Amador County 255 Gold Mines, Rare Old Calif. Report, Separate Big Map, Oop, Vg+

Amador County 255 Gold Mines, Rare Old Calif. Report, Separate Big Map, Oop, Vg+

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Amador County 255 Gold Mines, Rare Old Calif. Report, Separate Big Map, Oop, Vg+:

Scarce report locates and describes 255
gold mines in Amador County, California

Large foldout map has 217 lode gold and 38 placer mines;
mines are also pinpointed by range-and township coordinates

This rare first-edition alphabetically lists every known gold prospect in Amador County — 255 lode and placer gold prospects.

I haven't listed one of these on since 2002; that will give you an idea how hard-to-find this sucker is. Detail of separate map from rear pocket: Every number here is keyed to a number in the tabulated list of gold mines. Almost all mine locations are given in excat range-and-township coordinates.

This report locates mining operations on a large foldout map and ALSO pinpoints them by range-and-township coordinates. Each mine is also detailed in a description that runs from a few lines to several pages, depending on importance of the mining operation.

Heart of the motherlode
And we're not talking about descriptions of a few dinky little prospect pits here. Amador County — home to Sutter Creek — is in the heart of California motherlode gold country. The county produced far in excess of $160 million in gold up until 1954. Don't forget that $160 million was when gold was selling for a mere $20 an ounce! Today that $160 million would be an amazing $1.28 BILLION!

Idiots on TV miss the real gold
Me and the guys laugh through every TV episode of "Gold Rush," watching those fools fly all over the globe; risk gunfights with South American yahoos and camp in snake-and bug-infested sweltering jungles. Why? When billions of bucks in gold just wait here in California for someone to dig them up. Amador County is about an hour from Sacramento. And you want to fly to Ghiana and Chile, like why?

No fences and no guards
Much of this area is accessible and completely deserted. You can go anywhere you want at these sites and pretty much do whatever you want, when you want, as long as it's legal.

There are no guards, fences, barking dogs or no trespassing signs. Much of this area is miles away from any town of any size and is on federal Bureau of Land Management or National Forest Service lands and is open to prospecting and mineral collecting.

Not a crappy gift-shop book
This is not some crappy gift-shop rockhound book; it was written about miners for miners by miners. Prepared by the California Division of Mines, it's a treasure trove of information for history buffs, bottle collectors, photographers, geologists, hikers, offroaders, rockhounds, prospectors — just about anyone interested in learning about, exploring or prospecting old mine sites in historic Amador County.

Twenty-nine vintage photos and an oversize map in the book's rear pocket (see examples throughout this ad) illustrate the 137 pages on mineral resources of this gold-rich county.

Report is packed with mining and geology info
No collection of Amador County or California mining memorabilia is complete without this hard-to-find report — packed with geologic information, ore value, mine-production stats, history, even claim holders' names and addresses. Placer miner mucks it up in 1950s Amador County in detail of photo from book

This 47-year-old report is considered primary source material.

It is a first edition in overall very good to near-fine condition. So buy it now or forever hold your peace. Once it's gone, it's gone.

Has the maps
Without the big oversize map folded in the rear pocket, about the only use of the reprint report is to line a cat box or to start a fire. Without the big map, the reprint is UTTERLY TOTALLY USELESS.

The nine-by-six-inch book — California Journal of Mines and Geology, Vol. 50, No. 1, January 1954 — actually contains two sections on Amador County: The first section (the 82-page "Mines and Mineral Resources, Amador County, California") contains detailed descriptions of the larger and/or most-promising mines. The second section (the 51-page "Tabulated List of Mines and Prospects of Amador County") lists every known mine and prospect (255 of them lode or placer gold deposits) in the county.

Mines in text are keyed to big map
More importantly, in this second section, mines are numbered. The corresponding numbers then appear on the oversize map in the rear pocket, making locating any mine a snap (see detail of map at upper right). This list also gives exact locations of all gold mining sites, sometimes using landmarks, but almost always using infallible range-and-township coordinates. Just plug 'em into your GPS or look 'em up on the appropriate topo, and you're there!

Mines described
Here are just a few of the gold mines described::

  • Amador Star mine, three miles north of Plymouth, originally developed through a 422-foot crosscut adit; workings now include a 900-foot shaft; in the early 1930s, 40 men were employed.
  • Argonaut mine, near Jackson, produced over $25 million as of 1942 from an investment of $1 million.
  • Central Eureka mine, near Sutter Creek, produced $500,000 in 1951 and about $36 million since production began. The central shaft is 4855 feet (!!!!!) deep. Total payroll includes 90 to 125 men in three shifts.
  • Italian (Black Hills) mine, near Drytown; ore contained free gold. Not in production at time of report.
  • Kennedy mine, one mile north of Jackson, originally located in 1856. A 40 stamp mill was erected in 1886. Greatest vertical depth reached was 5912 feet (over one mile).
  • Peterson mine, one mile southwest of Pine Grove. Ore contains leaf gold and gold disseminated in quartz. Owned by William F. Peterson of Pine Grove.
  • Satica property, owned by Michael and Robert Satica of Susanville, California.
  • And many more mines and prospects, large and small.
One of historical photos from report: Secor Placer near Fiddletown.

Don't rely on info for tourists
Okay, so you have a book by a "noted rockhound" or an "ace prospector." You might get lucky and find a couple of neat places, but you'll also hit plenty of barren duds. Why? Because what rockhound, mine explorer or prospector in their right mind would give away their favorite productive locations? Not one. What they will give you are directions to sites that are picked clean or second rate at best.

Belden mine. mill in right background, hoist house on left

Why rely on secondhand info when you can get it firsthand? I guarantee that most — if not all — tourist-oriented rockhound and prospecting books for Amador County use this six-by-nine-inch report as a source for information. Other mineral locales for Amador County in this report include ones for chromite, copper, iron, manganese, platinum, asbestos, coal and diamonds (yes, that's right, diamonds).

Book describes geology in detail
Because this is, after all, a book about mining and geology, it covers the latter topic in detail. Amador lies almost entirely in the Sierra Nevada geomorphic province; only the extreme western portion lies in the Great Valley. The oldest rocks of the Sierra Nevada, commonly called the "bedrock series," are complexly faulted metamorphic rocks of Paleozoic and Mesozoic age. They are intruded by several types of igneous rocks, chiefly granitic. Unconformably overlying these rocks in western Amador are much younger, nearly flat-lying sediments, commonly called "superajacent series."

Rock formations include the Calaveras group (Carboniferous and Permian in part), Amador group (Middle to Upper Jurassic), Mariposa formation (Upper Jurassic), Ione formation (Middle Eocene), Valley Springs formation (Middle Miocene) and Mehrton formation (Upper Miocene and Pliocene).

Of course, the text contains far, far more detail about geology — especially how it relates to mineral deposits and their formations — than just the previous paragraph.

Geology varies widely over an area the size of Amador County, so it is impossible to convey but the simplest geologic features in an ad.

I have seen the gold and silver!
I guarantee that this area has SIGNIFICANT amounts of silver and gold waiting to be mined. I know because I have personally seen it and mined it. I have picked up quartz that is flecked with bright shiny free gold. Silver? Big CHUNKS of ACTUAL shiny lead-silver alloy wait to be rock-picked from ore just scattered on the ground for the taking. It doesn't get any simpler than this. You think they recovered all the good stuff in the 1800s? Think again.

You don't need to be a geologist with a Phd. to find gold or silver in this area. Will I take you by the hand and personally lead you to the motherlode? You must be joking! But with the locations in this book, you'd have to be dumber than a rock to not find gold or silver here. Three of the tailing wheels at the Kennedy mine.

Where is
Amador County?
Amador County is mostly in the Sierra Nevada, between the Mokelumne River on the south and the Cosumnes River on the north; the western part borders the San Joaquin Valley. Adjacent counties are El Dorado, Sacramento, Calaveras and Alpine. Nearby counties include Placer, Yolo, Solano, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanilsaus, Tuolumne, Mono, Inyo and Madera. Communities include Amador City, Drytown, Fiddletown, Ione, Jackson, Jackson Rancheria, Martell, Pine Grove, Plymouth, Sutter Creek and Volcano.

The book:
The articles on mines in Amador County are part of a larger report, California Journal of Mines and Geology, Vol. 50, No. 1, January 1954; State of California, Department of Natural Resources, San Francisco, six by nine inches, 285 pages total, about 137 are about Amador County ("Mines and Mineral Resources, Amador County, California" and "Tabulated List of Mines and Prospects of Amador County"), by Denton W. Carlson and William B. Clark.

Overall in very good to near-fine condition, binding tight, one map folded in rear pocket. Book is NOT ex-library. No library stamp or card pockets.

As always, I am extremely conservative about rating book condition and very detailed in listing any potential flaw, no matter how slight. All scans in this ad came directly from the book for sale here. What you see is what you get. Unlike some other sellers, I do not use scans from another (often better) copy of a book in my ads.

The fine print:
Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions about the item or terms of sale. Do not wait until you buy the book to ask me questions. These first editions are nearly impossible to find. There might not be another one on for five years. Think I'm exagerating? Watch and see.

Paypal only. FREE shipping via FAST priority mail!! You don't need to wait three weeks for it to reach you with media mail!

I pride myself on bulletproof packaging and ship in sturdy cardboard boxes or reinforced padded envelopes. I post response once a week Not responsible for typographical errors.

Thanks for looking and good luck!!

Amador County 255 Gold Mines, Rare Old Calif. Report, Separate Big Map, Oop, Vg+:

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