Bell Cow Mine

It is said that Gregor Schneider never worked off his ranch at Platina except to build the flume to the Bell Cow Mine. This flume later evolved into a narrow dirt road known as "The Ditch Grade". - Shasta Historial Society

The original Bell Cow Mine went through name changes, expansions, owner changes and so on from 1910 to 1928-29. Persons involved seem to be: S. H. Fiske, J. P. Erhart, J.H. Purcell, Frank A. Greene, John Mason, C.W. Leininger, J. Asby Simpson and Jesse Carter.  - Mines of Shasta County 1891-1941


Bully Choop

Although located in Trinity County, this Precinct Register listed men with an Ono address.

Abercrombie, James George, age 42; Anderson, Andrew Peter, 40; Brady, John Francis, 43; Brown, Edward Manuel, 29; Chace, Frank John, 25; Crowell, Charles Edwin, 45; Cushman, Frank Emery, 26; Flemming, Francis, 39; Gansz, George Elko, 33; Gester, William Burr, 48; Greenwell, Herbert Edgar, 26; Hammond, Francis Claude, 25; Hammond, Francis Simpson, 50; Hughes, John Edgar, 30; Jordan, Patrick, 32; Mann, William Buell, 44; Matod, Joseph Clairfoss, 59; McBee, David, 40; O'Neill, Nicholas, 42; Shapter, William, 42; Stevenson, John Stuart, 33; Strong, William Edward, 30; Sublett, William Winthrop, 29; Woods, George Washington, 54.~

1906 March 16, Semi Weekly Shasta Courier- William Beall of the Bullychoop mine arrived in town [Redding]Wednesday evening from that famous property near the Shasta-Trinity border line.~



Sometimes spelled Centreville. Never had a post office.

1856 - Baldwin & Stroude of Centerville bought the Union Hotel at Middletown. In 1853, this hotel had been operated by Nathan Townsend.~

Centerville means in the center of the Clear Creek Mining District. It's nearness to the Old Yankee John Mine which was worked with variable success and then in 1931 revealed it's rich vein of gold is what put Centerville on the map so to speak.~

1877, The Great Register for the County of Shasta, California, listed residents as:

Louis BOVEE, France, Miner (Plumas Co., CA); DeCharles Ernest Abel BRIDIERS, France, Miner (Shasta Co.); Paul DePREY, USA, Merchant; John DONNES, France, Gardener (Shasta Co.); John GRATTAN, Ireland, Farmer; Hiram KIRKHAM, USA, Miner; Martin SEAMAN, Denmark, Miner (Shasta Co.); Jacob SURBLED, France, Miner (Shasta Co.)~

1881 May 21, San Francisco Bulletin - "The Centreville, Shasta County, mines were stopped in their work last week by broken ditches."~

1905 October 13, The Free Press (Redding, CA) - Mrs. George Boswell of Centerville was among the many visitors in Redding Wednesday.~

1906 March 13 - Nolan Hildreth and Miss Elsie Kidder attended the theatre at Redding Saturday evening.~

1908 December 4, Shasta Courier -Timothy Wilkins, one of the best known "Cousin Jack" miners in this section, is at the county seat for the claims in which he is interested in near Centerville.~

1915, JUBILEE MINE - Consists of 40 acres, in Sec 23, T 31 N, R 6 W, 1/2 mile from Centerville.

Owner:  O. Westbrook of Larkin

Five veins on claims, slate footwall and granite-porphyry hanging. Pay shoot 100 feet long and 4 feet wide, free milling ore. Only slightly developed. One man working.~ 


Centerville Mining District

1856 February 5, San Francisco Bulletin, from Shasta Courier -Near Centreville, one company last week took out one piece of pure gold weighing sixty-one ounces, and other companies, although they cannot boast of a single piece of such extraordinary weight, have in the aggregate done equally as well.~

Home of the Yankee John Mine, Three R Mine, Little Frog Mine, Midnight Mine and others.

1871, Centerville School established.~

1871, Pacific Coast Business directory - Centerville, Shasta County, Post Office address = Shasta, located 6 miles south of Shasta.  P. DePray has a general merchandise store.

Tadpole Creek - a stream that flows 5 miles to Olney Creek 4 miles south-southwest of Redding

Squawtown - near Centerville

Larkin Post Office - named for John Larkin who also had a store and saloon. Post Office established in 1899 and discontinued in 1912. John Larkin was also Coroner of Shasta County from 1911 until 1929. Melissa J. Larkin was the first postmistress.

1886, Republican Free Press - An old California miner named Becker, who has mined all over the Pacific Coast, last week struck what he believes to be a rich mine about one and a half miles west of Ceneterville near Clear Creek. It is an immense deposit, claimed to resemble greatly the rich tellurium ore in the Salt Creek Mine belonging to Schearer & Rattler. It is certain that some of the ore carries free gold as we panned it out. Becker has a good claim in New River and one in Klamath in Siskiyou County also which he discovered the past summer.~

1888 Feb 2, - An immense ledge of quartz bearing heavy gold and silver sulphurets, assaying well up in the hundreds, is being worked in the flat near Centerville, Shasta County.~

1889 June 12, San Francisco Bulletin, The Redding Democrat says:  A new quartz discovery was made by an old prospector named Brown, about two weeks ago on the old Gage place on the divide between Shasta and Centerville that promises to make a rich mine. Two claims were located,  one on the Gage place and the other just off and adjoining. The Gage place is deeded land and belongs to Mr.Walden, who is at present farming in Happy Valley. Brown sold the outside location to Jim Beecher of Anderson and a Hayden Hill miner named Hall for $1000. and last week they were offered $3000. profit on their bargain. Beecher and Hall are sinking on their claim and we are told they take out as high as $4.00 to the pan. This discovery has caused quite an excitement in that vicinity.~



Yes, we had our own settlement called Chicago near the Chicago Mine near Igo.

1877, The Great Register of the County of Shasta, California,  had local residents listed:

Joseph Benson BATCHELER, New York, District Recorder, Chicago; Noah Smith BATCHELER, New York, Farmer, Chicago; Hosea DIXON, Missouri, Miner, Chicago; Samuel HUBBARD, Ohio, Cooper, Chicago; Henry Christian JACOBSON, Denmark, Miner, Chicago (San Francisco County); Evans Logan JONES, Indiana, Farmer, Chicago; Horace A. LEMMON, Pennsylvania, Hotel Keeper, Chicago Mine; Marcus Hodges PECK, USA, Miner, Chicago; William Hall PAYNE, Ohio, Carpenter, Chicago; Franklin Clark TIFFIN, USA, Miner, Chicago; John Edward TIFFIN, USA, Blacksmith, Chicago; George Kittredge WILLARD, USA, Merchant, Chicago.~

1880 March 15, San Francisco Bulletin - The old tunnel of the Chicago mine of Igo owned by O. Engle has been cleaned out and 90 tons of ore sent below.~

1881 June 6, San Francisco Bulletin - Mining interests in Igo are brisk. The gravel elevators give satisfaction. The Chicago mine is turning out bullion.~

1969 July 11, Letter from Richard B. Eaton - "Piety Hill did not become Igo, but in 1866 the remaining inhabitants of Piety Hill moved to Igo, which is about 1/2 mile away. Piety Hill was then a declining placer mining camp, wheras Igo was founded to serve the needs of a large new quartz mine, the Chicago."


Clear Creek

1913 January 28, Record Searchlight (Redding, CA) - CLEAR CREEK FARMS ARE TO BE DREDGED - ORO LIGHT & POWER COMPANY BONDS MUCH AND SOUTH OF CITY - A deal of more than ordinary importance in the dredging world is closed or about to be so, on Clear Creek, where a number of the farmers have bonded their holdings to the Oro Light & power Company of Oroville. This company has been prospecting for several months, a fact which has already been noted in these columns. The results have been excellent.

The ranches to be taken over are known as the McMullen, Peterson, Haskin, Gibson, Jones, Lutman, McCormick & Saeltser, and there are possible one or two others.

A factor, which will be of much advantage in the mining of the properties,is the closeness of the railroad and Girvan. All machinery and other necessary material to prosecute work has been ordered. It is expected that active developments will soon be launched.

The closing of this sale will mean an outlay of many thousand dollars giving an impetus to gold dredging in Shasta county such as it has never had before.~


Clear Creek Ditch

1861 January 5, Shasta Courier - Up Again - The large flume of the Clear Creek ditch, just above West Point House which was partly prostrated by the recent storms and floods, has been repaired, and the mining regions of Horsetown, Middletown, etc., are again in the enjoyment of an abundant supply of water.~

1884,  Newsclipping pasted in a scrapbook and then photocopied:  It now seems certain that the owners of the Clear Creek ditch, that has lain idle so long, are going to work in earnest to put that ditch property in repair and make it useful. It will be a boon to a number of miners around Horsetown and Centerville. Mr. M.F. Truett, superintendent of the ditch, to-day advertises in this paper that he desires to let a contract for furnishing 250,000 feet of good, sawed timber, to be delivered on and along the line of the ditch. Her's a chance for our lumbermen. The miners and small farmers whose property is adjacent to this ditch have for a long time been waiting for it to be re-opened, and doubtless this good news will make them feel happy again. All Western Shasta will be greatly benefitted by the re-opening of this ditch.~


Grizzly Gulch 

1889 May 13, San Francisco Bulletin -

A Stella [formerly Whiskeytown] correspondent of the Shasta Democrat of late date says: Six years ago there was but one mine on Grizzly Gulch, and good prospectors who frequented there thought that no other good mines could be found.

Today ther are not less than twenty located and prospected quartz claims in that locality, and most of them promise to turn out well. 


Harrison Gulch Mining District

1893 - Gold discovered along the creek running through a gulch that later became known as the Harrison Gulch Creek and Harrison Gulch named for William H. Harrison who had been elected the first judge of Shasta County in September 1850.~

1893 - discovery of the gold by Leonard Benton, John Isaac Fowler and a man named Rhodes.

date a ? - The three sold to the Hurst Brothers who gave the mine the name of King Midas shortened to Midas Mine for the gold being so rich in quantity and quality.~

Ferdinand Hurst, later Shasta county Supervisor and owner of the Golden Eagle Hotel.

1898 - Captain J.W. Roberts' Gold Hill Developing Company purchased the Midas Mine.~

1899 May 20, Evening News; Redding, May 20:  The Midas Gold Mining Company, operating at Harrison Gulch, the largest gold mining camp in Shasta County, has suffered a loss of $75,000 by washing away of the restraining dam for the impounding of the tailings from its quartz mill.~

1901 March 17, Special Dispatch to the Sunday Herald, New York, March 16, 1901-The Midas, in Harrison Gulch, Shasta County, Cal., has a pay chute 2700 feet long off the fourth level. It is pay ore all the way and averages from two to three feet wide. It is claimed to be the longest pay chute in California.~

1901 March- Capt. J. H. Roberts of the Midas Mine, Harrison Gulch, came into town (Redding) carrying a heavy grip which he refused to check. It enclosed a solid gold brick weighing 50 pounds, and worth $13,000. The Midas Mine averaged about $30,000 per month. - Giles~

Captain Roberts shipped the gold bricks from the Midas Mine from Red Bluff to San Francisco in his own boat. Roberts also had interests in other mines in the area. It is also said he always had a few "fake" gold bricks along with each shipment in case of robbery.~

1903 January 9, The Semi-Weekly Searchlight - Redding, Shasta County, California -

Sherk, with ownership just established now taking out nuggets - E.P. Sherk, the man who experienced all the trouble in court over his Harrison Gulch mining property, has struck it rich on that selfsame property, according to the reports that have reached Redding from the scene of the strike.

After the law had declared Sherk to be the owner of the property and he was no longer compelled to occupy his time in fighting law suits, he set to work to develop his mine.

As the story has reached Redding, Sherk dug away the face or breast of his tunnel. Near bedrock he encountered gravel. He washed this and was both surprised and delighted to pan out great pieces of coarse gold. The chunks range in value from three dollars up to twelve. One piece weighed $14.20.

As Sherk continues to work he continues to clean up pieces of gold from the bedrock.

A miner in Redding from Harrison Gulch says Sherk's property is easily worth $20,000. at the present time.~

1904 February 22 - San Jose Mercury - MINE IS CLOSED DOWN - ONE HUNDRED MEN AT HARRISON GULCH THROWN OUT OF WORK - Redding, Feb 21, 1904: The Midas Mine of Harrison Gulch was closed down today as the result of labor troubles. One hundred men are thrown out of employment. The miners Union demanded the discharge of an engineer because he was a non-union man and the mining company decided to shut down rather than accede to the demands of the union.~

1904 December - A second shaft sunk across the gulch from the Midas and named Gold Hill.~

Date a ? - Victor Mine located on the edge of Knob, adjoining the Midas Mine on the east. Feuding developed between the two mining companies as each thought they had the "big vein" and their tunnels were heading toward each other.

Date a ? - Midas Group included Victor and Twinvict; Gold Hill and Harrison Gulch Mines. Harrison Gulch District = Black Bear, Esperanza, Gray Eagle, Harrison Gulch, Independent Group, and Midas Group. Platina District = Beegum Creek and Platina Mine.~

1909 - Monthly cleanup from the Twenty-Stamp Mill at the Midas Mine in Harrison Gulch yielded enough gold to make a $28,000.00 gold brick. L. A. McIntosh, manager of the mine, came in from Harrison Gulch and brought the valuable gold brick with him.~

1911 March 4, Harry L. Waste, manager of the Midas Mine at Harrison Gulch, was married to Mabel Morrissey, a daughter of F.T. Morrissey, the Harrison Gulch merchant.~

1915 - The Harrison Gulch Mining District, 50 miles southwesterly from Redding near the Trinity County line,[extreme southwest Shasta county] is known principally on account of the MIDAS MINE. Here the ore occurs in slate, near a porphyry dike, and considerable evidence of faulting is found. The pay shoot has an average width of 12 inches. The haul is rather expensive, as two mountain ranges must be crossed.~

1915 - BLACK BEAR MINE consists of 80 acres, in Sec 9, T 29 N, R 10 W, 1 miles south of Harrison Gulch, in the Harrison Gulch Mining District.Owners:  W.D. Lilly et al of Redding. One vein 5' wide in slate, only slightly developed. Two short tunnels.~

1915ESPERANZA MINE consists of 160 acres, in Sec 29, T 29 N, R 10 W, about 1 1/2 miles east of Harrison Gulch, in the Harrison Gulch Mining District. Owner:  A. J. Oswald. Four veins exposed on the surface, three being parallel. A shaft has been sunk on the Lucky George claim to a depth of 214 feet, and three crosscuts run, longest 142 feet, working through a fault. A little ore on the surface. A 12 h.p. steam hoist used. Four men employed. Prospect.~



Igo Mining District

1881 January 20, San Francisco Bulletin , via Redding Independent -

If there is one part of Shasta County more prosperous than another, it is the country about Igo. There are a number of nice little farms that are netting their owners a good living and a little beside; but the principal industry is mining. With the aid of the recently invented gravel elevator a new impetus has been given to hydraulic mining, and near Igo are numerous claims of rich gravel which heretofore could not be worked, owing to lack of sufficient fall, but which with the elevator can be made to yield large dividends. The quartz interest is also looking up.

The Chicago Company, O. Engle, Superintendent, after waiting for the rain, are now getting in their heavy work. Two small bars of bullion were shipped not long since, and on Monday Dunham's express conveyed to Anderson for shipment a bar weighing 27 1/2 pounds which was taken out of two tons of rock. Although the ore in the Chicago is somewhat base, it will abundantly pay to work.

R. G. Harvey, Superintendent of the Hardscrabble hydraulic mine, has twelve men employed, and with three giants under way, is doing splendid execution.

Ginsby & Holland of San Francisco have entered into arrangements with Warren Dunham to put up a gravel elevator at his gravel mine near Igo. This mine is situated in a flat and cannot be worked except by the recently patented  gravel elevator.

Jack McConnell & Co. have nearly completed their elevator, and in about three weeks will work their gravel mines opposite Horsetown at the Gleason ranch.~

1893 September 12, Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX) - from Chicago, Ill - Dissension in the Igo Consolidated Mining Company has led Thomas J. Reid, a stockholder and former vice-president to file a bill in the circut court asking for an accounting and the appointment of a receiver to wind up the affairs of the concern. The company owns mines twenty-five miles northwest of Anderson, Shasta County, California.~

1915 - The Igo Mining District is 13 miles southwest of Redding, and some good placer ground has been worked in this section. The debris law has stopped hydraulic operations. The quartz mining has been carried on to a limited extent. The pay shoots are short but carry good values in gold. Good wagon road from Redding to the town of Igo. The same general conditions apply to Ono, some 7 miles west of Igo.~

1915, ATLANTIC MINE - Consists of 100 acres in Sections 17 and 20, T 31 N, R 6 W, 3 miles northwest of the town of Igo, in the Igo Mining District.

Owner:  W. L. Kingsbury.

Two parallel veins about 150 feet apart have been worked in a small way. Pay shoot 70' long and 15' wide, in granite. One tunnel on vein for a distance of 440 feet. A little ore shipped to Selby smelter gave returns of $80 per ton in gold. Small producer. Two men employed. - Mines and Mineral Resources of Shasta County, Siskiyou County, Trinity County by G. Chester Brown (1915)~

1915, BLACK HAWK MINE - Consists of 80 acres in Sec. 14, T 31 N, R 6 W, about 1 mile northwest of Centerville, in the Igo (formerly South Fork) mining district.

Owner:  W. Dunham [Warren Dunham]

One vein, meta-andesite walls, only small amount of development work by a tunnel 440' long. Little ore taken out.Idle. Prospect. -Mines and Mineral Resources of Shasta County, Siskiyou County, Trinity County by G. Chester Brown (1915)~

1915, Mines and Mineral Resources of Shasta County, Siskiyou County and Trinity County -

CLIMAX MINE - Consists of 60 acres in Sec 16 and 21, T 31 N., R 6 W, about 3 miles northwest of Igo.

Owner:  S.W. Robinson

One vein in granite. Ore shoot short, free near surface but base with depth. Only limited amount of development work by means of short tunnels. Old Justin mill dismantled. Has been a small producer. Worked a few months each year. Prospect.~

1915, CRYSTAL MINE, Mines and Minerals of Shasta County, Siskiyou County and Trinity County - Consists of 60 acres, in Sec. 17, T. 31 N., R 6 W., 3 miles northwest of Igo.

Owners:  Kingsbury and Hubbard.

Three parallel veins in granite. Ore is grayish gold-silver sulphide. Pay shoot short and values are not uniform. Only slightly developed with short tunnels. A little ore shipped to smelter gave returns of $50 per ton in gold and silver. Worked a few months during the year. Prospect.~

1915, DIAMOND MINE -  Formerly known as Black Prince, consists of 80 acres, in Sec 18, T 31 N, R 6 W, 4 miles northwest of Igo, in the Igo Mining District.

Owner:  S. W. Robinson

Four veins on the group, but only one, the Black Prince, has been worked. Granite foot wall and meta-andesite hanging. Pay shoot 100 feet long and 2 feet wide, ore base below the surface. A tunnel 400 feet long, short drifts, and one slope on the vein. Ore shipped to smelter gave returns of $50. per ton in gold and silver. Prospect being worked by Roberts and Wheeler of Igo, under a lease.~

1915, GOLDEN CROWN MINE - Consists of 80 acres, in Sec 19, T 31 N, R 6 W, 2 miles northwest of Igo, in the Igo (South Fork) mining district.

Owners:  Dunham & Gilson

One vein 1 foot wide, syenite footwall and granite-porphyry hanging. Short ore shoot, free milling. Prospect, only slightly developed. Little ore shipped to smelter. Idle.~

1915 - Jewel Quarry is located in Sec 25, T 31 N, R 6 W, 2 1/2 miles east of Igo. Massive deposit. Rock grayish in color and similar to Masterton deposit. It has not been worked for several years.

Note: Masterton Quarry was a massive granite deposit 1 1/2 miles S of Stella.~

1915, LODI MINE - Consists of 60 acres, in Sec 16, T 31 N, R 6 W, about 3 1/4 miles north of Igo.

Owners:  W.D. Bull et al

Elevation 1400 feet. One vein 2 feet wide. Short ore shoot. Ore base below the surface, consisting of gold, silver, zinc and galena. Slightly developed with a short tunnel. Little ore shipped. Idle.~

1915- LOST CHANNEL MINE - (drift) mine, consisting of 580 acres, is located in Secs 3, 4 ,34, T 30 and 31 N, R 6 W, and extends southerly from the town of Igo for a distance of 1 1/2 miles.

Owner:  C.A. Russell of Igo.

The bedrock is soft, decomposed granite, slightly tilted. Course of channel is north and south, and contains some pay to a depth of 20 feet below the surface. Best values found 4 feet above bedrock. Workings consist of several tunnels, longest 1800 feet; also a number of old shafts 50 feet deep, all along Dry Creek. About 5 acres have been worked. Some of the gravel is rich. Gold is 875 fine, and sells for $18 per ounce. Leased by Porter and Thompson of Seattle, Washington, who endeavored to work the ground as "dry land" proposition, using a shovel and then dumping the gravel into a rotary grinder, then running the tailings over a short copper plate. Experiment a failure. Power obtained from Northern California Power Company. Holdings now being drilled to determine dredging possibilities. Six men employed. Property has been a producer since 1865, when the first location (the Blue Bird) was made by T. White. Piety Hill drift mine to the northeast.~


Iowa Creek

1857 April 16, Daily Globe - MINING IN SHASTA COUNTY - A valuable discovery of gold has recently been made in the main channel of Iowa Creek, near Pittsburg. We are told by the Republican that the creek is nearly two miles in length, and promises lasting valuable claims. The depth of the diggings is about twenty feet. Messrs. A. Gregory and Co. have been making big wages. Out of one pan of dirt they took out $75.


Jackass Flat, Breechesburg, Briggsville

Jackass Flat, another community a mile or so down the creek [along Clear Creek from One Horsetown], was supposedly named by a muleteer, James Latour, who pastured his mules in a nearby meadow, calling them in the morning by braying like a jackass. This place later was known as Briggsville, although some authorities claim Briggsville was at first called Breechesburg because the miners wandered about the camp without their breeches. Because the first woman to arrive, a Mrs. Briggs, refused to to remain if the men did not mend their slovenly ways and change the name of the place, it became Briggsville in her honor. - SHASTA: The Queen City by Mabel Moores Frisbie and Jean Moores Beauchamp, 1973, p 16.

1852 December 6, The Shasta County Court of Sessions issued a license to Landrum and Briggs for their toll bridge over Clear Creek at Briggsville below Horsetown 6 December 1852.  

1853- Briggsville Hotel at Briggsville. Lansdale,  Proprietor

1855 April 17, Daily Placer Times (San Francisco, CA) - The Courier says: Our accounts from the mines are quite flattering. So far, the most favorable accounts are from Jackass Flat. On Thursday, we are informed by Mr. Woodward, the Horsetown Expressman, one company of three men, with one tom, took out five pounds of dust. This is the biggest day's work that we have heard of during the week. ~ 


Mining Districts

Ron Joliff and Nola Shoup collaborated to bring us a Mining District List for S W Shasta County. Ron also provided maps for nine of the districts. Going over each map with my nifty magnifying glass, I'll add some of the names I could identify that might fit in with this and other research and projects. In alphabetical order, here we go:

Arbuckle Mining District (no map yet)

Centerville Mining District (map) Midnight Mine, Three R Mine, Yankee John Mine, Little Frog Mine, Tadpole, Mineral Entry, 594, Squawtown, Larkin Rd

Cottonwood Mining District (no map yet)

Eagle Creek Mining District (map) Eagle Creek, Rector Creek, Huling Creek

Harrison Gulch Mining District (map) Harrison Gulch, Knob Peak (couldn't read the very tiny print)

Horsetown Mining District (map) Clear Creek, Horsetown, Briggsville, Cloverdale, Texas Springs, Townsend, Dixon & Coopers, Cletan Farnans Land, (more tiny words)

Huling Mining District  (no map yet)

Igo Mining District (map) South Fork Clear Creek, Clear Creek, Dry Creek, Piety Hill, Placer Mine, Igo Lost, Channel Mines, Cons. Placer, Igo Ridge Placer, 4 (?) Bar, Copper Lode,(other tiny words) 

Middletown Mining District (map) Monte Cristo Cons, Arizona Cons Group, Olney Creek, Clear Creek, Oregon Gulch, Gem Lode, Blackfoot Lode, Clegr, Ditch, Jenny Creek, Canyon (more tiny words)

Muletown Mining District (map) Clear Creek, Elk Horn Placer, Santa Claus, North Star Lode, Mabel-Emma Lode, (more tiny words)

Jim Fisk, Oriface Lode, Stoney Gulch Q.M.C., The Skipper Q.M.C., Midway R.M.C., NRA Lode Mine, Potosi Mine, Jumbo Mine - Thank You, Marilyn Carter

Redding Mining District (no map yet)

Roaring River Mining District  (no map yet)

South Fork Mining District (map) South Fork Clear Creek, May V. Balou, Silver Falls Mine (more tiny words)

Sunny Hill Mining District (map) Bully Choop Mining District, Bully Choop Mountain, Sunny Hill Mine, (more tiny words)

If you have more information, or if I have made errors, please let me know and I can keep building on this Project entry - - or use the comment button at the bottom of this entry. Thanks!



Mining Jargon: Arastra or Arrastra or Arrastre

In gold mining, a crude machine used for ore crushing; some sort of grinder powered by water or animals; a circular rock lined pit in which broken ore is pulverized by stones attached to horizontal poles fastened in a central pillar and dragged around the pit.~

According to R. S. Ballou, there were at one time, 7 arrastras on South Fork of Clear Creek on oxidized surface ores with good returns.

E.L. Ballou had an arrastra as did Dayton Hubbard. Other Arrastra owners were Moody, Wright and the Shirland Brothers.~


Mining Jargon: Cleaning up

According to John S. Hittell in the book Hittell on Gold Mines and Mining:

Cleaning up - The separation of the gold, amalgam, and quicksilver, from the dirt in the bottom of the sluice, is called "cleaning up;" and the period between one "cleaning up" and another is called a "run." A run in a common board-sluice usually lasts from six to ten days. Ordinarily the sluice runs only during daylight, but in some claims the work continues night and day. Cleaning up occupies from half a day to a day, and therefore must not be repeated too often because it consumes too much time. In some sluices the cleaning up does not occur until the riffle-bars have been worn out or much bruised by the wear of the stones and gravel. Cleaning up is considered light and pleasant work as compared with other sluicing, and is often reserved for Sunday.

At the time fixed, the throwing in of dirt ceases, and the water runs until it becomes clear. five or six sets of riffle-bars, a distance of thirty or thirty-five feet, are taken up at the head of the sluice, and the dirt between the bars is washed down, while the gold and amalgam lodge above the first remaining set of riffle-bars, whence it is taken out with a scoop or large spoon, and put into a pan. Five or six more sets of bars are taken up and so on down. Sometimes all the riffle-bars are taken up at once, save one set in every thirty six feet, and then the work of cleaning up is dispatched much more rapidly.

The quicksilver and amalgam taken from the sluice are put into a buckskin or cloth, and pressed, so that the liquid metal passes through, and the amalgam is retained. The amalgam is then heated, to drive off the mercury. This may be done either in an open pan or in a close retort. In the former, the quicksilver is lost; in the latter, it is saved. The pan is generally preferred. Often a shovel or plate of iron is used. Three pounds of amalgam, from which the liquid metal has been carefully pressed out, will yield one pound of gold. The gold remaining after the quicksilver has been driven off by heat from the amalgam, is a porous mass, somewhat resembling sponge-cake in appearance.~


Mining Jargon: Ditch

Ditch - A long narrow trench or furrow dug in the ground, as for conveying water to another location. The miners used ditches to convey water from creeks, rivers, lakes to get it to where they needed it to work out the gold.

1859, Shasta County Mining Ditches:

ARBUCKLE - 6 miles, worth $10,000, belonged to Howe & Co.

BALD HILL - out of Cottonwood Creek, 8 miles, worth $15,000 belonged to Able & Co.

CEDAR FLAT - out of Cottonwood Creek, 2 1/2 miles worth $3,000. belonged to L. Williams & Co.

CLEAR CREEK - out of Clear Creek, 53 miles, worth $140,000, belonged to Rhodes, Smith & Co.

CLEAR CREEK - out of Clear Creek, 3 miles, worth $4,000, belonged to Wilkinson & Co.

CLEAR CREEK - out of Clear Creek, 2 miles, worth $12,000, belonged to McKinney & Elmore

CLEAR CREEK SOUTH FORK - out of Clear Creek So. Fork, 2 miles worth $10,000 belonged to C. M McKinney & Co.

COTTONWOOD - out of Cottonwood Creek, 8 miles, worth $10,000, belonged to Linn & Wheelock

EAGLE CREEK - out of Eagle Creek, 16 miles, worth $10,000, belonged to Linn & Wheelock

KNOW MUCKET - out of Clear Creek, 4 miles, worth $5,000, belonged to Duffy & Stockton

QUARTZ HILL - out of Churn Creek, 8 miles, worth $4,000, belonged to J. Harrison & Co.

SACRAMENTO - out of Sacramento Creek, 22 miles, worth $25,000 belonged to E. Tierney & Co.

WATSON - 7 1/2 miles, worth $18,000, belonged to Watson & Thurston~


Mining Jargon: Dredge

The Dredge is a large raft or barge on which is mounted either a chain of buckets or suction pumps and other appliances to elevate and wash alluvial deposits and gravel for gold, tin, platinum, diamonds, etc.~

1904 January 23, Free Press, Redding, CA- One of the very largest dredging plants in California is that of the California and Detroit Company (known as the Heintz dredger), on Clear Creek at old Horsetown, twelve miles west of Redding. This plant is just being rebuilt, the former dredger having been destroyed by fire last June. Other dredgers, The Martin and Diestelhorst - are operated in the Sacramento River near Redding and have been worked successfully and profitably.

1915 July 9, San Jose Mercury News - ". . .The dredge mining in the state continues to be prosperous and productive. The United States Dredging Co., which has its machine on Middle Creek, three miles from Redding, and some other companies are prospecting ground in the vicinity of Igo, Gas Point and in Happy Valley, in Shasta County."

". . . The Shasta Dredging Company's dredger that has been operating at Horsetown, on Clear Creek, has been moved 12 miles to a new dredging point near Gas Point."~

In 1940, the Carlson & Sandburg Dragline Dredge was working on Roaring River in southwestern Shasta County, dredging for gold.~



Mining Jargon: Hydraulic Mining

Hydraulic mining is a method of mining by which a bank of gold-bearing earth or gravel is washed away by a powerful jet of water and carried into sluices, where the gold separates from the earth by its specific gravity.~

In 1858, a cave-in due to hydraulic mining at Horsetown hill buried two miners and threw a third one out with the debris. The man sprang up, directed the hydraulic hose and nozzle on the spot and in a few minutes had mined out his partners, alive.~

The Hardscrabble Mine at Piety Hill extracted gold by this method.~

1903 - Caminetti Law passed creating a committee whose duty it was to prevent tailings caused by hydraulic mining from going into the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers.~


Mining Jargon: Long Tom

1850 April 15, Sacramento- American ingenuity, plus the universal desire to get more gold faster, is bringing about the introduction of a new "machine" for washing gold in the placer mining areas.

It is the "Long Tom," a box about 10 or 12 feet long and open at the top and ends. Across the bottom are placed bars, called riffles. A stream of water is passed through the box, and dust bearing dirt is shoveled into it. The heavier gold particles sink to the bottom, and are caught by the riffles.

More of the finer bits of gold are lost by the process, but it offers the great advantage over the popular cradle of permitting the speedy washing of larger quantities of earth continuously by a group of miners working together. As a result, it is being popularly adopted in the gold region although the miners pan and the cradle are still the standbys of prospectors and diggers who prefer to work alone.~


Mining Jargon: Proofs of Labor

1900 January 11, Daily Free Press - Filed Jan 11:  Dennis Desmond, Iron Mask, Bright Star quartz mines, Shasta Mining District. W. S. Kidder:  Get-Up-and-Get quartz mine, Sunny Hill. Filed Jan 10: F.D. Fowler, Oro Vista Group quartz mine, Shasta Mining District.~