Mining Jargon: Stamp Mill

A Stamp Mill is an apparatus (also the building containing the apparatus) in which rock is crushed by descending pestles (stamps), operated by various power sources.~

The Chicago Mine, on the South Fork of Clear Creek, near Igo, was a 5-stamp mill. Zogg had a stamp mill on the South Fork of Clear Creek near Ballou's mining operation.~


Mining Laws for the Horsetown District

1856 February 11 (Adopted)

Article 1 - Each miner shall be entitled to hold one hundred feet square in dry diggings.

Article 2 - Each man shall be entitled to hold during the dry season, a claim in dry diggings, and also, during the wet season, a creek claim of one hundred feet square, without depriving himself of the privilege of holding a workable claim, either in the creek or in dry diggings, as the case may be, providing he, or they, put a notice on the same, fully setting forth the boundaries of said claim, and of his or their intention to work the same, as soon as is practicable.

Article 3 - If any man through neglect leaves his claim for a longer period than ten days, while in a workable condition, and neglects to do any work on the same he shall forfeit his right, and the same may be taken up and worked by another.

Article 4 - All miners taking up claims, shall post up a notice in a conspicuous place, giving the names in full of the claimants.

Article 5 - All claims will hold good by recording from the first day of May until the first day of October, after which time, all notices will have to be renewed every ten days.

Article 6 - Any man purchasing a claim, shall cause the disposer to have  a transfer of said claim to him on the recorders book.

Article 7 - No miner shall be compelled to work his claim, by forcing him to hire water.

Article 8 - There shall be a recorder appointed, whose duty it shall be to record all Notices of Claims that may be presented to him for that purpose.

Article 9 - Any person having claims recorded, shall pay to the recorder the sum of one dollar for each claim he shall have recorded, and said recorder shall be required to give any information that may be required of him, in regard to said notice, when called upon.

Article 10 - That the One Horsetown Mining District be known as included in the following boundaries, to wit, commencing, on clear Creek at the mouth of Dry Creek, and running up said creek to its head. Thence westwardly and down Oregon Gulch, including all its tributaries to Clear Creek, thence down said creek including both banks to the place of beginning.

Article 11 - All disputes about claims shall be settled by a Jury of Miners, chosen by the disputants, the said Jury of Miners, holding claims, and residing in this district. Also the disputants shall abide by the decision of the said Jury in accordance with with the laws herein provided.

Article 12 - All Tail Races, shall hold good so long as the claimants shall wish to use them for mining purposes.

Article 13 - For the protection of those who prospect, it is resolved, that the miner who shall strike new diggings, shall be allowed an extra claim in the place of discovery of one hundred square feet.

I certify the foregoing to be a true Copy.

John C. Spencer, Recorder of Claims

[Found at Behrens-Eaton by Jo Giessner on 20 April 2011]



Mining Notes

1852 June 15, Sacramento Weekly Union - News from Shasta Courier -

The quartz vein of the Shasta Hydraulic Co. is proving very rich. Messrs. Wright and Kelly of San Francisco, have purchased one half of the vein (2000 shares) for $10,000.

Mr. Thomas, on Whiskey Creek, recently took from his claim a lump of pure gold weighing $600.

Mad Ox, Mad Mule, and other canons putting into Whiskey Creek, have proven to be exceedingly rich the past year. The diggings are deep, and frequently weeks are spent without discovering the color of gold. The gold is usually found in deep deposits.

Messrs. Clapp and Albert, two miners from Iowa, have taken from Stud-Horse Canon four thousand dollars during the past two weeks.

The miners on Salt Creek at the Lower Springs, are realizing five dollars per day.

Several mining camps on Clear Creek have recently been robbed by the Indians.~

1853, Notes on principal mining districts:  Lower Springs, yielding well; Jackass Flat, mines average splendid wages; Olney Creek, first rate wages in many claims; Sacramento River, plenty of unmined gold; Pit River, very rich mines; One Horsetown, placers unsurpassed; Middletown, good wages but needs water; French Gulch, rich diggings, 3-6 oz. per day. Miners prepare to pull down houses to follow rich leads under them.~

1854 February 1, San Francisco - Many of us know where the gold came from throughout California, but did you ever think about where it went?

According to an article from a San Francisco news release on 1 Feb 1854, 1853 was the biggest year in California's gold history and according to Adams & Co., bankers and forwarders,  shipping out of the Port of San Francisco alone was the following chart. In addition, there was an incalculable amount taken out by individuals.

"By destination, the gold was distributed as follows:  New York, $47,914,447; New Orleans, $390,781; London, $4,795,662; Panama, $793; Valparaiso, $445,778; Sandwich Islands, $194,000; China, $926,124; Manila, $17,430; Calcutta, $1,240; New South Wales, $38,670."~

1856 February 5, San Francisco Bulletin, from Shasta Courier - The Whisky Creek diggings are paying unusually large wages, so also are all the diggings along the line of the Shasta Ditch.~

1856 February 5, San Francisco Bulletin, from Shasta Courier - In some localities, very large lumps are taken out, and this is particularly true in reference to all that region of country from Middletown, through Centreville, Jackass Flat, Horsetown, and along the line of Clear Creek, and around Texas Springs.~

1856 February 5, San Francisco Bulletin, from Shasta Courier -Even near our town, on Flat Creek, miners are doing very well, and in fact the same can be said of every mining locality in our county.~

1863 January 8, San Francisco Bulletin - In Shasta County about Roaring River, Janesville and Union Flat, the miners were said to be very successful earning from $5 up to $17 per day. A number of hydraulic claims were also opened.

The Bunker Hill Co., at the mouth of Middle Creek, 3 miles from Shasta, in April last were reported to have taken out daily for 2 weeks from 6-10 pounds of gold worth $19 per ounce, only four men being employed.~

1864, By John S. Hittell, 1864:

John S. Hittell was a miner on Clear Creek in 1849, and in the group of twelve in February 1850, who ventured out to make peace with the Native Americans and find the richness of Arbuckle Gulch. He was also a writer.

"South of Siskiyou and east of Trinity lies Shasta county, which is on the average forty miles wide from north to south and one hundred miles long, reaching to the eastern border of the state. There is a rich auriferous district about twenty miles square, in the vicinity of the town of Shasta, in the south-western part of the county. The diggings are mostly in the basins of Clear Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Rock Creek, and Salt Creek, all of which enter the Sacramento. There are four quartz-mills in the county, one at French Gulch, one at Middle Creek, one at Muletown and one at Old Diggings. The county has twenty-seven mining ditches with a joint length of one hundred and forty-one miles, an average of five miles each. The chief mining towns are Shasta, Horsetown, French Gulch, Muletown, Briggsville, Whiskey and Middletown."~

1864 May 7, Shasta Courier - Bon Ton - This company, of Clear Creek district, some two weeks ago sent some rock from their claim to Goldsmith & Co., San Francisco, to be tested. Returns were received a few days since which show an assay of 16 per cent of copper. The company have recommended work on their claim, and we are informed that the quality of the ore improves in appearance as they go down their shaft.~

1876 April 15, San Francisco Bulletin - A man named Rochford was drowned in the Sacramento River, between Portuguese Flat and the mouth of Slate Creek, last Sunday whiule prospecting for placer mines. His body at last accounts had not been recovered. He leaves a family in Benicia.~

1880 November 27, San Francisco Bulletin - The Slate Creek Mining Company, Shasta county, are enlarging theiur flumes at the head of their ditch and cutting a bed-rock race to their claim, and making other improvements.~

1881 April 19, San Francisco Bulletin -

Slate Creek - hydraulics have begun.

Copper City - has shipped $6,326. aince April 1st.

Women can hold a mining claim, under the General Land Office Law, and so can a minor. 

French Gulch - excitement over new quartz discoveries. The Washington Company have cleaned up a run of 132 tons that yielded $18. per ton.~

1924 July 30 report:

Quartz Mines in Shasta County that have produced gold in paying quantities. The Victor Mining Company group of mines at Harrison Gulch among which is the Midas mines. Small force at work. The Bell Cow Mines on Arbuckle Mountain. The Sunny Hill mines owned by L.F. Barlow. Producing. Archer Mines on the South Fork of Clear Creek. Once the Chicago Mine on which considerable development work and reduction works were erected. Potose Mines in  Muletown District. Once had a mill on it and considerable rich rock was extracted. Was worked 50 years ago. Yankee John Mine near Middletown has been worked intermittently for the past 55 years or more. Mount Shasta Mines on Clear Creek has been explored to a depth of a thousand feet or more. Has been idle 10-12 years. Probably a quarter of a million dollars has been taken from this property. The Oro Fino Mine is adjacent to the Mount Shasta and although an old location has not been extensively explored. Some rich rock has been taken and shipped from this property. -These notes were found at the Behrens-Eaton on 27 April 2011. Old typewriter on Sheriff's Office Letterhead. Unknown if Judge Eaton's work, or a handwritten " J. L. Richardson" is on the 1st page.~


Mining Notes - SW Shasta

1861 March 8, San Francisco Bulletinfrom Horsetown Argus -

UNION FLAT - located on the north side of Cottonwood Creek, prospects have been obtained that insure to the owners of claims good pay, and in fact, one claim which has been opened for some time, has paid regularly from $8 to $15 a day to the hand.

GAS POINT - opposite to the above place, there are many claims opened that pay wages, and the claim of Mr. link, located at this place is paying at present very largely. There are a number of claims being opened at present. The diggings are in the hills, where there appears to be a lead of gold running through them, and when this lead is found, it yields from an ounce to $30 a day to the hand.

ROARING RIVER & TUTTLE GULCH - we have heard of several claims paying remarkably well. At a place called POVERTY GULCH, in the vicinity of TUTTLETOWN, good pay dirt has been struck.


North Star Mine

North Star consists of 60 acres, in Sec 18 T 31 N R 6 W, four miles northwest of Igo, at an elevation of 1600 feet.

Owner:  J. W. George

One vein is syenite and slate, but slightly developed, short ore shoot, little high grade extracted. Idle. Prospect.

1915, Mines and Mineral Resources, by G. Chester Brown, Field Assistant


Ono Mining District 

(Not to be confused with Empire Mine of French Gulch.)

1915, EMPIRE MINE - Consists of 120 acres, in Sec 9, T 30 N, R 7 W, 3 miles southwest of town of Ono, in the Ono Mining District.

Owners:  McCormick & Murray Estate of Redding.

Two parallel veins exposed on the surface with slate walls. Pay shoot about 80 feet long and 1 foot wide, ore free milling. Only slightly developed by a tunnel 500 feet long. Little ore shipped to smelter. Idle.~

1915, FLORENCE MINE - Consists of 60 acres in Sec 18, T 30 N, R 7 W, about 8 miles southwest of Ono.

Owner: A. E. Baker

One vein 10 feet wide, has been slightly developed, strike N. 30* w, dip 40* E, slate walls. Ore is low grade and base, carrying some copper, lead and zinc, besides gold. Idle.~


Piety Hill, Hardscrabble Mine

1886, July a writer telling of a trip to southwest Shasta County:

At Piety Hill the Hard Scrabble mine will shut down pretty soon, on about this time of the year here, is not water sufficient to run the claim.

1915 - Drift and Hydraulic, formerly known as the Piety Hill, is located in Sec 27, 34 and 35, T31 N, R 6 W, 1/2 miles south of Igo, and consists of 1700 acres, patented.

Owners: Happy Valley Land and Water Company of Olinda. A. E. Bowles president. This company owns the old Dry Creek Tunnel and Flume Company's ditch, now known as Happy Valley ditch, which diverts water from the North Fork of Cottonwood, Eagle, Andrews and South Fork of Clear creeks.

Course of channel is north and south, slate, sandstone and granite bedrock. Workings consist of old 1500-foot tunnel and several shafts 50 feet deep.  Some of gravel 50 feet deep, average 20 feet. About 120 acres have been worked. Operated in the sixties by Alvinza Hayward as a drift and hydraulic mine. Has been a famous producer. Idle for several years. Water supplied to consumers through the old ditch.



Potosi Mine

Consists of 60 acres, patented, in Sec 15, T 31 N, R 6 W, 1 1/2 miles northwest of Centerville, in the Igo Mining District. Elevation 1000 feet.

Owner:  E.P. Jones

One vein, slate footwall and granite-porphyry hanging. Pay shoot 100 feet long and 1 foot wide; some high grade extracted. Short tunnel and 90-foot shaft comprise the workings. Idle. 


Princess Mine

Princess Mine - A drift and hydraulic mine consists of 300 acres, patented, in Secs. 25 & 26, T 31N, R 6 W, one mile south of Centerville.

Owner: I. Baer

Course of channel is northeast and southwest, granite bedrock; depth of gravel, 30 feet.

About 40 acres worked. Workings consist of an old tunnel on bedrock 600 feet long, drifts and old shafts 50 feet deep. Water supply was obtained from Boulder Creek through a ditch 12 miles long.

Owner had a permit from the debris commission, granted in 1901, to operate, but the retaining dam was condemned and the property has been idle since that time.

Chapman and Voluntine hydraulic mine to the northeast.

- 1915 Mines and Mineral Resources by G. Chester Brown, Field Assistant


Red Hill Mine

A drift and hydraulic mine, formerly known as Gardner Bros., consists of 60 acres in Sec 1, T. 30 N., R 7 W, 1/2 mile northeast of town of Ono.

Owners: M. Gardner, et. al, of Ono

Course of channel northeast and southwest; soft granite bedrock, gravel 20 feet deep.

Water obtained from Eagle Creek through a ditch 2 miles long. Formerly worked as a Hydraulic mine, but on account of the debris law it is operated by drifting.

In operation during the winter months. Small producer.

- 1915, Mines and Mineral Resources by G. Chester Brown, Field Assistant


Silver Falls Mine

Formerly known as South Fork, consists of 240 acres, in Sec 20, T 31 N, R 6 W, 2 miles northwest of Igo.

Owners:  Silver Falls Mining Company of Redding; H. Rogers, president.

Eight veins on the claims, granite walls. Workings consist of 600-foot tunnel and drifts. Two men working. Small producer. Atlantic to northeast. 


Sunday Gulch Mine

Consists of 300 acres, in Sec 10, T 29 N, R 10 W, three miles southeast of Harrison Gulch.

Owner: Victor Mining Company, J. H. Sharp, President & A. L. Fletcher, Superintendent

Four parallel veins, strike N 70* E, dip 45* S, main vein is 4 feet wide and gave returns in places, on the surface, of $8 per ton in gold, slate foot wall and diabase hanging. Prospect, just being developed by means of short tunnels.

Two men employed.

- 1915, Mines and Mineral Resources by G. Chester Brown, Field Assistant


Sunny Hill Mine Workers

This list came to Nola Shoup's attention as she was researching farmers and ranchers. Sometimes to make a go at agriculture, they had to have other jobs. These men worked at the Sunny Hill Mine in Ono. 

From our Farmers & Ranchers List:

1903:  William A. Taylor, William Smith, Leslie Jones, Driscol

1904: Joe Moon, Kingsbury

1905: Ballou, Gobel, John J. Miller, Kingsbury

1906:  Arkarro, Ballou, Kingsbury

Others, some of which may be on Farmers & Ranchers list:

1902:  C. Cutter, J. Grant, Frank Green, B. Hawkins, W. Hammans, J. Jones, R. King, G. Layton, W. Long, Messelbeck, Sandy Miller, John Niemi, M. Peterson, Peter Slbers(sp), W B Smith, C Stanton, H. Stuck, August Tuick, E Vogel, P Voss, Dillon Woodfill

1903:  J Barlow, S R Bellimy,  B Culter, B Hawkins, J C Hiede, Lon Jones, B. Jones, K Kemp, Messelbeck, J E Miles, J A Miller, A MillerJ Moore, H Persari, Quinn, J Selanzo,  T A Smith, G Turner, G Wilden, Williams, P. Michelette

1904:  Deminski, G T Hamilton, H Kennick, M Z Kenergrast, L E Korbin, P Michelettee, L Moore, M P Pendersgrust, H Perick, G C Robberson,  N T Scheinder, W T Scherroker, C Susterberg, W Taylor, G Van Lent, J York, T York

1905:  D Miller

1906:  Messelbeck, J T Smith


Sunny Hill, 1874

A new quartz mining district opened on the north fork of Cottonwood Creek in April 1874 called "Sunny Hill." Also south of the north fork "Bullychoop" opened up.


Sunny Hill, 1886

1886 July - Writer telling of his visit to southwest Shasta county:

At Sunny Hill we found things much after the old order, unless we except the Grey Eagle Mine and mining operations. Mr. Loomis, the superintendent of the Sharp Mill and Mining Company, was very polite, and kindly showed us through the mill. From that gentleman we learned that the mine was turning out large quantities of very good milling rock, the rock averaging about $25. per ton, and the mill working about 15 tons in twenty-four hours. Everything about the mill and mine is well arranged, and we congratulate the owners of the Grey Eagle mine upon having what we believe to be a rich and permanent mine.

We did not visit the Tim Quinn mine, but learned that Messrs Frank and Driscoll were working the same with favorable prospects ahead.

California Mine is the name of a new mining location made on Monday last, and the editor of this paper is the fortunate owner to a half interest in the same. The location is north of the Grey Eagle, and has an immense surface showing. This mine will prove a bonanza, because Joe Davis is connected with it. It is not for sale.



Sunny Hill, 1915

1915, Mines and Mineral Resources - Sunny Hill, formerly known as Summit and Gray Eagle,consists of 100 acres in Sec 1, T. 30 N., R 8 W., about 7 miles west of Ono, in the Ono Mining District. Owner, M. Mariscano, of San Francisco. One vein 1 foot wide, strike north and south, dip vertical, hornblende schist footwall and granitic-porphyry hanging. Pay shoot 80 to 100 feet long, ore free milling. Workings consist of tunnel 5300 feet long, 300 feet of drifts and one stope. Elevation at tunnel 4500 feet. Reduction equipment consists of two 5-foot Huntington mills run by water power; water from Jerusalem Creek. Producer at one time; some high grade ore found. Two men employed.


SW Mining Districts

Recently obtained Map from Shasta Historical Society:

Harrison Gulch Mining District

Arbuckle Mining District

Roaring River Mining District

Watson Gulch - Wilson Creek

Sunny Hill Mining District

Bully Choop Mining District

South Fork Mining District (South Fork of Clear Creek)

Igo Mining District

Horsetown Mining District

Centerville Mining District

Muletown Mining District

Middletown Mining District


Tanglefoot Mine

Consists of 60 acres in Sec 12, T 30 N, R 8 W., about 8 miles southwest of Ono.

Owner:  W.M. Lee

Two parallel veins about 200 feet apart, strike N. 40 Degrees W., dip 50 Degrees E. Pay Shoot 60 feet long and 10 inches wide; free milling; some high grade ore extracted. Only slightly developed with a tunnel 450 feet long. Idle.


Ten-Stamp Mill Moved

1908 December 4, Shasta Courier, Redding, Shasta - "Joseph Gretz, who is interested in the Custom Reduction & Milling Company, has about completed his arrangements for shipping the ten-stamp mill from the National Mine at Old Diggings, which will be re-erected at Schaffer, in the Goldfield, Nevada territory."


The Gibbon Claim

1869 January 23, Shasta Courier - The Gibbon claim at Piety Hill is now in full blast and the indications are that it will prove highly remunerative. The banks are steep but the use of power shatters and crumbles them so as to render sluicing easy. A large head of water is used.

(from a paper in the Behrens-Eaton Collection on 27 April 2011)