Great Finds Around Georgetown......

As we advance to the north we find that a few rich places were discovered around Coloma, at Kelsey's, Spanish Flat, Greenwood Camp, and in the vicinity of Georgetown. In Spanish Ravine also was found a rich lead which continued up for a short distance from its mouth, and which was worked out in the summer of '49. As we go to the east a few very rich spots were round near Smith's Flat, one small ravine in particular near the Emigrant Road, and only thirty yards in length, yielded about $30,000. At the small town of Newtown, which was located about six miles nearly due east of Placerville, and upon the eastern edge of the gold-bearing district, from a small ravine, during the winter of '49, was taken by a company of four men the sum of $64,000.

Weaver Creek upon the south was also very rich in many places, all included, however, in a distance of about four miles. Many small ravines emptying into it were also found to be very rich. Of the many canyons in the County of Eldorado, which were prospected and worked in the winter of '49-'50, there was but one which was noted for its mineral wealth. This was Georgetown Canon, from which it was estimated that fully $2,000,000 were taken up to the spring of '53. Whether this is a correct estimate or not I cannot say, although this was the estimate of a miner who worked there for about two years, and returned to the East in the autumn of '52 with about $20,000 as his portion of it.



There were also numerous small ravines emptying into all of these larger ones and the canyon which contributed their quota to the general fund, besides numerous flats, slides and benches, which however, were worked at a later day. The Big Canon, two miles north of town, was in some portions of it very rich, and a few places were worked in '49 ; but the greater portion, or rather the richer portion of it, near the head, was worked with toms, in the spring and winter of '50-'51. The canons lying at the east of this were not very rich, although one portion of White Rock Canon worked in the winter of '49-'50 by O'Brien, Grayson, Stuart and Dayton, was very rich. The South Fork of the American River, as well as the numerous bars upon it, was not noted for its paying qualities, although some few rich deposits were found. Upon Kanaka Bar a rich lead was discovered, which yielded many thousands. One beautiful nugget was found upon this bar which was valued at $1,010; but by far the richest bar upon the whole river was that belonging to Portuguese Joe, from which he realized a fortune.

At the northerly end of El Dorado county, where the Mother Lode belt divides and apparently scatters, there are a number of so-called seam diggings—occurrences somewhat similar to the above, but not directly connected with a large fissure, at least not apparently. These are belts of soft, finely laminated slate, somewhat talcose, seamed with innumerable veinlets and stringers of quartz, and containing considerable coarse gold. Most of the seams cut the laminae at very acute angles, while others are nearly at right angles. These belts are 100 or 200 feet wide and have been mined to a considerable extent by open-cut work, especially at the Georgia slide and Spanish Dry Diggings. The average thickness of the underground ore bodies, so far mined in the lode proper, has been probably five or six feet, varying from one to fifty or more. The average yield has been about $10 per ton, varying from $3 to $25. But it must be borne in mind that the greater part of the ore has been extracted from the richer sections of the lode. With the new enterprises now under way, and the larger milling capacities, the average yield will doubtless be reduced to $5 or $6 in time. 

The Gold Bug Mine is on Canyon Creek, near Georgetown, and is the largest hydraulic mine in operation in that portion of the county. It is owned by the Gold Bug Mining Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, who have fitted it up with a view to its operation on a large scale. Over four miles of the lower end of Canyon Creek channel is owned, and this ground was famous in the early mining days as one of the largest gold-producers of that time. It is known to have produced over $1,500,000 of gold, while much more was taken out that never was accounted for. This property has always excited a great interest among the miners who worked it in the early days, and knew how marvelously rich it was, and how imperfectly the methods of that day saved the gold. Its value lies in the gold lost in the tailings by former workings, in the virgin ground that was overlooked, and in the gold contained in the crevices and seams in the bedrock. It has received a large portion of the tailings of the Georgia Slide mines, which was worked continuously for nearly fifty years. Gold is to be found everywhere, and if the tailings alone can be economically and rapidly handled, they will pay handsome profits.



In the early '50s and '60s over $10,000,000 in gold passed through the express office at Georgetown from the territory adjoining this property, while much more was taken out that was not taken into the account. The mine has been opened by a heavy bedrock cut 1,500 feet long, and contains a line of sluices eight feet wide on the bottom, divided into two four-foot sluices, which are paved with block and pole riffles. The hydraulic giant is supplied with water under 150-foot pressure, and uses a four-inch nozzle. The mine is operated under a permit from the California Debris Commission.

As the Georgia Slide Mine has been worked and paid dividends uninterruptedly ever since 1853, it has the honor of being the oldest continuously operated mine in the county, if not in the State. It rises 300 feet above Canyon Creek, and has a working face 200 feet in height. At this point, the peculiar character of the formation shows up to advantage, as, in its entirety, this mineral center is an immense lenticular ore-body, some three-quarters of a mile long, and 400 feet in width at its widest point. The northern end of the lens lies underneath the tailing dump of the Slide, while the southern side lies somewhere in the southern side of Oregon Canyon, which yielded $2,000,000 in the three-quarters of a mile of its course, all of which was produced by the wearing away of this ore-body. The characteristics of this ore-body indicate that it extends downward to unknown depths, like an immense chimney, and that, while there will always be free gold, a large percentage of the values will be found in the sulphurets below the limit of suface action. Sulphurets obtained from cleaning up the sluices have gone $700 per ton. All of this great mass is not ore, as there are horses, or reefs of barren material interspersed here and there through it, but it is practically a huge mass of quartz-seamed chloritic slate. There are upwards of 10,000,000 tons, above the level of Canyon Creek, which can reasonably be expected to yield a net profit, over and above all expenses, of twenty five cents per ton.

A promising property on the east belt is being developed by Senator E. W. Chapman, at the Gold Note Mine, near Grizzly Flats. A shaft, 300 feet in depth, has been sunk upon the property, and a steam hoist and a splendid ten-stamp mill have been erected.

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