ORE-MILLS OF JOHANNESBURG
The story of Mining is of necessity the story of Milling; the process by which gold, silver, tungsten and other valuable metals are separated from worthless rock. 'Hard Rock', 'Quartz' Mills provided the needed crushing, pulverizing, wetting, treatment with mercury, cyanide, other chemicals in order to turn ore into bullion.
Ore Mills were expensive propositions, usually requiring investments beyond the means of impoverished prospectors, living on lizards & beans. The beans were, typically, first paid for by hand crushing of high-grade ore in a mortar & pestle, 'One Stamp Mill'; the night-music of the camps.
Their locations were dependent on the availability of water, needed at tens of gallons per ton of ore. Gravity plaid an important part and favored hillsides, for the movement of ore through the stages of milling and the disposal of the tailings, all at minimum costs.
The fates of the mines nearby can often be estimated by the size of the tailings piles, fine cyanide treatment tailings left around the landscape, together with the concrete foundations of the equipment, sometimes rusted remnants & collapsed structures.
They provide a haunting memorial to the Excitement that fueled the pioneers & residents, still does. The sound of the thousand pound hammers crushing rock 24 hours a day became a soothing water-music, the lifeblood of the local economy. When a cast iron flywheel came apart at three in the morning, loudly shutting down the mill, all the residents were awakened by the silence.
The following articles are the result of a decades long research by historian and author Bart Parker, curator of the Rand Desert Museum. In approximate chronologic order, they are transcribed from the primary sources, creative spelling and all. They are often the only written references available to obscure characters, places & events of charter importance to a full understanding of the history of the Rand District. Editing & Interpretive Commentary: William J. Warren
1897-1898 JOHANNESBURG REDUCTION AND SAMPLING WORKS
1898-1915 RED DOG MILL
1897-1903 PINMORE aka CROESUS MILL
1904-1925 PHOENIX aka OPERATOR CONSOLIDATED MILL
1897-1898 WOOD'S AUTOMATIC DRY CONCENTRATOR MILL
1896-1960s(?) KING SOLOMON MINE & MILL
1900-1904 PARKER MILL
1925-1937 SUNBEAM / HARD TACK MINES
U. S. G. S. Topo Map, 1967 with Mining Claim Overlay, Mines and Mineral Resources of Kern County, CA, 1962
JOHANNESBURG REDUCTION AND SAMPLING WORKS
February 2, 1897: "WORES, the sampling works man of Tucson, Ariz. Left this morning but before going decided to locate his plant at Johannesburg, the company giving him a block ground containing sixteen lots as an inducement. This will be of much benefit to our camp. Every man who has a few sacks of ore, not enough for a milling, can take them to the sampling works, have them sampled and get his cash. This plan should have been located in Randsburg had a little more public spirit been shown by our citizens. However, at Johannesburg it will be equally convenient." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
February 9, 1897: "WHEN THE SAMPLING WORKS gets into operation, so a miner can take a few sacks of ore, too little for a milling to the works and have it assayed, and get within 5 per cent of its assay value in coin, without further trouble, it will be a great thing for this camp. There are a lot of mines in and around Randsburg, where a few sacks of good ore are piled up, but not enough to pay to run through a mill, but which the miner needs to grub and tools for further development. The sampling works can take this and help develop the camp. Mr. Wores left for Tucson Thursday, but before going made arrangements to have Mr. Sloan erect the building and prepare for operating at once. The block of ground given the sampling company by the Johannesburg Town Company lies to the north of and fronting on Broadway and about four blocks west from the hotel and bank buildings." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
February 16, 1897: "MR. WORES, of the sampling works has returned. The building is nearly completed, the machinery has been shipped, and is expected in a few days and the company will be ready to begin operation in a very short time." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
March 2, 1897: "MR. WORES' Sampling Works at Johannesburg are ready for operation and will begin today. He has erected a commodious building, solidly built with a floor made specially for mixing ore, an engine and ore crusher, with one end partitioned off and occupied with a very complete assay office. He also has in place the first wagon scale to be put up in either town. Already there are several tons of ore on hand ready for business. All ore is thrown on the floor, each lot separate, then thoroughly mixed, then every fifth shovelful is taken and put through the crusher. This is then assayed and the price fixed, which will be 95 per cent of the assay value, less the cost of shipping. The ore will then be shipped to Selby’s smelting works in San Francisco, In every sample the owner of the ore can take an equal portion and have it assayed at a different place so as to be sure that he is not cheated if he likes.
"As before stated, this sampling works will be of immense benefit to the mine owners here, especially those who have only small lots, not enough for a milling. All these parties can bring their ore to the works, have it sampled, get what there is in it and use the money to pay debts or buy grub to go ahead developing property. It will be especially valuable to poor men, who are unable to go ahead for want of capital. With years of mining experience, Charles H. Wores has unbounded faith in the future of the Rand mining district, and has shown this faith by the erection of the sampling works." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
April 22, 1897: "THE SAMPLING WORKS are running now pretty nearly all the time, and even at night have done some work. The Wedge people are taking some of their ore there and are receiving a better return than they have been able to get at any of the mills. A good many tons of rich ore are now piled up outside the buildings, and they are employing quite a force of men. This is an enterprise that required some courage to engage in, in a camp so new as this, yet the indications now point to the establishment of a profitable business." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
July 11, 1897: "WEDGED in between the Kinyon, Butte, and J. E. C. mine is a triangular bit of ground only a little over three hundred feet on each side. In form it is almost a perfect isosceles triangle, with its base to the south. It is the smallest location in the district, but it is also the richest. It is owned by the Wedge Mining, Milling and Water Company, of which J. W. Rogers of this place is the principal shareholder and manager. It is capitalized at $500,000 in shares of $1 each. For a long time this little wedge of ground belonged to nobody and simply because nobody know for along time that it was not included in the locations of the adjoining mines. Here is the story of how it came into possession of its present owners: In the early part of last year (1896) two young men named Kerns from Bakersfield, accompanied by James Dillard of the same place arrived here. They were out on a prospecting trip, and as they happened to know old man Kinyon of the Kinyon mine, they hunted him up and asked him if he could give them a straight tip on some good location, Kinyon who had seen a tracing of the locations of his own mine and of the Butte, and J. I. C., said to them; “There’s a little wedge right in there boys,” pointing to the spot, “which doesn’t belong to anybody yet; why not locate it? The three boys, acted on his suggestion, located the little triangular bit of ground, and in doing so located so far as is yet shown the most valuable bit of ground in this district. They started in to sink an incline shaft, but they had not got very far down when J. W. Rogers came along, and although, as he says himself, he did not know anything more about a min than the law allows, he concluded that with the Kinyon on one side paying big-money and the Butte on the other side-doing likewise the chances were more than even the Wedge would take a place in the front row, if it only got a chance. Having so decided, he lost no time in carrying his plan into execution, He went to Los Angeles and borrowed $4000 from two friends, skipped back here and before twenty-four hours had elapsed he had that mine safely locked up in his pants pocket. That was November 9, 1896, and between that date and the first day of the present month, he has taken out of the Wedge, something over November a dividend of 2 per cent, on the capital stock of $500,000 has been declared. $80,000. That sum, big as it is, considering that it was turned out in less than eight months is thought to but a slight indication of what will be found when they get lower down. Their present shaft is down 325 feet, and it is worked with a whim. When they reach 425 feet the intention is to put in a gasoline hoist of twenty-horse power, which will carry them down to 1000 feet, at which depth they expect to under-run the vein and then will begin stoping. In this way they will be able to work the mine to better advantage and at less expense. Low-grade ore from this mine is sent to the Cuddebach mill, and the high-grade ore to the sampling works at Johannesburg. Ever since Mr. Rogers acquired this mine last November a dividend of 2 per cent, on the capital stock of $500,000 has been declared." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
October 1, 1897: “GRADING for the 10-stamp mill will be begun the first of next week, when Messrs. Griffith and Ritchie, of Los Angeles, will be in Johannesburg to supervise the work. The concentrator expected to start up last week to run regularly. They have been much “delayed by the non-arrival of some necessary parts of their machinery.” - Mining And Metallurgical Journal
November 17, 1897: "THE NEW TEN-STAMP MILL at Johannesburg is nearly ready for operating. The machinery is all in nearly all in place and the building is nearing completion. A batch or ore from the Gold Bar mine, just East of the Alameda, and now under bond by Postmaster Curtiss and others of Johannesburg will be the first run through." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
December 6, 1897: "THE NEW STAMP MILL at Johannesburg is about completed and ready for operations. It is a fine mill, and everything connected with it put up in first class shape." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
December 7, 1897: “The Johannesburg Reduction Works expect to start their ten stamp mill today for continuous business. They have erected a plant which is as good as any on the coast for the size. It will make its first run on 100-ton lot of ore from the Golden Bar mine.’ - The Bakersfield Californian
December 9, 1897: "THE NEW TEN-STAMP MILL at Johannesburg will start up tomorrow. It is one of the most complete mills ever put up in the west, and has all modern improvements. The stamps are 1000 pounds in weight and geared to drop 100 time per minute. The mill will have a capacity of thirty to forty tons of ore every twenty-four hours. There are two plates before each battery and three inside. The smaller plate in front is 4 ½ x4 feet and the larger one 4 ½ x8 feet. Making, with those inside, more plate surface with each battery to save gold on than any mill in the state. There are 55,000 feet of lumber in the mill and adjoining buildings, running from half inch stuff to heavy timbers 14x20 inches, and throughout is constructed and finished in the most through manner, no expense being spared that would seem to add to its complete equipment.
"East of the mill is the building in which is located the fifty-ton capacity ore crusher, with engine for running and hoisting. Wagons drive in on an even grade to an ore platform in which there are two trap doors. The ore is dumped and goes at once into a bin below and from there to the crusher without handling, and from the crusher into cars, then hoisted up an incline and automatically dumped again into bins and fed directly to the stamps. The ore bins and passage to the stamps are all lined with galvanized tin, so that no part of the richest ores is wasted.
"A steel water tank, capable of holding 10,000 gallons of water, is located above the mill and piped to the stamps. A twenty–horse power gasoline engine furnishes power to run the stamps and the mill, while an eight-horse-power engine furnished power to do the rock crushing and hoisting of the ore to the feeders. Below the mill a short distance are the settling tanks, four in number, into which the tailings are run from the plates, the water from the fourth or last tank being pumped back to the batteries.
"Connected with a mill is a thoroughly equipped assay office, with a competent assayer in charge, so that the owners will have at all times a thorough knowledge of the work being done. The mill with all its adjoining buildings is built in the south side just north of Johannesburg, the foundation being built into the solid rock hillside. In addition the foundations for the mortar blocks are set in a solid cement. Three hundred pounds of spikes alone were used in the construction of the mortar blocks, redwood planks spiked together.
"The first test will be made on ore from the Gold Bar mine, just east of the Alameda. The ore is being hauled today. This mill with all its surroundings is the most thorough and substantial improvement erected in the Rand Mining District. The owners are Montgomery, Hicks & Griffiths, all Los Angeles men." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
December 29, 1897: "THE NEW TEN-STAMP MILL at Johannesburg is now running on ore from the Wedge mine. The ore is very rich, and will make a good return. This ore is now hauled from Randsburg to the mill for 75 cents per ton, when formerly the price to Garlock was $3 and $4. The difference in hauling alone is a nice profit." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
March 22, 1898: "THE WEDGE MINE has just finished a clean-up at the Johannesburg mill of $12,000. Some time ago the company owning it took fifty tons to the mill, and while running it the engine broke down. Then a clean-up was made of something over $2600. While waiting for the engine to be repaired enough ore was taken out to make the entire lot of ninety tons, and this was finished yesterday with the above results." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
May 15 , 1898: “THE MILLS at Garlock are all running steadily—three of them on the Rand company’s ore. The Harrison & Willard mill at Cudderback [Cuddeback] lake and the 10-stamp mill at Johannesburg are both running steadily with satisfactory results” - Mining And Metallurgical Journal
May 27, 1898: "RANDSBURG, (May 21, regular correspondence) The ten stamp mill at Johannesburg has had another accident almost identical with the first one. The engine shaft broke, one flywheel going out through the side of the building just as before. Fortunately no one was injured. The whole engine was a complete wreck. They immediately procured the engine of the dry concentrator works, of similar make and size, put it in place and started up without dropping the stamps. On careful scrutiny it appeared to be weak where the two broke, and the company wisely concluded not to risk it. They have now ordered a twenty-horse-power steam engine instead of gasoline and will not again start the mill until the new engine arrives. The mill has plenty of ore to run on. The Yellow Aster Company has shut down all the mills at Garlock, but one, and is now having a portion of the output milled at Johannesburg." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
RED DOG MILL
The Red Dog Mill, ( formerly the Johannesburg Sampling and Reduction Works), built in 1897. View looking North. Photo from the Randsburg Miner, November 17, 1900. - Rand Desert Museum Collection
AUTHOR'S NOTE, (BP 11/2010):
Since we have ruins & tailings for only one mill adjoining the township, we assume the Red Dog Mill is the Johannesburg Reduction & Sampling Works by a new name; (as one fades from use as the other ascends).
June 1, 1898: “VERY RICH ORE was milled at the Red Dog mill the past week. It was from the Butte mine on Bull hill”. - Mining And Metallurgical Journal
July 18, 1898: "THE ENGINE at the Little Butte works gave out yesterday and work will be suspended both at the mill and in the mine until a new shaft can go in to replace the broken one. It is a precisely similar break to the two at the mill in Johannesburg, where, in each case, the wheel and part of the shaft flew out through the side of the building, the Little Butte engineer being fortunate enough to notice the crack before it went to pieces." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
May 1, 1899: “VAL SCHMIDT has just had three tons of ore milled at the Johannesburg Reduction Works, which milled a little over $100 to the ton. This ore came out of the Nine-Spot mine from a shaft only 32 feet deep. Mr. Schmidt left for Los Angeles last week to be gone three weeks on a business and pleasure trip.” - Mining And Metallurgical Journal
September 15, 1899: “THE WEDGE mine is now taking out ore from the 200, 350 and 450-foot levels, and the average mill run of this mine is $75 per ton. The main shaft is down some 506 feet. From a clean-up of amilling of 47 tons they got $3,300 a few days ago at the Red Dog mill.” - Mining And Metallurgical Journal
July 7, 1900: "BUTTE MINE is about ready to mill 100 tons at Red Dog Mill." - Randsburg Miner
September 8, 1900: "THE BUTTE MINE now has twenty-three men on the payroll, the largest force, so far in its history. The production averages about three and one half tons of high grade ore daily. Another milling similar to the one of two weeks ago in value, will commence on Tuesday at the Red Dog." - Randsburg Miner
September 15, 1900: "THE WHITE BROTHERS from the Sidney out beyond the Buckboard mine, had thirty tons of medium grade ore milled at the Red Dog mill a few days ago.
"THE CLEANUP of Boone & Ricketts from the Santa Ana mine milled at the Red Dog mill went nearly $50 per ton.
"GEORGE SANDERSON had twelve tons of ore from the Santa Ana milled at the Red Dog mill which averaged the same as that of Boone & Ricketts." - Randsburg Miner
September 22, 1900: "SUPERINTENDENT PERCY McMAHON is cleaning up today at the Red Dog mill a run of eighty tons of ore from the Big Butte mine of which he has charge, and the result will be nearly or quite $5000." - Randsburg Miner
October 20, 1900: "THE RED DOG MILL is making a run of 50 tons of ore from the Butte mine which is expected to run about $60 per ton." - Randsburg Miner
October 27, 1900: "SIDNEY GROUP has 30 tons milled at Red Dog Mill in Johannesburg.
"SANTA ANA has 40 tons of ore at the Red Dog Mill to be milled." - Randsburg Miner
November 17, 1900: “THE RED DOG MILL. This famous mill has been in operation about three years, and was the first mill erected in this district. They are milling exclusively the ore from some of the largest producers in the district, namely: The Butte, Napoleon, Baltic and Buckboard. Milling has been done for nearly all of the producers in the camp, with general satisfaction to all parties. The plant is equipped with the latest improved machinery and connected with the mill is a 28 ton cyanide plant. The cyanide plant is run about half the year. They make a business of asaying and cyanide tests, and do a large amount of all the business in that line in the camp. The company pays cash for tailings, so that the shipper gets a complete return from the ore shipped or hauled.
"The property is owned by Montgomery, , hicks and Griffith, who recently bought large interests in the Napoleon and Baltic, two of the good producers of the district. The mill is under the management of Frank Griffith.” -- Randsburg Miner
December 8, 1900: "THE LAST CLEANUP of the Butte mine at the Red Dog mill last week netted $4200." - Randsburg Miner
May 11, 1901: "THE BUTTE LODE CO. at Randsburg, has milled thirty-four tons at the Red Dog mill, obtaining $3950, an average of $116 per ton. A new gasoline hoist has been installed and a new ore bin and track built." - Mining and Scientific Press
November 15, 1902: "BUTTE—The Stanford Company working on this mine’s tailings has made a satisfactory clean-up." - The Engineering and Mining Journal
August, 29, 1903: "THE SANTA ANA, owned partly by the owners of the Red Dog mill and partly by Superintendent Layton is also a rich proposition, averaging $100 per ton." - Mining and Scientific Press
December 25, 1903: "SUPERINTENDENT McMAHON of the Butte, Randsburg, reports a very satisfactory clean-up at the Red Dog Mill. Eighty-five tons milled $6400." - Los Angeles Mining Review
January 16, 1904: "THE BUTTE MINE began their monthly milling at the Red Dog mill." - Randsburg Miner
January 1, 1904: "THE BUTTE Mining Company had its regular milling last week at the Red Dog mill. Sixty-seven tons milled $5300." - Randsburg Miner
February 27, 1904: "THE RED DOG finished the regular milling on Butte ore last week. Eighty nine tons were milled which cleaned up $5100." - Randsburg Miner
March 3, 1904: "SUPT. McMAHON of the Butte has started a new shaft about 200 ft. from the west end of the property." - Randsburg Miner
March 19, 1904: "WHITE'S CAMP milled 28 tons at the Red Dog mill last week which resulted in a clean-up of $650.
"THE BUTTE MINE is having its regular milling this week at the Red Dog." - Randsburg Miner
March 26, 1904: "THE BUTTE finished milling at the Red Dog Friday. The clean up for this month amounted to $4300.
"MESSERS. SHIPSEY & MONTGOMERY have taken a lease out on the Hector, one of the claims of the Ashford Mining Co." - Randsburg Miner
April __, 1904: "THE APRIL CLEANUP of 85 tons from the Butte resulted in a brick of $4900. The ore was milled at the Red Dog." - Randsburg Miner
April 16, 1904: "THE RED DOG begin milling ore from White’s camp today. Mr. White will erect a commodious dwelling at the mine, the lumber being already on the ground." - Randsburg Miner
May 14, 1904: "WHITE'S CAMP had its regular milling at the Red Dog this week. 26 tons being milled $650. The residence now being erected by Mr. White at the mine will soon be finished. It will be a very comfortable dwelling when completed." - Randsburg Miner
July 23, 1904: "THE STANFORD Mining and Milling Company owns what is known as the Red Dog Mill at Johannesburg. It is equipped with ten stamps and a 40 horse power boiler, a 25 horsepower Atlas engine, and cyanide tanks. The mill does considerable custom work, besides working the ore from the two claims owned by the company in the Stringer district, one mile east of Randsburg. The names of the claims are the Stanford and the Gold Coin. The officers of the company are: Mr. F. D. Mann, president and manager; Mr. F. V. Layton, vice-president; Mr. J. W. Montgomery, secretary; Messrs. F. Griffith, M. T. Mann, J. G Mossin and F. S. Hicks are directors." - Randsburg Miner
March 25, 1911: "OPERATION AT BUTTE MINE RESULTING IN GOOD PRODUCTION - Red Dog Mill crushing of first mill run being made by Ed Shipsey, the new lessee. Equipment for handling ore being installed. Cook and Zachry also mining ore on Butte Hill." - Randsburg Miner
August 24, 1912: "SIXTY-FIVE TONS of ore are being hauled from the Good Hope mine, one of the properties of the Consolidated Mines Company, to the Red Dog mill. Shipping commenced Wednesday and a clean-up is expected next week. The ore will average about $80.00 per ton and has been extracted from the 250-ft. level, where an exceptionally high-grade vein was uncovered a few days ago, specimens of which show free-gold in profusion. The property is destined to become one of the record producers of the camp." - Randsburg Miner
September 14, 1912: "ABOUT SEVENTY TONS of ore are being hauled from the Santa Ana mine in the Stringer District to the Red Dog mill at Johannesburg and a clean up is expected some time next week. Some of the ore that is being hauled is very high grade, assaying as much as $1,000 per ton in gold and all of the ore will average decidedly better than $100 per ton.
"Most of this ore has been taken from the 250-ft. level west of the shaft, and the leasers expected to extract $100,000 from this very stope, but a fault was encountered in the west end of the ledge and work at that point has been discontinued. At present the leasers are drifting east of the shaft following the same vein and are also engaged in stoping on the 300 ft level where a rich stringer from 5 to 12 inches in width was discovered, the ore from which assayed about $30 per ton. C. G. Illingworth, Roy Baker, Jesse Jewett, and Wm. Atkinson secured the lease a year ago, and the outlook for a continuous high production from mine was never better that at present time." - Randsburg Miner
March 22, 1913: "FIVE AND ONE QUARTER TONS of ore from the Hector, one of the claims of the King Solomon group, is being milled at the Red Dog mill at Johannesburg. Al. Sanderson has been leasing on this property for some time. A clean-up will be made today." - Randsburg Miner
August 12, 1913: "SEVERAL CLEAN-UPS FROM KING SOLOMON GROUP—This camp is certainly coming into its own this summer as seen by the present activity. The King Solomon group of mines continues to attract the most attention. A clean up was made Thursday at the Red Dog Mill from a milling of 45 tons of ore from this mine. The ore averaged $80 a ton, the recovery being a gold brick valued at $2,700.
"This ore was extracted from a block of ground operated by Ed Shipsey. Both hoists are now running and considerable ore is being extracted from the Lamberson shaft.
"ANOTHER CLEAN-UP was made Thursday at the Red Dog from 10 ½ tons of ore which were extracted from a block of ground operated under lease by Jack Nosser, John Appadoca, and Thos. Murphy. $1,140 was the result of the clean up. The average being $110 per ton. This lease is looking good and stoping will be continued as soon as the shaft is completed to the 250-foot level." - Randsburg Miner
April, 23, 1915: "MERCED PROPERTY - Near the Sunshine, has acres of dumps showing considerable underground workings.
"It has been a steady customer of the Red Dog custom mill at Johannesburg, hauling the high grade and leaving that of lesser value on the dumps.
"One of the mines that could contribute hundreds of thousands of tons of low grade ore for a modern custom or individual mill." - Randsburg Miner, Randsburg Commemoration Number
PINMORE aka CROESUS MILL
July 11, 1897: “THE PINMORE, lying west of the Val Verde was bonded a few days ago for $10,000, but I did not learn to whom. They have a shaft down about 100 feet in this mine.” - Los Angeles Daily Times
November 26, 1897: “ADJOINING THEM on the east is the Pinmore mine owned by the Ashford Mining Company, which is working day and night shifts, and operating on a fine body of ore. Further to the east, 1000 feet from the property and on the same ledge, is the Alameda, a producer, with rich ore and a large quantity of low-grade ore. from the Pinmore mine and it is reported that forty tons of $50 rock are being taken daily.” - The Los Angeles Daily Times
December 6, 1897: “THE PINMORE, near Johannesburg, is sending out ore sufficient to keep two mills running and many others doing something.” - Los Angeles Daily Times
December, 18, 1897: “WORK ON THE PINMORE, which has been carried on extensively for some time has been suspended. The same is true for the G. B.” - Los Angeles Daily Times
December 19, 1897: “A WEEK AGO, parties in Johannesburg discovered water indications in the town. The owners of the Pinmore Mine are prospecting for water within a half-mile of the mine, and so confident of success is Manager Bull, that he has already purchased a ten-stamp mill, which he hopes to operate at the Pinmore mine with water developed near-by.” - Los Angeles Daily Times
May 19, 1900: “THE MILL on the Pinmore mine is now running steadily on their own ore.” - Randsburg Miner
September 8, 1900: “THE PINMORE mine and mill are running steadily as usual. This gives promise of being one of the best mines in the district.” - Randsburg Miner
December 3, 1900: “H. D. COLSON has been made manager of the Pinmore mine and mill. Mr. Godsmark having to spend much of his time in the future in the Panamint country.” - Randsburg Miner
October 17, 1903: “THE PINMORE mine and mill at Johannesburg are in operation, under lease to W. F. Ernst & Nelson, on a royalty basis.” - Mining and Scientific Press
AUTHOR'S NOTE, (BP 11/2010):
An advertisement in the Randsburg Miner in September, 1900 shows William W. Godsmark and a man by the name of Whittemore as being the proprietors of the Johannesburg Hotel. William Godsmark was a prosperous grocery and creamery businessman from Battle Creek Michigan. He purchased the hotel from the Johannesburg Milling & Water Co. for a recorded sum of ten dollars, however the Randsburg Miner, reported that reliable sources had told them the purchase price was actually $3,000.
Mr. Godsmark and his brother Albert led a group of investors that purchased the Ratcliff mine called the Never Give Up. The mine, which is located in the Panamint Mountains outside of Ballarat, was purchased for a price of $30,000. This mine was held as a closed corporation known as the Ratcliff Consolidated Gold Mines. Local mining interest is evidenced by a letterhead in the collection of the Kern County Museum which shows that William Godsmark was involved with a firm called The Croesus Mining Company, which had it's mine, mill and offices in Johannesburg.
August 25, 1932: “ WORKS BETTER THAN MISSOURI MULE TYPE. Randsburg Aug. 25—Many personal visits are being made to the Frank Feldman lease, on the Pinmore mine, Johannesburg, for the purpose of seeing the gold saving arasta built and installed at the mouth of the working shaft. As the milling charges on ore through local custom mill is $6 the ton, and trucking expense of delivering the material at the mill, the early days of California gold reduction by the use of arastas, may take hold in the Rand and other districts. The Feldman type is far superior than the old sleepy mule tied to a pole, going around and around when watched by a miner with a stick, and no watcher the mule stopped for a rest, should the miner be away for a time, he found the animal laying on the ground fast asleep. A small engine with but little cost for gas and oil operate the plant. Feldman finds that the plate added is an improvement, he is constantly figuring other improvements that will improve the handling of the slimes.
"BUILDING DUAL ARASTA: The Hattens and White, leasing on the K. C. N. No. 1, are now building a dual arasta with the addition of a cyanide tank and process, their produce will make excellent and almost complete recovery of the gold content.
"GETTING IDEAS: Interested owners of a fair grade of gold bearing ore in another district have made trips to the Feldman plant for observation; on their next visit, they will check upon the plan that the arasta is built on.” -- Mojave-Randsburg Record Times
Black Cloud Placer - Pinmore Mine behind, view looking N. from (about) Highway 395. An 'arasta' is all that remains (2010) to mark the spot, (if this enterprise is even associated with the Feldman-Pinmore Lease described above). Johannesburg, 1932(?) - Rand Desert Museum Collection
PHOENIX aka OPERATOR CONSOLIDATED MILL
Phoenix aka Operator Consolidated Mine & Mill, view looking north, date unknown, Johannesburg, CA. - Rand Desert Museum Collection
July 23, 1904: “IT IS REPORTED THAT THE PHOENIX MILL at Johannesburg has been leased by Mr. Burcham of the Yellow Aster Mining and Milling Company, and that it may be started up early this fall. It is also stated that five stamps will be added to the five already in place. The Boiler is and Erie 50 horse-power; the engine is also 50 horse-power.’ - Randsburg Miner
January 1904: "DEVELOPMENT CONSISTED of a 200 foot incline shaft with 2500 feet of drifts. A five stamp mill powered by steam was on the site. The owner in 1904 was listed as J. W. Lloyd.'' - Aubrey, Lewis E., Register of Mines and Mills, Kern County, California, State Mining Bureau.
March, 28, 1907: ”CHARLES WETHERBEE AND W. W. WIKARD have been experimenting on concentrating tungsten ore at the Phoenix mill at Johannesburg, with entire success. They have used the Woodbury Concentrator and find that they can take low grade tungsten ore and concentrate it into values running as high as sixty per cent; values that pay well for shipment. This will be of immense benefit to many holders of tungsten claims that do not produce ore rich enough to ship without concentrating, as is the case with the Papoose.” - Randsburg Miner
July 4, 1914: “FOR SALE—240 ACRES OF MINING LAND belonging to the Grannis Land Co., situated in the heart of the Randsburg district adjacent to the Butte, King Solomon, Ajax, and Windy mines. Illingworth, Tate, Pierce and Baker have been working one hole on this property on a lease and have just melted at the Phoenix mill a $3,000 brick from the first ore taken out, amounting to 47 tons. Lease expires July 1. There are other good properties on this land and we want a practical mining man to take hold. For particulars address C. L. Smythe, 308 Los Angeles St., Los Angeles.” -Randsburg Miner
April 23, 1915: "THE PHOENIX MINE COMPANY an addition to the Rand Mining District that will largely help to bring this district to the front, where it should belong. It has been leased to Messrs. Illingworth and Lanka; the former who is one of Randsburg’s leading business men, and a man who has practically kept the camp in existence on account of giving the numerous leasers an extensive credit, sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars. The latter is one of Southern California’s leading mining engineers, who has proven himself to be worthy of the title M. E., by making a paying mine out of what was once termed a worked-out mine.
"The Phoenix Mining Company is situated in Johannesburg, and has the very latest equipment throughout, consisting of a ten-stamp mill, a twenty-five ton cyanide plant, agitating process, for the treatment of about 38,000 tons of tailings, electricity is used for hoisting, mill power, pumping, etc.
"Besides the main shaft where the ore is ten feet in width, with $15 values, is situated the Camperdown shaft, with ore bodies running six feet in width, carrying higher values than does the main shaft.
"The Phoenix group consists of six claims and is owned by Dr. R. L. Burcham. The leasers have a force of 15 men employed. The main working shaft is sunk on the vein over 300 feet at an angle of 30 degrees. Numerous drifts and upraises have been run from this shaft amounting to over 2500 feet of work. At the 250-foot level a drift is being driven 350 east showing a vein 10 feet wide. The ore from this drift is milling $15.00 per ton. The face of the drift is showing ore that mills $18 per ton. This drift is being driven east on the vein as fast as possible, the company owning 3000 lineal feet on the vein. The ore is hoisted from the main shaft and dumped directly into the mill which is working day and night." - Randsburg Miner – Randsburg Commemoration Number
January, 15, 1920: “A SMALL TEST MILLING is being made at Phoenix mill, of ore from the Mapes lease, to determine the value of the gold content of the ore, which pan tests indicate to be of shipping grade.” - Barstow Printer
Operator Consolidated Underground Workings, Plan View, Johannesburg, CA, date unknown. - Rand Desert Museum Collection
March, 1925: “DURING 1923 THE OPERATOR DIVIDE MINING COMPANY took over a group of 7 claims, including the old Phoenix Mine, and located just north of Johannesburg.
"Five known veins cross the property, the two principal ones having been worked in the Phoenix Mine. The veins strike northwest and dip 21 degrees NE. The vary from mere stringers up to thicknesses of possibly 7 feet, being lenticular in habit..
"The Phoenix mine is developed by an incline shaft 300 feet deep, and by over 2000 feet of workings distributed through 6 levels. Two of these levels were driven from a winze which extends 100 feet below the bottom of the shaft.
"The mine was equipped with a 5-stamp mill when taken over the Operator Divide Mining Company. This has been remodeled and 5 new stamps added, making 10 in all.
"The Phoenix Mine is credited with a production in past years of about $600,000. Over 35,000 tons of ore were milled, giving an average value for all the ore mined of about $17.00 per ton..00 The deepest working are 300 feet and are in good ore. The potential value of the mine is exceedingly attractive. Best of all, the Company owns the mine.
"After operating for a short period of time during the fall of 1923 the property was again closed down.” - Randsburg Quadrangle, California, California State Mining Bureau, Bulletin 95
Operator Consolidated Mill Ruins, Cyanide Ore Treatment Vat, the stirring mechanism trapped in the last batch of ore pulp to be treated when the mine gave up the ghost. - William J. Warren © 2010
WOOD'S AUTOMATIC DRY CONCENTRATOR MILL
September 11, 1897: "Woods Automatic Dry Concentrator Mill, JOHANNESBURG: One of the leading properties of this camp and one which has marked attention, by reason of discoveries of ore of phenomenal richness, is the Alameda mine. It adjoins on the east the townsite of Johannesburg, already one of the most active sections of the Rand district and which it is confidently expected will be the metropolis of it when the railway from Kramer, now being constructed, is completed.
"It is upon the property of the Alameda mine that the big reductions works are now being erected, at a cost exceeding, $20,000. and which, it is believed, will work a revolution in gold mining throughout the country.
"This plant is known as the Woods Automatic Dry Concentrator, and for the past month a large force of men have been engaged in its erection. The starting up of this plant will, it is expected, take place about the middle of this month, and its first run of gold will be witnessed by prominent men from different part of the country, who are anxious to see how it works, when operated on a large scale. While the plant has been erected for reducing the ores of the Alameda mine, it is the intention of the owners, to make test runs of other ores when desired. The capacity of the plant is thirty tons per twenty-four hours." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
October 18, 1897: "A SUCCESSFUL TEST—PRACTICAL DEMONSTRATION OF THE MERITS OF THE WOODS AUTOMATIC DRY CONCENTRATOR—WHAT IT IS AND HOW CONSTRUCTED – A LOS ANGELES MAN'S INVENTION—A COMPANY ORGANIZED TO MANUFACTURE THE MACHINE IN LOS ANGELES—THE PROBLEM OF MILLING DRY ORE APPARENTLY SOLVED.
"RANDSBURG, OCT.13—The Woods Automatic dry concentrator is a success, there seems to be no question about it. For some weeks since its erection it has been ran in an experimental way, many small changes being made in time, bringing it to such a state of perfection that Mr. Woods the inventor felt justified in inviting Mojave men and others who were interested to be present this week, either Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, and he would give a public test. This he has done, and the concentrator has been at work, many people taking advantage of the invitation to be present and see for themselves. The rock which is of a very low grade can be horned by any man who wishes, then the same kind of test made with the concentrates as they come from the little machines. This of course will not tell it accurately as there will be much ran in the panning from the concentrates which carries gold, but not visible to the eye, but it will show enough free gold to convince the most skeptical that the machine do their work. Assays made from the same rock and concentrates tell it accurately, and a number have been made by Wores of the sampling works.
"The plant as it stands today represents an outlay of $20,000 in round numbers. It could be duplicated for less money but this is the first of the kind ever built, and may changes had to be made before it was a success. Even now several changes are in contemplation,, but the principal remains unchanged. The concentrators, four in number, each with a capacity of ten tons per day, are small compact little machines, taking up but little room, and when in operation run with as little noise as the ordinary sewing machine. They are beautiful in workmanship, and at first sight would seem to be too delicate for ordinary use, but they are so nicely adjusted and so carefully fitted for the work that there is neither jar nor friction noticeable as they perform their work.
"It descends to an endless revolving screen with slats at intervals of an inch or two, and in its passage the (latter) two currents of air meeting each other at right angles, creating a kind of a wave motion. This air and the motion made by it separates the gold and the heavier portions from the dust and lighter matter, the former settling in the slots on the revolving screen and being deposited (attend) to the underside where they ----------------by gravity or are detached by a light strike on the screen arranged automatically to fall about twenty times a minute as the screen travels by slowly and finally run off in a spout into a box and are the concentrates which contain the principal value. The dust proper –is-s-(sucked?)-up and is collected in pipes and is carried to an outside building. This contains some value in fine gold, but so fine that it must be handled very carefully in order to save it by any process. The dirt and refuse leaves the machine at the rear and is carried out by an endless belt and dumped as worthless.
"The concentrators are closely boxed in all the bearings and journals, being dust-proof, and every part when in motion, running at such slow speed that there is very little wear in any portion. The end and top being covered in glass instead of wood, a full view can be had of the inside at anytime.
"The building and room which contain the concentrators is a frame structure 18x36 feet in size and immediately adjoining on the east is the small engine room, 11x11 in which is located the two-horse power Foos gasoline engine, which furnished the power to run the concentrators, each concentrator requiring about one-eight of a horsepower to run it.
"On the west, and next adjoining the concentrator building, is located the mill for crushing the ore. At the present a rotary mill is used, grinding the ore on the same principal as the ordinary coffee mill, run on ball bearings. The capacity of the mill now in use is entirely inadequate to supply and keep running the four concentrators, and only two of them are used, the capacity of the mill not being sufficient to keep them running all the time. As the principal point in interest was whether the concentrators would do the work claimed for them by the inventor, and as they seem to be all and more than ever claimed, the matter of crushing the rock being a secondary consideration, the procuring of more mills or a different kind of mill will remedy that defect.
"The pulp when turned out of the mill is at once elevated by a conveyer to the screen located in the second story and above the concentrators. The screen at present is nine feet long and three feet wide, made of silk bolting cloth, with an endwise-shaking motion. The first four feet have a ninety mesh and the balance sixty, with no intermediate. The pulp coming through the ninety mesh is much finer and works better that the sixty mesh. All that passes over the sixty is run into the tailings and back again to the mill, to be ground over. The space occupied and enclosed for the mill, conveyers and screen is 18x36 feet.
"On the west again is the engine-room. This is a building 18x25, and here is located the twenty-five- horsepower Foos gasoline engine which furnishes the power for grinding the ore. This is a beautiful piece of machinery and when at work requires little or no attention. Mr. Wood is quite enthusiastic over the workings of the engine and after examining others concluded that it was built on thoroughly scientific principals and would best do the work of the ordinary non-experienced miner. It was set up and started by himself and Mr. Glore, neither having former experience, and so far has given satisfaction. The fuel used is –her gasoline distillates. The chloride building is 12x12 in which is collected the dust from the works, and stands entirely separate and away from the other buildings, only a large pipe leading into at the top.
"The ore dump is 36x150 feet. The plant at its full running capacity, if the crusher was equal to the concentrators, will handle forty tons of ore per day.
"Some days ago a very close run was made on ore which assayed. $1.25 per ton, and a sample of the ore together with a sample of the concentrates, taken down to Charles R. Wores sampling works, and assays made, with the astounding result of ore $1.25 per ton and concentrates of $879.17 per ton, or a concentration of 760 to 1. This was so surpassing, that for fear that some mistake had been made, a second test was made with the same results. This is, of course, away beyond anything claimed for it by the inventor, but simply shows what the machines are capable of.
"Yesterday another test was made, some of the ground pulp being taken as it came from the mill, which assayed by the same party at $1.96 per ton, concentrates from the same after it came from the machine $87.80, with only a trace of gold in the tailings. The last was a concentration of 41 to 1. In each case it will be seen that the ore was of too low grade to have practical value but was taken from the Alameda mine dump simply to test the capacity of the concentrators for saving gold.
"Mr. F. W. Wood the inventor is here on the ground, and has had charge of everything connected with it from the beginning. He is a New Haven Ct. man and an inventor of some note, having taken out 16 patents in his own name. His principle tastes lying in the invention of labor saving machinery, some of his invention being in use in several of the pin machines now in operation. He is a man of some capital, and has for a number of years spent some portion of each year in California. Although not a miner, and not even a judge of gold-bearing rock, last winter when everyone was talking mines, he visited this county on his way to Mexico to look at some mining property there in the interests of some friends east, and stopping in Los Angeles met Charles Stilsen, who had experimented somewhat on a dry-washer. Stilson suggested to him that the man who would invent a machine to save gold by the dry process would be a benefactor to this country. It gave him the idea, and after returning from Mexico he set to work. He was unacquainted with mines, mining machinery or anything connected with a mine, but was a machinist. His first idea of how fine a job he had on his hands, and how delicate the conditions that he had to contend with were derived from an old miner who was examining some pulp he had, and took out a magnifying glass –something that nearly every miner has with him—and began studying it with that. He then began to realize how small the particles of gold were that he was trying to save, and that it would require a machine as fine in workmanship. He began work on the 19th of February, and has been continually at it ever since. His first effort was to produce two currents—of air, which would form a wave motion, and, after several failures apparently succeeded. He then made a crude, machine and experimented on some tailings worth about $5 per ton, and succeeded in showing up concentrates which assayed $58 per ton. Then he knew he had the right principal, and went to work and built a first-class machine, which was inspected by many people in Los Angeles.
"Up to this time Mr. Wood has borne all expenses and experimented entirely on his own capital. Believing it now to be a success he organized the Wood Automatic Dry Concentrator Company, with a capital of $100,000, and J. M. Hale, the dry-goods man and an old friend Charles Stilson, Frank Cole, and H. G. Glore and himself (F. W. Wood) as the incorporates. They now propose to manufacture these machines in Los Angeles, and put them on the market. This one now in operation is solely for the purpose of giving them a thorough test and absolutely demonstrating from actual trial that they will do the work claimed for them. Having heard about the Rand mining district and that there was much low grade ore there, which owing to the conditions of locality, scarcity of water and fuel, could not be worked with the stamp mill or any other known device for milling ores, at a profit, and, in fact were absolutely worthless unless some cheaper method was devised, sent one of the incorporators, Mr. Frank Cole, up here to investigate. On his report the company concluded to come to Johannesburg and locate on the Alameda mine, just northeast of town. The valuable plant today in successful operation is the outcome of that resolution.
"Something of the kind having often been tried before, with failure as the result, led many to doubt the success of the venture. All wished it to succeed, as no single thing is so important to the camp. Thousands of tones of low-grade ore, formerly absolutely worthless have now a value; it is as though something was created out of nothing. While there is no question but what the best results can be had by running a number of machines together as one plant, a little profit being made from each, and the expense of running being much lessened, yet if that is not always practicable the man who owns a mine of low-grade ore nearly always found in larger veins than is the higher grades, can buy one of these machines and a small engine to crush his rock, and also furnish power for the concentrator, as it is not at all necessary to have a separate engine for this purpose, put it upon his mine wherever located and grind out his own fortune. After reducing it to a certain extent he can again put it through the machine, and his expenses for transportation and working of his concentrator will be brought to a minimum.
"The machines are simple in construction, and easy to understand, after being properly arranged to begin with. Three principal things are to be looked after: The feed, to determine at what rate it is going through, whether at the rate of ten or more tons per day; the regulation of the air in ache (?) current and the specific gravity to determine its value. These can all be learned by any practical miner in a short time.
"Up to today no rock of higher grade than $4 per ton has been tried. While it is claimed that it will work equally well in high as well as low grade ores, the concentration not being so great, yet, as will be seen by practical men, its chief value and merit will always be to work ores no other machine can handle.
"Mr. Wood is enthusiastic about the future of this mining camp, and proposes as soon as he gets this concentrator off his hands to make some investments, and become identified with the camp. Future runs will be carefully noted and a full and accurate account will be given in future issues of the Times." - The Los Angeles Daily Times
November 4, 1897: “J. M. Hale, the dry goods man, and C. A. Stilson of Los Angeles, are visiting and inspecting the district. These gentlemen are both members of the Woods Dry Concentrator Company. The concentrator is now running steadily one ore from the G. B. A small lot was put through for Mr. Vendervoort and partner with very satisfactory results. An assay from the ore gave $25 per ton, An assay from the concentrates gave $2186 per ton, while the tailings showed $1.25 per ton.” - The Los Angeles Daily Times
February 21, 1898: “F. W. WOOD, the dry concentrator man, will be here on the doth with a new crusher, new screens and dryer, and will again start up the concentrator. The company has been reorganized, several of the old members going out and new men taking their places. Mr. Waterman, son of ex-governor, is now interested in the plant.” - The Los Angeles Daily Time
AUTHOR'S NOTE, (WJW 11/2010):
Mining, Milling & Inventing go hand & glove, overcoming unforeseen obstacles in complicated ore, water & air handling processes, invariably improvised from 'recycled' mining & auto parts, the obligatory yard full of broken equipment to cannibalize.
All involve some kind of Rube Goldberg mechanical contraption(s), rarely operating for more than hours at a time without something breaking down or running out of one vital commodity or another, such as: paying dirt / ore, gas / oil, beans / credit.
The Wood's Concentrator is a 'poster-kid' example, and it went down the usual path, a slow-motion collision course with the laws of economics and/or physics. Particularly troublesome is the theory that energy cannot be created from nothing.
The Times writer is to be applauded for the courtly restraint and bone-dry wit (typical of the Victorian era) in reporting the facts and the reasons such schemes had the odds stacked against them. He clearly writes from knowledge & experience and for the entertainment of his many readers (who had 'Seen the Elephant' of mining). His assay 'figures' must have produced howls of laughter.
KING SOLOMON MINE
April 23, 1915: “The King Solomon group of mines, comprising seven claims, were located in 1896 by the three Ashford brothers, Rhoda, Henry, and Harold, and are situated just east of the town, on the main road to Johannesburg. Having no money of their own to spend in developing the property they took in a Mr. Bull as partner. After three years of legal entanglements the Bull interests were taken over by Miller.
"This was during the summer of 1912, and the new combination was known as the Ashford Mining Company. Under the new firm a big force of men were put as work and the mine, which for a long time had been idle, not took on an air of prosperity.
"From now on the King Solomon group began to take lead as one of the richest producers in the district. Many leases on this property were also taken, and large milling returns attested the value of these claims. In 1908 another change in ownership occurred, in which Mr. Miller remained as sole proprietor, who in June of 1912 sold out to Mr. Edward Shipsey. February of 1914 say this group of mines turned into a stock company, now known as the Shipsey Mining Company, with a capital of $500,000.
"The present company, under the direction of Mr. Shipsey, is doing very extensive development work, and the richness of the ore taken our during the past twelve months fully warranting the outlay. Besides the main shaft there are five other leasers.
"The ore from this property since its discovery has averaged $50 per ton and up to the present over $1,500,00- has been taken out.” - Randsburg Miner
August 15, 1924: “Work on the King Solomon has commenced again after the month of July taken as a vacation, and the particular line will be a continuation of the east drift on the big 15-foor vein, for possibly 300 feet. It is the desire of the present management to decide as to where the new vertical shaft will be located, and with this new improvement another unit of five stamps will be added. And in the meantime the work on the upraise for the purpose of making a connection with the old workings on the Magpie, for ventilation will progress as usual.” - Randsburg Times
March, 1925: “The King Solomon Mine comprising five and a fraction claims, is owned by the North Rand Silver Mining Company. The property located just southwest of Johannesburg, is developed by several shafts, the main shaft being 2 compartment, inclined, and 480 feet deep measured on the incline.
"There are seven mine levels, the deepest being 480 feet, and approximately 9000 feet of workings. Three winzes extend below the 480 level.
"The values in the veins are quite erratic. In general they cling close to the hanging wall of the veins in connected but more or less irregular bunches. The best ore which has been mined occurred adjacent to the main shaft between the 300 level and the surface.
"The average grade of the ore mined is such that approximately $25.00 is caught on the plates for each ton milled. The gold produced is worth about $15.00 according to the mine superintendent. Mine returns indicate a fineness of about 780.
"The total production of the property is not definitely known due to the methods of keeping accounts in the early life of the property, but it is estimated to be between $300,000 and $500,000. The production for the three months ending July 19, 1923, amounted to 659.5 ounces of gold.” - Hulin, Carlton D., Geology and Ore Deposits of The Randsburg Quadrangle, California, California State Mining Bureau, Bulletin 95
May 15, 1925: “San Francisco Gold, now operating the King Solomon mine, Randsburg, is a popular listed stock on the Los Angeles Exchange.
"With commencement of drifting on the Magpie vein, work hereafter will be done alternately on this vein and the crosscut heading south. Better footage is looked for with this plan. The crosscut is going through a softer formation and hopes of encountering the contact are very bright. Two stopes, the east and west, are now supplying the mill with a good grade of free milling ore that will run along $20 to the ton.
"What may prove a high grade milling ore has been encountered in Magpie vein of the King Solomon.” - Randsburg Times
1937 - 1943: MINING LEDGERS:
These ledgers show that during the years 1937 to 1943 J. H. Christensen, E. A. Schultz, J. B. Nosser, Jr., and Max Hess operated the King Solomon Mine and Mill under a lease agreement. During this period they collected dividends in the range of $2,100 to $2,800 per year per partner. This was considered a most decent living in this depression period. These partners were involved in mining the King Solomon, leasing certain sections and doing custom milling for Atolia Mining Company, Inyokern Tungsten and other small operators. The partnership also had interests in the White Mine and the Silver Bell claim.
While usually employing three men in addition to themselves at times they provided employment to as many as eight employees. As was typical of the time they made various donations to charitable causes including funerals, fair money for children, the community church, and town recreation fund. - John Turner Family Collection
1962: “Between 1914 and the late 1940s the mine was operated nearly continuously by the owners and under lease to mining companies and individual lessees. Some of the companies that operated the mine during this time interval were the King Solomon Consolidated Mines Co. ( 1920’s and 30’s. ), San Francisco Mining Co. (1925-26), Mount Gaimes Mining Co. Inc. (1937-?) and King Solomon Mines lease (early in 1940. Individuals and groups of lessees have mined the property at intermittent intervals since about 1940.
"The workings of the King Solomon mine consist of about 11,000 feet of horizontal levels at 200, 300, 350, 450, and 550 feet extending from a 580-foot shaft inclined 45 degrees N. 40 degrees E. Three other shafts that connect with the mine workings are inclined northwest to northeast at the west end of the mine property about 700 feet west of the collar of the main shaft. They are, from west to east, the Shipsey, Old Miller, and New Miller shafts, all connect on the Miller vein. The Shipsey and Old Miller shafts connect with the 300 foot level of the main shaft and the new miller shaft connects with 150 level which contains about 500 feet of crosscuts and drifts. About half of the mine workings are on the 300 foot level. This level connects with the Butte mine in the Southwest part of the mine and at the Shipsey shaft. The 550 level contains the longest crosscut—more than 500 feet in length.” - Mines and Minerals of Kern County California, California Division of Mines and Geology County Report 1
Mr. J.J. "Jack" Nosser - Turner Family Collection
Benjamin & Gordon Nosser w/Snowballs and Sled, in front of the H. G. Nosser establishment, date unknown. - Turner Family Collection
May 19, 1900: "PARKER has started his own mill and is doing good work." - Randsburg Miner
June 19, 1900: "The little 3 stamp mill of Parker’s is pounding away day and night and giving good satisfaction. Just
now they are at work on a 50 ton lot from the Annex mine for Messrs. Mongomery and Mcginnis." - Randsburg Miner
July14, 1900: "WYNN BOYS milling 20 tons at Parker’s mill." - Randsburg Miner
April, 2, 1904: "J. R. Parker and his son F. L. Parker left for Los Angeles Wednesday. They will be gone for several weeks." - Randsburg Miner
June ___, 1904: "J. R. PARKER, owner of the cyanide plant on the hill between Randsburg and Johannesburg, returned the latter part of the week from a business trip to the outside world." - Randsburg Miner
July 2, 1904: "THE PARKER MILL, owned by T. W. Atkinson was taken down and moved over to the Sunshine. The mill will be erected and the hauling of ore avoided." - Randsburg Miner
SUNBEAM / HARD TACK CLAIMS
March 1925: “:The Hard Tack property, worked by the Hard Tack Mining Company, lies approximately 2 miles northwest of Johannesburg. The property is developed by a vertical shaft 135 feet deep, and by 350 feet of drifts along a level at a depth of 105 feet. This work has been carried out in the hope of picking up an old vein from which a small production is reported to have been made in the past years. A number of old workings exist on the property.” - Hulin, Carlton D., Ph. D., Geology and Ore Deposits of the Randsburg Quadrangle, California, California State Mining Bureau, Bulletin 95.
Hard Tack Mine, about 1925(?) View looking ____. - Rand Desert Museum Collection
Sunbeam Mine, 1937(?), View looking N., El Paso Mountains form the horizon. - Rand Desert Museum Collection
October 7, 1937: “NOTICE OF CONSTABLES SALE OF REAL PROPERTY.
No. 31215, IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF KERN.
AMERICO RIZZARDINI, Plaintiff
SUNBEAM MINING COMPANY, a corporation, Defendant
Under and by virtue of an execution issued out of the Superior Court of the State of California, in and for the County of Kern, in and action wherein Americo Rizzardini was plaintiff and Sunbeam Mining Company, a corporation, defendant, upon a judgment rendered on the 22nd day of September, 1937, in favor of said plaintiff and against said defendant, for the sum of $4,576.64, current lawful money of the United States of
America, with interest from date of said judgment, I have this day levied upon all the right, title, claim, and interest of said defendant of, in and to all that certain real property situated, lying and being in the County of Kern, State of California, and more particularly described as follows, to- wit---
- Lost River Mining Claim, in the Randsburg Mining District, in the County of Kern, State of California in Book 412 of Official Records, page 255;
- East Side Mining Claim, in the Randsburg Mining District, in the County of Kern, State of California in Book 412 of Official Records, page 256;
- Lost River Fraction Mining Claim, in the Randsburg Mining District, in the County of Kern, State of California in Book 412 of Official Records, page 257;
- Side Winder Extension Mining Claim, in the Randsburg Mining District, in the County of Kern, State of California in Book 412 of Official Records, page 257;
- Barstow Mining Claim, in the Randsburg Mining District, in the County of Kern, State of California in Book 351 of Official Records, page 413:
- Volcanic Mining Claim, in the Randsburg Mining District, in the County of Kern, State of California in Book 351 of Official Records, page 413;
- Side Winder Mining Claim, in the Randsburg Mining District, in the County of Kern, State of California in Book 351 of Official Records, page 414;
- Wolverine Mining Claim, in the Randsburg Mining District, in the County of Kern, State of California in Book 351 of Official Records, page 415,
together with all tenements, hereditaments, and appurtenances, dwelling house, fixtures, machinery and equipment pertaining to or appertaining thereto.
Notice is hereby given that I will, on the 23rd day of October, 1937, at 10:00 o’clock A.M. of said day, at the United States Post office in Randsburg, California, sell at public auction, for current lawful money of the United States of America, all the right, title, claim, and interest of said defendants in and to the above described property, or so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy said judgment, with accruing costs, to the highest bidder.
Dated: September 23, 1937
Constable of the Tenth Township, in the County of Kern, State of California
A. E. PARK AND
H. E. SCHMIDT
Attorneys for Plaintiff
1962: “HARD TACK MINE, located SW ¼ sec. 24, T29S, R40E, MDM, Rand district.1 ¼ miles northwest of Johannesburg. Vertical Shaft 135 feet deep in schist, 350 feet of horizontal workings at depth of 105 feet. No production. Owned in 1925 by Hard Tack Mining Co.” - Mines and Minerals of Kern County California, California Division of Mines and Geology, Report 1, Page 157
1962: “SUNBEAM PROSPECT, located NE ¼ sec. 26, T29S, R40E, MDM. Rand district; 1 ¼ miles northwest of Johannesburg, on east side of road. Five claims. Numerous shallow inclined shafts, short drift, and crosscut adits and trenches. No recorded production. .” - Mines and Minerals of Kern County California, California Division of Mines and Geology, Report 1, Page 189
Sunbeam Mining Co., North of Johannesburg ,CA, view looking ____. - Rand Desert Museum Collection
AUTHORS NOTE, (BP 11/2010):
Although the above references to the Hard Tack claim do not include a mill, the location of the Sunbeam Mining Co. is in close proximity to the cyanide tailings and a mill foundation that exist at this site.