drilling purposes as outlined in the proposed Plan of Operations. The only residents of the Warm Spring camp at this time are a watchman and his family. Under current proposals the majority of miners employed at the Big Talc would live at Shoshone or in other areas outside the monument; only two watchmen and their families would actually reside at Warm Spring. The millsites will continue to house the mine office and provide facilities for
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

vehicle storage and maintenance. [269] The old mill ruins are located adjacent to the Warm Spring Canyon road on the south side as it continues west toward the Montgomery (Panamint) Mine. A date imprinted in a cement slab at the mill site would seem to indicate that the complex, or at least part of it, was built in November 1939. The mill setup contains a power-driven arrastra; an oil-burning hot-shot engine that drove an elaborate arrangement of flywheels, a belt and pulley system, and drive shafts that operated the mill machinery; a Blake jaw crusher; a cone crusher; bumping and concentrating tables; a cylindrical ball mill; an ore bin and chute; an unloading platform; a conveyor system; and other related mining paraphernalia. Immediately west of the mill are the concrete foundations of a mill house. c) Evaluation and Recommendations This mill and arrastra supposedly served the Gold Hill Mine from the mid- or late 1930s on, although neither its exact construction date nor the duration of its activity is known. The proposed Plan of Operations for the Big Talc Mine states that within six months after termination of mining operations the company "will remove all man-made structures from THE (GOLD HILL MILL SITE) and GOLD HILL NO. 2 MILL SITE Claims . . . . la Later in that report, however, it was pointed out that historical studies had not yet been completed and that the Plan of Operations could not be approved or cultural clearance granted before this was accomplished. [270] It is strongly recommended by the writer that Recommendation No. 21 as set forth in the "Environmental Review and Analysis, Big Talc Mine" be adopted, namely That the stone arrastre and other remnant [sic] of the old mill located on THE (GOLD HILL MILL SITE) claim be specifically excepted from the requirement for removal of structures under the approved plan, and its physical integrity preserved until a determination of its historical value is made by the National Park Service. [271] The mill ruin is considered to be of regional significance and warrants nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. It is important because of the combination of old and newer technological processes displayed, and is a prime example of an early ore-processing plant. As such it possesses both historical and technological significance. Although specimens of individual components of the unit may be found in other areas of the National Park System, so far as is known this is the only complete example of a large-scale goldprocessing operation. None of the other structures on the Warm Spring campsite are historically significant.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 70. Warm Spring Canyon mine camp. Note gold oreprocessing mill in foreground. Mill house foundations are seen to right of machinery. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 71. Hot-shot diesel engine and ore bin, Gold Hill Mill site. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 72. View west of arrastra, Gold Hill Mill site, Warm Spring Canyon. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

Illustration 73. Blake jaw crusher, Gold Hill Mill site. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

Illustration 74. Cylindrical ball-mill, Gold Hill Mill site. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 75. Cone crusher, Gold Hill Mill site. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

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deva/hrs/section3a8.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
9. Pink Elephant Fluorite Claim a) History Fluorite, a mineral used as a flux and in the manufacture of opalescent and opaque glasses, has been found in association with lead and silver deposits in several mining districts in the area west of Death Valley National Monument. The deposit in Warm Spring Canyon is the only outcropping of this mineral that has been worked in the Panamint Range, but the site is so isolated and the ore bodies so scanty and irregular that mining here has not been economically profitable. [272] The Pink Elephant claims are contiguous to the Indian Allotment, Survey No. 330 (Indian Ranch at Warm Spring). The Pink Elephant Nos. 1 and 2 were located on 25 August 1937, and the Pink Elephant No. 3 on 28 June 1937; the Pink Elephant Nos. 4, 5, and 6 on 19 June 1939; and the Teena Lode on 24 April 1942. No notice of location was found for the Pink Elephant Millsite Claim, but it was located sometime before March 1946 when all these claims were patented, in the South Park Mining District, by General Chemical Company. [273] No records appear to exist of any fluorite production during the years since. b) Present Status This claim group today consists of five patented lode mining claims--the Pink Elephant Nos. 1 to 3, Pink Elephant No. 5, and the Teena Lode, although as of March 1978 the Inyo County assessor's office carried all the original eight claims on their tax rolls. These claims were assessed at $950, according to information from the tax office in October 1974, but they had not been re-appraised since 1967. [274] The claims cover 101.180 acres and are owned by the General Chemical Division of Allied Chemical Corporation of Morristown, New Jersey. The principal adits are located on a steep hillside about one-half mile north of the northeast corner of the Indian Allotment (Warm Spring). Evidence exists of a mine road that once led north from the Warm Spring Canyon road to the lower level of the mine workings this can be followed on foot today, but is too washed out for anything but four-wheel-drive vehicular passage. The workings cover an area of about 300 feet down the hillside and are just east of a gully at an elevation of approximately 2,700 feet. On the lowest level (there are three) of the workings is a timbered adit with a roughly-made work table outside; several yards south of the entrance and around the ridge is the foundation of a compressor building. [275] The concrete half of the platform is framed with heavy wooden timbers; timbers are also inset in the cement, possibly as a base for machinery. Another section of the building, delineated by
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

boards to the north of this concrete platform, is dirt floored, about ten feet square, and also framed with buried timbers. A triangular-shaped, wooden cable-tramway support, with cable extant, stands just east of the concrete foundation. On the second level of workings are two more adits, one above the other, and evidently connected. These are slightly north of the adits on the first and third levels. On the ground in front of the openings are the remains of another wooden cable support, indicating that the system probably extended over to this area. A large, wood-framed, screened sieve ( ), ? measuring six feet by two feet, lies half buried in the ground in front of the adits. Remains of a rail tramway are visible leading out of the uppermost adit on the third level. Ore was trammed from the tunnel several yards south around the ridge to the cableway (another wooden cable support, with cable, stands on this level) and then sent down to the bottom of the hill. Ties and rail fragments from the mine railway are scattered all over the upper hillside. The adits comprising these workings were purely exploratory in nature; hence their erratic turns and twists. According to the mineral appraisal of the property performed in 1978, the lower adit makes ten changes in direction during its 700-foot length. No stoping of the tunnels, which total about 1,005 linear feet, was found, indicating little serious mining activity or production. [276]

Illustration 76. Pink Elephant Mine on north slope of Warm Spring Canyon. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 77. Compressor house foundations, cable tramway in background, Pink Elephant Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Pink Elephant Group has been considered uneconomic to mine due to the high cost of labor, the low selling price of fluorite, and the sparse occurrence of the mineral at this particular site. [277] The only physical evidence of activity remaining on site are the compressor house foundation, the aerial tramway supports with attached cable, some tramway rails in the upper adit, and miscellaneous debris scattered over the site. The Pink Elephant Claim is not historically significant, is of recent age and not of exceptional importance in the history of Death Valley mining, and contains no notable structures on site. Interest lies only in its being the single fluorite deposit mined within the monument lands. Attempts should be made to salvage a number of good examples of miningrelated artifacts (cable support, wooden sieve, etc.) that might prove useful in interpretive programs. These should be documented on site, collected, catalogued, and stored in the monument collections.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
10. Other Mineral Deposits in Warm Spring Canyon a) Barite A Warm Springs Canyon Barite Deposit, comprising six claims on the eastern Panamint slope in Warm Spring Canyon, is listed as being active in 1938. The deposit was located at an elevation of 3,000 feet and was owned by Harry P. Gower and Owen Montgomery of Death Valley Junction. This discovery had been made in 1937 and was being developed by three men by means of open cuts along the surface. [278] b) Fluorite A Warm Springs Canyon Deposit of four claims in Warm Spring Canyon, owned by Owen Montgomery, was idle except for assessment work in 1938. Open cuts along the surface had traced the deposit, and about 100 feet of tunnel work had been done. This probably refers to the Pink Elephant Group. [279] c) Wollastonite Feldspar and Mercury Four claims located for these minerals along Warm Spring Canyon are held by Ralph Harris of the Victor Material Co. of Victorville, California. They are the Contact #l and #2 (wollastonite), the Spar #1 (feldspar), and the Louricha (mercury). No economic showing has been evidenced on any of these claims.

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deva/hrs/section3a10.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
11. Montgomery (Panamint) Mine a) History This one-half-mile-square mining area is located about sixteen miles west of West Side Road and about 4.3 miles northwest of Warm Spring (Indian Ranch). The two main sets of workings lie between about 3,700 and 4,450 feet in elevation and are reached via an access road trending for about two miles uphill north from the Butte Valley intersection. The works cover the ridge between the Warm Spring and Galena canyon drainages and are the most westerly of the talc sites within Death Valley National Monument. The Galena and Warm Spring canyon areas have been the source of all talc produced from the monument since 1974. The fourteen claims comprising the first discoveries here were filed by Owen Montgomery and Harrison P. Gower around 1940. The Sierra Talc Company later leased the property, which is now owned by Cyprus Industrial Minerals Company and consists of nineteen contiguous unpatented lode mining claims: Amargosa #1-2, Amargosa No. 3, Amargosa #4, Amargosa Nos. 5-10, Sunrise, Sunrise Nos. 1-3, Panamint, Panamint No. 2, Frances Nos. 1-2, and Snow Flake. Location of these claims spanned a period of thirty-eight years, from March 1936 to September 1974. In the three years during World War II when high-quality talc, was restricted to use in electrical insulators, the mine was worked steadily because its product could be used as a substitute for steatite-grade talc in non-strategic areas. This has been the only period of sustained underground production. After 1946 operations were intermittent and mainly assessment oriented in nature. Through 1959 only about 6,000 tons of commercial talc had been produced. Production now is estimated to average 25,000 tons per year, meaning a total production of 175,000 tons since pit mining was initiated. The deposit is considered to be nearly half mined out at this time. [280] Because of the instability of the talc-containing bodies in the area, work underground proved extremely inefficient, requiring extensive timbering and resulting in only a small recovery rate. In 1971, therefore, a decision was made to turn to surface mining, which seemed warranted by indications of heavy reserves found through exploratory drilling. Since 1972 Cyprus Industrial Minerals Company, a division of Cyprus Mines Corporation, has been developing a pit with a projected depth of 300 feet on its southeast side and measuring 850 feet square in perimeter. Access will be at the northwest end. The total area disrupted so far by mining operations totals about 64.5 acres. The Panamint Mine today is active and producing about 2,000 tons per month. Because it was
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

in full production before passage of the 28 September 1976 act repealing the mineral entry provision for certain National Park Service areas, the present operators have been authorized to continue operations temporarily pending approval of their proposed Plan of Operations. The proposal is to continue open-pit mining until mid-1985 when the remaining 200,000 tons of recoverable ore will be mined out. [281] b) Present Status The older section of workings (Montgomery Mine), about 200 feet square in area, probably dates from the early 1940s. Visible from the entrance are one adit trending south and an inclined shaft to the east. The underground workings consist of an east- trending 250-footlong drift connected to the surface at its west end by a south-trending adit and also joined to a 150-foot-long crosscut and winze east of this adit. Most of the salable talc is thought to have been removed from these areas, although the entire extent of the deposit is uncertain. The tendency of the ground to fracture and the resultant hazardous underground working conditions have precluded further work here. [282] Remnants of a tramway remain leading southwest around the ridge from this early mine to a four-chute wooden ore bin with metal flashing still in place. Immediately north of this bin on the hillside is some wooden debris--possibly the ruins of an earlier tramway and chute system. A front-dumping swivel ore car was found overturned near the chute remains. The more recent open-pit work with large terrace cuts visible on top of the ridge east of the Montgomery works, at an altitude of about 4,400 feet, involves blasting work and benching into the ridge. Currently the pit measures about 700 feet by 800 feet. Downslope and southwest of the chute remains and west of the pit in a saddle of the same ridge is the stockpile area for talc removed from the latter operation. The ore is transported by truck to mills at Los Angeles ,and Keeler, or to Dunn Siding, California, for shipment to mills in Grand Island, Nebraska, and Mexico City, Mexico. [283]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 78. View east toward Montgomery (Panamint) Mine from burro trail heading west toward Panamint Treasure Mine on Gold Hill. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 79. Early talc miner's shack on road to Montgomery (Panamint) Mine. Note small broken table in front fashioned from dynamite box. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

On either side of the road leading up to the Panamint mining area, about 1-1/4 miles north of the Butte Valley cutoff, are two wood-framed cabins with red asbestos-covered gable roofing. The larger cabin, north of the bend in the road, has six-paned windows; plyboard
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

walls on the interior; a linoleum floor in a red, black, and green pattern; and some furniture consisting of bedsprings, a table, benches, built-in shelves, and a small table on legs fashioned from an Atlas powder box. The smaller shack has unfinished walls and ceiling. Dumps up the hillside north of these cabins indicate that there may have been more such structures in the vicinity at some time--it was probably a residential area for men working the Montgomery Mine during World War II. c) Evaluation and Recommendations The older Montgomery Mine does not meet the criteria of evaluation for the National Register. Because it is surrounded by active strip mining, the site retains little historical integrity; none of the newer pit workings has any historical significance. The ore car near the old chute could be utilized by the park museum in interpretive programs. The shacks down the road toward Warm Spring probably date from the World War II period and are not outstanding type specimens. They were undoubtedly contemporaneous with settlements at Goldbelt and Ibex springs, which are better examples of talc-mining communities of that era because they contain more residences and related structures on site. The small Atlas powder box stool found in the northernmost of the two cabins should be acquired for use in park interpretive programs as typifying the sort of homemade furniture found at a remote desert mine.

Illustration 80. Earliest openings at Montgomery (Panamint) Mine. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 81. Ore bin probably associated with the above adits. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
12. Carbonate (Carbonite) and Queen of Sheba Mines a) History (1) Clarence E Eddy Locates Original Outcrop The Carbonate Mine is situated on an east-trending ridge of the Panamint Range on the west side of Death Valley at an elevation of about 1,200 feet. Its workings are about 1/4 of a mile north of the Queen of Sheba Lead Mine tunnel and mill ruins. The area, about thirty-two miles south of Furnace Creek Ranch and thirty-seven miles west of Shoshone, is reached via a four-mile-long dirt road veering off southwest from Salt Well about 1/8 mile south of the Galena Canyon-West Side Road intersection. The track is now seldom used and extremely rutted from water and wind erosion. The Carbonate Mine is the earlier of the two discoveries on this site. In the summer of 1907, when Clarence E. Eddy was exploring the southwest slopes of Death Valley, he and some associates began to develop a certain large galena outcrop about one mile from what later became the townsite of Carbonite. News of the strike attracted other prospectors to the scene; among these were Frank Stockton and a mining engineer named Chester A. Pray, who located the "Carbonite" Mine in 1908. The property was probably named for the type of ore found there--lead carbonate with silver. [284] (2) Jack Salsberry Tackles a Multitude of Problems The town and camp of Carbonite sprang up as a result of the interest manifested in the Carbonite Mine by Ed Chafey and Jack Salsberry (variously spelled Salisbury, Saisbury, Salisberry, and Salsburry), who formed the Carbonate Lead Mines Company of Death Valley with general offices in Manhattan, Nevada. [285] The problem that had hindered development of the area in the early 1900s--lack of transportation to a railhead--was immediately approached and just as quickly solved by the enterprising Salsberry. The mine was located about forty miles from the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad station at Zabriskie, so Salsberry proceeded to build a wagon road from Salt Well, four miles east of the mine, over the Black Mountains to the railroad, enabling the ore to be hauled by freight teams about thirty miles across Death Valley to the Amargosa Range where a gasoline tractor hauled it the last sixteen miles to town. (This is the same route followed by today's Salsbury Pass road.) Salsberry's company next negotiated for 150 head of stock to transport the ore to the spot

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

where it could be taken over by the tractor. It was anticipated that with this system ten carloads of ore a week could be sent to Salt Lake City smelters. [286] Forty to fifty head of horses and mules were acquired at first, working as four ten-animal teams, with plans made to utilize 200 more, each animal hauling half a ton. The capacity of the tractor was about ten tons, which would be increased as the road improved and was packed down with use. Intense heat was a serious problem for the mine workers, the thermometer often reaching 130°F. in the shade and at least once as high as 164°F. To protect themselves, the men lived and slept in the mine tunnels, which also contained the kitchen and boarding house. By late fall of 1913 only two carloads of ore from the mine had left the Zabriskie station, but further development work was to be carried on throughout the winter months by an increased force of men. Because the ore body appeared extensive and rich in minerals, a loading chute for the large amount of ore expected to arrive soon from the mine was erected at Zabriskie by the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad. [287] By 1914 the camp was being referred to as the "latest sensation of the western mining world." [288] and the presence of extensive nearby deposits of lead, silver, gold, and copper seemed to promise another desert bonanza. The Carbonite Mine had now been developed to a depth of 300 feet, with lead and silver ore values reputedly running as high as two million dollars. The transportation force now comprised sixty mules and a twenty- or twenty-five-ton traction engine. (It was rumored at this time in the newspapers that the Southern Pacific Railroad was in the process of constructing a branch within fifteen miles of the town. Such a project never materialized.) The nearby camp was said to be "a typical desert metropolis, constructed with tents, rocks, tincans, dry goods boxes, whiskey bottles and anything that comes handy." [289] Water for domestic use was hauled in from Zabriskie. As was the case with most desert boom towns of the time there were those who urged restraint and moderation in the assessment of future production: A pretty story about the starting [of] a boom town in the heart of Death Valley is going the rounds. Diamondfield Jack Davis is mentioned as hiking to the new Eldorado, and it is not difficult to trace his fine Italian hand in the invention which has so much foundation as the beautiful mirages that are found in that section of the universe . . . . The truth about Carbonate Camp is good enough, but it will require time before the properties of that section are on a highly profitable basis. The question of transportation remains to be solved, and nothing short of the construction of a railroad can answer the purpose of hauling the ores to market. The traction engine that was supposed to work such wonders has not delivered the tonnage which was relied upon to make the investment more than fairly profitable and no substitute has yet been found for the humble horse and mule in negotiating the sands of the desert. A proposition to build a railroad is under contemplation by a combination of salt interests and the men behind Carbonate and, until this line is constructed, there will be no rush to Death Valley. [290] Evidently the failure of the traction engine to transport a satisfactory amount of ore resulted in the addition of two motor trucks to the route. [291] Four months later Salsberry's transportation fleet had been increased to sixteen large trucks that carried ore daily from the Carbonate Mine to Zabriskie, which, incidentally, was now teeming with activity occasioned by incoming men and freight and outgoing ore shipments. Fifteen mines were operating in the vicinity and utilizing the little railroad station as their supply point. Currently shipping one carload of ore per day, the Carbonate Mine was considered profitable since lead was bringing from $57.50 to $75.00 per ton. Salsberry had even constructed a small hotel for his workmen at a midpoint between his mine and Zabriskie

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

(its exact location could not be determined by the writer), where two cooks were required to serve just the sixty truckers employed by the company. Twelve more trucks were being ordered around this time. [292] (3) Progress of the Carbonate Lead Mines Company In August another in a continuing series of reports on the progress of the Carbonate Lead Mines Company appeared. Only three miners were required to keep full the ten trucks, of 61/2-ton capacity each, that were currently hauling from the property. Ore from the mine, which had now undergone about 900 feet of development work and which showed a vein from 2-1/2 to 15 feet wide, was averaging about 37% lead, 20 ozs. in silver, and $5 in gold, resulting in a value of about $40 per ton of ore. Since transportation averaged only about $12 per ton, the company was realizing a nice profit from this mine. [293] In 1917 the workings at the Carbonate Mine were described by the California state mineralogist: development consisted of three tunnels (upper, 100 feet long, 60 feet below apex; second, 150 feet long, 30 feet below first; lower [main], 300 feet long, 100 feet below second); the ore recovered was dumped into a bin outside the lower tunnel, from which it was loaded into four-ton motor trucks. Because these shipments were now costing about $15 a ton, the trucks were being replaced by caterpillar-type tractors--a move that would hopefully lower transportation costs. About forty tons of ore a week, averaging 35 percent to 40 percent lead, were being shipped to the U.S. Smelting and Refining Company in Salt Lake City. Only four men were employed by the mining company, whose home office was now evidently in San Francisco. [294] From 1915 to 1918 the Carbonate Mine produced about 11,000 tons of ore averaging 15 percent lead and S oz. of silver per ton. [295] By 1920 the operation was reported to be idle, although one reference during this time period mentions the "caterpilar" road to the Carbonate Mine as being a good one, which tends to indicate that the mine was active sporadically. The Carbonate Mine was again mentioned in 1923, with the implication that it was still producing. [296] (4) New Sutherland Divide Mining Company Takes Over In that year notices were appearing on the transfer of ownership of several mining locations in the general area of the Carbonate Mine. On 1 June a quitclaim deed was granted by R.(oger) H. Downer, A. I. D'Arcy, and Nettie H. D'Arcy of Goldfield to the New Sutherland Divide Mining Company, the Nevada corporation that superseded the Carbonate Lead Mines Company in ownership of the Carbonate property, for the July 1, 2, and 3 lode mining claims "situated 10 miles south of Bennett Hole, on the east slope of the Panamint Mountains, in an unknown mining district; also July 4, 5, 6 and 7 lode mining claims, situated 4 miles west of Salisbury Wells, on the east slope of Panamint Mountains, in an unknown mining district." [297] In November 1923 an M. (?) H. Downer of Goldfield deeded to the New Sutherland Divide Mining Company the Ajax Nos. 1-3 lode mining claims five miles southwest of "Salisbury's Well." [298] The following month the U.S. Smelting, Refining. & Mining Company contracted with the New Sutherland Divide Mining Company to take over operation of their lead mine, the smelting company realizing 51% of the profits. The wartime production of the mine had been 1,950 tons of lead and 97,000 ozs. of silver, and a profitable amount of ore still existed on its dumps. [299] It appears that the Queen of Sheba workings, about 1,500 feet southwest of the Carbonate Mine, were a further extension of exploratory work on the latter and were in the same ore zone, so that the two actually comprised one extensive mining operation. When exactly this
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

later lode was opened up is uncertain, but definite mention of it by name appears in 1924, describing it as consisting of nine claims owned by the New "Southerland" Divide Mining Company of San Francisco, but recently leased to the U.S. Smelting, Refining & Mining Company of Boston. The ore on these claims was said to be rich: 6,500 tons of sorted ore that had been shipped to the Salt Lake City smelter averaged 40% lead and 20 ozs. silver per ton. At the prices later reached for lead in 1926, this amount of ore could have grossed over $500,000. [300] U. S. Smelting and Refining originally planned on spending a vast amount of money to develop the Queen of Sheba, which was regarded as the largest body of proved commercialgrade ore in the Death Valley region; when its connection with the mine began to be used for stock-jobbing purposes, however, the company surrendered its lease. [301] By 1925 D'Arcy and his Victory Divide Mining Company had reached an agreement with the Sutherland Company and initiated a twenty-five-year lease beginning 27 August 1924 on the CarbonateQueen of Sheba. By this agreement Victory Divide would undertake exploration, mining, development, and treatment of the ore and the owners would receive royalties of 12-1/2% of the ore value after a deduction for smelting costs. From 1917 to 1925 the mine produced about 200 tons of crude ore. [302] In 1926 the Victory Divide Company was concentrating on the Queen of Sheba group of claims, which, it had recently been determined, were not in the main ore body, although twenty-two feet of mill-grade ore had been found. The primary vein was determined to be in a tunnel on up the mountainside, which the company hoped to intersect by pushing forward in the main Queen of Sheba tunnel. Lead was now selling at the highest peacetime price ever, which was expected to soon equal that for copper. Because silver was found in conjunction with the lead ore at the Queen of Sheba, the company expected to realize large profits after erection of a mill. [303] In March 1926 the Victory Divide Company was concentrating on the twenty-two-foot-wide vein of ore struck earlier, which by this time had been proven to extend at least several thousand feet and which measured from twenty to twenty-five feet wide. Thirty to fifty thousand tons of ore were expected from the vein, which was assaying 15% lead and 10 ozs. silver (worth about $35 a ton)--an excellent showing and better than that ore being mined in the principal camps of Utah and Idaho, whose best ore averaged about $15 a ton. R. H. Downer, the well-known mining engineer from Goldfield, who was also a director and consulting engineer for the Victory Divide Company, was instructed to make intensive studies of the company's development operations and of the surface and underground geology of the mine in order to ascertain the areas of ore occurrence and thus facilitate the development work. His studies were expected to show that the Queen of Sheba silver-lead deposit was one of the most extensive in the United States: The work to date has demonstrated [sic] the orebody to be about 25 feet in width, proved at numerous places along the course of the vein, both by surface and underground workings, for a length of between 1,500 and 2,000 feet. This undoubtedly constitutes one of the most continuous bodies of highgrade silverlead ore in the west, and in view of the favorable conditions in connection with the occurrence, it only remains for the management to open up the mine in an aggressive way to enable it to commence production on a large scale. [304] Downer's findings seemed to support the opinion voiced by the company and the newspapers that the Carbonate-Queen of $heba Mine was "destined to be one of the biggest silver-lead producers of the United States." The reserves already blocked out were estimated at between 1 and 1-1/2 million dollars in value. [305] A month later lead-silver ore assaying $30 to $90 a ton in lead and silver and containing appreciable amounts of gold was uncovered in the

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Queen of Sheba south drift--"the greatest lead discovery made in recent years in the Southwest." [306] This strike encompassed the Ajax Claim southwest of the Queen of Sheba tunnel where work was still continuing in an effort to intersect the rich orebody showing on the surface. The situation in the Queen tunnel seemed to be constantly improving: In one place in the tunnel the ore body has been found to be twenty-two feet in width. A drift on the ore to the north for a distance of seventy feet showed average values of from $15 to $20 to the ton; while to the south twelve feet of ore is said to have been uncovered assaying $35 to the ton. Six feet further on, according to the mine superintendent, the face measured eighteen feet, the ore returning assay values of $88 per ton, with improvements being noted as work progresses. The company has under consideration the construction of a large concentrating plant, as water is easily available [Salt Well]. [307] Although work was now focusing primarily on the Queen of Sheba, in June samples were taken from an old 100-foot tunnel on the Carbonate Claim. It was found the ore averaged better than 8% lead and 4 ozs. silver for the entire length of the tunnel. [308] In its main workings at this time the company reported it had 50,000 tons of ore blocked out, averaging 15% lead and 7 to 10 ozs. in silver, assaying $30 to $35 a ton. The vein had been followed at least 3,000 feet and the main tunnel was still being advanced. Victory Divide Mining Company shares were listed on the exchange and its stock continued active. [309] The state mineralogist reported in the fall of 1926 that six men were pushing development work at the Carbonate Mine, now known as the Queen of Sheba Group of Mines, in three tunnels that had been driven on the ore body, and that another lower excavation was still being advanced to intersect ore bodies worked in the upper tunnels. [310] By December, in an attempt to garner enough funds to carry on development work until a milling plant could be financed, the Victory Divide Company issued Assessment No. 6 of one cent per share to its stockholders (proceeds from Assessment No. 5 had supported the mine for over a year). [311] From 1930 to 1931 around 3,300 tons of ore were mined from the Carbonate, but from 1932 to 1935 production dropped significantly to less than 1,000 tons. [312] (5) Waning Years In 1932 the Carbonate, or Queen of Sheba, was again described as having only three tunnels: the upper, 60 feet below the outcrop, was 100 feet long; 30 feet below that was the second, 300 feet long. Although the report said that the lower tunnel intended to tap the ore bodies worked in the upper tunnels was the fourth one, it was probably only the third tunnel. Operations had been suspended by this time. [313] By 1936 the Queen of Sheba Group was listed as the only important property at "Carbonate," and was said to have been sporadically active since 1918, with a total production of about $200,000. [314] In 1938 the Carbonate Mine was still owned by the New Sutherland Divide Mining Company, but was now under lease to a John P. Madison and H. L. Hellwig, who had evidently been shipping from there for the last seven years. In May their equipment consisted of trucks, a compressor, air drills, and cars; ten men were employed. The ore was still hauled by truck to Zabriskie for shipment to the Salt Lake City smelters. Development on the Carbonate Claim consisted of a series of stoped tunnels to a vertical depth of 150 feet and a long crosscut tunnel below which no ore had been encountered. The Queen of Sheba had a tunnel 1,000 feet long with a few crosscuts--no ore had been developed here. By October Madison had crosscut west about 40 feet 200 feet above the old tunnel and had stoped some ore from 2 to 8 feet wide in drifts from the crosscut. The ore now being found was generally

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

of a higher grade than in the past. The property was being only sporadically worked, however. [315] The next few years are scanty in information on the mine, which remained mostly inactive. A letter from the Death Valley National Monument superintendent to a Mr. D. C. Wray of Las Vegas concerning the possibilities of improvement of the road into the Carbonate Mine indicates that some mining activity was continuing here during World War II. [316] The New Sutherland Divide Company resumed work in 1944, and after extensive sampling, the mine was reopened by means of three 100-foot crosscut adits with many drifts; rises totaling 2,500 feet were driven at 50-foot vertical intervals. [317] A year later the Mining Journal reported that the New Sutherland Divide Company had suspended operations for the summer, but that about sixty tons of ore had been shipped daily from the Queen of Sheba prior to that, the material being trucked to Manix, California, for rail shipment to the smelter. [318] In 1948 the Queen of Sheba ore assayed 7% lead and 5 to 10 ozs. of silver per ton, but shipments were small. The Carbonate Mine was reopened in 1948 and ore concentrates assayed 35 to 40% lead. [319] During 1947-48 a long-awaited flotation mill was built, intended to treat 100 tons of ore a day. The plant included a 10- by 20-inch jaw crusher, a 5by 7-1/2-foot Marcy ball mill, a Bendelari jig, a classifier, agitators, flotation cells, concentrating tables, and a disc-type filter. A 250-kw GE, diesel-powered generator supplied power. Water was pumped from Salt Well, four miles east, against an 1,150-foot hydraulic head. Construction of this plant resulted in a short flurry of activity, but although several hundred tons of ore were mined and milled by the New Sutherland Company from 1948 to 1949, mining operations finally ceased in mid-1949. [320] In 1950 the interest of the New Sutherland Company was relinquished to Mr. William Friml of Hollywood. The property was then leased to the Goldfield Consolidated Mining Company from 1952 to 1953, and some drilling was done, but no new ore bodies were found. In 1961 a Mr. Ray Bennett of Westminster, California, leased the property. Total production of the Queen of Sheba has reportedly been 16,000 tons of crude ore yielding 5,000,000 lbs. of lead, 100,000 ozs. of silver, 1,500 ozs. of gold, and 146,000 lbs. of copper. Ore from the mine has averaged 15.5% lead, .5% copper, 6.3 ozs. of silver, and .09 oz. of gold per ton. [321]

Illustration 82. Carbonate Mine workings on hillside northeast of Queen of Sheba Lead Mine. Photo by Park Ranger Warren H. Hill, courtesy of DEVA NM.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 83. Queen of Sheba Mine and Mill site, 1962. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 84. View north showing stone ruins, appliances strewn about, and flotation mill ruins. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

b) Present Status The site designated "Queen of Sheba Mine" on the USGS Wingate Wash quadrangle map consists of two separate mine operations. The earlier Carbonate Claim, comprising three adits and about 1,600 feet of horizontal development on four levels, is on the south slope of an east-trending ridge northeast of the Queen of Sheba Mine, whose workings extend higher up on a hillside on an east slope of the Panamints about 1,300 to 1,500 feet southwest of the Carbonate. These latter workings comprise four adits driven southwest into the ridge where four levels provide access to 1,900 feet of level workings. [322] As of 1976 the Roy Group of fifteen lode claims, located during 1971 and 1972, incorporate the old Queen of Sheba and Carbonate Mine workings. (The Roy Millsite claim covers Salt Well Tanks.) [323] The structures on the mine site as of 1 April 1978 included two wooden shacks, a loading dock, some stone foundations (possibly dugouts or crude smelters), a large and more recent corrugated-metal industrial building, and the ruins of the flotation mill, above which an adit is visible on the hillside. [324] The two wooden cabins south of the mill ruin probably functioned as residences; appliance parts are strewn on the ground outside. Inside the two rock and mortar foundation ruins are pieces of charred timber. The ruins appear round,

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

though slightly irregular, in outline. The mill structure is quite imposing due to the presence of four levels of cement floor foundations, a great deal of the wooden framework, and various machinery items still on site. The metal shed and flotation mill ruin probably both date from the 1940s. All that remains of the structure below the ore bin shown in a 1962 view (Illus. 76) as having high wooden timbered walls is a cracked clay floor about two feet high and twenty to twenty-five feet in diameter through which water or some other liquid was routed. A rotating apparatus of some sort that once stood up in the center of this structure has fallen over. Water from Salt Well, although it could not be used for drinking purposes, was used to power the mill at the Queen of Sheba. The water had to be pumped in two stages against an 1,150 to 1,200-foot head. North of the Queen of Sheba workings are those connected with the Carbonate Mine. These consist of three tunnels with a reserve bin below the lower tunnel from which ore was loaded onto trucks and hauled to Zabriskie.

Illustration 85. View easterly of Queen of Sheba ore bin and mill ruins. Road in left background leads to Salt Well. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

c) Evaluation and Recommendations Ward C. Smith, in a report on mineral resources within the monument, points out that several major lead, silver, and zinc producers exist- in Inyo County within a belt extending across the monument lands from the old deposits at Cerro Gordo on the west to Tecopa, southeast of Shoshone, outside the monument's eastern boundary. Within Death Valley three large lead deposits exist--the Queen of Sheba Mine and the Ubehebe and Lippincott mines near Ubehebe Peak--of which the first has been the most productive, yielding approximately $300,000 worth of ore prior to 1944 and about 16,000 tons of crude ore (five million pounds of lead) during its lifetime. Second in productivity is the Ubehebe Mine, which has furnished approximately 3,500 total tons of ore (two million pounds of lead), and trailing is the Lippincott Mine, whose total tonnage production is unknown but whose output has been valued at around $80,000. [325] The Queen of Sheba (Carbonate) Mine has had a long and varied history dating from the early 1900s through the 1970s. Its importance in Death Valley mining history relates to its status as the most productive lead mine in the monument, both in amount of ore produced and in its total value. For this reason it is being nominated to the National Register as being of local significance. The mill-associated buildings that remain standing at the Queen of Sheba site (shacks, metal shed, mill ruins) date primarily from the 1940s, although their exact date of construction could be as early as the late 1930s. In the early 1900s a rude mining camp of undetermined size existed in the vicinity, but no traces of it were found. Whether the two stone dugout foundations date from this period is unknown, because no artifacts were found in association that might be used to date the structures. Several items of old mining machinery lie in various
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

stages of disrepair on the site and should be examined by someone knowledgeable in early mining techniques and equipment. Some of these pieces might be useful for interpretive efforts or for research purposes. The writer suggests that this property be used to interpret the lead-silver phase of mining activity in Death Valley. One of the monument's unique attributes is the wide variety of minerals that have been sought after and exploited here, and these should be indicated to the visiting public, who should also be made aware of the diverse types of milling operations used to process the many metallic and nonmetallic elements. The only other lead mines in the monument are in the Ubehebe District and, inaccessible to most tourists. In addition, neither of them supported as large or as enterprising a reduction plant. It is also recommended that some type of interpretive marker be erected, possibly at the junction of the mine's access road with the West Side Road, identifying the site and briefly highlighting portions of its history. Because the rough condition of the road to the mine tends to discourage visitation, emphasis should be laid on interpreting the site in more detail at the monument visitor center.

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deva/hrs/section3a12.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/deva/section3a12.htm[7/26/2008 3:06:09 PM]

Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
13. Galena Canyon Talc Mines a) Sites

Illustration 86. Map of Galena Canyon mining area.

(1) Bonny Mine (a) History The three adjacent claims comprising the Bonny Mine are located at the mouth of Galena Canyon on the south side of the road, their waste dumps glaringly visible from anywhere below Badwater. The claims were originally owned by Southern California Minerals Company of Los Angeles, whose only mining operations here occurred during 1954 to 1955, yielding approximately 2,300 tons of talc. The area was mined by dozer cuts on the surface and through adits and drifts underground. [326] The Bonny and Bonny #2 lode mining claims were subsequently patented by Pfizer, Inc., on 2 February 1976, and the Bonny #1 claim was
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

acquired by them on 14 February 1966, but is not patented. The Bonny Millsites Nos. 1 and 2 were located on 3 November 1975. [327] Since 1970 these pit and stripping operations have produced about 30,000 tons of talc from the mine, for a total value of over $1,600,000. Although there is no record of ore production for 1975, the site was being worked by dozers in 1977 and 1978. [ 28] In January of the 3 latter year Pfizer began implementing its Proposed Plan of Operations by removing waste rock overburden in order to expose additional talc. The mine is currently an open -pit operation that is estimated to produce 9,000 tons annually. Underground development (room and pillar) is proposed to begin near the time of completion of the pit operations (projected at 1981). Twenty-five-ton trucks will be used to haul the ore to the company stockpile and mill at Victorville, California. [329] (b) Present Status Dozers at the Bonny Mine site today are continuing pit operations and are carving out terraced benches on the ridge at the mouth of Galena Canyon. This work is scheduled to continue until the depth of the ore bodies becomes excessive, necessitating mining by underground methods. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Bonny Mine is not eligible for nomination to the National Register. It has no outstanding importance in Death Valley mining history, nor does it contain any, significant structures on site. An early prehistoric cave site was found west of the entrance to Galena Canyon, and two other small caves, one of which may have been inhabited by prospectors, were found on the north side of the mouth of Galena Canyon, but these would not appear to be affected by current mining activity. [330]

Illustration 87. Bonny talc Mine at mouth of Galena Canyon. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

(2) Mongolian Mine (a) History The Mongolian Mine Group, consisting of six contiguous claims, is located on the south side

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

of Galena Canyon about one mile west from its mouth at an elevation of 1,800 feet. The claim group consists of the Mongolian lode mining claim (located 12 April 1928; patented 9 July 1963), the unpatented Mongolian No. 2, and Nos. 3 and 4 lode mining claims (located 10 and 30 October 1973), and the unpatented Mongolian Millsite Nos. 1-2 (located 13 March and 16 July 1976). [331] The original claim was located in 1928, but not until the 1960s was a cut opened and the ore determined to be of sufficient quality and quantity to warrant a patent. Little progress in development and lack yet of a strong market for the talc impeded production for the next decade. Pfizer, Inc., began exploratory drilling operations in 1973 and a downdip stripping operation in 1974. This later phase had to be enlarged in late fall and early winter of 1975 because the more easily mined surface talc of the surrounding Galena Canyon mines had played out. The multiple-bench open-pit operation seen today is the result of an accelerated stripping program that was begun and completed before the moratorium period decreed by Public Law 94-429 had been instituted. [332] So far, twenty-one acres of hillside have been disturbed by mining activity related to the Mongolian Mine. The Plan of Operations submitted for NPS approval proposes a five-phase program by which the waste rock overburden stripped from one section of the deposit would be used to backfill a previously-mined area. The entire program is contemplated to last through 1980, with reclamation beginning within six months of the end of activity. It would be judged complete after all benches were obliterated, the walls of the pit were sloped, the tops of the dumps were rounded off, and all areas were masked to match as much as possible the surrounding natural environment. This procedure is estimated to take one and one-half years. [333] (b) Present Status As seen from the Galena Canyon Road, this group consists of dumps and a terraced open pit. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The site has no historical importance and contains no significant structures. (3) Mammoth Mine (a) History The Mammoth Claim Group, located 1-1/2 to 2 miles west from the mouth of Galena Canyon at an elevation of 1,400 feet, consists of the Mammoth and Mammoth No. 1 lode claims, patented 9 July 1963. The first underground exploratory activity here took place in the late 1950s, but actual underground mining operations were not undertaken until ten years later when Kennedy Minerals Company and C. K. Williams and Company initiated development of over 1,600 feet of underground workings. In addition, metal ore bins and other necessary facilities were erected and access roads built. The new underground workings consisted of a main adit with associated raises connecting sublevels, opening the way for future room-and-pillar mining. A lower adit was projected below the main one in hopes of intersecting the ore body, but it failed to locate any talc. A few other smaller exploratory openings were also made, with total production during the 1960s reaching about 5,000 tons. From 1970 to 1974 the mine was idle, and then, in mid1975 and early 1976 Pfizer, Inc., which had gained control of the property, sporadically activated the mine by mining and shipping small test loads procured in the vicinity of the old main adit by means of an open cut or pit. About 200 tons of ore have been produced since, with a resulting total surface disturbance to the entire area of 3.75 acres.
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The proposed production schedule for the Mammoth Mine called for reopening the area early in 1978 with a force of two to four men. During the first three months of preliminary work necessary before commencing underground open room-and-pillar operations, it was expected that only a minimal production level could be maintained. By mid-1978, however, a production rate of 10,000 to 12,000 tons per year would be anticipated from the six to eight miners employed five days a week. Twenty-five-ton trucks, hauling two loads a day, would transfer the ore to the company's grinding plant at Victorville, California. The production rate of the mine, whose projected life span is at least fourteen years (longer if added reserves are found), is estimated to reach 20,000 tons a year. Reclamation will follow the termination of operations and will involve the rounding off of road cut crests and dumps, the reduction of high retaining banks, and removal of man-made structures. [334] (b) Present Status The Mammoth Mine workings today consist of active open-pit and underground operations. Man-made structures on the access road include two talc bins, consisting of two metal tanks with a wooden framework for a tramway trestle on top, and a small wooden shelter that once housed a compressor. Both structures probably date from the 1960s. An older adit, the second one dug in the 1960s in hopes of intersecting the talc body, with an associated waste dump, is visible east of the metal talc bins and lower in elevation. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Mammoth Mine site is not historically important nor does it contain any significant structures. (4) Death Valley Mine (White Eagle Claim) (a) History Galena Canyon is located immediately north of Warm Spring Canyon in the Panamint Range, and is reached via a gravel road leading west one-eighth of a mile north of Salt Well Tanks. The American-Italian Talc Company displayed initial interest in the talc deposits in the Panamint Range several years before the Warm Spring talc operations commenced, and laid claim to several areas in Galena Canyon. Incorporated with headquarters at Tonopah, Nevada, on 15 March 1927, the company boasted a capital stock of five million dollars, divided into five million shares with a par value of one dollar each. Beginning business with one thousand dollars in capital, the company proceeded to acquire claims in the Panamint Range and in the Black Mountains west of Tecopa. [335] The first notice of the company's operations found in contemporary newspapers or journals was an article in the fall of 1929 stating that the American-Italian Talc Company was assembling a work crew and preparing to make shipments from its mine in Galena Canyon. The vice-president of the company stated that it had several orders to fill, one of them for 1,000 tons of ore. The exact production level reached by the Death Valley Mine at this time is unknown, but it was probably not more than a few hundred tons. [336] For the next few years operations were evidently suspended, during which time the American-Italian Company went defunct, emerging again in the summer of 1933 as the Death Valley Talc Company. The authorized capital stock was changed to $500,000 divided into 500,000 shares with a par value of $1 per share. S. D. Pipin, former president of the American-Italian Company, continued in this position in the new organization. [337]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 88. Death Valley talc Mine in Galena Canyon. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

A 1933 letter from the vice-president of the new Death Valley Talc Company to Superintendent White at Sequoia National Park (Death Valley at this time being administered under a joint superintendency with Sequoia National Park) informed him of the company's takeover of the American-Italian Company assets and of the new company's intention to ship some ore to the east within a few days' time. A camp had been established in the vicinity of the mine consisting of "four frame buildings fully equipped with cooking utensils, beds, stoves, mattresses, outhouse, blacksmith shop, tools, storage cellar, loading platforms, etc." [338] The remote location of the deposits has always presented some problems for the owners. This was most serious during the earlier days when transportation facilities were not as advanced or dependable. This concern was voiced by Mr. Umbdenstock, who requested help in improving the road from the valley floor to the mines. By 1938 the company's property in Galena Canyon included ten claims. Eight men ran a grinding plant where material ran through a "40-ton bin, steel chute about 100 ft. long, to hammer mill, elevator, to air separator where minus 200 product is taken out to two other air separators, products minus 400 and minus 700 mesh; oversize to 6 by 5 pebble mill, discharge back to air separation system. Products are sacked by hand. Sixty h.p. Venn-Severn oil engine supplies the power. Capacity 36 tons per day. [339] About the year-to-year operations of the mine little could be found, so that only broad comments can be made on the subsequent progress of the company through the years. From 1937-to 1942 the mine yielded about 7,500 tons of talc, some of which was mined by the Pomona Tile Company which leased the property from 1940 to 1942. The mine was then either idle or only sporadically worked until 1953 when the eleven claims were sold to the Kennedy Minerals Company, which began active and continuous operation of the mine, producing another 55,500 tons of commercial talc by 1959. The total number of claims under their ownership had reached twenty-four by 1968, including mine workings and prospecting excavations. [340] (b) Present Status The five talc mines currently active in Galena Canyon--the Bonny, Mongolian, Mammoth, White Chief, and White Eagle--are owned by the Minerals, Pigments, and Metals Division of Pfizer, Inc., which also has controlling interest in talc claims in the Ibex Hills and Saratoga Springs areas. The Death Valley Mine is part of the underground workings of the White Eagle Mine, whose operations to the east involve downdip stripping operations in an open pit.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

These five operations are located on three adjacent fault blocks, with the White Eagle and White Chief mines being the two talc-bearing sites on the middle fault block. Deposits here have been mined mostly by downdip stripping. [341] The northern segment of the talc zone in this middle fault block is the one containing the Death Valley Mine, including about thirty patented and unpatented claims. This site has yielded, by underground mining methods, practically all of the commercial talc produced on this claim before 1960. The earliest section of the mine, high up on the hillside, is known as the "Pomona workings," and consists of a 250-foot-long inclined shaft, which is eventually intersected by a 150-foot-long adit. The principal mine consists of three levels of drifts, adits, and winzes. [342] The most imposing structure at the Death Valley Mine today is a large wooden two-section ore bin: one double bin with two to four chutes on the right and a smaller one-chute ore bin to the left. Also visible are at least four adits, a working platform area on top of the bins on which are located a storage dugout, a small office structure, two ore cars, a metal bunk, and ore scoops. Remains of a large-diameter pipe line advance down the hillside north of the main portal and over the dump pile. [343] (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Death Valley Mine does not meet the criteria of evaluation for the National Register due to a lack of associative significance in the mining history of Death Valley. Dates of construction of the large ore bin are unknown, but a large grinding plant had been built somewhere in the area by 1938. No evidence of this building was found. Because the remaining structures at the mine are remnants of the oldest talc mining operation in Galena Canyon, with initial work dating from the 1920s, it is recommended they be accorded a treatment of benign neglect. Some interesting pieces of mining equipment on site (ore cars, forge, etc.) should be examined relative to possible interpretive use. This mine is part of an active talc operation and it is possible that Pfizer would donate some of these old items. [Note: Archeologists from the Western Archeological Center found remains of a mining camp with stone foundations near an ore chute thought to be on the White Eagle Claim. These have not been seen by this writer, but reportedly appeared to be relatively recent in origin (1950s). According to survey maps seen by this writer, the site is located between the Mammoth and Death Valley mines near the Kennedy Minerals camp.] The Kennedy Minerals camp, one-quarter to one-half mile east of the Death Valley Mine, is a small community of white frame and corrugated-metal residences built in the 1930s. It is undoubtedly the camp referred to in 1933 as being used by the Death Valley Talc Company and located near their steatite deposit (Death Valley Mine). This complex is not historically significant. It has lost much of its structural integrity and is currently in a state of decay. Other type specimens of early talc camps exist within the monument in a better state of preservation.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 89. Ore car and workshop on platform area, Death Valley talc Mine, Galena Canyon. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 90. Kennedy Minerals Camp, Galena Canyon. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/deva/section3a13.htm[7/26/2008 3:06:13 PM]

Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
14. Hungry Bill's Ranch a) History of Indian Ranching In and Near Death Valley Indian existence in Death Valley from precontact times through the 1920s was of necessity a transitory lifestyle with settlements and camp locations determined by the seasons. In the winter the Indians retreated toward the valley floor to escape the severe snow and cold of the mountain ranges; in the summer the excessive heat and low water levels forced them once again up into the higher elevations. The three Shoshone families whose main headquarters from at least the 1880s well into the twentieth century were at Hungry Bill's Ranch, at about 5,000 feet elevation up Johnson Canyon, lived during the winter about fifteen miles south of Furnace Creek in the general vicinity of Eagle Borax Works and Bennetts Well. These families might also have inhabited Butte Valley in earlier days before moving into the mountains in the fall to gather pinyon nuts. [344] The occurrence of Indians (not always Shoshones) living on small ranches in the Death Valley region and indulging in serious farming activity was noted in several instances in early years. Travelers heading for the goldfields of Lida, Nevada, and Gold Mountain in 1873, and crossing north of Death Valley, found a little enclosure of less than an acre, near a small spring of water . . . . No house or dwelling of any kind is seen, although this little farm is under a high state of cultivation. The proprietor is always to be seen dilligently [sic] at work upon his property. He is an aged and remarkable sedate-looking old Piute, who is known as "Billy Rogers" . . . . Billy is proud of his success as a farmist, having year sold his surplus (one sack) in Lida for $6. [345] When Lieutenant Birnie participated in the Wheeler Survey of 1876 he and his companions took the trail leading from Panamint City across the Panamint Range east to Johnson Canyon: The first portion of the descent to Death Valley by trail was very steep. In the canon through which we passed grass and a short running stream were found, also a small cultivated piece of ground where vegetables were raised with facility by irrigation. [346] This description must refer to the Hungry Bill Indian camp area. A "Johnson's Ranch" is

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

shown on the Wheeler Atlas Sheet 65D (1875). In 1891 Frederick Vernon Coville made the following observations while acting as botanist for the Death Valley Expedition. During the trip he had seen about twenty-five Panamint Indians, all living on the west side of the valley: At the mouth of Hall canon, near Hot springs, at the west foot of the Panamint mountains, and in Johnson canon, on the eastern or Death Valley slope of the same range, the Indians have under crude irrigation and cultivation two or three acres of ground. The crops commonly raised are corn, potatoes, squashes, and watermelons. Of the last they are especially fond, fully as much so as the African, and the desert climate is admirably suited to their growth. The cultivation of plants, however, furnishes them neither a sure nor an adequate food supply. They occasionally purchase from miners and prospectors bacon and flour. . . . [347] Peaches and grapes were also reported to have been raised here. [348] In 1896 two "garden" areas within Death Valley were noted. The first described was in Johnson Canyon: just over the summit, and southeast of Panamint, was "Johnson's garden" in the flush days of the rise and before the fall of Panamint. Here Indians Pete and George [Hansen?] are cultivating four or five acres of land. With immense labor they have cleared away the surface rocks, building huge walls for fences, and irrigating ditches from the large springs. March 31st alfalfa was four to six inches high: The grapevines hanging over a framework of poles, showed formed grapes in the verdure and the peaches appeared half formed. In their larder was found fine varieties of beans, wheat and corn. On the hillside George has graded away a large space, and has material on hand for a regular house. [349] The second ranch was at Panamint Tom's place in Anvil Canyon, "where a copious spring of lukewarm water makes a small oasis in the wash, and right among the mineralized mountains. [350] Panamint Tom's place is mentioned in more detail in an 1897 newspaper article describing the visit of a W. J. Langdon to the Panamint Range, a trip that happened to coincide with a severe thunderstorm: It struck the ranch of the notorious Indian, Panamint Tom, about 9 o'clock in the morning, and swept everything before it. Tom's orchard of 150 trees was torn up, his garden entirely destroyed, the camp tepees swept away and the ranch wrecked generally. At the time of the occurrence there were eleven Indians on the ranch, but aside from a good drenching they sustained no injuries. The stock was on high ground and escaped the force of the water. [351] During this same time it was reported that "Panamint George [Hansen] has a fine ranch, supplies the miners with fruit and melons and raises large crops of alfalfa." [352] George's ranch was on the west side of the Panamints at the mouth of Hall Canyon north of Warm Sulphur Springs. He was probably supplying miners and prospectors in the new camp of Ballarat further south as well as those working in the surrounding canyons. Another Indian supplying Ballarat was Indian Joe, who had lived on Peterson Creek in the Argus Mountains before being pushed off the land by John Searles, of Searles Lake borax fame, who started a garden there in 1873, planting fig, apple, and other trees, and grapevines, and building a
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

terraced spot for his gardens. As soon as he left the area, Indian Joe returned and began harvesting the produce himself, ultimately supplying his wares to a Ballarat storeowner, Harry Robinson, for sale to miners. [353] In 1910 two men, F. J. Busch and Pat Burke, made a trip into southern Inyo County: From Skibo [near Lee, Ca.] we visited the Furnace Creek ranch, and it is certainly a garden spot at this time of the year. We traveled as far south as Bennett's wells in Death Valley and were escorted from Furnace Creek to what is known as Hungry Bill's ranch by Indian Bob Thompson. Hungry Bill being an Indian, and one that does not understand English, impressed me in several ways; one in particular was the energy he possesses. His place might well be called the western base of Telescope Peak, and here he and his family have lived for perhaps thirty years. He has about fifty fruit trees that bear splendid fruit in July. He raises grapes, potatoes, corn, peas and beans, and the ranch is not of ordinary Indian type. It shows evidence of being kept up. [354] b) Hungry Bill and His Family The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the 30 June 1927 census of the Paiute, Shoshone, Monache, and Washoe Indians of Bishop Agency, and various applications for enrollment with the Indians of the State of California all provide differing information on names, birth dates, and interrelationships of the various members of Hungry Bill's immediate family. According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Hungry Bill was born around 1839, a full-blood Shoshone and son of Pee-pu-wine (mother) who was residing in Inyo County by 1 June 1852. He married a full-blood Shoshone woman, Ce-un-ba-hobe, who was evidently about the same age. According to the BIA Hungry Bill died in 1919 of the flu and his wife passed away three years later. However, their children, on their individual enrollment applications, listed their father as dying in 1918, at age seventy, which would move his birth date back to 1848. Most did not remember the year of their mother's death, although one estimated it at about 1915. [355] Hungry Bill and his wife had two sons: Tim Billson (aka Tim Hanneberry, Hendeberry, and Handeberry) was variously listed as being born in 1885, on 24 October 1891, or in 1901. He was listed on the 1927 census as living in Ryan, and according to the BIA was still residing in Death Valley in 1940. Little is known about the other son, Johnnie Billson, who reportedly died in 1916. [356] Two daughters were born to Hungry Bill. Susie's date of birth was either 1880, 1890, or on 28 October 1895. She reputedly married Tom Wilson, also a Shoshone Indian, and was living at Furnace Creek in 1940. According to information Susie provided on her enrollment application, Tom was born 28 October 1872 and was one-half Shoshone. On the 1927 census a Tom Wilson is listed as living in Death Valley, born in 1872, and having a wife, Susie Button, born in 1890, and two daughters, Edna and Edith, both born in 1909. [357] More confusing are the details on Mabel Billson, Hungry Bill's other daughter. According to the BIA she was born before Susie. Her enrollment application states her birth date as 25 October 1884, although the census gives it as 1894. The BIA records that she went to work at Scotty's Ranch in northern Death Valley, and, on becoming ill there, moved to Beatty, Nevada, where she died in 1934. Never married, she bore three full-blood daughters: Mattie Billson (born 1923); Maggie Billson (born 1924); and Musie Billson (born 1927). Mabel herself, however, stated that she had two children, Mary Bill (born 15 March 1924) and Musey Bill (born 25 October 1926) by Tom Wilson, a full-blood Shoshone Indian, to whom she was never married. A third child, Maggie Bill, she presented as her granddaughter (born

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25 October 1922), the illegitimate child of a deceased daughter who was never named and who died around 1925. The grandchild's father was unknown. Maggie had lived with Mabel almost all her life. The census lists Mabel as having a daughter born in 1914. [358] At the time Steward wrote his treatise on the Basin-Plateau peoples, seventeen Indians were reportedly congregating at Hungry Bill's Ranch in the summertime. These included Panamint Tom, regarded as the "chief," his wife, two sons, and four daughters; Tom's brother Hungry John (Bill), his wife, two sons, and two daughters; Tom's sister, her husband, and one son. [359] In 1937 T. R. Goodwin, first official superintendent of Death Valley, wrote an article on the Indians of the region, and in so doing attempted to delineate some of the relationships. He stated that nearly all the Death Valley Indians were members of various branches of the Shoshone tribe, with Hungry Bill having been the acknowledged leader for several years. Panamint Tom, Hungry Bill's brother, was also an important power in the tribe. Indian George (1841-1945) of Panamint Valley married a sister of Hungry Bill. He had been born at Surveyor's Well in Death Valley and was buried at his Warm (Sulphur) Spring Ranch in the Panamint Valley. Robert Tomson (Thompson), to whom the allotment at Warm Spring in Death Valley was given, was the son of Panamint Tom. Tom Wilson, who married one of Hungry Bill's daughters, was not full-blood, according to Goodwin, but was born in Darwin in 1872 of a Mexican father and Shoshone mother. Until young manhood he lived with his mother and uncle in Bruce Canyon in the Argus Range. After working in his younger years in the mines around Darwin, he married late in life, moving to Hungry Bill's Ranch, from which he and his family migrated to the Eagle Borax area in the winter. Because he spoke English fluently and was quite familiar with the ways of the whites, he became a sort of liaison between them and the local Indian population, consulting with and advising the latter informally on important matters. On his 1928 enrollment application, Tom Wilson stated that he was fifty-six years of age, born 28 October 1872. He was of one-half Indian blood, having been born to Manwella Wilson, a full-blood Shoshone born in the Panamint Valley, and her Mexican husband whose name Wilson did not know. Although born at Darwin, Wilson was now living in Death Valley near Death Valley Junction. His first wife, a full-blood named Susie Button, had died in 1918; his second wife, Susie Wilson, was the mother of his son Seeley, born 12 May 1929 at Furnace Creek. Wilson listed his occupation as cowboy. [360] c) Hungry Bill and Death Valley Mining In general the Shoshone Indians seemed to enjoy a good reputation among the white population, being considered "invaluable as guides, message carriers, packers, and wood choppers, and nearly all talk plain United States language." [361] Another miner around the same time opined that the Shoshone Indians were "as a general rule . . . good workers, thrifty, industrious and good livers . . . . The Indians all know of valuable mines, and when they find one will cover it up. If a white man will use a little diplomacy and get on the good side of them he can learn where the mines are." [362] Many if not most of the Death Valley Shoshone would have been privy to the locations of ore outcroppings primarily because of their seasonal migrations. A few such instances of this knowledge were found by this writer, one indicating that an Indian was first responsible for pointing out the Gold Hill mines, and another telling of Panamint Tom's guiding a certain Julius Goldsmith to a rich mine in Pleasant Canyon. [363] it was said that Hungry Bill, as well as other native inhabitants, found gold and silver near Panamint City long before the whites did, and evidently did not have very civil relations with the resulting white influx. [364]

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d) Mining in Johnson Canyon Johnson Canyon was not only productive as far as ranching was concerned, but also was rich in mineral resources. How many mines were located in the general area before 1900 is not known. This writer found mention of only one, the Nellie Mine, located on 4 March 1897 by T. H. Henbery, probably Tim Billson, Hungry Bill's son, and located on the west slope of the Panamints 1-1/2 miles north from the Indian Ranch in Johnson Canyon. [365] it was not until the early 1900s that serious mining activity by whites occurred, for by then the fabulous discoveries at Skidoo promoted interest again in the Panamint Range, which up to this time had been undergoing only desultory mining exploration. In the summer of 1907 Clarence E. Eddy, "The Poet-Prospector" who had been doing some work in the Panamints in Johnson Canyon, led a party of newspaper men into the area to view his Fairview Group of fourteen free-milling gold, silver, and copper claims, whose ore was assaying from $28 to $31 per ton. He and the Salt Lake City newspaper men who had grubstaked him, headed by Frank I. Sefrit, manager of the Salt Lake Tribune had also secured the water rights to an adjacent stream and spring. Eddy, as the initial discoverer in the area, was completely optimistic about the whole situation, though he was not above acknowledging that sometimes these strikes did not pan out: I am not certain that I have made a rich discovery--there is often a slip between the cup and the lip--but the prospects look better than anything I have ever yet found . . . . If there is any depth in the discoveries, and every indication is favorable, we have another Greenwater and Skidoo camp over there in the Panamints. [366] The discovery was said to be located on the opposite side of the mountain from old Panamint at an altitude of 5,000 feet below the east slope of Telescope Peak, and could be reached by wagon road from Rhyolite via Lee or Daylight Springs to Bennetts Well and then by trail up Johnson Canyon for about fifteen miles. This latter part of the route could best be negotiated on horseback, and with more difficulty by wagons. It was encouragingly reported that the country had plenty of water and fuel, with good grazing land available for pack horses and mules; it did not appear to have been worked earlier by whites. In contemplating formation of a new townsite in the area, the name "Shadow Mountain" was decided on, because of a dark area on Telescope Peak's east slope visible in the distance. The claims already located reflected the strong influence of newspaper men in the initial discoveries: Lead, Add, Pickup, Freak, Thirty, Composing Stick, Linotype, Galley, Proof, Imposing Stone, Chase, Shooting Stick, Mallet, Devil, Press, Bullfrog Miner, and Rhyolite Herald. That Indians were living in the vicinity is evidenced by the statement that Eddy left his brother on guard while he was in Rhyolite on the last trip for fear that the Indians in that portion of the country who are inclined to dispute the rights of the white man might destroy his monuments. He will remain in the camp the remainder of the summer. [367] It was also noted that The Indians have come to believe that the sentimental mining man is afraid of them. They have small gardens near the springs and frequently visit the poetprospector's camp and besiege him for bacon, trinkets and "fire water." The prospector in attempting to meet all of their requests is a great portion of the time short on some of the necessaries of life. . . . [underlining added] In reality they are more dangerous than the average prospector would think at first glance, for the average prospector does not know what fear is. But these

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Indians have been living over there, many of them, from their childhood, and with the isolation from public highways and nothing but Death Valley as an outlet they have seen but few white men. They have come to think that the few prospectors who have braved the wilds of that section comprise the greater population of the United States. They still have the idea that they might rise up and conquer the world. If they should make this attempt while there is [sic] only one or two unarmed prospectors in the neighborhood, of course, it would be hazardous to them. They have firearms and other things in their possession that there is a bare possibility that they may have taken from victims in the past. They may have committed some of the murders charged to the privations of Death Valley. They are not too good to do it. They look about as low as any savages I ever saw. But so far as fearing them is concerned, Simpson and I never thought of it. [368] The exploratory work accomplished by Eddy and his newspaper party encouraged their backers so much that they were completely reoutfitted and sent back into the mountains, in the belief that "the new discoveries in the Panamints will prove the sensation of the summer and . . . that this heretofore unexplored region will develop rich deposits in gold, silver, copper and lead." [369] Parties were also arriving from Greenwater, and it was predicted that "there is work for 100 parties in that field this summer. They have, the utmost faith in it becoming one of the biggest camps in the country, not even excepting the Bullfrog in the course of time." [370] It was reported that the Indians in the vicinity were actually responsible for the arrival of Greenwater people. Angered by the encroachments of Eddy and his associates, a few Indians went to Greenwater, brought back some white men they knew, and pointed out to them a 20foot-wide lode supposedly assaying 10,000 ozs. in silver to the ton (later assayed at slightly less!) and located within 100 feet of Eddy's gold- and silver-producing Red Mammoth Claim. The Greenwater people were so enthused they stayed day and night extracting and shipping the ore, which was practically in a natural state, having been crudely "blasted" out by Indians years ago. [371] (This property, known hereafter as the "Indian strike," was later expected to be bonded for $100,000.) Another version of this story is that one member of the tribe was dispatched to Greenwater to get help in legally holding their ground. A Judge L. O. Ray, president of the Rhyolite Mining and Brokerage Company, who was then in town, accompanied the Indian back, along with a Henry Brown and a George Fairbanks, in return for one-fourth interest in the claims. [372] Within half a mile of Eddy's main discovery some earlier crude mine workings were found on the side of a canyon, consisting of implements, a shallow tunnel, and an old furnace or retort. "They called upon Indians who live in the neighborhood and inquired about the workings and the Indians remarked that they had 'Ketch urn some gold and some silver." [373] On the basis of this promising information, no doubt grudgingly given, the newspaper folk located five more claims--the Lost Inca, Montezuma, Cliff Dweller, Aztec, and Cortes--which assayed $30 to the ton in gold with a small percentage of silver. [374] By the middle of July 1907 plans, including a post office, were proceeding ahead full steam for the development of the new mining camp, which was being renamed "Panamint." Over 100 claims had now been staked, with prospectors still swarming over the area. Salt Lake interests were the principal backers of the camp, intending to organize two companies, each with a capital of 1-1/2 million dollars; two more companies were due to organize within another month. Businessmen were commencing at once to sell stock, but would wait until fall to begin actual development work:

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the numerous ledges of gold discovered . . have given all a full faith in the camp. They maintain that Greenwater, Skidoo and Lee, with all of their indications, are not ahead of the new Panamint. It is also believed that the famous Breyfogle was found and lost in this section, and that the new discovery is within a few miles of "Scotty's" famous mines. In short, the prospectors and persons interested in the new discoveries are confident that the Panamints will witness the next excitement in NevadaCalifornia mining. [375] Also in this month a newspaper syndicate purchased the Fairview Group of eight claims, originally discovered by Eddy, but evidently now owned by a Mrs. Nellie Currier and Edward G. Gould, for $10,000 in cash and stock. This was in addition to thirty-seven other claims and water rights purchased for the group by Eddy. The two main mines of the area were reportedly the Greenwater "Indian silver lead strike," showing returns of $30 in gold and silver, and the Lost Inca, operated by the Rhyolite newspaper syndicate, showing much free gold and reportedly "the richest surface showing . . . yet observed in the Panamint country. [376] Among the main parties heading for the new area to join the Rhyolite Mining Company people, the newspaper men, and the Salt Lake City capitalists, was C. A. Perry, a mining man from Denver and manager of the Golden Chief Mining and Milling Company operating in the South Bullfrog District. [377] A week later the first note of pessimism was creeping into accounts of the district. According to newspaper reports, Paul De Laney, an assistant district attorney at Rhyolite and one of the representatives of the Rhyolite newspaper syndicate, had been sent to the area to scout it, and Regarding the strike, . . . does not exhibit any marked degree of enthusiasm. He says the early statements about it are somewhat at variance with the facts. [378] This may be why, when "Slim" Young and James Kane joined the rush to the Panamints, they passed by Eddy's camps and went seven miles further west to the site of old Panamint where they located six claims. This area seemed to promise more good discoveries and Young mentioned that the former mill operators there still owned sixteen patented claims in the vicinity. Bolstering De Laney's opinion about the new Panamint was the Inyo Independent's terse comment: "The strike was a fizzle." It further quotes De Laney as reporting: The Lost Inca . . . is a fake, pure and simple[.] I do not know whether Eddy knew any better, but he certainly should have known what he was talking about before spread [sic] the wild stories. We sent two men, Le Compte and Simpson, to look after our interests there, and they were evidently carried away by the stories of Eddy and the appearance of the country. There was nothing but lime, but the lime was of different ages, and the various discolorations gave it the appearance of a contact. [379] The last accounts found concerning the new Panamint mining area mention Eddy as being still involved in prospect work there. He evidently still represented, or thought he did, the Salt Lake interests who owned twenty-seven claims in Johnson Canyon in the name of the Panamint Mining Company. Eddy, obviously in an attempt to draw attention away from his fiasco in Johnson Canyon, was now gradually turning his thoughts and hopefully those of his detractors to the possibility of locating gold on the floor of Death Valley. In pursuit of this dream he located four claims in the foothills between Johnson Canyon and Wingate Pass--the Leadora and
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Death Valley Queen groups located on parallel veins a few hundred feet apart. Development consisted of a fifteen-foot shaft on the Leadora, which had exposed ore giving only decent returns. It was expected that the Panamint Mining Company would take over these properties also. [380] At the same time then that Eddy was pursuing work on the Panamint Mining Company's claims in Johnson Canyon, he was busy advocating his theory that rich gold deposits lay just under the Death Valley floor, brought to. the surface from the bowels of the earth by the action of bubbling thermal springs, and could be easily developed by dredging and placer mining. Eddy and his brother, again backed by Salt Lake capitalists, now became involved in competition with a former partner of Eddy's, E. G. Gould, who was in the employ of certain California parties of dubious reputation, to corroborate this theory that Death Valley is a huge treasure vat, into which, during the thousands of years gone by, the hot waters from below and the cloudbursts from above have connived to pour the precious minerals, which have gradually settled to layers of hard pan, few or many feet beneath the surface of that uninviting sink. [381] e) Hungry Bill's Homestead Probably in an effort to protect his land against further white encroachment, in 1907 Hungry Bill applied for a homestead in Johnson Canyon, which application was processed and subsequently approved by the United States Land Office at Independence on 10 October 1907. According to records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, however, doubt soon arose over the propriety of placing an Indian on a homestead on unsurveyed public domain lands. The case was therefore referred to the Bureau, which processed the application papers through the superintendent of the Carson School in Stewart, Nevada, to allot 160 acres to Hungry Bill under provisions of the General Allotment Act of 1887. He was selected for Allotment No 122 on 1 May 1908. The next step was to have the land surveyed so a patent could be issued; although the survey was made, Hungry Bill died before a trust patent could be given. Nevertheless, it was issued on 14 July 1927 in the name of Panamint Bill for the NE1/4 of Section 20, T21S, R46E, MDM, California, and then on 28 June 1940 an order was issued showing the heirs of the estate, valued at $1,480, to be his living children and grandchildren. [382] It has been stated by some writers that Hungry Bill received the ranch site for his services as a scout during the Modoc War, but this could not be substantiated by the writer. [383] It is unclear why the homestead later reverted to the BIA, but in 1953 Hungry Bill's Ranch was purchased by Fred and Leah Rosser from that agency, evidently without NPS knowledge. On learning of the transaction, the Park Service began negotiations for a land exchange with the Rossers, who were agreeable to the idea of selecting some comparable land outside the monument. Hungry Bill's Ranch became Park Service property on 16 August 1954. [384] f) Present Status of Hungry Bill's Ranch Site The area designated as Hungry Bill's Ranch on the USGS Telescope Peak quadrangle comprises a series of stone walls, corrals, wooden fences, and building sites stretching for about 1-1/2 miles along either side of a stream flowing down the North Fork of Johnson Canyon. The canyon alternates between very narrow stretches, choked with a dense undergrowth that forces hikers to take to the hillsides, and valley areas varying from onethird to one-half mile in width. The road into the North Fork of Johnson Canyon ends at a spring about 9-1/2 miles west of the West Side Road. This area also shows signs of habitation and use. Stone walls have been

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erected alongside the stream, baling wire fencing has been added nearby, and pipes have been laid from the spring to the stream. A burro enclosure stands near the spring, and scattered about are tires, fencing, and tin can debris. On the hillside northwest of the spring area is a reservoir dug out of the earth, measuring twelve by twenty-five feet. It was once enclosed by a fence. Arrastra pit #1 is located on the south side of the stream a few yards west of the spring area. This particular structure was not found during the 1975 LCS survey. It is small but in good shape, measuring about five feet in diameter. No dragstones remain. Arrastra pit #2, the first one located in 1975, is about one-half mile west of the spring beyond a box canyon entering from the north. It measures about four feet across and contains two dragstones. The holes in them are plainly visible and wire is still wrapped around the smaller stone. The rocks around the edge of the arrastre are well worn, indicating heavy use. In association with this arrastra is a stone-lined flume descending from the hillside above, with its funnel shaped mouth opening east of the arrastra and measuring about nine feet across. The flume itself is about 11/2 feet wide and the walls of the trough opening into the stream are about 3 feet high. Perhaps the water was at one time rechanneled through this ditch. [385] Pieces of metal and wood fragments with holes in them are scattered about the area. Above the arrastra on terraces are two levels of dry masonry walls of local stone, averaging seven feet wide. The lower is two feet high and the upper about 3-1/2 feet high. Arrastra pit *3 is located about one-half mile further west beyond a serpentine-shaped stone drift fence about seventy-five yards long on the south side of the stream. On either side of the canyon, short stone walls (twenty to fifty feet long) can be seen either shoring up trails or controlling animal movement. These walls tend to divide the canyon into pastures, but are not always continuous stonework, often incorporating natural obstacles in the canyon walls as part of the barrier. The third arrastra is located in a wash on a terraced ledge whose sustaining wall is about three feet high. A gear and miscellaneous metal parts are strewn around, and some timbers (one charred) are present. Pieces of metal were once attached to these timbers, which were hewn out in places to accommodate them. At least one dragstone is present. Fence posts stretch east in a line from the arrastra platform area, while a fence of poles and stovepipes also leads west. Just west beyond this last arrastra the canyon opens out and holds a stone corral with an adjacent building site on the east. The corral appears to have entrances on the south side. The walls vary from three feet to six feet in height, with periodic dips in them on the south side. The south wall is 75 to 100 feet long, the east side about 25 feet in length, and the north side abuts the canyon wall. Three fig trees have been planted on the north side of the corral. East of here is a level platform area showing evidence of habitation. Metal and glass debris abounds. This may be the location in which Hungry Bill and his kin lived. The writer's feeling is that they divided their time between here and the larger orchard area further west where the canyon opens out again into a wide area originally known as "Swiss Ranch" and built during the Panamint City mining boom.

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Illustration 91. Map of Johnson Canyon, showing area of proposed Hungry Bill's Ranch Historic District.

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Illustration 92. First arrastra in Johnson Canyon heading west towards Hungry Bill's Ranch. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 93. Second arrastra found in canyon. Note stone retaining walls visible above dragstone. Stonelined flume descends hilt to left, outside picture. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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This is a large field of perhaps ten acres enclosed by stone walls about five feet high. Here is the most extensive fencing, about 1,000 feet of walls three feet thick and six feet tall, built of masonry filled with gravel and cobblestones. At the northeast end, part of the wall is circular, about twenty-five to thirty feet in diameter, with walls about five to seven feet high (stone corral?). A wooden gate on the east provides access to the orchard. Just inside the field a tree and a forked branch support a pole from which various houseware items (pots, pans, kettles) once hung. They might have belonged to. some later miner or squatter here, but have long since disappeared. Some metal cable and a gear were found at the east end of the field. Among the trees at the west end much metal debris has been found: an old canteen and a frypan, a wheelbarrow, wagon jack, gears, and white murky glass, thick and bubbly. Apple, pear, fig, and American black walnut trees abound and bear delicious fruit. There is also a grape arbor. Wooden fencing extends further west beyond the arbor and more corral structures. West and north of the stream are more fences (stone and wood) and corrals. The LCS crew found a cellar hole in a grove of dead cottonwood trees near the west end of the field containing small segments of masonry, and leveled building sites to the southwest of the orchard back among the hills, but these were not observed during this writer's field trip. Southeast of the orchard area is another building site, higher on the hillside. The first structure east of the orchard here is a stone, chevron-shaped windbreak whose wall is four to five feet high and about fifty feet long. It shelters what was probably a small house. All that remains of the latter are two parallel stone walls three feet high and fifteen feet long on either side of a dug-out area containing stove parts. Further southeast about fifty yards are at least three more building levels with stone retaining walls, each about 21 feet high and 25 feet long, barren except for debris. Wire fencing is found here as are glass, metal, and plumbing pipe remains. [386]

Illustration 94. Drift fence, south wall of Johnson Canyon east of Hungry Bill's Ranch. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 95. Ruins of third arrastra on north wall of Johnson Canyon east of ranch. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978

g) Evaluation and Recommendations The masonry walls and building sites in the upper valley of the north fork of Johnson Canyon once comprised a farming enterprise known as "Swiss Ranch," a fruit and nut orchard ten miles from old Panamint City attributed to some Swiss settlers attempting to fill the need for vegetables in that thriving mining camp. Horses and pack animals might also have been boarded here. [387] From information supplied by visitors to the area in 1896 and 1910, however, the writer feels it safe to assume that Hungry Bill and his family also lived and farmed in this area, perhaps erecting some of the simpler fencing found here. Whether or not the Indians actually constructed any of the huge stone walls or irrigation ditches, or whether these were already in existence and simply reused, is conjectural. According to the 1896 report, Indians did build the walls and Indian George was even planning to erect a "regular" house on a cleared space on a nearby hillside. [388] The smaller valley further east has been referred to as the historic Indian camp of Hungry Bill. In the 1960s when William J. Wallace investigated this site, a large, circular, roofless shelter or windbreak about eight feet high was still standing in perfect condition and full of discarded belongings, such as bundles of basketry, withes, and toys. A large collection of these miscellaneous objects was taken to the visitor center in 1963. [ 389] The structure was not seen by this writer, so it is possible it has since fallen down.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 96. Stone wall of corral east of Hungry Bill's Ranch. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 97. Circular stone pen on northeast corner of orchard complex, Hungry Bill's Ranch. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration. 98. Hungry Bill's Ranch site, view to northwest. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration. 99. Stone windbreak, Hungry Bill's just east of Ranch site. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration. 100. Building site windbreak. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

In addition to significance in the area of early 1870s farming enterprises and its long history as seasonal home to a group of historical Panamint Indians, Johnson Canyon also was the scene of several mining operations. It provided a direct route from Death Valley to Panamint City via Panamint Pass and Frenchmans Canyon, a trail used by miners going between the western and eastern Panamint slopes as well as by the "truck farmers" to transport their goods to Panamint City. Rich mineral strikes made by Clarence Eddy brought many miners and prospectors into the area, which for a while underwent a flurry of mining activity. It is doubtful, however, that the new town of "Panamint" ever prospered. The entire stretch of ruins in Johnson Canyon is eligible for inclusion on the National Register as being of local significance, and will be incorporated into the Hungry Bill's Ranch
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Historic District nomination. An interpretive sign should be erected in the vicinity of the ruins providing a history of the area. Information on the ranch should also be provided at the visitor center. The network of stone walls is in good shape at the present time, but their condition should be monitored periodically since this is an important resource. No stabilization or restoration measures are proposed at this time. Archeological study should be an essential part of further research into this canyon's history. More intensive perusal of the historical literature, notably in newspapers dealing with the Panamint City boom, might turn up more information on the exact nature of the "Swiss Ranch" enterprise and the individuals involved. Study of Hungry Bill's Ranch site and of the artifacts in the visitor center museum should help provide a picture of the lifestyle of these Panamint Indians who were seemingly able to tread the line between retention of their familiar customs and assimilation of white practices. Other remnants of Indian culture have been found in the area: pictographs in black and red of animal and human figures on the walls of a shelter (presumed to have been drawn by historic Indians on their way to Hungry Bill's); and three house sites or walled shelters on the north side of the canyon against the cliff. [390] This writer also noticed some petroglyphs on a rock wall just south of and across the stream from Arrastra pit #3.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
15. Hanaupah Canyon Mines a) History The early history of the Hanaupah Canyon area is sketchy at best. As early as 1889 a Mr. W. C. Morton discovered silver ore on the northeast slope of Telescope Peak in a well-timbered canyon down which flowed a strong mountain spring. Mr. Morton stated that access to and from Death Valley was possible by wagon. [391] The pure water of the Panamint Range was well known by the 1900s and coveted for milling and domestic uses. "Hunopa" Canyon was one place mentioned as having sufficient quantities of water for power purposes. [392] In 1905 a strike was reported in "Honupi" Canyon on a forty-foot--wide vein of free-milling ore assaying over $40 a ton. Again the abundance of wood and water in this particular area were seen as distinct advantages to its future prosperity. [ 393] About 1907 a promising copper discovery was made in the foothills at the west edge of Death Valley east of Telescope Peak. The most important deposits were located in Chuckwalla Canyon, immediately north of Hanaupah Canyon, but the mineralized district was thought to extend over several miles. It was predicted that although the area had seen little prospecting activity so far, the new discovery, whose "copper values and . . . showings generally . . . equals and in many cases surpasses anything in the Greenwater district," would cause an influx of prospectors and location activity. Two specific claim groups are mentioned: the Copper Contacts and the Chuckawalla Coppers, owned by H. M. Thurman, F. C. Kennedy, and associates. [394] The only other mention of mining possibly in this area was a report that in September 1907 Frank Kennedy was mining silver ore on a property near Chuckwalla Canyon. The ledge was producing 400 to 500 ozs. of silver bromide, and shipping was expected to commence if the values held as development progressed. [ 395] This probably is a reference to Kennedy's activity in the Wildrose area, however. The next several years are devoid of mention of mining in Hanaupah Canyon. Some work was evidently going on in the early 1920s, as evidenced by an application for a permit to appropriate "one cubic foot [of water] per second from two unnamed springs in Hannapah Canyon, in Inyo County, for mining purposes," filed by a William P. O'Meara of Los Angeles. [396]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 101. Map of Hanaupah Canyon mining area.

In the spring of 1922 two lode mining claims, located about nine to nine and one-half miles west of the Eagle Borax Works and referred to as the Big Horn and Big Horn Extension, were filed on. [397] That distance would place them in the area of the South Fork of Hanaupah Canyon. In the late 1920s mining activity in the "Chuckwalla. Mountain region of Inyo County, on the west side of Death Valley" is mentioned, but it is thought by the writer that this data refers not to Chuckwalla Canyon but instead to a new mining district further north in the Ubehebe region; it will be discussed later as the "Skookum Mining District." Sometime during the 1920s an ex-World War I U. S. Cavalry soldier named Alexander "Shorty" Borden, who had seen service on the Mexican border, came to Death Valley to indulge in some prospecting work, during which time he ranged over vast sections of the park, concentrating mainly in the Panamint, Emigrant, and Goldbelt Spring regions. On one of his expeditions he discovered what appeared to be rich silver-lead outcroppings in the South Fork of Hanaupah Canyon. Because assays of the find seemed encouraging, Shorty decided to try and develop the area. In September 1932 he began construction of the present nine-mile-long road leading west from the Death Valley floor to his mine at Hanaupah Spring. His only resources a pick, crowbar, shovel, a small amount of dynamite, and burro power, Shorty finished his access road six months later, supposedly at the age of sixty-five! At the same time he dug the well that bears his name at the junction of the West Side and Hanaupah Canyon roads. Sometime during this process Borden talked a Bill Price into partnership with him on the mine. The enterprise seems to have fizzled, however, when it turned out that shipping the ore to a smelter cost more than its assay value. [398] The only other mine operated in Hanaupah Canyon of which mention has been found is the Peon Mine, owned by the Peon Mining Company (Dale Penner and associates) and leased to the Hanaupah Mining Corporation. No details of this operation or its dates of existence were found. [399]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 102. Mine camp, South Fork of Hanaupah Canyon near the spring. Note adit on far hillside. View to east. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

b) Present Status About two miles north of Eagle Borax Spring, at Shortys Well, a rough dirt road veers left up the alluvial fan into Hanaupah Canyon. About 8-1/2 miles from the road junction the gravel road ends at Hanaupah Spring, the site of a pleasant stream and spring and of an abandoned mine camp. The road forks here, the southern trail leading eventually to "a series of cascades and pools; the northern to a twenty-five-foot waterfall." [400] This southern draw might contain other remnants of mining activity, since the 1889 reference to a silver strike in this area mentions "three large natural tanks, which the elements have worn in the rocks, full of pure cold water, and . . . a stream carrying over 150 inches of water gushes down the canyon a few hundred feet from his discovery." [401] The writer followed this southern trail for about 1/4 of a mile along the hillside, but not on over the westernmost ridge. The areas closely examined included the mining camp and adits adjacent to Hanaupah Spring and another mine site on the north side of the canyon about 1/2 mile north of the main spring. The abandoned claim at the spring consists of a prospector's residence and two adits. The main three-room house contains only a stove, sink, and table, and has been badly vandalized. One surprising feature is a flagstone terrace in front of the house's east entrance. A small porch or added room on the west end has fallen in. Northeast of the main structure is a shower house, containing a toilet and shower stall.. Both of these buildings are plywood. East of the housing area is a road running along the side of the ridge. Metal spikes and wooden boards on the hillside facing the buildings, and tramway section remains in front of the main house, indicate that at one time probably access to the adits was directly up the hill from the residential area. No structures (ore bin, chutes, or ladders) exist now. The first, main adit appears to have been used as both a workshop and sleeping area. A wooden-timbered entrance wall has been erected to protect a metal cot and workbench inside the tunnel from the elements. The tunnel goes back several hundred feet into the mountainside and then branches. The second adit on the road, south of the first, has either caved in or else was discontinued. The mining road leading south and then west up the hillside from the house leads on west over the ridge to a mine site on the north side of the canyon. From a distance only a waste dump and adit could be seen.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 103. View to west up Hanaupah Canyon. Note mine road along hill to left. Another adit is located on one of the hillsides to the right. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

c) Evaluation and Recommendations None of the mine sites visited, and examined by this writer in Hanaupah Canyon possess historical significance. The only individual associated with mining activities here is Shorty Borden, but not enough is known about the extent of his operations, their importance, or their exact location to warrant a National Register nomination. The cabins around Hanaupah Spring are lacking in integrity and are in a decrepit state due to vandalism. According to Belden, Borden had seen some deserted Indian shacks grouped around the spring in the 1920s, which had been occupied by Indian draft dodgers during World War I. [402] No evidence of these remains. As far as could be ascertained from the vantage point of an opposite ridge, the site marked "Mine" on the USGS Telescope Peak quadrangle map contains no structures. It is possible that evidence of other mining activity exists in the area, although none is indicated here or in the Middle or North Fork of Hanaupah Canyon by the USGS. Some Indian rock alignments have been found on the Hanaupah Canyon fan southwest of Tule Spring. [403]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
A. Southern Panamints and West Side Road (continued)
16. Trail Canyon Mines a) History (1) Death Valley Wonder Mining & Milling Company The earliest mining activity in Trail Canyon was contemporaneous with the gold discoveries in the Harrisburg and Skidoo areas, taking place during the period from about 1906 to 1907. No information was found describing day-to-day operations in the area, but enough data emerged to establish that at least three mining companies conducted business in the canyon during this period. On 5 March 1906 Articles of Incorporation were filed for the Death Valley Wonder Mining & Milling Company in Maricopa County in Arizona Territory by Stoddard Incorporating Company of Phoenix. The incorporators were J. P. Branley and James A. Joyce. Phoenix was to be the principal place of business in Arizona, and Oakland, California, the outside base. Capitalized at one million dollars, divided into one million shares of $1 each, the company began newspaper advertising later that month. Its properties included seven full claims of 140 acres, assaying from $2 to $85.73 per ton in gold and silver. Plenty of timber and water on hand ensured easy mining operations. A final attempt to snare the investor was this reminder: Remember our property is upon a ledge from which ore assaying over $800.00 per ton has been taken. Who knows but a few more blasts may uncover same results for us. Secure at once what stock you can for it is much better to have a few thousand shares at this price than wish you had. [404] Not much data was found on the fortunes of the Death Valley Wonder Mine. During the fall of 1906 five men were employed, and development results were considered encouraging. Company stock was projected to rise from its current price of five cents a share to ten or fifteen cents by the first of November. By January 1907 the company stock was being listed on the San Francisco Stock & Exchange Board. Company assets included the Annie M. sixclaim group and the Branley in the Wild Rose District. By March 1907 the Death Valley Wonder's crosscut tunnel was in 140 feet. The final mention found of the mine was later in 1907 while a force of men was still working there and the mine was continuing to show good surface values. Mr. Branley was even contemplating the establishment of a company office at Skidoo. [405] (2) Wild Rose Mining Company

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

A second corporation transacting business in Trail Canyon was the Wild Rose Mining Company, which owned property about seven miles from Skidoo. E. H. Goodpaster was the company agent in the area, and work started on the claims, which included the Wild Rose Annex and Rush Group, around October 1906. [406] This latter group of claims, located near a Wild Rose Mine, was first discovered by Goodpaster in September 1905 in association with John W. Seller, (a prominent mining man of Goldfield connected with the Bonanza Mountain and Black Spar companies in Rhyolite) and A. V. Carpenter. By the spring of 1907 an eighty-foot tunnel had been excavated with a crosscut running through the ledge and exposing ore assaying as high as $100 in gold and $25 in silver. In April 1907 it was reported that the extensively developed Wild Rose Group had just been sold to a Boston . syndicate for about $300,000. The Wild Rose Annex property was also making a good showing at this time. [407] Goodpaster was evidently dividing his time between Trail Canyon and the Skidoo area, because earlier in 1907 a notice appeared that he had established a camp on the Skidoo Contact property and was starting development of the Doctor Claim there. He had discovered the Gold Ledge Nos. 1-4 and the Doctor claims of the Skidoo Contact Group and the Granite Contact properties himself and had then sold them to the Skidoo Contact Mining Company, of which he became general manager, for $15,000. [408] (3) Trail Canyon Mining Company A third mining venture in Trail Canyon was the Trail Canyon Mining Company, incorporated in the state of South Dakota by three Tonopah, Nevada, and two Pierre, South Dakota, businessmen. The principal place of business was to be Pierre, with a business office closer to the property at Tonopah. Capitalized at one million dollars, divided into one million shares of $1 each par value, the company was incorporated on 10 November 1906. On 8 December 1906 it was registered as a foreign incorporation in the state of Nevada, designating Tasker L. Oddie as its resident agent. [409] In the spring of 1907 Charles M. Schwab, Oddie, and F. J Leutjens expanded the assets of the company by purchasing five promising claims in Trail Canyon whose assays were running from $50 to $3,000 per ton. [410] What seemed to be a promising future for the company did not materialize, however, due to the collapse of the New York stock market in March of that year, followed by similar crises in Hamburg, Amsterdam, and Montreal. The financial panic spread to the west, causing two Goldfield banks to close. Tasker Oddie, who had invested and speculated heavily and rather recklessly in various mining claims and property and mining-related enterprises in Tonopah and the Bullfrog Mining District, was ruined by the economic collapse. Five flimsily subsidized mining companies of which he was president, including the Trail Canyon Mining Company, failed when Oddie was unable to make good his obligations to the stockholders or to the Tonopah Banking Corporation, which had invested in his development work. [411]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 104. Map of Trail Canyon mining area.

(4) Old Dependable Antimony Mine The next phase of activity in Trail Canyon centered around antimony mining. The monument contains two such deposits: the Wildrose Mine, about one mile southeast of the Wildrose Ranger Station, which will be covered in a later section, and the Old Dependable Mine in the South Fork of Trail Canyon fifteen miles southwest of Furnace Creek Ranch. These two areas produced a total of about 2,060,000 pounds of antimony: 2,000,000 during World War I and the rest during World War II. From 1939 to 1941 the Old Dependable was operated by Brinn W. Belyea, who invested approximately $50,000 in construction of a road, camp facilities, and mine development. The site yielded around seventy tons of ore showing eighteen to sixty percent antimony. In 1940 an H. E. Olund was in charge of the mine for Belyea Truck Company, and eighteen men were employed in building a modern camp. Operations were discontinued when the war came and Belyea donated the use of his time and the facilities of his trucking, crane, and construction companies to the war effort. Mr. Belyea died in the latter part of 1946; in 1948 sixteen claims were relocated as the Old Dependable Group by his wife, Isabelle Belyea, and were bonded and leased to J. W. E. McCulley of Darwin in January 1949. Drags, picks, and shovels were used in an attempt to rebuild and repair the access road, permitting mining to commence from an open cut in April. However, due to the smallness of the ore body, its remote location, and unfavorable market, conditions during peacetime, the two cars of ore removed from the cut were never shipped, and the property became idle. In 1951 the workings consisted of the open cut, which had produced one eleven-ton pod assaying 60% antimony, and two adits. [412] (5) Tungsten Mines A second mineral commodity sought during World War II was tungsten. As early as 1937 the world demand for this product was increasing substantially, due mainly to business recovery and expanded uses for the metal, and the advancing prices occasioned by higher production costs were promoting development in the United States of hundreds of mines and prospects. Estimates were made that in 1937 the world production of tungsten would equal the 35,000 tons produced during World War 1. [413] Small tungsten deposits within the monument have been found at the Sheepshead-Victory Group in Trail Canyon, near Goldbelt Spring at the Shorty Harris Prospect, and in various locations east of Skidoo. Much of this work was done in the 1950s, domestic tungsten mining having, been encouraged by the U.S. Government as late as 1958. [414] The Sheepshead and Victory tungsten groups are situated at about 4,000
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

feet elevation in the middle fork of Trail Canyon. In 1951 they were owned by Milton L. Knapp of Palm Springs, California, and Floyd R. Bekins, of Los Angeles. Several prospect pits were opened and one ton of high-grade ore shipped in 1943. Poor road conditions precluded further exploration on the property, which was idle by 1951. [415] Only brief mentions of other tungsten mining endeavors in Trail Canyon were found in the monument files. These included the Morning Glory Group of four claims in the South Fork of Trail Canyon, owned by Morning Glory Mines, Inc., of Albuquerque, N.M., Abram H. Kreider, president; Ronald A Claims of Jack Smith and John Polson, in the Middle Fork of Trail Canyon, which had been the scene of several mining attempts over the years, but which soon reached a static state due to lack of investment capital and of any appreciable quantity of high-grade ore. This operation involved five people in residence; All Mine and Lucky Find Claims and Millsites #1-2 of a Mr. Dotson and Page G. Brady in the South Fork of Trail Canyon. These millsites were a relocation of the old Morning Glory Mine camp. Evidently these claims involved only promotional work, with no very active mining. Products obtained were silica and ornamental rock; AA Placer Claims composed of 137 160-acre group placer claims filed by Al Anderson and worked in 1958 over a total of 21,920 acres; Blackwater Mine of several hundred claims, worked in 1959, containing low-grade tungsten; and the Tarantula Mine (old Nichols Mine and Millsite) in the North and Middle Forks of Trail Canyon, worked in 1958. According to notes in the monument mining office this was probably the only profitable tungsten operation in Death Valley during the 1950s boom era, and was responsible for attracting others to the Trail Canyon area. This region evidently soon resembled the land around Skidoo, with hundreds of claims being filed on and a vast network of roads scarring the hillsides. (The operator of the Tarantula Mine built the road stretching from Trail Canyon, to Aguereberry Point--now only a rough jeep trail.) Quite a lot of false stock promotion was also prevalent. At the height of the craze some of the miners tried to drum up Washington's support for a bill to abolish Death Valley National Monument! The Nichols Mine and Millsite were later relocated as the Broken Pick Mine and Millsite. The Small Hill Millsite was a conflicting relocation of the old Nichols Millsite filed in the same year as the Broken Pick Millsite relocation. Information was also found that a certain Joseph Harris of Yuma, Arizona, who had been involved in various mining activities in Death Valley since the 1930s, in addition to leasing the Skidoo Mine from 1938 to 1939 and operating the Keane Wonder Extension from 1949 to 1955, had run a tungsten mine in Trail Canyon in 1960. [416] As late as as 1971 some tungsten mining was being undertaken in the South Fork of Trail Canyon as evidenced by a request from the claimants for permission to use dynamite on their remote scheelite mine. [417] b) Present Status Because the road up Trail Canyon from West Side Road has been washed out and at best is considered a difficult four-wheel drive road that should be navigated only by experienced personnel, the writer did not visit these sites. The current status of the road from Aguereberry Point into Trail Canyon is unknown, although about fourteen years ago it was a steep, oneway downhill grade from the Point, and was also subject to washout problems. About nine miles west into the canyon from West Side Road, the trail branches, one arm continuing west into the Middle Fork for about 1-12 miles and ending near an abandoned mine camp. Monument photographs taken by a ranger in 1962 indicate that at least two small mine camps remained in the Middle Fork at that time: the Broken Pick and Small Hilt Millsites (two conflicting relocations of the old Nichols Millsite), and the Ronald "A" Mine and camp of Smith and Poison. These both consisted of corrugated-metal and wood frame buildings in the residential and work areas, and wooden chute remains at the workings themselves. The South Fork road ends after about 2-1/2 miles at a cableway leading to the Morning

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Glory Mine, whose associated camp was relocated as the Lucky Find Millsite #1 and #2. The Old Dependable Antimony Mine lies along the South Fork Canyon road also, at about 4,800 feet elevation, a site marked in the early 1960s by a large open pit on the east side of the road. This may be the camp designated by the row of buildings on the USGS Emigrant Canyon quad. According to Park Ranger Warren H. Hill, the North Fork of Trail Canyon contained the Broken Pick Mine, the relocation of the old Nichols, or Tarantula, Mine, whose workings consisted of a wooden one-chute ore bin, several adits, and other miscellaneous mining debris. c) Evaluation and Recommendations The writer is unwilling to present any recommendations for preservation, restoration, or reclamation in regard to Trail Canyon resources because the area was not personally visited. It is not known whether any remains of the Skidoo-period operations can still be found. Most of the mining activity evident dates from the tungsten craze of the 1950s, although the Old Dependable Antimony Mine ruins would date from the late 1930s and early 1940s. It was the later of the two antimony concerns in the Monument, produced fairly low-grade ore except for occasional rich pockets, and produced less total yield than the Wildrose Mine. It does not possess the qualities of significance necessary for inclusion on the National Register. None of the later Trail Canyon mines had a production rate or associative significance that made them important in the monument's history, and the only pictures found of mining activity in this area do not reveal any structures of apparent historical or architectural interest. Because Trail Canyon was not explored during the 1975 LCS Survey or by this present project, and therefore no recent pictures of it have been taken nor a reconnaissance of remaining cultural resources made, it is imperative that further examination and evaluation be made before any sites or individual buildings are destroyed. The Morning Glory Mine tramway ruin should be followed, photographed, and mapped--its present condition is uncertain. The entire extent of archeological resources in the Trail Canyon area is also unknown, although at least one cave site with a smoke-blackened ceiling was found at the head of Trail Canyon over fifteen years ago. Because this canyon provided passage for Indians between the lower valley and higher mountain ranges, there should be vestiges of their occupation and peregrinations remaining. [418]

Illustration 105. Ronald "A" *1 mine and camp of Smith and Poison. In middle fork of Trail Canyon, 1962. Photo by Park Ranger Warren H. Hill, courtesy of DEVA NM.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 106. Scar of mining exploration for tungsten, now Ronald "A" 14 mine of Smith and Poison. In middle fork of Trail Canyon, 1962. Photo by Park Ranger Warren H. Hill, courtesy of DEVA NM.

Illustration 107. Broken Pick Millsite and Small Hill Millsite in middle fork of Trail Canyon, 1962. Photo by Park Ranger Warren H. Hill, courtesy of DEVA NM.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 108. Broken Pick Mine, north fork of Trail Canyon, 1962. Photo by Park Ranger Warren H. Hill, courtesy of DEVA NM.

Illustration 109. Lucky Find Millsites #1 and #2, relocation of old Morning Glory Mine camp, South Fork of Trail Canyon, 1962. Photo by Park Ranger Warren H. Hill, courtesy of DEVA NM.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon
1. Thorndike Camp a) History Thorndike Camp, located between the Charcoal Kilns and Mahogany Flat, in the Wildrose section of the Panamints, was once part of a 160-acre homestead filed on by John Thorndike (Thorndyke), a well-known Owens Valley miner, in order to provide a pleasantly -cool summer retreat for his wife Mary, an area schoolteacher. Thorndike came to the Death Valley region in 1903 from Maine, where he was born and had attended college. Working first as an assayer at the Ward Mine in the White Mountains, he later moved to mines in the Coso area and around Darwin. During these years he is mentioned in connection with the Modock Mine, which he superintended, [1] and the Custer Mine, near Darwin, which he co-owned and managed. In 1920 he married a Darwin schoolteacher, Mary K. Stewart. [2] Thorndike's next move was to Ballarat, where his name was linked to the rich Gibraltar silver-lead mine in South Park Canyon, which he supervised, [3] and to the Big Horn leadsilver property eight miles southeast of the town that was one of four claims comprising the Honolulu Mine, worked intermittently from 1907 on, producing mainly during World War II. Thorndike was superintending the latter property in the 1920s over a force of fifteen miners who were building a five-mile auto/truck road to connect with the Ballarat-Trona road to be used for heavy ore shipments to the smelters. It has been said that this was the first mine to ship ore from the Panamints by truck. Thorndike's contribution to the area's development must have been considered substantial, for South Park Canyon has also been known as Thorndike Canyon. [4] In the late twenties Thorndike also held half interests in the Sunrise, Pine Ridge, and Panorama Nos. 1 to 5 mining claims, mining district unknown. [5] Around the mid-1930s Thorndike filed on a 160-acre homestead in the Panamints at the eastern end of Wildrose Canyon, the property extending from the bottom of the canyon up as far as Mahogany Flat and climbing about 600 feet in elevation. Six structures were erected by the couple in the approximate center of their holdings, including: 1. living quarters, a two-room frame building with an attached screened porch; 2. a cabin, a two-room frame building; 3. a kitchen/dining room, a two-room structure; 4. a laundry/shower room, a frame building with access to hot and cold water;

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

5. a sleeping cabin, a two-room frame unit with an attached screened porch; and 6. a garage/shop, a two-room, dirt-floored frame structure housing the complex's electrical plant. [6]

Illustration 111. Sleeping cabin, Bldg. No. 5, Garage and shop, southeast. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM. Photos of Thorndike Camp taken about 1954.

Illustration 112. Bldg. No. 6, looking looking east. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM. Photos of Thorndike Camp taken about 1954.

Illustration 113. Toilet. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM. Photos of Thorndike Camp taken about 1954.

Illustration 114. Wooden water tank, 3,000 gallons. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM. Photos of Thorndike Camp taken about 1954.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 115. Living quarters, Bldg. No. 1, southwest. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM. Photos taken about 1954.

Illustration 116. Cabin, Bldg. No. 2, looking looking southeast. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM. Photos taken about 1954.

Illustration 117. Kitchen and dining room, Bldg. No. 3, looking to southeast. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM. Photos taken about 1954.

Illustration 118. Laundry and shower room, Bldg. No. 4, to north. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM. Photos taken about 1954.

Although originally the Thorndikes presumably planned to occupy this property only a few months each summer, because of the number of buildings erected it is possible that they later envisioned developing the area for commercial purposes. This seems to be substantiated by a 1939 newspaper article reporting the unbelievable story that a Trona, California, man had been given permission to build a ski lift above the Charcoal Kilns near Telescope Peak; in connection with the skiing operation, it was mentioned that guests visiting the lift will find comfortable accommodations at Thorndike's camp." [7] The Thorndikes lived intermittently on the property until 1954; in 1955 the entire 160-acre homestead was bought by the U.S. Government and integrated into Death Valley National Monument. b) Present Status Thorndike Camp is located about 3/4 of a mile beyond the Charcoal Kilns, and is reached via a steep, low-gear road that continues on through the campground to Mahogany Flat. No buildings are standing on the site, although some concrete slab foundations are visible, as

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

well as the remains of a small fish pond, a stone stairway, and some stone retaining walls. c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Death Valley Shoshone were attracted to the Wildrose area of the Panamints as soon as the summer heat began to force its way into the lower elevations of the valley. The area around the present Thorndike Campground was especially inviting as a summer campsite because of the presence of several springs in the area as well as the pleasant coolness of the surroundings due to the narrowness of the canyon and its relatively high elevation. These were undoubtedly also the attractions that led John Thorndike to homestead there. [8]

Illustration 119. Thorndike Homestead. From Hopper, "Appraisal of Thorndike Property," 1954.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 120. Goldfish pond (?) at Thorndike Camp site. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 121. Stone steps and wall in background are all that remain of Thorndike homestead. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

No significant remains of the Thorndike homestead are found in the campground. Despite its

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

earlier association with a well-known Death Valley region prospector, the site no longer possesses historical integrity or significance.

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deva/hrs/section3b1.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District a) Early Activity Referred to from about 1873 to the spring of 1888 as "Rose Springs District, the area loosely bordered by the Panamint Mining District on the south, Townsend Pass on the north, Panamint Valley on the west, and Death Valley on the east, was first opened to easy access from the Panamints by W. L. Hunter and J.L. Porter, who had located some promising claims in the vicinity. [9] By March 1876 the district was seeing a vast amount of activity. The Inyo Mining Company had bought seven well-defined ledges in the area and had set up headquarters at the North Star Mine (formerly owned by the Nassano Company). The start of operations there and at the Garabaldi (Garibaldi) was only awaiting the arrival of Remi Nadeau's freighting teams bringing needed tools and stores. A townsite was being laid out to house the many miners entering the district over the improved wagon road from Warren Springs in search of work and property: There are other valuable ledges in the district, and ample room for other companies to invest; and, as spring advances, we will, no doubt, have quite an influx of capital, as there are several parties of prospectors who have been in here at times for a year or more, and who hold ledges of considerable merit, from whom capitalists can purchase a set, or even several sets or groups of. ledges, numbering from three to 10 or 12, and which now lie undeveloped, together with mill sites with sufficient water for milling their ores. The records show that about 165 ledges have been located, and the necessary amount of work performed on the most of them to hold them for the year. [10] b) First Locations By 1882 the area was being referred to variously as the "Wild Rose District", and "Rose Spring Mining District," although the former designation was not official until several years later, It was rumored that a silver mill was soon to be erected because of the profitable and immense ledges being struck, and indeed a notice of location was filed on Wild Rose Spring itself for "conducting and carrying on a General Milling and Reduction Works." [11] Property filed on during this period included the Inyo Silver Mine, 113 miles North from Rose Spring and adjoins SE quarter of Virgin Mine"; Blizzard Mine "5-1/2 miles East from Emigrant Spring on right-hand side of trail leading from Mohawk Mine to Blue Bell Mine
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

and is about 8 miles air line north of Telescope Peak"; Valley View Mine "6 miles East of Emigrant Spring on Mineral Hill & lies on right-hand side of trail leading from Springs to Blue Bell Mine & is ca. 2 miles SW of latter"; Argonaut Mine (Nellie Grant), "situated about four and 1 miles South, from the Mouth of Emigrant Canon at what is known as Hunter & Porters rock house near Emigrant Spring & is immediately South of the Jeannetta [Juniata?] Mine and is a relocation of the Uncle Sam Mine"; and the Jeanetta Mine "on the West side of Emigrant Canon about 4-1/2 miles above . . . near Emigrant Spring and is a relocation of the Nellie Grant Mine." [12] In July 1884 the Mohawk (earlier known as North Star), Blue Bell (aka Garibaldi), and Argonaut (aka Nellie Grant) mines shipped about ten tons of ore to the smelter that yielded over 3,000 oz. of silver bullion. Due to the lack of milling facilities in the Wild Rose area, it was necessary to ship the ore across the Panamint Valley to the ten-stamp plant of the Argus Range Mill and Mining Company in Snow Canyon. This tedious trip was undertaken by the owner of one of these properties who is a strong believer in this district . . . . The milling test was very satisfactory, coming up to 85 and 90 per cent of the assay value by the most ordinary process, and bullion 75 and 80 fine, carrying a light per cent of copper. This district shows a large amount of high grade ore. Some of the most promising ledges have been considerably developed, giving encouragement that they will make mines of great and permanent value. Natural and good roads lead to these properties and to the wood and water, which are both found ample for mining and milling purposes and are contiguous to the mines. There are hundreds, and I may say thousands of tons of this fine milling ore out and in sight, and no milling facilities near at hand to work it profitably, and the owners, mostly miners, are unable to undertake the erection of reduction works. The climate is very healthy and the finest in the world for continuous mining. [13] By this time other producing mines in the area are mentioned: the Juniata (possibly the Jeanetta mentioned earlier), contiguous to the Argonaut, and the Virgin six miles south of these and near the Blizzard. Because of the encouraging results at the Snow Canyon Mill, the owners of the latter two were endeavoring to find capital to finance construction of a tenstamp mill in the area of the mines. [14] c) Formation of District and Establishment of Boundaries On 4 April 1888 a formal meeting of local miners was held at Rose Springs for the purpose of organizing a new mining district in light of the fact that all the books and records of the previous district had been lost and no recorder had been active for the last two years. The new entity was to be known as the "Wild Rose Mining District": "The north boundary line shall be Townsends Pass in the Panamint range of Mountains. The western boundry [sic] line shall be Panamint Valley. The Southern boundry line shall be the North line of Panamint District. The Eastern boundry line shall be Death Valley." [15] A later description of the Wild Rose District, whose boundaries were possibly expanded after the strike at Harrisburg, reads: Beginning at Williams canon to the center of Panamint Valley, thence north to a line running east and west through Cottonwood canon to Surveyors' Wells, thence to Salt Creek, south to Bennett's Wells, and west to place of beginning. The district is adjacent on the south and west to the recently organized South Bullfrog district. [16] More mines were recorded during this time: the Weehawken (Weehawker?) Mine "about 2-

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

1/2 miles from Coal Kilns in northerly direction and about 7 miles in westerly direction from Death Valley"; Antimony Mine "2-1/2 miles from Rose Springs on south side of road leading to coal kilns and 1/2 mile from summit of mountains leading to Fever [?] Canon"; Consolidation Mine "1-1/2 miles south from North Star Mine and formerly known as Consolidated." [17] d) Mining Companies and Further Locations By 1906 several mining companies held interests in the Wild Rose District: the Telescope Peak Mines Syndicate was an Arizona incorporation with a treasury stock of 600,000 shares, owning seven gold and copper claims covering about 140 acres in the Wild Rose District. Offices were maintained in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Phoenix, Arizona; [ 18] the Panamint Mountain Mines Syndicate, another Arizona incorporation under the same management as the Telescope Peak Company, with a treasury stock also of 600,000 shares, owning sixteen full gold claims covering 320 acres each in the Wild Rose District; [19] the Wild Rose Mining Company, whose interests were represented by W.B. Gray, Dr. U.V. Withee, and W.H. Sanders, and which owned gold, silver, copper, and lead properties with surface values ranging from $9 to $716 (by 1924 the company's property above Wild Rose was proving to be one of the big gold and silver mines in the district under the management of Charles Grundy. Nineteen thousand tons of ore assaying $29 per ton were ready to be mined, and by March the ore was assaying $300 to $500 a ton in silver, with gold and lead present, too); the Rush Company, owning prospects near the Wild Rose, and involved in building a road into the canyon; the Death Valley Gold Mining Company recently incorporated by California capitalists; and the Kawich-Bullfrog Company. The Wild Rose, Rush, Kawich-Bullfrog, and Death Valley Gold Mining Company properties were all stated to be approximately two miles from Harrisburg. [20] Other mines mentioned at this time, but on which no further information was found, are the Last Hike, Venus and Mars groups of claims located by Tom Knight in the Wild Rose District. [21] e) Heliograph Dispatches An interesting technological development related to mining during this time involved the initiation by the Rhyolite Herald of the heliograph method of communication in an attempt to facilitate transmission of the latest news from the surrounding mining districts to its readers: The latest move is to receive heliograph dispatches from the Funeral and Grapevine ranges, which will be flashed to us from the mountains twenty-five to fifty miles away. Death Valley will signal from the top of Chloride Cliff in the Funeral range, while the California Bullfrog, Doris Montgomery and Breyfogle will flash their news from the Doris camp. Wild Rose district will span Death Valley with a ray of light to the Doris camp and that station will repeat the messages to us. Who knows but that this wireless telegraph will be the means of saving life? . . . The instruments are now being constructed and as soon as completed and other necessary arrangements made, the signaling will begin. [22] f) Settlement of Emigrant Spring Brings Need for Road to Keeler By the summer of 1906 Emigrant Spring(s) was the site of what was projected to be a great mining camp with good ore showings in the surrounding properties that were attracting much investment capital. Thirty men were employed in the area, and there was talk of erecting a twenty-stamp mill. The biggest project under contemplation at this time was construction of
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

a road from Keeler to Emigrant to replace the over-100-mile-long Johannesburg-Emigrant supply route that was costing shippers 4-1/2¢ per pound. The new route would not only reduce this distance by about 45 miles, correspondingly reducing production costs and speeding development, but would also open up a remunerative Owens Valley-Emigrant trade in agricultural products. [23] A letter from Ballarat in late summer of 1906 declared that results from strikes near Emigrant Spring were still more than satisfactory. Freight teams from Johannesburg were arriving everyday, a pipeline was being built at Skidoo, and there was an influx of mining men from Goldfield and Bullfrog. The two disadvantages seen for the area were its distance from a railroad and the bad reputation the country held for heat and difficulties in mining. [24] By this time the Cashier Mine at Harrisburg, the Sheep Mountain strike, and the Golden Eagle at Skidoo were all in the throes of new development work. [25] By the fall of 1906 the wagon road from Keeler to Emigrant was still not an established fact, although it was being strongly pushed by miners in that section. Darwin Wash was considered to be the most feasible route for the trail, being both cheaper and more direct. [26] Individual narratives on Harrisburg and Skidoo will follow in later sections. Suffice to say at this point that both were extremely busy at this time, thus ensuring some longevity for the Emigrant (Wild Rose) District. A six-horse stage was running twice a week between Ballarat and Emigrant Spring, where there was a saloon, grocery store, corral, and restaurant. Plans were underway to complete connections on a road from Skidoo to Daylight Springs and then on to Rhyolite. It was justifiably feared by those advocating the Keeler-Emigrant Road that all the potential revenue to be gained in the district could easily be siphoned off to Nevada, and Owens River Valley farmers and merchants would lose out completely: Get together! Build the wagon road! This means work for Inyo's ranchers and their teams, and when completed will open a market for their produce, where they will not have to submit to extortionate railroad charges. The cost of this road would be trifling compared to the immense advantage to be derived therefrom. The Emigrant-Skidoo-Harrisburg country has arrived and it remains for Inyo's people to profit thereby. Inyo is now in the limelight from a mining standpoint and it, remains for our County officials and the taxpayers to offer every facility in the shape of good roads and provisions to the host of men who are delving in the mountains and developing the resources of these vast store houses of golden treasures. This will be for the good of the County as a whole. Let no narrow feeling of sectionalism retard the work. [27] Conditions of life were not easy in the Wild Rose area as shown by an item in December 1906 stating that all work at Skidoo, Harrisburg, and the surrounding country was temporarily stopped because of a heavy snowstorm that had deposited three to four feet of the white stuff in the area. Due to lack of fuel and adequate housing, the only option available to the miners in the section was to leave for lower elevations. In contrast, in August 1908, three or four miles of the Emigrant Wash Road were completely obliterated by a cloudburst, the road being five feet deep in water carrying 50- and 100-pound boulders. [28] g) More Properties Located Throughout 1940s By 1907 a few more properties were being recorded: the Combination-Goldfield and NevadaTonopah owned by J.H. Allen, Geo. Raycroft, and A.D. Myers; Wild Rose Annex #1, "one mile east from Harrisburg and Joins Wild Rose Group on East," located 1 March 1907 by Weyle and Clewell; Oro Blanco Mine about 3-1/2 miles south of Harrisburg," located 25

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

March 1907 by Nat Levi, H.L. Culvert, and O.E. Hart; Taylor Mining Claim "2 miles south of Harrisburg and one mile east of narrows on Ballarat Wagon road. Claim is on south side Wood Canyon and joins with Good Dope [Hope?] Mining Claim #2 on west," located 13 April 1907 by 0. Ewing and Wm. Taylor. [29] Due to the expansion of mining activity and the consequent desperate need for a body of men to adjust and settle the disputes constantly arising over conflicting interests in mining claims and town lots, some important resolutions relative to the location of mining claims in the Wild Rose District were adopted at a meeting of the miners of the Wild Rose District held at Skidoo on 15 April 1907. Besides setting up procedures for marking and recording claims and performing the necessary location work, a motion was adopted to elect a ten-man Arbitration Committee to settle local disputes in the mining community arising over ownership. [30] In late May 1907 a proposal was mentioned for a turnpike leading from Greenwater via the old Daggett borax road to Furnace Creek Ranch, then to Surveyor's Wells, over Emigrant Pass to Darwin, and connecting there with the road to Independence. The following February roadwork was being pushed between Keeler and Emigrant, with a connection soon to be made to the Wild Rose road. Ten men with two teams were working in the Darwin Wash area. [31] The exact population of the Wild Rose District in the early 1900s is not known. Registration for primaries in 1914 revealed forty-one persons registered in the Emigrant precinct, thirty-nine men and two women. By 1916 there were only twenty-three voters registered there. [32] In 1923 development and prospecting work were still being carried out in the area, a number of new properties mentioned as being active in the Wild Rose District between 1909 and 1938. Because nothing further is known of them and because rarely is their exact location clear, only brief mention of them will be made: 1. Two Friends Nos. 1, 2, and 3. 2. Silver Star Nos. 1, 2, and 3 and Old Spanish Mine 3. White House and White House Nos. 1, 2, and 3. 4. Snowfall and Snowfall Nos. 1-11 approximately 240 acres, owned by the Golden Glow Mines Corporation of Utah. 5. Veta Grande de Plata Nos. 1-6 at Emigrant Spring. 6. Chesamac Mine six lead and silver claims eighteen miles northeast of Ballarat, development in 1926 consisting of shallow tunnels and open cuts worked by two men. 7. Mother Lode three miles east of Emigrant Spring. 8. Yellow Horse Mine 9. Western Mine Western No. 2, adjoining the Moonlight Mining Company property (in Nemo Canyon?). 10. Extension No. 1 Mine 11. Big King Mine

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

12. Edna Nos. 1-3. 13. Treasure Hill Mine twelve claims comprising 488 feet of shafts and tunnels in 1938. [33] One of the more substantial mining companies formed in the district in the late 1920s was the Emigrant Springs Mining and Milling Company started by H.W. Eichbaum and associates in 1929. (More details on this company will be presented in the Skidoo section of this report.) In the 1940s the Skidoo District underwent a revival of mining activity. Both the Skidoo Mine and the nearby Del Norte Group were being actively developed as was the Gold King Mine one mile east of Journigan's Mill. Other mines functioning from this period on were the: Emigrant Mine three lead and silver claims active in the 1940s; Rose Mine four tungsten claims comprising an unsightly deserted camp along the charcoal kilns road, registering no production or mining activity since the mid-1950s; and the Wildrose Mine four silver claims last worked in the late 1950s. [34] Also during the fifties sporadic tungsten exploration was carried out in the vicinity of Skidoo. h) Historic Wildrose Spring Stage Station At least one historical resource of the Wild Rose area met its demise in the early 1970s. This was Wildrose Station, once located about mile below Wildrose Spring on the main road through Wildrose Canyon. Its service to the public began as a shady oasis providing a water spot and resting place for prospectors and mule teams, possibly as early as 1878; it then functioned as a stage station on the Ballarat-Skidoo route from about 1908 to 1917. The site consisted then of a wooden station, a corral, and blacksmith shop. After World War I the site saw only intermittent occupancy, but by the early 1930s offered cabins, a small curio shop/store, eating facilities, and gas to tourists. Composed of structures reputedly moved on site from abandoned mining camps about 1932, the camp was deemed unsuitable for modern tourism, and it was recommended that all the buildings except for the nineteenth-century forge site be destroyed. The concessionaires were forced to vacate the premises, which soon fell prey to vandalism and finally destruction. Today only foundations remain, topped by a few picnic tables and a comfort station. According to one author, this was the location of the miners' meeting in 1873 that organized the "Rose Springs Mining District." [35] If true, it may also have hosted the 1888 meeting that created the Wild Rose Mining District.

Illustration 122. Emigrant Spring in Emigrant Canyon, no date. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 123. Wildrose Station in Wildrose Canyon. These cabins are atop the site of an old stage station serving the Ballarat-Skidoo run. Photo by W.F. Steenbergh, 1964, courtesy of DEVA NM.

Illustration 124. Wagon roads in western Death and Panamint valleys. Plotted by A.M. Strong, county surveyor, July 1907. Note Wildrose Station, where John Callaway (Calloway) operated a cafe at this stage stop between Skidoo and Ballarat. Note also the Indian Ranch on Cottonwood Creek just to the left of Lost Valley (upper arm of Death Valley). This feature will be discussed later in the section on Hunter Ranch. Courtesy of Inyo Co. Recorder, Independence, Ca.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (1) Wildrose Canyon Antimony Mine (a) History i) Possible Site of Earliest Mine Location in Monument It has been suggested that the Wildrose Canyon antimony deposit in the Panamint Range was found in 1860. An early discovery date would seem to be supported by a letter from Rose Springs appearing in the Panamint News in 1875 listing mines in the general vicinity: . . . and last, but by no means least, the Old Combination Company's ledges, situated about three miles southeast of here, and discovered by Dr. George some twelve years since, and now placed under the management of A.A. Ringold, who is also one of the pioneers of this and Slate Range District of twelve years ago. The mines of this company have quite an interesting history. Shortly after their discovery a company was formed and men put on to prospect the ledges; the men were driven out by Indians in the Spring of 1863, and four of the party killed; since then their ledges until now have remained idle. [36] Chalfant, in speaking of the discovery of the Telescope District in 1860, states that "W.T. Henderson was named as superintendent of the Combination mines." [37] Later in this article he remarks that "the antimony deposit near Wild Rose spring, in the Panamints, was found during this period, if we accept the evidence of a chiseled 'July 4, 1860,' in its tunnel." [38] Wheat, however, states that on Christmas Day, 1860, the party [George expedition of 1860] crossed over into Wild Rose Canyon near the site of the present Death Valley National Monument Summer Headquarters, and on that day discovered a deposit of antimony ore which was appropriately named the "Christmas Gift Lode." This was the first mining claim to be located in the Panamint Range . . . ." [39] According to information acquired by Richard Lingenfelter, at the University of California at San Diego, a Combination Gold and Silver Mining Company was incorporated on 26 July 1861, controlling over 9,900 feet of claims worth approximately $990,000 in the Telescope District. Dr. George was president of the company, which in 1862 owned the Christmas Gift and other nearby mines.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The first official documented evidence of what might be this mine found by the writer was a notice of location recorded on 8 August 1882 by Frank Beltic and filed on the "Original Antimony Mine in Rose Spg. Mng. Dist. 2-1/2 miles SE of Rose Spg. AKA Inyo Antimony Mine." [40] Also found was a location notice for the Inyo Antimony Mine, giving the same location as above, and filed the same day by Chris Crohn, Paul Pefferle [sic] Frank Betti, and S.D. Woods. [41] ii) Antimony Mining in the Region The antimony industry in the United States was still in its nascent stages in the 1880s and was centered completely in the western states. Extensive reduction of antimony ores was taking place in Utah by 1884, and deposits also existed in Nevada. Up to 1892 most of the entire small output of antimonial ore produced in the United States came from California mines. Occurrence in the Death Valley region encompassed southern Esmerelda County, eastern and southeastern Inyo County, and northern San Bernardino County, with the Panamint deposits situated approximately in the middle of this belt. [ 2] None of the 4 attempts to work these western deposits had so far proved successful. Throughout the next few years the Wildrose antimony deposit underwent very little active development work, even though by 1887 this metal was quoted at $150 per ton in London. [43] Obviously the site's remote location and the lack of investment capital, coupled with a still undeveloped market, precluded any serious mining operations here. In January 1889 mines in this same general area were relocated and filed on by a William Hannagan (Hannigan or Harrigan) and a Joe Donalson (Danielson). [44] The extent of mining accomplished by these men is unknown, but that the mines were regarded as potentially lucrative is evidenced by the fact that a year later they were bonded for $3,000 to G.A. Smith, a real estate dealer and mining speculator of Los Angeles, who intended to work the property and possibly build a reduction plant in the vicinity. [45] Smith's optimism about the mine's future was based in large part on his assumption that a railroad would soon be extended from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, putting the valuable mineral deposits of the Panamint country within easy reach of cheap transportation. But until that longed-for and necessary event took place, he declined to expend money on mine development. [46] By 1891 antimony mining was showing signs of increased activity and of becoming an established industry. Over near Austin, Nevada, in Lander County, antimony mining was becoming highly profitable by that year. An English syndicate was working some mines in the area and making regular shipments to Liverpool, England, for reduction. The ore was averaging over sixty-five percent antimony per ton, and at the production rate of nearly 100 tons of ore a month from the mines the company was able to declare two dividends. Still, most of the antimony ore needed in the United States came from foreign producers, such as Borneo, the European states, Algeria, Australia, and New South Wales. The major use of antimony during this period was as an ingredient in certain alloys, providing hardness and stiffness, and a lesser use was in medicinal salts. Because of its somewhat restricted applications, the market for the metal was still limited. [47] By 1893 reduction works for antimony ores had been established in San Francisco and were treating ore from California and Nevada, the latter state having eclipsed the former in production of this metal. That year the total output of antimony was 200 tons, estimated in value at $36,000. Four hundred tons of ore had produced this amount of antimony, of which California supplied fifty. The Wild Rose Mine, comprising eleven claims, was evidently furnishing slight amounts of ore at this time, although lack of capital was still preventing its

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

full development. The deposit on the north side of Wild Rose Canyon was also opened at this time. [48] iii) Development of the Monarch Combination and Monopoly Mines and the Kennedy Claim In January 1896 three notices of location were filed by Frank C. Kennedy: one for the Monopoly Mine, two miles from Wild Rose Spring and composed of the former Hillside and Intrinsic mines; a second for the Monarch Mine, 1-1/2 miles from Wild Rose Spring and comprising the former Antimony and Smokeless Powder mines; a third for the Combination Mine, joining the Monarch, about 1-3/4 miles from Wild Rose Spring, and composed of the former Jersey Bell, Lotta, and Helen G. The Kennedy Claim was first located on 1 January 1897. [49] In 1900 Frank Kennedy's antimony mines in Wild Rose Canyon were bonded to George Montgomery and E.M. Dineen, two Los Angeles men who later, in association with a C.B. Fleming, bought them in anticipation of building a wagon road to Darwin and of erecting a twenty-five ton smelter nearby, enabling production on a large scale. A contract was immediately let to haul the ore, which could be shipped to San Francisco and New York. [50] The first carload of antimony ore shipped by the new owners left Johannesburg in September 1900, with expectations high of a good return and the incentive thus provided to actively push further work. The success of this initial shipment was either not reported or the statement simply not located by this writer, but by the next year, Inyo County was leading in the California production of lead, soda, and antimony ($700 worth). [51] By November 1901 the four mines of the Wildrose Group were being developed by an eighty-foot-long open cut and four tunnels, all producing-ore reportedly averaging fifty percent antimony. [52] The pattern of ownership of the Wildrose claims is difficult to follow during the early 1900s. In 1902 a forfeiture notice appeared in the Inyo Independent issued by A.W. Eibeshutz and directed toward C.B. Fleming, J.S. Stotler, and E. M. Dineen, referred to as co-owners of the Monarch, Combination, Monopoly, and Kennedy mines in the Wild Rose Mining District. In 1903 the only reference found to the mines suggested that work had been stopped, evidently due to the lack of good transportation facilities. [53] Frank Kennedy is again mentioned in connection with ownership of some Wildrose antimony claims several years later, in partnership with a Jeff Grundy, J.T. Hall, and Miles Sargent. A gold, silver, and lead strike was reported on their antimony property in 1907, causing some mild excitement in the area. Whether this encompassed the subject claims is uncertain, because several mineral properties had by now been filed on in the area by various individuals. [54] By June 1909 Frank C. Kennedy was understood to be the owner of the "large and entirely undeveloped deposit of valuable antimony ore . . . in Wild Rose Canyon . . . between Keeler and Skidoo. . . ." [55] By this time Kennedy, J.S. Stotler, and A.W. Eibeshutz had already secured a patent on the property, having held the ground through the years by annual assessment work. According to other records found, however, the Monarch, Combination, and Monopoly claims, referred to as the Monopoly Antimonium Group and comprising fortytwo acres, were patented on 11 October 1909, in the name of George Montgomery et al (Mineral Patent No. 83128). [56] The Inyo Register reported in 1914 that J.E. (?) Eibeshutz and Frank Kennedy sold the antimony mines at Wildrose to some capitalists envincing an interest, as earlier parties had, in erecting a smelter and possibly a furnace to process the silver-lead ores found in association with the antimony. [57] Apparently by late fall of 1914 construction of reverberatory, oxidizing, and blast furnaces had finally started in Wildrose Canyon, with a force of fifteen men expected to begin operations by December.: Probably the new operators

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

felt that the impending war would have a healthy effect on the metal market and make the concentration of low-grade deposits practicable. The current owner of the antimony property was L.C. Mott of San Francisco, whose interest in the reduction plant at this time was purely on an experimental basis, to determine if the antimonial matte could be refined to a pure enough state to make the plant economically worthwhile. By January 1915 twenty -two men were working in thirty openings on the property. [58] By April 1915 from five to ten trucks, each averaging three tons of ore per day, were making daily trips to the railroad depot at Trona. From there ore was shipped to the Merchants' Finance Company smelter near Los Angeles. A six-ton reverberatory furnace about two miles from the mine was still treating the sulphide ore, which was being found in promising quantities and of a commercial grade. [59] The antimony mines shut down temporarily in the fall of 1915, for reasons not disclosed. By May of that year title to the property had been transferred from Mott to the Western Metals Company of Los Angeles. During Mott's ownership hundred of tons of high-grade ore had been shipped, running about fifty to seventy percent antimony. Because prices for the ore were fairly high (49¢/lb.) during that time, some profit accrued. Probably the mine was shut down either because of the wretched condition of the roads over which the trucks had to haul the ore to Trona or because the price of antimony soon dropped to under 30¢/lb. In December, however, the property was again shipping--six tons of ore a day--using Mexican contract labor. Despite its last slowdown, the Wildrose Mine was hailed as the largest individual producer of antimony ore in Inyo County for the year 1915. [60] In 1917 a description of the Wildrose Mine reported that many of the early open cuts and drift tunnels had either been filled or had caved in, so the extent of workings was almost impossible to estimate. Currently thirty Mexican laborers were hand drilling and picking the open cuts and sorting ore from old dumps on the property. Five 2-1/2-ton auto trucks were hauling the ore, averaging around thirty-five percent antimony, the forty-five miles to Trona for shipment to the company smelter at San Pedro, California. [61] Greatest production from the property seems to have occurred during the years of World War I, during which time Western Metals Company reportedly mined about 4,000 tons of ore containing thirty-five to forty-two percent antimony. Recovery from the nearby smelter was low, however, and actual production was probably less than 1,000 tons. [62] From 1918 to about 1936, activity on the Wildrose Mine property, consisting of the four patented claims plus several held by location, was sporadic. [63] By 1938 small-scale operations were occasionally attempted at the mine. An E.B. and Margaret Spitzer of Trona screened ore on the Monarch dump and also attempted some mining on the Kennedy Claim. Their Denver Mine (exact location unknown to the writer) in Wild Rose Canyon produced a small amount of antimony ore that was treated at the nearby mill. The property owners, A.C. MacClure (McLure) and A.G. Barnes of Los Angeles, were pondering whether or not to treat the low-grade ore and that on the dumps, while a T. F. Pierson and Associates of Los Angeles were busy locating eleven other claims in the area. [64] In 1951 the four patented claims (Monarch, Combination, Monopoly, and Kennedy) were owned by James C. Davis of Los Angeles, the Andrew G. Barnes Estate, the A.C. McLure Estate, and Ruth F. Bastanchury. In 1972 when the Monarch, Combination, and Monopoly claims were appraised by mining engineers, Mrs. Bastanchury (then Mrs. Boeckerman) held an undivided 3/4 interest in the property, while Carl D. Dresselhaus and Lawrence J. Rink shared the remaining 1/4 interest, acquired by a tax deed. The property had been briefly leased for a period in 1970. [65] (b) Present Status

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The Monarch, Combination, and Monopoly patented claims, along with several unpatented ones, are located in the Wildrose Mining District on the south side of Wildrose Canyon in the Panamint Mountain Range about 2-1/2 miles southeast of the Wildrose Ranger Station. They are located on and near Antimony Ridge, extending over the ridge into Tuber Canyon, at elevations ranging from 5,500 feet to 6,400 feet. These three claims form an L-shaped parcel of 42.33 acres reached by an unimproved jeep road veering south for roughly a mile off the graveled road that leads west to the ranger station. When Western Metals Company was working the Wildrose Mine during World War I, the mine workings consisted of several open cuts and narrow tunnels. According to pictures taken at the time, the ore mined high up on the slopes of Antimony Ridge was hauled by burro train to a long ore chute descending down the hillside to a bin. The nearby mining camp consisted of a combination of frame structures and large tents. [66] The Monarch workings today consist of open cuts, small adits and stopes, and inclined shafts; the Combination Claim contains an adit and open cuts; and the Monopoly shows an open cut and rat holes. The road to the property ends at the main open cut on the Monarch Claim, and from there trails must be taken to the other workings. A dump area nearby contains purple glass fragments and bottles, indicating early activity. There are no structures on the property. The Kennedy veins, formerly known as the Wildrose Mine, are reached by jeep road on the north side of Wildrose Canyon, about two miles north of the Monarch deposit, and about 11/2 miles northeast of the Wildrose Ranger Station. They are located on a small ridge at an elevation of about 5,100 feet. Workings consist of open cuts and small adits. No structures exist here either. [67] (c) Evaluation and Recommendations Antimony development in the western states was mildly successful, first in Utah and Nevada and then in California. The Wildrose deposits in Death Valley are in a poorly defined district that saw only sporadic activity through the years, full commercial development of the deposits here being hampered by their remoteness, the consequent lack of good transportation facilities, their small size, and an unsteady market. Their highest production level was reached during World War I--about 1,000 tons--while the other antimony deposit within the monument, the Old Dependable in Trail Canyon, produced mostly during 1939 to 1941, but only about 70 tons worth. Several antimony mines have operated in California. In 1915 when the Wildrose Mine was the largest individual producer, there was one other operation in Inyo County (near Bishop), five in Kern County, and one in San Bernardino County. [68] Other deposits in Inyo County were later found in Trail Canyon in the Panamint Range and on the west slope of the Argus Range.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 125. View of prospects and working area looking northeast, Wildrose Antimonium Group of Mines. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

Illustration 126. Wooden platform site, Wildrose Antimonium Group of Mines. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

Although new uses had been found for antimony during the war years, such as in matchheads and in the smear on matchboxes, the market continued unsteady and the prices paid for ore subject to considerable fluctuation, making only high-grade deposits economically feasible to mine. The threat of overproduction and a consequent lowering of prices prohibited much development of lower-grade deposits such as the Wildrose ones, which contained only a few high-grade pods and pockets. Because the deposits are widely scattered and no single one is large enough to be mined profitably, because low-cost methods of treating such low-grade ore are necessary, and because of the high cost of transportation, the ruggedness of the area, and the lack of a large water supply nearby, the deposits could never be profitably mined at the prevailing market prices, except for small tonnages of high-grade ore that could be handsorted. During the war years, 1915 to 1918, the average price for metallic antimony was 22.06¢/lb., and from 1919 to 1938 it was 9.97¢/lb. Mines in the Wildrose area could only be economically viable if prices ranged between 16-2/3¢ and 33-1/3¢/lb. [69] The concrete foundations about one-half mile south of the junction of the gravel Wildrose
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Canyon Road and the dirt road to the mines, which were tentatively proposed by the LCS crew as the remains of the reduction plant built about 1915, were identified by the Wildrose ranger as the ruins of a communications relay building instead, probably of the relay station shown on the USGS 1972 topographic map of Death Valley. Field crews from the Western Archeological Center have located two sets of ruins in Wildrose Canyon not inspected by this writer. One of them sounds as if it might be the ruins of the reduction furnace. The Wildrose Antimonium Group of Mines consists of four patented properties--the Monarch, Combination, and Monopoly claims on the south side of Wildrose Canyon, and the Kennedy Quartz Claim on the north side. In addition, there are several individual deposits and prospects located near the first group. The Monarch deposit, referred to as the Wildrose antimony Mine, appears to have been the site of the most concentrated mining efforts in the area and contains the most extensive workings. The precise discovery date of the Wildrose Canyon antimony mines is unknown, but on the basis of information acquired during this study, it is the writer's opinion that the first claim formally staked within the boundaries of the present national monument was in the vicinity of the present Wildrose Canyon Antimony Mine. Because of its early discovery date and its association with Dr. S.C. George, who played an instrumental part in the -early exploration and mining history of the Death Valley region during the 1800s, and because it was the more productive of the two areas mined for antimony within the monument, the site is considered eligible for nomination to the National Register as being of local significance.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (2) Wildrose Spring Cave House (a) History Wildrose Spring, located on the Wild rose Canyon Road about 1 miles south of its junction with the turnoff to the Wildrose Ranger Station, was long a popular campsite and meeting place for the Death Valley Shoshone, who traveled seasonally in search of pinyon nuts from the floor of Death Valley to the upper Wildrose area via Death Valley Canyon on the east' slope of the Panamint Range. [70] It may be safely assumed that roving travelers and prospectors camped at the spring from the time of earliest mineral explorations in the region. When the Wildrose charcoal kilns were producing for the Modoc Mine, Wildrose Spring would have been a natural rest stop for the burro teams hauling the charcoal west. Pete Aguereberry, Shorty Harris, and others frequently camped there in travels between Harrisburg and Ballarat in the early 1900s. While Skidoo's mining operations flourished between 1906 and 1917, the Wildrose stage stop existed less than one-quarter mile further south, consisting of a station, corral, blacksmith shop, and other outbuildings. Dates of occupation for the Wildrose Spring cave house could not be definitely ascertained. Allusions to similar structures in the area were found, however: a 1904 water location for "Lower Emigrant Spring" mentioned that the spring was situated "on down canyon about half mile from cave house in Wild Rose Mining District on road to Death Valley"; [71] Burr Belden, in relating the experiences of Shorty Borden in Death Valley, recounts that he "arrived in Death Valley early in the 1920's and put blankets down in an Emigrant Canyon cave which he enlarged, fitting the opening with a door and window." [ 72] Both these references, however, appear descriptive of a structure or structures further north in upper Emigrant Canyon. Frederick Clark, who drove a stage between Ballarat and Skidoo in 1910, said that he changed horses at Wildrose Stage Station, "which was located about a quarter of a mile down the canyon from the old Kennedy-Grundy place, now removed from the present highway." [73] The distance given here corresponds perfectly to the location of the cave house and a nearby platform site. The two men mentioned were associated with antimony mines in the Wildrose area during this time period and certainly might have had some sort of shelter or home here. In 1915 Wildrose Spring was described as a "much-used camping place on the
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

road to Death Valley by way of Emigrant Springs. The water is very good and the supply is plentiful." [74] Edna Perkins, during her journey through Death Valley in the 1920s, met a small group of cowboys driving cattle to a feeding ground in Wildrose Canyon. The impression she gives is that they were heading for a spring near the charcoal kilns, but upon reaching Wildrose she and her companions found the cattle and also a two-room stone shack with an iron roof near "the spring at Wild Rose." [75] (b) Present Status The Wildrose Spring cave house is hewn out of the cliff on the east side of the Wildrose Canyon Road on the edge of the wash near the spring. Its timber-framed door is shored up and strengthened by a surrounding masonry wall. The room itself measures about six by fifteen feet and is spanned by timbers. A small screen vent has been placed above the doorway. About 200 feet north of the cave entrance and also along the edge of the wash is a level platform site supported by a stone retaining wall. The possibility exists that this was associated with the cave in some way. [76]

Illustration 127. Closeup of entrance to Wildrose Spring cave house, showing interior wall. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 128. Wildrose Spring cave house entrance. Note possible leveled building site on hillside to left of cave. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

(c) Evaluation and Recommendations Too little data has been found on the Wildrose Spring cave house to either determine its purpose or imbue it with any historical significance. It is possible that it dates to at least the early 1900s when this route between the Panamint Valley and the Emigrant section was heavily utilized by stage and foot travel. Whether it was originally, designed as a cool and protected temporary home or camping spot, or whether it served as a cold-storage vault or spring house for a residence or store of some kind on the nearby platform site is unknown. Nonetheless, the cave is an interesting resource and a policy of benign neglect is recommended.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (3) A Canyon Mine (a) History This site was not visited by the writer in 1978, but was inspected by Bill Tweed and Ken Keane in connection with the LCS survey in 1975. The area was once accessible either via a 2-1/4-mile-long unimproved dirt road leading east down A Canyon from the Emigrant Canyon Road and eventually turning into a foot trail necessitating a 1-1/4-mile-long hike to the mine workings, or by following about a one-mile-long dirt road leading north from the Wildrose Canyon Road about 2-3/4 mites east of Wildrose Ranger Station. This latter route led to a corrugated-metal structure undoubtedly connected with the mine workings, which are one-half mile further north on the ridge along a foot trail. In later years a bulldozer road was pushed north up the ridge from Wildrose Canyon over to the mine and on over the ridge down into the head of A Canyon. All these routes were heavily washed during flash floods in September 1975, making the site accessible only by foot. The mine workings themselves consisted of a solid wooden headframe standing over a woodlined shaft. A collapsed wood frame tool shed and blacksmith shop, roofed with corrugated metal and built on the dump near the shaft, had partially collapsed by 1975. A good-sized brick forge was still located inside the building. Bulldozer prospecting was evident in the general vicinity of the mine. The only mention found of early activity in the area is a notation mentioning the discovery by Reno men of high-grade silver ore in A Canyon reputedly running up to 2,500 ozs. in silver. [77] (b) Present Status The current appearance of the site is unknown.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 129. Headframe and tool shed, A Canyon Mine. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

Illustration 130. Forge inside tool shed, A Canyon Mine. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

(c) Evaluation and Recommendations The LCS crew determined that this site was probably a 1920s to 1930s operation. The only structures on site of any particular interest were the headframe and the timbered inclined shaft, both being solidly reinforced and in relatively good condition. On the basis of current data, this site has no significance in the history of mining in Death Valley. Benign neglect is recommended.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (4) Nemo Canyon Mines (a) History Mining activity in the Nemo Canyon area was contemporary with mineral development at Skidoo and Harrisburg. The only claims in this area of which specific mention was found are the Eureka Nos. 1, 2, and 3, located 10 April 1908 by Judge Frank G. Thisse of Skidoo and situated in Nemo Canyon about 1,500 feet east of the Skidoo pipeline. [78] Judge Thisse returned to Skidoo in April 1908 to have samples of his ore assayed; the results were so encouraging that a small rush ensued to the discovery site. James Arnold, general manager of the Skidoo Trading Company, was in partnership with Thisse, and proceeded with a wagonload of supplies to the area with intentions of setting up a camp. Because of its proximity to the pipeline and its location within one-half mile of the wagon road, it was assumed that the mine would be easy and cheap to work and profitable to develop. With visions of the birth of a new bonanza camp, many people descended on the area within a short time from Harrisburg and other surrounding communities. The extent of development activity at other mines in the canyon is unknown, although there were notices of more strikes in the ensuing months. [79] Frank Thisse's original find evidently later became known as the Nemo Mine and was referred to in August 1908 as a profitable gold- and silver-producing venture whose silver samples were assaying over 2,000 ozs. of silver and 1 oz. of gold per ton. Although still owned by Thisse and associates of Skidoo, the property was under lease to S.E. Ball and partners (later connected with the Tucki Mine) who were extracting and shipping ore averaging around $300 per ton. [80] Another large strike was reported in Nemo Canyon during the winter of 1908, with assays yielding over $200 in gold and 86 ozs. of silver per ton. The area was at this time evidently judged to have some promising production potential, because word was soon being spread by none other than Shorty Harris that a ten-stamp mill was to be erected. [81] The eleven claims comprising the Nemo Mine were leased by George Cook and Joe Wosnieck about three weeks later, and ore was soon uncovered assaying up to $3,300 a ton in silver. The site was being touted as "one of the very best silver properties in the county. [82] Prospective purchasers Wingfield and Scott, of Goldfield fame, and Bob Montgomery of
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Skidoo, had examined the claims, whose purchase price was set at $50,000 by Thisse and J.R. Mason, the co-owners. In addition Cook and Wosnieck were demanding $20,000 for their interests, making a total of $70,000, a sum not considered exorbitant for a property on which there was indication of a deeper, richer, and more permanent ore body yet to be developed. [83] At this time the site consisted of both surface and underground workings. The Goldfield capitalists evidently decided not to invest in the promising mine, possibly deciding the asking price was a bit steep. Whatever the reason, Cook and Wosnieck continued to operate their lease, happily discovering that the ore body grew larger with depth, and by January 1909 they had assembled 300 tons of silver for shipment to the Four Metals Company smelter in Keeler. An experimental consignment of three tons was sent there by wagon in February, with values ranging from $600 to $700 a ton. Because the smelter could not assure treatment before two or three weeks, the ore was then shipped to Hazen, Nevada, for processing. [84] Another strike in Nemo Canyon was announced in March 1909 by a brother of Bob Montgomery (owner of the Skidoo Mine) who reportedly found silver ore assaying 2,800 ozs. in silver and 4 ozs. in gold per ton. Meanwhile the Cook lease on the Nemo Mine was still yielding a great quantity of high-grade ore, worth over $300 per ton. Five outfits were now operating in Nemo Canyon and in Wood Canyon immediately to the north, most being company ventures, with some leasing activity. [85] From 1909 to 1920 there is a noticeable dearth of information about mines in Nemo Canyon, indicating that despite its spectacular early production record during the short period from the spring of 1908 to the spring of 1909, the area never attracted much investment capital. In January 1920 notice appeared that a certain J.J. King was leaving Independence for Nemo Canyon to check up on some mining claims he owned there. S.E. Ball, who had held a lease on the Nemo Mine property in 1908, was still working a silver claim in Nemo Canyon in 1922, and had reportedly removed ore worth $10,000 from the mine through the years. [86] This might refer to the Grey Eagle lode mining claim in Nemo Canyon, one-third interest in which was transferred by Ball and Ed Attaway to Maude E. Attaway in 1924. [87] During the mid-1930s Walter M. Hoover and a man named Starr were mining in the area and processing the ore in a small cyanide plant north of Journigan's Mill. In 1938 the Journal of Mines and Geology listed a Nemo Canyon Antimony Mine, comprising six claims at an elevation of 5,000 to 6,000 feet. Owned by a Death Valley Junction resident, the mine's limited development involved only open cuts and some shallow shafts. [88] The names of two claims in the Nemo Canyon area were found in the monument files. The Nemo Gold Claims, thirteen in number, were the result of fraudulent promotions by the Blue Chip Mining Company. The Nemo Chief, two gold claims with no production record, served only as the home of an itinerant miner. By 1971 Omar L. Heironimus, owner of the Nemo Silver Corporation of Beatty, Nevada, acquired the water rights to a spring near the Journigan Mill site, and was leasing the property with the intention of cyaniding the tailings dump there. By this means it was hoped to acquire enough capital to mine Heironimus's gold and silver properties in Nemo Canyon. [89]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 131. Building site in foreground and prospecting activity along hillside in back, Moonlight claims. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 132. Nemo #1 Mine, later relocated as Christmas Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

(b) Present Status Adjacent to the road to the Christmas Mine, on the south side and about one mile east of the Wildrose Canyon road, is a site marked by a Mine Hazard Area" sign. No structures remain, but it is assumed from the burned boards and assorted metal refuse on the ground that at least one wooden building once stood here. Purple glass has been found in the area. In the hills immediately to the south are some adits and prospect holes that were not visited by the writer--mining activity appeared to be minimal. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations Mineral development in Nemo Canyon, beginning' about 1908, appears to have been of relatively short and discontinuous duration, never sustaining such large-scale activity as found at Harrisburg or Skidoo. The largest operation in the vicinity was apparently the Nemo
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Mine. Its notice of location placed it slightly over one-quarter mile east of the Skidoo pipeline, which passed through the camp at the site labelled "Christmas Mine" on the USGS Emigrant 'Canyon quadrangle map and continued south. It therefore seems plausible that the Nemo Mine, referred to in the 1930s as the Nemo Canyon Antimony Mine, was the earliest location of what later became the Nemo #1 Mine operated by Omar Heironimus and a man named Mondell. This property, on a hillside south of the "Christmas Mine" at about 6,000 feet elevation, was relocated by Ralph Pray in 1974 as the Christmas Mine. It will be discussed in the following section. The site located a mile east of the Wildrose Canyon Road and designated by three adits on the USGS Emigrant Canyon quad contains the Moonlight claims, owned. originally by Heironimus and later also relocated by Pray. (A 15 April 1927 article in the Mining Journal, p. 29, mentions the Moonlight Group of seven claims in the Wild Rose Mining District, recently acquired by Long Beach, California, investors for $755,000.) None of the mining sites in Nemo Canyon meets the criteria of evaluation for associative significance necessary for nomination to the National Register.

End of Volume I, Part 1

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
Beginning of Volume I, Part 2 B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (5) Christmas (Gift) Mine (a) History A Christmas (or Christmas Gift) Mine antimony lode was reportedly discovered by Dr. S.G. George on Christmas Day 1860, during George's unsuccessful second attempt to locate the lost Gunsight lead. [90] Earlier that year he had headed a contingent that joined forces with the New World Mining and Exploration Company from San Francisco, headed by Col. H.P. Russ, and together they had entered Owens Valley. George and a detachment had separated from the main body here and headed east, discovering promising ledges in the rugged Panamints and organizing the Telescope Mining District. Returning to San Francisco, some unscrupulous people involved in these discoveries managed to secure investment capital there that would, they assured, be sunk into development of the Telescope District mines. Instead, most of these con artists left town with the monies; none of the original discoveries were actually placed on the market, nor were any of the companies formed to work. the Telescope mines legitimate. Late in 1860 the George party made another trip out from Visalia, California, into the Death Valley country, resulting in discovery of a Christmas Gift Mine on December 25. Not having the necessary equipment to work the mine, and because winter was at hand and snow was already falling, the expedition started home. The following year W.T. Henderson and three others began work on a 150-foot tunnel to tap the Christmas ledge, but they were eventually driven out by unfriendly Indians. [91] It is the writer's opinion, due to personal research findings and discussions with others familiar with mining activity in this section, that the so-called Christmas lode discovered by Dr. George is not the Christmas Mine found on the USGS Emigrant Canyon quad, but is instead what is today known as the Wildrose Canyon Antimony Mine southeast of the Wildrose Ranger Station. On the basis of data procured it appears that the workings found at what is presently labelled the Christmas Mine were first excavated in connection with work in Nemo Canyon in the early 1900s. As mentioned in the Nemo Canyon section, one of the
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

present Christmas Mine sites is a relocation of the Nemo #1 Mine. In 1906 labor was performed in this area by the Christmas Mining Company under E.F. Schooley. Notice was found in 1908 that a Dan McLeod held a two-year lease on the Christmas Gift in the Panamint Range, "probably the oldest known mine in the county," on which he intended to install a twenty-horsepower gasoline hoist. The most recent owner of this property has been the Keystone Canyon Mining Company of Pasadena, California, Ralph E. Pray, president. [92] In researching the Christmas Mine it is easy to become confused initially by references to the productive and more developed Christmas Gift Mine that was part of the Mackenzie Group (including the Pluto and Lucky Jim) four miles north of Darwin. This was a silver-lead mine being worked at least by 1890 and through 1948. [93] (b) Present Status The area designated Christmas Mine on the USGS Emigrant Canyon quad consists of two sites and is reached via dirt road leading east from the Emigrant Canyon Road about 4-1/4 miles south of Emigrant Pass. The mine camp is about 1-3/4 miles east of the Emigrant Canyon Road; the only extant building there is a small wood and corrugated-metal shack. The cabin is posted "Property of Christmas Mining Co." and contains only some bedsprings and chairs. Also on-site are a tin-sided pit toilet and two building sites southwest of the cabin. Nothing remains on them now but piled lumber and an old refrigerator. The burned ruins of a dugout can be found, consisting of a shallow hole filled with metal scraps. Northwest of the privy is a stone masonry support that once carried a portion of the Skidoo pipeline across a wash. The support is fifteen feet long, four feet wide, and two feet high. The pipeline scar is visible continuing on up over the hills to the southwest. Continuing east from the residential area on a four-wheel-drive road one arrives after one-half mile at the scene of some prospecting activity. Not much is left on site. Near the road is the ruin of a collapsed dugout or timbered adit, with beams visible protruding from the rubble. On west, around the top of the hill, are a caved-in stope and the remains of a timbered shaft. Much metal refuse lies around, but there are no building remains.

Illustration 133. Christmas Mine residential area, view to east-northeast. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 134. Caved-in shaft at prospect site due east of residential area. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 135. Masonry support for Skidoo pipeline, near Christmas Mine camp. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

A dirt road south from the residential area leads to a more complex mining operation, the Nemo #1 Mine that was relocated as the Christmas Mine by Ralph Pray in 1974. Remains on site consist of an ore bin, rails, trestle bents, and several small shafts, one of which was framed and timbered with pinyon pine logs, testifying to the longevity of mining operations here. Three of the shafts appeared to have been operated by means of hand winches. In 1975 some prospecting work was still being carried out in the tunnels. [94] (c) Evaluation and Recommendations A history of mining activities within Nemo Canyon may. be found in an earlier section. Although the spot labelled Christmas Mine on the USGS Emigrant Canyon quad map has been thought of as the site of the first claim staked within the present monument boundaries, it is fairly certain that George's early discovery was actually made further south. Sporadic attempts to work this Christmas Mine all the way up through the 1970s have been made, with
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

its largest production during World War I. Exact output figures have not been found, however. [95] The remains at both this site and at the. Christmas Mine immediately south are a strong mixture of old and new, and it is difficult to determine which workings were the result of the earliest mining activity. The discovery of rounded pinyon pine log framing in the shaft at the second site indicates that this operation was underway early, with the ore bin and rail system being later additions. This site is not eligible for National Register status due to a lack of importance in Death Valley mining history. Purple glass on the residential site further north suggests an earlier occupancy than indicated by the miner's shack standing there today. Dating the workings at the Christmas Mine prospect site near the cabin is almost impossible because of the lack of physical evidence. These last two sites are not deemed eligible for nomination to the National Register due to a lack of integrity and associative significance. The Skidoo pipeline support near the mine camp will be included within the route of the pipeline on the revised Skidoo Historic District National Register form.

Illustration 136. Shaft lined with pinyon pine logs, Christmas Mine (formerly Nemo #1). Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 137. Open stope at Christmas Mine (formerly Nemo #1). Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (6) Bald Peak Mine (a) History This site, located about 1-1/2 miles northwest of Bald Peak, was not visited by this writer, both because of its inaccessibility and because it had been inspected by two members of the LCS survey crew, Bill Tweed and Ken Keane, in December 1975. The area is reached via a dirt road leading east for 2-1/2 miles from the Emigrant Canyon Road about 1-1/2 miles south of Emigrant Pass. This access was reportedly badly damaged by heavy rains in the fall of 1975. The site appeared to Tweed and Keane to be a talc operation, dating from perhaps the 1940s or 1950s. On-site was a wooden-framed building with corrugated-metal walls and roof standing on a level platform area that was supported by a corrugated-metal retaining wall. A short distance further southeast up the canyon was a good-sized one-chute ore bin; the mine workings were located on top of the steep slope behind. [96]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 138. Corrugated-metal cabin at mine 1-1/2 miles northwest of Bald Peak. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

Illustration 139. Ore bin at Bald Peak mine. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

(b) Present Status The present condition of the mine structures is unknown. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations This site, probably a post-Depression Era talc operation, lacks National Register eligibility. The scarcity of data on the mine suggests little production and associative connection with any of the more important miners or mining companies that operated in Death Valley.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (7) Argenta Mine (a) History The earliest reference to an Argenta Mine, albeit an ambiguous one, was an 1875 notice that "Argenta" was the new name being given to the Jupiter Mine owned by the Parker company, evidently located somewhere in the Panamint region. [97] It is highly unlikely, however, that the Argenta Mine near Harrisburg was ever worked this early. As far as can be determined, this latter mine was first located in 1924, was operated by the Rainbow Mining Company in 1925, and then by the Southwestern Lead Corporation from 1927 to 1928. In 1927 notice of the mine appeared in the Inyo Independent when the Argenta Nos. 1-12 mining claims in the Wild Rose District were deeded first from Ed L. and Hazel Wright of Los Angeles to Charles W. Stanley, and then by him and his wife, Lulu G., also of Los Angeles, to the Southwestern Lead Corporation of Delaware. At the same time an Alonzo and Martha E. Stewart of Los Angeles deeded the Argenta Group (Argenta, Leadfield, and Woodside mining claims) for $5,000 to Southwestern Lead Corporation. A bit confusing is a later notice of the transfer of deeds to the Argenta, Leadfield, and Woodside mining claims for $2,000 from a D.M. Driscoll of Los Angeles to the same Alonzo Stewart. Theoretically, this should have preceded Stewart's transfer of ownership to Southwestern Lead. [98] Around 1930 George G. Greist, evidently an employee of the lead company, filed suit against C.W. Stanley and the Southwestern Lead Corporation in lieu of unpaid wages. A Decree of Foreclosure and Order of Sale were instituted against the company in May of that year for $3,699.85, and the Argenta, Leadfield, Woodside, Thanksgiving, and Argenta Nos. 1-12 mining claims were offered for sale. [99] The litigation resulted in Greist becoming the new owner, relocating the property as nine silver-lead claims. This gentleman, referred to as a one-time sheriff of the Panamints, was indicated as living at the mine in 1933 and being a neighbor of Pete Aguereberry. [100]

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Illustration 140. Argenta Mine. View to southwest of main street of mine camp, February 1969. Photo by Chief Ranger Homer Leach, courtesy of DEVA NM.

Illustration 141. Argenta Mine camp, view to west-northwest showing bunkhouses and upper mining level, February 1969. Photo by Chief Ranger Homer Leach, courtesy of DEVA NM.

In 1943 the property was owned by Greist and an Ed L. Wright and was under lease to H.T. Kaplin and Sam Nastor of Los Angeles, with Greist superintending the operation. Development at this time consisted of a 30-foot shaft on top of the ridge and a 630-foot adit with lateral workings and a crosscut. Ore assaying 17% zinc had also been found in an open cut south, of the shaft. The average grade of ore shipped contained 12% zinc, 5% lead, 2.80 ozs. silver, and .08 oz. gold. Seventy tons of lead ore shipped assayed 27% lead and $8 per ton in gold and silver. Equipment on-site included a machine shop, an electric-light plant with a Fairbanks-Morse gas engine, an Ingersoll-Rand portable compressor, an assay office, and assorted boarding- and bunkhouses. By 1950 only George Griest was named as owner, employing two men in prospecting work at the north end of the adit. Two other properties mentioned in Wood Canyon were the Combination Group, owned by
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Wilson and associates and worked in the early 1900s, and the Arnold Plunket claims to the south. [101] (b) Present Status The Argenta Mine is located in the Wildrose Mining District along a ridge on the north side of Wood Canyon at an elevation of about 5,500 feet. The site is about 1-1/4 miles east of the Emigrant Canyon Road via a dirt cutoff just before the canyon road crosses Emigrant Pass. The owner, George Griest, never made much of an attempt to mine here, living off public charity until the early 1960s when he became eligible for a California State old-age pension. [102] The mine area consists of two levels of workings. Lower on the hill is the "main street," once lined on both sides with about twenty assorted small, one-room boarding and bunkhouses and with other camp necessities such as a chicken coop. All buildings are presently in a shocking state of decay due to weathering and vandalism. Most of the structures, which were built of wood, plasterboard, and corrugated metal, have completely fallen in or been pulled down. The only items of any interest are on the north side of the street, in the form of remains of a stone dugout with a wooden false front, and, just southwest of this, a round, concrete cistern built underground, appearing to have a capacity for several thousand gallons of water. In the photographs of the camp site taken in 1969 the stone dugout appears to have been located behind a large building in the center of the community that probably functioned as the cookhouse. The dugout was probably the root cellar and the cistern nearby stored the camp drinking water. Higher and further north on the hillside is a timbered adit and the ruins of at least two other buildings, one having been a two-story frame structure on the edge of the dump, and the other a smaller one-story frame building, possibly the assay office. Only the flooring and basement level framing of the larger building remain somewhat intact; the other structure is completely destroyed. An incredible amount of refuse is evident everywhere on the site, ranging from modern garbage to old machinery parts to vintage 1940s and 1950s car bodies, the entire site resembling a tremendous junkyard. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Argenta. Mine never yielded a profitable output nor do any structures of historical significance remain on the property. The site was not an important Death Valley mining operation and is not eligible for inclusion on the National Register.

Illustration 142. Argenta Mine. View to west-northwest down main street of mine camp showing almost total destruction of buildings. Photo by Linda

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 143. Argenta Mine. View to northwest of mining area showing remains of two-story building. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (8) Napoleon Mine (a) History The Napoleon and Napoleon Nos. 1-2 quartz claims, situated one-half mile south of Harrisburg, were located by Pete Aguereberry on 1 January 1911 and recorded on 24 January. The location date of the Napoleon No. 3 was not found in the record books, but it was probably several years later, since it was not filed for record until 14 September 1935. [103] The Napoleon No. 1 is east of the Napoleon Claim and the No. 2 is south of it. The No. 3 joined the Napoleon No. 2, but on which side is unknown. The only reference to these claims in the literature was found in Pipkin, who was evidently told by Pete that after he had done some development work on the Napoleon he leased the claim to two men who reportedly removed $35,000 in gold ore from the mine within a six-month period and then abandoned it, leaving it ruined by improper timbering and gopher holing. [104] This large a sum seems open to. question. In 1946, when Pete's estate was settled, ownership of the Napoleon Nos. 14 was divided among the heirs, Ambroise Aguereberry receiving an undivided one-half interest, and the other half being given equally to Joseph, Arnand [Arnaud], James Peter, Mariane, and Catherine Aguereberry. [105] The Napoleon Group is mentioned in the Journal of Mines and Geology in 1951 as comprising four unpatented claims, the Napoleon Nos. 1-4, owned by Ambroise Aguereberry of Trona, California. Development consisted of an 80-foot-deep inclined shaft and several adits, all within an 8O0-foot radius. Most of the ore mined has been removed from three adits southwest of the shaft. During sporadic operations from 1937 to 1939 lessees had shipped fifty-five tons of gold- and silver-bearing ore to custom mills, but the operation was currently idle. [106]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 144. Shaft, tram rails, and ore chute at Napoleon Mine. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

Illustration 145. Ore bin and collapsed chute southwest of main adit, Napoleon Mine. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

(b) Present Status The Napoleon Mine is situated on the north side of a ridge about one mile south-southwest of the Cashier Mine workings. The site consists of two working levels--the lower containing a main adit and an ore chute, with a timbered vertical shaft between, some dry-stone retaining walls, and the remains of a mine tramway. Uphill about one-quarter mile southwest of this first complex are a second ore bin with a collapsed chute and several adit entrances. Purple glass has been found on this site. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Napoleon Mine has no significance except for its association with Pete Aguereberry, which is minimal. The writer does not recommend that it be included within the boundaries of the proposed Harrisburg Historic District. The site does not offer potential for further
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research or historical archeology.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (9) Harrisburg (a) History i) Shorty Harris and Pete Aguereberry Strike Ore on Providence Ridge As is the case with most important events when two or more strong-minded participants are involved, the details surrounding the discovery of the first strike at Harrisburg Flats are open to controversy. The find was made by two of Death Valley's most noted mining personalities-Pete Aguereberry and Shorty Harris. The former's version of the tale is that around the first of July 1905 the two men met at Furnace Creek Ranch, by chance, and decided because of the heat of the valley to pull out for the Panamints together and do some prospecting, although Shorty was actually more interested in getting to the 4th of July celebration at Ballarat. After negotiating the old "dry trail" through Blackwater Wash, they arrived on the open plateau now known as Harrisburg Flats, about nine miles northeast of Wildrose Spring. Shorty, being on horseback and driving his mules harder, was some distance ahead of Aguereberry, who at this point saw a promising-looking ledge on the north side of a low long hill. Chipping off a piece, he found it contained free gold. Hurriedly catching up with his companion, Pete showed him the ore sample, and the two excitedly made plans to continue on to Wildrose Spring to replenish their water and then return and stake out claims. During this time of further prospecting and exploratory work, the two divided up the outcroppings, Aguereberry staking claims on the north side of the hill, which later became known as "Providence Ridge" or "Providence Hill," including the Eureka Nos. 1-4, while Shorty took claims on the south side, which later incorporated the Providence Group. These finds were located at the extreme northeast end of an east-west ridge that rises about 200 feet from the mesa. The initial name agreed on for the camp was Harrisberry, in the hopes that a strong association with Shorty Harris would attract prospective investors. The "partners" split up at this point, both eventually heading for Ballarat, Shorty to spread the word of his new find and Pete to pick up a grubstake that was being sent there by money order. By the time Aguereberry returned to his hill within the next few days, the rush was on, with gold-seekers from Ballarat swarming all over the strike area, necessitating that Aguereberry reestablish his original ground by both persuasion and force. Harris's version of

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

all this is slightly different, suggesting that he found the first evidence of riches and was forced to share the discovery with Pete. According to one newspaper, "Pete and Shorty have not flipped coins to determine who is actually responsible for the strike, but the credit is generally given to Shorty, perhaps from previous achievements." [107] The real facts may never be known, but however it happened, another Death Valley boom camp had been born. [108] ii) The Area Fills Up Rapidly Word of the strike spread quickly, and by August 1905 at least twenty parties were locating monuments in the surrounding hills within a three-mile radius of the original discovery, about fifty locations being made immediately. The new area was included in the Wild Rose Mining District, and Frank C. Kennedy, a prominent mining man of the region, was appointed Deputy County Recorder. Samples from the immense quartz ledge, which, it would turn out, stretched north to the future Skidoo and Emigrant Spring mining areas, were assaying from $90 to $200 per ton in free-milling gold, with some rumored to have values as high as $500. It was reported that 300 men and some women were settled in the new camp, which was already organizing a townsite company, somewhat depopulating Ballarat and Darwin and also attracting many from Rhyolite, who tramped the approximately sixty-eight miles via the watering spots at Daylight Spring, Hole-in-the-Rock, Furnace Creek Ranch, and Blackwater Wash. [109] As with every large strike in the Panamint Range, the call went up for Inyo County residents to rally and implement plans to assist the mining district by providing teaming services, agricultural supplies, and restaurant, hotel, and merchandising facilities to incoming miners. Ballarat was the main supply point. By September, 200 claims had been recorded in the area; with the advent of cooler weather, the camp's population was expected to triple with new arrivals from Nevada. [110] Timber and water, essentials to a new mining community, were near at hand, the latter available either at Emigrant Spring, seven miles northwest; at Blackwater Spring, about seven miles to the northeast; or at Wild Rose Spring, about nine miles southwest. At Emigrant Spring a new pipeline was being shipped in to funnel water from the spring to the roadside where it would be more accessible. [111] iii) Cashier Gold Mining Company Is Formed Four more claims mentioned in the Harrisburg area, adjoining Aguereberry's property, were the Wild Horse, Slow Elk, Modoc, and Monarch, owned by J.W. Sellers, l.T. Davis, Bill Pollard, Ray Robinson, and W.T. Voorhees. [112] The intense involvement of "outsiders" in the Harrisbury discoveries and their desire to get in on the ground floor manifested itself in the immediate bonding of Shorty Harris's strikes to several millionaires from Tonopah and of Aguereberry's claims to Goldfield capitalists. A few days earlier Harris had gone to San Francisco where he succeeded in persuading some investors to visit his property in anticipation of financing development work. [113] The result of this visit was the formation of the Cashier Mining Company, headed by O.L. Ingalls and associates (including E.S. Shanklin, who was heavily invested in the Bullfrog National Bank Mine, and W.A. Jacobs) and owner of nine claims. A survey of the property was to be made and a company assayer moved in. More important to the residents of the area, probably, was the news that saloon supplies were on their way! A deal involving $100,000 was rumored to be pending for the Aguereberry mine. [114] The survey of the Harrisburg townsite and of the Cashier Gold Mining Company's claims was undertaken by J.H. Wilson of Cripple Creek, Colorado, who had formerly been an engineer in Goldfield. He established residence in the area and proceeded to open an

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

engineering office (touted to be the first such business opened in the Panamint Range). The company assay work was to be done by a D.E. Blake of Denver, Colorado, who established the first assay office in the new camp. A William O'Brien, of Bullfrog, was put in charge of the six men at work sinking three shafts on the property, and work was to be initiated by driving a tunnel at the foot of the hill to hit the vein as low as possible. [115] By late October of Harrisburg's first year of existence, the land had been surveyed for a townsite and tents were constantly springing up in the business section. The Cashier Gold Mining Company now kept twenty-three men busy, at $3.50 a day, round-the-clock, sinking two shafts, one in $90 and the other in $700 ore, and running a tunnel. Twenty-seven tons of high-grade ore had already been mined to be shipped to Keeler. The vast number. of prospectors swarming the hills created a shortage of vegetables, fruit, ham, bacon, hay, and grain, as a consequence of which all sold for exorbitant prices. Rumors still persisted of a deal pending in Goldfield either for the Eureka Group or the Cashier Group (now said to include fourteen claims), or for both, the amount in question stated to be $160,000. In February it was reported that owners of the Eureka Group had sold a half interest in the property to San Francisco investors who paid $15,000 down and intended to build a mill. [116] iv) A Multitude of Claims are Located in the Area In December 1905 a big strike was made on the six claims of the Exjunction Group about two miles northeast of Harris's Providence Group and owned by U.V. Withee, W.B. Gray, and W.H. Sanders. Quartz averaging $259 in gold, silver, copper, and lead was being exposed. Stretching for five miles along this same ledge were forty other claims: beginning at the north were the Victoria Group of four claims, owned by Will Goodpasture, Dr. Kerns, and John Sellers; the Exjunction or Sanders Group of six claims owned by Withee, Gray, and Sanders; the Exjunction Extension Group of four claims owned by Goodpasture; the B & B Group of six claims owned by Brin and Blumlein; the Check Book Group of three claims owned by the Oakland Mining Company; three claims owned by the Kawich-Bullfrog Company; the Red Cross Group of seven claims owned by Tasker Oddie, Luetjens, and Webb; the Annis M. Group of six claims and the Branley, owned also by the Oakland Mining Company; the Carrie Nation and Little Hatchet owned by Charles Nations; and the Bunker Hill owned by Andrew Deck. [117] The Sanders strike had so far shown the best results among all these promising operations, and the Exjunction property of six claims was the core around which the Wild Rose Mining Company would soon be incorporated. Two timber claims and a millsite with water rights would be included in the company holdings. [118] A synopsis of the mining situation at Harrisburg appeared in the Herald in late December 1905, the result of observations made by some individuals owning claims there: We found quite a stir both in the new Wild Rose (gold) district and the old Panamint (silver) district. And this activity is being made principally by Rhyolite, Goldfield and Tonopah people, with whom outside parties are in some cases associated. We stopped at the Shorty Harris strike, now being worked by the Cashier Mining company, and found that a good proposition is being opened up. The ledge has been cross-cut in a tunnel, and there is about eight feet of ore carrying rich milling ore, with some shipping values of which we were not advised. Drifting is now being done on the ore. The day we were there the San Francisco people, who are intereste, [sic] came and looked over the property. The Sanders strike, which the Herald reported last week, is bona fide, as far as I was able to judge, the ore looking very good. We examined and sampled the five claims owned by Mann, Gorrill, Clemens and myself. Mr. Gorrill had not seen the ground before, and he was much pleased. These claims [on Silver Mountain]

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are old chloriding silver propositions, which were worked many years ago when the price of silver made profitable the mining of the ore, which had to be packed a half mile down the hill on animals, hauled in wagons 70 miles to Keeler and shipped over the C. and C. narrow gauge, a high tariff line, to Selby's smelter in Frisco. It was profitable work in those days, and with the better facilities for mining and cheaper transportation, these properties should be profitable now . . . . Johannesburg, 80 miles distant on the Santa Fe, is the shipping point for the Wild Rose district. . . [119] About forty men were now working in and near the camp. By spring and summer of the next year, discoveries hastening the advent of Skidoo were being made about two miles from Emigrant Spring, attracting miners from throughout the region. The Panamints were rapidly filling up, despite continuing transportation problems: Ballarat is reached by stage from Darwin, and by the line from Randsburg. From Ballarat to Emigrant and Harrisburg transportation is effected by any sort of locomotion at command of the individual prospector or mining tourist, there being no established line of communication. Nor is there as yet any regular means of travel from the east--from Beatty or Bullfrog. . . . [120] By April 1906 the Wild Rose Mining Company had been incorporated, with W.B. Gray as president, W.H. Sanders as vice-president, and Dr. U.V. Withee as secretary-treasurer. Principal place of business was at Beatty, and the seven main holdings of the company, situated about 1-1/2 miles from Harrisburg, included the Sanders strike on the Exjunction gold, silver, copper, and lead claim. [121] Shorty Harris was continuing to extoll the virtues of "his" town in the Panamints whenever he journeyed to Rhyolite or other nearby camps. In May 1906 he boasted that there were twenty tents in residence and that he was planning to try to sink for water shortly, thus negating the need to haul this precious commodity from Emigrant Spring. Not putting all his marbles in one bag, however, he had proceeded also to locate two groups of claims near the Emigrant Spring Gold Eagle strike--the Gold Links and the Gold Eagle's Tail. [ 122] The Cashier Mining Company was still having success with the Providence Claim, which seemed to harbor steady reserves. The Ingalls interest in the company was purchased in the fall of 1906 by T. E. Crawford of Helena, Montana, making him co-partner with Shorty Harris. These two planned to immediately employ fifteen men on sinking a new shaft. Crawford was also planning to install, a five-stamp mill on the property that could draw water from the Skidoo pipeline to Telescope Peak. [123] By November the Emigrant Spring area was fairly bursting with mining activity. Reputedly there were 150 miners in the area, a third of whom at least were working at the Skidoo Mine and on the projected Telescope Peak pipeline. The new townsite was rapidly filling up and was the terminus of a twice-weekly stage run from Ballarat. Owners of the Denver and Tramps properties in Rhyolite were still negotiating for the purchase of some Harrisburg property for a reputed $160,000. Meanwhile the Panamint Greenwater Gold & Copper Company, organized and financed by Denver capitalists, had purchased the Sweeney Group of four claims a mile east of Harrisburg. [124] Silver Mountain, between Harrisburg and Skidoo, was still the scene of several good silver strikes at this time, which, because of the current high price for that commodity, seemed assured of a reasonably productive future. As mentioned earlier, rumor held that the outcrops here had been worked by Mexicans in years past, with the ore being carried on mule or horseback down from the mountains and then to Keeler for shipping on the Carson and

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Colorado Railroad to transportation facilities even more profitably. finished, work was still

San Francisco smelters. It was presumed now that with better and a higher price for silver, these old workings could be operated Although the wagon road from Rhyolite to Stovepipe Wells was continuing on the last section to Skidoo. [125]

Some idea of the atmosphere at Harrisburg can be gleaned from the following account of its New Year's Eve party of 1907: There were no invitations issued, there was no one asked to go. No one cared whether any one else went but themselves. No one cared to see any one else there. Whoever wished to go, went. Many were so inclined. Most of those who did go reaped a rich reward. No one attended for the enjoyment of the affair. It was a New Year's party under cover of midnight, held in the great big outdoors. Desirable mining property was the prize and there were many prizes. So great was the desire for claims that had been neglected and allowed to expire, that the re-locators met in numbers of ten and fifteen, in several instances, at some lone monument, just as the hour of midnight heralded the birth of the new year. Of course, in such instances, the names of all present were place on the location certificate and many who expected to secure two or three full claims, considered themselves fortunate in having been figured in for a tenth interest in one . . . . The re-located property is now in the hands of energetic men and development will be done. . . . [126] Another large purchase in the Harrisburg area was consummated in the spring of 1907 when San Francisco and Michigan capitalists and John Stukey and his associates Kennedy, Gray, and Thurman closed two important mining deals, one involving the Ross E. (Rossie) Group of nine claims to the north of the original Harrisburg strike, purchased for $12,000, and the other the Providential Group of six claims on the south side, bought for $10,000. Another purchase mentioned was that of the Combination Group near Harrisburg by the California, Illinois & Wisconsin Gold Mining Company. [127] The Cashier property was still undergoing active development at this time. A 165-foot tunnel had intersected a four-foot ledge of quartz showing values of from $70 to $100 in gold. Although just the high-grade ore was deemed sufficient to make the property a big mine, all the ore exposed was thought to be millable on the ground at a profit, which would make it an immense producer. A mill was being planned by the company, and in connection with that project they were contemplating use of the pipeline from Telescope Peak to provide the water supply. The Eureka Mine was still showing rich ledges, and ten tons of high-grade ore were ready for shipment, averaging $150 a ton. Notice appears at this time of some litigation between Shorty Harris and Crawford, owners of the Cashier, and J.P. Aguereberry and F. Flytin, representing the Panamint Midas property, over the Eureka Claim, with two of the properties finally being consolidated. Work was to be pushed with a force of fifteen or twenty men; later word suggested that the Cashier-Midas property had been bonded to a Chicago syndicate. [128] Meanwhile W.B. Gray was still steadily developing the Wild Rose Mining Company's property two miles from Harrisburg and had driven a 150-foot adit, exposing a ledge carrying good values its entire distance. The three principal directors of the company, Edward E. Babb, W.W. Curtis, and. U.V. Withee, accompanied by a mining engineer, visited the property in the fall of 1907 to formulate plans for its future development. [129] The names of a few more mines in the Harrisburg vicinity now come to light: the Blue Jay Group, near the Cashier; the Jockey Club Group; adjoining the Cashier claims; and the Rosalind S., Hearst Junior, Hearst Second, and Wilson lodes in the vicinity of the Green

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Monster Group. These names reflect the interests of William Randolph Hearst and his fatherin-law G.W. Wilson. These latter lodes were about the last to be recorded in that district, which now contained forty-three unsurveyed claims in an area of 1-1/2 square miles. Eight men working on the Cashier Mine were sinking a shaft, and three rich gold veins had been found crossing the property. It was hoped that a 140-foot tunnel would intersect them in about seventy more feet. [130]

Illustration 147. Supposedly a view of Harrisburg Camp, taken on Death Valley Expedition by Yeager and Woodward, May 1908. Tent flap, however, identifies spot as "Emigrant Springs." Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

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Illustration 148. Pete Aguereberry, date unknown. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

v) A Mill Appears Imminent Because conditions at the Cashier Mine seemed so promising at this point, with ultimately thirteen men working on a shaft and tunnel in which ore values were increasing, entrepreneur George Brown was moving his rooming house and restaurant from Emigrant Spring to Harrisburg to accommodate the increasing population. The only other storekeeper in the area whose name is known is Sam Adams, who ran a general store and saloon in a large tent with supplies brought in from Ballarat. He supposedly cleared a profit of $6,000 on the saloon in his first six months there. [131] Because of good showings in tunnel and shaft, the Cashier Company was still toying with the idea of erecting a ten-stamp cyanide lixiviation mill. To get the required water to run the operation, Crawford purchased from Ballarat people their water rights in Jail Canyon, amounting to eight miners' inches flow of water. This would pass through the Skidoo pipeline to Harrisburg. The addition of fifteen more stamps to the Skidoo mill was also being contemplated, as well as construction of a ten-stamp mill in Nemo Canyon to the south and another five-stamp custom mill for Skidoo below the large mill. These custom milling plants would enable small owners to obtain money for further development, for it was now considered unprofitable to ship out less than $100 ore. [132] vi) Litigation Over Aguereberry's Eureka Mine By March 1909 the Harrisburg mill was on its way from San Francisco, and over 100 tons of ore were waiting on the dump. Part of the delay in acquisition of the mill evidently concerned a dispute that had been evolving around Pete Aguereberry's claim to the adjoining Eureka Mine. Ownership of this property had originally been divided among Pete and his original

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grubstakers, Flynn and Kavanagh. When the three decided to sell as soon as possible, Flynn was put in charge of handling the sale. The result of his dealings with some dishonest mining promoters was that they--a Captain Fleece (appropriately named), his brother, and two other partners--acquired a one-third interest in the Eureka property but failed to come through with their promised down payment. When in November 1906 a bona-fide investor from Rhyolite named Sherwood Aldrich examined the claims, he became quite excited and offered to buy them for $180,000 cash if a clear title could be produced.

Illustration 149. Cashier Mill ruin and Pete Aguereberry, 1916. From Dane Coolidge Collection, courtesy of Arizona Historical Foundation.

This turned out to be impossible, for Fleece and his associates blocked the sale by so hopelessly tying up the property in litigation that the future seemed bleak indeed for its sale to anyone except Fleece, who had of course offered to buy the other two interests at a ridiculously low price. Flynn and Kavanagh became so fed up with the whole situation and discouraged at their inability to resolve it, that they drew up papers in which they relinquished all their interest in the claims to Aguereberry. The Eureka property, therefore, was lying idle while the Cashier Mining Company was producing rich dividends from Shorty Harris's original claims. Luckily for Aguereberry he still had thirty or more properties in the surrounding area that he could sell or lease, and so he managed to survive the period. Despite several trips to Los Angeles during which he tried to reach an agreement with Fleece about starting operations on the Eureka, no headway was made, Fleece being occupied now with a leased claim at Skidoo. It was not until the financial panic of 1907 hit that a way out for Pete seemed to offer itself. After having kept up the assessment work on the mine for three years, Aguereberry let it lapse when Fleece and his brother discontinued their mining operations at Skidoo and left that part of the country. Aguereberry arranged with a friend to relocate the claims and then sell them back to him, thus establishing himself as sole owner by the spring of 1909. He immediately commenced driving a tunnel in pursuit of the gold vein and continued working the mine for the rest of his days. [133] vii) Cashier Mill Opens for Business To pass the time until final installation of the Cashier Company mill, its employees were kept busy blocking out ore and constructing a seven-mile pipeline in connection with the mill's

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operation. Although little more could be done on the Harris property until erection of the mill that would process the large reserves already on hand, Aguereberry was by now steadily developing the Eureka Claim and drawing out large quantities of ore for shipment to the Skidoo mill for processing. By the middle of July the Cashier amalgamation and concentration mill was almost finished, with production expected to begin almost immediately. It was hoped that proceeds from concentrating the generous amount of highgrade ore here, running $50 per ton, would enable construction of a larger plant later. By early August the Cashier Mine had made its first clean-up and sent out the first shipment of gold bullion. After about two weeks of operation the mill had yielded around $2,000. It was hoped' that a better percentage of recovery could be realized from the high-grade Cashier ore, and it was expected that the five-stamp mill would soon produce from $10,000 to $12,000 per month. [134] A couple of weeks later the ore being treated at the mill was averaging better than $60 a ton, mainly in gold. The plant was working about 3-1/2 tons of ore per day, meaning a daily gross output of about $200, or $6,000 a month by using only one shift. Cyanide tanks had not yet been built. Ore for the mill was coming from the new tunnel above the old workings, rather than from the 100-foot shaft. [135] By September the plant was judged so successful an operation that the company intended to install an additional five 1,000-pound stamps within the next month, increasing the daily output from the current six tons to about twenty. [136] A couple of months later a W.C. Price accompanied by a mining engineer traveled to Harrisburg to view Crawford's mine in anticipation of purchasing it. The exact condition of the mill at this time is unknown, but in January 1911 the Cashier was shipping its $50 a ton ore to the Randsburg mill and Aguereberry was shipping $60 rock there. [137] In February 1911 controlling interest in the Cashier Group was acquired by Sam Godby of Pioche, T.G. Crawford having retired. A force of men sent in to explore the property by the new owner discovered more areas of ore and definitely proved extensions of the vein and shoots. This decided Godby to immediately put a ten-stamp mill into operation, suggesting that one had not been in use up to this time. [138] In the fall of 1911 two persons named Crowell and Lindley were slated to assume charge of the Cashier Mine, probably for the incoming owner W.C. Price, their intention being to move the hoisting plant from the Midas Mine onto the Cashier property. By late October W.C. Price had taken over direction of the Cashier Mine, and had levied an assessment of 5¢ per share on the company stock to speed up development. The twenty-five horsepower gasoline hoisting rig from the Midas was soon added to the Cashier property to facilitate ore retrieval, and machinery and supplies were being freighted to Harrisburg in preparation for the start of development work. It was rumored that the company intended to purchase the Eclipse Development Company mill and move it to the Cashier. In December it was reported that the Cashier Mine was producing so well that a mill was imperative. What happened to the earlier one, or whether it was just insufficient for the workload, is unclear. By early 1912, after development work at the mine had been carried on steadily for over two years, it was being said that the ore body was now sufficiently proven to justify erection of a (another?) mill. Possibly for this purpose, assessment no. 6 of 1-1/2 cents per share was levied on the corporation's stock. [139] The pipeline froze up during the winter of 1912-13, necessitating extensive repair work. In the summer of 1913 six leasers were reported to be working at Harrisburg and Skidoo in addition to Aguereberry, who had mined ten carloads of high-grade ore for shipment. Requests were still circulating for a custom mill for the area, indicating that any existing plants were already overloaded. By June 1914 Price had ten or twelve men installing machinery for concentrating and working his ore; twenty-one tons of equipment were either ready for shipment to Harrisburg, on the way, or on the ground. [140] Then in September

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

mention is again made of a five-stamp mill running at Harrisburg. By March 1915 the Cashier Mine reportedly had a ten-stamp mill with a cyanide plant projected for installation. Around 1916 the Cashier Mine was said to have produced 15,000 tons of ore averaging $20 per ton, all taken from the first mine level and above since the ore body pinched out below 140 feet in the shaft. The ore was being treated in a five-stamp Joshua Hendy mill and the pulp run over amalgamation plates and the tailings cyanided. Capacity of the mill was twenty tons per twenty-four hours, with water supplied from the Skidoo pipeline two miles away and power furnished by a distillate engine. The property was under lease to P.R. Turner and Robert Weir, who were stoping on the 100-foot level and intending to run fifty tons through the mill expired in before their lease expired in October 1916. [141] viii) Waning Years From 1917 to 1938 Aguereberry's Eureka Mine (both the Eureka and Cashier properties were referred to now as the Harrisburg Mine) was listed as active. In 1917 it was said to show development consisting of a forty-foot crosscut tunnel and several shallow pits. Ten tons of ore treated at the Cashier mill had yielded $50 per ton. In 1926 it was listed as idle, as was the Cashier Mine, still owned by the Cashier Mining Company of Los Angeles. On this latter property a 400-foot inclined shaft with four levels, at 100, 200, 300, and 400 feet, produced free-milling gold quartz ore assayed at $20 per ton. [142] The Cashier was possibly being operated by Roy Journigan, who also was working the Skidoo Mine, in 1938; at least he was treating the ore in his twenty-ton cyanide plant 5 miles northwest of Harrisburg in which he employed fifteen men. In this year the Cashier property comprised seven claims and was owned by J.P. Aguereberry. (A brief history of the mine written at this time said that it had been worked from 1906 to 1910 by the original owners, was bought by the Cashier Mining Company of Los Angeles, which operated it until 1914, and then was relocated by Aguereberry. Three thousand tons of ore were estimated to be on the dump, carrying $15 in gold per ton. Recent ore mined from the tunnel had been hauled to the Journigan Mining and Milling Company plant at Emigrant Spring for treatment, with production estimated at $150,000.) [143] In 1951 the Independent (Cashier) Mine property of seven gold claims was owned by Ambroise Aguereberry. The workings consisted of a complex arrangement of shafts, adits, drifts, stopes, crosscuts, and winzes. Ore assaying $7 to $12 per ton in gold and silver had been found. Several prospect shafts and tunnels existed northwest of the main shaft near the ridge. Although an adit had been added 250 feet north of the main shaft, the property was idle. [144] ix) Mines in the Harrisburg Vicinity Many claims were located in the general vicinity of Harrisburg about which only a brief mention could be found: a company owned by one William Taylor operated the Delaware Claim; Pete Aguereberry located several claims in the area in addition to the Eureka, namely the Black Hill Mine, one-half mile east of Harrisburg, located on 1 January 1911; the Black Hill No. 1, one-half mile east from Harrisburg and joining the Black Hill Mine on the north, also located 1 January 1911; the Eagle Nos. 1 and 2 silver mines, two miles southeast of Harrisburg, located 19 May 1916; and the Jupiter Quartz Claim, situated 1-3/4 miles east of Harrisburg on the Blackwater Trail, located 10 January 1917. [145] More detailed information is available on the Napoleon, Independence, and Independent mines located by Aguereberry. (The Napoleon Mine was discussed in the previous section.) The mining group consisting of the South Independence, South Independence No. 1, East Independence, Independence No. 1, Independent, and Independent Nos. 2 and 3 is unpatented and covers about 140 acres. The Independent location incorporates the old Cashier lode. The

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Independence Mine, later amended and renamed the Independence No. 1, was originally discovered by Martin Etcheverry in 1909. This was a relocation of the Eureka No. 1 and was joined on the south by the Providence No. 1; It was later quitclaimed to Pete Aguereberry in 1938. The East Independence, near the mouth of the Cashier Gold Mining Company tunnel and joining the east side line of the Independence Mine, was located by Martin Etcheverry in 1910 and quitclaimed to Aguereberry in 1938; the South independence (abandoned mining claim known as the Providence No. 1 owned by the Cashier Gold Mining Company; had two shafts on the south side of the hill and one tunnel on the east side near the north end line and was bounded on the north end line by the Independence Mine) and the South Independence No. 1 (abandoned claim known as Providence No. 2 owned by Cashier Gold Mining Company; joined on east by South Independence Mine and on north was bounded by Independence No. 1) were both located by Pete Aguereberry in 1921; the independent (bound on the south by the Providence No. 2 and joined on the east by the Independence Mine) and the Independent No. 2 (bound on the south by the Horn Toad No. 3 and joined on the east by the Independent No. 1) were both located by Martin Etcheverry in 1910 and quitclaimed to Aguereberry in 1938; the Independent No.. 3 had been located by Etcheverry in 1910 and was relocated by Aguereberry in 1935. The Independent No. 1 (bound on the south by the Providence No. 3 and joining the Independent Mine on the east) was located in 1910 by Martin Etcheverry; as were the Independent No. 3 (bound on the south by the Horn Toad No. 4 and joining the Independent No. 2 on the east) and the Independent No. 4 (bound on the east by the Independent No. 3.) The South Independent No. 3 was located by Aguereberry and filed on in 1935. Upon Aguereberry's death in 1945, his property descended to his heirs--Ambroise, Joseph, Arnand (Arnaud), James Peter, Mariane, and Catherine Aguereberry. Not all the heirs contributed assessment work on the claims, however, so that by the fall of 1958 only Joseph and Ambroise retained Pete's old claims, including the Napoleon. [146] By 1960 the Independent Mine was being used mainly as a weekend retreat by Joe Aguereberry. Although it had produced a small amount of ore as recently as 1958, the last profitable shipment was around 1910. Assessment work in the past few years had consisted only of camp rehabilitation. [147] (b) Present Status Harrisburg is located about 1-3/4 miles east of the Emigrant Canyon Road on the way to Aguereberry Point. The first structures noticed at the site are the three houses composing Pete Aguereberry's old mining camp. The westernmost structure appears to be Pete's original tworoom cabin, built about 1907, with a lean-to shed attached to the south side. The cabin still contains appliances, personal clothing, and assorted kitchen utensils. The middle cabin of the three, a guest house, was built by 1941 and contains three fully furnished bedrooms and a bathroom. The cabin on the east, a furnished two-room structure, was not standing when Aguereberry's estate was settled in 1946 and was evidently built by his nephew Joseph who became administrator of the property. All the buildings, are white with green trim. Scattered elsewhere over the site are tool remnants, stone foundations, a metal water tank, another small one-room shack, and a caved-in dugout, that once consisted of a corrugated-metal roof over a wood frame.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 150. Aguereberry Camp at Harrisburg, view to west. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 151. Collapsed dugout by road, Aguereberry Camp. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Illustration 152. Eureka Mine, site of blacksmith shop to right. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 153. Stone dugout between Eureka Mine and Cashier Mill ruin. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Illustration 154. Cashier Mill ruin on east end of Harrisburg hill. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 155. Dugout on opposite side of ridge from Aguereberry Camp. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Continuing eastward along the slope of the hill one comes to two metal-lined chutes serving an adit. On around the point of the ridge are another caved-in dugout ruin consisting of wood debris, corrugated-metal roof remains, and a door section; a tunnel possibly used as living quarters containing a stoped area, a wooden table, some stove remains, and a wooden frame doorway inside dividing the space into two rooms. A stove stands outside the entrance; a stone dugout with standing walls and a wooden door, reputedly lived in once by either Shorty or Pete in the early days; the ruins of Aguereberry's Eureka Mine and the remains of his blacksmith shop and compressor buildings; and the three-level ruins of the Cashier Mine and Mill, consisting of large cement foundations and an impressive one-chute ore bin. All over the hillside and ridge are prospect holes, stone foundation' walls, and evidence of underground excavations associated with the Cashier lode, in addition to a timbered 400-foot inclined shaft. further around on the south side of the ridge is a partial wood- and tin-sided

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

dugout, and further west another, one completely in ruins with only stone walls 'remaining. East along the road to Aguereberry Point and south of the road is a tunnel used as living quarters--a hollowed-out area measuring about five by twelve feet--with the remains of stone walls out front. Across the gully from it are some waste dumps. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Harrisburg site is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district. This nomination can be justified on several counts. First is its association with two well-known Death Valley figures--Jean Pierre Aguereberry and Shorty Harris. Aguereberry was a Basque, born in 1874, who emigrated to the United States at the age of sixteen. He worked at many different jobs in his new home, including sheepherding, stagecoach driving, haying, mining, delivering milk, etc., until short times spent in Tonopah in 1901 and Goldfield in 1902 convinced him that prospecting and mining were to be his future. When labor trouble started in the latter town, Pete pulled out, grubstaked by Frank Flynn, a rancher, and Tom Kavanagh, a restauranteur in Goldfield. Aware of the strikes that had been made in Death Valley at Bullfrog, Greenwater, the Keane Wonder, and near Ballarat, Pete decided to prospect toward Rhyolite and Ballarat, eventually winding up at Greenland (Furnace Creek) Ranch where he met Shorty Harris and began the historic journey that resulted in the discovery of Harrisburg. Aguereberry lived on his Eureka Claim at Harrisburg for the remainder of his life, working the mine mostly by himself and reportedly recovering $175,000 in gold. At various times he took odd jobs in the area such as stage driving, working on cattle roundups, performing road work for the county, or mining for others, simply for the sake of diversion, but he always returned to his own place when he tired of that. He often took tourists through his mine and also delighted in showing them the view over Death Valley from Aguereberry Point to which he had driven a 4-1/2-mile-long road by pick, shovel, barrow, and blasting powder. [148] At the time of Pete's death he left to his heirs in the way of personal property: one IngersolRand compressor, one jackhammer, one stoper, a 1931 Ford pickup, two shacks, one toilet, one shower, four beds, one stove, and two dining tables with cooking utensils. 149 When this writer visited the site in 1978 the cabins were still completely furnished, complete with made-up beds, furniture, and provisions. The Eureka Mine supported Aguereberry from the time of its initial discovery up until his death in the 1940s. Connected with this one-man operation were a compressor building and blacksmith shop. The Cashier lode claim, originally belonging to Shorty Harris, is distinctive because of the large mill ruin associated with it. It also at one time had a connected powder house and blacksmith shop built out of $100-a-ton ore. [150] Although it was worked from about 1906 off, and on until the late 1930s, the mine's exact production record is uncertain, ranging from a whopping $300,000 in 1916 to $250,000 in 1936, $150,000 in 1938, down to a reported total of only $70,000 in gold and silver in 1957. [151] In addition to its association with Aguereberry and Harris, the townsite' is an outstanding historical resource because of the variety of early mining lifestyles and technological processes displayed here. Although the short-lived camp was composed mostly of tents, several other modes of shelter were used over the years, as evidenced by the presence of structures ranging from Aguereberry's neat homestead to several small caved-in dugouts, a larger dugout with stone walls and a brush and pebble roof (especially valuable for its information on construction techniques), exploratory tunnels or adits enlarged and used as shelters, to frame and metal dugout/shacks on the south side of the ridge. Mining technology from the early 1900s on is well illustrated by a large multi-level mill ruin, a well-timbered shaft, extensive underground excavations with stone retaining walls, and adits. Not only are

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

these interesting in and of themselves but also because of the contrast between the two mining operations involved--the Cashier Group run by large-scale commercial interests, and the adjoining Eureka Mine that was basically a one-man operation for forty years.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (10) Jordan Mine No information on this site was found, although Benjamin Levy locates it in the Wildrose Mining District south of the Star of the West Mine. [152]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (11) Star of the West Mine (a) History This property was one of the group of silver mines located by the Nossano brothers about 1874 in the nascent Rose Springs Mining District. Not to be confused with it was a mine of the same name situated on the west side of Woodpecker Canyon in the Panamint City area in 1874. [153] Appearing to be a good-sized operation in 1875, the Star of the West No. 1 was producing ore assaying at $845.13; the No. 2 was assaying at $1,099.61, and the No. 3 at $1,189.13. [154] Included with the properties purchased by the Inyo Mining Company in 1876, the mine had no notable production thereafter. [155] (b) Present Status The location of the Star of the West Mine was not pinpointed by this writer, although Levy places it south of the North Star Mine. [156] (c) Evaluation and Recommendations Due to the paucity of documentary data on the Star of the West Mine, it was probably not a significant part of Death Valley mining history.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (12) North Star Mine (a) History The North Star Mine is especially difficult to research because this was a fairly common name for mines of that period. This particular claim was another one of the group of silver mines located by the Nossano brothers toward the end of 1874, and was reportedly located three to five miles south of the Garibaldi. One press report noted That the valuable mines in the Panamint range are not confined to those located in the Panamint District alone is certain from what I have learned in the last few days, and know from ore received here from the Rose Spring District, twentyfive miles north of Panamint, in the same range of mountains. The ore in good part is of the same character as that of Panamint. Assays made by J. L. Porter of Cerro Gordo . . . give the very good return of $300 to $1,000 per ton in silver. These mines are the Star of the West, the North Star, owned by Mr. J. Morsano [Nossano]. [157] One can easily be misled by numerous descriptions of activity on a North Star ledge "about 2-1/2 miles in a Northwest direction from the town of Panamint," about which information surfaced with some frequency. [158] Because of certain vagaries in the boundary descriptions this may or may not be the North Star Mine in the Panamint Mining District "On which the Company are running a cut or level from the head of Marvel Canyon." [159] In April 1875 assays were obtained on the Nossano Brothers' newly-discovered silver ledges in the Rose Springs District, the North Star among those sampled. In this particular instance the ore ran $1,363.23 a ton, although the correspondent adds that assays from that mine had occasionally reached as high as $1,700 per ton. [160] The North Star was one of the properties purchased by agents for the Inyo Mining Company in 1876, [161] and was chosen as the headquarters site for the company's projected extensive operations in the area. In March the company superintendent was only awaiting the arrival of [Remi] Nadeau's teams, with a full supply of mining tools, stores, etc., to commence active operations on their several mines. Their

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

prospects are indeed flattering, and it is the prediction of all who have seen the property that they have purchased, that theirs will prove the most prosperous of any mining enterprise on this side of the Sierras. They secured seven well defined ledges, showing, probably, the richest average croppings of silver ore ever found outside of Virginia City, and much surprise is often expressed that they could have purchased it at so low a figure. [162] Two travelers to the Rose Springs District in April were given a tour of the North Star Mine, "which is considered one of the best owned by this company [Inyo Consolidated Silver Mining Co.]." [163] Development consisted of a forty-foot tunnel run in on one vein and a shaft sunk on a second one. High-grade ore was being extracted, some of it assaying over $2,000 and generally expected to mill over $200 per ton. [164] By June a shaft had also been sunk at the mouth of the tunnel and was producing ore assaying $301 in silver per ton. [165] The North Star was probably abandoned about the same time as the Garibaldi, around 1877, when papers show the Inyo Silver Mining Company was being assessed for 3,000 feet at $2 a foot in the North Star Mine. [166] Six years later the North Star Mine was relocated by Medbury and Hunter as the Mohawk, and its location was given as seven miles southeast of Emigrant Spring and seven airline miles north of Telescope Peak. [167] N. J. Medbury, W. K. Miller, and J. M. Keeler soon became partners in the Mohawk, Blue Bell (aka Garibaldi), and Argonaut (aka Nellie Grant) mines, and in 1884, interested in testing their ore's milling potential, Miller hauled 10-1/2 tons of the material from these mines thirty miles across the Panamint Valley to a mill in Snow Canyon. Four bars of bullion, weighing 3,400 ozs. were produced, [168] proving that the material was of good milling quality. For several reasons these mines should have had bright and profitable futures: the ledges were being well and continuously developed (the Mohawk supported at least a tunnel and shaft by this time), roads throughout the area were relatively functional, and wood and water could be found within a reasonable distance. What prevented all these small operations from reaching their full potential was the lack of nearby milling facilities enabling the ore to be worked profitably. Compounding the problem over the long run was the fact that although small operators could initially open the mines, turning them into paying propositions required the involvement of practical mining men with sound judgement and backed by solid investment capital. [169] As it turned out, most, of these small mines passed into oblivion, and although the North Star was still mentioned in 1889, the extent of its life beyond that date is uncertain. [170] Several later miscellaneous references were found that might pertain to this property. In 1896 Charles Anthony of Darwin filed a location notice on a Morning Star Mine in the Panamint Mountains about 1-1/2 miles north of the Consolidated or Consolidation Mine, a property formerly known as the North Star Mine. In 1903 notice of a land transaction involving the North Star and Valley View mines in the Panamint Range was found. There was a Valley View Mine operating in the Wild Rose District around 1884 in the vicinity of the Blue Bell, Argonaut, Mohawk, Blizzard, and Jeanette mines. Its 1883 location notice specifies it as being six miles east of Emigrant Spring on Mineral Hill on the right-hand side of the trail leading from the spring to the Blue Bell Mine. It seems to have been operating during the Skidoo period also. The transaction mentioned might, however, refer to the Valley View Mine discovered about 1896 east of Post Office Spring on the west side of the Panamints, and if so, the North Star property mentioned is probably one of those in the vicinity of Panamint City. [171] This latter seems the most probable since the 1903 article suggests that much development work had been done on the Valley View; the mine by that name located within the monument probably could not boast much progress until after 1907. Open to question is a location notice for the North Star Nos. 1-6, situated one mile east of "Kennedy's Springs Wild Rose Canyon, located in April 1907. [172]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

(b) Present Status The exact location of the North Star Mine was not found by this writer. The property seems to have undergone no intensive mining since its early days, at least not under its original name, and it is entirely possible that no recognizable remains exist. Or, more recent mining operations may have completely obliterated the original workings. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The lack of information found on the property is probably indicative of its lack of historical significance.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (13) Journigan's Mill (a) History The early history of activities on, and ownership of, this site, located in the Panamint Range two miles south of Emigrant Spring on the west side of the Emigrant Canyon Road, is a rather confusing chronicle of the juggling of titles to water rights to any or all of the six springs located near the mill site. These springs and the mill site were involved in intermittent mining and milling operations from at least the early 1920s through the early 1970s. According to a monument memo a one-stamp mill was processing Skidoo ore here around 1909, but this allegation was not substantiated by data found during the course of this study. Carl R. Suksdorf and Frank (Shorty) Harris purportedly ran a ball mill here in 1918 while performing custom work for miners in the vicinity. Suksdorf, at least, was still in control of the property in April 1923 when he filed for the water rights to the six nearby springs (Green, Canyon, Burro, Malapi, Burns, and Willow) for use at his five-acre Gold Dollar Millsite and camp where he was presumably processing ore from his Gold Dollar Mine about one mile northwest of Skidoo. This application was revoked in February 1926 for failure to develop the water source and use it beneficially. In 1924 Shorty Borden and Harris are said to have run a five-stamp mill on the site to process ore from Skidoo and the Poppy Mine. [173] A Dr. Archibald owned the property in 1926 and a Mr. Hoover was milling there until 1932. Beginning in 1934, prompted by passage of the Gold Reserve Act, gold mining activity in the United States began to accelerate with the increase in the price of gold to $35 per ounce. In March of that year Roy Journigan, E. L. Journigan, and L. E. Steinberger located the fiveacre Gold Bottom Mill Site Claim. (No chain of title exists between Suksdorf and Journigan, the latter not relocating the Gold Dollar Millsite, but merely locating in the same general area.) Roy Journigan acquired the interests of his partners in the mill site sometime prior to April 1939 and possibly as early as May 1937 when he applied for the water rights to Green, Burro, Willow, and Burns springs for use at the Gold Bottom Mill Site, which at present was receiving an insufficient supply from just one spring in the area. On 20 December 1937 the Journigan Mining and Milling Company requested a permit to construct a small pipeline to divert these waters to the mill across monument property. This group of springs evidently supplied Journigan's Mill up until World War II.
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Many formerly productive gold mines in the Death Valley and surrounding regions opened up again during these prewar years, given impetus by the presence of a custom mill in the area. As a result, Journigan and Judge Gray, operator of the Skidoo Mine, entered into a business arrangement for the reduction of the latter's ores at the former's custom mill, which was also processing ore hauled by truck from the Cashier Mine at Harrisburg. [174] In January 1937 Roy Journigan secured a lease on the Skidoo Mine, about 2-1/2 airline miles northeast of his mill, from the Gray and Worcester Mining Company, which had operated the mine for the last two years and used Journigan's Mill to process the ore. Journigan employed five men to work the old stopes on the property, and old dump tailings were also being hauled to Journigan's amalgamation and cyanide plant for treatment. Machinery at the plant consisted now of a twenty-five-ton ore bin, a 6 in. by 8 in. Blake crusher, a twenty-five-ton fire ore bin, a 3 x 4 ft. Straub cone-type ball mill, seven 14 x 5-ft. cyanide tanks, 4 x 8-foot amalgamation plates, and four-compartment zinc boxes, the entire operation being powered by a fifteen h.p. Fairbanks-Morse gasoline engine. Four men were employed working the Skidoo ore and performing custom work for other mines in the area. The plant's capacity was twenty-five tons per day. [175]

Illustration 156. Journigan Mining and Milling Co., 1935. Note stamp mill to right of lower entrance road. Photo by George Grant, courtesy of DEVA NM.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 157. Buildings on mill site south of plant, 1962. Photo by Matt Ryan, courtesy of DEVA NM.

On 14 April 1939 Roy Journigan and his wife Mary agreed to sell the Gold Bottom Mill Site to J. E. O'Donnell, who assigned the agreement to C. O. Mittendorf, who, on 12 February 1940 proceeded to assign his interest in the 14 April agreements to the Del Norte Mining Company, a Nevada corporation. The Del Norte Group of mines, just north of the Skidoo Mine operation, had been the site of an important low-grade gold ore discovery in 1936, and a short while later were being actively developed, the ore being trucked to the Keeler Gold Company's mill for treatment. During World War II, on 20 May 1943, the Journigans quitclaimed all interest in the mill site and the water rights to the Del Norte Company, [176] whose owners were John M. Rogers, Joe Stivers, and Roy C. Troeger. According to the Journal Stivers and Rogers used the water from the springs acquired in their purchase to operate the mill at Skidoo. On 1 March 1951 the Del Norte Corporation quitclaimed a 45/100 undivided interest in the mill site and its other property to Joe W. Stivers and a 55/100 undivided interest to Roy C. Troeger. These two, in turn, leased the Gold Bottom Mill Site Claim on a year-to-year basis to James H. Bennett and Max Barginski, who proceeded to locate three other mill sites--the B & B, B & B #1, and B & B #2--contiguous to each other and to the Gold Bottom Mill Site and located up the Burro Canyon branch off Emigrant Canyon toward the mill water sources. The B & B Group was later quitclaimed to Art Detloff. [177] On 28 November 1953 the Gold Bottom Mill Site and other properties were quitclaimed to Art Detloff and Donald A. Dobbins, who by the next year were busy rebuilding the mill site, which by now consisted of only a few tanks and buildings. A crew of married men and their families were constructing houses and erecting concrete foundations and piers for the cyanide solution plant. The mill was expected to be in operation in three to four months and producing 100 tons per day. The milling process involved sending Skidoo ore through a 16 x 24-inch Wheeling crusher to two 36-inch Allis-Chalmers rolls that would reduce the rock to

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

1/4-inch size. From there it would go to a large Harding ball mill and be ground to a hundred mesh, then on to agitation in a cyanide solution tank. It would then be pumped in sequence to three Dorr thickeners, two of them sixty feet in diameter and twelve feet high. The recovered gold, in solution, would then be pumped from the tanks through an automatic Denver gold precipitation unit in a locked room. The gold would then be retorted into bullion bricks and shipped to the mint. Tailings would go to the Oliver filters and be conveyed by belt to the dump. The Skidoo ore was being mined by the Golden Queen Mining Company of Mojave, who had extensively sampled the Skidoo ore bodies and found them ranging in value from $14 to $28 per ton. Already 250,000 tons of the ore were ready for breaking and to be hauled to the mill, hauling and milling expenses totalling about $7.50 per ton with gold recovery running about 90%. The profit on a 100-ton-per-day schedule was expected to be $7 per ton. [178] Detloff also filed on another mill site, called the "Detloff," adjoining the Journigan site and northeast of it in November 1953. The camp buildings were located on this later claim. Meanwhile, on 9 March 1954, Joe Stivers and his wife quitclaimed to Roy C. Troeger all their rights in the mill site and other property. [179] By 1959, because Detloff and Dobbins defaulted in the payment of royalties and in other particulars, their Gold Bottom lease was terminated and they quitclaimed all their interests in the mill site to Troeger in February. [180] In September of that year the machinery at Journigan's Mill was purchased by the Argentum Mining Company and was dismantled and moved to Columbia Flats, Nevada, southwest of Mina. Only the two water tanks were left. By 1960 the "Detloff Mill," owned by Roy Troeger, was considered an eyesore, largely due to the ramshackle condition of the remaining buildings.

Illustration 158. Journigan's Mil' ruins. California State Route 8 in background. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

From 1962 to 1964 a contractor, Carl Dresselhaus, and his crew, who were performing annual assessment work on the Del Norte and Skidoo claims, held water rights to Burro Spring, but no milling activity was taking place here. On 1 May 1967 Roy Troeger deeded to David E. and Elisabeth Hinckle an undivided 25% interest in the mill site and his mining claims. (Troeger held the remaining 75% undivided interest until his death in 1973.) [181] Also in 1967 Troeger entered into a use agreement on the Gold Bottom Mill Site with the unregistered Nemo Silver Corporation, O. L. Heironimus, president. This company, which in the lease obtained water rights to one of the nearby springs, intended to install pipelines from the springs to connect to the remaining cyanide tanks. Heironimus and his partner Bill Stapleton then would attempt to cyanide the tailings dump, and hopefully the gold and silver recovered would provide them with enough capital to mine their gold and silver claims in Nemo Canyon. At that time the property supported a frame building, two 25,000-gallon water tanks, and eight old concrete cyanide tanks. [182] This appears to have been the last spate of activity on the site. (b) Present Status

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The only building remaining on the site today is a large white plywood building covered with tarpaper and with a composition-paper roof. Originally it appears to have been divided into three rooms. Inside are a mattress, bedsprings, and an old icebox. Southeast of this structure are wooden foundations of another building, identified in one photograph found by the writer as a CCC building. Northwest of the first building are two cement foundations for other structures (see Illus. 157). Further northwest and around the point of a ridge are the ruin of a collapsed residence and some old car wreckage. The mill site itself consists of two steel water tanks, an extensive layout of concrete foundations and machinery pillars, and seven concrete cyanide tanks. The concrete ruins are in stable condition. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Journigan's Mill ruins are considered eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places as being of local significance. The site has been used sporadically for milling purposes from the first decade of the twentieth century up until the early 1970s--the longest continuous usage of a site for milling-related activities within the monument. In addition to its early association with such Death Valley luminaries as Frank Harris and Shorty Borden, it is especially significant because as the largest and best-equipped custom mill in the Wildrose area, its presence in the 1930s stimulated gold-mining activity around Emigrant Spring and provided impetus and encouragement to the reopening of mines in the Skidoo/Harrisburg areas by cutting down markedly on their production costs. Journigan's Mill is the largest ruin of an amalgamation and cyanide plant of the 1930s-1950s period left within the monument boundaries. The concrete ruins are in good shape and do not require stabilization work. The erection date of the frame building on the site is uncertain, though it appears in a 1954 picture. It might have been one of the structures erected during the Dobbins-Detloff period of ownership in the early 1950s, An interpretive sign on this site presenting a capsulized account of the mill's operation and perhaps an early picture would be of great value, since visitors passing by now have little idea of the type of structure that once stood here.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 159. View south down California State Route 8 of Journigan's Mill cyanide tanks. Foundations in preceding photo are up hill to right. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 160. Stamp lying on bank by side of road below cyanide tanks. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)
deva/hrs/section3b2m.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (14) Mill Site North of Journigan's Mill (a) History This small mill site alongside the Wild rose- Emigrant Canyon Road was operated during the mid-1930s. Walter M. Hoover, who has owned several pieces of Death Valley mining property, and a man named Starr ran the small cyanide plant here on ore hauled from Nemo Canyon about 1935. After the partners split up, Starr continued to operate the mill until sometime in the fall when he left California. The area was subsequently cleaned up by monument personnel and a small amount of pipes and fittings removed. [183] (b) Present Status The mill straddles a rocky outcropping on the west side of the Emigrant Canyon Road about one mile north of Journigan's Mill. Four cement-lined masonry tanks connected with the cyanide process' are still present, one being at least twenty feet in diameter and still containing remains of the wooden grid that once covered the bottom. Stone dry -wall foundations and concrete machinery pilings are also in evidence. Southwest of the mill and along the, edge of the ridge are what appear to be small adits or holes of some kind in the rock face. Some low stone walls are associated with them. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations This site is not historically significant. The mill operated for only a short period during the 1930s, but the ruins are interesting and have interpretive value. No stabilization work is thought necessary. The" remaining foundations should be left to benign neglect and an interpretive marker erected identifying the area as the site of a 1930s cyanide milling operation. The purpose of the low walls southwest along the hillside is unknown, the writer having been unable to examine them closely. They and the nearby, caves ( should be ?) examined for archeological significance.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 161. Cyanide mill ruins on west side of Emigrant Canyon Road 1 to 1-1/2 miles north of Journigan's Mill. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 162. Cyanide tank on mill site. Note wooden slats remaining. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (15) Gold King Mine (a) History The original location of the Gold King lode was made on 29 August 1936 by C. O. Mittendorf, who, along with a fellow Los Angelan, P. H. Greer, bought the property formerly leased by Walter M. Hoover of Lone Pine. [184] Serious mining activity on the site apparently began in 1938, after 200 tons of ore from the mine, whose showings were said to be unusually. good, had been found to run $25.50 per ton at the mill. This encouraging discovery spurred development and resulted in the opening of an extensive ore body by early 1939. As a result the owners decided to send a test run of one thousand tons of extracted ore to the Golden Queen Mill south of Mojave, over 150 miles away, in order to determine the type of milling most suited to this particular ore. Seven ore trucks were needed for the long haul to Lone Pine and then south. This circuitous route was necessitated by the distressing condition of the shorter road south through Emigrant Canyon and the Panamint Valley that made it unfit for use as a mine-to-market road. [185] During this time the Gold King was extensively developed and ore was being produced for shipment on a regular basis. On completion of loading and hauling the 1,000-ton test shipment, mine workers were given a well-deserved vacation, five men finally resuming development work again toward the end of June. [186] In late summer the mill of the Del Norte Mining Company, which was operating near Skidoo, was anticipating the arrival of ore for treatment not only from the Del Norte Mine, but also a minimum of 300 tons a month from the nearby Gold King, [ 87] which, indeed, 1 supplied most of the mill's custom work--1,300 tons of ore--until the arrival of winter forced a cessation of all mining and milling activity. [188] Shipments resumed again in April, when it was also reported that a contract had been let for sinking a new shaft at the mine. [189] The Gold King lode was patented in March 1944, but no data was found about any further mining activity over the next thirty years. A lease/option agreement was executed in 1975 between W. M. Hoover and a Mr. Crowe, with the former again acquiring leasing privileges over the site. [190] In April of this year the Gold King Extension lode was located by Hoover joining the east end of the Gold King. (b) Present Status
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The Gold King patented lode mining claim is located about one mile east of Journigan's Mill in Emigrant Canyon in the hills southwest of Skidoo, and is reached by a rough trail leading east about 6-1/2 miles south of the Emigrant Canyon Road intersection with California State Highway 190. Due to recent washing activity, the trail's merger with the Emigrant Canyon Road is difficult to detect. According to a plat of the property dated 29 May 1942 (Mineral Survey No. 6289), underground workings consisted of a discovery shaft, three short adits, and three inclined shafts, each intersected by short crosscuts, comprising an estimated total footage of 640 linear feet. Although this 1942 plat also lists such improvements as a blacksmith shop, bunkhouse, cookhouse, and office, they are not now extant. In 1975-the remains of a cabin site, a collapsed dugout, and a small powder house were found.

Illustration 163. View southeast of shaft and dump in wash, Gold King Mine. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

Illustration 164. Collapsed dugout on edge of wash, Gold King Mine. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

(c) Evaluation and Recommendations

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The Gold King Mine site has no historical significance. Early 1900 references to a Gold King Mine were found to refer to one by that name in the Bullfrog District. [191] The subject property was not developed until the 1930s, and during that time supported a small mining camp for its employees. Because the underground workings are located in a wash, they have been filled in through the years with sand, gravel, and silt, making the site fairly safe for monument visitors, probably few of whom, however, are aware of its existence. The small powder house and dugout ruin, if still on site, do not appear to pose safety hazards.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (16) Tiny and Sunset Mines (a) History A Sunset silver mine was mentioned in the Panamint District as early as 1873, in the vicinity of a Blue Belle Mine; it is fairly certain, however, that this refers to a location near Panamint City. [192] The only other early citation to a mine of that name found by this writer is a location notice for a Sunset Silver Mine in the Rose Spring Mining District 3 miles northeast from Rose Spring Garden and about 1-1/2 mile north of the Virgin Mine. [193] According to the LCS crew who visited the mill ruin site miles south of Skidoo in 1975, that area had been referred to in the past as the Sunset Mine. No data was found conclusively supporting this designation, although an article in the Mining Journal does mention a gentleman from Barstow, California, who "has been carrying on gold production on a small scale at his Sunset mine in the Panamint district of California for the past six years. His equipment includes a five-ton Straub ball mill, Economy concentrator and amalgamation plates. [194] The monument mining office had no information on this mine, or on who had worked it, although activity evidently took place here as, late as the 1940s--a claim marker for a "Tiny Mine" was found by this writer on the site, dated 11 October 1945. A bona-fide Sunset Mine is located on the south side of the gravel Skidoo Road about three miles east of the Wildrose-Emigrant Canyon Road. Last worked about 1940, its four claims produced about 100 tons of ore averaging $20 worth of gold per ton for custom mills. Small amounts of silver were also recovered. [195] (b) Present Status Approximately 1-1/4 miles east of the Skidoo-Emigrant Canyon road junction a dirt track leads north for about 1-3/4 miles to the Tiny (Sunset?) Mine site. A trail continues north beyond the mine turnoff across the ridge to Skidoo. The area of mining activity covers the south slope of this ridge, facing Harrisburg Flats, and comprises two sites. About 1/4 mile east of the mill site and adjacent to the road continuing on to Skidoo are the remains of a collapsed wooden shack. Of some interest is the road leading from here to the mill site, whose edges and curves have been shorn up and reinforced by a tremendous amount of drywall masonry. Basically three levels of mine workings exist, the access road entering on the

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

second level alongside an adit that has been closed off with a tin door. On the lower level below this adit are the ruins of a milling operation, with cement machinery pilings, dry-wall masonry foundations, and a portion of a wooden ore bin still extant. Built into the hillside a few yards northwest of the mill is a cistern with a cement floor and plastered masonry walls on three sides, the hillside forming the north end. A pipe leads from this reservoir to the mill, probably once supplying the power to run it. The upper level of workings above the access road consists mainly of caved-in stopes, some containing rotted timbers. Ruins of a small tool shed or blacksmith shop are also found on this upper level. A series of stone walls advancing down the hillside suggest that some type of chute arrangement once descended toward the mill. Below the mill ruins is a dry-stone silt dam.

Illustration 165. Mill ruin at Tiny Mine, one mile south of Skidoo. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1978.

The Sunset Mine about 2-1/2 miles southeast of this site consists only of a timbered vertical shaft with drifts run on three levels. Downhill (northwest) from the mine and across the Skidoo road is a house possibly associated with the mining operation that appears to be of 1930s or 1940s vintage. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations Insufficient data exists on the Tiny Mine site either to provide associative significance or to properly place it in the context of Death Valley mining history. During the LCS survey of the site, purple glass was found on a dump in the area along with hand-finished bottle necks, suggesting an occupancy period from the 1880s up to approximately 1920. The site's proximity to Skidoo and location adjacent to the Skidoo-Harrisburg road suggest that the site might have been prospected in the early 1900s during Skidoo's heyday. At least one set of claims during that period--the Rag Time Group--was reported as lying about two miles south of Skidoo. [196]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 166. Masonry-walled reservoir northwest of mill ruins, Tiny Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 167. Building site along road to Tiny Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 168. Sunset Mine headframe on road to Skidoo. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

In the spring of 1909 it was announced that the Skidoo Mines Company planned erection of an additional mill on its property to treat ore from the Wilkinson lease, situated on the north side of Skidoo hill. This lease location was too far from the Skidoo mill to afford hauling of ore from that point, so the company was considering locating a new plant about a mile from the present mill (in which direction was not stated). Water used in the present plant would be conserved and used again at the new structure. The Wilkinson lease, however, was a near neighbor of the Granite Contact property, which was located north of town, so it is doubtful that the new mill would have been built even further south. [197] The other possibility is that the mill is of a later construction date and associated with the 1930s era of mining activity in the monument. The present southern boundary of the Skidoo Historic District passes through the middle of this site. Since these mill ruins have interpretive value, it is recommended that the site be left in a state of benign neglect and that the southern boundary of the Skidoo Historic District be expanded slightly to include the ruins and the impressive stonework retaining walls.

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deva/hrs/section3b2p.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (17) Cabin 1-1/2 Miles Southeast of Skidoo This site is reached via a 1-1/4-mile-long track, now almost indistinguishable, leading north from the gravel Skidoo road about 1-3/4 miles east of its junction with the paved Emigrant Canyon Road. The area was visited by members of the LCS survey crew in 1975. The only extant structure was a rude miner's cabin of tarpaper and corrugated metal probably built during the 1930s or possibly associated with the 1950s tungsten activity in the area. Miscellaneous debris littered the site. Adjacent to the shack a portion of the Skidoo pipeline scar was visible. The cabin is not historically significant, but the Skidoo pipeline route scar will be included on the revised Skidoo Historic District National Register form.

Illustration 169. Cabin 1-1/2 miles southeast of Skidoo. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 170. Cabin 1-1/2 miles southeast of Skidoo. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

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deva/hrs/section3b2q.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (18) Blue Bell (Garibaldi) Mine (a) History Historical records and early newspaper accounts provide only fragmentary data on this site. Around 1874-75, shortly after the discovery of Panamint City, a party of Italians--Joe and Zeff Nossano, Joe Lanji, and Charles Andrietta--discovered a group of eight silver mines in the new Wild Rose Spring District in the vicinity of present-day Harrisburg. [198] These new properties included the North Star, Star of the West, Maria, and Polar Star mines, all located in the northeast portion of the district, five miles east of Emigrant Spring, and overlooking Death Valley: Among them is the 'Garibaldi' mine, a very large lode, showing on the surface hundreds of tons of rich ore. An average sample of the ores of this mine, assayed by J. L. Porter, of Cerro Gordo, yielded $238.18 per ton in silver. This remarkable discovery has been visited by a number of mining men from Panamint, Cerro Gordo and elsewhere, all of whom pronounce it as showing on the surface a larger amount of rich ore than they have ever seen before. [199] Two months later a correspondent of the Panamint News visited the Nossano brothers' property, which he said included about twenty mines, and wrote that Their principal mine, the Garibaldi, has an outcrop of an average width of sixty feet; with metalic ore assaying from $400 to $1,800 per ton, the greater portion of which is free milling ore; a large percentage of the ore can be sorted and worked by smelting. [200] Because it was still a relatively new location, excavations in the area only penetrated about eight feet. An interesting sidelight to the Garibaldi's history is that Dr. S. G. George, early pioneer into the Wild Rose area and discoverer of the Christmas lode in 1860, was working with another gentleman from Visalia, E. M. (F. M.?) Bently (or Bentley), on the eastern portion of the Garibaldi--referred to as the Lady Ethel--during this time. [201]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Reportedly during the seventies ore from the Garibaldi and probably from some neighboring properties was sent by muletrain over a Walker's Pass to the railroad several hundred miles away. By the spring of 1875 the Garibaldi was still upholding its reputation as "the most promising location in the district, if not in the entire county," [202] even though little development work had been done. Ore from here was generally averaging $628 to $1,600 per ton. [203] It was no surprise, therefore, when the Garibaldi, North Star, Polar Star, Star of the West, and Maria mines were sold by the Nossano brothers to a San Francisco syndicate for $70,000. Incorporated under the name of the Garibaldi Mining Company, the group's board of directors included A. J. Bowie, Jr.; Arch. Borlands, William M. Lent; N. B. Stone; and John F. Boyd. They evidently only acted as agents for the Inyo Mining Company, because the latter's superintendent, a William Irwin, immediately took over development of the Garibaldi, spending about $30,000 on the project. [204] The future not only of this mine but of the entire Rose Springs district seemed extremely promising now: Since the Inyo mining company made the purchase of the Nassano [sic] company's mines, the camp has changed its appearance, and, instead of being the resort of a few prospectors, is shaping itself into a busy mining camp. A town site has already been laid out, a station erected for the accommodation of those visiting the district, the wagon road from Warren springs improved, and work on the Garabaldi and North Star mines commenced. [205] Although from the meager information presented here it is difficult to determine the exact location of this main camp, presumably the focal point for prospecting activities in the Rose Spring District, it is known that the Inyo Mining Company headquarters were established at the North Star Mine, three to five miles south of the Garibaldi. [206]

Illustration 171. Stock certificate, Garabaldi Mining Company. Courtesy of Richard E. Lingenfelter, Univ. of Calif. at San Diego..

By April 1876 the Garibaldi Mine workings consisted of a 100-foot incline run down on the hanging wall and an 18-foot tunnel that had been started to tap the rich ledge. Superintendent Irwin was now contemplating erection of a mill on the site, to be powered possibly by water piped over from the vicinity of Furnace Creek, fifteen to twenty miles east. [207] In June the vein was struck at the bottom of the shaft and ore recovered assaying $600 a ton. Twelve men were employed in drifting, crosscutting, and other development work. [208] Despite the impression that work was progressing well here, before long Irwin decided the ledge had petered out. According to Milo Page, Irwin, who had previously mined in Oregon, simply did not know how to mine under California's geological conditions; others said he miscalculated and, veering away from the ledge by mistake, concluded that the ore had run out. Whatever the reason, the mine was abandoned, Irwin leaving for Bodie to work on the Standard Mine. Several sacks of high-grade ore were left behind on the dump. [209]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Later in 1877 it appears that W. L. Hunter picked up this mine, along with the Argonaut, Junietta, Blizzard, and Virgin, later selling interests in them to W. K. Miller and E. N. Medburg (N. J. Medbury) of Lone Pine, these three then proceeding on development work together. [210] No further mention was found of the Garibaldi Mine until a formal notice of location for the Blue Bell Mine was filed in 1883 by N. J. Medbury and W. L. Hunter, "8 miles East from Emigrant Spring on south side of canon emptying into Death Valley. Is about opposite to Mouth of Furnace Ck. and about 10 miles air line north of Telescope Peak and is relocation of Exchequer or Garabali [sic] Mine." [211] According to the U.S. Mint several high-grade silver mines were being operated in the Wild Rose District in that year, some of which had been discovered ten years or so before during the height of the Panamint City excitement. These included the Virgin, Peru, Kuler, Silver Star, Mohawk (aka North Star), Valley View, Umpire, Argonaut (aka Nellie Grant), Genette (Junietta?), and Empire State. Ore was also being recovered from the old workings on the Garibaldi; 150 tons of material on the dump had assayed $100 per ton on the average and were being shipped to San Francisco for treatment. Development work was being financed solely by proceeds from the ore shipments. [212] By the time another year had passed several thousand dollars had been expended on development of the Argonaut, Junietta, Blue Bell, Blizzard, and Virgin mines by Hunter, Miller, and Medbury. The Blue Bell reportedly contained a well-defined twenty-foot ledge showing ore averaging $80 per ton, with over 100 tons of ore lying on the dump. Over $1,000 had been spent on development of this property alone. In the late summer of 1884 10-1/2 tons of ore from the Mohawk, Blue Bell, and Argonaut mines were sent to the Snow Canyon mill for treatment in order to determine the ore's milling quality; about 3,400 ozs. of silver bullion were produced. [213] In November 1884 Medbury and Miller sold a J. M. Keeler one-half interest in the Blue Bell, Mohawk, Valley View, Blizzard, Argonaut, and Jeanette (sic) mines for $1,600. [214] Evidently the mine underwent yet another name change, because two years later a notice of location for the Silver Queen Mine was filed, located in Rose Springs Mining District and "formerly known as the Blue Bell Mine or Garibaldia." The property in question had been located 2 April 1886 by M. M. Beaty (probably Beatty) and Joseph Danielson. Again on 1 January 1888 a Silver Queen Mine on the east side of the Panamint Range and about twelve miles northwest of Coleman's borax works in Death Valley, "formerly known as the Blue Bell or Garabaldia mine" was located by Paul Pfefferle and Joseph Danielson. [215] In 1902 the Garibaldi Mine, now including an 80-foot shaft and 150-foot tunnel, was linked to Charles Anthony of Darwin. [216] It is more uncertain whether a 1906 discovery of a Blue Bell No. 1 and No. 2 claim took place at this site. Their location is given as "between the Casa Diablo Company's mines and the old Wild Rose property. . . ." and "are about four miles south of the old Wild Rose. . . ." [217] Because of the vague description of boundaries it would be difficult to determine the area involved without further research into the Casa Diablo Company and its holdings. It is the writer's opinion, however, that this refers to claims further south and west, possibly outside the present national monument. In 1906 the old Garibaldi Mine near Skidoo, possessing numerous long tunnels and shafts, was owned by Kennedy (probably F. C.) and Gray, who had performed limited development work. It was during this year that the first reference was found to "stone mill buildings" on the property. [218] Kennedy received an offer for the mine at this time, a sale that might have been consummated, since in 1911, Mr. Ball was working the "Girabaldi" and had several tons of ore ready for shipment. [219] Before long the mine was again abandoned, and no record of any mill or smelter returns for the next several years has been found. One memo in the mining office file lists the Garibaldi as being worked in 1953 for gold. A later list shows W. M. Hoover as owner of the Garibaldi and E. H. McGlothlin and Earl Enger as owners of the Blue Bell. [220] According to McGlothlin, who by 1974 was one of four

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

claimants of the Blue Bell Millsite and the Blue Bell #1 lode claim (encompassing the old Garibaldi Mine), a lessee of the property shipped about 150 tons of selected material from the site in 1967, and he himself had shipped nine to ten tons to Barstow a year later. No documented production for the mine has been found. [221]

Illustration 172. Cabin on Blue Bell mining claim. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 174. Tramway support, Hanging Cliff Millsite. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 173. Cable heading north across gulch toward Hanging Cliff Millsite. Light area on far cliff is mine dump. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

(b) Present Status The Blue Bell Group, comprising one twenty-acre unpatented lode claim (Blue Bell #1) and one five-acre unpatented mill site (Blue Bell Millsite), is about three miles east of Skidoo and reached via the gravel Skidoo Road. The turnoff to the mine is about five miles east and north from the junction of the Skidoo and Emigrant Canyon roads; from there the Blue Bell Millsite lies about one-half mile down the slope. Here claimants have erected their tin shack headquarters, still furnished, and identified on its side as "Hidden Wash, McFarlin and Durham Mining." Probably built in the 1950s or 1960s, the cabin and surrounding ground resemble all mine camps of that period within the monument--assorted debris and trash, old appliances, and a dilapidated vehicle litter the ground. From here a road trends southeasterly toward the Hanging Cliff Millsite, which, located at the crest of a hill, is distinguished by a large metal support for a cable tramway that crosses a small, though deep, canyon toward the Hanging Cliff Claim, appropriately named for its precarious location on the side of a very steep rock wall. Further east and at the bottom of a precipitous jeep road is the Blue Bell Claim (Garibaldi Mine). Its situation is best described, though slightly exaggerated, by a visitor in 1876 who remarked that the descent from the mine to the valley is so abrupt that a stone can be thrown with ease into the valley below, although the mine lies several thousand feet above it. [222] No mine structures are extant; indeed, the main shaft itself is barely discernible to the

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

untrained eye because of the efforts made to fill it in. Of greater interest are the remains of several rock houses or dugouts visible in the canyon a short distance below. Two others are built against a hillside near the road between the Hanging Cliff Millsite and the Blue Bell Claim. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Blue Bell (Garibaldi) Mine is determined to be of local significance and eligible for inclusion on the National Register. It is one of a group of very early silver mines in the Wild Rose area, all discovered during the rash of exploratory activity prompted by the excitement over Panamint City's unfolding riches, and all worked intermittently over the next several years. Making it somewhat unique is the fact that it evidently proved profitable enough to mine, or at least periodically explore, over the next almost forty years so that its location is still known today. What makes the site especially significant, of course, are the associated stone ruins, which in the early 1900s were identified as mill buildings; no specific date for their construction was mentioned, however. They should be researched further and in closer detail by historical archeologists. Due to time limitations the writer was only able to examine the two more accessible dugouts near the Garibaldi Mine road: one is about eleven feet square in dimension and is surrounded on three sides by a five-foot-high wall with two entrances; the other was circular in shape with about twelve feet of five-foot-high curved wall remaining. The structures lower on the canyon floor appear to be ten to fifteen feet in diameter.

Illustration 175. Stone dugout to north of road between Blue Bell and Garibaldi mines. Photos by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 176. Stone dugout to north of road between Blue Bell and Garibaldi mines. Photos by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

It has been hypothesized that these ruins date from early Spanish exploratory or mining activities in the region; reportedly an old trail can still be seen leading from the vicinity of these structures to the floor of Death Valley. It is this writer's feeling, however, that they are probably of later construction and associated with early mining endeavors at the Garibaldi during the 1870s. The limited historical data available seem to agree that the Garibaldi was one of the more prominent mines in the early Rose Spring Mining District for several years. The 1875 Inyo Independent newspaper article quoted earlier in this section suggests that the Garibaldi ore warranted smelting works of some kind, and these might have been built by the Nossano brothers. When the Inyo Silver Mining Company took over the property and initiated extensive development procedures, such stone structures might have been erected to house employees as well as milling operations. Further conjecture about the ruins is not only time-consuming but also meaningless until the site is investigated further by historians and historical archeologists; hopefully the discovery of artifacts in association with the structures will enable their more precise dating. Because of the presence of several ruins, of varying shapes and sizes, possibilities exist here for comparative study of, early Death Valley stone structures, some of which might have been connected with early milling operations. Such an opportunity should not be overlooked.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 177. Adit associated with Garibaldi Mine Claim. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 178. Ruins of stone mill buildings in valley below Garibaldi Mine. Death Valley salt pan seen in distance. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978

On the road near the Garibaldi Mine is an old rubber-wheeled, wooden-sided ore wagon, probably dating from the early 1900s, and possessing interpretive value. A tag on the vehicle

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

provides full information on its maker, model number, etc. The Blue Bell Millsite and Hanging Cliff Millsite and Claim possess no demonstrable historical significance.

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http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/deva/section3b2r.htm[7/26/2008 3:07:28 PM]

Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (19) Skidoo (a) History i) Ramsey and Thompson's Great Discovery Right here on the border line between California and Nevada, just a few miles from arid within speaking distance of Nevada's big, bonanza gold camps of Goldfield, Rhyolite, Tonopah, California promises to give birth to the most wonderful gold mines America has yet produced . . . . Here the golden goddess is again singing her siren song of enchantment and California is again beckoning to the world with a finger of gold: and the world is listening, and looking, and coming--TO SKIDOO! [223] By 1907 when this enticingly optimistic editorial appeared, Skidoo was a thriving year-old mining camp. Her cramped townsite, dizzyingly nestled on top of the Panamint Range, already proudly possessed over thirty tents, several frame buildings, and many of the amenities of civilization, including restaurants, hotels, and a newspaper. It was a far cry from the desolate and lonely conditions existing here in January 1906 as two wandering desert prospectors, John Ramsey and John ("One Eye") Thompson, wended their slow way up Emigrant Canyon toward the newly-discovered gold strike at Harrisburg. Although the Panamint Range for almost its entire length had been known since the early 1850s to contain gold-. and silver-bearing veins, early mining efforts had centered mostly around silver and lead, the gold veins being largely overlooked and unprospected. Only now, in the early 1900s, was this precious metal becoming a highly-prized and sought after commodity. Both Skidoo and Harrisburg, discovered about six months earlier and located about 5-1/2 miles further south, were the direct offshoots of the big Nevada bonanzas of Tonopah, Goldfield, and Rhyolite. Excited and encouraged by the seemingly quick riches exposed in these areas, the desert mining community became hungry for more, and prospectors began gravitating westward across Death Valley in search of rumored treasures in the Panamints. The long trek of Ramsey and Thompson toward Harrisburg was suddenly interrupted by a

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

rare freak of nature in the Death Valley region--a blinding fog. Quickly becoming disoriented in the murky light, and afraid of getting lost in one of the many surrounding canyons, the two decided to encamp near Emigrant Spring and proceed on their way in the morning. By the next day the fog had lifted, enabling a view of some nearby ledges whose color appeared promising. A true desert prospector always had time for even a brief survey of such formations. What Ramsey and Thompson found completely dismissed all thought of a further journey, and precipitated their prompt location of several claims in the vicinity. Comprising the Gold Eagle Group, this series of rich ledges appeared to stretch north-south for a distance of about 1-1/2 miles, varying from two to twelve feet wide, and showing $82 in gold per ton. Somehow managing to keep their new discoveries secret until their claims had been properly monumented and recorded (luckily they did not run into Shorty Harris here!), it was not until a couple of months later that news of the strike began to spread. Immediately realizing that these veins were probably located in the same mineral belt that had been the source of riches for Panamint City over thirty years earlier and that was now proving so productive in the Harrisburg vicinity, hordes of miners turned their burros toward Emigrant Spring, hoping to be early enough to cash in on the bonanza. Though located in California, the camp soon fell almost completely into the hands of Nevada capital and enterprise. As soon as word of the strike reached the ears of the pioneers of the Bullfrog District, the area's future was assured, for it was their intervention and investment that made Skidoo one of the longest-lived and most successful Death Valley mining camps. ii) E. A. Montgomery Acquires the Property The Nevada mogul most responsible for Skidoo's success was E. A. (Bob) Montgomery, who immediately purchased the original Gold Eagle Group of claims from Ramsey and Thompson. As was not at all unusual on the desert mining frontier, where the thrilling prospect of untold wealth often precipitated fast and loose business deals, some hint of scandal did revolve around the negotiations for the property. One version of the transactions states that a representative of Captain DeLamar, a well-known mining magnate of the region, being one of the first on the scene with money enough to act, promptly secured an option for a one-half interest in the property for $100,000. Following on his heels came E. Oscar (Bob) Hart, a Goldfield pioneer, mine owner, and New York promoter, who subsequently secured the former's option and bonded the property for $20,000. From this point on the facts are hazy, probably deliberately so. According to some, Montgomery eventually intercepted Hart and for his option offered him a sum he couldn't refuse--$100,000 extra--and then proposed to the discoverers another large sum for their remaining interest. Upon the latter's acceptance of same he was put in sole ownership of this phenomenal discovery. Some doubt is cast on this tale of completely orthodox business proceedings by a second account to the effect that Hart made the original deal with Ramsey and Thompson to bond the claims for $23,000, after which, forking over the option money and rightly assuming he had an ironclad contract, he returned to the East to attempt to interest Schwab's bankers in the property, leaving matters for the most part in the hands of his business associate George M. Ottis. This was his first mistake, for Ottis, not above playing both sides of the fence, apparently turned around and struck up a partnership with Montgomery (or so he claimed in a lawsuit two years later), betraying Hart's option for the claims in return for a one-eighth interest in the mine and any ensuing profits. Montgomery was thus enabled to pick up Hart's option before his time expired, gladly paying a bonus therefor. [224] However it happened, by May 1906 the Schwab crowd and Bob Montgomery and his associates had gained undisputed control over the original twenty-odd claims of Ramsey and Thompson, and Matt Hoveck, Montgomery's competent former manager of the Montgomery-

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Shoshone Mine, was put in charge of development. Nevada capital was now pouring into the district from such investors as Senator Nixon and George Wingfield of Tonopah, who bought the Green Monster Group of fifteen claims adjoining the Gold Eagle, and Hudson Goodpasture, John W. Seller (one of the original locators of Bonanza Mountain and an investor in several big enterprises in the Bullfrog District), and A. V. Carpenter, who secured the Contact Group of seven claims in these early days, believed by some to be next in importance to the original strike. [225] It was the news of Montgomery's entrance into the new field, however, and of his initiation of development, that practically emptied Harrisburg and provided the impetus for a mass location of new claims, everyone vying to acquire a site as close to his works as possible and within the prosperous mineral zone that was now estimated to measure about six miles wide by fifteen miles long. Considered part of the Wild Rose Mining District, the new Emigrant section was immediately provided with a deputy district recorder to handle the expected increased work load; a voting precinct was also established here. An astute and competent businessman, E. A. Montgomery intended to waste no time in the development of his Skidoo interests, future plans for the site involving installation by 1 January 1907 of a quartz mill (variously projected as holding thirty, forty, or sixty stamps) to be run by water and hopefully later by electric power. Although sufficient water for domestic purposes could be acquired from Emigrant Spring, approximately five miles away by trail and seven by wagon, a more abundant water supply would be needed to provide the hydraulic force necessary to run the milling plant. Accordingly, water rights to the springs near Telescope Peak, at an elevation of about 7,400 feet, were acquired from a Fred Gray of Ballarat, enabling the release of about forty miner's inches from Birch Spring at the head of Jail Canyon, and north of Telescope Peak, to be conveyed by gravity pressure to the mill and townsite in a long pipeline ranging in diameter from six to eight and ten inches, estimated to cost about $150,000 and intended with a fall of 1,800 feet to provide enough force to generate about sixty horsepower for mining and milling purposes. The water was harnessed at the springs in a four-by-eight sandbox. Pressure would be reduced somewhat along the line, there being places where the water would drop lower than Skidoo's elevation. The highpressure quality pipeline would be strung along the route in twenty-foot lengths. It weighed 650 pounds to the length, with eighteen miles worth weighing 1,544-2/5 tons. It was expected that because of this water supply all ore running above $4 a ton could be treated at a profit in the mill. Water from the line would be free for domestic purposes. [226] A negotiable road from Emigrant Spring was also needed to facilitate the importation of construction supplies, and for this task Montgomery employed 20 men, expecting to increase this force soon to 75 and later to 250 when the mill was in operation. The promoter and backer of all this initial development work was the Skidoo Mines Company, an unincorporated and closed association operating on a partnership basis. No stock offerings were ever made, the individual members contributing all necessary monies. A capitalization of $250,000 would hopefully cover all initial costs. By the Fourth of July 1906 a real spirit of optimism pervaded the camp, its over-abundance of energy and enthusiasm finding an outlet in the discharge of guns and the explosion of gunpowder in front of buildings gaily decorated with bunting and flags. Such optimism seemed duly warranted, for arrangements were already being made for an auto line into the district from Beatty, a stage line seemed assured, a post office had been applied for, mine options were being taken up right and left, and several companies expected to start production soon. The high altitude of Skidoo (5,600 feet) and its relatively protected position in a saddle on the southwest slope of Tucki Mountain meant that prospecting and development work could continue all summer.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

On Montgomery's property, now rechristened the Eagle Mine, a spate of construction activity was currently underway, resulting in erection of several matched lumber buildings, including a bunkhouse (eighteen by eighty feet), a cookhouse, a boarding house (twenty by forty feet) with a twenty by thirty-foot kitchen, an office, and a blacksmith shop, in the company camp located on the hilltop above (south of) the mine workings where thirty men were busily employed in development work and in laying the foundations of the stamp mill. Communications with Ballarat had been substantially improved by the initiation of a triweekly stage line, but in order for the new camp to reach its full potential it was concluded that a communication and transportation line with Rhyolite was needed, necessitating much work on the road crossing Death Valley that at this point was so sandy it could not support loaded wagons. [227] A telephone line to the Bullfrog District was also considered essential to keep mining men in Skidoo apprised of the rise and fall of shares. iii) Granite Contact Mines Company Touted as the Emigrant Spring section's first stock offering, the Granite Contact Mines Company, one-half mile north of town and still considered second in anticipated wealth to the Skidoo Mine, with an almost comparable surface showing, was incorporated under the laws of South Dakota in the summer of 1906 and was offering stock at 15¢ a share by August. Capitalized at $1,250,000 with 500,000 shares in the treasury for development purposes, the company was backed by a string of solid Bullfrog businessmen: John W. Seller, president; Clay Taliman, a prominent Rhyolite attorney, vice-president;. J. J. Fagan, pioneer broker and real estate man of the Bullfrog District, secretary; and treasurer G. B. Keenan, cashier of the Bullfrog Bank and Trust Company of Rhyolite. [228] Prospective purchasers were completely assured by the company of the systematic development campaign that would be undertaken on its seven claims (adjoining the Skidoo Mine on the north, the Blue Jay Mining Company on the east, and the Skidoo Contact Mining Company grounds on the south and west) in what was Without question . . . destined to be one of the best high grade and leasing camps on the desert gold fields; situated as it is at an altitude of 6500 [56001 feet, with a delightful climate, with an abundance of water for mining and milling purposes, with a plentiful supply of timber for fuel and lumber, with ideal free milling ores and with precipitous mountains particularly adapted to mining by tunnel, mining operations can be conducted by the most economical methods known to mining. [229] Many people evidently were won over by the eye-catching and flamboyant ads appearing in the Bullfrog Miner and Rhyolite Herald for the demand for stock was far greater than anticipated, no doubt prompted in great part by the already heavy and continuing investments in the area by prominent Nevada operators. iv) A Townsite is Established From its very beginning Skidoo displayed a definite tendency toward an organized and systematic development pattern that no doubt played a great part in helping sustain it through the rough years ahead. The rapid influx of mining men to the vicinity, some with families, made the establishment of a townsite and the dispersement of residential and business lots the next natural step in the area's growth. By the end of August 1906 a townsite, variously designated as Montgomery and later Hoveck, was platted just east of the Skidoo Mine, which was functioning as the center of milling operations. Neither "Montgomery" nor "Hoveck" captured the imagination of the townspeople, however, nor did either of those two solid citizens particularly desire to be so memorialized. The details of the debate resulting in the

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colorful designation of "Skidoo" have been lost to history and open to conjecture for years, the linking of the then popular slang term "23 Skidoo" with the townsite having been variously attributed to: 1) the length of the Skidoo pipeline; 2) a total of twenty-three claims in the original discovery group, coincident with twenty-three surveyed blocks in the new townsite (this seems the most likely suggestion, though newspaper reports mention twentyfour claims), prompting Mrs. Montgomery to suggest the appellation; 3) the location of the original mineral discoveries on the twenty-third of the month; 4) the twenty-three men who supposedly founded the town; etc. Whichever fact prompted the suggestion, the new name was wholeheartedly approved by all. Lots on Skidoo Street went almost in a day. The coming of winter would delay new construction, but by spring large and substantial frame buildings would be rising. An important drawing card for the area was its relative accessibility compared to the inconveniences experienced by earlier and smaller mining ventures in this region. Emigrant Spring(s) rapidly became the distributing point for Skidoo and Harrisburg, boasting now a general store and three saloons for those who needed to slake their thirst before attempting the last few miles to either of those places. The rate of fare to Johannesburg from Los Angeles was only $6 and the stage rate to Ballarat, on the threshhold of the Wildrose and Emigrant districts, only $8. The ride from Ballarat to Skidoo was another $6, the stage leaving every Tuesday and Saturday. Freight to Skidoo cost about 3-1/2 cents per pound and entered the region from the railroad terminus via Barstow and Johannesburg, hauled by ten-, twelve-, and fourteen-horse teams. Other assets of the region were free-milling ores, extremely rich formations, and the ability afforded by the high mountains to utilize tunneling methods rather than expensive shaft work. [230] v) A Communications Link to Rhyolite Needed The arguments put forth earlier in favor of establishing a communications link with Rhyolite-a move now considered even more logical because it would put Skidoo about forty-five miles closer to a railhead--were revived, and in the course of the discussion it was pointed out that a decent automobile road already existed to Stovepipe Springs (Wells), twenty-eight miles northeast. If a good dependable water supply and a waystation could be developed there, travelers and freight supplies should be able to negotiate the burning desert sands in relative comfort. While plans for this project were being hashed and rehashed, a new gold strike in the fall of 1906 on the north end of Sheep Mountain added to the mining excitement. (This area later proved to also contain sizeable quantities of copper ore.) [231] Meanwhile work on the Skidoo pipeline was progressing. Grading was finished and the laying would commence as soon as the eighteen freight outfits engaged in transporting the material could deliver it. The first consignment of pipe arrived from Johannesburg in the middle of September. Seventy-five men were at work on the water system and at the mine where the main shaft, already down sixty feet, was exposing magnificent ore filled with free gold. [232] Further discussion on the Skidoo-Rhyolite road had resulted in the decision to commence work almost immediately on the proposed route. Matt Hoveck, manager of the Skidoo Mine, committed the company to construction of the road up to the sand dunes, a project estimated to entail an expenditure of several thousand dollars, if Rhyolite businessmen would build from the east to that point. J. R. Clark, brother of the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad head, was appointed to supervise this second construction phase, selling subscriptions in Rhyolite to finance the work. (This scheme was not completely foolproof, for expenditures always outweighed contributions. The total amount donated was $1,045, while expenditures for picks, shovels, rakes, wages, teams, and lumber for culverts were $1,525.90. In addition, some further work became necessary and was expected to result in a final deficit of $750.90.)

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Hopes were also high at this time that Borax Smith's railroad would be extended westward from his Lila C borax mine, past his Furnace Creek properties, on north to Cow Creek, and if the Emigrant Spring ore continued to show promise, on to Skidoo. [233] Meanwhile slow but steady work continued at the Skidoo Mines Company site where two shafts and as many tunnels were producing high-grade ore with values ranging from $100 to $1200 per ton, precipitating the receipt by Hoveck of at least twenty-five lease applications from Goldfield and Tonopah people. Because it seemed inevitable that the number of ore deposits would far outstrip the capacity of the company mill to handle them, it was already assumed that a second mill of fifty stamps would have to be established at the lower end of the property, utilizing the same water after it had performed its duty above, the fall between the two mills being about 1,000 feet. [234] vi) The Skidoo News Arrives One of the more important events in Skidoo's early days, and one ensuring the dissemination of her virtues far and wide, was the arrival in November of a four-horse load of printing material, transported to the isolated town by James G. Sterrett and Edwin S. Drury of Encampment, Wyoming--the Skidoo News was born! During the ensuing months other businesses mushroomed in the vicinity, all owing their existence to the Skidoo Mine: an engineering and assay office was opened in that town by two mining engineers, John H. Wilson of Rhyolite (formerly of Greenwater?) and R. H. Earle of New York; Lawrence Kimball of the Kimball Bros. stage line began canvassing the wagon road between Rhyolite and Skidoo preparatory to the establishment of regular stage and express service; a water station was established at Stovepipe Wells and an eating house and feed stable were projected; John Calloway began running a six-horse bi-weekly stage from Ballarat; and Jack Hartigan further developed his Emigrant Spring facilities and was liberally dispensing spirits, general merchandise, and stock feed. vii) Conditions Continue Promising Actually, mining conditions throughout Inyo County as a whole were healthy during the closing months of 1906, with 150 miners reportedly working the Emigrant District, where investment capital seemed always available. Harrisburg was taking on a new lease of life due to all the activity in the surrounding region, and Ballarat was thriving as the distribution point for supplies for a vast mining section including not only the Wild Rose District but also the revitalized camps in the Darwin, Modoc, and Coso districts. To the north numerous valuable copper properties in the Ubehebe and Saline Valley regions were drawing much attention at this time, and to the east Greenwater, the site of a bonanza copper strike, was attracting investors from all over the country. [235]

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Illustration 179. Office of Skidoo News 1907. Note Matt Hoveck and Bob Montgomery in picture. From Rhyolite Herald, 19 April 1907.

Over the next few months slow but steady progress took place in the efforts to improve conditions at the new camp. Although five miles of pipeline had been laid by the end of November 1906, the early days of December brought heavy snows, sometimes as deep as three feet around Skidoo and Harrisburg. The unbearable cold, lack of fuel, and poor housing accelerated an exodus from the Emigrant Spring area. The Skidoo News even froze up, and work on the mines and pipeline had to be temporarily interrupted. Toward the end of December weather conditions had improved to the extent that twenty-seven laborers could resume work on the pipeline, while a forty-horsepower hoist was installed on the main shaft of the Skidoo Mine, now down 120 feet and exposing ore running from $60 to $200 per ton. By early January the first power hoisting plant to be installed in camp, a new eighteenhorsepower one hauled by fourteen-mule team from the railroad, was installed at the mine. An iron-clad engine house was erected at the No. 1 shaft and the hoist was working steadily. Although large surface showings were present on the Granite Contact, permanent work had not yet been started. The need for a mill and treating machinery on the property was already being hinted at, however.

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Illustration 180. Plat of the town of Skidoo, Inyo Co., Ca., filed 10 January 1907. Courtesy of Inyo Co. Clerk and Recorder, Independence, Ca.

Illustration 181. Plat of the town of Skidoo, Inyo Co., Ca., filed 6 May 1907. Courtesy of Inyo Co. Clerk and Recorder, Independence, Ca.

J. R. Clark had by now also taken charge of the road work on the Skidoo end of the line being constructed between Rhyolite and the new town, which, now boasting thirty -three tents, several frame buildings, a big general mercantile store, a lodging house, a restaurant, a newspaper, and several saloons, was eagerly anticipating increased trade from the new association. By the middle of January men were working at four places along the road, which had been finished so far only over the Funeral Range to Stovepipe Wells. Here, nearly two miles out of a necessary five of the road had been corduroyed with mesquite. [236] Although the road still needed some finishing touches, it was negotiable by motorcycle, stage, or auto. Crossing of the sand dunes took a good two hours, however, and from Stovepipe to Emigrant, a distance of twenty-one miles, about seven hours. The route from Skidoo to the railroad via Ballarat was badly deteriorating and rapidly becoming impassable for teams with heavy loads, causing Superintendent Hoveck to contemplate bringing the rest of the pipeline
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in over the new road from the north. Work on the project had been delayed already for six weeks during the end of December and first of January because of the inability to transport supplies over the road now being used. The Kimball Bros. stage line lost no time in initiating a five-day round-trip service from Rhyolite to Skidoo via Stovepipe and Emigrant Spring, with a one-night stopover at the former. A one-way fare cost $20, and the express rate was 5¢ per pound. During this same time a telephone line from Rhyolite was nearing completion to Stovepipe Wells. The connection had reached there by March 1907 and was already extending nearly five miles up the Panamint slope toward Skidoo. Completion of this communication link would do much toward ending some lingering feelings of isolation at the townsite. viii) Leases Opened on the Skidoo Mines Company Property To return briefly to mining operations at Skidoo, a new and extremely profitable phase of activity began with the opening of leasing opportunities on the Skidoo Mines Company property to interested parties. According to Hoveck the company would eventually lease everything except for the three big ledges on the Skidoo and the three on the Cocopah that the company was working. (The Cocopah Group of fifteen claims was not included in the Skidoo Mines Company organization, but did have the same directorate. It was later consolidated with the Skidoo Mine.) The awarding of these leases offered the possibility of quick fortunes for many, because rich values could easily be drawn from the surface without tedious preliminary development work. Royalites agreed on were 10% on $25 ore or. less with a graduate scale up to 25% on $100 or better. On the Skidoo itself, the No. 2 shaft was now a double compartment sixty feet deep another forty-horsepower gas hoist was soon to be erected over it to increase production capacity. In February 1907 a new venture, the Skidoo Contact Mining Company., was organized under the laws of South Dakota with a capitalization of $1,000,000. Comprising five claims-(Gold Ledge #1-4 and Doctor) 1-1/2 miles north of Skidoo, the Skidoo Contact Group lay adjacent to the Golden Eagle Group (Skidoo Mine) and the Granite Contact, and was considered third in importance to these two. President of the company was O. O. Kincaid, cashier of the John S. Cook & Co. Bank of Rhyolite; vice-president was John W. Seller. [237]

Illustration 182. Rhyolite-Skidoo stage, on exhibit at Borax Museum, Furnace Creek Ranch. Photo courtesy of G. William Fiero, UNLV.

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It was anticipated that the first shipment of gold bullion from the Skidoo Mine would be made before the end of July, test samples of ore having been shipped to Taylor & Company milling machinery house in St. Louis and to Denver in an attempt to determine the best method of treatment. According to Hoveck, an eighty-stamp mill operating by the summer would reserve ten of its stamps for custom work, entailing at least three years of steady use for the other seventy stamps. Hoping to facilitate operations elsewhere, the company offered to furnish water and electric power to any surrounding properties desiring it. Ore was to be purchased from leasers or operators, all ore running above $5 per ton to be bought and paid for at the mill. By March leasing offers for Skidoo ground were withdrawn, the Skidoo Mines Company undergoing a formal incorporation encompassing all twenty-three Cocopah and Gold Eagle locations in one organization. [238] ix) The Townsite Expands Skidoo townsite was thriving now, and a great morale boost was provided when the U.S. Government withdrew its aesthetic objections and officially recognized the appellation Skidoo. In March the Skidoo Bank and Trust Company, with a paid-up capitalization of $25,000, took up temporary quarters in the general store. Due to numerous delays, however, it was not until May that the renamed Bank of Southern California opened its doors for business. The first day's transactions carried deposits up to almost $10,000. The future looked so rosy that stone masons imported from Los Angeles were already quarrying the native white stone for use in a new two-story-high building costing $12,000, with lodge rooms on the second floor for Masons and with a 60 by 100-foot ground floor to house a large store and several business offices in addition to the bank. In February the Panamint Artificial Ice Company had been formed by Salt Lake parties who intended to divert water from the Telescope Peak pipeline to their $5,000 ice plant situated on four town lots. Two men already managing large businesses at Tonopah and Greenwater were planning the establishment of the Skidoo Lumber Company, intending to supply this commodity from Rhyolite via big freighting outfits at from $15 to $25 cheaper than the prices now being paid of $130 per thousand board feet. Investments in mining properties and real estate were the order of the day, the latter transactions being ably conducted by Capt. W. R. Wharton, a Pennsylvania capitalist and stockholder in the Skidoo Mines Company, who bought the Skidoo townsite in March 1907 from Matt Floveck who had acquired the original one from James Arnold, the locator. Wharton proceeded to plat a new residential addition east of the original townsite, where he himself erected two portable houses, and sell business lots as well as oversee development work on those promising claims embraced within the townsite. It was expected that such development work would soon open up an extension of the Gold Eagle ledges within the city limits. The Skidoo Townsite & Mining Company, with a capital stock of 1,000,000 shares, was organized, with Montgomery as president; Matt Hoveck, vice-president; and Wharton as secretary-treasurer. It owned eight full claims and one fraction adjoining the Skidoo Mines Company property and, in addition, sold townsites ranging in price-from $100 to $1,000 each, depending on location. Skidoo's population had reached 400 to 500 citizens, who were being served by L. E. Thompson's large general merchandise store, supplying everything from mining necessities to hardware, clothing, drygoods, and groceries, four saloons, a meat market, laundry, bakery, newspaper, and lumber yard, lodging houses, three restaurants, assayers, surveyors, a physician, lawyers, brokers, and more. Social activities were held in the Skidoo Club, measuring twenty by fifty feet and costing about $3,000, and in the more elite Panamint Club, which demanded an initiation fee of $100. By April the town contained altogether about 130 residences and business houses of frame, wood, and iron.

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Because the Telescope Peak pipeline was not yet finished, water continued to be hauled in wagons from Emigrant Spring by ten-horse team and was sold for $4 a barrel or three to ten cents a gallon or higher to the townspeople. It was hauled to the Skidoo Mine in an iron tank on wheels. Groceries, supplies, and the cost of living were about equal to Rhyolite. Mail was being hauled on the Kimball Bros. stage from that town, while fresh meat and vegetables arrived by the same means and were then peddled. A Death Valley Forwarding Company had been established in. Rhyolite to forward freight to Skidoo. Emigrant Spring now was a small camp of framed tents with traveler accommodations in the form of a store, a saloon, a lodging house, and restaurant. Water was piped from the spring to a point in front of the main building. Several prospectors called this place home, as did Frank C. Kennedy, the district mining recorder. [239]

Illustration 183. Proud cardholders of the Skidoo Club, 1907. From Rhyolite Herald 19 April 1907.

x) Transportation Problems Arise Skidoo and the surrounding Emigrant District were now accessible by stage both from Ballarat (four-horse, tri-weekly service arriving on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) and Rhyolite (now on a four-horse, three-day round-trip schedule), and it was being rumored that a stage company in Johannesburg was planning a line to Skidoo, making the 110-mile trip in two days, a stage going each way daily. This would mean three regular stages into the town as well s several private cars, such as J. W. Calloway's sixty-horsepower auto with a capacity for ten passengers. [240] The recently-completed Rhyolite-Skidoo road was proving a boon in many ways, but unforeseen problems soon arose that for a while were seriously detrimental to the freighting business. The trouble was first perceived when J. R. Clark, who had been hauling pipe, telephone poles, and other miscellaneous freight for Montgomery and Hoveck was warned by freighters doing business between Rhyolite and Skidoo not to haul any more freight for less than 3-1/2 cents per pound, even though the distance was less than fifty miles. This action justifiably angered the Skidoo Mines Company, which had just initiated a shipment of 500 tons, or ten carloads, of pipe, lumber, hay, and grain from Los Angeles to Skidoo via Rhyolite. Upon learning that hauling the supplies from the latter place to Skidoo would cost $3.50 per hundred, the shipment was stopped and ordered to go via Johannesburg instead, where the freight charge was only 2-1/2 cents per pound although the distance was 120 miles.

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It was not until the following October that arrangements were made among the local Rhyolite freighters to allow open competition for the Skidoo business and to do away with the prohibitory tariffs. This would ensure the rerouting of freight for the Skidoo Mine (especially the lucrative mill shipments) back through Rhyolite and necessitated the laying off of many of the freight handlers and railroad men who had been involved in the Death Valley business at Johannesburg. [241] An important milestone in the town's history was reached in early spring 1907 when Skidoo became connected to Rhyolite by phone, one of the first messages relayed concerning a new strike on the Granite Contact. According to the Skidoo News The telephone from Rhyolite has reached Skidoo and a flood of business between the Bullfrog metropolis and this place is keeping the wires busy. The first message flashed across the wires from here last Monday announcing that communication was, opened and that conversation could now be carried on with the Panamint camp. [242] The line, built by the Skidoo Mines Company, again under Clark's supervision, had a halfway phone station at Stovepipe. The cost of talking with Skidoo was a mere dollar. By the end of April a similar 7-1/2-mile-long line was about to be completed to the Keane Wonder northeast across the valley that would connect with the Rhyolite-Skidoo line, thus making a second phone office in the valley. [243]

"Away up at the top of the Panamints where the western wall of Death Valley fades off into thin air; that's where Skidoo is . . . the little strip of country in Inyo county, California, where the geography shows blank." From Inyo Register, 17 January 1907. Illustration 184. Townsite of Skidoo, 1907. From Rhyolite Herald, 19 April 1907.

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Illustration 185. Community of Emigrant Spring(s), 1907. From Rhyolite Herald, 19 April 1907.

Illustration 186. Skidoo Mines Company camp, 1907. From Rhyolite Herald 19 April 1907.

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Illustration 187. Skidoo Mines Company headquarters building, 1943. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

xi) Continuing Activity by the Skidoo Mines Company All this thriving progress by the town of Skidoo was, of course, directly attributable to a surge of profitable and systematically-planned development at the great Skidoo Mine. The parent mining company was still carrying out its plans with its own money, offering no stock on the market except for 20,000 shares that were sold to friends as a favor for $30,000. Like Goldfield, Skidoo was fast becoming famous for her leases (of which she now had five), the most famous of which were the Shackett and Hoyt ones. Next to the Skidoo and Granite Contact mines, these were most important in proving the richness of the district. Figures vary considerably as to the number of men actually employed by the Skidoo Mines Company at any one time, ranging from forty to seventy for the month of April alone. By spring, several thousand dollars had been expended on the mine camp, where the company headquarters were now housed in a fine building containing a large main office, a private office for the superintendent, a parlor, bathroom, and several private bedrooms for employees. The structure was surrounded by a large porch and finished throughout in excellent style. Workers were boarded and lodged for $1 each per day. Other recent improvements at the camp site consisted of a twenty by ninety-foot boarding house, a bunkhouse and another building, an eighteen by twenty-four-foot reading room, an officers' dining room, and a lady cooks' room. [244] The Skidoo mill was to be built near the mouth of Tunnel No. 3. Here the ore's free-milling character made it easy to treat, and by stoping and tramming directly to the mill and not using wagons, the ore could be cheaply mined also. The No. 1 shaft was driven to a 200-foot depth and was equipped with a twenty-five-horsepower gasoline hoist, while the doublecompartment shaft, in April, was still awaiting its forty-horsepower hoist. At this time the Skidoo Mines Company completed its formal organization. Still a closed corporation, it had a capitalization of $5,000,000, with the capital stock divided among the incorporators. Montgomery was president; Capt. W. R. Wharton, vice-president; and Matt Hoveck, treasurer and general manager. Ten claims were included in the mine holdings, and it was fully understood by the men involved that close to half a million dollars would probably be expended on the installation of water, an electric plant, the mill, etc., before any return on the investment would be realized. The Cocopah Mines Company was organized by the same people and financed in the same manner. This company controlled fourteen of the Gold Eagle locations, including the extremely rich 22 and 23 claims. It intended installation of a twentyhttp://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/deva/section3b2s.htm[7/26/2008 3:07:37 PM]

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stamp mill to handle customers, but this project as well as further development would be delayed until the Skidoo Mine enterprise was in full swing. By the middle of April eight leases, each a 400 by 600-foot plot, had been given out on the Skidoo Mines Company property, each one expiring 1 April 1908 with the probability of being renewed. The terms of lease stated that two persons must be employed twenty shifts each per month. On ore running $20 or under per ton, the company would receive a royalty of 10%; from $20 to $30, 15%; above $30, 20%. In addition, it was promised that when the Skidoo mill was finally installed, ore taken out by the lessees would be given preference over company ore. Not intending to make any profit on the work, the company would charge only enough more than the milling cost to allow for wear and tear on the machinery, interest on their investment, and other contingencies. [245] xii) Skidoo Continues Systematic Development Mining speculators, investors, and owners from all over the country were clearly visualizing the immense profits to be made at Skidoo. Among the camp's visitors during the spring of 1907 was a representative of Lindblom, Linderberg & Co., multimillionaire mine owners of Alaska, who steadfastly announced their intention of becoming involved in the section's mining activity. An important aspect of Skidoo's dynamic mining community and the one that was probably responsible for attracting so many people to her properties was that her business elite were well and widely known for their conservative judgement and legitimate, businesslike mining methods, men who investigate thoroughly and then support their opinion with capital as strong as the Bank of England; this is the class of men who are making of Skidoo the most wonderful gold camp ever known . . . . Skidoo is not alone great through its gold; it is great in the possession of financial backing which mine and produce that gold. [246] This is the feature that gave Skidoo her truly unique standing in Death Valley mining history. A short tally of some of the "greats" associated with Skidoo produces the following impressive list: 1. E. A. (Bob) Montgomery, Nevada mining king 2. Matt Hoveck 3. Capt. W. R. Wharton, closely associated with Charles M. Schwab and his enterprises 4. Capt. John L. Armit of Colorado Springs, actively engaged in mining throughout the West 5. John W. Seller(s), Goldfield operator 6. various officials of the John S. Cook & Co. Bank of Rhyolite 7. Sherwood Aldrich of Colorado Springs, involved in the Bullfrog Tramp Consolidated 8. Patsy Clark, the copper king involved in Greenwater mining 9. Poulson & Weaver, Salt Lake City capitalists

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10. Busch brothers, founders and promoters of Rhyolite Countless others were also involved in various Skidoo operations. [247]

Illustration 188. Skidoo Mines Company stock certificate. From Historical Mining Certificates folder issued by The Book Club of California, 1971, edited by Albert Shumate and printed by Ward Ritchie Press.

By early May 1907 the citizens of Skidoo, in accordance with their already proven desire to create a law-abiding and orderly camp, petitioned the county for the appointment of peace officers. A brief visit by the county district attorney and sheriff confirmed the need, and a deputy sheriff and justice of the peace were duly appointed.. Another tie with the county seat was suggested in the form of a Skidoo-Keeler road, providing another railroad outlet for the growing community. A second attraction of the proposed project would be a consequent drop in the local cost of hay, grain, and vegetables due to the new access to Owens Valley, products. [248] The establishment of a Skidoo board of trade was another innovation. With Matt Hoveck as president, the organization not only monitored sanitary conditions in the camp, but also created a set of rules by which Skidoovians were expected to abide: That all citizens pledge themselves to assist the officers of the law in maintaining law, order and decency in this camp, especially in the following particulars: The prevention of shooting firearms within the boundaries of the townsite. To discourage the carrying of concealed weapons therein. The orderly conduct of all persons upon the streets of the town. Preventing the use of vulgar and indecent language in places likely to be within the hearing of ladies and children. The prevention of women and minors from entering barrooms. [249] The first of summer saw frustrating problems on the Skidoo pipeline. The heat and scarcity of water across Death Valley were preventing the hauling of heavy freight from Rhyolite, necessitating utilization of the longer route through Johannesburg and Ballarat. One hundred

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sixty horses were on the road hauling pipe' in the first week of June, and the wagon trains hauling supplies for the construction gang were increased to speed up work. Numerous delays had plagued the project, the result of railroad tie-ups, of the inabilities of factories to make prompt shipments of material, and of numerous other factors over which the Skidoo Mines Company had no control. Material for the line filled forty railroad cars; after its arrival at the depot it had to be freighted by wagon over 100 miles and packed on burro trains up mountain trails where it was laid in solid rock in almost inaccessible places. Despite the holdups and obstacles, five miles of the line had been completed, over the hardest piece of country through which the line would pass, and water was now running into Tuber Canyon. A Mr. Maren, who had previously laid pipe for Standard Oil Company, was in charge of the work and intended to have his crew of thirty men lay not less than one-quarter of a mile per day from now on. It was not until the first week of September, however, that the line was completed to Harrisburg, and by the end of November the pipeline was still two miles and one hill away from Skidoo. [250]

Illustration 189. Team hauling water line pipe from Rhyolite to Skidoo, 1907. From Rhyolite Herald 19 April 1907.

One proof of Skidoo's durability was the fact that it was not experiencing the usual "hot weather slump that so often invaded mining camps in Death Valley during the summer quiet season and that many times presaged the end of less stable communities. Here, however, the mines were increasing their forces, new buildings were going up, and autos filled with speculators and sightseers arrived every day. To handle the increased activity, the Kimball Bros. stage now left Rhyolite six times a week, leaving there every day but Sunday at 5:30 P.M. and leaving Skidoo every day but Monday at the same hour. During the hot summer months, nighttime was the only period in which to travel. Most interesting, though, is the realization that a great depression had been sweeping the country for the past several weeks. With the exception of Skidoo, where there was no cessation or lessening of activity through the summer, there had already been a general closing of mines in practically every camp on the desert. Not more than half the mines were working now in Goldfield, Tonopah, Manhattan, and other northern Nevada camps, and those that were able to keep going had greatly reduced work forces. These dull times would continue for most of the large mining camps in Arizona, California, and Nevada into the fall. The lively town in the Panamints had experienced only a slight reduction in population, now holding probably less than 300 people, of whom 100 were employed at various properties. An

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

estimate at this time arrived at nearly 2,000 claims in the district. The fact that the Skidoo Mines Company expended three months time and $4,000 on grading a new road around the big Skidoo hill, long a terror to freighters and visitors, was testimony to its continued commitment to the area. [251] A change of policy occurred in Skidoo during the fall when the camp, heretofore a non-union one, elected to organize a local branch of the Western Federation of Miners: The name of Skidoo camp has been as a challenge to I.W.W. men for a good while, it having been the policy of owners there to limit the stay of agitators to the length of time from the stage on which they arrived to the next one going out. [252] The thirty-five charter members next proceeded to formulate a policy of liberal, non-coercive elements that were truly unique in labor history and that greatly enhanced the WFM image, at least in this section of the Panamints. These instructions to the membership included: 1. no attempt to dictate policy to mine owners 2. acceptance of no one as a member unless he was a practical miner (that is, actively engaged in mining work) 3. encourage and bring in to the district good miners who were already union members 4. cease reports that had been circulated through union channels detrimental to Skidoo. [253] This action by Skidoo miners greatly augmented the high esteem in which the area was held by important individuals whose support meant so much to the town. J. J. Taylor, a wellknown mining engineer in the firm of Voorhees & Taylor of Rhyolite, voiced the widelyheld opinion that Skidoo has a better reputation, from a mining standpoint, than any other new camp in the country, and from what I. have seen in the few days here, I consider that the reputation is fully justified, and merited. The camp has the mineral, beyond question. But aside from that all important fact, it has been thus far entirely free from any wildcat or stock jobbing promotions which have given black eyes to every other mining district on the desert. Up to the present time Skidoo mining has all been on a clean, legitimate basis. The biggest mine in the camp, the Skidoo, is under the management of one of the most thorough mining men of the country, Matt Hoveck, and honest work is every where in evidence. [254] The desire of Skidoovians to keep this statement accurate extended to the calling of a miner's meeting in November to frame new district laws and select an arbitration committee of ten to settle any disputes arising over mining claims. [255] xiii) The Skidoo Pipeline is Finally a Reality "Yes, the streets of Skidoo are running full of water, enough for swimming pools or skating rinks." [256] Thus did Bob Montgomery announce the long-awaited event as water piped from Telescope Peak was turned into a big reservoir above town, from which it ran freely through the unpiped city streets. The line awaited continuance to the town, mine, and mill until the latter was further advanced. The twenty-two-mile-long line of six-inch pipe, with

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

eight- and ten-inch mains in the draws, was said to have cost around $250,000. Other sources said the total bill for wagon haulage from the railroad at Johannesburg to the road nearest the pipeline was $75,000, and the line itself cost nearly $300,000. Montgomery's elaborate plans of development had of necessity to undergo some modifications and retrenching of policy because of the 1907 financial panic, and as a result a substitution was made in the pipeline of a number of miles of steel spiral pipe for the heavy eight-inch steel screw pipe used throughout most of the length. A big electric station had to be cut out as well as private lines to other springs. So far five teams of the Tonopah Lumber Company had transported 100,000 feet of lumber to Skidoo for the mill, material for which was coming from Los Angeles, and grading for a sixty-stamp mill, that being the determined capacity upon completion (reduced from the last-mentioned eighty because of financial conditions), had been finished. [257] Construction work was being rushed, but the heavy mill timbers could not be set until the concrete beds had hardened sufficiently to support them. A steel cable strung across the gulch would be used to hoist the heavy machinery. A dam in the gulch below the millsite formed a pool where tailings would be saved until the cyanide process was installed. Financial problems had started to affect the camp now, and the depression that led to a reduction in the projected sire of the Skidoo mill also was the excuse for the holding of a "Hard Times Frolic," a newspaper account of which gives some indication of the town's erstwhile optimism and general spirit of good humor that accompanied the patient wait for a return of solid business conditions. Invitations to the party read: WHEREAS, In a burst of defiance against the solemn depression thrust upon our beloved Death valley region by the heartlessness of Wall street and high finance generally, we, the free and independent citizens of Skidoo have resolved to hold a "hard times frolic" in the Eschwig grand opera house . . . . To this you are heartily invited that you may join in the good cheer, good drinkables and eatables provided. And enjoy the greatest terpsichorean, literary, musical and freakish exhibition ever devised by man on the ragged edge of Death valley. [258] The arrival of the new year in Skidoo saw the continuance of positive and improving conditions. Immediate need was seen for a school district, census returns of which in June showed a healthy attendance of thirty-nine white children, twenty boys and nineteen girls. Work progressed on the Keeler-Skidoo or "Zinc Hill Road," as eight men and two teams struggled to blast a 3-1/2-mile section out of solid rock and cement through Darwin Wash by means of mules, scrapers, jack-hammers, and blasting powder. Efforts at the Skidoo Mine were directed toward getting the ore in shape for stoping and toward exploring new bodies that could be conveniently transmitted to the mill; much good miffing ore was present on the dumps and a ready water supply was at hand. The main problem was that all available cash had been used, and more capital was necessary. [259] xiv) The Hanging of Joe Simpson Because of this charged atmosphere, when tempers possibly were temporarily strained by more doubts about the future than were usually entertained, and in light of the town's reputation for decency and law-abiding behavior, it was less than prudent for Joe "Hooch" Simpson, a gambler hailing from Reno, though a resident of Skidoo for some time, with a reputation for a surly character and drinking to excess, to enter the store of James Arnold, one of the town's founding fathers and one of the best-liked men around, and proceed to deliberately shoot him to death. The motivation for this action is not completely clear, but it was evidently on account of some fancied wrong that Simpson felt had been done him by the victim. He was immediately arrested, and upon Arnold's death a few hours later, it was only

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

by some of the greatest diplomacy that law officers were able to avert an immediate lynching. As it was, only a temporary stay of execution had been granted, for on 22 April Simpson was dragged from confinement and efficiently and unceremoniously attached by the neck to a telephone pole. Word of the deed spread quickly. When newsmen arrived from other parts wanting pictures of the event, Simpson was rehanged with pleasure, and the photo taken that appears in practically every volume on Death Valley. As would be expected in this town, the entire project was undertaken in an organized fashion, and when the misdeed had been avenged, normal conditions rapidly resumed. [260] An official investigation of the affair determined that Joe Simpson, one-time consort of "Skidoo Babe" and regarded as really nothing more than an ordinary pimp, had met death "by strangulation at the hands of unknown parties, [261] while "the opinion of the Skidoo people appears to be that the lynchers did a justifiable piece of business." [262] xv) The Skidoo Miff Supports the Town Late spring of 1908 brought the commencement of teaming between Owens Valley and Skidoo along a route vastly improved but still marred by a few steep grades and curves where top-heavy loads found the going particularly harrowing. This section of road from Darwin Wash connected with the old Nadeau freight road into Panamint Valley and with the Wild Rose road constructed by the Modoc Company when it was hauling ore from the charcoal kilns in Wildrose Canyon to its mining property. May also saw the first stamps fall on high-grade rock at the Skidoo mill. The attachment of a Pelton water wheel would soon enable the addition of five more stamps. In early June the first gold brick from the Skidoo Mine, representing the cleanup for the first few days of operation and estimated to be worth $4,000, was transported to Rhyolite and then shipped to the mint by Wells Fargo express. Ten stamps were now in operation and the full process at the mill encompassed crushing, amalgamation, and concentration, with cyanide still to be added. The second brick from May production was valued at $7,000. By the end of June the mill was treating around thirty-five tons daily with an increase to twenty stamps planned when the demands of the mine justified the additional expenditure. [263] It was considered unprofitable to ship less than $100 ore from the area, prompting the frequent voicing of the need in Skidoo for a small custom mill, which could secure water by contract from the Skidoo Company and thereby enable more lessees to start work. This was deemed especially essential when in July the Skidoo Mines Company decided to throw open more than half its estate for leasing purposes, wisely realizing that it would be years before it could work all its territory. The lessees' ore would be treated by the company at a maximum rate of $3.50 per ton, including cyaniding, or at only $3 per ton if the run was made with water power. Leasing royalties were raised only slightly: ore under $20 a ton, 10%; ore over $20, 15%; ore over $30, 20%; ore over $50, 25%. The company's action here was expected to have a tremendous influence on the prosperity of the camp. Numerous advantages would revert to the company, the expired leases already handed over to them having greatly enhanced the value of the property; when the new leases expired, the Skidoo Mine would be in control of a tremendous output that would keep the mill running steadily. The great factor sustaining the mine's value was that ore bodies were increasing and their average value was remaining, steady. The mine's future was dependent on the fact that the ore bodies would persist with depth and that enough large-capacity reduction plants could be installed to handle large reserves of milling ore at a profit to offset high operating costs. The June cleanup resulted in a $13,000 brick. [264] A Presidential year is usually fairly lean for business, and coupled with this particular one was the unfortunate fact that effects of the past financial panic could still be felt during the traditionally quiet midsummer time. Having been without adequate water for eighteen months

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and for so long without a reduction plant, and crippled now by the failure of its bank, the withdrawal of the Nevada stage line, and the closing down of the Skidoo News (all due primarily to the stringency of the money market), it was truly amazing that the camp of 150 people was still able to function. It was supported singlehandedly by the Skidoo Mines Company, which was amazingly still able to increase its output, put a cyanide plant in operation, and keep fifty men employed on its own business while twenty-five or so others worked on leases. [265] It was agreed by all that "lack of a sufficient water supply and power to work her ores is the only the sole reason why Skidoo is not one of the foremost producers on the Pacific coast. [266] Although Montgomery had once hoped that the Nevada-California Power Company would extend electrical service into Skidoo and into other sections in the district south of Rhyolite, thereby furnishing power for his mill and enabling the present water line to be freed for use by other mills in the area, this never came to pass. The cost estimated by the power company for the project was approximately $1,000 or more per mile, and most of that would have had to be paid by the Skidoo Mines Company itself. [267] Due to the lack of mills in the vicinity, little mining activity was being conducted in Skidoo in the fall of 1908. Their mine's great production rate ($20,000 a month) prevented the Skidoo Company from donating more than three months time to reduction of the ore worked by its lessees, a11 of whom had been mining for more than a year with no opportunity to extract the gold. Renewed isolation of the town meant that mining timbers were costing $400 per thousand running feet, potatoes sold for eight cents a pound, and hay for $100 per ton. [268] By October 1908, in an attempt to alleviate somewhat the problems caused by a lack of reduction plants, E. M. Tracey, assayer for the Skidoo Mines Company, was promoting the erection of a five-stamp custom mill in the gulch below the main Skidoo mill in a location enabling it to utilize the latter's waste water, which, with a fall of 800 feet or more, could generate enough power for further ore reduction. This mill, powered by a twenty-fivehorsepower oil engine, would be for use on the ore of Skidoo Mine lessees only. After four months the company would take over the plant, paying the cost price less 6%. [269] Thus gradually the Skidoo Mines will augment their reduction works on a very economical basis, and eventually achieve the ambition of Bob Montgomery of having a big mine operated at a very low cost, although isolated in an expensive section of difficult access. [270] At the same time work was proceeding on this project, grading was being done to enable an increase in the Skidoo mill from ten to twenty-five stamps. The cyanide plant was functioning extremely well, with a total savings now being secured of almost 95%. The water necessary to run the larger mill was being obtained by increasing the head of the present supply at the spring near Telescope Peak. [271] By January 1909 the route from Stovepipe station to Skidoo had been shortened by fifteen miles by completion of a light road up Telephone Wash, making the. Rhyolite-Skidoo trip only about forty miles long; despite this, the freight, mail, and stage route had reverted to the long and expensive Johannesburg road, over 100 miles long. Carloads of pipe were still being delivered to the Skidoo Mine as efforts were being made to furnish power for additional machinery, electric lights, etc. The total cost of all these improvements--the additional pipe, additional water and machinery, financing of leases, construction of transportation tunnels, etc.--had to this date exceeded production. By March a second, lower mill of five stamps was in operation, as were six concentrators and fifteen cyanide tanks. Around seventy men were employed at the mine, where a healthy state of affairs seemed to exist. Despite the town's

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

drop in population and generally quiet atmosphere, holidays were still important, and Washington's birthday was celebrated with a literary program and grand ball lasting far into the night. According to current estimates, in the months since the Skidoo plant started operation, about 5,000 tons of ore had been milled. There were estimated to be 49,320 tons in sight averaging nearly $20 a ton with a large tonnage running below $10. The bullion output for the six months of the previous year reached $110,000. The total cost per ton produced was $8.69, but it was anticipated that this would soon be reduced to $5.10. (By January 1910 the total cost of mining and milling ores was under $8 a ton.) Ore reserves were placed at between $812,500 and $1,000,000. [272] The Skidoo Mine operation, encompassing twenty-three claims and fractions, consisted now of the mill, a laboratory, office, lodging and boarding houses, an approximately fifty-milelong telegraph line, machine shop, large ore bins, tramway, etc. Underground workings ran 5,000 feet, largely confined to about sixty of the company's 240 acres. Enough ore was in sight to keep the mill running full capacity for the next three years. Shipments from Harrisburg were also being processed here. No renewal of leases was being extended. In July the Los Angeles Mining Review reported that in the last three months the net profits from mines operating in the Skidoo region had been from $15,417.46 to $17,981.57, with gross extraction averaging $24,859.41 a month. This made the Skidoo Mine second only to the Keane Wonder in production in California in 1909. The net profit for the last three months was $49,019.96, or an average of $26,339.98 a month, or $196,079.84 per year. All indebtedness of the Skidoo Mines Company was cleared away by this time, and the first dividend, aggregating $50,000, was being paid in July at the rate of five cents a share.

Illustration 190. Skidoo Mines Company camp, 1909. From Rhyolite Herald Pictorial Supplement, March 1909.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 191. Skidoo Mines Company mill, 1909. From Rhyolite Herald Pictorial Supplement, March 1909.

This success was corresponding with the return to the limelight of several southwest Nevada districts, which were only now recovering from the setback dealt their development by irresponsible promoters and poorly-managed mining operations in earlier days. The Montgomery-Shoshone, for instance, was in the process of paying off its indebtedness and the Keane Wonder had just opened up a promising lode. [273] xvi) A Fire and Litigation Bring an End to Mining Activity Despite the ongoing and successful development at the Skidoo Mine, however, it was obvious that the town itself was becoming more and more depleted, the supervisors' proceedings of 20 September 1909 ruling that "it appearing to the Board that the attendance of pupils in the Skidoo School District for the past year has been below the required number for maintaining a school, motion was made and carried that the District be declared lapsed. [274] When Frank Montgomery, nephew of E. A., took over management of the Skidoo Mine in the winter of 1909-10, a new era of productivity arrived. More aggressive than his uncle, he put half the workforce on development and the other half he charged with supplying ore to the mill. It was not. long before the most extensive and richest ore body yet was located. Better returns were the result, acquired in spite of some pipeline troubles due to expansion and contraction and sometimes even freezing that temporarily lessened the hydraulic power supply for the mill during extreme seasons of the year. Although the mine was, able to keep up production for several years yet, monthly net profits seemed to suddenly start a downhill slide, broken only temporarily by an occasional banner year: September 1909 -- $10,000 October 1909 -- $11,507.22 November 1909 -- $ 6,508.82 March 1910 -$ 8,116.66 April 1910 -$ 6,878.78 July 1910 -$ 7,798.41 October 1910 -- $ 5,212.73 November 1910 -- $13,280.03 [275] A second dividend of five cents a share ($50,000 total) was paid by the company on 1 July
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

1910. A report on the Skidoo Mine appeared in the Mining and Scientific Press in August 1910 and presented the following brief summary of its operations: work was being pursued on four veins, with two tunnels and two shafts having attained a maximum depth of 300 feet. Ore averaging $15 a ton was recovered and treated by amalgamation, concentration, and cyanidation in a fifty-ton mill, with about 65% of the gold recovered on the plates. The concentrate was shipped to the Midvale, Utah, plant of the United States Smelting, Refining & Milling Company. Cyanidation of the tailings recovered 90% of the gold. Forty men were employed at the mine and mill, and a power plant consisting of several gasoline engines was on hand in case of severe trouble with the pipeline. The company's statement of operations from June 1909 to June 1910 inclusive showed profits of $92,617, with the total cost of mining and milling at $6.88 per ton. [276] At the start of 1911 there were three producing companies and five producing lessees operating on the Skidoo Mines Company property, shipping to outside smelters at Salt Lake City, Needles, and Keeler, and to Johannesburg, Rhyolite, Beatty, and Skidoo mills. January and February of 1911 each netted only about $8,000 from the Skidoo, but the last year's production had totalled $108,000. [277] July recorded the largest run in the life of the mine-$18,000. Another five-cent dividend was paid by the company in October 1911, and again in May 1912, by which time it was reported that the company was maintaining an approximate production of $14,400 a month and earning net profits of about $4,800. [ 78] A blow to 2 production fell in January 1913 when the pipeline froze and burst in several places, necessitating the shutdown of the mill and consequent discharge of forty miners. (The cyanide plant had already been closed for the winter.) Because future operations appeared in doubt, most men left camp, leaving only a few lessees on the property. Undaunted, the company began the slow process of hauling in wagonloads of material to repair the pipeline, but when half the repairs had been accomplished, a more serious calamity befell the operation when most of the mill structure was destroyed by a fire of unknown origin on 2 June 1913. The loss, was reported at a staggering $50,000, with only one battery of five stamps being saved. Although parts of the old structure could be reused, a large amount of new material was necessary to modernize the mill. By October 1913 a new ten-stamp mill was in commission and a heavy winter yield was expected. Company ore would be processed the first month and then the mill would turn to steady processing of lessees' ore until all stockpiled material was cleaned up. [279] Production progressed well enough that by July. 1914 another dividend could be declared, proving the fantastic resiliency of the company and the resources of its mine. Another onecent dividend in October 1914 brought the total dividends to a reported $365,000. [280] Thirty-five men were again on the company payroll involved in exploration and development work. Plans were being perfected for adding another five stamps and increasing production by fifty per cent, for the Skidoo property seemed destined to continue operations for many years to come. J. H. Cooper, who took over management of the mine in 1914, said that during more than half of this year the best sections of the mine were in the hands of lessees who were profiting highly at the expense of the company. Also during this year pending litigation prevented work on two known ore bodies of excellent grade. Still the company remained free of debt with substantial reserves in the treasury. [281] In April 1915 five 1,250-pound stamps were added to the ten-stamp mill, along with two Deister concentrators. In December the cyanide plant was housed and insulated with paper, and an oil-fired boiler was installed to heat the cyanide solution. Leases were not being renewed, the owners determined to run the mine themselves.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The town of Skidoo still supported a small population, although several lots were being offered for sale. It was still reached by a horse stage from Ballarat costing $34 per person. Upon completion of the Trona Railroad it was possible to go directly from there to Skidoo, bypassing Ballarat completely. Freight from Johannesburg was costing $50 to $70 a ton, although parcel post would bring it for $21 a ton. Accordingly coal, barley, canned goods, and every other type of freight imaginable that could be compressed into fifty-pound lots was being sent by mail! [282] Skidoo's days were numbered, however, and in September 1917 it was reported that the Skidoo's rich vein had pinched out and the mine had closed down permanently, coincident with the demise of Rhyolite and Greenwater about this time. Current prices for iron and steel remnants made the prospect of salvaging them attractive, so that by October Trona was gearing up for bustling railroad activity after receiving word that the contract for dismantling and shipping the mill, machinery, and pipe from Skidoo would soon be awarded. It was estimated that 160 cars would be needed for the pipe alone, sold to Standard Oil Company, which along with other scrap metal would be hauled to Trona by teams and motor trucks. [283] (Short sections of the pipe left on the ground were later taken out by CCC labor and used for various purposes.) xvii) Revival of Mining in the Area in the Later 1900s When Edna Perkins visited the site of Skidoo in 1922 on her trip through the Mojave Desert, several buildings were still standing along one wide street and a mass of stoves, broken chairs, and cooking utensils were strewn around. A neatly-piled wait of bottles, five feet high and several feet wide, still stood behind the saloon. "Old Tom Adams," an old desert prospector, was the sole inhabitant of the area, guarding his mine and Skidoo. [284] The peacefully slow decaying process of the site was only slightly interrupted in 1923 by the Eric Von Stroheim Company from Goldwyn Studio in Hollywood, headquartered at Lone Pine, which began location work in Darwin, Skidoo, and Death Valley generally for final scenes of "Greed," an adaptation of Frank Norris's book "McTeague." In January 1926 the Skidoo mines were to be reopened under the management of Ogden, Utah, men who bought control from Judge William B. Gray of Beatty, a justice of the peace who had earlier acquired the property when he sued Montgomery in U.S. District Court, claiming, ownership of ten fractional claims that had been operated as a part of the Skidoo Mine. Rather than pay a $00,000 judgement, Montgomery had given the mines to the judge, who later operated them throughout the 1930s. The new company would function under the name of Golden Glow Mines Corporation. In October the workings consisted of an inclined shaft 300 feet deep and a 300-foot-deep vertical shaft. The ten-stamp mill and cyanide plant were still on site. Three years later H.W. Eichbaum, controlling the Emigrant Springs Mining and Milling Company, tried to revive the Skidoo mines, but with little success. [285] The Skidoo Mine enjoyed a revival of production, and the nearby Del Norte Mine at the northern end of the Skidoo gold mining district most of its activity and production, following passage of the 1934 Gold Act. Whereas prior to that, from about 1837 to 1934, the price of gold had been restricted to a little over $20 an ounce, it now jumped to $35. Judge Gray, in the spring of 1936, began employing sixteen men in the mine and mill of Skidoo in removing ore averaging $30 a ton in gold at the rate of ten tons per day; by summer some thirty other men were employed on various surrounding' properties. In July a strike was made on the Del Norte Group of claims two miles north of the old Skidoo Mine, and Gray entered into an agreement with the U.S. Smelting and Refining Company of Salt Lake City to sample the two mines. The Del Norte was subsequently taken under option by Roy Troeger, whose cyanide mill at the Keeler gold mine could process the ore. Two years later the group of six claims was still under bond to the Panamint Milling Company, of which Troeger was secretary and

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

manager. They had been developed to the extent of ten shafts from ten to fifty feet deep and many long trenches. Six men were employed. In 1939 a Morris Albertoli and John Rogers of Mojave leased the mine, employing ten to twelve men and producing twenty to twenty-five tons of gold ore daily. Later that year Rogers and Joe Stivers, also of Mojave, purchased Albertoli's one-third interest and formed the Del Norte Mining Company, operating the property until 1942. The $30-a-ton ore they mined was treated at the Skidoo mill. It was hauled by truck to the fifty-ton ore bin, crushed to 1/4-inch size by two jaw crushers,, reduced to 16-mesh by stamps, and the coarse gold concentrated and removed. The pulp was then thickened, the slimes going to waste and the sands leached. [286] Back in June 1937, according to one newspaper account, a lease with an option to purchase the Skidoo Mine had been given to some eastern interests by the Gray and Worcester Mining Company, which for the previous eighteen months had been making regular shipments of a good-grade milling ore to Journigan's Mill in Emigrant Canyon. A memo found in the monument files stated the sale was to Colorado parties. Whoever it was, their projected plan of operations included relaying the Telescope Peak pipeline with a four- or five -inchdiameter pipe, in the old ditch, at an estimated cost of $100,000, in order to economically treat the large bodies of milling ore still available in the Skidoo Mine and some recently developed on the Inyo and Del Norte groups of claims. According to the Journal of Mines and Geology Roy Journigan leased the Skidoo Mine in January 1937 and with a crew of five removed a small amount of ore from the old stopes, which he treated at his plant in Emigrant Canyon. Meanwhile Roy Troeger, who held interests in the Del Norte claims, continued efforts to push through reconstruction of the pipeline, hoping to attract Mojave capital to his Golden Queen and Inyo claims. The pipe would have two terminuses--one at the old Skidoo mill and the other at a new 300-ton mill to be located near the Del Norte Mine, which would be worked by an open-pit method. [287] In March 1938 it was announced that the Golden Queen Mining Company of Mojave, a subsidiary of Goldfields Consolidated, a British mining firm, and owners also of American Potash and Chemical Company, had taken over 60% ownership of the Inyo Group of claims at Skidoo owned by Roy Troeger.288 With permission supposedly granted by the Department of Interior for construction of the pipeline, the Golden Queen imported twenty-five miners and placed them on the job of development, intending to prove the ore bodies before beginning a major construction program. Materials for camp buildings were ordered from the Lone Pine Lumber and Supply Company, and the first truck shipments were made immediately. New York interests also joined in the venture. By 1940 there was a renewal of mining activity in the Argus Range and in the Skidoo District in Inyo County. The Del Norte was being actively developed and the Del Norte Mining Company was preparing to operate its mill on ore from the mine, including its own plus lessees' ore, and a minimum of 300 tons monthly from the nearby Gold King Mine. The Skidoo Mine was still being worked by lessees and ore treated at the Journigan Mining and Milling Company plant in Emigrant Canyon. All operations shut down in December for the winter months, with about $90,000 having been taken off the Skidoo property since the last May. The Del Norte Mining Company mill at Mojave had processed in the last eight months approximately 7,000 tons of ore from the Del Norte, Gold King, and other mines in the district. [289] From 1942 to 1969 the Del Norte property as a whole was essentially inactive. In the early 1950s the Del Norte Group of six claims was only sporadically worked, Troeger still owning and maintaining the Del Norte and Inyo groups of mining claims with their large deposits of low-grade gold ore. Prior to World War II these could be profitably mined, but the War Production Board had caused a cessation of gold mining during the war and since that time the government had held down the price of gold to such a degree, while other prices had

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

gone up, that it was unprofitable to mine. Troeger, who also owned the Skidoo mill and appurtenances that he had purchased from Gray, was holding on to the property hoping the price of gold would rise or the price of commodities fall. The twelve claims of the Skidoo Mine were still owned by W. Howard Gray. [290] Also in the early 1950s (1949-56) a tungsten boom hit the Skidoo area. There were large deposits of low-grade ore but no material of commercial quality. Although several hundred claims were located, and in the process many scars left on the hillsides, the flurry was mainly promotion-oriented with little or no output. The last measurable production from the Skidoo Mine took place about 1941, while the Del Norte lasted until about 1954. In the early 1970s when gold was at $38 an ounce and low-cost open-pit operations afforded the best opportunity of producing gold profitably, Mineral Associates of Battle Mountain, Nevada, obtained a lease/purchase option on the old Skidoo gold mining property, and Amberson Construction Company of Nevada conducted drilling operations. In 1970 the Del Norte Group was leased by Carl Dresselhaus and Mrs. Virgina Troeger to Bell Mountain Silver Mines, Inc., of New York, who undertook an extensive sampling program of the low-grade gold deposits on the property and then proposed to mine and crush the ore, recovering gold by cyanide heap leaching in an open pit, but this was not successful. The work resulted in thirty shafts and seven open cuts sampled over a four-acre area. [291] (b) Present Status The old Skidoo townsite and mill are reached via an unimproved dirt road leading east off the Emigrant Canyon Road at the north edge of Harrisburg Flats, approximately 9-1/2 miles south of the intersection of that road and California State Highway 190. In the course of the next seven miles this eastward-trending road turns north and then westerly before ascending to the high plateau housing the deserted townsite. Time, weather, vandals, and modern mining activity have all taken their toll of the area, which is marked by an interpretive sign. Open shafts, adits, and stopes dot the hillsides and ridges, posing a grave threat to careless sightseers. Only a very few structural remnants remain, in the form of collapsed ore bins and stone building or tent foundations. Liberal quantities of the usual junk cars and assorted metal debris can also be spotted. Only one structure of determined significance remains--the Skidoo Mines Company quartz stamp mill. The attractively-verandahed company office building that stood on the hilltop above the mill burned a few years ago. Still sitting on the Del Norte Mine site, on the next ridge north, are the vats and the large pit utilized in its short-lived leaching operation. The present Skidoo-Del Norte Group of mining claims consists of thirty-one unpatented, contiguous, and often overlapping lode claims. Located during the mid-1920s and 1930s they overlie the historical, early 1900 workings and are included within the boundaries of the Skidoo Historic District. The group covers approximately 600 acres of land, and, stretching diagonally across the ridges from the northwest to the southeast, encompasses the old Skidoo mill and part of the townsite. The Skidoo-Del Norte Group was closed to further mineral entry in 1976, and the claims are being contested by the Department of the Interior. One mile north of the townsite near the head of a wash are the nine patented Contact and Gold Bird claims.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 192. Skidoo townsite. Date unknown, but post-March 1907. Photo courtesy of G. William Fiero, UNLV.

Illustration 193. Skidoo townsite, 1916. From Dane Coolidge Collection, courtesy of Arizona Historical Foundation.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 194. Skidoo Mines Company camp, 1916? From Dane Coolidge Collection, courtesy of Arizona Historical Foundation.

Illustration 195. Skidoo main street, 1916? From Dane Coolidge Collection, courtesy of Arizona Historical Foundation.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 196. Skidoo townsite, 1916? From Dane Coolidge Collection, courtesy of Arizona Historical Foundation.

Illustration 197. View east of Skidoo townsite, 1978. Photo by Linda W. Greene.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 198. Ruins of Skidoo mill. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 199. Stamps in Skidoo mill. Photo courtesy of G. William Fiero, UNLV, 1972.

(c) Evaluation and Recommendations i) Skidoo Mine and Mill

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The abandoned townsite of Skidoo, the nearby Skidoo Mines Company stamp mill, and the surrounding ruins are some of the monument's most important historical resources. Located in 1906 and flourishing for the next ten years, Skidoo owed its existence primarily to one mining concern--that run by E. A. Montgomery and the Skidoo Mines Company. This one man financed the entire operation, initially expending over $500,000 on the property. The money came from his purchase of 400,000 shares of treasury stock at $1 per share and an additional loan of $150,000. The ore produced from the Skidoo Mine came from two fairly narrow vein systems ranging from eighteen to twenty-four inches in width and sometimes up to four feet, and averaging anywhere from one-third to one-half an ounce of gold per ton. The ore was mined by overhand stoping, with timber used only sparingly. By May 1908 the Skidoo stamp mill was in operation, powered by water delivered to the site from springs near Telescope Peak about twenty miles south via a gravity-pressure pipeline built at enormous cost, hardship, and frustration. The ore was collected on the tunnel levels and trammed in trains of mine cars by mules directly to ore bins in the upper part of the mill. A description of the mill operation in 1911 states that the water pressure upon reaching the Pelton wheel in the plant was about 300 pounds per square inch due to its being reduced at two or three points enroute. This wheel, assisted by one or two gas engines (40 h.p. and 18 h.p.), ran the mine and mill machinery, the latter consisting of two Blake jaw crushers, two five-stamp batteries of 1,050-pound stamps, built by Hendy, and one five-stamp battery of 1,300-pound stamps built by the Union Iron Works. This latter set was the one bought and erected by company lessees about a year after the other two batteries started, and which was then sold to the Skidoo Mines Company. Below the apron plates of the mill, were three Deister tables that during the month collected a limited tonnage of sulphide concentrate worth about $450 per ton. The tailings went directly to dewatering and percolation tanks. The earlier tailing, held in ponds, was sporadically elevated and run through extra cyanide tanks. The mill, including its cyanide annex and concentrators, cost about $60,000, while the twenty-mile-or-so long pipeline cost from $250,000 to $300,000.

Illustration 200. Kennedy Mine near Skidoo, 1916? From Dane Coolidge Collection, courtesy of Arizona Historical Foundation.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 201. Remains of heap cyanide leaching process, Del Norte Mine site. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 202. Digging up Skidoo pipeline south of Wood Canyon, probably by CCC crew. Photo by T. J. Williams, courtesy of DEVA

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

NM.

By 1911 a total production of over $500,000 had enabled the repayment of the original $150,000 loan and the. payment of two $50,000 dividends. By January 1913 the mine had produced almost $1,000,000 and paid six dividends aggregating $325,000. The fire that year reduced the mill capacity to only ten stamps, although the cyanide plant still operated. Despite the problems of this year another dividend was paid, bringing the total to date to $365,000, amounting to $385,000 by January 1915. The total ore milled by that time had been 74,380 tons with a gross return of about $1,250,000. In December 1917, about the time the mine was shut down and the mill dismantled, the state mineralogist listed the mill equipment as ten 850-pound stamps and five 1,150-pound stamps plus amalgamation tables. These last five stamps (possibly 1,250 pounds instead) were said to have been added around the spring of 1915. From 1908 until its shutdown in 1917 the Skidoo Mine produced a total of 92,479.5 tons of ore ($1,344,500), with returns averaging $14.54 a ton and 90% recovery in the mill. According to the mine manager the mine had not been worked out by 1917 but had to close due to litigation, disputes with lessees, and bad management. The mine was then inactive until about 1935 or 1936 when it was reopened and worked for five years as the Silver Bell Mine. The period from 1940 to 1947 was relatively quiet, and production from 1948 to the mid-1950s was sporadic. During 1940 to 1942 when the Del Norte Mining Company mined about 3,000 tons of ore from the Skidoo Mine, it was treated at the Skidoo mill, which had been acquired by surface easement. The State Division of Mines's estimate of $1,500,000 as the value of Skidoo ore produced through 1916 approximates that given by the USDI Regional Bureau of Mines. The latter states that the actual value of all gold and silver reported to them as coming from this mine during 1908 to 1917 was about $1,600,000. Applying present-day values for gold and silver this would mean a total output of $2.5 million. ii) Del Norte Group The Del Norte Group, not worked, as far as can be ascertained, during the early 1900s, was mined by means of an open pit during 1937-38 with no economic success. Between 1971 and 1975 Bell Mountain Silver Mines, Inc., proposed installation of a heap cyanide leaching process. The site was graded and a neoprene apron laid in anticipation of mining a proposed 10,000 tons of rock, crushing it, and piling it on a prepared pad lined with plastic sheeting. A cyanide solution would then be sprayed on the heap to dissolve the gold, which would then be collected as it drained off the pad. The solution would then be passed through speciallytreated charcoal filter cylinders to extract the dissolved gold, which would then be sent for refinement. Only 5,000 tons of quartzite were ever placed on the pad, and the project came to naught because of troubles in crushing the rock to the desired size. iii) Skidoo Historic District Although Skidoo's meteoric rise to prominence was contemporary with that of Greenwater, far more has been written about the latter, because it was a bona fide boom town. Characterized as having few parallels in its "sudden rise, great outlays, small returns and quick decline," it played out its life in sharp contrast to its sister city on the western edge of the Panamints. More law-abiding and attracting a more conservative element than Greenwater, Skidoo's only black mark in the annals of history was her refusal to forgive Joe Simpson for his rash act one pleasant spring day. Unfortunately, because this sort of "shoot'em-up" action with its final inevitable result has always held more romantic appeal than quiet and honest hard work, this one deed has been publicized more than Skidoo's lucrative
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

gold production.

Illustration 203. Scar of Skidoo pipeline route, across Harrisburg Flats can be seen best in distance heading north toward Skidoo. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

Illustration 204. Masonry support for Skidoo pipeline, 112 miles southeast of town. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

Two unique items are associated with Skidoo's mining heyday. First, the town possessed the only milling plant in the desert operated almost completely by water power, making it one of the most economical operations around. Its cost of mining and milling reached a miraculous $7 a ton, below that of any of its neighbors. Today the mill's basic structure remains in place cascading down the hillside just west of the townsite. Most of the machinery has either been removed by salvage operations or has succumbed to weathering and decay. The ten-stamp battery still remains and is of much interpretive value. The structure is, however, dangerous for inquisitive visitors, the timbers appearing shaky and infirm. Secondly, the construction of the pipeline was a phenomenal engineering feat; its scar can still be seen crossing from Skidoo over Harrisburg Flats and Wood, Nemo, and Wildrose canyons to the Telescope Peak area. Some interesting remnants of the line remain, such as masonry troughs, at least one round pillar that supported the pipe as it passed over washes, and broken iron clamps. Although the line was frequently susceptible to breakage during periods of expansion and contraction, and totally useless when the water supply from the mountains was low, these problems were overcome by the dauntless tenacity of its builders and a little auxiliary help from gas engines. The townsite of Skidoo was entered on the National Register of Historic Places in April 1974 as being of local significance, its inclusion based on its importance as a representative
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

example of the last gold mining towns in Death Valley flourishing during the early twentieth century, and as one of the few mining towns in the region that produced significant amounts of gold ore, primarily by undertaking the uncommon large-scale mining of narrow ore veins. The stamp mill on the edge of the townsite, built by the Skidoo Mines Company, is a comparatively-rare surviving example of an early twentieth-century stamp mill and is the only gold-mining mill of this size located in a National Park Service area. Its stamp batteries and much of its other equipment are still in place. Skidoo is now considered to be of regional significance because of its production record, the presence of the mill structure, and the innovative manner in which a water supply was brought to the area to serve the town and run the mill. The Skidoo National Register form will be revised to include the pipeline route, the Saddle Rock and Tiny mines, and the Telephone Spring arrastra site. The frame stamp mill structure, with its concrete base, was constructed against a steep hillside so that, although it is equal in height to a five-story building, no part is actually more than three stories high. Of the four levels of construction, the upper two appear to be structurally sound while the lower ones are in poor condition. Exterior sheathing and roofing are of corrugated metal. The plank floor of the structure is decaying, the wooden floor girders are loose and cracked, and the heavy wood columns supporting the structure are deteriorated, with several pulled out of alignment. The mill framework has been weakened through the years by the action of the stamps, age, deterioration, and the removal of machinery for scrap by literally dragging it out through the walls. Due to the growing realization of the importance of mining history within areas administered by the National Park Service, and in an attempt to provide a better theme balance in the interpretation and preservation of historical sites, it is recommended that the first task at Skidoo be to resolve the ownership question on the mill property and, if it can be acquired, the second task should be to accomplish emergency stabilization with eventual limited restoration. A Historic Structure Report, especially an Architectural Data Section, should be funded for the mill, although it is doubtful if much more historical data can be found than has been included in this study. Blueprints of the mill plant would be an invaluable research and interpretive aid if they could be located. Opportunities in this area for on-site interpretation of more modern mining methods and of ore-processing techniques using a gravity feed system should be exploited. Skidoo's distance from the visitor center makes management of the site a problem, especially from the aspects of protection of resources and visitor safety. The area's importance, however, demands that an attempt be made to not only successfully fulfill these obligations but also accurately and completely interpret the town, mill site, and pipeline ruins.

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deva/hrs/section3b2s.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (20) Saddle Rock (Saddlerock) Mine (a) History The famous Gold Eagle strike in January 1906 that precipitated the rush to Skidoo resulted from the discovery of free gold on the Saddlerock Claim by John L. Ramsey and John A. Thompson. By 23 February the Palma lode claim had been discovered and at various dates throughout that year the claims included in the Saddle Rock Consolidated Mine--the Saddle Rock, Chespeake Fraction, Pima, and K. K.--were located. [292] Because Ramsey and Thompson kept the news of their new discoveries to themselves for the next two months or so until they, had finished staking all the claims they wanted, and were therefore the only prospectors in that particular area for awhile, it is probable that they were the original owners of the property. At the end of 1906, or in early 1907, the Saddlerock Group, reportedly including only three claims and bordering the famous Skidoo Mine on the west, was purchased by Sherwood Aldrich of Colorado Springs and Hector Mckenzie and Russell F. Sutherland of Rhyolite for $25,000 cash. At this time the property's principal ledge, varying from three to five feet in width, was giving returns of $41 to the ton. [293] By June 1907 Aldrich's company, the Skidoo Saddle Rock Mining Company, a South Dakota incorporation, was developing the property by means of three tunnels (two being dug under contract) and two shafts. The company-worked tunnel was now in over fifty feet and the other two extended for about thirty-five feet. The thirty-foot main shaft was disclosing ore similar to that on the Skidoo Claim, "and it is. the opinion of all who know the property that the Saddle Rock will develop a mine second only to the Skidoo." [294] Unnamed Nevada mine promoters were backing the company, but keeping their future plans for the operation cloaked in secrecy. Encouraged by the ore showings so far, they were attempting to get the most work done in the fastest possible manner, and therefore were paying miners wages far above the ordinary scale. The only building on the property so far was a blacksmith shop. [295] By the middle of the summer the Saddlerock shaft extended down sixty feet, and sixty tons of ore lay on the dump. The shaft was sinking in solid ore its entire width, but assay returns from the ledge, which could be traced along the surface of the claim for nearly a mile, were still being kept secret. Two more shafts were being sunk on other ledges, and three tunnels
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

were attempting to open up the ore shoots at depth. A camp had been established, and arrangements were being made with E.A. Montgomery for water, hopefully enabling erection of a mill later in the fall. [296] When the Palma and Saddle Rock Combination were surveyed in 1907, the former had a cut and tunnel and the latter was developed by several cuts, tunnels, and shafts. [297] By April 1909 the Saddlerock still had excellent ore showings but had not been worked since the first of the year. [298] In August the Skidoo Saddle Rock Mining Company applied for a patent on the K. K., Pima, Thespeake Fraction, Saddle Rock, and Palma gold- and silver-bearing lodes, veins, and deposits. [299] From 1910 on up to the present day, information pertaining to the Saddlerock Group is very piecemeal. The next reference to the property is a notification in 1928 that the State of California had deeded to the Sterling Bros. the Palms (Palma) lode claim and the Saddle Rock, Chesapeake [sic] Fraction, Prima (Pima), and K.K. claims. [300] In an attempt to revitalize mining activity in the Skidoo region by successfully working the rich deposits of gold known to exist on this particular site, H.W. Eichbaum and associates (William Corcoran, Bourke Lee, and Jess Hession) in 1929 organized the Emigrant Springs Mining and Milling Company, incorporated for $100,000 and including the Pima, Emigrant Fraction (Palma?), Saddle Rock, Chesepeak [sic] Fraction, and K.M. [K.K.] mines near Emigrant Spring. The company had $25,000 available for immediate use toward construction of a new mill, purchase of machinery, etc. Reportedly over thirty old-time prospectors, including Shorty Harris, arduously constructed a road during the heat of the summer to the mouth of Eichbaum's Emigrant Springs Mine tunnel, blasting it out of solid rock from the bottom of Emigrant Canyon 1 miles up the steep slope to the property. The strike here reportedly yielded ore assaying up to $10,000 per ton. Ultimately machinery was transported on burros to the mine site, where one tunnel had already reached the main ore body. Stoping was soon to commence, with initiation of the milling process projected for 1 January 1930. [301] In 1938 the Emigrant Springs (Saddle Rock) Mine consisted of four patented claims and twelve held by location, and was owned by the Emigrant Springs Mining Company, H.W. Eichbaum, president, and Mrs. Eichbaum, secretary. Gold values ranging from $4 to $6 a ton were being found on the property, which was being developed by three tunnels and five shallow shafts. The mine was thought to have good potential as a large, lowgrade gold deposit, but was idle at this particular time. [302] William C. Thompson of San Fernando, California, purchased the Saddle Rock property from a Helene West in 1945. Five patented claims were involved, producing ore assaying $30 a ton in gold. Earlier in the year Thompson had bought Shorty Harris's gold and tungsten property in the Goldbelt area further north. [303] Records in the monument mining office files show that in 1959 the Saddle Rock Mine consisted of sixteen gold claims, four of which were patented. By 1962 the four patented claims were included in the Harry Hamlin estate and had seen no production within the last twenty-five years. The current owner, David L. Dotson, purchased the property from the Hamlin family in 1967 for a reported consideration of $1,000. [304] (b) Present Status Located on the eastern slope of Emigrant Canyon in the Panamint Range, about 1-1/4 miles east of Emigrant Spring and at an altitude of 4,800 to 5,400 feet, the Saddle Rock Group today consists of two adjacent, irregularly shaped parcels of land. They are reached by a 11/2-mile-long unimproved jeep trail leading easterly from the paved Emigrant Canyon Road. An attempt to locate the site was made by the co-author of this study. He is uncertain, however, whether or not he actually reached the subject claims. The area had recently undergone heavy washing and as. a consequence the claim boundaries were difficult to ascertain. Only one adit was spotted. During a survey of the site in 1972 the only extant

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

building was an outhouse on the Pima Claim, although nearby were the scattered remains of several collapsed wooden frame buildings. Some shafts and an adit were also visible. [305]

Illustration 205. Remains of mining activity on Saddle Rock property. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

Illustration 206. Adit, Saddle Rock mining claim. Photo by John A. Latschar, 1978.

A second site examination in 1972 disclosed two 75-foot-deep shafts in fair condition for the first 25 or 30 feet but appearing extremely dangerous below that point. Two 50- to 150-foot adits and some open cuts had been driven on the K.K. and Pima claims, and the latter site also contained a 60-foot adit. The leveled remains of the old mine camp were seen near the center of the property. [306] (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The significance of the Saddle Rock Group today lies in its being the site of the initial gold strike responsible for the creation of Skidoo and the evolution of the surrounding mining

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

district Although passing through the hands of several owners, some of whom spent a considerable sum on development work, from the early 1900s on up to the 1960s the mine itself has had no production record and seems to consist only of exploratory workings. The site is considered locally significant and eligible for inclusion within the revised boundaries of the Skidoo Historic District.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (21) Nellie Grant and Uncle Sam Mines Little information has been found on these mines, permitting only a brief survey of what were some of the very earliest mines in the Wild Rose area. The Nellie Grant and Uncle Sam mines, in the vicinity of Emigrant Spring, were located by W.L. Hunter, whose early presence in the area is attested to by a newspaper statement to the effect that Rose Springs District was the same where Messrs. Hunter & Porter have been operating for a long time past, and where we are satisfied from all accounts there are numerous silver ledges as promising as any in the whole country. Among them are the Nellie Grant, belonging to Hunter & Porter. . . . [307] Hunter & Company were working the Nellie Grant Nos. 1-3 in 1874, as well as the Uncle Sam Nos. 1 and 2, North Corner Nos. 1 and 2, the Theodore Wibbeth, and the Silver Bluff. Several men were at work, with development being subsidized by proceeds from the ore. According to the Inyo Independent The following assays, made by Mr. J.L. Porter and F.F. Thomas, will satisfy any judge of ores as to value: Nellie Grant No. 1, four assays, respectively, $459 62, $659 57, $754 and $479 11; No. 2, $274 81. North Corner, three assays, $212 05, $150 82 and $403 69. Silver Bluff, $180 84. Wibbeth, three assays, $801 33, $493 58 and $95 81, silver per ton. The ore was sold to M.W. Belshaw and Co.'s furnace on the 24th instant. The amount sold was fourteen mule loads, the product of three men for two days, and was from the different mines as follows: Nellie Grant, five parts; Uncle Sam, one part; North Corner, one part; Silver Bluff, two parts. The whole crushed and sampled as one lot yielded $323.54 per ton, silver. Mr. Porter has been at these mines for the last ten days, and he says as far as developed they are the best average prospect that he has ever seen. All are free milling ores, and the country is of such a nature as to admit of large teams going to the mines without any road making. [308] Mining was facilitated by a plentiful supply of water, but wood had to be hauled about twelve miles from Telescope Peak. [309]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

It has been a common occurrence and a prevailing frustration throughout this study that just when this writer feels some progress has been made toward sorting out the many disparate references to a mine, further information turns up that completely invalidates the conclusions. A Nellie Grant Mine appears on the 1877 Wheeler Survey Map Sheet 65D. An 1883 location notice states that an Argonaut Mine was "situated about four and one-half miles South, from the Mouth of Emigrant Canon at what is known as Hunter & Porters rock house near Emigrant Spring & is immediately South of the Jeannetta Mine and is a relocation of the Uncle Sam Mine." That same year a notice of location far the Jeanetta Mine was filed noting "This location is on the West side of Emigrant Canon . . . thesame is near Emigrant Spring and is a relocation of the Nellie Grant Mine." [310] By 1884 a local newspaper was referring to the. "Mohawk, Blue Bell and Argonaut mines, formerly known as the North Star, Garibaldi, and Nellie Grant." [311] The Nellie Grant was described here as one of the properties owned by W.K. Miller, J.M. Keeler, and N.J. Medbury. According to Palmer, in Place Names the Nellie Grant was located south of Emigrant Spring. However, a notice of location for the Susan B. Anthony Mine, located on 1 April 1886 by M.M. Beatty and Jos. Danielson, describes it as being north of Emigrant Spring and formerly known as the Nellie Grant. Then on 1 January 1888 Paul Pfefferle and Jos. Danielson filed a notice of location for the Maud S. Mine, "on a line with Emigrant Springs in Emigrant Canon and was formerly known as Susan B. Anthony or better known as Nellie Grant. [312] An 1889 article on mining mentions the Nellie Grant, "with its big body of free ores" and a nearby spring that furnished enough water for a large mill. [313] In 1896 a Nellie Grant Mine "situated in Emigrant Springs Canon in Wild Rose Mng. Dist. Formerly Known as Emigrant Springs Mine" was relocated by Charles Anthony. [314] In 1906 a proof of labor was filed on an Argonaut Mine owned by W.L. Skinner, but whether this has any relation to the Nellie Grant is conjectural. [315] Further records on the mine were not pursued by this writer.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (22) Junietta Blizzard and Virgin Mines These properties in the Wild Rose District were also located by W.L. Hunter of Lone Pine around 1877. [316] Interests in them were acquired by W.K. Miller and N.J. Medbury, and the three pursued a course of strenuous development work: The Junietta has a six-foot ledge which gives an average assay of $50 per ton. There are 100 tons of assorted ore now on the dump that will yield $100 per ton. The Argonaut [Uncle Sam?] joins the Junietta on the south. . . The Blue Belle [Garibaldi] is situated about six miles distant from the two former mines. The Blizzard and Virgin are close to the Blue Belle. The former claim has a four-foot ledge of fine horn silver ore. [317] The 1884 Report of the Director of the Mint mentions the Virgin as carrying high-grade ores, and states that the Genette [sic], "the best developed of the group, has a shaft 100 feet deep, with a 4-foot vein of free-milling chloride of silver ore . . . and assays from 50 to 100 ounces per ton of silver." [318] In this year Medbury and Miller transferred to J.M. Keeler a onehalf interest in the Blizzard and Jeanette mines. [319] No more information was found on these properties, primarily because there was no time for a strenuous search of county records pertaining to them. It can be assumed, however, that Milo Page's assessment of their lives is accurate: At Emigrant Springs there was also a group of silver mines, yielding ore of high grade, owned by Wm. L. Hunter and J.L. Porter, of Cerro Gordo fame. These, like the Garibaldi claims, received the usual amount, or scarcity, of "development." [320]

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deva/hrs/section3b2v.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (23) Tucki Mine (a) History Record books of the Wild Rose Mining District contain a Notice of Location for a Tucki No. 1 Mine, "located about 3 miles NE of Skidoo," dated 12 April 1909, and filed by Henry W. Britt (or Birtt; writing illegible). By the location given it would appear that this is the same property later located by John Millett, Samuel E. Ball, and Charles G. Walker in September 1927 encompassing a group of claims about 2-1/2 miles southwest of Tucki Wash and 4 airline miles north-northeast of Skidoo. If so, the area's early activity must have been sporadic and inconsequential, for no information on it has been found. By October 1927 an Edward R. Attaway was deeded a one-fourth interest in the Tucki and Tucki Nos. 2, 3, and 4 mining claims. [321] Specific details even on these more modern mining operations at the site are negligible until the 1930s, when a few newspaper articles appear recounting progress there. In 1937 Ed Attaway and Sam Ball, at least, were working the gold mine and trucking their ore to Death Valley Junction for shipment to the smelter. By 1938 ore from the Tucki Mine was being treated by Roy Troeger in the fifty-ton cyanide plant of Keeler Gold Mines, Inc. [322] Four months later, in August, Attaway and Ball gave a lease/bond agreement on the property, referred to as the Tuck-I Mine, to the Lane Development Company of Hollywood for a total consideration of $25,000. According to the newspaper article on the transaction, the two lessees had been working the property for the past fourteen years and shipping ore running $100 to $700 per ton. Roy Journigan became part owner of the mine, along with Ball and Attaway, by April 1939, and these three proceeded to lease the property to a Felix Castro, Fred Bunting, and Fred Mastagan. [323] A year later the Tucki, still owned by Attaway, Journigan, and the Sam Ball estate, was handed over in another lease/bond agreement to Warnken, Potter, and associates. Working six men, Potter began securing a return of about $846 in gold every two weeks. By 1951 the Tucki Mine included four unpatented lode claims owned by Journigan and Attaway. Workings comprised an inclined shaft and several drifts. The earliest openings on the property were the two adits northwest of the shaft. Total gold, production to that date is unknown, but from August 1940 to April 1941 lessees had sold $5,200 worth of ore
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

averaging $20 per ton, with a gold content ranging from $12 to $60 per ton. Immediately prior to 1940 ore recovered at the mine had been sent to Journigan's Mill in Emigrant Canyon for processing; after that year it was treated in a small cyanide plant on the property. The Tucki was idle in the early 1950s and continued that way for the next several years, Journigan evidently deciding to keep the property in abeyance while waiting for an increase in the price of gold. [324] Activity continued in suspension throughout the 1960s, with only occasional visits to the site by Journigan each year. Early in 1974 Russ Journigan relinquished the Tucki No. 4 and 44 mining claims adjacent to the Tucki Mine, retaining only the Tucki, Tucki No. 2, and Tucki No. 3 property originally located in 1927. At this time he and his wife held complete title to each of the three claims on which most of the development and production work had been done through the years. In 1975 the Journigans and the Barnetts, affiliated as the Tucki Mining Company, decided to, reopen the mine and begin construction of a gold recovery plant to leach oversized material from the old tailing dumps and process it by the carbon filtration method. The process was a complicated one: material from the source dump below the plant was fed via a chute into a 10-1/2-inch jaw crusher and then into an 18-inch cone; from there the crushed ore was conveyed by dump truck to the vat storage bin. A solution of the old tailing material would be circulated through activated charcoal cartridges, there being one cartridge for each of the four concrete leach vats. A sand/gravel bed in the floor of each vat was to filter the pregnant solution. Counter-circulation of sodium hydroxide would strip the gold from the cartridges, and it would then be precipitated. The two-man operation required 1,000 gallons of water per day, and this had to be transported by truck from Panamint. Springs, thirty-four miles to the west. The water and solution were stored at the site in 12,000- and 18,000-gallon swimming pools. A front-end loader emptied the vats by removing their steel end gates, a single one being unloaded and reloaded in less than a day. Allowing a percolation rate of eight days, production was projected at twenty-five tons a day. [325] Although this operation was expected to take four years, only a few dozen ounces of gold were actually recovered. The crusher and other miscellaneous equipment were finally removed in March 1976. By May Journigan was leasing the mine to Barnett and a partner for a percentage of the gross; these latter two contemplated continuing the leaching process using zinc instead of carbon in the refining of the ore. They were also hopeful that by driving a new adit to intersect the main inclined shaft they could open the lower workings and stope the upper ones and still make the operation pay. By the summer of 1978 Journigan had evidently acquired new financial backing and anticipated continuing mine operations, but work was suspended during the monument moratorium on mining.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 207. Tucki Mine, 1975, showing leaching operation and mine camp. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

Illustration 208. Tucki Mine, 1978. Cabins in ramshackle condition and much debris on site. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

(b) Present Status The Tucki Mine is located on Tucki Mountain and is reached by an unimproved 10-milelong dirt road from Emigrant Wash. It has been basically an underground operation that has produced some ore from shallow stopes. The last recorded production was in December 1971. Although no figures for total production have been found, mine receipts from gold bullion delivered in 1941 amounted to almost $18,000. [326] Today the site contains cabins, concrete pads, and sheds ranged along the east side of a narrow gully, and assorted mine workings covering the west hillside. The residences still contain furniture and household goods and the sheds and workshops are full of small supplies used in the leaching process. The workings themselves include a fairly modern large ore bin, four fifty-ton leach tanks, measuring nine feet by twenty feet by six feet, and further south against the hill the ruins of a chute and a concrete platform that once held a building connected with the crushing operations. Sprawled over the hillside are the remains of older diggings--adits, an inclined timbered shaft, and an old ore chute. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Tucki Mine is not considered eligible for inclusion on the National Register, possessing no associative significance and no buildings, structures, or objects of historical importance.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (24) Telephone Spring (a) History Telephone Spring is located toward the north end of Telephone Canyon in the northern Panamint Range, about four miles northwest of Skidoo and slightly over three miles directly north of Emigrant Spring, on the southwest slope of Tucki Mountain. The canyon, actually more of a wash, derives its name from the Rhyolite-Skidoo telephone line, constructed in March 1907, that passed through here on its way to the telephone station that had been established at Stovepipe Springs (old Stovepipe Wells). By 1909 this wash had been graded to accommodate a light freight road between Rhyolite and Skidoo that shortened the trip to about forty miles, twelve to fifteen miles less than by the old route via Emigrant Spring. [327] Although entrance to Telephone Canyon is now possible via a washed-out and barely discernible road entering the Emigrant Canyon Road about 1-1/2 miles south of its junction with California State Highway 190, during the Skidoo era the trait undoubtedly led from the canyon directly onto the flats toward the sand dunes and Stovepipe Wells. In 1910 Telephone Canyon was suggested as one segment of "Alkali Bill" Brong's proposed auto service between Rhyolite and Skidoo. Under this plan, two men would be kept busy at Stovepipe cutting mesquite with which to surface the road so that autos could, pass. The Skidoo Mines Company would then, under contract, construct the auto road through the canyon, a modicum of safety being afforded by its accessibility to the phone line in case of trouble. Two men and two cars were expected to make the trip, in eight hours, each carrying three tons of perishable supplies daily in both directions. The service could also include mail and passengers. Whether this service was ever, actually implemented is unknown. [328] Trails leading off the Telephone Canyon road ended at various small mining operations along the slopes of Tucki Mountain, [329] while a well-defined branch road leads off in a southeasterly direction toward the Tucki Mine about nine miles further up the road.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 209. View east toward wash of mill ruin at Telephone Spring. Note arrastra and diversion channel to right leading muddy mixture of crushed ore and water to pond disposal area behind embankment in lower left corner. Note also masonry water tank support in center and other stone foundations to left of picture. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 210. Arrastra gold mill at Telephone Spring, 1934, "still in use." Photo by A.E. Borell, courtesy of DEVA NM.

(b) Present Status The Telephone Spring area at one time supported a small mining operation, possibly during the Skidoo era, but more probably during the revival of mining activity in this region during the 1930s. Strangely, no mention of who built the large arrastra whose ruins are found here, or when, has been found by this writer. According to the caption on a monument photo of the structure, it was definitely operating in 1934. The mill lies on the edge of the wash, and therefore is quite susceptible to erosion. Nevertheless, the site, embracing a large arrastra basin with a flume or drainage channel leading off toward three tailing dams, a shallow cement trough for holding a water tank, some leveled terraces overlooking the arrastra, and several machinery pilings and stone foundation walls, appears in remarkably good condition. Farther upstream (south), on the west side of the wash, are some stone tent foundation levels and a crude shelter set against the wall and fashioned from F.W. Woolworth packing crates. Purple glass and fragments of insulator from the telephone system have been found on various parts of the site, indicative of activity prior to 1920. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

It is conceivable that the packing crate shelter and stone foundations in Telephone Canyon are indicative of limited settlement in the area, dating from the pre-1917 period of activity at Skidoo when the route through here served as an important link in the Skidoo -Rhyolite transportation and communication system. It is the writer's opinion, however, that the mill was probably a later addition of the 1930s, a conjecture based on several factors: the surprisingly undamaged condition of the dams and stone walls; the fact that the operation was machine driven and fairly extensive in size; plus the later date on the monument photo of the arrastra. The lack of information available on the mill is its most puzzling aspect. The Telephone Canyon ruins contain another good example of a machine-driven arrastra used within the Panamint Range in the 1930s. It is difficult to determine whether the site was as complex an operation as the one at Warm Spring since all its machinery, has long since been removed. The mill's location within Telephone Canyon, which has interpretive significance itself as the route of a freight road and phone line between Skidoo and Rhyolite--the latter project being one of the more interesting engineering feats of Skidoo's heyday and one on which little has been written--justifies the recommendation that this stretch of the canyon containing the mill and tent foundation levels be left to benign neglect.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (25) McLean Spring A brief mention should be made of the McLean Spring site, slightly over seven miles east of the Stovepipe Wells Hotel and adjacent to Burned Wagons Point. According to one writer who visited the scene, a faint trail could be discerned passing south of the spring, and also in the vicinity were three wooden footbridges, indicating semi-permanent occupation or at the very least fairly heavy travel through the area. This same source states without hesitation that a "trading post" existed here in the early 1900s to cater to prospectors, presumably crossing over into the Panamint Range or merely passing between the northern and southern sections of the main valley. [330] Wooden bridges would certainly be necessary if people were attempting to carry on business over any extended period of time on this sandy plain that can become quite sticky and intractable, especially during rainstorms. Burr Belden also asserts that historically a trail led south from old Stovepipe Wells to Salt Creek and McLean's Well, and from there a path ascended the Panamints via Blackwater Canyon. [331] No mining camp paper or other source found by this writer mentions a supply point at McLean Spring, but some operation of more than temporary status appears to have existed here as evidenced by the wooden bridge remains. They should be left to benign neglect.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 211. Bridge to trading post (?) standing at McLean Spring around 1902. Photo courtesy of G. William Fiero, UNLV.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
B. Emigrant Wash and Wildrose Canyon (continued)
2. Wild Rose Mining District (continued) i) Sites (continued) (26) Lemoigne Mine and Junction Camp (a) History i) John Lemoigne Arrives in Death Valley The stark, simple beauty of Death Valley has often captured the imagination and the hearts of unwary visitors and held them in its spell for their lifetime. Such an unwitting victim of this desert magic was Jean Francois de Lamoignon, born in February 1857 at Lamoignon, France, and educated in England, Paris, and Germany as a mining engineer. [332] As seems to be the case with all Death Valley folk heroes, controversy and irreconcilable discrepancies surround every aspect of his life in the region. Initial disagreement arises over the date of the tall, white-bearded, genial Frenchman's arrival in the Death Valley region and the impetus behind his long journey. While some sources suggest that he served as a sailor before coming to America to work in the mines around Darwin in the early 1870s, it has been most commonly assumed that he arrived here around 1882 to 1884 at the behest of Isadore Daunet, who, hearing about the young mining student through mutual friends, suggested that he take over supervision of the new borax works in the southern part of the valley. [333] By the time Lemoigne arrived in this country, however, Daunet had taken his own life, depressed by the failure of both his business venture and his recent marriage. [334]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 212. Map of Lemoigne Canyon.

Once in this country, and possibly forced to stay by a lack of money, Lemoigne quickly became Americanized and acculturated, dropping his aristocratic name and donning the garb and life-style of a Death Valley prospector, although never completely losing his distinctive aura of education and intellect. Reportedly meeting some Indians in the Cottonwood area of the Panamint Range and learning from them the location of a silver-lead mine at which they fashioned bullets for their muzzle-loaders, he filed on this property, known as the Bullet Mine, about 1882, although one source stated it was not located until 1887. [335] Lemoigne covered a lot of territory in his peregrinations throughout the California and Nevada mining districts, prospecting from Barstow, California, east toward Virginia City and Ely, Nevada, and west toward the high Sierra Nevadas. He seems to have had fairly good luck, for his name is connected with several claims in the Death Valley region alone: the Uncle Sam Lode in the Panamint Mining District, located 11 April 1880 (which, as mentioned, would seem to imply that Lemoigne did arrive prior to Daunet's ill-fated borax venture); the Independence, located on 14 January 1884, and the Alaska, discovered on 24 January 1884, both in the Union Mining District; the Washington, Robespierre, and Lafayette, located 28 April 1885, in the Deep Spring Mining District; and the Egle and Union mines, two relocations on 3 January 1887, and the Bullion, Stare, Hop, and Ouray, discovered 4 February 1889 in the Furnace Creek Mining District. [336] In early 1890 Lemoigne and Richard Decker were involved together in a chloriding operation at the Hemlock Mine near old Panamint City, though five years later he was working his lead mine and talking some of erecting a smelter for his ore near Keeler. By 1896 he had filed location notices for three quartz claims in Cottonwood Canyon. [337] ii) Lemoigne Properties It is rather difficult because of the variety of locations given to determine the exact extent of Lemoigne's holdings. His lead mine, which remained active through the 1950s, was located in present-day Lemoigne Canyon. According to Crampton, Lemoigne's silver prospect, complete with shack, was located north of Skidoo, and it was this property that actually supported him and paid his bills and grubstakes. [338] This is at variance with Southworth's assertion that "He [Lemoigne] was known to depend entirely upon his highgrade silver property in Lemoigne Canyon whenever ready funds ran low." [339] George Pipkin states

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

that Lemoigne opened the "LeMoigne Silver Mine at the extreme north end of the Panamint Mountains in Cottonwood Canyon," and also discovered lead "in what is known today as LeMoigne Canyon northwest of Emigrant Springs. LeMoigne's silver mine could have been the 'Lost Gunsight Lode'. . ." [ 340] The 1896 location notices indicate that he did have property in Cottonwood Canyon, and, indeed, evidence of mining activity was found here in 1899 where the ruins of an old log cabin stand near to where considerable work has been done in former years by some prospectors. A large pile of lead ore lies upon the dump. Cuts have been run and shafts sunk. [341] In 1897 Lemoigne's property was mentioned as one incentive for construction of a transcontinental route from Kramer Station on the Santa Fe and Pacific line to Randsburg and on to Salt Lake City that would tap the untouched mineral resources in the Panamint Valley area. It would, it was argued, facilitate shipping from the Kennedy Antimony Mine at Wild Rose, the Ubehebe copper mines, and would put within reach "the apparently inexhaustible 'low-grade'--worth $50 per ton, with lead accounted at 54 per lb and silver at 70 per oz.-argentiferous galena ores of Cottonwood, known as the Lemoigne mines." [342] In 1899 Lemoigne found a large body of high-grade lead ore on his property, but was still hindered by transportation problems and hoping for completion of a railroad into the area so that large quantities could be shipped at a profit. The lead mine was producing so well in 1904 that it was reported that Lemoigne had gone to San Francisco to negotiate its sale: "This property is said by experts to be the biggest body of lead ore ever uncovered on the coast." [343] Reportedly any grade of lead, up as high as 75% even, could be obtained by handsorting, the silver content varying from 15 to 83 ozs. and gold from $5 to $20. [344] The sale was not consummated, however, and perhaps this was the basis for the oft-repeated tale of how old John, reasserting his often-voiced contempt for negotiable paper, turned down several thousand dollars for his mine because he was offered a check instead of cold hard cash. Lemoigne was reputedly a very simple, honest man with no particular need or desire for life's luxuries. Money was relatively unimportant and only necessary to finance his long prospecting trips or to grubstake one or another of his friends. Since it appeared that he would be returning periodically to his lead mine, Lemoigne proceeded to erect a stone cabin there. Frank Crampton recalls: Often I stopped at the lead prospect, almost as often as at the silver prospect Old John worked, alternately with the lead [the mine near Skidoo). In the old stone cabin (house I presume might be better) he passed some of his time particularly when the weather was cold. He had built the stone house soon after he discovered the lead outcrops and realized they were good possibilities of ore. It was winter he told me when the stone house was built and water could be had from a creek bed that flowed some water. In the spring when the water either was insufficient, [sic] after his first winter at the lead prospect he went up the canyon and built himself a shack. In the shack was the shelf of classics, French, German, English, which he dusted every day and often when I remained a few days with him he would read one of them, as I did also. [345] iii) Lemoigne Castle at Garlic Spring In addition to the monetary sustenance afforded him by his mine, Old John also thrived on the goodwill of a host of fellow miners in the surrounding desert region, who considered him a gentleman and true friend. Their ready offers of food and friendship were reciprocated by

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

John's grubstaking offers. Sometimes this generosity brought amazing and unwelcome results.

Illustration 213. John Lemoigne, about 1915. From Dane Coolidge Collection, courtesy of Arizona Historical Foundation.

Illustration 214. John Lemoigne, about 1915. From Dane Coolidge Collection, courtesy of Arizona Historical Foundation.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 215. John Lemoigne, no date. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

One of the stranger stories connected with John Lemoigne and that sounds as if it might have enjoyed some slight embellishment at the hands of Frank Crampton, who first reported it, concerns a construction project at Garlic Spring on the old road between Barstow and Death Valley, where Lemoigne was camped around 1914. Two men whom he had grubstaked brought him a contract to sign, having not only located a mine but also attracted a buyer. Firm persuasion was required to secure Lemoigne's reluctant signature on the necessary instruments, and his worst fears were soon realized when to his acute embarrassment a steady flow of grubstake profits began pouring in. Because of his strong distrust of banking institutions, Old John persuaded the local storekeeper to take charge of these funds, but that individual soon became nervous because of the large sums he was being entrusted with and the proximity of Barstow and its rough-neck railroad men and other strangers who might be tempted to avail themselves of these riches in an ungentlemanly manner. To remedy the situation the storekeeper's wife suggested that she be allowed to construct and furnish a large house for John in the area and thereby utilize the money. Consent was reluctantly given the lady, who proceeded to supervise the erection of "Old John's Castle," a monstrosity that daily grew more unwieldly and unattractive. What she lacked in expertise in architectural design and construction, she compensated for in flamboyance and general bad taste. The large, two-story square building soon sported turrets, a spire, dormer windows, gables, and a multitude of chimneys. A covered porch surrounded the bright red structure on four sides, and the whole was accented by green-trimmed windows with blue shutters. Dozens of mail order catalogs were perused, resulting in acquisition of heavy oak furniture, a completely furnished library, a huge kitchen with hot and cold water, wallpaper, and fine carpeting. Pre-dating Scotty's Castle, this structure reportedly displayed none of the latter's fine attributes, and was considered nothing more than a white elephant by its owner. The only way to forget such a structure is to blow it off the face of the earth, and that is precisely what Old John did one night with the aid of several boxes of dynamite. [346] iv) Controversy Surrounding Lemoigne's Death That incident, if true, was about the only undignified moment in Lemoigne's life, which came to an end tragically in 1919. In death as in life Lemoigne has been the subject of considerable controversy. Many cannot even agree on the date of his demise, while, as Southworth writes, the number of people who claimed to have found and buried John Lemoigne reads like a Who's Who of the desert region. Why Old John was heading toward Furnace Creek Ranch,
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

or away from it, is not definitely known, although reportedly he had not been feeling well for some time and was journeying there to seek medical advice. Whatever the reason, he never reached his destination. According to Crampton he and Shorty Harris found the body lying under a mesquite bush about nine miles northwest of Furnace Creek Ranch near Salt Well. Apparently overcome by the heat or a sudden heart attack, Lemoigne had been unable to untie his burros, who perished with him. Proving his personal involvement in the event, Crampton says, are pictures he took of Old John and one of his burros as they lay when found. Reporting the incident at Furnace Creek Ranch, Crampton and Harris returned with Harry Gower, Oscar Denton, Tom Wilson, and a couple of other Indians for the burial, with Gower carving a grave marker. [347] According to Harry Gower, however, it was Death Valley Scotty who found Lemoigne eleven miles north of Furnace Creek and returned to the ranch to report it. Upon receiving the message at Ryan, Gower contacted the coroner at Independence and was told to go ahead and bury the body. Arriving at the scene with an Indian companion, Gower found the body partially eaten by coyotes and John's gold watch hanging in a mesquite bush. Because of the hardness of the ground and the intense heat, the grave was only dug about two feet deep and was quite narrow. Lemoigne was wrapped in a blanket and lowered into the grave, over which a mound was erected and marked with stones and a board. Gower later sent the coroner the watch and a bill for $40 to cover costs of the burial detail. Gower states he was told later that Scotty felt he should have gotten the money, but no words ever passed between the two on the subject. Cower evidently did have some strong feelings about Crampton's declared part in the whole affair: The guy who is going to have a tough time getting squared with me is the alleged author who claims to have been associated with Le Moigne, and buried him on the desert. If he gains a bit of notoriety by his statement I have no objection as I got paid for my work. I'm sore because I doubt if he ever had the guts to dig a hole two feet deep in Death Valley in August. [348] Adding further confusion is Scotty's version: In June 1918, I found him [Lemoigne} stretched out dead. He must have been on his way to Furnace Creek with his burros. I dug a hole and buried him right there by a clump of mesquite. Then I went on to Furnace Creek to give the notice. Cost me twenty dollars for feed for my string of mules. Gower got the ten-dollar fee for burying old John when the work was already done. I got nothing! [349] In 1922 when Sarah Perkins traveled through Death Valley, she by chance stumbled upon a sun-bleached board set in the sand. Written on it in pencil, she said, were the words "John Lemoign, Died Aug. 1919." Nearby were the skeletons of two burros and a coffeepot beside a fireplace. This supports Gower's contention that he buried John in August 1919, and pretty conclusively disputes Southworth's romantic statement that "in deference to Old John, who always believed his burros were human, each body was buried in a separate grave." [350] At the time of his death John Lemoigne's estate was valued at about $10.00 after all expenses were paid. [351] v) Later History of the Lemoigne Mine Because no heirs were known to exist, Beveridge Hunter and Bill Corcoran relocated Lemoigne's eight mining claims, soon, disposing of the property to a W.J. Loring and associates. Because of the area's remote location, Hunter and Corcoran realized they would either have to sell the mine outright or enlist the cooperation of someone with the investment capital necessary to turn the property into a paying concern. A Brandon & Co. of Boston had

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

an option on the group, but Brandon was killed before a sale could be consummated. Corcoran and Hunter then managed to interest Harry C. Stemler and Associates of Tonopah, who were in some way connected with the Loring interests, in the property, but they insisted on visiting the mine before making a firm decision. Despite a harrowing experience during the return from the mine, during which Stemler and Corcoran almost died from thirst and exhaustion, the former decided to take a bond on the property. The claims deeded to him in Lemoigne Canyon were the Blossom, Captain, Captain No. 2, Captain No. 3, Hunter, Atlantic, Pacific, and Sunshine. [352] In August, despite the heat, Corcoran was told to take charge of development work and intended despite the 132-degree temperature to begin a force immediately at three places on the ledge; ore would be hauled to Beatty by tractor across the floor of Death Valley. Incentive to begin operations was provided by an engineer for the Loring interests who declared that the ore in the mine would average 61-1/2% lead for the full length of the three claims, and who also estimated that there was $2,500,000 worth of ore in sight. Development work already consisted of a twenty-five-foot tunnel previously excavated by Hunter and Corcoran and a twenty-five-foot-deep shaft, plus several cuts made to keep track of the vein's course and of the consistency of its values. [353] The eight claims acquired by Stimler were later quitclaimed to the Interstate Silver Lead Mines Corporation of Nevada, but by 1923 a W. R. McCrea of Reno and a John J. Reilly, who once leased on the Florence Mine at Goldfield, were developing the property, on which they held a lease with option to buy, and were driving a crosscut tunnel to intersect the rich ledge. [354] In May 1924 it was thought that the main lode was discovered when a rich strike, "bigger than anything before encountered in any of the workings at the mine," was made on the Birthday Claim west of the old workings. [355] By June Corcoran had purchased more machinery for the mine and, in addition, all the buildings and pipelines belonging to Carl Suksdorf at Emigrant Spring, with plans underway to make this one of the biggest lead-producing mines in the western United States. A year later John Reilly had organized the Buckhorn Humboldt Mining Company and had purchased the Lemoigne Mine from Corcoran and Hunter for a substantial amount of cash and stock. McCrea became the company's manager and principal owner and, later, president, after Reilly's death in March 1925. Immediate plans were made to construct an eight-mile auto truck route to the Trona-Beatty Road in order to facilitate shipping to the smelters. Four leasers were also working on ground near the company property, though by April the number had increased to ten, forcing two trucks to leave every day loaded with shipping ore. Property of the Lemoigne South Extension Mining Company (composed of Messrs. Turner, Burke, McDonald, Clark, and Smith) adjoined the Lemoigne Mine proper and was uncovering ore running up to 80% lead. [356] Development was still being steadily pushed by the Buckhorn Humboldt people in the spring of 1926 to uncover the large amount of high-grade ore in sight as well as the vast quantities of low-grade milling ore that seemed to be present. Several lessees were at work, notably on the Miller Lease and the Dollar Bill Matthews ground. By May only four sets of leasers were operating, and the number was evidently reduced to three by June. [ 57] In 1926 the 3 California Journal of Mines and Geology described the mine as located in the LeMoigne District and still owned by the Buckhorn Humboldt Mining Company. It was under lease to L.P. (?) McCrea, M. L. Miller, and associates of Beatty, Nevada. A twenty-five-foot tunnel had been driven west in the canyon north of the main camp and was intersecting an ore lens from which 150 tons of ore had been shipped running 50% lead and three to five ounces of silver per ton. South of these workings on a ridge above Lemoigne Canyon a 165-foot tunnel had developed a lens from which 100 tons of ore had been shipped averaging 50% lead with five ounces of silver per ton. The ore was being hauled by truck to Beatty at a cost of $18 per

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

ton. Two men were employed at the mine. [358] The property must still have been active in 1928, because in May of that year Margaret Long mentions a road that was washed out and would have to be regraded by the next truck through to Lemoign." [359] McCrae and the Buckhorn Humboldt Mining Company continued to hold the Lemoigne Mine from 1937 through 1948, although by 1938 the twelve claims were reported as idle. [360] Bev Hunter later refiled on the property, subsequently leasing it to W. V. Skinner of Lone Pine, who produced a little ore in 1953. By 1962 Roy Hunter was evidently attempting some sporadic mining activity at the old mine. Total production from the property was said to have a gross value of approximately $38,000, realized from the shipment of over 600 tons of ore containing 30% lead, 7% zinc, and 4 ozs. of silver per ton. During its active lifetime up to 1963, the Lemoigne Mine was developed by about 600 feet of workings taking place on three levels and one sublevel, which were connected by a vertical shaft, and by three stopes. The shaft on the property had been extended to about eighty feet in depth. [361] Again in 1974 mining activity resumed on the site, and by December 1975 a Harold Pischel was working on a previously unexplored hillside looking for sulfide ore. Material reportedly carrying 14 ozs. of silver per ton was being stockpiled at the adit entrance. [362] (b) Present Status The Lemoigne Mine is located in Lemoigne Canyon, the southernmost canyon of the Cottonwood Mountains, which form the northerly extension of the Panamint Range. The claims, ranging in elevation from 4,950 to 5,700 feet, are reached via a jeep trail, crossing an alluvial fan, that is often subject to severe washing and that trends north off of California State Highway 190 approximately three miles east of the Emigrant Ranger Station. The claim area is reached after about 9-1/2 miles of very rough 4-wheel driving. This writer was unable to personally view the mine because the road into Lemoigne Wash was barely visible following a series of heavy downpours in the area during the early fall of 1978. The site was visited by. the LCS crew in 1975 and the following account of structures found is based on their data and on that collected during an archeological reconnaissance of the area. [363] Near the junction of the North and South forks of Lemoigne Canyon are the remains of a campsite appearing to date from the 1930s. Only a leveled tent site and assorted debris were found. On up the road at the entrance to the Lemoigne claim the trail forks again into two short smaller canyons, both showing evidence of occupation by man. The southern or left one contains a relatively new corrugated-metal structure with a nearby pit toilet, a metal trailer, and the only structure of real historic significance in the area--the rock cabin built by John Lemoigne in the 1880s. This latter is a partial dugout, carved into the bedrock and lined with wooden cribbing. The front is part stone and part wood, with flattened five-gallon metal cans being used for paneling in some areas. Shelves are built into some of the walls, which tends to verify this as Old John's home: When Jean arrived in America, he had with him volumes of the classics in French, English, and German, which he kept on shelves in the stone cabin he built below his lead prospect in a canyon west of Emigrant wash . . . . [364] The cabin structure itself is intact but filled with garbage and debris. Crampton states that when he visited Lemoigne's lead property around December 1919 the cabin had already been rifled of everything of value. [365] Beyond these buildings the road leads to an active mine adit surrounded by some five other small adits dating from an earlier period.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 216. View showing tramway, mine dumps, and ore bin in fork of Lemoigne Canyon. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

Illustration 217. Foundations of building and debris at site below ore bin in picture above. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 218. Stone dugout of John Lemoigne in Lemoigne Canyon. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

Illustration 219. Leveled site at Lemoigne Canyon junction camp. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

The northern canyon fork leads up past the site of at least four leveled habitation sites, about eight feet square, either for tent houses or wooden buildings, set against a cliff and about onetenth of a mile below a one-chute ore bin. Wooden boards, stove parts, and old bedsprings were found scattered through the area. The ore bin is in a narrow box canyon and at the foot of a rail tramway descending on a very steep incline from a mine tunnel on the ridge above. The tramway was controlled by a gasoline-powered winch still in place at the entrance to the tunnel. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Lemoigne silver-lead-zinc Mine was probably first worked in the late 1880s, though the
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

exact location date was not found by this writer. The mine was only sporadically worked by Lemoigne, who spent most of his forty years in the Death Valley region searching for minerals and performing assessment work for fellow miners. A newspaper article in 1923, in fact, mentioned that Lemoigne had confined his development of the area to shallow surface holes. [366] According to a recent study of the claims, they have been developed through the years by about 1,300 feet of workings. Most ore removed was high-grade, the many low- and medium-grade pockets being considered economically infeasible to mine during the 1920s when the mine saw its highest production rate. According to a 1976 report, the total value of all metals recovered at the Lemoigne Mine, based on January 1976 prices, would be about $116,000. [367] The historical significance of this site is not based on the volume of ore produced at the mine or on its monetary value. Its importance lies in its early discovery date and especially in its associations with John Lemoigne, considered by many to be the dean of Death Valley prospectors. It is not that Old John is completely forgotten--his lead mine is shown on the USGS Panamint Butte quad at the end of a canyon that also bears his name. His gravesite is marked on the Chloride Cliff quad just south of the Salt Springs jeep trail. (Attempts to locate the site by this writer were unsuccessful, though the wooden cross was still in place in February 1973.) It is simply that he is often overshadowed by the braggadocio of such highly-publicized wanderers of the desert as Death Valley Scotty and Shorty Harris. Leomoigne was a completely different breed, more attune in tastes and life-style to Pete Aguereberry, the other transplanted Frenchman in the valley who, like Old John, stayed to pursue a quiet and uneventful life in the desert they both loved so well. Lemoigne's biographer, Frank Crampton, expressed his appraisal of the man this way: Old John typified the breed of prospectors and old-timers and the Desert Rats who centered on Death Valley. Few, if any, did any prospecting of any consequence in the valley, they were not looking for non-metallics but for gold, silver, lead, copper or one of the other of the lesser metals. Death Valley was not the place where metals were found in paying quantities and the breed knew it . . . . Old John was the best of them all. He had the knowledge of a highly educated man, and the fortitude to accept the fate that had befallen him when he arrived at Death Valley and learned that Daunet was dead. But the greatest of all attributes was that he loved the desert, and Death Valley best of all, and without effort adapted himself to it. Old John Lamoigne [sic] deserves imortality [sic] He was the epitome of them all and represents the best of a breed of men who are no longer. [368] Because the Lemoigne Mine was the scene of some of the earliest mining activity within the monument and the home of John Lemoigne until his death in 1919, the mine area and the stone cabin that Lemoigne built are considered to be locally significant and eligible for inclusion on the National Register. The leveled tent or house sites and ore bin in the box canyon probably date from the 1920s era of mining activity when the mine was being developed and was shipping ore. Some sort of camp had to have been situated here to house the Buckhorn Humboldt Mining Company employees and the various lessees. Based on the 1975 LCS research notes, these structures are not considered significant. An interpretive marker near the stone cabin identifying the site would be appropriate. The tent foundations and old ore bin should be mentioned as probable vestiges of early twentiethcentury activity in the area. An exhibit at the visitor center might dwell further on Lemoigne's life, emphasizing his long tenure in the valley, his knowledge of the classics, and his degrees as a mining engineer--traits which set him apart from his desert comrades.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Attempts were made by this writer to determine the extent of mining enterprises in Cottonwood Canyon further north where Lemoigne had filed on some quartz claims in the late 1880s. An arduous all-day hiking trip failed to turn up any signs of such activity. A monument employee, however, stated that about 1976 the remains of two buildings were found at Cottonwood Springs. One corrugated-steel and tin shack contained a wood-burning stove and a set of bedsprings. No evidence of mining was seen in the immediate area, and no prospect sites are shown on the USGS Marble Canyon quad.

Illustration 220. Grave of John Lemoigne near Salt Springs road. Photo courtesy of G. William Fiero, UNLV, 1973.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
C. Cottonwood Mountains
1. Hunter Cabin a) History William Lyle Hunter, born in Virginia in 1842, came to the Death Valley region in the late 1860s. Marrying a girl from Virginia City, Nevada, Hunter subsequently settled down to a life as stockman, miner, and explorer. During the Cerro Gordo excitement he drove a large train of pack mules, realizing a considerable profit from this venture. Exploring widely in the surrounding region during these years, Hunter was among the first to penetrate the Ubehebe section (referred to then as part of the Rose Springs Mining District) in 1875, locating some valuable copper claims there. He and his compatriots are said to be responsible for changing the name of the area to "Ubehebe." In the lush green hills and forested area south of the Ubehebe District, where a variety of springs provide an abundance of water, Hunter grazed the mules and horses he raised and no doubt used in his pack trains. This green swath later became known as Hunter's Ranch Mountain, and was still being used many years later by his grandson Roy as pasture land for his cattle. Among other discoveries made by Hunter and his partner John Beveridge were those of the Belmont silver Mine east of Cerro Gordo and the Beveridge District in 1877. [1]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 221. Map of Hunter Mountain.

In 1897 Hunter and Reuben Spear, with whom he worked the Ulida Mine, were still performing development work "on old claims at 'Hunter's ranch.'" [2] The property was at this time crossed by an early mining trail leading east from Keeler to the Ubehebe region. Traversing the Inyo Range south of Cerro Gordo, it crossed the head of Panamint Valley "and finally ascends a superbly wooded and amply watered upland for many years known as Hunter's Ranch." [3] From the area of today's Lee Pump trails led to Saline Valley to the north, to the Lee Flat Mining District to the southwest, and on to Furnace Creek to the southeast via Cottonwood Canyon. Another reference to what is believed to be this area mentions the "several good camping grounds around the nut-laden trees and bunch grass of Hunter's Ranch." [4] By 1900 Hunter and his family were living at George's Creek south of Independence, where he died in 1902 at the relatively young age of 59. In 1907 water from Hunter Ranch Creek 1/2 mile above Hunter Ranch was filed on for use by the Ulida Copper Company, which intended to pipe the water to its Ubehebe mine. Another location was filed five days later requesting 100 miner's inches on Hunter Ranch Creek 1-1/2 miles above "Indian Garden," the water to be piped to the Ulida Copper Company property for mining purposes. [5] Three early survey maps were found, two of which show an irregularly-shaped plot of ground labelled "Hunter Ranch." The earliest map, dated 1924, presents a confusing array of buildings. It shows, for instance, a "Hunter Ranch" plot, complete with house, nearby Indian camp, and an extensive reservoir system, located between a ranch to the east (probably Steininger's) and another site referred to as "Scott's Old Ranch." The accuracy of this survey is extremely doubtful. Actually what is designated as "Hunter Ranch" on this map seems to refer to what is the Lower Grapevine complex today, with the "Scott's Old Ranch" site located about where the present swimming pond is (see Illus. 222). The township lines shown support this assumption. A 1927 survey again shows a Hunter Ranch in the vicinity of an "Indian Gardens" as mentioned in the water location notices filed by the Ulida Copper Company in the early 1900s. Otherwise, the same features are noted as in 1924: a house, an Indian camp site, and the reservoir. No corral complex is shown. On the same plat is the layout of the old Steininger place. The plot referred to on the earlier map as Scotty's old ranch appears on this survey but is unnamed, suggesting that an attempt was made to correct the earlier survey (see Illustration 223). [6] Some puzzling questions remain, however. Julian Steward, in his study on the Indian populations of the Great Basin/Plateau area does not mention the Hunter Mountain region as being home to any particular group of Death Valley Indians, although the presence of "Indian Gardens" might indicate that some occasionally occupied the lush area to avail themselves of the pinyon nuts and cooler air (see Illustration 223). An Indian camp did exist near Death Valley Ranch during construction of the castle, however, to house the Indian laborers. As late as 1955 Hunter's Ranch was sporadically utilized as a cattle ranch. [7] b) Present Status Hunter Cabin is located on Hunter Mountain on the west side of Death Valley immediately inside the National Monument boundaries and about 3/4 mile south of the Hidden Valley road that passes via Jackass Canyon to California State Highway 190. Although not inspected by this writer, the site was visited by the LCS crew in December 1975. Development at the site consisted of a one-room log cabin constructed of pinyon pine and measuring approximately twelve by twenty feet, a spring twenty yards uphill that had been opened up into a watering trough, and a primitive corral about one hundred yards northeast of the cabin. Visitors obviously have used the area in the past as a campground.
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

c) Evaluation and Recommendations Either a "Hunters" or a "Hunters Ranch" is located on the "Itinerary of Scout made by Co. D, 12th U.S. Infantry, Commenced April 30th and ending May 25th 1875," the "Itinerary of Scouts made by Co. "D," 12th U.S. Infanty [sic] during May, June, July and August 1875," and "Route marched by Co. I, First Cavalry, Commanded by Capt. C. C. C. Carr, First Cav. from June 8th to June 25th [1875]." [8] According to Levy, however, the present Hunter Cabin was built by a "packer" named John in 1910, using materials salvaged from an earlier cabin at Lee Pump. [9] That place, however, is west of Jackass Spring, while the ranch site shown on the military reconnaissance maps is definitely east of this waterhole, implying that some sort of ranch layout existed at this precise location as early as 1875. The ranch area as far as can be ascertained was primarily used for grazing of the mules and horses that Hunter used in his pack trains or supplied to the army. [10] It is doubtful that it was ever occupied for any extended period of time, but was instead used mostly as a line camp.

Illustration 222. Map dated 1924 showing "Hunter Ranch." From history files, DSC.

Illustration 223. Map dated 1927 showing "Hunter Ranch." From history files, DSC.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 224. William Lyle Hunter cabin located just inside monument boundary northeast of Hunter Mountain. Later lived in by Bev Hunter. Photo by Wm. C. Bullard and Dan Farrell, 1959, courtesy of DEVA NM.

Illustration 225. Corral complex at ranch, 1959. Photo by Wm. C. Bullard and Dan Farrell, courtesy of DEVA NM.

The Hunter Ranch complex is of more than passing interest for several reasons: first, because it was built by W. L. Hunter, father of one of Inyo County's foremost pioneer families and a founder of the Ubehebe Mining District; secondly, because of its location along an early historic military route from Camp Independence to Nevada, which later became a heavilytraveled trail into the mining areas of northern Death Valley, and because of its reputed status as a supplier of horses to the army troops; and thirdly, because of its interesting construction
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

of pinyon pine logs. Because insufficient data exists to properly evaluate the ranch's role in Death Valley history or to justify placement of it on the National Register, it is recommended that it be accorded treatment of benign neglect. Camping in the area should be discouraged in order to lessen the dangers of fire and vandalism. Hunter Ranch is one of only two small early homestead or ranching cabins viewed by this writer during survey trips to Death Valley, the other being the Nevares Cabin near Cow Creek. The Hunter cabin appears more rustic than the other, being built of pinyon pine logs squared on three sides to ensure a tight fit. Some of these have been spliced together because they were not long enough to extend the entire wall length. The cabin rests on a stone foundation on the downhill slope and directly on the ground on the other three sides. Other features of construction include: a one-by-two plank floor, square-cut corner log joints, rag chinking, a corrugated-iron roof resting on a pole frame, and a board-and-batten gable. Although somewhat protected by its location in a thick pine forest, a few conditions are leading toward the cabin's ultimate demise: decaying logs, an unstable floor, a loose roof, insect infestation, and water seepage from the nearby spring.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
C. Cottonwood Mountains (continued)
2. Ubehebe Mining District a) Copper Veins Attract Attention Located in one of the most remote and beautiful corners of the monument, the initial claims of this area were first discovered in the summer of 1875 by W. I. and J. B. Hunter, Thomas McDonough, and J. L. Porter. The Ubehebe mineral district, about thirty-five miles northeast of Keeler, includes an area about eighteen miles long by thirteen miles wide, bounded on the west by Saline Valley, on the south by spurs of the Nelson Range extending east to Hunter Mountain, on the east by the Cottonwood Mountains, and on the north by the southern end of the Last Chance Range. Two smaller mountain systems span the area north to south, the Ubehebe Range on the west being separated from the Dutton Range on the east by a two-mile wide valley containing the dryed-up lake bed known as the Racetrack. The exact derivation of the name "Ubehebe" is unknown, although it is thought to. be Shoshonean, meaning "big basket." It has been variously translated as "basket in the rock" or "basket in the sand." [11]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 226. Map of Ubehebe Mining District.

The principal find of the 1875 explorations in the area was an enormous eighty-foot-wide ledge of copper, referred to as the Piute Lode and showing ore assaying 15% to 67%. Immediately after its discovery on 2 July, Porter began experiments to determine the best method of ore reduction, ultimately concluding that it could be smelted profitably right on the grounds. [12] The famous Cerro Gordo Mine near Keeler was in a very prosperous condition at this time, and probably encouraged by its success and the general air of prosperity in the area, M. W. Belshaw, operator of a smelter at Keeler, purchased at least a portion of Hunter and Porter's Ubehebe properties that year and proposed erection of a smelting furnace on the edge of Saline Valley before early spring. This goal was never achieved. [13] For many years thereafter little work was performed on the large and promising copper veins of the Ubehebe district, the problems characterizing all desert mining--lack of water and wood near the deposits, their isolation from rail centers and supply points, the difficulties of constructing and maintaining adequate roads through a hostile environment, the uneconomical methods of ore removal and transport--being present here in abundance. Reportedly the famous New York artist Albert Bierstadt became interested in the Ubehebe mines around 1886 and spent several days examining them. Although he made definite plans to purchase some property, for unknown reasons the deal was never consummated. Perhaps he too realized the many factors still militating against the success of mining ventures in the region. [14] Not until the late 1890s did activity surface again. In 1897 a W. J. Ryan of Denver, representing Mr. N. O. Moore, one of the country's leading mining experts, bonded the copper mines of A. F. Mairs and J. F. Welsh for $15,000, with the promise that active development would commence immediately. True to his word, by early March Ryan had departed for the mine with a load of provisions and supplies to sustain the eight-man crew he intended to set to work on a large vein that showed promising amounts of gold as well as of high-grade copper. [15] Undeterred by the area's remoteness, Moore was overly and prematurely optimistic in his assurances that a railroad would penetrate the area if the copper deposits proved as extensive as they appeared. The first serious mention of a railroad connection again concerned the Randsburg Railway, which at this time stretched from Kramer station on the Santa Fe and Pacific only as far north as Johannesburg. If the line was extended to Keeler via Ballarat, it had been suggested, it could service also the Wildrose and Lemoigne Mine areas. A thirty-mile wagon road constructed from the Cottonwood Mountains south to some agreed-upon point on the line would then open up the Ubehebe copper region and provide the necessary incentive for developing these mines whose ores were carrying from 20% to 60% copper and from $6 to $32 per ton in gold. 16] In addition to this suggestion for a possible railroad connection to the Ubehebe, a proposal was made two years later that residents of the Owens Valley region unite in construction of a road across the Inyo Mountains to the borax, copper, and gold deposits of " the Saline Valley and Ubehebe regions. Another possibility mentioned in 1899 was that the Carson and Colorado Railway would eventually be extended into the Panamint Valley and tap the Ubehebe region along 'the way. Despite the prevailing lack of transportation facilities, however, development was proceeding in the 1890s on the one big copper mine in the Ubehebe, whose workings already included a seventy-five-foot tunnel and a thirty-sevenfoot-deep, shaft with crosscut. Water had to be piped in from a nearby spring and the ore transported to the railroad over a rough wagon road, probably west through Saline Valley. [17] b) Boston Capitalists Become Interested

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Around the late 1890s and early 1900s many Boston capitalists became interested in the copper mines of the Ubehebe region and the adjacent Saline Valley, probably as a result of the record price for copper (19-1/4¢/lb.) reached in 1899. In that year a representative of certain Salt Lake City parties, after a detailed preliminary examination of the Ubehebe area, reported to his employers that the copper deposits in the Saline Valley region--primarily the Ubehebe, Sanger Group, and Hunter and Spear properties--appeared to be of sizable value. One of these capitalists, a Mr. Scheu, came to the area to inspect the property firsthand and took options on a great number of locations in the district. Subsequently all parties from whom options had been acquired were summoned to meet with Scheu and an S. H. Mackay and transfer the subject properties. The syndicate purchasing them was reportedly capitalized for $75 million, and intended to hire miners and begin development at once to determine the depth and extent of the ore bodies. A railroad connection was deemed essential for the success of. the venture. A 1,000-ton-per-day-capacity reduction plant was even anticipated if water could be found; otherwise the ore would be shipped to smelters. An initial sum of $5,000 was paid toward purchase of the Sanger Group, with other transactions to follow. The ultimate outcome of the whole venture, however, was that Scheu and Mackay embezzled some of the money due the Eastern backers, disgusting the Boston group to such a degree that they washed their hands of the whole enterprise. [18] In 1901 George McConnell and his associates bonded a group of mining claims at Ubehebe to a Boston syndicate for $125,000. About a half dozen groups of claims here, in fact, were under bond, for amounts varying from $25,000 to $50,000, when a financial panic of sorts enveloped the Boston commodities market, and the deals were never concluded. Copper prices reached rock bottom in 1902, when only 11¢/lb. was offered. Due largely to this copper slump, in that year the approximately eighty copper, gold, and silver claims in the Ubehebe, located within a radius of about six miles of each other, were only touched by assessment work, though results were still encouraging. [19] A description of the Ubehebe area in 1903 again mentions its inaccessibility, despite which regular assessment work on all the main ledges and deposits had been regularly performed for the past several years. One pleasing aspect of mining in the district was that the mountainous terrain permitted mining by drift tunnels rather than shafts and hoisting methods, which was much more economical and a great deal less time consuming. The mineral-bearing zone was reached by only one wagon road, stretching from the Inyo Mountain Range across Saline Valley, its primary drawback being the extreme heat encountered along its course during the summer months. Properties in the north end of Ubehebe were at this time producing ore assaying $12 to $18 in gold, carrying some silver, and ranging from 5% to 20% in copper. Ore in the middle sections carried 4% or 80 lbs. pure metal to the ton, while the southern section was mostly idle. Railroad access was still necessary for realization of the region's full potential, and it was remarked at this time that if the Los Angeles, Daggett and Salt Lake Railroad was constructed, a forty- or forty-five-mile spur could open up the whole Ubehebe to the world market. As had been stressed often before during discussions of possible routes into the area, the best way to spark the interest of Eastern mining capitalists was to be able to offer better ingress and egress routes than the rough trails currently in use. [20] c) Rising Copper Prices Benefit Ubehebe Starting about 1904 the price of copper and of shares of copper-producing companies began a slow but steady rise. By 1905 the Ubehebe copper district was industriously active, and several properties were producing: the Spear brothers and W. L. Hunter had made three ore shipments returning 26.24% copper, $8 in gold, and 3 ozs. of silver per ton from their Ulida property; R. G. Paddock and H.L. Wrinkle of Keeler were beginning development of thirty claims; and S. H. Reynolds owned a group of claims from which he was procuring a more than satisfactory showing. A new record price for copper of 19-3/4¢/lb. was reached in 1906,

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and future prospects appeared bright indeed. Several factors were responsible for this dramatic change in the market: an increase in the amount of copper needed for electrical conduction purposes, the escalation in the building of trolley lines, the electrification of steam railroads, and the pressing need for copper in China and throughout the Far East for recoinage use after the Russo-Japanese War. Finally consumption had overtaken production and created a strong demand both here and abroad for immediate delivery: At the price copper is selling at the present time, it is no wonder that the mammoth copper properties of Saline valley and the Ubehebe districts are claiming the attention of mining men from all parts of America. These properties are reported as carrying a very high percentage in copper, and the only reason and drawback that keeps them from ranking as the foremost- copper properties of America, is their isolated position, lack of water, and being owned by people who have not sufficient means to enable them to build plants and furnish cheap transportation facilities. Men of capital are sending their agents here to investigate, and in every instance they seem to be much impressed by the magnitude and high values of the properties. If copper continues to hold to nearly the high figure it has attained, we feel confident that in the near future, the mines will be in charge of people who have ample means to bring the product of these properties in touch with the market. [21] One of the large mining transactions that took place at this time was the sale of the Sanger and Mairs copper-silver-gold properties to a New York businessman for a reported $200,000. Coincidental with the impetus to copper mining provided by the advance in prices was the rising enthusiasm for the metal among the desert community, and on the East Coast especially, generated by the discovery of rich lodes such as those at Greenwater that created a new town practically overnight. Some of that bonanza camp's most prominent backers, such as John Salsberry from Tonopah, Jack Gunn of Independence, and Arthur Kunze also sent prospectors into the Ubehebe area. [22] Almost instantaneously Ubehebe mining properties began to move. McConnell and associates again bonded some copper properties to a Salt Lake City firm; A. F. Mairs received a payment for his property adjacent to Saline Valley and also bonded seven claims to Goldfield people; a Salt Lake group was employing eight men on the Ulida Mine; a Mr. Whittier and associates discovered and filed on the Rio Pinto Group or Lost Spanish gold and silver mine north of Hunter's Ranch; the Guggenheim Smelter Company of the American Smelter Trust Company purchased forty of W. A. Sanger's claims, intending to erect a smelter twenty miles away in Deep Springs Valley; Goldfield people took a $100,000 option on a group of claims owned by John Miller, one of the pioneer locators in the area; and Senator Nixon and George Wingfield even acquired an interest in some area copper claims for $70,000. Except for six treacherous miles, a decent road now existed from Montana Station via Steininger's Ranch (later Scotty's Ranch near Grapevine Canyon), providing access to the region from Rhyolite and Greenwater. [23]

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Illustration 227. Advertisement for Lost Spanish Mine, Ubehebe Mining District. From Bullfrog Miner, 24 May 1907.

d) Townsites are Discussed and a Mining District Formed The spring of 1907 saw the systematic continuance of development in the Ubehebe area. Although as many as two townsites had been proposed, so far the only population centers were the small camps and groups of prospectors scattered here and there one-quarter to four miles apart from each other. Jack Salsberry, in the meantime, had bought Sanger's group of claims and was in the throes of trying to create a decent auto road from Montana Station to the site he had chosen for a town directly northwest of the Racetrack playa near the entrance to his mine property. This action probably contributed more than any other single factor to the influx of influential people into the area, not only from the neighboring towns of Salt Lake City and Rhyolite and Goldfield, but eventually from as far away as Boston and Philadelphia. Suddenly the desirable mining locations in the Ubehebe were accessible to all. "Mr. Lockhard says that you would almost think, from the people that are met in Ubehebe, that you were in the Bullfrog district," remarked one newspaper article. [24] The sixty-twomile trail from Rhyolite was well traveled, and several large teams constantly moved over Salsberry's road to Bonnie Claire. A corps of surveyors from the Tonopah and Goldfield Railroad were busy determining the most feasible route to the area, and four engineering outfits were already in the region surveying properties. Two townsites, Ubehebe and Saline (Salina) City, were reportedly being platted eight miles apart to house the population of fifty or so miners. Already a warehouse and corral had been erected at the latter site, and water would be piped in as soon as possible. The desire of the people in the area to form their own mining region separate from the Big Pine District was voiced in the spring at a meeting held in the Saline Valley salt works that culminated in formation of the Ubehebe Mining District. [25] Boundaries of the district, whose recorder's office was established at Saline City, were delineated thusly: Commencing at Waucoba Peak, thence southerly along the summit of the Inyo
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range past Cerro Gordo Peak to Hunter Ranch trail, thence along Cottonwood creek to Lost Valley, thence northerly along the trail to Surveyors' Wells, thence northeasterly along Death Valley dry wash to northeast corner township 10 south, range 41 east, thence westerly on north line township 10 to Waucoba Peak. [26] e) Ubehebe Copper Mines and Smelter Company Determines to Construct Railroad into Area Several large properties were now operating in the Ubehebe: the Meyers; the Los Angeles Group; the Spears Group and Ulida; the Paddocks, Rooney, Wooden, and McConnell holdings; the Lakeview Group owned by Rhyolite people; the Joseph Cook (Crook) possessions, including the Wedding Stake; and the Valentine Group of fourteen claims. The newly-organized Ubehebe Mining Company, capitalized at one million shares, had bought the six Rio Pinto (Lost Spanish Mine) claims about ten miles from the new Saline City, plus the water right to Hunter's Springs. [27] The Sanger and Mairs properties, options on which were held by the Fitting Company, were some of the most notable claims in the district. Water was available several miles from the mines and was hauled in by wagon at $1 per barrel. The largest and best-known mine in the Ubehebe area, as well as the most highly developed, was Jack Salsberry's property, operated by his newly-formed Ubehebe Copper Mines and Smelter Company, which opened offices in Baltimore to promote company stock in the large Eastern commercial centers. The mine was actively supported by a variety of Eastern capitalists who made several inspection tours to the area over Salsberry's recently completed road to Bonnie Claire. After one such jaunt the following comment was noted: To many readers, Ubehebe is an unheard of camp, yet it is like many other sections in the state that are wonderfully rich in minerals but have not been brought especially to the attention of the people simply from the fact that those owning the properties are not looking for notoriety or endeavoring to boom their district. They are there to develop and mine their properties and secure substantial results to those interested in common with them and not for the purpose of advertising. [28] Encouraged by the optimism and generosity of their supporters, Salsberry and Ray T. Baker, the two principals in the new company, conceived a plan of constructing a railroad to their mine from Bonnie Claire and of erecting a smelter there to reduce the ore before shipment. Persuading the prestigious banking and brokerage firm of Peard, Hill & Company of Baltimore, Maryland, to underwrite the bond issue for the project, work on a permanent survey of the proposed route was started with Salsberry receiving assurances that all bonds would be placed before 15 November and grading commenced shortly thereafter. The bonds were to be sold largely in Europe. It was planned that the forty-eight-mile-long standardgauge track would head down Grapevine Canyon past the present site of Scotty's Castle, wind around Ubehebe Crater, and eventually reach Salsberry's mine near the 'northwest corner of the Ubehebe valley. The one million dollars worth of railroad bonds would be floated as a separate company to comply with the law, but in reality would belong to the Ubehebe Copper Mines and Smelter Company, thus greatly increasing its assets. The railroad would also haul ore for other mines in the area and thus hopefully soon become a regular dividend payer. Cost of the project was estimated at $800,000. In anticipation of the line's arrival, a well had already been sunk on Salsberry's new townsite to a depth of 155 feet, and as soon as water was reached, the site would be platted and the selling of lots would commence. [29] Suggestions for opening up the area in another manner and from another direction included a proposed change in the Keeler-Skidoo wagon road route, bringing it through the Panamints

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further north at Townsend Pass and thus closer to northern mining properties. By fall 1907 the Kimball Bros.' Bullfrog Stage & Transfer Company started a regular weekly service to Ubehebe City, running the twenty-two miles to Grapevine the first day and the next forty miles on the second day. Corrals and buildings for the stage company were in process of erection at Bonnie Claire and Ubehebe, and stations were being established along the route. The stage leaving Ubehebe on Wednesday would arrive at Bonnie Claire in time to meet the Clark trains from Bullfrog and Goldfield. Four horses were to be used on the road, whose condition was described as "very bad." [30] Two survey crews were busy preparing townsite maps. Twenty tents were already on the ground, as were two saloons and a grocery store. Application for a post office was forwarded to Washington. Having failed in the well project, plans were being made to pipe water in from nearby springs. [31] Meanwhile Salsberry was sinking wells at various points along the Ubehebe wagon road for use by the big freight teams passing back and forth between Bonnie Claire and Ubehebe. He was also. buying coal lands in southern Utah and taking options on others to provide coke for the smelter he proposed. to erect near his Ubehebe Mine. [32] f) Work Continues Despite Panic of 1907 The influx of Eastern and European visitors and investors to the area continued over the next several months, despite the hard times and depression leading up to the Panic of 1907. Although copper mining was still very strong in spite of the slump, a prophetic opinion was voiced at this time by a certain veteran desert prospector, Jim Titus, who ventured the observation that It is the prevailing opinion that the predominant metal in the district is copper, and while some fine copper ore has been discovered on the surface, I think it will be found with deeper exploration, that gold, silver and lead will be the leading values. [33] Properties in the area were being worked despite the tight money situation, with a force of about twenty-five men hoping to hold on until the financial situation across the country eased. In November Salsberry was reportedly working seventeen men on his company's claims, and expected to increase the force upon the arrival of new machinery. Several other companies in the area also were employing good-sized forces on annual assessment work. The townsite, meanwhile, was undergoing a construction spurt; water was being hauled in barrels from springs six miles away. Salsberry and some Rhyolite associates were also operating the Ubehebe Lead Mining Company, Ubehebe Sunset Copper Company, and the Ubehebe Contact Company, comprising a total of forty claims in the district. An Inyo Copper Company also existed. [34]

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Illustration 228. Ubehebe Mining District, 1908.

The bubbling optimism centering around the proposed Bonnie Claire & Ubehebe Railroad continued, although initial construction was still in abeyance until all bonds were sold. Despite the money-market depression that had delayed the start of development, it was promised that the route would be in operation before mid-summer of 1908. Arrangements were still reportedly being made to erect a fine hotel and several residences and business houses at the terminus of the line at Saline City. Salsberry never saw fulfillment of his dream, however, for the closing of banks and consequent termination of a ready money supply scuttled the project entirely. Although a camp of Saline evidently did exist for a short while, it never became the prosperous railhead and mining center envisioned by its founder. g) Mining in Ubehebe Hampered by Isolation and Transportation Problems A 1908 report on California's copper resources lists several claims as still active in the area (note that the western boundary of the Ubehebe Mining District was somewhat nebulous, extending west across the Saline Valley toward the east slope of the Inyo Mountains): Valentine Group--fourteen claims halfway between Keeler and Ubehebe. Owned by I. Anthony and D. Pobst of Lone Pine. Navajo Chief Claim--one-quarter mile south of Dodd (Dodd's) Spring. Owned by W. T. Grant of Olancha and George McConnell of Independence. Eureka Claim--One-eighth of a mile south of Dodd Spring. Contained 80-foot shaft and 100 feet of drifts. Owned by Jacob Stininger [ sic] of Tule Canyon. Originally discovered in 1880s. Trail Claim--at Dodd's Springs. Owned by W. T. Grant and George McConnell. Dodd's Springs Claim--on same ledge as Trail Claim. Owned by Grant and McConnell. Ulida Group--eight prospects in Dutton Range. Owned by Spear Bros. and William L. Hunter of Lone Pine. Adjoined by Keeler, Olancha, and Spear claims on northeast. Copper Knife--one-quarter mile east of Racetrack. Owned by Grant and McConnell. Anton & Pobst Claims--five claims sixteen miles east of Keeler, with twenty-foot tunnel. Owned by John Anton and David Pobst of Lone Pine. Silver Hill--seven miles east of Independence. Owned by J. C. Roeper of Independence. Green Monster--continuation of Silver Hill prospect, with 300-foot tunnel and two crosscuts. Owned by D. C. Riddell of Gilroy, Ca. Copper Tail--adjoined Green Monster. Owned by Roeper. Copper Point--one mile northeast of Green Monster. Owned by Max Fausel. Inyo Copper Mines and Smelter Co.--owner of nineteen claims at southern extremity of Ubehebe Mountain. Camp was on old Ubehebe trail and workings one-half mile east of Bonanza property. Claims on which the most work had been pushed so far were the Excelsior, Fairbury, Fairbanks No. 4, Ormonde, Ormonde No. 2, Kenilworth No. 1, Kenilworth No. 2, Pluton and Ajax (Alta). R. G. Paddock of Keeler was managing the work.
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(Evidently this company's development did not ultimately amount to much.) At the northern end of Ubehebe Mountain were the older claims on which work had just recently resumed. The Sanger Group controlled by John Salsberry, consisted of the Tip Top; Star, at the base of Ubehebe Mountain; Copper King one mile west of the Star and owned by W. A. Sanger of Big Pine; Prince Group four claims also owned by Sanger & Son; Bluejay, on the east side of Saline Valley and owned by A. Mairs of Independence (its only recorded production was in 1915 when Mairs shipped copper and silver ore); Red Bird owned by F. A. Mears of Big Pine; and the Good Luck Group owned by R. Lockhardt & Penrod of Rhyolite. In the southern part of the Ubehebe Mountains were the Wedding Stake and Red Bear claims, owned by J. H. Crook and Sam Baysdon of Keeler. Other properties in the region were the Roberts & Derat and Woodin & McConnell claims the Lake View Group of eight claims one-half mile from the Lost Burro and under the same ownership, carrying gold and copper and located on the east slope of Tin Mountain, owned by W. D. Blackman of Rhyolite and associates; and the Scott Group of twelve claims near Dodd Spring, carrying gold, silver, lead, and copper, and owned by W. Scott and Mr. Titus. [35] Despite the fact that improved machinery was facilitating mining operations in the early 1900s and that the high prices being paid for copper enabled the expenditure of more money in the search for it, the miners of the Ubehebe region were still hampered by several deficiencies: no ready water supply existed near many of the mines, which had to obtain water either from Dodds or Grapevine springs or from a new well on Tin Mountain; access was still difficult, the auto road to Bonnie Claire being the only decent route other than a thirty-five-mile trail to Keeler and Darwin and a long, hot wagon route from Alvord; and no smelter had yet been built in the area. As a consequence, tons of ore had to be stockpiled on the dumps to await cheaper transportation, the wagon haul making mining of any but the best-grade ore highly impracticable. Despite the problems, extensive development continued through the winter of 1907, into early 1908, with the Watterson-Smith lead and silver mine, considered the biggest undeveloped property of its kind in California, promising so well that two loads of provisions were hauled in to support a complete summer campaign. Another Ubehebe Mining Company was incorporated in Bishop, California, with W.W. Patterson. Other properties that might have been included in the Sanger Group were the later Copper Queen No. 1, one-half mile north-northwest of Ubehebe Peak, the Copper Queen and Copper Queen No. 2, and the Bonanza (I-lessen Clipper) filed on by George Lippincott, Jr., in 1951 and located on the road between Racetrack Valley and Saline Valley about 2 miles from its junction with the road to the Lippincott Mine. According to McAllister the old Ubehebe pack-train trail from Owens Valley crossed the Bonanza property before intersecting the Racetrack Valley road to Bonnie Claire. Special Report 42, pp. 47-48. This report should definitely be studied for detailed information on other mines in the Ubehebe area (Watterson? ) of Bishop as a principal in this company that owned 5 claims in the Ubehebe area. [36] Plans were still being formulated for a railroad connection with the area, the fact that none ever succeeded certainly not being due to a lack of effort on anyone's part. By the fall of 1908 the vast reduction works at Ely, Nevada, were in need of large quantities of lead ores for fluxing purposes, and it was suggested that this problem could be solved by projecting an Ely & Goldfield Railroad, financed by F. M. "Borax" Smith, C. B. Zabriskie, and others, to Goldfield and then southwest down the valley between the Magruder and Slate ranges, swinging around Tin Mountain and passing down its west slope into the Ubehebe region. Another plan four months later to open up the immense bodies of low-grade rock that could not be profitably shipped by wagon was to outline a route from Cuprite, north of Death Valley, through Lida to Silverpeak, with an extension of the line running into Ubehebe. [37]

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None of these tentative propositions ever bore fruit, however, and the declining price of copper and lack of investment capital in the first decade of the twentieth century, in addition to the need for improved transportation facilities, precluded any extensive, largescale development work in the area, although a large number of promising prospects were being systematically checked. Arlie Mairs, operator, of the Blue Jay copper claims only twelve miles from the loading terminus of the thirteen-mile-long Saline Valley salt tramway, was solving his transportation problems by 1914 by shipping his ore via that contrivance. W. W. Watterson and Archie Farrington, operating the Ubehebe Mine, approached the problem from a different angle. Realizing that the transportation of ore by animal power would never be economically profitable, they decided to employ a ball-tread auto tractor provided by the Yuba Construction Company of Marysville for four trial trips at company expense. The distillate-burning engine would haul ore wagons loaded as trailers over the fifty miles to the Tonopah & Tidewater station at Bonnie Claire in a four-day round trip. Such a tractor was envisioned as being more economical than trucks for hauling large amounts of ore because the latter required a separate truck and driver for each load and because often unloading over bad stretches or unusually high grades was necessary. The tractor, on the other hand, could haul loaded wagons over these difficult stretches one at a time with no unloading. It carried no load on its own wheels except the engine and a driver, making the Caterpillar-type machine so lightweight that it could be turned in a narrow road at sharper angles than trucks, which were often too top-heavy and unsafe on narrow roads with hard grades. [38] h) Variety of Metals and Nonmetals Contribute to Ubehebe's Production Record By 1916 several silver claims in the vicinity were still being worked, but tungsten strikes were also being made, having been first discovered on the dumps of old copper prospects. Most of these were located south of the Racetrack in the area of Dodd and Goldbelt springs. Because of low prices for this commodity around 1920, the tungsten mines were shut down,. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s the Ubehebe Mine was one of the most active mining operations, with part of it, the Butte Claim, being a principal lead producer in 1930. [39] Recent copper activity in the region has occurred only at the Sally Ann Mine near the playa, but no production resulted. The principal metallic deposits in the area are the lead-silver-zinc properties stretching from the Ubehebe Mine in the northern section to the Shirley Ann Mine near Big Dodd Spring. Nonmetallic occurrences include, besides asbestos, four talc lodes (Homestake, Quackenbush, Keeler, and Ubehebe) whose reserves are thought to be substantial but whose productivity is limited by their remoteness. Miners and prospectors were first attracted to the Ubehebe area in the late 1800s by the presence of copper ore, but it soon became evident that the isolation of the deposits made them almost impossible to work profitably. Exact figures on early production of the metal are difficult to determine because of the scanty and nebulous descriptions of these first properties. Many small mines probably kept no systematic records because they maintained no steady production. Because the only road adequate for shipping ore from the Ubehebe led to the railroad at Bonnie Claire, Nevada, most material went there, where it was often combined with Nevada ores, a practice tending to cloud the Ubehebe's actual production record. Also hampering the determination of productivity from each site was the tendency of early shippers to neglect to state the individual sources of the ore they moved. The first actual recorded production from the area was from the Ubehebe Mine, which shipped 491 ozs. of silver in 1908. From that year up to 1951 the metallic content of 4,788 tons of ore mined from the Ubehebe Peak area could be broken down as follows: 332 ozs. gold; 44,729 ozs. silver; 120,180 lbs. copper; 2,657,559 lbs. lead; 164,959 lbs. zinc. Annual lead production from the region has been less than 145,000 lbs. The annual copper production since 1930 has

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

been under 1,000 lbs., while silver production usually did not exceed 3,700 ozs. a year. Gold has been recovered almost entirely from the Lost Burro Mine. The record for longest productivity in the area is held by the Ubehebe Mine, although it experienced a quiet period between 1931 and 1946, while the Lippincott Lead. Mine. has undergone the most continuous mining in recent years, from 1938 to 1952. [40] i) Other Ubehebe Properties The following is a list of a few other Ubehebe area properties not specifically mentioned earlier. This list is by no means a complete summary of all mining activity in the area: Red Bell Group--four claims owned by Charles del Bondio and associates in the vicinity of the Racetrack playa. Bullfrog Miner, 15 June 1907. B & B Group--gold and copper claims in the Goldbelt Spring section, owned by Len P. McGarry and Rhyolite associates. Bullfrog Miner, 14 September 1907. Big Gun Mine--near Racetrack, owned by George McConnell. Inyo Independent, 29 November 1907. Emerald Group--copper and lead claims near Wedding Stake, owned by J. P. Hughes. Bullfrog Miner, 1 February 1908. Randolph--four miles from Lost Burro Mine and adjoining Racetrack, owned by McConnell, Dr. Woodin, and W. Grant. Bullfrog Miner, 20 February 1909. Raven Mine--lead and silver property five miles north of Dodd Spring, owned by J. Crook and A. Farrington. Idle in 1926. Eakle et al., Mines and Mineral Resources p. 102; Journal of Mines and Geology 22 (October 1926):496. Alvord Group--tungsten claims five miles west of. Goldbelt Spring. Located by William Elliot and Ray and Ross Spear of Lone Pine in 1916. No production and little development. Eakle et al., Mines and Mineral Resources p. 127; Journal of Mines and Geology 37 (April 1941):310. Monarch Mine--tungsten claim between Dodd Spring and Goldbelt Spring, located in 1915 by Monarch Tungsten Co. of Denver. Eakle et al., Mines and Mineral Resources p. 127. Butte Group--six claims midway between the Racetrack and Dodd Spring. Assessment work only. Owned by R.C. Spear, E.L. Spear, and Hunter of Lone Pine. Eakle et al., Mines and Mineral Resources p. 67. Settle Up Group--five miles north of Dodd Spring, idle in 1926. Report 22 of the State Mineralogist 22 (October 1926). Sally Ann Mine--copper mine on west slope of range east of Racetrack playa. Five lode claims owned by James Arnold, Orval Huffman, and Sally Ann Smith of Compton, Ca. Worked late 1947 to mid-1948. Copper deposit, known in 1905 and as early as 1902 when referred to as Copper Knife Mine. Mine camp consisted of cabin and two tent frames at edge of playa. Journal of Mines and Geology 47 (January 1951):37; McAllister, Special Report 42, pp. 46-47. Blue Boy Group--six unpatented lode claims within 1/2 mile of east side of Racetrack on steep slope. Probably dates from around turn of century. Slight development. Walter Gould, "Mineral Report for the Blue Boy, Blue Boy #1, Blue Boy #2, Blue Boy No. 3, Copper King,

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and Homestake Lode Mining Claims in Death Valley National Monument, California, 13 June 1978," p. 1. Homestake--about one to two miles south of Racetrack on road to Lippinott Lead Mine. Located 1934. Staked for talc. Gould, "Mineral Report," pp. 1, 3. Tin Mountain and White Top Mountain--some copper prospecting activity was taking place on Tin Mtn. by 1908 on the property of John Miller, one of the early locators in the district. In the 1940s Huntley Industrial Mineral, Inc., owned asbestos property about three miles south of Tin Mountain in the general area of the prospects shown just northeast of Burro Spring on the Tin Mountain USGS quad. In the early 1960s roads had been bulldozed to several non-producing mines in the area worked by weekend prospectors. Anderson Minerals, Inc., at that time claimed placer locations in the Tin Mountain area and near Burro Spring and was intending to develop fluorspar. The Lawrence Asbestos and Fluorspar claims located on the north slope of White Top Mountain two miles northeast of Burro Spring have been explored by several lessees over the years, but have produced only a few hundred tons of asbestos and fluorspar. Much scarring in the area has resulted from dozer prospecting and road building. The property consisted of three fluorspar claims, thirty-two asbestos claims, and a millsite under, location by R.H. Lawrence of Mojave. In 1970s the lessees proposed to develop the fluorspar deposits and ship the ore to Barstow via truck. Today the area consists of bulldozed prospects and a miner's shack. Wright H. Huntley, pres., Huntley Industrial Minerals, Inc., to T.R. Goodwin, Supt., DEVA NM, 27 July 1949; District Ranger, Grapevine, to Chief Ranger and Supt., DEVA NM, 15 October 1963; Supt., DEVA NM, to Dir., WRO, 1 April 1971; LCS Survey by Henry Law and Bill Tweed, 3 December 1975.

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Illustration 229. Miner's cabin in White Top Mountain area. Photo courtesy of William Tweed, 1975.

Illustration 230. Tin Mountain mining area. Photo courtesy of G. William Fiero, UNLV, 1973.

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Ubehebe Peak--M.S.&W. Inc., of Bishop located Jarosite lode mining group of 111 claims on west slope of peak in late 1960s or early 1970s. Samples taken reportedly showed high copper and molybdenum values. It was intended to diamond drill the property. Supt., DEVA NM, to Dir., WRO, 1 April 1971 j) Sites (1) Ulida Mine and Ulida Flat Site (a) History Whether or not the Ulida Mine, situated in the Dutton Range about three miles north of Hunter Mountain, is the site of W.L. Hunter's original discovery that opened up the Ubehebe area to mining has not been conclusively determined by this writer. McAllister maintains that it is, and places the mine's discovery date at 1875 or before. According to observations made by Lt. Rogers Birnie, Jr., during his 1875 survey of the Death Valley region, eight locations had been filed in the Ubehebe area by Hunter in that year, and whether by coincidence or not the Ulida Group did initially encompass eight prospects: the Ulida, Sorbia, Sardine, H.M. Stanley, Kabba Riga, Virginia, Maryland, and Hunter. A 1906 notice states that the Hunter & Spear Mines "were the first found [in the Ubehebe area] and are comparatively the best developed. A later 1907 article, however, stated the property had been located only twentyfive years earlier. [42] In partnership with the Spear brothers by 1902, Hunter had opened up the large outcroppings on the property, which also yielded gold and silver, by means of two 150-foot-long tunnels, one above the other, and had accomplished some minor stoping. Around 400 tons of ore were recovered, hand sorted, and packed on mules the seven or so miles to the Keeler wagon road over which they were hauled to town and then shipped to the smelter. The Spearses are reported to have shipped out sixty tons of ore returning gold and copper values of $600 a ton. [43] Upon Hunter's death in 1902, Reuben Cook Spear acquired the property. The mine evidently remained idle for the next four years or so, its remoteness making it unprofitable to work. Then a Salt Lake City group, composed of Samuel A. King, Alfred Mikesell, Raymond Ray, and a Mr. Dalton of New York, rediscovered it and procured an option on twenty-one claims. Ore with a high gold and silver showing as well as substantial copper values was developed. [44] Ray and Mikesell subsequently turned their option over to the firm of King (Judge William H.), Burton, and King (Samuel A.?), who in 1907 sold the mine for a cash consideration in the neighborhood of $45,000 to $55,000 plus a sizable amount of stock shares in the Ulida Copper Company, incorporated for $5,000,000 by New York and Salt Lake City capitalists. The mine assets now consisted of a seven-foot vein of ore averaging 14% copper and from $3 to $10 in gold. Much iron was present in the ore, making it ideal for smelting. [45] In April 1907 the Ulida was described as the "queen bee of the camp [Ubehebe}," [46] the property's development now being guided by the Ulida Copper Company, which immediately applied for 100 inches of water from Hunter Ranch Creek to be diverted to their property in the Ubehebe Mining District by gravity force. [47] In June development work at the mine was proceeding so satisfactorily that a sign was said to be hanging out on the property advertising "Forty Men Wanted." The adjoining Los Angeles Copper Group had also been incorporated into the company's holdings and was opened up at this time. [48] For the next few months a large force of men kept busy performing assessment work and it was intended to keep at least five men working in the tunnel all winter. At a distance of about

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250 feet in, a great strike in a blind lead was encountered, producing ore samples running 35% copper and $100 in gold. By March 1908 the strike on the Ulida ledge was reported as carrying values up to 60% copper, $14 in gold, and over 200 ozs. in silver to the ton. [49] Work was continuing to crosscut the vein and drift with it to the main contact. In the summer of 1908 one of the groups visiting the Ubehebe area over the new Bonnie Claire road was a party consisting of Robert Wood, a London mining expert for the Ulida Copper Company; J.N. Dalton of Boston, president of the company; Samuel A. King of Salt Lake City, a company director; and R. C. Spear of Lone Pine. The company had incurred some indebtedness that it was now paying off, and under the supervision of a new local manager the development work was expected to become more extensive in a short while. Over six thousand dollars had already been expended in the mine by the company, which was sure this would evolve into one of the West's great copper properties. [50] In 1912 Reuben Spear and his son Bev worked some outcroppings a few miles above the Ulida tunnel, hauling the ore by muleback the few miles to the wagon road to Keêler. In 1916 notice was printed of the discovery of tungsten by the Spear brothers on their Ubehebe copper property. Whether this refers to the Ulida Mine is not known. From here on, information on the property is scanty. P.E. Day and Cliff Palmer relocated the Ulida as the Morning Star Mine in 1935, and four years later W.G. Walker filed on it as the Walker Mine. From 1947 to 1949 Edna Horstmeier kept up assessment work on the claim. [51] (b) Present Status i) Ulida Flat Site A very faint set of tracks leads from the Hidden Valley road west across Ulida Flat to the range of hills bordering its western edge. Here, near the mouth of the narrow gulley leading up to the Ulida Mine, are low stone foundation walls built into the hillside. They support leveled platform areas on which tents were probably erected. Several tin cans and 1-1/2-inchdiameter metal rods litter the site, on which purple (light and dark) glass can be found. Also seen were dark brown bottle fragments and parts of a typical turn-of-the-century light-blue glass medicine bottle. ii) Ulida Mine The mine adits are located at the top of the gully directly above the Ulida Flat Site at an elevation of about 5,600 feet and are reached by a steep and rugged 1/2-mile burro trail. Tumbling down the ravine in the immediate vicinity of the mine are rusty tin cans of assorted sizes. The workings consist of a main adit entrance with nearby waste dump, and another caved-in adit with dump on the hillside immediately above. The main adit entrance is particularly striking because the rock face around the wooden entrance door is a vivid greenish-blue color, while the piles of ore stacked up near the entrance are of this same brilliant hue. In front of the door and north of the tram tracks is a shallow vertical shaft only about twenty feet deep. Assessment notices are bolted to the adit entrance door.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 231. Ulida Flat Site, to northwest. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 232. 00 Main adit entrance, Ulida Mine. Vertical shaft to right near posts. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 233. Larger of two stone smelters at Ulida Mine.

Immediately downhill from the mine are three stone items: furthest east are the ruins of what appears to be a large, elliptical-shaped oven or smelter, about nine feet in diameter and with remaining rock walls about 4-1/2 feet high. Forty feet west of this toward the mine and at the base of the main waste dump is another smaller structure of the same type, only about five feet in diameter. This also appears to be a smelter operation. Between these two structures is a stone forge 3 feet high and 3-1/2 feet long. A small burro shoe was found on one of its edges. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations i) Ulida Flat Site it is this writer's belief that the Ulida Flat tent site was probably inhabited by miners working the Ulida Mine and possibly others in the vicinity that adjoined the Ulida holdings. According to newspaper articles of the early 1900s several people were working in the area on the same lead, the Ulida vein being very clearly defined for a distance of at least three miles. The site appears to be large enough to hold about three tents. It will be incorporated into the Ulida Mine National Register nomination. ii) Ulida Mine The Ulida Mine, one of the oldest mines in the vicinity, was one of the early claims, if not the first, filed on by Hunter and one whose development, along with that of other properties in the district, eventually resulted in formation of the Ubehebe Mining District. For this reason and because of the presence of two early stone smelters on the site and an associated tent camp nearby, this property is considered eligible for inclusion on the National Register

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

as being of local significance. (2) Goldbelt (Gold Belt Spring and Mining District) (a) History First occupants of the Goldbelt Spring area were probably Saline Valley Panamint Indians, one seven-member family reportedly appropriating the site as a winter village despite its relatively high elevation. [52] The initial mineral discovery that precipitated a small rush to the neighborhood was that of free gold made by Shorty Harris in the closing months of 1904. Utilizing the same route followed into the Ubehebe region--via Willow Spring to Surveyor's Well and then up Cottonwood Canyon--eager prospectors staked the first locations on the northeast slope of Hunter Mountain. Access to the area could also be gained over a fortymile trail from Keeler via Lee Landing (Lee Pump), skirting Hunter's Ranch, and then heading northeast to the new camp. Harris, L.P. McGarry, E.G. Padgett (Pegot or Paggett), Joseph Simpson, and W.D. Frey were credited with the first strikes. Development of the area started immediately and culminated the following January in establishment of the Gold Belt Mining District, with A.V. Carpenter as recorder, and embracing the territory stretching from the Ubehebe District on the west eastward to the north arm of Death Valley and from Tin Mountain south to Cottonwood Canyon. Ledges averaging four feet in width and containing a high grade of free-milling ore in addition to copper stains were the source of this perceived wealth. Samples taken to town returned assays of $8 to $176 in gold, plus smaller silver values. The presence of fuel and water in abundance was considered extremely conducive to mining operations. One early location °was referred to as the Gold Nugget Group, assaying from $38 to $240 in gold, but neither this nor any of the other reported seventy claims in the district received any extensive development work at this time. Nonetheless plans for a townsite were already forging ahead. [53] In February 1905 it was stated that sufficient capital had been secured to thoroughly explore the district, this support probably having been obtained from the San Francisco parties who bonded the Goldbelt mines about that time. [54] No information has been found relative to the ultimate extent of the Gold Belt Mining District camp, nor has its exact location been determined. By 1905 the camp was described as abandoned, the only work in the area having been performed on thin veins and lenses. [55] Despite the obvious slackening of mining activity in the Goldbelt area, a few of the original locators stuck fast to their claims, confident that a great future yet lay ahead if the extreme hardships imposed by lack of transportation facilities and insufficient working capital could be overcome. Len P. McGarry, for one, 'general manager of the Bullfrog West Extension, continued assessment work on his claims, which were showing gold values of $10 to $150 and as high as 36% copper content, at least through 1910. [ 56] Only a scattering of notices for new claims in the vicinity exist for the next few years. Most information concerns the B & B Group, about ten miles south of Salsberrys camp, and owned by McGarry, some Rhyolite associates, and W.S. Ball, B.T. Godfrey, and H.W. Eichbaum. These men were also interested together in twenty-four other locations in the area, mostly situated about twelve miles southeast of Salsberry's headquarters. In 1907 the B & B contained a shaft and an approximately 200-foot-long crosscut tunnel intended to reach the main ledge, which showed assays from $6 to $622 at a depth of 18 feet. Another promising group was the Snowbound, carrying 12% copper values. [57] At the start of 1910 the B & B had been developed with a 280-foot tunnel and was still achieving high gold assays of $620. The Snowbound was also receiving annual assessment work, the two properties now owned by Annetta Rittenhouse of Los Angeles, H.W. Eichbaum of Venice, L.P. McGarry of Pioneer, and W.S. Ball of Rhyolite. [58]

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A revival of sorts hit the area around 1916 with the commencement of tungsten mining encouraged by its acceleration in price at the outbreak of World War I. Again it was Shorty Harris who first found the ore near Marble Canyon, about one mile southeast of Goldbelt Spring, shipping out a few hundred pounds worth about $1,500 in early March. Subsequent locations were centered in the region south of the Racetrack near Dodd and Goldbelt springs. Keeler was the closest shipping point, but though the route from Keeler to Lee Pump was now fit for auto traffic, only a trail still led from there to the mine locations. [59] In 1941 the Shorty Harris Tungsten Mine, composed of two claims three miles south of Goldbelt Spring and ten miles east of Dodd Spring, was owned by Bert Hunter of Olancha and E.G. Mason of Los Angeles. The only other data found on this gold and tungsten property concerns its purchase by William C. Thompson of San. Fernando, California, who also owned the Saddle Rock. Group near Skidoo and the Lost Burro Mine in the Ubehebe. New access roads had by now opened up the previously untapped property, and new machinery had been purchased for its immediate exploitation. [60] Either no production or only a very small amount resulted from these efforts in open cuts and a twenty-foot adit. From the 1940s through the 1960s various small talc and other mineral operations existed in the Goldbelt area, but they were only sporadically active. The closest talc property whose workers might have resided at the camp site near the spring is the Quackenbush, but it is also possible that operators of the Calmet #1 through #27 wollastonite claims, about one-half mile northwest of the spring and owned by U.S. Minerals, occupied some of the cabins. This latter operation was envisioned as eventually developing into an open pit operation. Its thirty -one unpatented claims were located from 1959 on, and the #1 to #23. claims were worked as late as 1976 by Joe Ostrenger of San Fernando. In the 1960s the Goldbelt Spring camp was under lease to Sierra Talc, a company involved in exploration and development of several old claims in the surrounding area. (According to Belden, Mines of Death Valley, p. 65, Goldbelt Spring was an active mining camp in the 1960s.) The mill site was later obtained by William B. Grantham who quitclaimed it to Victor Materials Company, the present claimant.

Illustration 234. Milk cow in garden of Goldbelt Spring community. 1959. Photo by Wm. C. Bullard and Dan Farrel, courtesy of DEVA NM.

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Illustration 235. View of Goldbelt Spring community, looking southwesterly. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 236. Loading or sorting structure, Calmet Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

(b) Present Status Goldbelt Spring is located about 4-1/2 airline miles northeast of Hunter Mountain at the head of Marble Canyon, the northern branch of Cottonwood Canyon. The presence of this valuable water source and its rather sheltered location made the site a natural spot for a small settlement. Today the ruins of what was once a moderately extensive mining community rest
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

in the gully running from the spring to Marble Canyon. From their architectural style (or lack thereof) and meager furnishings, the three extant houses appear to date from no earlier than the 1930s or 1940s and probably have been occupied by talc miners, although no record of who actually built them has been found. One structure has already collapsed and another one burned. A root cellar and privy are also on site. Up toward the spring, to the southwest, is a small complex of fencing and corrals and a metal water tank. The spring, surrounded by a grove of rose bushes, lies about JOO feet above the bottom of the wash and is currently being utilized by the National Park Service as a burro trap. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations No evidence of an early 1900s mining camp was found on the Goldbelt Spring site, the houses there now appearing to be of a later construction date. Because the 1905 Gold Belt Mining District saw little actual production or development, it is doubtful that permanent structures such as these were built at that time. The few talc camps existing within Death Valley National Monument will take on added importance as their numbers dwindle. Never constructed with long-term habitation in mind, their plywood walls and composition paper roofs fall easy victim to vandalism, fire, and natural weathering. The Ibex Hills talc mines in the southern part of the valley, in contrast to those in the Goldbelt area, possess greater production records, documented histories, and more physical remains of educational and interpretive value on site. For these reasons, the residential areas associated with them, such as the extensive one at Ibex Spring, are important also and should be accorded treatment of benign neglect. Despite a lack of detailed information on both the Gold Belt Mining District and the Goldbelt Spring mining camp, it is recommended by the writer that the latter merits preservation as a representative type-specimen of a talc camp, displaying sufficient integrity of location, setting, and materials to provide an accurate portrayal, of the types of structures and methods of construction typical of communities occupied by talc miners in the Death Valley region during the 1940s through the 1960s. Reconstruction attempts at the Goldbelt Spring site are not advisable for several reasons: 1. the history of the site as far as is known does not warrant such an expenditure of time and money; 2. no photographs have been found showing the community's original appearance; 3. adequate supervision could not be maintained over the restored area; and, 4. the site's remoteness and consequent low visitation rate do not justify the expenses involved. It is recommended by this writer that the Goldbelt Spring camp be preserved and efforts made periodically to arrest deterioration of the remaining structures. For those visitors who venture into this secluded corner of the monument, it is an eye-opening experience to suddenly discover this small community nestled in a lonely wash in the middle of such solitude. Under these conditions it is impossible not to attempt to visualize what life would have been like here and what sacrifices were made by those talc miners and their families who lived here in such isolation during comparatively modern times. (3) Ubehebe Mine (a) History The Ubehebe Lead Mine actually began operations as a copper property, but its activities
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were somewhat overshadowed in the early newspaper accounts of mining in the area by those on the immensely wealthy and highly publicized copper properties of Jack Salsberry that lay nearby. The Butte Nos. 6-10 and West Extension Butte No. 3 were actually located in late 1906 through 1908, while the nearby Copper Bell Claim Group was not officially recorded until the late 1920s and early 1940s. Initial accounts of the property did not begin to appear until around the fall of 1907 when it was mentioned that "Messrs. Smith and Watterson of the Inyo County bank [Bishop] have sent in supplies and are about to begin operations on an extensive scale. [61] In the course of pursuing annual assessment work on their claims, located one mile northwest of the new town of "Ubehebe," one of the owners picked up quite by chance a large rock sample that proved to be galena; further investigation- uncovered a four-foot solid ledge of this ore. Immediately the efforts of the eight men employed on the property were divided, four being put to work on the copper veins and four on development of the new galena ledge. During the assessment work, forty tons of lead ore were removed, running about $60 in silver per ton, a strike momentarily topping Salsberry's mineral showings. [62] The Watterson stope was the first of five ore bodies opened up on the property, sometime after 1906, ultimately producing 700 to 800 tons of high-grade ore that was shipped to smelters. By February 1908 the eight-foot solid vein of lead was perceived to run entirely through the mountain, and was accordingly being opened up with drifts on both the Saline and Racetrack valley sides, making this one of the biggest and most-promising lead prospects in the district. Already over 250 tons of ore were on the dumps awaiting shipment. [63] In March 1908 Archibald Farrington bought a one-third interest in the property for $6,000, while the other two partners, Smith and Watterson, were considering plans for construction of a road across the mountain range from the west to enable hauling of ore from the mine and salt from the Saline Valley deposits to Bonnie Claire. The new partnership incorporated as the Ubehebe Lead Mines Company, whose development work at the mine so far consisted primarily of one twenty-five-foot tunnel, all in ore, with a face showing of 70% lead and a high silver content. Two shifts were removing ten tons a day that were then teamed to the railhead at Bonnie Claire. [64] A summer-long campaign on the property was planned, and in preparation for the isolated stay, two teams hauled 26,000 pounds of grain, groceries, and mining supplies to the site to sustain the crew during the long months ahead. A contract was also let at this time for hauling the ore recovered during the winter to the railroad at Bonnie Claire. In July it was reported that Watterson and his associates had organized the Ubehebe Mining Company to operate a group of 5-1/2 claims on which a tunnel had been excavated extending fifty feet and from which 1,000 tons of shipping ore were now available. [65] A month later the property was described as "easily the biggest undeveloped property of the kind in California." [66] A trial shipment of ore from the Watterson property sent to a Salt Lake City smelter at this time returned only $40 a ton on the average. This was not considered pay ore because of the long, time-consuming trip involved in getting the ore to Cuprite, north of Bonnie Claire and over sixty miles away. According to McAllister the first recorded production from property in the Ubehebe District was of silver from the Ubehebe Mine in 1908. [67] For the next few years mostly assessment work was performed on the claims, and no startling discoveries were recorded. Development was primarily impeded by lack of water and other hardships associated with desert prospecting. In an attempt to solve the transportation problem, Watterson and Farrington made an agreement with a Frank A. Campbell to transport ores from the district by means of a Vuba ball-tread tractor, beginning with an initial trial run of 500 tons of ore. The outcome of this novel experiment was eagerly awaited by other mine owners in the area who were tired of the inadequacies of an animal-powered

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

transportation system. Because it had heretofore not been worthwhile to perform extended development work, the depth of ore bodies in the Ubehebe Mine was not known, but the surface showings were immensely promising. [68] The auto-tractor project turned out well, and in March 1916 Campbell was not only still hauling lead ore in the Ubehebe region, but manganese as well from Owl Holes to Riggs across the southern part of Death Valley. Production from the Ubehebe Mine now was sporadic, but reached a peak in 1916 when 254 tons of ore running 15% lead were shipped. [69] By 1917 development at the mine consisted of two tunnels, an upper one 60 feet long and a lower one 100 feet long, connected by a fifty-foot winze. Two ten-ton-capacity Yuba tractors still transported the ore to Bonnie Claire in a fifty-two-hour round trip at a cost of $8 per ton. By April the mine's three employees had produced 200 tons of 60% lead ore. [70] The Copper Bell property, along with the Copper Queen-Blue Jay and Bonanza -Hessen Clipper, shipped a few tons of copper from 1916 to 1918 when prices were high for this commodity. The deposits in this mine were fairly high-grade, and much of the copper production reported from the Ubehebe Mine (over 15,000 lbs.) probably actually came from the Copper Bell workings, 1,000 feet east of the Ubehebe Mine on a southwest-facing hillside and controlled by the same owners. [71] During the fall of 1920 some lead-silver-copper claims said to have been owned for many years by Arch Farrington were sold to the Arrowhead Rico Company of Tonopah for $125,000. A small crew went to work, primarily in an upper and lower tunnel. Fifty tons of ore had been sacked by January 1921 and it was estimated that three truckloads of ore would be sent to Salt Lake City monthly. The transportation cost would be $15 a ton to Bonnie Claire and $12 per ton over the railroad to the smelter. Sol Camp was installed as manager of the mine, which closed with a drop in lead prices. [72] In 1922 W.W. and M.Q. Watterson and spouses deeded to Archibald Farrington. and J.H. Crook of Tonopah all their interests in the Smith-Watterson-Farrington mines. This transaction included the Butte Nos. 7-10, West Extension Butte No. 3, west half of Butte No. 6, Copper Bell No. 1, Copper Bell, and other properties. Crook and Farrington then deeded a one-third interest in these claims, plus the Copper Bell Nos. 4-6, to Charles E. Knox; smaller interests in these were later deeded to the Montana-Tonopah Mines Company and to Andy McCormack. [73] The next step in the Ubehebe Mine's development was leasing of the property to Fred Dahlstrom and the Finkel brothers of Tonopah, Nevada, in 1928. The Snyder stope was opened about this time and turned out to be a very profitable venture. After paying $15 a ton transportation costs, the lessees netted $55,453 from twenty-five carloads of lead carbonate shipped to the U.S. Smelting, Refining and Mining Company at Salt Lake City. The ore averaged about 64% lead, 17 ozs. silver, 704 gold, and 1.7% zinc, and because of its adaptability for flux, gained for its shippers an additional $1 to $3 per ton bonus. The maximum annual recorded production of lead and silver for mines in the Ubehebe area in 1928 was attained by the Ubehebe Mine, which produced 1,120,343 lbs. of lead, 1,523 lbs. of copper, 15,222 ozs. of silver, and 17 ozs. of gold. [74] Lead and silver mining was much less active in 1929 when lead prices dropped. The California lead output was down about 600,000 pounds from the previous year, and the number of miscellaneous shippers in Inyo County had vastly decreased. Principal lead producers listed in the Ubehebe District were the Estelle (?) and Butte. In these later years the Ubehebe Mine's production varied from 22 tons in 1929 to 379 tons in 1951. [ 75] Most development work was done prior to 1930. The Tramway stope was not mined until the tramway was installed, and then is said to have produced nine carloads for the lessees, one of

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which netted over $5,000. The No. 4 stope, discovered in 1930 and completely gutted by lessees after that, contained small quantities of molybdenum. Successive lessees after 1930 mostly enlarged the old stopes and cleaned them out in the search for shipping ore. [76] In 1937 Sol Camp returned to the Ubehebe Mine in an attempt to revamp mining operations because of a rise in lead prices. A contract was let to haul the ore to Death Valley Junction for shipment over the Tonopah & Tidewater to the smelter at Murray, Utah. The Archie Farrington Estate owned the property in 1938, but the nine or twelve claims (figures differ) were under lease to Grant Snyder of Salt Lake City and C.A. Rankin of Los Angeles who were working a crew of ten. Trucks hauled the ore, reportedly carrying 50% to 60% lead with some silver, to Death Valley Junction, and from there it was shipped to Salt Lake City smelters. Principal development consisted of a long tunnel with drifts and crosscuts, with production so far totalling approximately $100,000 in lead-silver ore. [77] In the late 1940s Snyder was still working the property, which in 1946 consisted of eleven unpatented lode claims: the Butte Nos. 6-10, West Extension Butte No. 3, Copper Bell, Copper Bell Nos. 1-3, and the Quartz Spring Claim seven miles east of the mine. Five principal ore bodies were being worked: the Watterson, Snyder, Flat, No. 4, and Tram stopes. Facilities and equipment at the mine included a cook- and bunkhouse with three rooms, furnished with beds, a stove, and table; a small compressor house with a 100-cubic-foot compressor driven by an auto engine; a small air receiver; a dilapidated blacksmith shop with an anvil, vise, grindstone, and workbench; four mine cars; one jackhammer; and a tramway cable. [78] The maximum recorded annual production of zinc in the Ubehebe District in 1948 was 53,854 pounds from the Ubehebe Mine. [79] Camp facilities in 1949 remained about the same. In the gulley near the portal of the main tunnel was one house with two large bedrooms and a kitchen, provided with beds and a coal cookstove, while a partially constructed house nearby could be completed for a second bunkhouse if needed. This complex adequately served about five to seven men. The mine workings consisted of two major tunnels, three short ones, and several cuts and shallow shafts penetrating the steep ridge. The Tram tunnel was located on the opposite side of the ridge from the camp, about 200 feet above the main tunnel. Ore from here was transported to the ore bin at the lower tunnel portal by a single-bucket tramway operated by a ten-horsepower gas engine on top of the ridge. Wheelbarrows brought the ore out of the tunnel to the tramway terminal. The Ubehebe Group now consisted of thirteen unpatented lode claims--the Butte Nos. 3-10 and West Extension Butte #3 in the lead zone, and the Copper Bell and Copper Bell Nos. 1-3 in the copper area to the east--plus the Quartz Spring Claim. No water supply existed on site, so that during shipping periods this precious commodity was hauled back from Beatty on the ore trucks and at other times one of the nearby springs was tapped and water stored in large drums on site. Total production of the mine at this time was estimated at 5,000 tons, containing 20% to 60% lead, an amount of ore that at the current 1949 market price exceeded $250,000 in value. Ore was hauled to Beatty, Nevada, and then either on to Las Vegas for rail shipment to Salt Lake City or trucked directly to Salt Lake City through Tonopah and Ely. [80] In 1966 a lease/purchase agreement between the Ubehebe Lead Mines, Inc., and Basic Resources Corporation was initiated, but development was disappointing and BRC's interests were later quitclaimed back in 1968. [81] Ubehebe Lead Mines Company has owned the property ever since. Revised estimates of the total tonnage produced by the Ubehebe Mine are placed at about 3,500 tons, averaging 38% lead, 7% zinc, 12 ozs. silver, and .02 oz. gold per ton. The Copper Bell claims have averaged about 16% copper. [82]

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Illustration 237. View north of mine workings and aerial tramway, Ubehebe copper-lead Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 238. View toward southwest of residential area across road from mine workings. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

(b) Present Status The Ubehebe copper/lead Mine is reached via a one-lane gravel access road leading west off the Racetrack Valley Road about twenty-five miles south of Ubehebe Crater, the mine area

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lying off the northwest corner of Racetrack Valley. Dozer activity can be seen at the Copper Bell Mine site just north of the junction of the Ubehebe Mine and Racetrack Valley roads. The mine access ends after about one mile in the vicinity of the abandoned mine camp and main adit portal. The camp consists of two frame and composition-paper shacks extensively damaged by weathering, washing, and obvious vandalism. West of the Main Workings is a one-chute ore bin reached by tram rails, and near the timber-lined main adit are the ruins of some small corrugated-metal, tarpaper, and wooden mine buildings once housing such functions as the blacksmith shop and hoisting apparatus. Some concrete foundations are also visible in this area. Other adits and stone retaining walls are scattered up the hillside toward the ridgetop in the vicinity of the South Workings, the first stope developed. The tramway cable is still attached to one support at the top of this ridge. The Tram stope, or North Workings, to which the cable led are on the opposite side of the ridge and accessible only by foot trail or possibly by a steep four-wheel-drive climb. The entire area has undergone extensive washing: bits of rail and pipe sections lie about near the mine, as do crockery fragments, pieces of glass, and tin cans that have worked down from the camp site. The several dumps nearby contain nothing of historical significance. (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Ubehebe Mine was first located about 1906 and was worked sporadically up until the late 1960s, having the longest history of production in the Ubehebe region. The discovery of lead on this property diverted the district's attention from copper and helped promote the realization that other metals existed in the area in economically profitable quantities. The Ubehebe is one of two lead mines in the vicinity of Racetrack Valley, the Lippincott Mine starting operations much later but producing more continuously from the 1940s through the 1950s. Many similarities existed between the Ubehebe Mine and the Queen of Sheba Mine further south: both were first located around 1906-7; both produced important quantities of copper, silver, and gold, in addition to lead; both attempted to economically transport ore by tractor power; and development work on both was limited due to shortages of water and lack of adequate communication and transportation links, and to other problems that were a direct result of their extreme isolation. The Queen of Sheba, however, gained the backing of Jack Salsberry, who made several innovative efforts to solve these problems, and later was taken over by mining companies that possessed the financial reserves to continue large -scale development work. The Queen of Sheba is the most important of the three lead mines in Death Valley, eclipsing the Ubehebe operation both in extent of development and in production. The Ubehebe and Lippincott mines should be mentioned in any interpretive program or exhibit on lead mining in Death Valley, but neither possesses a level of significance in Death Valley mining history to warrant its nomination to the National Register. (4) Lost Burro Mine (a) History The rich outcroppings of the Lost Burro Mine were first discovered, quite by accident, on 18 April 1907 by Bert Shively while in the process of rounding up some of his burros. Shively, who had formerly been involved in a lease on Ladd Mountain in Rhyolite, immediately filed on six claims that showed free gold with surface assays running from $40 to $1,000 per ton. In partnership with him on the property located about 3-1/2 miles northeast of the Racetrack and six miles north of the Ulida Mine were W. D. Blackmer, general manager of the Tramp Consolidated; W.B. Morris, superintendent of the Bullfrog Mining Company; Charles N.

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Garden, superintendent of the Tramp Consolidated; and Jack McCormick. Almost immediately the five discoverers bonded the property for sixty days to a Julius Lamley (Lemle) of Beatty and associates for $45,000, the new operators intending to work eighteen shifts a week. For one reason or another their plans did not materialize, and a month later their option was turned over in the form of a working bond of $50,000 to Thomas Cornish, a Denver capitalist, and H.B. Lind of Goldfield. By October, however, due to a complex chain of circumstances, the property had reverted to the original owners. It seems that upon Cornish's death, his partner Lind, being hospitalized, was unable to make the next payment on the property within the allotted time. His request for an extension was denied by the owners, who doubtless preferred operating what was turning into an extremely valuable property by themselves or leasing it to someone else at a much higher price. The mine was producing ore reportedly averaging $80.86 per ton in gold, with at least $50,000 worth of the ore in sight; probably tons more existed under ground that was as yet undeveloped. [83] The financial depression of 1907 did not halt work at the Lost Burro, by now regarded as one of the richest claims in the Ubehebe District. It was proposed, however, that some crude form of treatment, such as mortaring and panning, be used to process the ore and help make ends meet during this crisis period. A 110-foot tunnel was the extent of the property's underground workings in the winter of 1907. [84] By early spring 1908 the property was undergoing another change of ownership, with its appropriation by the Goldfield Consolidated interests for a reported $35,000. Incentive for the purchase was probably provided by recent assay results ranging from $300 to $1,450 in gold per ton. [85] By February 1909 the mineralized zone on the Burro that was being worked included a ten-foot-wide blanket vein with an extraordinary showing of $15 to $18 in gold per ton from wall to wall, and a very rich twelve-inch-wide strike that ran through the property and produced samples running well over $1,000 per ton. A new sale was now pending for the property involving a reputed $60,000, and rumors hinted that the new owners would install a mill to handle the high-grade ore. The end of February saw completion of the deal for $40,000 to mining interests from California, the third sale concerning the property on which a payment had been made within the last two years, total cash payments amounting to $9,000. Development at the site consisted of a 120-foot-deep shaft with lateral workings running along the vein. Several thousand tons of ore, said to be worth around $30,000, had been stockpiled on the dump. Immediate company, plans called for shipping the high-grade ore while awaiting completion of the mill. [86] Once again, in the summer of 1909, the Lost Burro came under option, this time to a Keeler man for $4,000, but no further mention was found as to whether he made the required payment. [87] By 1911 Charles Garden and the McCormick brothers were still performing annual assessment work on the Lost Burro Group, where development now included a fiftyfoot-long lower tunnel that intersected a vein yielding an average of $15 in gold per ton. [88] Four years later the Montana-Tonopah Company secured the property on a lease and bond basis, their tests showing that 85% of the gold could be recovered by amalgamation. [89] Construction was immediately begun on the foundations for a fifty-ton five-stamp mill to be shipped from Bonnie Claire. Trucks would be used to haul the machinery the first thirty miles from the railhead over the good sections of the road, and a Caterpillar tractor, maintaining a top speed of three miles per hour, would be used over the last difficult twentytwo miles to the mine. [90]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 239. Miner's cabin and outbuildings, Lost Burro Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 240. View west up gully from cabin of additional mine workings, Lost Burro Mine. Stamp mill ruin is on hill to right. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

In 1917 the mine property was reported to consist of several short tunnels driven along the vein and intersecting ore averaging $25 per ton; no production of record had yet resulted. Mention was also made of foundations existing for a five-stamp mill and cyanide plant, which had never been completed, that was to have been powered by water relayed via a pipeline from Burro Spring located on Tin Mountain about 7-1/2 miles northeast. The property, listed as owned by the Lost Burro Mining Company of Los Angeles, W.H. (D?) Blackmer, president, was idle at this time, but the report said that the property had reportedly been sold to the Montana-Tonopah Mines Company, of which Charles E. Knox of Berkeley was superintendent and manager. [91] This was evidently the last year the property was worked until the 1930s. In 1928 a notice of deeds filed associated Andy McCormick with ownership of the Lost Burro and Lost Burro No. 2 mines. [92] According to the present claimant, Mr. W.C. Thompson, the Montana-Tonopah Company leased the mine from McCormick from 1906
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

through 1912, after which time McCormick and his partner Phil Day recovered $85,000 in gold from the property. McCormick continued mining here until 1938, occasionally shipping small amounts of ore. Thompson also states that he and A.Z. "Shorty" Borden relocated the original claims in 1942, Borden later quitclaiming them before his death and Thompson then amending the claims in 1948. Official records, however, show the Lost Burro #1 and #2 claims were relocated by these two men in 1948 along with a Gold Belt Mill Site 1/4 mile north of the spring and later amended by Thompson as sole owner in 1970. [ 93] Thompson continued performing a small amount of mining activity and at one time intended to install a ball mill above Mosquito Spring to process the Lost Burro gold ore, then averaging $50 per ton. [94] (b) Present Status The Lost Burro Mine is located at the northern end of the mountain range separating Hidden Valley from Racetrack Valley. It is situated in a draw reached by a dirt track extending a little over a mile west from the gravel Hidden Valley road. The site is about 1-1/2 miles south of Lost Burro Gap. Several signs, some warning against trespass and others of a humorous nature, line the road. The claimant's wood shack is at the mouth of the draw along which, advancing uphill, are the remains of an ore-processing mill; several adits, some of which have been used for storage; a one-chute ore bin; and other miscellaneous mine workings. The wooden shack, with an associated shed, dugout, and outhouse in close proximity to the northwest, was vandalized sometime toward the end of 1977, and a woodburning stove and other objects of minimal value were taken. A large trunk was broken into and its contents--papers and records--scattered about. The various sealed tunnels leading off the gully were used for storage of fuses, pulleys, canned goods, old mining equipment, mill parts, etc. The mine workings consist of two shafts plus the various tunnels. Thompson evidently built the ore bin himself. [95]

Illustration 241. Ruins of 1917 stamp mill, Lost Burro Mine. Photos by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Much debris in the form of rusted oil drums, tin cans, old chairs, etc., as well as several lengths of the Burro Spring two-inch-diameter pipeline litter the site. The mill remains consist of the wooden framework and five or six levels of masonry foundations stairstepping down the hillside. Various items of machinery connected with the milling operation, such as a small retort or smelter (?) and sluice box (?), are scattered about over the foundations. The main underground workings include three groups of stopes connected to the surface by two adits, while separate workings surround both the east and west shafts. The Lost Burro Mine lies totally within the Lost Burro *1 and #2 claims.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

(c) Evaluation and Recommendations The significance of this mine lies in its being the only exclusively gold-bearing property in the Ubehebe District. Considered one of the richest mines in the area, it procured for its owners several thousand dollars in options. Despite the listing of its official production between 1935 and 1942 at 255 ounces of gold, it probably produced closer to $100,000 during its lifetime. [96] The mill ruin on the site is quite extensive, although no significant data has been found on it other than notice of the initiation of its construction by the Montana-Tonopah people around 1917. No pictures of a completed mill have been found, nor any production records, so it is unclear how long it actually functioned. Remnants of pipe on the site are connected with the pipeline project to relay water from Burro Spring, to the northeast in the White Top Mountain area, to the mine. Broken pipe segments almost paralleling the route of the present. jeep trail between these two points suggests that the line was built and utilized for a short while.

Illustration 242. Map showing Tin and White Top mountain mining areas and approximate route of Lost Burro Mine pipeline to Burro Spring.

Because of the site's status as the largest gold producer in the predominantly copper, lead, and zinc-producing Ubehebe District, and because of the presence of impressive ruins of a large stamp mill, whose operation required construction of an eight-mile-long water pipeline,

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

and of assorted machinery that can contribute to our knowledge of twentieth-century mining technology, the property is determined eligible for nomination to the National Register as being of local significance. (5) Lippincott (Lead King Mine History The earliest recorded mining activity on the lands now constituting the Lippincott Lead Mine may have been that associated with the Wedding Stake Group of seven claims "located on the east slope of Ubehebe range, easily accessible from the Race Track." [ 7] They were 9 discovered in December 1906 by Joseph H. Crook, Sim Boysdon, Walter Clements, and possibly Charles del Bondio. The Inyo Copper Mining and Smelting Company was also engaging in extensive operations in that vicinity by 1908. The Raven lead and silver property, sixty miles southwest of Bonnie Claire and five miles north of Dodd Spring, was being explored from about 1917 through 1926. It was originally owned by J. Crook and Archie Farrington of Big Pine, and was situated at an elevation of 3,800 feet, which corresponds with that of the present Lippincott works. According to George Lippincott, Jr., the Lippincott Mine produced and shipped ore during World War I, which would tend to support the theory that these two mines were located on the same ore body. In 1926 the Raven was reported as having 2,000 feet of underground tunnels, but it was idle at that time. The Raven appears to have been the only silver-lead mine between Ubehebe Peak and Big Dodd Spring mentioned prior to reports on the Lippincott Mine property beginning in the 1930s. [98] According to McAllister, the Lead King mining claims (aka Southern Lead Mine in later years) were held by Phil E. Day in 1934 and quitclaimed to R.B. and L. Walls in 1939. This property included some old workings near the main tunnel (which may be the 300-foot-long Raven tunnel) and ground in the Contact Group held in 1935 and 1937 by Roy Albin. George Lippincott of Goldfield, Nevada, acquired the mine from Walls by a lease agreement in 1942, later buying it outright in 1944. [99] In partnership with his sons, George, Jr., and Dick, Lippincott began development work in May 1942 on the Lead King. Eight men produced ore that was trucked to Goldfield and then shipped by train to smelters in Murray, Utah. The length of the route and difficulties encountered by the trucks passing over it necessitated the very selective mining of ore, with only that averaging between 40% and 63% lead and returning at least 35 ozs. of silver per ton being economically worthwhile. A new road to Keeler was in process of construction by the operators to make shipping from a claim carrying only 30% lead ore economically possible. [100] This rough, steep route passed through the south end of Saline Valley and and met California State Route 190 near Darwin Junction. During the second World War the Ubehebe area was utilized as a practice field for aerial gunnery exercises. by the U.S. Government, thereby causing the temporary cessation of mining activity there. By 1946 Lippincott's Southern Lead Company had resumed operations and with a nine-man crew was producing two carloads of lead weekly, which were again being shipped to Goldfield. Lippincott's son George, Jr., was mine superintendent. [101] The mine was still producing in 1951 when it was described as consisting of twelve unpatented claims whose workings included a main tunnel (portions of which antedated Lippincott's acquisition of the property) 100 feet west of the mine camp on the hillside above and penetrating to a distance of 625 feet. Drifts and a sixty-foot winze provided access to the ore bodies. These particular workings had produced 1,000 tons of ore assaying 42% lead and 8 ozs. of silver. Other workings included the Confidence No. 2 tunnel, Taylor shaft, Johnson tunnel, and Addison shaft, and early in 1951 work had begun on the Inspiration shaft. So far 2,000 tons of ore assaying 25% to 40% lead, 11 to 38 ozs. of silver, 4% to 11% zinc, and valued a $80,000, had been shipped.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 243. Sally Ann copper Mine along hillside on east side of The Racetrack. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 244. Mining camp originally containing three cabins on slope southeast of workings, Lippincott lead Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Although earlier the ore produced at the mine had been treated at custom plants in surrounding communities, the company in the early 1950s erected its own mill and blast furnace operation in Santa Ana, California, in the Bonnie Claire District sixty miles to the east. Here, especially during World War II, lead and silver were smelted for use in storage batteries. (The Lippincott Lead Company smelter closed down in 1953.) Equipment at the Lippincott Mine in 1951 included two diesel compressors, a Caterpillar bulldozer, a diesel light plant, and a camp occupied then by only three men. The most accessible water sources were Goldbelt Spring, twenty-six miles away, and Scotty's Castle, forty miles away. Big Dodd Spring was south a distance of only about 4-1/2 miles, but could only be reached by an arduous trail. Water was never piped to the camp from this spring because of the likelihood of the line freezing during the cold months of the year and the subsequent difficulties that would attend its maintenance. The Racetrack playa was used as a landing strip by the mine. [102]

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 245. Lead King Mine. Headframe over vertical shaft, and adit. On road along north edge of ridge, Lippincott Mine area. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 246. Framework over stope. Note aerial tramway on hillside above. Located on same road as the above photo. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 247. Mine camp of six cabins and ore tipple built about 1942. Light-colored dump, above left, designates road on which Lead King Mine and other adits found. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 248. Close-up view of cabins and ore tipple pictured above. Photo courtesy of Henry G. Law, 1975.

In 1974 George Lippincott, Jr.'s, Polaris Battery Company, Inc., was planning further exploratory work on the Lippincott mining group, formally consisting now of the Lead King, Lead King Mining Claim Nos. 1, 3, and 4, Lead King #5-#8, and the Lippincott Mill Site. [103] (b) Present Status The Lippincott claim group, comprising eight lode mining claims and one millsite, is located in the northwest corner of the monument and in the southwest corner of Racetrack Valley immediately north of the monument boundary, although the Lead King Nos. 3 and 5-8 are situated partially outside the monument. The property is about thirty miles south of Ubehebe Crater on the Racetrack Road four miles south of Ubehebe Peak on the north side of a ridge between Racetrack and Saline valleys. The site today consists of three main areas. On the north slope is the mine camp of six wood and tarpaper cabins and an ore tipple constructed by Lippincott about 1942. It is just below the main tunnel which lies on this slope at an elevation of about 3,750 feet. Another group of three cabins was erected on the slope southeast of the workings, access to which is via a road through the middle of the Homestake Talc Claim. The mine workings seen by this writer along the road on the northeast flank of the ridge consisted of numerous adits and at least two vertical shafts, plus some tramway remains, all encompassed in an area measuring about 1,600 by 200 feet. Altogether the claim group contains about 2,000 feet of level and inclined underground workings--the main tunnel, Addison workings, Confidence No. 1, Confidence No. 2, and Inspiration. [104] (c) Evaluation and Recommendations The Lippincott lead Mine is one of two such operations in the Ubehebe area, the other being the Ubehebe lead Mine at the northwest corner of Racetrack Valley. The Lippincott has been the scene of the most continuous mining activity in the Ubehebe area since 1942, producing every year except 1945 when the federal government controlled the area. (According to McAllister the mine actually functioned from 1938 to 1,952, with no production recorded only in the years 1939 and 1942.) [105] Total production stands at something over $80,000.
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The site does not possess the historical significance necessary to justify its nomination to the National Register. Its integrity has been further impaired during the last year by the destruction of two of its buildings by fire. (6) Ubehebe Keeler and Quackenbush Talc Mines History The Ubehebe and Keeler mines, located in the range of hills immediately east of Ulida Flat, and the Quackenbush Mine, two miles further east and about one mile north of Goldbelt Spring, are of fairly recent vintage, all three having been worked for steatite-grade talc on a small scale during World War II. In 1945 one James O. Greenan of Reno, Nevada, secured an option from Roscoe Wright of Gbldfield on four talc claims in the Ubehebe area in which recent tests had determined the presence of commercial quantities of high-grade talc that could be used in the production of cosmetics and of steatite grade suitable for high-frequency radio electrical insulators. [106] These deposits in the northern Panamint Range and in the Inyo Mountains to the west have been the source of practically all the California-produced steatite- and pharmaceutical-grade talc. Smaller in extent than the talc deposits in the southern end of the monument in Warm Spring Canyon and the Ibex Hilts, the largest bodies in this northern part have been measured at about 500 by 50 feet. By the late 1960s most of the bodies had been mined out or were considered unworthy of further investigation. The extent of reserves in these properties is unknown, but they are believed to be substantial. Their isolation, however, impedes any large-scale systematic development, and the long haul to market is economically infeasible. Most recent activity has been of the weekend sort. i) Ubehebe (Stone Pencil Mine) The Ubehebe Talc Nos. 1, 2, and 4 unpatented lode claims were located in January 1945, and the Goldbelt Springs Mill Site filed on two months later. During the 1960s and early 1970s the Ubehebe was owned or leased by the Sierra Talc Company of South Pasadena, California, which produced and transported ore from the property. Sometimes referred to as the Stone Pencil Mine, by the mid-1960s the talc zone, measuring about 500 feet long by 20 feet wide, had been developed by underground workings about 15 to 25 feet vertically. Production through 1955 totalled several hundred tons. In the mid-1970s Cyprus Industrial Minerals Company acquired the Ubehebe talc Mine and is the present owner. Its mining operations have been hampered by the site's inaccessibility and also by the narrowness of the access road, which the National Park Service would not allow the company to widen. [108] ii) Keeler (White Horse Mine) The White Horse Talc #1, White Horse #2, and White Horse Talc #3-#4 unpatented lode claims were located in 1943 by Alexander "Shorty" Borden, Bev Hunter, Roy Hunter, and Hellen Kraft; they are presently owned by Victor Materials Company of Victorville, California, and Rowena R. and Charles A. Munns of Brigham City, Utah. The 65-foot-deep vertical shaft on the property was dug in. 1967 by Grantham Mines Company employees, who soon ceased work because of the unavailability of milling-grade ore. [109] iii) Quackenbush (Gold Belt Mine The Gold Belt Talc #1, #2, and #3 unpatented lode claims were located by Bev Hunter and A.Z. Borden in June 1944, and the Gold Belt Springs Mill Site filed on by Bev Hunter in October 1948. Estimated production of the mine through 1955 is 750 tons. William B.
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Grantham worked the property in the late 1960s while his company was also investigating the Keeler Mine. Exploratory excavations, probably on the Gold Belt Talc #1 Claim, failed to uncover sufficient quantities of ore. Current owners of the property are the Victor Materials Company and Rowena R. and Charles A. Munns. [110]

Illustration 249. Corrugated-metal cabin with screened sun porch, Ubehebe talc Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Illustration 250. View from corral of mine workings south of cabin, Ubehebe Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

(b) Present Status i) Ubehebe Mine No mining activity is currently in progress on this property, which is situated at an altitude of about 5,400 feet. The site includes both a residential and mining area. On the former is one standing corrugated-metal house with plywood walls and the remains of at least two other residences. All sorts of debris--old cots, radios, a birdcage, chairs, toys, and appliances-litter the ground. At the junction of the residential road with the trail to the mining operation

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

is a small corral. The workings themselves, scattered over a hillside about one-eighth of a mile south of the road junction, consist of three ore bins, two in good shape and one in ruins. The largest bin, furthest east, has two dumps associated with it and services a well-timbered adit. Tram tracks lead to the dumps, and the foundations of a small building (storage shed, blacksmith shop?) lie near the portal. Only a skeletal framework remains of the middlemost bin, with fallen timbers and metal flashing strewn down the hillside below. The third ore bin serves an adit containing both an inclined shaft and a stoped tunnel. The entire hillside is very unstable and dotted with crater-like depressions and caved-in stopes.

Illustration 251. Small headframe, collapsed shack, and timbered inclined shaft, Keeler talc Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.Illustration 252.Dozer cut on White Horse #2 claim. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

ii) Keeler Mine This property is located about one mile south of the Ubehebe talc Mine at a slightly lower elevation on the same north-south trending ridge The White Horse Talc #1 and White Horse #2 claims, situated in the bottom of a narrow, shallow valley, can be easily reached via a dirt road, while the White Horse Talc #3-#4 claims extend further west and north up the hillside and are less easily seen. The most extensive development has occurred on the #1 Claim and consists of a timbered vertical shaft surmounted by a small headframe, a timbered inclined shaft, and two or three small adits, one of which intersects the inclined shaft. The ruins of a small collapsed shack are also present. The shafts are completely open and unsafe for exploration. At the fork of the Keeler and Ubehebe talc roads, on the #2 Claim, is an extensive dozer cut about forty-five feet long. iii) Quackenbush Mine This mine site consists of a number of excavations on a ridgetop at an elevation of about 5,200 feet. No buildings or foundations for such exist, the only extant structures being two lightweight headframes, both weathered and unstable. One of these is located toward the top of the hill on the Gold Belt Talc 142 Claim and covers a vertical timbered shaft adjoined on the northwest by a caved-in stope. The shaft has also caved in not far below the surface. This area corresponds to the shaft symbol on the USGS Marble Canyon quad map. Downslope to the northeast of this shaft are two adits, whose portals practically face each other, on a portion of the Gold Belt Talc #2 and #3 claims that overlap. The second headframe is located immediately north of the road passing through the site and on to Goldbelt Spring. Since the
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

mill site at Goldbelt contains several residences, it is possible that the Quackenbush Mine workers resided there.

Illustration 253. Headframe, Quackenbush talc Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 254. Stoped adit and headframe, Quackenbush Mine. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

(c) Evaluations and Recommendations No information on the Ubehebe, Keeler, or Quackenbush mines prior to their location for talc in the 1940s that would imbue the sites with any historical significance has been found. Nor are there any significant physical remains on any of them.

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deva/hrs/section3c2.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
C. Cottonwood Mountains (continued)
3. Skookum Mining District a) Death Valley Gold Mining Company Working Property Near Sand Spring in the mid-1920s a new and, short-lived mining district was organized in the northwestern corner of Death Valley that this writer has not heretofore found mentioned in any of the historical accounts on the area. The scanty amount of information obtained, which concerns only the year between January 1927 and February 1928, does not permit of much detail and only arouses more questions than it answers. Sand Spring, about eight miles north of the extreme northwest corner of Death Valley National Monument, was an important watering hole on the mining route to Lida, Nevada. Once briefly homesteaded by a daring soul whose only accomplishment in the area was encasing the water supply in a few lengths of iron pipe, the site was mainly utilized over the years as an overnight camping spot. In March 1909 some ore specimens extremely rich in gold were discovered in the vicinity of this spring and were later determined by prospectors from Goldfield who rushed to the area to be part' of a large porphyry dyke that cut through the ground here. No further word on development was found. Two months later an important placer strike covering about 1,200 acres was made seventeen miles south of Tule and six miles from Eureka Valley, high in the Last Chance Range. Surface material was assaying $9 a ton and $53 after dry washing. Although it was anticipated that capital would be acquired to finance operations here, no further word of activity emerged for the next eighteen years. [111] In January 1927 the Lucky Boy Divide Mining Company, an organization based in Tonopah, Nevada, and presided over by one Harry McNamara, was working some property owned by the Death Valley Gold Mining Company "about 100 miles south of Tonopah, and not far from Death Valley Scotty's ranch in the Grapevine canyon," from which samples were returning gold values of $22 per ton. [112] According to the Goldfield Daily Tribune the new strike area could be reached by auto road leading west from Death Valley Scotty's Grapevine Canyon ranch five miles to a wash, then seven miles further to the Desert Gold (a mine?), and then finally, after another seven miles, ending at the mine camp. Water had to be hauled to the spot from either Hot Springs or Sand Spring, both about an equal twelve miles distant. The article states that this new strike zone located in the Last Chance Range would be called the Skookum Mining District. [113] Sol Camp, who it will be remembered was associated with development work on the Ubehebe lead Mine in the early 1920s and later in the 1930s, was at this time managing the operations
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

of the Death Valley Gold Mining Company, Inc., based out of Leadfield. A Skookum mining camp of four houses was already up, and new machinery, such as an air compressor and drills, and necessary foodstuffs and other supplies were being shipped in from Bonnie Claire. Development work at this point consisted of 2,000 feet of trenching and the driving of a tunnel and various shallow exploratory holes. Assays were now yielding $34 to $276 per ton. [114] By March 1927 a carload of ore from the new district was ready for shipment to the smelter in Mason Valley. The charge by rail from Bonnie Claire was not expected to total more than $4 per ton, and the smelter charge was estimated at around $8. This would ensure a handsome profit from the ore, thought to be worth approximately $100 a ton. In May 1927 word spread that large deposits of high-grade sulphur had been found on the high west slope of the Last Chance Mountains, just over the range from the north arm of Death Valley. The area could be reached by road from Goldfield via Lida, Pigeon Springs, and Cucamonga, while a good wagon road led up Oriental Wash to Sand Spring on the east slope. It is probable that this was in the general vicinity of the Skookum Mining District. [115] b) World Exploration Company Enters Area In the summer of 1927 the World Exploration Company of Fort Worth, Texas, purchased the assets of the Death Valley Gold Mines (Mining?) Company in this new district on the west side of Death Valley, for a reported consideration of $100,000. It was stated in the newspaper articles announcing the transaction that the property was located in the Chuckwalla Mountains (?) region, where a sixty-six-foot tunnel had already been excavated. Full water rights to Sand Spring, fifteen miles away, ensured a good water supply. A new organization, the World Mining Company of Nevada, was charged with development of the mine, and the parent company's optimism toward the newly purchased property was unhesitatingly voiced by its president, Chester R. Bunker, who emphasized that We are after good prospects anywhere we can find them, and we think this Death Valley Gold property is one of the best prospects that we have ever investigated. Our entire resources will be thrown behind this project, and the property will be developed to fullest extent and with all the energy that our organization is known to possess. [116] Later, that month the county surveyor of Esmeralda County, Nevada, filed a plat of the town of "Snookum" (undoubtedly a misspelling), approximately ten miles south of Sand Spring and the focal point for mining activity in the new district. [ 117] Meanwhile, the World Mining Company was proceeding with its development work now and had just established a camp and was busy driving two shafts or the Skookum Mine vein. [118] Sol Camp, retained as superintendent of the Skookum property, replaced the company's jackhammer drills, which were operated by an air compressor that required twenty-five gallons of water a day, with a coal auger ordered from Denver, and proceeded to push work on the mine's main tunnel throughout the summer. A subsidiary tunnel higher on the same mountain was started to intersect an ore shoot from which surface assays had reportedly been taken yielding $20 to $500 a ton in gold. [119] Another property being worked by the World Mining group was the Mother Lode Claim, which was probably the Gold Mother Lode of Death Valley Group ten miles southwest of Sand Spring that had earlier been deeded to the Death Valley Mines Company, Inc., by Al Barcherding, James Traynor, Harry McNamara, William F. Logan, and Frank M. Maloney. [120] Samples from this mine were assaying from $12 to $95 a ton. [121] By the fall of 1927 the primary development objective of the World Exploration Company was attained when the main quartz dyke at the Skookum Mine was intersected by the lower

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

tunnel at a distance of 500 feet from the portal. A fair grade of milling ore was now being tapped, with higher values expected as the tunnel was extended deeper into the mountainside. [122] As this work crosscutting the dyke to encounter the downward extension of the rich surface showings progressed, a new engine was installed to speed up the development. At the same time the World Exploration Company was purchasing and installing new equipment for use at the Skookum Mine, they were also acquiring property in the Hannapah District northeast of Tonopah. [123] c) Demise of Mining Operations Just when it was beginning to appear that the Skookum Mine might be put on a paying basis, a shroud of silence falls over the entire mining operation. The October 1927 article contains the last detailed information found by these writers concerning mining activity in the Skookum Mining District in northwest Death Valley. At the end of 1927 Bev Hunter and his wife deeded to Albert M. Johnson of Chicago, Death Valley Scotty's patron, the following segment of land: bounded on the westerly side by the Ubehebe and Last Chance range of mountains, on the north by an east and west line drawn through Sand Springs, on the south by an east and west line drawn through Surveyor's Wells, and on the east by the State of Nevada. [124] The reason for selling this incredibly large chunk of real estate is not known, but its purchase was probably part of Johnson's land acquisition program that began in 1915 when he started buying up old homesteads and mining claims in the northern part of Death Valley. Over a dozen years or so he took title to more than 1,500 acres in the Grapevine Canyon vicinity, in addition to several springs. [125] It would seem by the general description given that this property might have included, or at least bordered on, the Skookum Mining District, but no mention of a working mine is made in the transfer deed notice. In 1928 notice was found of the transfer of the Dan D Nos. 1-4 placer mining claims, situated in the Skookum Mining District, from their Los Angeles and San Francisco owners to Continental Sulphur Corporation. [126] Another deed notice concerning these properties two months later described them as "6 miles in a southerly direction from Last Chance Mountain," which would place them about directly west of Sand Spring and outside (north) of the national monument boundary. 127 It is unclear what happened to the mining operations or companies involved in this area, although it could well be that the rich gold vein simply petered out. From the scarcity of data available on the Skookum Mining District, it appears to be simply another Death Valley gold dream that never came true.

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http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/deva/section3c3.htm[7/26/2008 3:08:18 PM]

Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
D. The Valley Floor
1. Presenting Death Valley to the World a) Resorts Open in the 1920s Death Valley, land of terrible thirst, whose strange beauty and unique geology long have been associated with romance and mystery--and strange tales of heroism and lingering death--is about to lose its distinction as one of the few remaining regions of the globe known only to the adventuring trail breaker, the hardy prospector and the perspiring borax worker. Soon the eye of the ubiquitous tourist will view with unconcern its legendary terrors and gaze in perfect comfort and safety upon its grim wonders. Civilization again extends its frontier--and the goodly company of adventurers lose one more of the rapidly vanishing 'far places" of the earth. [1]

Illustration 255. Map showing old Stovepipe Wells, Stovepipe Wells Hotel, Eichbaum Toll Road route, and McLean Spring.

Not until the 1920s did Death Valley's general isolation from the public end and its
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

spectacular scenic and historical resources open up not only to the neighboring populace but eventually to people across the nation and around the world. H.W. Eichbaum accelerated this chain of events by construction of his Stovepipe Wells resort in 1926 in the upper part of Death Valley--the first tourist accommodations in the area. Its northerly location and the fact that it was most easily accessible over the Panamints from the west meant that it attracted people primarily from southern California and the Owens Valley area. The road leading from that hotel south toward Furnace Creek Ranch was, however, a fair desert road, and the opening of Furnace Creek Inn in 1927, offering a whole new segment of the valley to public view, was an added incentive to journey in that direction. This later hotel was operated by the Pacific Coast Borax Company, which after the cessation of mining activity at Ryan became interested in promoting tourist travel to Death Valley in order to continue operating and making profits off its Death Valley Railroad and its facilities at Ryan and Death Valley Junction. Important strides were made in encouraging travel to the area when the company's project gained the support of the Santa Fe and Union Pacific transcontinental railroads, whose promotional campaigns for package tours did much toward introducing people to this part of California. The chance to be transported in relative luxury on the railroad all the way from Los Angeles, and then to be motor bussed to nearby scenic wonders, meant a comfortable and relatively easy trip for many. The blessings and approval given to the promotion of tourism here that was offered by various National Park Service officials such as Stephen T Mather, director, certainly were not detrimental to the success of the undertaking. Indeed, Mather was an active consultant with the railroad men and others concerned with the planning phases of the Furnace Creek Inn operation. Usually it required only one exposure to the valley's awe-inspiring vistas and strange geological formations, and perhaps one day of basking in the temperate climate (further warmed by the knowledge that one's friends elsewhere were suffering winter's hardships), to convince people that here was truly another magnificent winter playground. The chance to view Mt. Whitney, highest point on the continent, and at the same time marvel at its lowest elevation, Badwater, on the floor of Death Valley, was an opportunity not to be missed. According to Harry Gower, an engineer for the borax people for almost fifty years, this venture into the tourist business was not an easy one for the company or its employees: Looking back, however, at the adversities of past years, no one can now imagine why we were so anxious to get into the hotel business in Death Valley in 1927. Maybe it looked like a good idea then but certainly in 30 years no great profits from it have plied up in the Company coffers. The principal headaches and drawbacks were the short winter season and the consequent bother and expense of opening up in the Fall, recruiting a staff and then closing down again before the next period of hot weather. Other problems could be listed, such as generation and failures of electric power, production of water, operation of the laundry and the ruinous effect on our equipment of the extremes of the weather, dust, flash floods, etc. [2] b) Tourism Increases When Area Becomes National Monument Increased travel was insured when the area was turned over to the federal government as a national monument in 1933, for federal guardianship of its vast acreage meant a corresponding improvement in its roads and facilities. The region's attraction was unique in that it was most endurable and hospitable during the winter when other national parks were blocked by ice and snow. Thus it was in a position to absorb much of the tourist trade

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

crowding into California's sunnier climes. Phenomenal progress was soon made in constructing and either hard surfacing or oiling new highways within the monument, and in opening up new trails and water holes to enable ever-expanding exploration of the valley's resources. Eventually an airport was needed, campgrounds were constructed, and housing for government employees was added. This rapid development resulted in an increase in visitation to the area from only a few thousand in 1933 to almost 50,000 in 1936. Resorts were enlarged to accommodate the visitor influx, Furnace Creek Inn having to add a second dining room, a larger lounge, and improved furnishings. Furnace Creek Ranch added housekeeping cottages and more cabins. Even the Amargosa Hotel at Death Valley Junction enjoyed a profitable business. All three main Death Valley hotels are important and significant in their own ways. Furnace Creek Ranch is the, oldest establishment, having been founded initially as a supply point for the Harmony Borax Works, producing food for both its stock and workers. It was opened for visitor accommodation in 1933. The Stovepipe Wells resort was built from scratch by H.W. Eichbaum, and first opened its doors in November 1926. Its success helped encourage opening of Furnace Creek Inn in February 1927 by the Pacific Coast Borax Company. Since then the different hotels have enlarged and expanded their services and facilities. Today they are the main supply centers in the area and are smoothly and professionally run operations, catering to thousands of. visitors annually by providing accommodations, food, books and literature on the region, and generally performing a valuable service in helping acquaint visitors with the inspiring beauty and absorbing and romantic history of this once formidable part of California.

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deva/hrs/section3d1.htm Last Updated: 22-Dec-2003

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/deva/section3d1.htm[7/26/2008 3:08:20 PM]

Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Death Valley
Historic Resource Study A History of Mining

SECTION III:

INVENTORY OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES THE WEST SIDE
D. The Valley Floor (continued) 2. Stovepipe Wells Hotel
a) History (1) Old Stove pipe Wells Long before the present Stovepipe Wells resort was conceived of as a viable tourist operation, the site now referred to as old Stovepipe Wells was a life-saving source of water in the arid desert land of northern Death Valley. Situated on the eastern edge of the sand dunes about five airline miles northeast of the present hotel site, these two shallow pits dug into the sandy floor were undoubtedly originally utilized by the Indian inhabitants of the valley prior to the memorable trek of the '49ers that opened the country to white penetration. Their central location would have made them accessible to Indian groups either crossing between the Amargosa Desert and the Cottonwood Mountains via Daylight Pass, or traveling north or south along the valley's central axis. Originally unmarked, and its whereabouts often obscured by layers of blown sand, the well's location was probably first known only through word of mouth, making its detection by thirsty prospectors wandering up and down the valley an. often desperate and time-consuming task. Eventually it occurred to some enterprising individual, who had access to the necessary materials, to stick a length of stovepipe a few feet into the water source and thus insure easy discovery of the site from all directions. [3] Heavy usage of the well by white men did not actually occur until the mining booms, in Rhyolite, Nevada, and Skidoo, California; the intense excitement and awareness of commercial opportunities they generated initiated a steady and continuous stream of travel over the intervening sixty miles or so of steaming desert. In such a desert environment all springs and water sources are cherished, but Stovepipe's location halfway between Rhyolite and Skidoo seemed to make it a natural waystation for the area also. Sometime probably early in the 1900s a first attempt was made to make of the wells something more than a brief rest stop. Sensing that the increased traffic along here could become a source of revenue, some hardy businessman or inventive prospector dug himself a cellar space out of the shifting sands, measuring about eighteen by twelve feet, which he then surrounded on three sides with fourto five-foot-high walls fashioned from beer bottles stuck together with mud. Several inches of earth over tarp-covered timbers insulated the roof. from the burning desert sun. Initially concerned only with dispensing a limited assortment of foodstuffs along with a liberal amount of beer from the Tonopah brewery (kept reasonably cool in a tub covered with soaked sacks or tarps), the proprietor soon acquiesced to repeated demands for cool lodging
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

facilities and installed two beds in his cellar for use by overnight visitors. The water available from the wells was not what would be termed delightfully refreshing, as discerned immediately from one man's account of his experiences after drinking the "poisoned water" of Stovepipe Springs: My canteens were exhausted when I arrived there [old Stovepipe Wells], and I disregarded the admonition and drank. The water is very low in the spring, is of a yellowish appearance and intensely nauseating in taste. Its odor is very disagreeable, and it can be smelled for half a mile away. Nevertheless, I filled my canteens, and drank of it while there. As I proceeded on my journey my legs became unsteady and I found it difficult to continue my usual pace. I lay down thinking to gain strength, but no improvement was noticeable. The distance between Stove Pipe and Hole-in-the-Rock is about 14 miles, and I fully realized that it was by all odds a case of make this or die . . . . Istruggled forward, my legs becoming more and more uncertain. In addition to this everything was getting dim before me, and I appeared to be rapidly losing my eye sight . . . . I could no longer walk and the only means of locomotion left me was to crawl on my hands, and knees. I was almost blind, too . . . . I was 36 hours in making the 14 miles between the two points, and it looks more like a miracle than anything else that I am. alive to tell the tale. [3]

Illustration 256. Bottle dugout, old Stovepipe Wells, in the 1920s. From Margaret Long Collection, courtesy University of Colorado Library, Boulder.

With the initiation of stage and freight service between Rhyolite and Skidoo in 1906, it became apparent that a more permanent and better-stocked waystation was needed to adequately provision and succor the additional travelers. By February 1907 Stovepipe Wells, in addition to being the one-night stopover on the Kimball Bros. stage route between Rhyolite and Skidoo, was also the first telephone office in the valley. According to J.R. Clark, superintendent of construction on the Skidoo-Rhyolite road and one of the proprietors of the Stovepipe roadhouse, affairs at Stovepipe are more than satisfactory. There is a commissary tent, a boarding house, lodging house and several additional tents, a corral and feeding stable and accommodations in every respect for pilgrims crossing the hot sands. The spring is now inclosed and the water is consequently much improved . . . .
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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

The water is the only fresh water within several miles . . . . The road house at this point is an absolute necessity and facilitates travel from Rhyolite, providing a stopping point at the end of an easy day's drive. [5] Two months later improvements to the complex were being made, and a feature article on the station in the Rhyolite Herald's pictorial supplement presented a clear picture of what services could be expected there: The rusty stovepipe is gone, and there stands in its place a full-fledged road house, way down in the depths of the desert isolation. Many a prospector, tired, worn and weary, has travelled far to the protection of this water hole, marked only by the single piece of pipe; perhaps many a prospector has drunk from its slimy waters never to rise again, being too faint, too famished, to consider the advisability of bailing out the hole and waiting for a fresh supply. The water at Stovepipe is good., provided it is frequently drawn off, but alike most desert water holes it soon becomes stagnant and unfit for use. The coming of the road house has eliminated all the bad features of the water, which is now considered of the best. The Stovepipe road house is quite an up-to-date place. The, equipment includes a grocery, eating house, .bar, lodging house, corral, stock of hay,, grain and provisions,--a little community in itself where travellers may find rest and food for themselves and their beasts. Just now, decided improvements are in progress. A fly is being added to the main tent, walls are being dug, bath room installed, and a pump is being placed to take care of the water. Hammocks will be added for the comfort of guests. Good accommodations have been provided for ladies. Free water is furnished, and every day the place is alive with freighting outfits, etc. going between Rhyolite and Skidoo. Stovepipe is 25 miles from Rhyolite; the half-way station. Meals are 75 cents; beds, 75 cents. The telephone. connects Stovepipe with the outside world, via Rhyolite. [6]

Illustration 257. Stovepipe Wells waystation, taken by Veager and Woodward on Death Valley Expedition, 1908. Photo courtesy of DEVA NM.

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Death Valley NP: Historic Resource Study (Section III)

Illustration 258. Present old Stovepipe Wells site. Photo by Linda W. Greene, 1978.

Perhaps showing signs of getting carried away with the success of their venture, the owners of Stovepipe were Seven contemplating eventually turning the area into a winter resort: The water is believed to possess great medicinal properties, the winter is as a delightful spring, and with the addition of comfortable bungalows, houses of entertainment, out door games, on the hard baked sands, and many other features that might be added, Stovepipe could be made a place where those in delicate health or suffering from pulmonary troubles, might find permanent relief. If the sun cure has merit, it could be worked to the limit at Stovepipe. . . [7] With the gradual decline of Skidoo and Rhyolite as great mining centers around 1908 came the simultaneous demise of the Stovepipe Wells waystation and its gradual abandonment. The article above, however, was certainly a portent of things to come, but it was not until nineteen years later that a young engineer from southern California was able to bring the project to fruition. (2) Eichbaum Toll Road Brings Visitors to Death Valley Herman William Eichbaum, born in Pennsylvania in 1878, received a degree in engineering at the University of Virginia before the lure of the West brought him