Gold Districts of California
Location. This district is in northern Sierra County about 10 miles
north of Downieville. It includes the Howland Flat, Table Rock, Deadwood, Mt. Fillmore,
Potosi, and Rattlesnake Peak areas. It is mainly a placer-mining district.
History. The streams were first mined during the gold rush., The
locality was extremely rich then; in one month gold valued at $700,000 was produced.
Hydraulic mining was done on a major scale from the late 1850s through the 1880s. Some
lode mining and drift mining continued through the early 1900s, and the area was
prospected in the 1920s and 1930s. The district was made famous by Bret Harte's tale, The
Outcasts of Poker Flat. This district has been highly productive, the mines at Howland
Flat alone being credited with an output valued at $14 million.
Geology. The northern part of the district is underlain by amphibolite
with some serpentine. To the south and east there are slates of the Blue Canyon Formation
(Carboniferous). Substantial portions of the area are capped by andesite. Extensive
deposits of Tertiary auriferous quartz gravels are part of the Port Wine channel, which
extends west and northwest through this district and then west and southwest into the Port
Wine district. The lower quartz-rich gravels were also gold-rich. Portions of the channel
have been faulted. Some narrow gold-quartz veins occur in amphibolite and slate.
Mines. Placer: Caledonia, California, Clippership, Deadwood, Forest
Queen, Gibraltar, Hawkeye,- Herkimer and Bunker Hill, Manchester, Miners Home, Pacific,
Poker Flat, Potosi, Rattlesnake, Scott, Virginia, Tennessee, Winkeye. Lode: Alhambra,
Mammoth, Mt. Fillmore Cons., New York.
Excerpt from: Gold Districts of California, by: W.B. Clark, California
Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 193, 1970.
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