Santa Cruz County History - Making a Living



Gold Mining in Santa Cruz County

[From: California State Mining Bureau. "Twelfth Report of the State Mineralogist, two years ending September 15, 1894." Sacramento, 1894. pp. 243-244. Copyright California Division of Mines and Geology. Used here with permission.]

"Auriferous beach sands are found for miles along the coast of Santa Cruz County, and spasmodic attempts have been repeatedly made to work them. Under favorable conditions, the richer deposits have paid small wages to industrious workers.

Stribling Mine (Quartz) -- This is 3 miles N.W. of Santa Cruz. Numerous shallow pits, cuts and shafts have been made on the property, and one surface stope 30 ft. deep was made some years ago. A tunnel 100 ft. long is run underneath this shoot of ore 25ft. lower, but no good rock was found. A small stamp mill was erected several years ago, and this was replaced by a connon-ball mill. The latter fave no satisfaction. Some new exploitation is contemplated at a lower level, the intention being to run a tunnel on the vein and cross-cut the several fissures. This mine is one of a number of points on the course of a mineral zone which trends in a N.W. direction through these granite hills.

At one point a mile N.W. of the Stribling Mine, is what is know as the Big Bowlder Mine. It appears that years ago a large bowlder or mass of quartz was found lying on the surface of the ground, gold being seen on all sides of it. The bowlder was broken up and ground in arrastras, producing gold to the amount of $35,000 to $50,000, according to the various stories. A great deal of work of a superficial character has since been done in the vicinity, but nothing of value discovered, though small veins are numerous. The rich bowlder occured in all probability nearly in situ, the soft, easily decomposable granite having been eroded from around it.

The character of the deposits as far as observed is what is known as "pockety." The veins or masses of quartz form sometimes on the hanging- and sometimes on the foot-wall of the crevice, and again on both sides. Much of the so-called ore still shows the original granite structure. Where the replacement has been more complete the quartz is massive and sometimes crystallized. All of the gulches and ravines heading in the gold-bearing region produce placer gold, and the aggregate have yielded some thousands of dollars of the precious metals.

Thurber Mine (Placer) -- It is 10 miles N.W. of Santa Cruz City, on Majore Creek; two men are working a placer mine for gold. The harvest of these laborers is evidently not great, as it is said they are working ground which has been sluiced twice before."

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