BUTTE MINE (Butte Lode Mining Co., Consolidated Butte Mines Co., Sun Ray Mining Co.)

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:
Its former owners took out $45,000 in one year and it was their proud boast that they never drew a sober breath while it lasted.


1896: THE BUTTE GOLD DEPOSIT was discovered in 1896 by three brothers H. C., Sommers, and Tate Ramie.  By 1899, when the Butte Lode Mining Co. was formed, ore valued at approximately $140,000 had been produced.  The most productive mining periods were 1896-1912, 1916-1921, and 1925-42.  Most of the mining was done by lessees, the ore being milled by the owners.  During the depression years of the 1930’s when several groups of lessees covered nearly all of the mine, one group swept fines from the floors of stopes and milled them.  The mine has been idle since 1942 except for a few short periods when the prospecting of old workings has yielded small lots of ore.

The Butte mine comprises more than 12,000 feet of horizontal workings on nine levels, three large stopes, and seven shafts.  The workings are in two groups separated by an unexplored segment on the Butte vein.  This segment is 100 to 150 feet long at the surface.  One group is in the southeastern part of the Butte claim and is interconnected with workings of the King Solomon mine.  The other group is in the northwestern part of the Butte claim and in the Butte Wedge claim.

The southeastern group consists of about 10,400 feet of drifts and crosscuts and four shafts.  The shafts are, from southwest to northwest, the Ferris, No. 6, Road, and Midway, are inclined approximately 45 degrees NE, and are from 200 to 400 feet apart.  The  No. 6 shaft is the deepest, is the only one that connects with all nine levels, and was  the only one in operating condition in 1958.  The nine levels are at inclined depths of 65, 100, 165, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 500 feet as measured down the No. 6 shaft.  The Ferris shaft extends to the 250-foot level, and the Midway shaft to about the 200-foot level.

The northwest group of workings consists of 1,600 feet of level workings and three shafts.  The workings connect with about 800 feet of drifts and crosscuts on the Butte Wedge claim.  The Perpendicular and an unnamed shaft, 240 feet apart, connect on drifts on three levels, (121, 140, and 222 feet ) and are connected by two drift levels.  The No. 7 shaft is 100 feet deep and connects with two levels which aggregate 100 feet of drifts.

A mill between the No 6 and Road shafts, is equipped with two-five stamp batteries, each with an amalgamation table. One battery is modified to treat ores on a gravity table.  At least one of the batteries has been operated nearly continuously in recent years as a custom mill for gold and tungsten ores.  Since 1956, the Butte mill has been the only stamp mill in southern California in which custom gold ores have been accepted.  Ores that can be suitably milled by gravity separation also are accepted at the mill.  Water for the mill is supplied from a source below the 500-foot level of the mine. “  – MINES AND MINERALS OF KERN COUNTY CALIFORNIA, CALIFORNIA DIVISION OF MINES AND GEOLOGY COUNTY REPORT 1.


June 18, 1896: “THE BUTTE MINING COMPANY of Randsburg has a force of 16 men at work and is making great headway toward taking out ore, which is being milled at present at Cow Wells at the Garlock mill.”  – The Californian

August 1, 1896: “TATE AND RAMEY report another big strike for the Butte Mine.  Tate and Ramey have received the returns of five carloads of ore which they had milled in San Francisco and are well pleased with the results.”  — The Californian

September 5, 1896: “THERE IS A RUMOR out that the Ramey boys are about closing a deal for the remarkably rich Butte Mine with a syndicate of capitalist, who have agreed on $115,000 as the purchase price.  Knowing ones say that it’s cheap and the mine would enrich the purchasers at twice that figure. “  The Californian

September 15, 1896: “BUTTE MINE (quartz) – It is in Fiddler’s Gulch, 1 mile N. of Randsburg, at 3,500’ elevation, and is a recent and promising location.  The vein is 3’ wide and dips 80 degrees North, in a diritic rock.  Near the hanging wall is a 4” to 6” streak of white quartz, showing free gold, mixed with talc, also rich in gold.  There are two 50’ shafts on the claim and several open cuts.  The surface debris below the outcropping is being run through a dry-washer and the coarse material is picked over by hand to save the rich quartz float.  The gold is free, and no sulphurates are visible.  There is no water in the vicinity, and the ore is hauled to a stamp mill at Cow Wells, 20 miles away.  The milling charges are $15 a ton.  Wages are $2 a day and board.  Freight from Mojave is 75 cents per cental.  Lumber costs $40 per M.  Firewood is hauled from Tehachapi, 75 miles distant, and water costs 5 cents a gallon.  H. C. Ramie et al, of Randsburg, owners.”  – California State Mining Bureau, Thirteenth Report of the State Mineralogist.

October 2, 1896: “TATE AND RAMEY have sold an interest in the Butte Mine to Stanton & Sons of Bakersfield.”  The Californian

October 16, 1896: “ELEVEN TONS OF ORE from the Butte mine, milled at Koehn’s last week netted the neat little sum of $1700.”  — The Californian

October 16, 1896:  “ANOTHER BIG STRIKE was made in the Butte a few days ago and more men were put to work.’  The Californian

October 31, 1896; ‘MANY RUMORS ARE AFLOAT to the effect that that the Butte Mine has run out and that it will no longer pay to work it.  But such is not the case.  Twelve men are kept at work both night and day and the mills cannot  keep the ore off the dump.  The company is negotiating for a 20 stamp mill, which will be put in motion as soon as possible.

The Butte Mining Company has laid out a townsite, which will be known as Butte City, and will place the lots on the market in a few days. ” — The Californian

November 22, 1896: “THE BUTTE MINE WAS STARTED IN APRIL 1896, by four Butte, Mont., miners. It is situated one mile east of the town. Two shafts are down 100 feet, another 68 feet and two others 50 feet each. Tunneling has been done to a depth of 150 feet in two tunnels and 130 feet in two other tunnels. There are two grades of ore in the mine, running all the way from a six-inch ledge to four feet, averaging in free milling ore from $112 to $113 per ton gold and a small percentage of silver. The ores are hauled to Kane Springs mill, costing from $8 to $10 per ton for hauling and milling. The quality of ore averages better as it increases in depth. The present output is about 150 tons per month and over 1000 tons has been taken out of the mine to date.” – The Herald

December 17, 1896: “THE BUTTE WHICH EMPLOYS about thirty men is having a steady output of ore running from $50 to $150 per ton.” – San Francisco Call

December 29, 1896: “EAST OF THE WEDGE are the Butte mine and the King Solomon, both heavy producers. A considerable amount of development work has been done on these mines, shafts being down 125 feet, and large quantities of rich ore have been milled.” – The Herald

January 1, 1897:  “IN THE BUTTE, some very rich ore was struck at 140 feet yesterday, ore in which free gold can be seen.  The Butte people have been hoisting with a horse, but have sent for a whim, which will be put in place within a few days.”  — Los Angeles Times

January 17, 1897: “THE BUTTE MINE, owned by H. C. Ramey, H. C. Tate, B. B. Somers and J. E. Ramey, is one of the richest mines in the district. It adjoins the Good Hope, and at a depth of 125 feet has in its course of development produced over $60,000. H. C. Ramey, the leading spirit in this company, is an old-time prospector in the district, and is very popular among the miners, to a large number of whom he gives employment. The ledge of the Butte mine is stronger defined and traversed on the hanging side by a great syenite dyke running almost due east and west.”  – San Francisco Call

View Of Randsburg Looking Southwest From the Butte Lode Mine. Photo by Clarence Tucker

March 1, 1897: “ANOTHER BIG MINING DEAL is under way, the sale of the Butte to a syndicate of San Francisco men.  The consideration is $120,00 with a first payment of $20,000.  The new company will take possession when this payment is made, and the net returns from all ore milled will be credited on the purchase price, until all payments are completed.

The Butte is one of the oldest mines in the camp, and probably more gold has been taken from it than any other single mine.  Development work has been done on nearly the entire length, the east and west shafts being 1300 feet apart, with six other shafts with a depth of from 50 to 100 feet each.  The West End shaft, No. 5 is down now 150 feet, with a twenty-inch vein of rich ore on the footwall, and an eight-inch vein on the hanging wall.  The shaft was sunk for the first 100 feet perpendicularly, crossing the vein going down, which lies on an angle here of perhaps 40 deg., then a cross cut was made to reach the vein, and afterward sinking on the ore.  When the ore was struck in the crosscut the vein was five feet in thickness.  A crew of men are at work in the upraise at the 100-foot level, to connect the shaft with an air shaft some sixty feet distant, and as soon as this connection is made a contract will be let to sink the main shaft 100 feet deeper, when a cross cut from the bottom will strike the ore vein some 350 or 400 feet from the surface, measured on the incline.  It will also be nearly the same distance vertically, as the pitch of the hillside is equal to the pitch of the vein in the same direction.  The ore now being hoisted assays, $84 per ton, and as this is all free milling, the mill return should reach 90 per cent, or more of the assay.  This shaft is enclosed with a house large enough to cover the whim and hoisting works, together with a blacksmith shop and necessary room for tools, and work goes on day and night.  At the No. 1 shaft on the extreme eastern end of the mine, there is a tunnel some sixty feet or more, with a shaft sunk on the ore chute to the same depth.  In sinking this shaft twenty-five tons of ore were milled, which netted $150 per ton, after paying the expense of hauling and milling.  At the No. 4 shaft, which is down 110 feet, the ore is stoped out from the fifty-foot level to the surface for a distance of 200 feet on the East Side of the shaft.  This ore milled close to $100 per ton.  The Butte people employ about twenty men, and have paid out a great deal in wages, and yet no outside money was put into this property.  All the money for development work, and all the money for wages, improvements, and building about the mine, or in any way belonging thereto, was taken from the mine.

The Butte, the Wedge, and Kenyon mines are evidently all on the same ledge, beginning with the Kenyon on the west, then the Wedge, which has a very short length and lies between the Kenyon and the Butte.  It is a very rich little mine, and Mr. Rogers, one of the owners, is now in Chicago in the interest of a corporation, which is to handle it.  The Butte is a full claim, 1500 feet in length, and, as before stated, develops good ore along its entire surface.

The owners are H. C. Ramey, J. E. Ramey, B. B. Summers, and H. C. Tate, with the latter as superintendent, and general manager.  It is operated under the name of the Butte Mining Company.”  —  Los Angeles Daily Times

March 14, 1897: “THERE ARE MANY MINING DEALS on hand, and every day there seems to be an increased interest in the mines.  The sale of the Butte, while not yet an accomplished fact so far as money being paid is considered as good as made.  This if for $120,000, with a $20,000 first payment.  There is another party figuring on the purchase of this mine on an absolute cash basis, at a little less that the above figures, and if, through any hitch, the first parties fail to come to time the others are positioned to close the deal.”  – Los Angeles Daily Times

April 1, 1897: “EVERY DAY THERE IS A FRESH RUMOR that the Butte mine has been sold, but the times correspondent has been misled so often on that property that the money must actually pass before another report of that sale is made.”  — Los Angeles Daily Times

April 6, 1897: “THE BUTTE MINE has at last been sold and work is stopped until the new company takes hold.  The consideration is not positively known, as all the parties interested are at Mojave or Tehachapi, where the sale took place.  It is generally understood that $61,000 is the price, and it is not far from that either way.  The Butte is a valuable property, having rich pay ore almost its entire length, and more development work done than either the Wedge, or Kenyon, these three being all located on the same ledge, and close together.  The purchasers are I., and A. Asher of the Tehachapi Bank and a Mr. Wilson of Butte, Mont.”  – Los Angeles Daily Times

April 22, 1897: “THE NEW COMPANY has gone to work on the Butte mine, and a small gang of men is employed. Mr. Wilson of Butte, Mont., one of the new owners, is in charge.” – The Los Angeles Daily Times

May 1897: “THE CALIFORNIA RAND listed in the Overland as one of the producing mines of the Rand District in March of 1897.  It was discovered March 29, 1896 and produced $80,000 by March of 1897.  The shaft was 175 feet deep at that time.  The owners were listed as H. C. Tate, J. E. Ramey, H. C. Ramey, B. B. Summers, and O. B. Stanton.”  – Overland Magazine

July 11, 1897: “ON THE EAST SIDE of the Kinyon is the Butte mine, owned by the Butte Mining Company.  It is said to have first been discovered by a man named Tait, but as he failed to make any record or it, it was shortly after located by C. E. Ramey, and his son James.  Although the ground has been ill treated by gouging out the rich pay ore near the surface, the mine is still considered one of the richest in the camp.  Ramey admits having taken $40,000 out of it in the short time he had it, and he also admits that he did nothing but skim the ground, never doing any development work at all.  Over $80,000 have already, from first to last, been taken from the surface ground.  A short time ago it was put on the market, and Mr. Wilson, a Montana man, now living at Johannesburg, bonded it for $50,000, under his option he is obliged to keep sinking in the shaft opened up and which is now down 200 feet.  The ore taken from the shaft is his, but the ore taken from any other part of the mine is to divided between the bonder and the owners.  The Butte is said to have the largest continuous pay chute of any known mine in this district, and those that know something of its possibilities say the $50,000 is a low price for it.”  – Los Angeles Daily Times

September 11, 1897: “THIS, WITH THE KINYON AND THE WEDGE, is one of the old mines of Randsburg, if such a designation can be used in connection with a camp that has not yet celebrated its second birthday.  The Butte also ranks among the first mines in this camp to turn out big pay, and it has been a good payee ever since, except during some short intervals when, owing to a change of ownership, it was not being worked.  The first owners of it treated it badly, making no attempt to work it as a mine, but content to run a lot of surface cuts and drifts and take out in a hurry all the gold they could get.  A little over three months ago, however, it was bonded by a Montana mining man named Wilson, who at once proceeded to work it in a proper way and put the mine on its feet.  It is situated in what is known as Fiddler’s Gulch.  The vein is in diorite rock, with a streak of white quartz near the hanging wall, showing gold throughout.  The rest of the vein matter is a crushed quartz, mixed with talc, also rich in gold.  The Butte is said to have the largest continuous pay chute of any mine in the district.”  – Los Angeles Daily Times

October 31, 1897:  “THE BUTTE MINE. This is one of the old mines of Randsburg, It such designation can he used in connection with a camp that is not yet 2 years old. The Butte also ranks among the first mines in this camp to turn out big pay, and it has been a good payer ever since, except during some short intervals when, owing to change of ownership, it was not being worked. A little over three months ago it was bonded by a Montana mining man named Wilson, who at once proceeded to work itin a proper way and put the mine on its feet. It is situated In what is known as Fiddler’s Gulch. The vein is in diacritic rock, with a streak of white quartz near the hanging wall, showing free gold throughout. The rest of the vein matter is a crushed quartz mixed with talc, also rich in gold.” –The Herald

November 23, 1897:  “THE BUTTE is taking out large quantities of paying ore again. This is one of the oldest mines in the district and its former owners took out $70,000 in gold in a year’s time. The present management has had to contend with the mismanagement of the former and has had to do a great deal of work to get the mine in paying shape. ” – The Herald

December 06, 1897: “The new owners of the Butte mine have begun taking out large quantities of high-grade ore. The former owners are said to have taken out $65,000 in gold in one year, but did not attempt to develop the property, and it will take considerable money to place it in proper shape again.” – The Herald

January 04, 1898: “A RANDSBURG DEAL. TEHACHAPI, Jan. 3.—(Special to The Herald.) Frank K. Wilson of Randsburg deposited today to the account of rate, Ramy & Co., $30,600, tbe last paynent on the Butte mine at Rands burg.” –The Herald

March 7, 1898: “THE BUTTE MINE is again producing.  The manager has ordered a thousand sacks and everything looks prosperous around it.”  — Los Angeles Daily Times

July 16, 1898: “THE OLD CRY that there was no depth to the mines in the Rand district has surely received its death blow from at least three mines…… Still another instance may be seen in the Butte mine. Its former owners took out $45,000 in one year and it was their proud boast that they never drew a sober breath while it lasted. After nearly all in sight had been coyoted out the mine was sold to Montana parties and F. K. Wilson came to take charge of the property over a year ago. For months there were practically no returns for the money and labor being expended and a less plucky man would have given up. All things come to him who works and waits has been proven true in this case, for the mine has become one of the best producers in the camp. During June $9000was taken out and since the tide turned over $30,000 has gone to the right side of the bank account.” – The Herald

July 24, 1898: “ON JULY 5th THE  JOHANNESBURG REDUCTION WORKS  cleaned up after a forty-ton run of Butte ore, running about $75 per ton, at the present time the stamps are dropping on a fifty-ton lot from the same mine. A few days ago your correspondent saw a horning made from a quarter of an ounce of Butte ore, and there was at least 5 cents’ worth of gold in the pan. A ton of ore like the sample would run-up into the thousands of dollars per ton.” – The Herald

September 02, 1898: “ON MONDAY LAST the Johannesburg reduction works cleaned up, after a run of 120 tons of Butte ore. ” – The Herald

February 25, 1899: “VAN WAGNER MINING MAN DISAPPEARS—HAS NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE THURSDAY MORNING-REPRESENTED CHICAGO CAPITAL WHICH WAS TO BE INVESTED IN RANDSBURG MINE- KILLED, DRUGGED, KIDNAPPED?  D. Van Wagner has disappeared and a reward of $100 has been offered for information which will determine his whereabouts.

Mr. Van Wagner represents the Chicago capital that was to be invested in the Butte mine at Randsburg.  In view of the litigation in which the mine has became involved he came here accompanied by J. I. Minear, arriving in Bakersfield, Wednesday night.  Mr. Minear went to bed but Mr. Van Wagner determined to take a look at the town.  He was seen at a down-the-line theater about midnight and elsewhere about three hours later.  Since three o’clock Thursday morning he has not been seen.

This town and Kern City have been thoroughly searched but no trace of the missing man has been discovered.  He is described as being six feet tall, having gray hair and dark mustache.  His front teeth show considerable gold in the form of bridgework.  He wore a dark suit of clothes and a soft hat.

Mr. Van Wagner’s absence is not thought to be voluntary as he had every reason to wish to remain in town, his business urgently demanded his presence here.  Therefore, the theory that he left on Thursday’s morning train is rejected.  When he started to take in the sights he had only a small amount of money in his pockets, but he wore a fine gold watch and chain and a valuable diamond pin.  The jewelry may have attracted attention and it is possible that he was killed or, as is more probable, he may have been “doped” and has not yet recovered from the drug’s effects.  It is held by some of the officers that he has been kidnapped and is now being kept hidden until a big ransom is offered.”  — The Daily Californian

February 27, 1899: “STILL NO NEWS OF VAN WAGENEN—J. B. UNDERHILL OFFERS A REWARD OF $100.  A local paper (Morning Echo) leaves the impression that the disappearance of D. Van Wagenen, the mining expert, is a fake and that nobody is worrying over the mystery, that the officers have given up the chase and regard the whole thing as a “josh”.  “Now I know in fact—that the gentleman did not leave town of his own accord, the peace officers here who are acquainted with the details are convinced of this as well.  To show my good faith in the matter I have today deposited at the office of the Southern Hotel one hundred dollars which I will pay for information that will lead to the discovery of the missing man.”   J. H. Underhill”

D. Van Wagenen is still among the missing.  No trace has been discovered of him and those interested in his welfare are convinced that there has been foul play.

As the facts become better known there appears to be good reason why he should not have left town as was stated.  He was the representative of heavy mining interests and he came here for the purpose of buying the Butte mine.  His commission in the transaction would have been $8000, which in itself seems to furnish conclusive reason why he should not have departed on his own will.  The officers have not given up the search for the missing man and J. H. Underhill with whom he was to transact the business for the purchase of the mine is convinced there has been foul play.  His card elsewhere shows that he was very much in ernest in the matter.  Van Wagenen is well known to mining men throughout the coast.  He recently returned from the Klondike where he closed some large mining deals.  He is connected with many prominent men in the East, his relatives being wealthy and influential people.  He has a cousin by the same name in Mojave, who is much concerned over the disappearance.  Information has been sought at all points where the missing man would have been likely to stop had he left here, but nothing has turned up.” – The Daily Californian

February 27, 1899: “THE BUTTE MINE—The matter of the receivership of the Butte Mine occupied the attention of the Superior Court today.  The defendants Underhill, Raimey, et all, interposed a demurrer and the case is being argued this afternoon.”  –  The Daily Californian

February 27, 1899: “MR. FAIRCHILD, the receiver, of the Butte mine, has appointed John Lambert to represent him and he is now in charge.  In the mean time an expert has been and sampled the mine and there in every prospect of it being sold at $50,000, $15,000 to be paid down.  The judgement does not affect the title to the mine and of the parties that Mr. Van Wagenen the expert, is dealing with do not take it there is every prospect that Chicago parties will.

At that price it is the cheapest property on the coast, as a good mining man can take a dozen men and get out half that amount in 30 days time.  The hearing in the contempt case is set for the 27th of this month in Bakersfield.”  — The Daily Californian

February 28, 1899:  “THERE IS STILL NO NEWS OF VAN WAGENEN. The lapses of another day merely confirms the theorists in belief in their respective theories.  Those who hold that he went away voluntarily assert that he taking pains not to let any knowledge of himself float back, while those who hold that he is still here, say that the extensive publication of his sudden disappearance would have served to bring him to light if he left sober and further if he left while under the influence of liquor he has had time to regain his senses and let his acquaintances know what became of him.

There are those who believe he in here hidden or buried and there are those who believe him not to be here.  The first instance the undoubted fact that he had every reason to wish to remain and that with his jewelry he was a shining mark for thugs.  It is asserted that every crook in town was aware of his identity before he had been down the line an hour.

On the other hand, how can the absence of his baggage be explained?  He left his trunk at the depot.  The next day his trunk was not there.  The check which carried it from Mojave to Bakersfield showed up in Mojave the day following.  To get the trunk out, the check must have been presented.  He had the check.  He must have presented it.  Therefore he must have been at the depot.  If he had gone there he must have gone to have the trunk rechecked and to take the next train out.

But, says the other side, he was robbed, and the robbers expecting great things, were disappointed in getting only jewelry and ten or twelve dollars in money, so they, themselves obtained the trunk by presenting the check, in the hope of finding further valuables there.  The baggage master does not recall any circumstances connected with the trunk.

Deputy Sheriff Crawford arrived from Mojave (actually Randsburg via Mojave) last night.  While there he talked with Vanwagenen’s cousin who is very anxious over the matter, and with W. Gilbreath who has known Van Wagenen for years and made a Klondike trip with him.  Neither can solve the mystery.  It was unlike him to leave and his experience among hard characters ought to have protected his from violence.”  – The Daily Californian

March 1, 1899: “J. H. UNDERHILL returned to Mojave last night.  He says that the sale of the Butte Mine will be made, and that as soon as the questions of the receivership is settled, the title will be transferred to eastern capitalists who are represented by Messrs. Johnson and Minear.”  – The Daily Californian

March 2, 1899:  “DAN VAN WAGENEN whose mysterious disappearance from Bakersfield is causing extended search, spent some time in San Francisco during November.  He was a guest of the William Tell House, on Bush Street, and while there told much of his prosperity in business at Seattle.  He had been operating a factory there for the manufacture of Alaska fur garments, and stated one of the objects of his visit here was to buy machinery for the increase of his plant.  He also claimed to own valuable mining claims at Randsburg, and 1600 acres of land in Hawaii.

Just before his departure from the hotel he was visited several times by a well dressed man whom he called his cousin, and who, he said, was going to the islands to look after his plantation there.  The two men left for the south together and early in January the cousin returned and called for a package which had been left at the hotel for Van Wagenen.  The cousin stated that Van Wagenen was then ill with the gripe at San Diego, whither the cousin was then going, but that both of them would be in San Francisco shortly.  He ordered rooms prepared for both of them, but at that time the cousin had never been a quest of the hotel, and his name is not known there.  Van Wagenen is reported as a quiet, gentlemanly fellow, who seldom left the house at night and made no display of money or valuables.”   — The Daily Californian

March 8, 1899: “VAN WAGENEN WAS A BILK, SO SAYS ONE OF HIS ALLEGED VICTIMS IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—The mysterious disappearance of Dan Van Wagenen from Bakersfield has attrracted wide attention.  From Seattle, Washington, where he is said to have operated, the following letter has been received by Mr. Borgwardt.

“Sheriff, Bakersfield, Cal.—The Dan Van Wagenen, who has so mysteriously disappeared, is a bilk.  He hired fifty men here last may to go to Circle City, Alaska, and got $35 from each one of them and after leaving here sneaked off of the boat at Port Townsend, and the men and one woman (a nurse) were left stranded at Dyes.  His cousin was in with the game, also Crane, employment agent here, who received $10 from each man, to get the job. “  —  The Daily Californian

July 31, 1899: “VAN WAGENEN WAS CRAZY—It will be remembered that Dan Van Wagenen disappeared mysteriously from Bakersfield last winter.  As there was no rational motive for his sudden departure, under the circumstances, it was feared that he had met with foul play.  The only reason that could account for his leaving was that he was insane.  As it was afterwards learned that he was safe and well the latter theory was gradually adopted, and this receives confirmation from a letter written by his brother, a prominent businessman of Chicago, who gives it as his opinion the man is irresponsible.  Van Wagenen is now in the Klondike.”  —  The Daily Californian

March 1899: “MR. NEBEKER is one of Randsburg’s most popular citizens.  He arrived here in the latter part of 1896 and worked for the Yellow Aster Mining and Milling Company for over a year.  He has served as chief of the fire department for the past year, which position he now holds.  He is a prominent member of the Miner’s Union, in which he holds the position of Vice-President.  For several months he, with Tom Walker, and S. Thurp, has had a lease on a part of the Butte mine, and have been taking out some very high grade ore.  He is a married man, having married Miss Lizzie Price, sister of Robert and Stephen.  He is known to be a good miner and socially he is jolly and pleasant.”  — McPherson

February 21, 1899: “THERE HAS BEEN GUNPLAY at the Butte mine Randsburg. This mine was sold at sheriff’s sale some time ago, and R. McDonald bought a nine- twelfths interest.  The claim was being worked by a man named Wilson, but he threw up his contract and J. H. Underhill jumped the property. On application of the Superior Court McDonald had Underhill cited to appear and show cause why he should not be ejected from the premises and C. H. Fairchild was appointed receiver of the property.  When Mr. Fairchinld attempted to take possession of the mine Underhill refused to vacate.  He stood the officers off with guns threatening to shoot whoever crossed what he termed the “dead line.”

Deputy Sheriff Crawford, who was with the receiver, telegraphed here for instructions and a warrant was wired to him directing Underhill’s arrest for interfering with a peace officer.  Crawford succeeded in getting Underhill into custody, but the latter directed one of his men to hold the mine and another warrant was telegraphed.

The whole Butte force is now in charge of the deputy and they will arrive in Bakersfield tonight.”  The Daily Californian

March 1899: “JOHN H. UNDERHILL – The most valuable property in which he is interested is the Butte mine in the Rand Mining district which is known to be very valuable, as it has produced nearly one hundred thousand dollars during the last year, during which time it has been bonded to Mr. Frank Wilson.  In the early days of the camp it was one of the largest producers, and Ramey Brothers, Tate, & Summers, who were the original locators, took out a very large amount of money.  The bond having recently expired, the property reverted to Mr. Underhill and his partners, and they are arranging to do some extensive work on it.”  – McPherson

Butte Lode Mining Company Stock Certificate (unissued) Collection of the Rand Desert Museum

July 26, 1899: “ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION. The following articles of incorporation were yesterday filed at the office of the Secretary of State: Butte Lode Mining Company, of Los Angeles; to do general mining. Directors, A. Jacoby, C. B. Dickson, C. W. Howland, H. R. Smith, A. H. Thomas, J. V. Linderhill, E. T. Pettigrew, Los Angeles; capital, $300,000.” – Record Union

September 18, 1899: “OUR MINES ARE ALL BUSY getting out ore, and the mills have to run night and day to keep up with the mines. The Butte mine is running three shifts. The Red Dog mill, at Johannesburg, is running full tilt, and averages from 300 to 400 tons per month. — Randsburg Miner.

October 7, 1899: “THE BUTTE MINE MADE a little milling this week and sent in $1000 of bullion a few nights ago.” –Randsburg Miner

October 7, 1899: “IT IS UNDERSTOOD A BOND HAS BEEN GIVEN on the Butte mine giving the parties one month for examination.  In the meantime the present company are taking out good ore and developing the mine in new places.” –Randsburg Miner

October 21, 1899: “THE BUTTE LODE CO. paid off Thursday and Mr. Underhill left for Mojave yesterday noon.” –Randsburg Miner

May 19, 1900: “MR. PERCY McMAHON has been made superintendent of the Butte Lode Mining Company.  Since Tom Miners went away Dave Harris, a practical and experienced miner, has had full charge, until Mr. McMahon arrived a couple days ago.”  — Randsburg Miner

May 26, 1900: “THE BIG BUTTE is producing good ore from entirely new ground, outside of the old stopes that the former management worked.  Mr. McMahon will make a mine out of it if anyone can.  He is now working 14 men and getting good $40 dollar rock.”  –  Randsburg Miner

July 14, 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 BUTTE LODE Mining Company is having fifty or sixty tons of high grade ore milled at the Red Dog mill.”  - Randsburg Miner

September 22, 1900: “SUPERINTDENT PERCY McMAHON is cleaning up to day 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

December 8, 1900: “THE LAST CLEAN UP of the Butte mine at the Red Dog mill last week netted $4200.—Randsburg Miner

May 4, 1901: “THE LAST BIG BUTTE clean-up is over $10,000.”  – Mining and Scientific Press

May 11, 1901: “THE BUTTE LODE COMPANY. 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

May 11, 1901: “THE RECENT MILLING of the Butte mine at the Red Dog mill, Randsburg, resulted in four handsome gold bricks, valued at $10,300, the product of 75 tons of ore — an average of $136 per ton.”—Imperial Press

August 17, 1901: “THE RANDSBURG MINER SAYS: “The Butte Lode mining people are putting down a new shaft about midway on the mine. They are working three eight-hour shifts daily.” – Imperial 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

November 22, 1902: “BUTTE–From this mine at Randsburg, P. H. McMahon superintendent, the last clean-up of 80 tons of ore showed a yield of $72 gold per ton.  Another shaft is being sunk.”  – The Engineering and Mining Journal

August 8, 1902: “BUTTE LODE—This mine remains idle. .”  – The Engineering and Mining Journal

August 1, 1902: “CONSOLIDATED BUTTE MINES COMPANY—The new hoisting plant of this property at Randsburg, is completed, but the mines remain closed. .”  — The Engineering and Mining Journal

7 August, 1902: (found in old house in Red Mountain) “BUTTES’S CLEAN UP –The monthly clean-up of the ——-in the Randsburg District totaled———the product of ninety one tons——–at $68 a ton.  The increase of —– duction of the last seven m——-over the same per—-year is $10,700.”  — Los Angeles Daily Times

August 15, 1902: “BUTTE COMPANY—This company at Randsburg, has put a new gallows frame, new engine hoist, and a Fairbanks & Morse gasoline hoist. .”  – The Engineering and Mining Journal

January 07, 1903: THE DECEMBER CLEAN-UP of the Butte mine, from eighty-nine tons at the Red Dog mill, resulted in three bars, worth a trifle over $6,000 or about $68 a ton.” – Bisbee Daily Review

February 01, 1903:  “USED NAME OF HORSEMAN. Broker and Real Estate Dealer Held in Bail on Charge of Grand Larceny.  John Ferguson, fifty-four years old, who represented himself as a broker of No. 64 Liberty St. and Richard P. Stericker, a real estate dealer of No. 39 Broadway, were each held in $500 bail for trial by Magistrate Pool in the Tombs court yesterday, charged with grand larceny. The complainants are Mr. and Mrs. William E. Rothery, who conduct an investment business at 79 Broadway. They allege that Ferguson falsely used the name of George B. Hulme, of No. 71 Broadway, who is well known as a judge at horse shows, in a deal for a California mine with them. They declare that they had an option on the Butte Lode mine in Randsburg. Southern California. Through Stericker, they allege, they met Ferguson, who, purporting to act as Mr. Hulme’s agent, gave the Rotherys contract signed with Hulme’s name by Ferguson, agreeing to purchase the mine after satisfactory examination for the sum of $200,000.They allege that Stericker and Ferguson procured from them $200 on the strength of this agreement and went to California to investigate the mine. Later Hulme repudiated the agreement, saying that Ferguson had no power to act for him. He says that he did not give Ferguson any power of attorney.” – New York Tribune

Butte Mine in 1903 Looking South West. — Collection of Rand Desert Museum

August 29, 1903: “THE BUTTE LODE, which controls the Butte and Kinyon-Wedge mines, at the time of the strike was taking out extensive developing work, to sink to greater depth than at present.  This work will be pushed when things start up again.”Mining and Scientific Press

June 27, 1903: “KERN COUNTY—All the employees of the Yellow Aster M. & M. Co., near Randsburg, numbering over 200 are out on a strike because of a demand by the union for a 60 cents a day increase in wages.  The mills have been cleaned up and the mules sent to pasture.  The St. Elmo group of the Johannesburg G. M. Co. has shut down and Manager Ericson has gone to New York.  The Butte Con. M. Co. men are out, as also those on the Baltic mine.  The Santa Ana is paying the 50 cents increase asked.”  — Mining and Scientific Press

November 4, 1903: “THE BUTTE MINE near Randsburg, is in operation with non-union men, says superintendent McMahon.”  – 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 of milled $6400.”  — Los Angeles Mining Review

January 1904: “BUTTE FRACTION reported to be owned by the Butte Lode Mining Co. was reported to have a 225 foot deep shaft and 500 feet of drifts. Butte Lode reported to be developed by eleven incline shafts of 50 to 523 feet in depth.  It had 6,500 feet of drifts. There was no mill reported as being on the property. P. H. McMahon was reported to be the superintendent.”  — Aubrey

January 1904: “THE JENNY LIND is a patented mine. Located in Section 36, T29, R40 near Randsburg,  Developed by two incline shafts of 50 and 60 feet, 50 feet of tunnel and 100 feet of drifts. Owned by Butte Lode Mining Co.”  — Aubrey

January 1904: “PHILADELPHIA WEDGE—Located section 36, T29, R40, a patented mine developed by a 240 foot incline shaft and 200 feet of drift.  Owned by the Butte Lode Mining Co.”  — Aubrey

January 16, 1904: “THE BUTTE MINE began their monthly milling at the Red Dog mill.”  — Randsburg Miner

January 23, 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 5, 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: “THE BUTTE MINE is having its regular milling this week at the Red Dog..”  – Randsburg Miner

March 19, 1904: “THE RANDSBURG MINER states that Superintendent McMahon has started a new shaft on the Butte Lode, about 200 feet from the west end line.”  – Los Angeles Mining Review

March 26, 1904: “THE BUTTE finished milling at the Red Dog Friday.  The clean up for this month amounted to $4300.”  – Randsburg Miner

March 26, 1904: “MESSERS SHIPSEY AND MONTGOMERY have taken a lease out on the Hector one of the claims of the Ashford Mining Co.”  – Randsburg Miner

April, 1904: “THE APRIL CLEAN UP of 85 tons from the Butte resulted in a brick of $4900.  The ore was milled at the Red Dog.”  – Randsburg Miner

June 04, 1904: “The Butte Lode, under, the management of Superintendent McMahon. Is making its usual millings with about the same results, and is prosperous.” – San Francisco Call

June 25, 1904: “THAT THE BUTTE LODE is still in active and one of the best producers on the desert is evidenced by the returns from the June milling which was completed yesterday.  From a run of 90 tons of ore a total of $6,900 was extracted, an average of a fraction over $76.66 per ton.  Superintendent McMahon informs us that this is the third best monthly average in the history of the property. .”  — Randsburg Miner

January 21, 1905: “KERN COUNTY CONTINUES to hold first place as a gold producer in Southern California, with San Diego second and San Bernardino third. The two principal camps of Kern County are Randsburg and Mojave. In the former the Yellow Aster mine is the largest producer, the next being the Butte Lode.” – San Francisco Call

August 08, 1905: “BAKERSFIELD, Aug. 7.— THE BIGGEST MINING STRIKE in the Kootenay country in many years past has been made in the Butte mine at Randsburg. But little is known of the extent of the strike owing to the reticence of the owners of the property, but it has been learned on undeniable authority that a fourteen-foot ledge has been struck at the 600 level, a large part of which shows assay values of over $200 a ton.” – San Francisco Call

August 19, 1905: “BIGGEST MINING STRIKE in Kern county in many years past has been made in the Butte mine at Randsburg it has been learned on dependable authority that a fourteen foot ledge has been struck at the 600 foot level a large part of which shows assay values of over $200 per ton. The body of ore uncovered is a blind lead in practically all of the ore in sight bad been taken out and the property for some time past has been worked at a loss.  Confidence in the indications however led the owners to expend a considerable sum searching for new ore bodies with the result above stated.” – Mohave County Miner

September 03, 1905: “AMONG THE GOLD PRODUCING CENTERS of Southern California Kern county is the leader, followed by San Diego and San Bernardino. The Randsburg and Mojave camps are In Kern County, with the Yellow Aster as the heaviest producing mine. The Butte Lode, Hector, King Solomon and Monte Cristo mines are in the group.” – Los Angeles Herald

March 03, 1906:  “A FIVE FOOT LEDGE of $100 ore is reported in the Butte Lode mine at Randsburg. The vein was encountered last week on the ninth level in the sixth shaft at 540 feet depth. The ore is a hard quartz lying between well-defined walls with every indication of permanency. The strike is said to be the best yet made in the mine. Randsburg Miner.” – Mohave County Miner

November 11, 1906: “THE BUTTE MINE, with three miles of underground workings, is employing only ten men. A dividend of $175,000 was paid last January.”  – San Francisco Call

December 01, 1906: “AT THE BUTTE MINE only ten men are employed. There are three miles of underground workings in the mine A dividend of $7500 was paid last January.” – Mohave County Miner

January 10, 1907: “A NOTICE OF SALE of delinquent stock for the Butte Lode Mining Company appeared in the newspaper for an assessment levied on 7 November 1906, by M. A. Risden  Secretary of the corporation. .”  — Randsburg Miner

August 21, 1910: “WATCHMAN BROTHERS, leasing on the 100 foot level of the Butte mine, recently encountered a rich ledge of ore said to assay $200 per ton. Randsburg Miner.” – San Francisco Call

February 2, 1911: MANY OF THE MINING MEN of this district made an effort during the last week to get the lease on the Butte mine, which made such a remarkable production record during the last two years. Ed Shipsey, who has been .operating the property so successfully, was again given the lease for two years, and under his efficient management this property will no doubt break all former records during the coming year. This property is owned by the Butte Lode Mining Company of Los Angeles.” – San Francisco Call

February 05, 1911: “BUTTE LODE MINE — The last days of the Rice lease on the Butte Lode Mine are proving, to be the most profitable in the history of the mine. When Ed Shipsey, the new lessee takes charge of the mine at midnight on February 1, he will be able to commence stoping high grade ore with the first blow of the pick. Eighteen inches of ore are now being mined averages over $200 per ton.  Sixteen tons of ore were run through the Red Dog custom mills at Johannesburg during the last week, using- up 480 ounces of quicksilver and the mill was obliged to close down until more “quick” could be  brought in.” – San Francisco Call

Notice is hereby given that the Butte Lode Mining Company will not be responsible for material furnished of for labor employed by leasers on any of the Butte Lode Mining Company properties or its group of claims, situated in the Rand Mining District, Kern County, California
Butte Lode Mining Company[Seal]                                                                                                      By A. H. Woollacot, Sec’y and Treas.
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