Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:
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King Solomon Mill at Johannesburg, With Crew in Front. -- Hadley Collection

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

February 16, 1923:  “Randsburg, Feb. 16, — OWING TO THE SHORTNESS OF SUFFIECIENT WATER for mining or mill purposes, most everyone is adding tankage to their properties.  The latest acquisition has been made by the King Solomon mill.  They have just brought in a standard railroad oil tank, capacity 10,000 gallons, which has been trucked up on the hill above their mill.  General Manager McDonald believes that there will be no more shutdowns for him this winter.” – Bakersfield Californian

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.

Max Hess

Max Hess - Operator of King Solomon Mill in the 30's and one of the first curators' of the Rand Desert Museum.

“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


Emil Schultz - Operator of King Solomon Mill

Emil Schultz - Operator of King Solomon Mill

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

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