Image of Mining Methods

Mining Methods
from history by Rand Herbert, JRP, for Caltrans 2008

The Gold Rush is generally considered to be the period between 1848 and roughly 1860, during which time a flood of Argonauts entered California’s mining regions, prospected new areas, and eventually spread their activities to neighboring territories. The most enduring image of the gold rush is the eager, grizzled prospector kneeling alongside a stream with his pick and pan.

Image of Mining Glossary

Mining Glossary
From Caltans Research Design, 2008

Adit: A horizontal or gently inclined passage leading into a drift or hard-rock mine that follows the auriferous gravels or vein. Containing only one opening, as opposed to a tunnel, which has two. Frequently associated with shafts, adits contrast with cross-cuts.

Image of Mining in the Lake Tulloch Area

Mining in the Lake Tulloch Area
By Judith Marvin 2006, for the Tuscany Hills Project

Placer Mining.

The early history of stretch of the Stanislaus River around present-day Tulloch Reservoir is ephemeral at best, but the locale appears to have been first worked during the Gold Rush at Spanish Bar, Six Mile Bar, Two Mile Bar, and others, as well as on Littlejohns Creek, Ramsey Gulch, Scorpion Gulch, and other associated drainages. During the early years placer mining activities along the Stanislaus River were carried out by numerous individual miners using simple gold pans, bateas, sluice boxes, and rockers.

Image of Mining on the Mokelumne River

Mining on the Mokelumne River
By Judith Marvin 2006

Placer mining began on the Mokelumne River in the earliest years of the Gold Rush, and camps were soon established along the river near the project area at Lancha Palana, Winters Bar, Oregon Bar, James Bar, and Middle Bar. Credit for the discovery of gold in the Penn Mine area, however, goes to a group of Mexican miners in 1849.