ATOLIA MINING & MILLING COMPANY

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:

SUMMARY

Atolia, Papoose Headframe % Sacked Sheelite 'Spuds', 1909. HESS # 426 -- Frank Hess Collection

March 1925: “PROPERTIES OF THE ATOLIA MINING COMPANY—The property operated by the Atolia Mining Company consists of some fifty patented claims on which are located a number of different mines.  The productive zone along which most of these mines are located comprises a comparatively narrow strip extending from east to west across the property for a distance of about two miles This zone appears to have a maximum width of about 500 feet, although the parallel veins on which the Rainstorm and Goldstone mines are located and which have been productive in a small way, lie outside this zone.

The mineralization does not occur in shingle continuous vein, but rather along a zone of shearing of fissuring which may in a given section comprise several fissures . . .

Atolia Mining District, Mine Boundaries, USGS TOPO. Overlay Courtesy: "A Road to Riches: The Randsburg Railway Company and Mining District" - William Warren Collection

UNION MINE

The Union Mine lying near the west end of the productive belt on the property of the Atolia Mining company, has been the largest producer of any of the scheelite mines.  Two veins have been worked in this mine, the North Vein and the South Vein.  This mine is developed by six shafts and over two miles of horizontal workings distributed through eleven levels.  The working shaft is the New No. 1 Main shaft which is 1050 feet deep, measured on the incline.  The ore shoot on the North Vein was 1100 feet in length on the surface, fading out at a depth of 100 feet on either end, but extending downward near the center for 700 feet, measured along the vein.

The South Vein was discovered underground in 1916, being a blind vein which did not outcrop.  This vein has been the richest and largest producer yet discovered, having actually produced more units of WO3 than all other known veins of the district combined.  The grade of the ore mined from it was unusually high.  The vein varied in thickness from 1 to 5 feet, though in one place it attained a thickness of 17 feet.  The South Vein was stoped upward to between the 3rd and 4th levels where it disappeared.  It has been opened downward to the 10th level.  The ore shoot in the South Vein is triangular in outline, raking strongly to the east.

At present, both ends of all drifts on the North and South Veins are barren on the 9th and on all higher levels, so that the limits of ore are apparently everywhere determined above the 10th level.

AMITY MINE

The Amity Mine Adjoins the Union Mine on the east.  It is developed by three shafts, the deepest being 200 feet, and by approximately 1100 feet of drifts and crosscuts distributed through three levels.  The workings follow both the North and the South Veins.

The ore shoot in which the workings are located is in the South Vein.  It was bottomed at a depth of 175 feet, the ore pinching out in all directions.  The Amity Mine was abandoned previous to 1916.

ATTILA MINE

The workings of this property, which consist of a 50-foot shaft and a 110-foot drift, follow the North Vein.  No ore has been found.

ACALEY MINE

Developed by two shafts, the deepest being 140 feet and approximately 350 feet of drifts, distributed through all levels.  The workings follow the North Vein.  The ore shoot on which the work was done, extended only to a depth of 100-feet.

PAPOOSE MINE

The workings of the Papoose Mine are not now accessible, due to caving.  They consist of three shafts, the deepest being 320 feet, and approximately 2600 feet of drifts distributed through six levels.  The ore shoot which was being worked in this mine was cut off just above the 4th level at a depth of 190 feet by a flat fault.  No ore was found on the two lover levels.

MAHOOD MINE

The workings of this mine are located along a vein paralleling the Papoose vein.  The ore in general, reached the first level only in spots, though in one place it reached the second level.  The mine is developed by about 350 feet of drifts, divided between the two levels.

FLAT IRON MINE

Developed by four shafts, the deepest being 175 feet, and by about 1100 feet of drifts distributed among four levels.  Ore extended in places in a depth of 180 feet.  The mine was exhausted previous to 1915.  The workings are not now accessible.

PAR MINE

Developed by four shafts, the deepest 200 feet, and by approximately 1800 feet of drifts.  There are four levels. No ore extended below the 3rd level.  The ore grades out to the east and practically so, becoming very erratic, to the west.

GOLDSTONE MINE

The workings of this property are outside of the main productive zone on a vein which roughly parallels that zone.  The property has not been operated since 1914.

RAINSTORM MINE

The Rainstorm Mine is on a vein to the north of but parallel to the main productive zone.  The workings are 150 feet deep.  The vein, which is about six inches wide, carries some scheelite and considerable stibnite.  A gold pocket worth $600 to $700 was taken from the outcrop of the vein.  The property was abandoned before 1915.

PRODUCTION

The total production from the properties owned by the Atolia Mining Company up to the time they were shut down on March 1, 1919, (Approximately 13 years production) amounted 514382 units of WO3.  This was contained in high grade ore and concentrates having an average composition of 70 per cent Tungsten.

The average ore which has been mined from the properties has varied from 3 ½ per cent to as high as 8 percent of contained WO3.  Exceptionally, ore containing as high as 60 per cent to 70 per cent of contained WO3 has been mined and shipped without further treatment.  The lower grade ores have been concentrated in the company’s mill at Atolia previous to shipment as concentrates.

The following tabulation will serve to indicate the production and variation in the WO3 content of the ores as well as extraction and cost data for the 10 years of production previous to 1919.”–Hulin

Mineral Survey # 4708, Sheet 5, Atolia Mining Company, 190_. Comprising the Claims: San Pete; Manti; Wasatch; SunRise; View Point; Moonstone; Neglected Fraction; Piute; Papoose; Pilot View; Paradox; Par 1-5; Kerndino; Waverly; Flat Iron; East Side; South Side; Mono Lode. A working drawing, the lower "Par" claim boundaries entered in pencil on the photostat base. This survey includes much of the excitement. - RDM Collection

CHRONOLOGY

April 22, 1905: “Thomas McCarthy has bought of A. M. Ray a half interest in the Papoose, east of the Railroad north of Churchill’s for a consideration of $450.” – Randsburg Miner

May 11, 1905:  “There is a specimen of tungsten ore, no larger than a football, in McCarthy’s that weighs forty lbs.  Call in and heft it.” – Randsburg Miner

May 18, 1905:  “The tungsten men are feeling just as good as ever.  Thomas McCarthy had a return from a sample sent to San Francisco which showed forty per cent of pure tungsten.  This surprised the company up there so much that they wrote down and expressed a doubt of anymore to be found as good, but said they would sent a man down to investigate.”  — Randsburg Miner

July 29, 1905:  “STRIKES OF TUNGSTEN EXCITE BAKERSFIELD First Carload Shipment of Ore to Be Sent East on Monday Next. By Associated Press. BAKERSFIELD, July 28. — The rich deposits of tungsten which are being opened up near Randsburg are exciting considerable interest among the mining men and the first carload shipment of
the ore is to be made next Monday. The shipment will amount to thirty tons and will be sent to Wilmington, Del., for reduction. The McCarthy-Taylor mine is making the shipment and has the best showing of ore at the present time. The owners have received considerable correspondence from many of the large steel plants of the country and also from the Krupp works In Germany.  The first discovery of tungsten in the district was made about two years ago when a narrow streak of the ore was found in working a gold-bearing ledge, but the large deposits which are now being developed were discovered since the first of the year. The ore varies in value, but in all of the deposits now being operated by assorting the ore shipments can be made which will bring returns of about $175 a ton. The refined article is worth $1.50 per pound.” – Los Angeles Herald

July 27, 1905: “First Shipment of Tungsten— McCarthy, Taylor & Co. expects to ship a thirty ton car of tungsten ore to Wilmington, Delaware on Monday next.  They expect the car in Saturday evening.  They have had correspondence with many parties, even from Krupp’s in Germany and have all kinds of prices offered, but for the first venture they have decided to try Wilmington’ The Papoose is looking better and showing a larger body of ore with every day’s work.” – Randsburg Miner

RANDSBURG MINER 8-10-05

August 10, 1905:  “That Car of Scheelite— Two weeks ago the Miner stated that a carload of tungsten ore would be shipped from the Papoose mine the next week.  The car is not yet shipped, but is mined, carefully assorted and sacked and only awaits satisfactory terms of shipment and sale, then it will be loaded.

Such is the scarcity of tungsten—Scheelite, that probably never before has there been a carload of such ore shipped in the United States, certainly not from the State of California.  The owners found this difficulty when they began negotiations that only a few dealers know anything about it, or its value, and they could get no definite or satisfactory offers.

They have communications with dealers everywhere, at Wilmington, Delaware, at Philadelphia, Pal, and finally to Germany, where it is nearly all treated.  They have had several offers funning from three to eight dollars and have finally decided to await definite proposals from Germany.  They want to make no mistake in getting full value.  In the mean time they are sinking the shaft and taking out ore.  The ledge at thirty feet looks better than ever, the ore is being of a high grade. .” – Randsburg Miner

August 05, 1905: “First Shipment of Tungsten – A Bakersfield special says rich deposits of tungsten which are being opened up near Randsburg are exciting considerable interest among mining men and the first carload shipment of the ore will be made next Monday.  The shipment will amount to thirty tons and will be sent to Wilmington Delaware for reduction.  The McCarthy Taylor mine is making the shipment and has the best showing of ore at present.  The owners have received considerable correspondence from many of the large steel plants of the country The first discovery of tungsten in the district was made about two years ago when a narrow streak of the ore was found in working a gold bearing ledge but the large deposits which are now being developed were discovered since the first of the year.  The ore varies in value but in all of the deposits now being operated by sorting the ore shipments can be made which will bring returns of about 175 a ton.  The refined article is worth 150 a pound.” –Mohave County Miner

September 7, 1905: “The shipment of a car-load of tungsten this week, by McCarthy Taylor & Co., is an event of great interest all over the state and means much to Randsburg.” – Randsburg Miner

September 14, 1905:  “Two Cars Tungsten—One to Germany – Two carloads of tungsten were shipped from here last Monday night, instead of one as stated in the Miner of last week, one going to Philadelphia and the other to Germany, by way of San Francisco. The cars were left on the track Saturday.  A regular picnic was made of the loading, about forth of our people going down to assist.

Both cars were loaded with high grade ore running 72 per cent tungsten.  This is the first shipment ever made from this state in carload lots and marks the beginning of a new industry in Southern California.

The following gentlemen are interested in the shipment; McCarthy Taylor & Co., Pat Bryne, W. A. Wickard, C. G. Illingworth, F. Mertz, and J. G. Porter.  There is an abundance of ore which goes about 40 per cent which can be handled to a great advantage when they have erected a mill on the ground, which they intend to do within a year. When the returns come in we will celebrate.” – Randsburg Miner

September 16, 1905:  “CARLOADS OF TUNGSTEN SHIPPED FROM RANDSBURG – By Associated Press. – BAKERSFIELD, Sept. 15.— Two carloads of tungsten, were shipped from Randsburg early this week, one going to Philadelphia and the other to Germany, by way of San Francisco. The cars were loaded with high grade ore running 72 per , cent pure tungsten. This Is the first shipment ever made from this state in carload lots and marks the beginning of a new industry in Southern California.” – Los Angeles Herald

October 19, 1905: “IT IS A RUMOR THAT Chas. Schwab the steel magnate, paid Randsburg a flying visit last week, under the name of French.  French, accompanied by an expert, came in on Friday’s train, examined the tungsten properties of the McCarthy Taylor Co., and left the same night. The expert said French was a man of means and greatly interested in steel production.” – Randsburg Miner

January 11, 1906: “RECEIVES FIRST PAYMENT—Thomas McCarthy has gone to San Francisco in response to a summons from the parties who have negotiated for the Tungsten property to receive the first payment.  It is reported that the price is $114,000 and includes all the tungsten claims in the immediate vicinity of the Papoose mine.

Before the parties would conclude the deal they required McCarthy, or some one else, to secure option on all adjoining claims, which he did, and then the deal went through.  The parties have until July to investigate and develop at which time the entire payment is to be made.  This is a good thing for the boys interested.  There are several of them and this sale will make them all independent.  It is still a queer thing to thing about that tungsten should be developed here, in a purer state and better defined ledges than elsewhere in the United States.” – Randsburg Miner

January 18, 1906:  “ THE DeGOLIA ATKINS CO. who recently purchased the tungsten properties belonging to the McCarthy Taylor Co., will ship a car-load of about 25 tons Monday next.  The shipment goes to Germany by way of New York and is of a higher grade that the last shipment by McCarthy Taylor Co.

Thos. McCarthy, who went to San Francisco to receive the first payment made by the purchasers of the tungsten properties, is expected to return next Saturday evening with his coin.  We predict a “Hot time in the old town “Saturday night.

Mr. DeGolia, who represents the new Tungsten Co., left last evening for San Bernardino on a short business trip.” – Randsburg Miner

January 25, 1906: “ANOTHER CAR OF TUNGSTEN—Another car of Tungsten was shipped on Monday last.  This car went by express via the Santa Fe and Erie railroads to Liverpool, England.  This shows some enterprise on the part of Wells Fargo Agent here as it was thought impossible to make such a shipment by express in such bulk.  The car contained twenty four tone of high grade ore.

The deal has gone through and the car went out in the name of DeGolia and Atkins who represent the present owners.

Thomas McCarthy returned Saturday night from San Francisco with the first payment, ten per cent of the purchase price.  Under the terms of sale fifteen per cent of purchase price must be paid April 3rd 1906.  In the meantime all returns from ore shipments are to apply on the purchase price.  C. S. Taylor is for the present superintendent of the works.” – Randsburg Miner

January 25, 1906:  “NOTICE OF NON RESPONSIBILITY (ad.) Randsburg Miner,

From and after this date we will not be responsible for labor or material employed or furnished on the Papoose, tungsten mine.

D. Ray

Thomas McCarthy

Chas. S. Taylor

Henry Giondoni

H. P. Jensen

February 15, 1906: “ON MONDAY EVENING FOUR MEN, Messrs. E. E. DeGolia, Mr. Bradley, a mining engineer and president of Bunker Hill and Sullivan Co., of Idaho, Senator Voorhees, of Sutter Creek, and Mr. Street, representing large mining interests, came in on the train and stopped off at the tungsten mines.  They came to Randsburg stayed all nights, going to the mines next morning, taking the train from there Tuesday evening.  Very little of their plans could be learned other than that a gang of men will be kept at work taking out ore and the low grade stuff will be shipped to Barstow for concentration in the Barstow Mill, the first car going out Wednesday of this week. – Randsburg Miner

March 22, 1906: “DEVELOPMENTS AT TUNGSTEN– Charles Taylor, Superintendent at the tungsten mines, says there are now working 22 men and taking out a high grade of ore.  The railroad company has put in a spur and they now load cars at the mine.  The shipping to the Barstow mill has proved a success and they concentrate about five cars of ore into one of high grade stuff.

About the first week of April, they expect to ship two cars of high grade, selected ore direct from the mines to Europe, Liverpool, England, or to Germany.  They have “quite a village out there and they are putting on airs.  Just plain Tungsten was not good enough for them they now call the new camp and station ‘Atolia”.  Just what that word means we do not know, but if you hear anyone saying something of that kind you will know that it is Tungsten.

A new Fairbanks and Morse gasoline hoist has been ordered and is now on the way and efforts are being made to have a post office established with the soft, smooth-sounding name of Atolia.  Out genial friend Charlie Taylor, Superintendent, is despondent and says he is fourteen kinds of a d___ fool for ever selling, or consenting to sell, a property in which he had a one sixth interest for $114,000 when it is now so soon after, easily worth a million, and of course we are all sorry with him.” – Randsburg Miner

March 29, 1906: “A NEW TELEPHONE LINE was strung last week to the tungsten mines.  Work was begun Friday afternoon and communication was opened up Sunday evening.  Pretty quick work.  Harry Wilson was the man in charge.  Tungsten is in open communication to the world.” – Randsburg Miner

April 26, 1906:  “THOMAS McCARTHY HAS BOUGHT A FARM near Ukiah, in Mendocino County, and left Randsburg with his family Tuesday for their future home, having closed up all his business here after a continuous residence since September 1896, just when the camp was starting.  He is of the opinion that he do better, especially with regard to raising his children, on a farm than in the town.  From the sale of the Tungsten properties, his business and his houses, Mr. McCarthy is possessed of a sufficiency of this world’s goods to make his and his family comfortable for the future, if rightly managed, and there is little doubt he will see to that, having had experience with the other side.  The best wishes for himself and family, of a lot of friends go with him.” – Randsburg Miner

May 10, 1906:  “THE TUNGSTEN PEOPLE have installed two large galvanized iron water tanks and will now get their supply from Hinckley by the carload at a very much less cost.  The two tanks will hold a full tank car of water.” – Randsburg Miner

May 17, 1906: “A LARGE BUNKER, at a convenient elevator, has been erected at the Tungsten mine.  The ore will hereafter be dumped inside instead of on the ground as heretofore, making it easier to load and haul to the cars.  The engine and hoist, which formerly stood some distance off, has been moved close to the shaft.” – Randsburg Miner

May 24, 1906: “SUPERINTENDENT CHARLES TAYLOR of the Tungsten mines shipped another car of tungsten last Saturday to Germany.  The car will billed out at 20 tons of high grade and went by Wells Fargo Express.  This is the fourth car of high grade shipped direct from the mines, without other process than that of careful selection, in the last few months.

A car was shipped out to Barstow for concentration about a week ago, as the greater part taken out is handled in that way, three or four tons being reduced to one to avoid cost in shipping.  The tungsten mining industry of this place is making remarkable progress and is remarkable, as nowhere else in the United States is there found such quantities of it, now of such high grade ore.  To show how little knowledge men had of tungsten, when the Randsburg railroad was built eight year ago, the graders cut right through the Papoose, which is the principal mine, and did not recognize the ore as valuable.” – Randsburg Miner

June 04, 1906: “SHIPMENT OF TUNGSTEN – Superintendent Charles Taylor of the Tungsten mines, near Randsburg, has shipped another car of tungsten to Germany. This car was billed oat at twenty ton of a of high grade ore and went by Well Fargo express. This is the fourth car of high, grade ore shipped direct from the mines, without other processing than that of careful selection, in the last few months. A car was shipped out to Barstow for concentration about a week ago, as the greater part taken out is handled In that way, three or four tons being reduced to one to avoid cost in shipping. The tungsten mining industry is making remarkable progress and is remarkable, as nowhere else in the United States is there found such quantities of it, nor of such high grade ore. To show how little knowledge men had of tungsten, when the Randsburg railroad was built eight years ago, the graders cut right through the Papoose, which is the principal mine, and did not recognize the ore as valuable.” – Los Angeles Herald

June 28, 1906: “SUPERINTENDENT CHARLES TAYLOR  will ship another car of high grade ore tomorrow.  This is the fifth car sent out.’ – Randsburg Miner

July 5, 1906: “ANOTHER TUNGSTEN SHIPMENT – Charley Taylor, Superintendent at the Tungsten mines, shipped another car, the fifth of high grade ore direct to Germany by Wells Fargo Express.  This car contained 20 tons and went out Friday evening last.  The deepest shaft on the Papoose is little over 150 feet and runs about the same.” – Randsburg Miner

July 12, 1906:  “THE  TUNGSTEN MINE  near Randsburg is operating and shipping the ore.  At first the tungsten (sheltie) as found only in detached boulders; now the vein from which these fragments come has been found.  It is reported here that $27,000 has been paid on the purchase price, which is $100,000, and after paying all expenses, the owners have over $25,000 in the treasury, all from the proceeds of the operation—Mining and Scientific Press.”—Randsburg Miner

Mineral Survey No. 4709, Independence Land District, claims located various dates Application for survey dated April 16, 1908, known as Papoose Consolidated Lode Claim embracing the “Mather”, “Amelia”, “Smugler”, “Tomboy”, “Japan”, “Star”, “Spar”, “Union”, “Kelvin”, “Hope”, “Fashion”, “Dresden”, “Federal”, “Amity”, “Attilla”, “Tungsten Best”, “San Pete”, “Rainstorm”, “Monti”, “Washatch”, “Moonstone”, “Viewpoint”, “Sun Rise”, “Piute”, “Papoose”, “Pilot View”, “Neglected Fraction”, “Paradox”, “South Side”, “Eastside”, “Aries”, “Berlin”, “Evening Star”, “Flat Iron”, “Par”, “Waverly”, ‘Kerndino”, and “Hamberg”, lodes. Owned by Atolia Mining Company, improvements consisting of 74 shafts, 30 drifts, 4 winzes, 3 cuts, $53,690: 27 cuts $2495: 91 trenches $5070.

August 2, 1906: “THOS. McCARTHY, A. N. EVANS AND MARVIN LUCE have organized the Yokayo Lumber company and purchased the planning mill and saw mill property belong to the Evans & Orr estate.  They are no operating the planning mill at this city (Ukiah) under the superintendence of A. N. Evans, one of the best mill men in the county and working a full crew of men.” – Randsburg Miner

September 14, 1906: “WANTED — In burned district, within about two blocks of First and Market Sts., a four to six Story and basement “Class B building; 5 or 10 years’ lease. Address DE GOLIA & ATKINS, room 617. Kohl building, San Francisco.” – San Francisco Call

November 11, 1906: “THE SHIPMENTS OF TUNGSTEN from the mines four miles south of ‘ Randsburg are reported to have, amounted to 120 tons. The tungsten has been sent to Europe. San Francisco operators secured fifty-three claims two years ago and established the camp of Atolia and organized the Papoose Mining Company. The mines have been opened to a depth of 150 feet. According to local reports the tungsten is found on the borders of the present district in new workings. Several mines are worked.”  – San Francisco Call

December 12, 1906: “NEW MACHINERY FOR TUNGSTEN ORE—The machinery for the new mill at Atolia (Tungsten) is on the ground and five men are now at work putting it up.  There will be five concentrators with a capacity of fifteen tons daily.  They will have six gas engines installed when the mill is completed, and Atolia begins to look like a town—Randsburg Miner” – Bakersfield Morning Echo

February 21, 1907: “THE TUNGSTEN MINES AND THE NEW MILL -Atolia is now one of the most active little mining camps in this part of the desert.  Situated about four miles south of Johannesburg on the Randsburg Railroad the buildings are located on a street over 100 feet wide, running east from the railroad and immediately adjoining the principal mine, the “Papoose”.” – Randsburg Miner

March 2, 1907:  “ANOTHER CAR OF TUNGSTEN ORE was started for Germany from Atolia Tuesday evening last.”—Bakersfield Californian

March 04, 1907:  “ A NEW MILL HAS BEEN ERECTED at Atolia, on the desert, four miles south of Johannesburg, on the Randsburg Railroad, to treat the tungsten deposits at that place.” – San Francisco Call

March 09, 1907: “THE TUNGSTEN MINE AND THE NEW MILL.  Atolia is now one of the most active little mining camps in this part of the desert Situated four miles south of Johannesburg on the Randsburg rail road in San Bernardino county the buildings are located on a street over 100 feet wide running east from the railroad and immediately adjoining the principal mine the Papoose This mine has been worked less than a year and grows better all the time.  The principal working shaft is down between two and three hundred feet.  Heretofore they have either shipped their ore direct to Germany or have had it concentrated at Barstow and then shipped.  Now they are erecting a mill of their own and have it near completion.

The new mill building is 80×39 feet and is very substantially constructed.  The timbers are heavy and the foundations are concrete.   The main ore bin will hold 100 tons and the bin from which the ore feeds to the rollers is 71 feet above the foundations and holds 50 tons.   The outside is covered with galvanized corrugated iron and the whole is surmounted with a flag pole of different sizes of gas pipe running up over 100 feet from which will float a fine American flag now on hand and simply awaiting the completion of the mill to be unfurled to the desert breezes.   Randsburg Miner.”–Mojave County Miner

September 16, 1907: “TUNGSTEN IN QUANTITY – It is not generally known that tungsten has been found in large quantities in San Bernardino County, but such is a fact. The Atolia group, near Johannesburg, in this county, is exclusively a tungsten proposition, and is proving richer than a gold mine. It was at that mine that Coroner Van Wie held an inquest upon a young mucker the other day. The property was located by an old prospector and a Randsburg miner. They had numerous sacks of the ore ready for shipment, and though its value was unquestioned all their efforts to find a purchaser proved unavailing. Lacking capital they finally sold the property for a song to a capitalist, and the miner, who is now manager of the property, regretfully told Coroner Van Wie that in one week the owner had shipped ore to the value of $43,000. The value of the ore can be judged when it is known that it is shipped by Wells-Fargo all the way to Germany. A constant market is found here for the ore, besides several large eastern concerns want all the ore they can obtain. It is used for hardening steel, being especially required by the manufacturers of heavy ordnance such as arms the world’s battleships.” – Los Angeles Herald

October 14, 1907: “S. P. MaCKNIGHT AND H. R. BACON OF LOS ANGELES have taken a lease and bond on the Tungsten mines near Randsburg, owned by Wickard, Byrne and others, and have set some men at work. There is a strong probability of selling this property outright.  Bacon, as some interested parties are expected in next week.” – Los Angeles Herald

September 14,  1907:  “THE ATOLIA MINING CO. is erecting a large gallows frame, and is installing a skip on the No. 1 Amity shaft.” – Randsburg Miner

November 23, 1907: ”TUNGSTEN MINES CLOSED. The tungsten mines at Atolia were closed down on the morning of the first. Mr. Atkins, one of the owners, says it is because of the impossibility of the firm to get sufficient currency to pay their men during this money stringency. The boarding house closed Sunday morning and most of the men left Monday night for other camps. There are about a dozen men with families, who have been promised work for a month, but after that it is indefinite when the works will open. It seems too bad that a property so good as the tungsten mines should have to stop and the men scatter simply because of the stringency of the money situation. It is to be hoped it will only of short duration. Randsburg Miner.”—Mojave County Miner

December 18, 1907:  “THE TUNGSTEN MINES MAKE FINE SHOWING (Los Angeles Express) – At San Bernardino the Atolia Mining Company has filed proofs of labor on its thirty-eight tungsten claims near Johannesburg.  This mining company is the only one in the county, and perhaps in the state, which has a tungsten proposition.  Already thousands of dollars have been expended in development work, and several fortunes have been returned to the stockholders.   It is one of the few strictly closed mining corporations, there being absolutely no stock on the market.” – The Bakersfield Californian

July 27, 1908: “E. C. BRESCANSON, a representative of a large foreign steel corporation, left on Friday for New York city. Brescanson spent about a week in this vicinity during which time he examined many tungsten properties. He carried away a host of data concerning the area of the tungsten belt and the capacity of the many producing tungsten mines in the district. Brescanson’s visit augurs well for an early resumption among the tungsten mines of this vicinity, prominent among which is the Atolia Company’s property, the largest tungsten mine in the world. It is believed that this foreign steel corporation may enter the local field as an active producer.” – The Herald

November 30, 1908:  “THE TUNGSTEN MINES TO OPEN WITH FULL FORCE (Randsburg Miner) – A letter from Mr. DeGolia, president of the Atolia Mining Company, states that they have decided to open the Tungsten mines   with a full force just as soon as they can secure the necessary crew and complete arrangements for boarding the men.  This is grand news for the camp, as this particular active mining camp has been closed down for more than a year.” – The Bakersfield Californian

"Panorama of Papoose Shaft buildings, from northeast. Nov. 6, 1909." Composite, (for the first time) of the three separate photos in the RDM collection, #s 427, 428, 429, made by Frank L. Hess. - Hess Collection

"Panorama of Atolia, California, from east, through south, to west. Nov. 1909." Composite (for the first time) of the five separate photos in the RDM collection, #s 420-425, made by Frank L. Hess. - Hess Collection

January 6, 1911: “ATOLIA SECOND IN TUNGSTEN YIELD—The Atolia district near Randsburg is second in 1910 in the production of tungsten in the United States.  Boulder county, Colorado leading.  The local production was 1524 tons valued at $832,933.  The Atolia field is much smaller than the Boulder field and gives a higher yield to proportionate to the area.  The price per unit (one per cent of a ton in tungsten tri-oxide) was $6.50 to $5.50.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

January 22, 1911: “ATOLIA TUNGSTEN MINES—The Atolia tungsten mines of the Atolia mining company enjoyed one of the most prosperous years in its history. During the year the tungsten market was good, the price offered to small producers averaging $7,275 for the year, for 60 per cent ore. The Atolia mining company shipped about 40 tons of concentrates per month during 1910, which at the average price offered for ores would establish a value of $232,526 for the year’s production.  About 60 men were on the payroll during the year, and the crushing and concentrating plant was kept in full operation. The- Atolia mining company purchased the Weatherbee, and Cora Dee mines in 1910, for which about $15,000 was paid, and are now mining ore from these properties. The Atolia mines are the largest, producers-of tungsten In California, and with the exception of the Colorado mines, are the largest producers in the United States. ” – San Francisco Call

Superintendent of the Atolia Mining & Milling Co. March 12, 1911. "This Photo will show the Superintendent of the Atolia Mining & Milling Co, also Windy, and the Engine House where I work . . . Windy . . . (Mizpah) Atolia, Calif, March 12th 1911" (Quoted from the reverse.) At that date the Super was known to be: _________. --Derick English Collection

Reverse, Atolia M & M Superintendent, 4/12/1911

April 16, 1911: “ABOUT 100 MEN ARE NOW EMPLOYED  by the Atolia mining company, four miles southeast of Randsburg. This number marks a big increase over the number employed last year, the average of which was approximately 80. ‘The Atolia company operates the largest tungsten mines in California, standing second only in the United States., It. now seems quite probable that the Atolia mines will supersede  the tungsten producers of Colorado and become the leading tungsten mine in this country.
—Randsburg Miner.” – San Francisco Call

July 3, 1911: “ATOLIA—A crew of men are employed overhauling the operating plant of the Atolia Mining company. It is reported that active work will probably commence in a few weeks.” – San Francisco Call

November 25, 1911: “THE ATOLIA MINING CO. have finished a complete overhauling of their milling plant, also including a crushing system that greatly eliminates the old system.

Oscar H. Hirsley, official geologist of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining Co. of Idaho, is inspecting the mining property of the Atolia Mining Co.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

April 16, 1912:  “THE ATOLIA TUNGSTEN MINES have resumed operations under full capacity, employing about 75 men and working the mill three shifts.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

July 30, 1912: “TUNGSTEN MINES HAVE GOOD YEAR—Market Price Leaves Owners Of Atolia Mines a Nice Profit—“The Miner says:  The Atolia Mining Company, owner of the Atolia tungsten mines, has enjoyed one of the most prosperous periods in its history since the temporary shutdown about a year ago.  The tungsten market is good and the present market price profitable for the producers.

Close to 100 men are now on the payroll, and the crushing and concentrating plant are kept in full operation, running three shifts.  The tungsten mines of the Atolia Mining Company are the largest industrial tungsten producers in the United States, considering the fact that the tungsten mines of Boulder County, Colorado, are operated by different companies.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

December 15, 1912: “PRICE OF TUNGSTEN IS RISING RAPIDLY—Boom In Steel Trade Has Beneficial Effect On Industry—With the booming of the steel trade the price of tungsten is raising steadily.  Tungsten last week was advanced to $7.50 per unit, the highest price paid since the panic of 1907, and it is predicted that the price may soon go up to a higher figure.  Eastern steel manufacturers are calling for all the tungsten they can get.  Even low grade mineral that could not be mined to advantage six years ago is now in great demand.

During 1911 the production of tungsten decreased from the 1821 tons of 1910 to 1120 tons.  The cause has been given as the decreasing demand of edge tool manufacturing, owing to the low state of trade.  Since 1912 came in the demand has increased and it is asserted that at the present time steel makers cannot get the amount needed, and in some cases have had to delay orders for lack of tungsten.

The Atolia Mining Company, with mines situated fife miles southwest of Randsburg is the largest individual tungsten producer in the world.  The company owns the Papoose, Par, Flat Iron, East Union, Churchill, Spar, Rainstorm, and Toboggan claims.  There are shafts down from 500 to 600 feet and a large number of drifts and stopes.

The only tungsten mineral found is a peculiarly white scheelite of very high purity.  Several analyses made in the chemical laboratory of the United States Geological Survey showed silica to be the only perceptible impurity.

At present time only the Churchill and East Union claims are being operated.  These claims are one mile west of the camp of Atolia.  The ore is hauled to the mill by team.  The Churchill shaft is down 600 feet, and the East Union 250 feet.

The mill is equipped with a Blake crusher, a five-foot Huntington mill, and six Wilfley slimers.  The milling plant is operated with water shipped by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railway for its well at Hinkley, distant about 37 miles.  The mill is furnished with gutters, and the water falling on the roof during the infrequent rain or snow storms is saved and used for milling.

The mill is n steady operation, three shifts being employed.  The percentage of the tungate  __oxide carried by the product if high probably from 65 to 72 per cent.  About 100 men are on the payroll of the Atolia Mining Company.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

January 4, 1913: “THE TUNGSTEN PRODUCTION of the Atolia mines, located at the prosperous neighborhood camp of the same name, is far behind the demand and contracts have been secured by the Atolia Mining Company for the total production of their mines for the next year and a half. Tungsten is very high in price at present and is still rising.  The mill at Atolia is running continuously in three shifts and over 100 men find employment at this camp.” – Randsburg Miner

Crew of Miners & Headframe, Atolia, 19__. -- Derick English Collection

January 5, 1913: “TUNGSTEN MINES—The tungsten production of the Atolia mines located at the prosperous neighborhood camp of the same name, is  far behind the demand and contracts have been secured by the Atolia Company for the total production of their mines for the next year and a half.

Tungsten is very high in price at present and is still rising.  The mill at present is running continuously in three shifts and over 100 men find employment in the camp.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

Mine Shaft Collar, Headframe w/ Three Miners, Drills For Sharpening, 19__. -- Derick English Collection

January 12, 1913: “THE TUNGSTEN PRODUCTION of the Atolia mines, located at the prosperous neighborhood camp of the same name, is far behind the demand, and contracts have been secured by the Atolia Mining Company for the total production of their mines for the next-year and a half. Tungsten is very high in price at present and is still rising. The mill at Atolia is running continuously in three shifts and more than 100 men find employment there.” – San Francisco Call

January 12, 1913: “THE TUNGSTEN ORE PRODUCER mentioned in the reports as the largest in the country is situated in the Atolia district, at the north edge of San Bernardino County, the company controlling the field having greatly increased its output over that of 1911. – San Francisco Call

July 23, 1913: “ATOLIA— A CREW OF MEN ARE EMPLOYED overhauling the operating plant of the Atolia Mining Company. It is reported that active work will probably commence in a few weeks”. – San Francisco Call

August 9, 1913: “A NEW GALLOWS –FRAME,  60 feet in height, is being erected by the Atolia Mining Company at No. 1 Union shaft, which has reached a depth of more than 600 feet.  There is a big body of tungsten ore in the bottom of this shaft and favorable indications point to the continuance of the ore body.  A new hoist will be installed at this shaft, which is the deepest of the Churchill group, owned by the Atolia Mining Company.” – Randsburg Miner

November 5, 1913: “THE PAPOOSE LEDGE, which yielded scheelite ore valued at thousands of dollars and which was one of the original discoveries at the famous tungsten camp at Atolia, five miles south of Randsburg, has been rediscovered by Oscar H. Hershey, consulting engineer, of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mines.  A new shaft will be sunk ___  ___ of the old Papoose ___.  It is believed that the rediscovery of this ledge will lower the operating costs at Atolia as the Papoose is only a short distance from the concentrating plant of the Atolia mines.  The Atolia tungsten mines are among the very few in the United States.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

March 3, 1914: “THE ATOLIA MINING COMPANY cut down their payroll about thirty-five men this week.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

March 3, 1914: “Seth J. Tyler, for several years foreman of the Atolia mine, has left for Los Angeles.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

June 30, 1914:  “RANDSBURG, JUNE 29, THE MINER SAYS: That “an ill wind blows nobody any good” was not true as proved by the case of the closing down of the Atolia Mining Company.  The firm ceased to run the tungsten mines themselves and placed them under leases.  The following are some of the amounts of the clean ups for the past month:  Acaley and Ansel, $1457; E. Anderiguch & Co., $1146; Degan & Casagrande, $927; G. Swarthout, $220; Holloway,  Neihaus and Feldman, $217; and there are several other leasers who have made a stake of over $1000 each.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

February 17, 1915: “THE ATOLIA MINING COMPANY at Atolia which has been leasing their tungsten property for the past year has stopped all leases and the company will begin operations again.  Five men have been put to work on the Spanish Lease where $54,000 has been taken out by the six leasers in the past six months.  The company will put men to work on several pieces of ground where the leasers had been successful.  The mill is running one shift per day and eight men are working in it.  Another car of the white metal was shipped last week and about three cars per month are being shipped.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

March 16, 1915: “TUNGSTEN MINES TO RESUME ON BIG SCALE—Randsburg, March 15,–Tungsten will be produced on a larger scale than ever in the Atolia district as the company, after a shutdown of several weeks, decided to continue the leasing system, giving the miners opportunity to make new leases and go ahead with development work.  The old leases had expired and but little was done since the first of the year owing to a delay on the part of the Atolia Mining Company in deciding upon its future plan of operation.

Last year the leasers made good returns, over half of them making $25 a day each.  Six leases made about $12,000 apiece.

The property is five miles southeast of Randsburg on the Santa Fe railroad and it is equipped with up-to-date machinery, having turned out over 25 tons of tungsten n 24 hours.

The Atolia tungsten mines produce more of this metal than any other district in the world and the European war has stimulated the demand for the metal.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

Union Mine, circa 1915. "Famous No. 1 Shaft and Hoist. Deepest Tungsten Mine in the World." Worked to a vertical depth of over 1000 ft. -- Derick English Collection

April 19, 1915: “ATOLIA MINING COMPANY.  Work is being rapidly pushed ahead at the Atolia Mining Company, the world’s largest producers of scheelite.  The company has employed sixty of seventy men, besides many individual leasers are working the property.”—Bakersfield Californian

May 11, 1915: “WORK IS BEING RAPIDLY PUSHED AHEAD at the Atolia Mining Company, the world’s largest producer of scheelite.  The company has employed 60 or 70 men besides many individual leasers are working the property.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo

July 24, 1915:  “TUNGSTEN AT ATOLIA – A new mill is rapidly being built at Atolia which will enable the Atolia Company to double its output and incidentally make it the world’s largest producer of tungsten.  This company has always held the distinction of being the largest producer of scheelite.”—Bakersfield Californian

September 25, 1915:  “AT THE ATOLIA TUNGSTEN PROPERTY an electric plant has been installed for the Atolia Mining Company.  One hundred horsepower is taken in from Randsburg.”—Bakersfield Californian

October 27, 1915:  “A RECENT ORDER OF THE ATOLIA MINING COMPANY has withdrawn all placer leases, and the Potato Patch is deserted, except by a dozen or so Italian miners who are now hired at day’s wages by the company.”—Bakersfield Californian

November 3, 1915:  “ATOLIA PAYROLL IS NOW MORE THAN $35,000 PER MONTH—The new mill is now in operation night and day and gradually being housed in, with corrugated iron roof and sides.  The rush to complete this work is such than an additional force of carpenters was sent for by wife to Los Angeles today.  Apropos of this fact, it is not amiss to mention incidentally that there are now employed in this camp over 250 men, all of whom are dependent upon the tungsten industry.  The payroll now augments over $35,000 a month and is continually on the increase.”—Bakersfield Californian

November 9, 1915: “TWENTY-TWO ADDITIONAL placer miners have been employed to dig tungsten float on the “potato patch.”—Bakersfield Californian

January 27, 1916: “In the Atolia, Californian field there were great developments.  The Atolia Mining Co., is reported to have employed more than 400 men, and many men worked the desert sands in the vicinity for float scheelite.  P. J. Osdick discovered a rich ore east of the Atolia Mining Co.’s property, and made large profits.  On and near the Baltic claim a number of men worked the gravel of a shallow gulch for scheelite and other claims are also reported to have been worked at a profit. Several gold mines also produced some scheelite.  The Consolidated Gold Mines, in Randsburg, had found water at a depth of about 500 feet and this has been piped to the Atolia Mining Co.’s mill.  Formerly water was hauled on the railroad for a distance of about 50 miles.”—Bakersfield Californian

The Atolia Mining Company's New Mill Completed In Late 1915 Burnt To The Ground In January of 1916. Collection of Kern County Museum

The Atolia Mining Company's New Mill Completed In Late 1915 Burnt To The Ground In January of 1916. Collection of Kern County Museum

January 27, 1916: “THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MILL at Atolia is a sad blow to the tungsten mines, but that will only stay development.  Those mines have already produced millions and the end is not yet.”—Bakersfield Californian

January 29, 1916:  “GO TO WORK—About a forth of the miners who were laid off by the fire went to work again this morning while the work of concreting foundation for the new mill has already begun.  Principals of the Atolia Company were here yesterday and it is evident that the matter of the loss of a few hundred thousand dollars by the burning of the mill will add a new impetus to tungsten production, greater precautions and more modern methods, automatic samplers and other twentieth century improvements in mining are talked of as certain to be inaugurated with the rise of the new reduction works.”—Bakersfield Californian

February 28, 1916: “PATENTS TO LAND IN KERN COUNTY GRANTED—United States government patents to land in Kern County have been granted as follows:

U. S. A.  to Atolia Mining Co., the following mines:  Mather, Amelia, Smuggler, Tom Boy, Japan, Star, Spar, Union, Kelvin, Hoke, Fashion, Dresden, Federal, Anity (Amity) Anilla, Tungsten, Fraction, Turo, Tingsten, Best, San Pete, Rainstorm, Manti, Wasatch, Moonstone, View Point, Sun Rise, Piute, Papoose, Pilot, Neglected Frac., Paradox, S. Side, E. Side, Aries, Berlin, Evening Star, Flat Iron, Par, Waverly, Kerdino and Hamburg.”—Bakersfield Californian

March 8, 1916: “The new concentrating plant of the Atolia Company will be up in forty days, complete and modern.  There are about 400 men on the payroll and more are added as necessary.  Three shifts of carpenters and mechanics are at work on the mill.

The new mill, really two mills, will have a capacity of about 150 tons daily.  Mill No. 2 will be used for working the enormous dump, which is said to contain about 5 per cent tungsten, while mill No. 1 will be used for crushing new ore.

Ore of ordinary grade will be crushed, high grade being sacked and shipped.  Machinery in the new mill consists of the latest in crushing and concentrating plants.  The mills will be operated by electric power from the Southern Sierra Electric Company.

Water for the mill is piped from the Consolidated mines at Randsburg, a distance of five miles.

Monday it was reported on the streets that ore running 75 per cent was taken from the Rainstorm shaft of the Atolia Company, to a total of sixteen sacks, 300 pounds to the sack.  With ore prices rapidly rising and 75 per cent worth nearly $5 a pound, one can make his own figures.

Several months ago tungsten was worth $6 a unit.  Today it is quoted around $70.  Prices have risen nearly 1000 per cent and will go higher.

Atolia lies about five miles from Randsburg, about five miles from Johannesburg and just over the line from Kern County in San Bernardino County.  Shaft No. 1 of the company is about 600 feet from the Kern County line, and if the lines are straight the entire district would be in Kern County, where it belongs.

One of the interesting features of the bustling camp is the “Spud Patch,” where seventy or eighty men are at work with picks and shovels in a vast tract of sagebrush-covered land looking for chunks of high grade.  Many are making good big wages.  It’s a lot like digging spuds, so the name.

The Atolia Mining Company officials have very little to say.  They run no stores, sell no land and are miners only.  Outside the company lands there are many leasers at work, more will be soon and there is a general air of prosperity. ”—Bakersfield Californian

March 15, 1916:  “ATOLIA’S NEW MILL WILL SOON BE IN OPERATION –Interesting News of the Tungsten Mining District.—Atolia, March 14.—The new mill of the Atolia Mining Company is rapidly nearing completion and will soon be in operation.  Machinery and equipment is being placed in position and Atolia will soon be shipping concentrates again.”  –Bakersfield Californian

March 20, 1916:  “DEVELOPMENT NOTE OF THE ATOLIA DISTRICT –Atolia, Cal., March 20—News of a serious shakeup in the management of the Atolia Company is being discussed on the streets here.  The arrival of J. C. McKenzie, former manager of the Goldfield Consolidated and other big mines, the first of the week, lends foundation to the rumor, McKenzie is to be general manager here according to the reports, and other changes are expected.” –Bakersfield Californian

March 15, 1916: “Kinney Owens, of Caliente, is working at the Rainstown shaft for the Atolia Company.” —Bakersfield Californian

March 15, 1916: “ATOLIA’S NEW MILL WILL SOON BE IN OPERATION—Interesting News of the Tungsten Mining District –The new mill of the Atolia Mining Company is rapidly nearing completion and will soon be in operation.  Machinery and equipment is being placed in position and Atolia will soon be shipping concentrates again.

Atolia Mining Company's New Mill Built To Replace The One That Burnt In January of 1916, Collection of The Kern County Museum

March 20, 1916: “DEVELOPMENT NOTE OF THE ATOLIA DISTRICT—News of a serious shakeup in the management of  the Atolia Company is being discussed on the streets here.  The arrival of J. C. McKenzie, former manager of the Goldfield Consolidated and other big mines, the first of the week lends foundation to the rumor.  McKenzie is to be general manager here according to reports, and other changes are expected.”–Bakersfield Californian

April 5, 1916: “WITH THE DEVELOPMENT of tungsten mines at Atolia and other points, the desert is certainly coming into its own.  The Atolia Mining Company is said to be running $750 worth of ore over its plates each hour.  That is $18,000 a day and $540,000 a month.  A report says that the company has been offered $17,000,000 for its properties in that district.”—Bakersfield Californian

April 12, 1916:  “Gus Cody, leaser on the Baltic property in the Stringer district, has taken out 1200 pounds of high grade gravel in two weeks.  The Baltic property was sold at public auction in Bakersfield several months ago for $50,000 after a decree of the Kern Courts” –Bakersfield Californian

April 15, 1917:  “SETTLE THE STRIKE IN TUNGSTEN DISTRICT; PRICES ARE ADVANCING –The strike of miners in the Atolia tungsten district has been ended by the Atolia Mining Company granting an increase of 50 cents a day to 275 employees.  The miners will now be paid $4 a day instead of $3.50.

Tungsten prices are advancing somewhat.  A unit of 33 1/3 pounds is now bringing $18.75.

Frank Fernandes, a mill worker, lost his left arm in the machinery.” –San Bernardino County Sun


May 23, 1916: “TUNGSTEN MARKET VERY UNCERTAIN; MINES MAY CLOSE—Taft, May 23. – Judge C…C. Noble has  returned from Atolia, the  great tungsten camp  in San Bernardino County, where he had  a lease and succeeded in disposing of it  There is not much activity visible as there has been caused, primarily by the  withdrawal of buyers, some of who had contracted for  its purchase and  then notified the owners that they did not want if  at the $45 per unit as agreed upon, and would not take it at any price .  This condition has worked a hardship on hundreds of people who have been digging for some time and struck ore in quantity and saleable quality Many have thrown up the sponge on this account and gone away, while the majority are hanging on in the hope that the market will pick up and they will be enabled to dispose of their ore.

It is conjectured that George Wingfield, the Nevada multi-millionaire, who is  the reputed  owner  of the Atolia Mining and Milling Company, represented by D McKenzie, a  former successful Goldfields promoter, is about to dispose of his property to  C. M. Schwab, the steel king.  It is felt that a party, who has been in camp for a few weeks, and who has had the run of the big mine and mill, is a Schwab emissary and that he is gathering data for the prospective purchaser.

October 25, 1916: “TUNGSTEN ORE SUIT FOR $10,000 IS NOW DELAYED—Death of Ore Buyer Halts Proceedings in Fight for Randsburg Mine—San Francisco, Oct. 26. – D. H. Smith, an ore buyer of this city and Randsburg, Kern County, who is being sued for the recovery of thirty-eight sacks of tungsten, which because of the European war is now one of the World’s most precious metals, died yesterday.

Smith’s death, which was utterly unexpected, brought to a sudden halt the suit which is being tried before a jury in Judge Shortall’s court and in which the Atolia Mining Company seeks to recover the ore valued at $10,000 which it claims was carried from its workings piece by piece.

Smith was in court and apparently in the best of health on Monday, the fourth day of the trial.  Yesterday morning his attorneys telephoned asking for a short continuance because their client had been taken sick during the night.  In the afternoon they telephoned he was dead.

It is not known what further action will be taken in the case, but it is probable a new suit will be brought against Smith’s estate.

Atolia, Cal. Looking North Towards Red Mountain in 1916. Collection of Rand Desert Museum

HIGH RISE AFTER WAR—Tungsten ore until 18 months ago was valued at $10 a unit, which consists of twenty pounds. Today it sells for $100 a unit and in Randsburg where are located the biggest mines in the states, it is used as legal tender.

This ore, which until recently was dumped at the mouth of the mine until ready for shipment to the smelters in Pittsburg, Pa., is now used in the playing of poker and the purchase of food and other articles the same as gold dust was used in the early days.  A piece the size of a walnut will now purchase a dinner.

The careless manner in which the ore was formerly handled is blamed by the Atolia Mining Company for the alleged theft of the thirty-eight sacks in litigation, which are being held by the sheriff pending the final determination of the suit.

THEFTS ARE CHARGED—It is claimed that the ore was carried away from the dumping’s in small lots following the sensational rise in tungsten values.

Suspecting that their dumps were being combed and the valuable ore carried away, according to the testimony, they kept watch on all ore being shipped from Randsburg, and they claim that they recognized the ore in the thirty-eight sacks which Smith was about to ship.  They say their ore has different veins and other characteristics from ore taken from other mines.

Smith purchased the ore from another buyer by the name of King.  Where King got it had not been brought out when the trial was so suddenly and unexpectedly halted by Smith’s death.”—Bakersfield Californian

May 31, 1917:  “A TUNGSTIC ACID PLANT COMPLETED –Atolia Company Starts on Work Taking $6,000,000 From Old Dump. –Tungstic acid plant at Atolia, erected to work the old tailing dump in which it is estimated there is $6,000,000 worth of tungsten, has been completed and the first runs started.  There is a great mountain of tailings from which in the earlier processes all the value was not secured.

Charles Post, foreman on the Atolia mill, and Alfred Post came in from Atolia yesterday for a brief visit.  Tungsten values are increasing, due to the large demands for hardened steel in connection with war munitions.  There are about 200 men employed at the plant.” –San Bernardino County Sun

July 22, 1917:  “IF THAT ATOLIA NEWS IS ACCURATE, some of the I. W. W. marauders must have slipped through the quarantine established at the Colorado river by District Attorney Duckworth.” –San Bernardino County Sun

July 23, 1917: “ONE HUNDRED MEN AT ATOLIA GO ON WAGE STRIKE – Eight Hour Day and Five Dollars Pay Is the Demand – One Man Said To Have Been Shot – Sheriff of San Bernardino and Deputies Hasten to Scene—More than 100 miners have gone on a strike at Atolia, just over the San Bernardino County line from Randsburg.

Sheriff McMinn of San Bernardino and thirty deputies, all heavily armed are in charge of the situation.

Sinister reports of German influence are flying thick and fast, but no definite evidence to confirm them has been found.

Notices of the strike in three languages have been posted, and all strike breakers are being warned by the men who walked out to keep away.

This is a brief summary of the situation at Atolia, where labor trouble has practically tied up the operation of mines engaged in the production of tungsten now vitally needed for the production of metal for munitions.

EIGHT HOURS AND $5.00—Advices received by this paper today state that more than 100 miners walked out on Friday night and demanded an 8-hour day and an increase of pay to $5.

The strikers are nearly all Spaniards, Austrians and Italians. Since the walkout the Atolia Mining Company has attempted with indifferent success to keep operations going with 17 men. These are well guarded to prevent possible violence.

When the strike was called notices in three languages were posted and representatives of the strikers were sent out, according to today’s report, to Barstow and Mojave to intercept strike breakers and influence them to keep away from the tungsten mining camp.

SITUATION TENSE—H. B. Watson, well known newspaper man of Randsburg, telegraphed today that while the situation was quiet it could easily become acute if hostilities should break out. He reports that the sheriff’s posse has closed all blind pigs in Atolia and that thirsty one are coming to Randsburg for refreshment.

It is charged that Industrial Workers of the World are responsible for the strike.” – Bakersfield Californian

July 23, 1917: “TWO HIGHGRADERS ARE CAPTURED AT ATOLIA—Two men are in jail at Atolia today as the result of an alleged high grading raid on the Atolia Mining Company’s property.  The Two men, according to officers, attempted to make away with a considerable (amount)  of ore on Thursday night.

One of the pair, a man named Toro was shot through the leg, but not danersously injured.

It is thought that the raid was not connected with the strike.”—Bakersfield Californian

July 23, 1917:  “VERY QUIET IS REPORTED — A long distance telephone message was received from sheriff McMinn this afternoon that the situation at Atolia has quieted down and that there is no immediate danger of further outbreaks.  “We have the situation well in hand.” said the sheriff.

J. I. McMinn, sheriff of San Bernardino County, today took active charge of the strike of 100 miners and millmen in the tungsten mines at Atolia.

Officials of the Atolia mining company declare that German influence is behind the strike.  Many Austrians and Germans are employed by the company.  Federal officers, is said are on their way to the mines to investigate the cause of the trouble.  The mine company officials say that members of the I. W. W. are behind the strike movement.

That enemies of the United States may have something to do with the strike is strengthened by the fact that tungsten is used to make big guns for the army and navy and for the manufacture of steel for ships.  To cripple this industry at this time would be a serious blow to the government.

A Toro, a miner, was shot by one of the guards when he attempted to steal high grade ore, according to one of the guards.  The wounded man was brought here today to the county hospital. His wounds are not serious.” –San Bernardino News

July 23, 1917: “ADDITIONAL AID SOUGHT –Strike troubles at Atolia took a turn for the worse yesterday and today a call for twenty additional officers was received from F. G. McLain, undersheriff.

F. J. Goodwin, former police officer, J. H. Poole, J. E. Williams, the latter of Highland, left for Atolia with a posse of men to assist the local officers in quelling any possible riots.

“Trouble is brewing. We need twenty extra men.”  Is the message from McLain, according to the sheriff’s office.

Three arrests have been made, these being the first men to be arrested.  The sheriff’s office was not advised as to the cause of the arrests but it is declared that the men were undoubtedly inciters of trouble.

The strike is still on and as yet the Atolia mining company has not attempted to bring in outside miners but should the company do so, a battle between strikers on one side and strikebreakers and officers on the other is expected.” –San Bernardino News

July 24, 1917: “I. W. W. ‘S LURK IN TRONA FIELDS—An appeal for help from Trona, the center of the potash fields, where a strike is in progress, was received from mine operators today by deputy sheriffs at Atolia and officers were rushed in automobiles to the scene of threatened trouble.  The message declared I. W. W. members from Atolia have incited the potash workers to strike, according to a message received here tonight.

A guard was ordered placed over the powder magazines at the Atolia mines, a telephone report stated, following the arrest of two strike leaders after a clash which workmen of a shift which returned followed an attempt to photograph to work tonight.  The strikers objected also to the arrest of a third man charged with selling liquor at Trona.

The California Trona Company and the Solvay Process Company are engaged in manufacturing potash which is used in the manufacture of explosives for the war.

Twenty-five men worked one shift in the Atolia mine today, but 200 are out.”—Oakland Tribune

July 25, 1917:   “I.  W. W.’ S PUT OUT OF TRONA CAMP—Strikers From Atolia Do Not Succeed in Row at Potash Field.—Advices yesterday from Trona said that no trouble had developed there, and that I. W. W.’s who came from Atolia to the potash fields had been invited to leave and did so at once, after posting notices to the Trona workmen that a strike was on at Atolia and urging them not to interfere in favor of the mining company.

Under Sheriff F. G. McLain left for Atolia  yesterday with Deputy District Attorney M. O.Hert to  conduct preliminary  hearings growing  out of the strike troubles. More guards were taken to Atolia yesterday and the (n) umber of deputies now is about 20.”—San Bernardino County Sun

July 26, 1917: “PUZZLED BY HIS ARREST – How would you like to be arrested and charged with disturbing, all because you just took a picture?

Henry Ostrand, a miner at Atolia, who is under arrest on a peace disturbance charge,  claims that he took a picture of five men and that he was thereupon  arrested and taken to jail—for disturbing the peace and quiet of the village of Atolia.

Being unable to comprehend that interpretation of the law, Ostrand came to San Bernardino and laid his case before Attorney Hugh L. Dickson, who will go to Atolia next Tuesday to represent Ostrand and to find out how the taking of a picture constitutes disturbing the peace.

Ostrand was a striking miner, it is declared. He was sitting on the sand near the main thoroughfare when five men passed.  Ostrand had his camera and took the picture.

The warrant  for his arrest was issued,  it is declared, by W. S. Taylor, justice of the peace, who is also superintendent of the Atolia mine in which Ostrand  was employed.” –San Bernardino News

July 27, 1917:  “CLAIM TROUBLE ENDED—Troubles between striking tungsten miners and miners employed at the Atolia tungsten mills have ceased according to Charles Post, who arrived today from Atolia.   Post asserts that new miners have been secured to take the place of old miners who went on strike and that the mine is employing new men as fast as they arrive. Many of the old miners who went on strike have left the camp.  The strike failed.” –San Bernardino News

Atolia In The Late Teens or Early 20's. Colllection of Deric EnglishJuly 27, 1917: “CLAIM TROUBLE ENDED—Troubles between striking tungsten miners and miners employed at the Atolia tungsten mills have ceased according to Charles Post, who arrived today from Atolia. Post asserts that new miners have been secured to take the place of old miners who went on strike and that the mine is employing new men as fast as they arrive. Many of the old miners who went on strike have left the camp. The strike failed.” –San Bernardino News

July 27, 1917:  “MANY STRIKERS ARE LEAVING ATOLIA—Labor War Calms Down as I. W. W.’S Start For Other Points –Not more than 75 men who struck at Atolia remain in camp, said W. A. Shay, investigator of the district attorney’s office, who returned yesterday with Deputy District Attorney M. O. Hert and Charles L. Flack, shorthand reporter, from the strike region.

The strikers are rapidly departing for other points.

Henry Ostrand, one of the strikers, and a German arrested with him, charged with disturbing the peace, demanded a change of venue from Atolia and a jury trial at Barstow.  They were accommodated.  The case is set for July 31.  They took photographs of men who remained at work and a fight started.  Attorney Hugh L. Dickson has been retained by the men to defend Ostrand.” –San Bernardino County Sun

July 28, 1917: “SAN BERNARDINO –One hundred of the 117 men employed at the tungsten mine of the Atoli (Atolia), a mining company at Atolia, a desert mining town in this county, struck July 20, according to a message telephoned to Sheriff McMinn.  E. Toro was shot and slightly wounded by a mine guard who charged it was sad, he was attempting to steal ore.”—Mountain Democrat

July 28, 1917:  “ONLY AMERICANS BE EMPLOYED IN THE FUTURE—“No concessions will be made by the company.” said Charles Post, who came in from Atolia yesterday to secure some additional men for the mill of the Atolia Mining Company.  His answer was in reply to an inquiry with reference to the strike situation there.  “The strikers demanded that all Spaniards be re-employed, that they be paid $5 for eight hours, and that they go and come from the mine on the company’s time. Their demands were rejected, they will not be granted, and most of the strikers have left or are leaving the district.”

The company will employ only Americans in future, and it was to secure a force for the mill where he is foreman, that Mr. Post came to town yesterday.  He expects to return to the camp Monday.” –San Bernardino County Sun

August 10, 1917:  “NO MORE MEN WANTED AT THE ATOLIA MINE—In letters from George Holbrook and Charles Post of the Atolia Mining Company to the free employment bureau, they state that the strike dissension is completely past and there has been so disturbance of any kind since the government made investigations and the leaders took cover.

The mining company has all the men it can use for the present.  In their letter of thanks to the local employment bureau, expressing their appreciation of the kindness given them, they said that no more men were wanted until the company asked for them.” –San Bernardino Sun

September 5, 1917: THERE IS A REPORT of a big tungsten strike on the 500-foot level on No. 1 one of the Atolia Mining company’s properties.  It is said there are six feet of solid high grad ore in sight in the stones on that level.”—Bakersfield Californian

November 20, 1917: “ATOLIA MINING CO. IS NOW WORKING 250 MEN: NEW QUARTERS—The Atolia Mining Company is now working about 250 men.  The staff house, boarding house, change rooms with shower baths and comfortable quarters for the men will make conditions better for all employees this winter.”—Bakersfield Californian

May 15, 1918: “TELEGRAM FROM ATOLIA last night said there was a strike on at the tungsten mines.” –San Bernardino County Sun

May 15, 1918: “END ATOLIO’S (SIC) STRIKE WITH PAY INCREASE—The strike of miners and muckers at the Atolia Tungsten mine at Randsburg for an increase in pay has been settled, according to advices received here.

The miners and muckers walked out recently demanding a raise of fifty cents a day. Today the tungsten company granted the raise allowing the night shift to return to work tonight.

The mills are now working at the mine. Then miners under the new scale will receive $4.75 a day and the muckers $4,25. Notices posted about the mine grounds state every employee of the company has received a raise of fifty cents.” – Bakersfield Californian

Postcard view of Union #1 Shaft at Atolia, Ca. A very rich mine which was home of the Million Dollar Stope. From the collection of Mark Landis.

1920: “ATOLIA TUNGSTEN MINE. –This mine has been the most productive mine in the county, and the company owns 97 claims in the Atolia district.  The scheelite occurs in a series of parallel more or less overlapping veins in a zone of granite 2 miles long and about 2000 feet wide, striking about 10 degrees south of west, dipping from 13 degrees to 80 degrees north.  The individual veins are not continuous throughout the zone, but occur as shoots up to 1000 feet in length.  The veins vary from mere seams up to 6 feet in width.  Occasionally they open into larger bodies.  The vein materials associated with the scheelite are quartz and calcite.  The deepest working is in No. 1 shaft.  This is a two compartment shaft sunk to a depth of 1000 feet on the vein (incline on 69 degrees to 450 feet, then flattens to 39 degrees to the 1000 foot level.  At 950 feet the shaft goes into the footwall, and a short crosscut to cut the vein.  Mine practically stoped out above the 800’ level.  Between 900’ and 1000’ levels two large blocks of ore have been developed, one east of shaft 200 feet long and 4 feet wide, other west of shaft 200 feet in length and 5’ width.  East of shaft the vein is intersected by a series of north and south cross veins on breaks;  at a number of places the vein has been faulted.  On the 900’ level the vein is drifted on about 1000 feet.  Ore treated in 100-ton concentrating mill, said to have averaged 6 to 7 percent WO 3.  Phosphorous content averages .12 per cent and must be reduced to .04 per cent.  Sulphur content must not be over 1 per cent.  To reduce the phosphorous content, portion of concentrates are treated in vat with solution of H 2 SO 4 and H. C1.  Steam heated to 97 degrees  C.  Liquid decanted and four washings of water applied.  Then the concentrates are dried and introduced to reverberatory furnace to get rid of sulphur content.  This being reduced to 0.16 percent S.  Capacity of furnace 10 to 12 tons per 24 hrs.  Owner, Atolia Mining Company; E. C. Voorheis, president; E. A. Stint, secretary, Humboldt Bank Building, San Francisco.” –REPORT XVII, OF THE STATE MINEROLOGIST, MINING IN CALIFORNIA DURING 1920

Atolia Mining Co. Invoice to the Kelly Silver Mine, April 26, 1934. -- Derick English Collection

August 15, 1924: “ATOLIA MINING COMPANY, whose property is situated in the Atolia Tungsten district, near Randsburg, and formerly the largest producer of tungsten ore in California, recently opened the mine on a leasing basis.  Leases are being granted by the company to miners who may want to prospect and work outlying sections of the property.

The company offers to take the ore, concentrate it and market the product, half of the proceeds to be paid to the lessee.  In addition, the supplies and tools are furnished the lessees at cost, and necessary equipment and machinery to develop, mine and hoist the ore, are rented to them under reasonable terms.  Payment by the company is to made on the basis of one-half of 90 per cent of the average quoted market value for 60 per cent tungsten acid, domestic scheelite ore f.o.b. Pittsburgh Ps., the quotations to be taken from the Engineering and Mining Journal-Press for the week ending 30 days after date of the preliminary sampling at Atolia.  Payment for ores less than 60 per cent tungstick acid content is on the basis of a sliding scale; 75 per cent on content for ores 2 per cent tungstic acid or less; 80 per cent on 10 to 20 per cent tungstic acid content; 85 per cent on 20 to 30 per cent tungstic acid content; 95 per cent on 50 to 60 per cent tungstic acid content and 100 per cent on ores containing 60 per cent or over.” – Randsburg Times

July 1930: THE ATOLIA MINING COMPANY.The present work is confined to the Papoose, the ground between the Spanish shat of the Par Mine and the Flat Iron, the Union Mine and the ‘Spud Patch.’

The Papoose is under lease to Mr. Geo. Rust, who has reopened the old shaft to a depth of 400 feet.  At present he is removing the fill from old stopes and will later look for extension of the ore body which was lost in the old workings.  Drifts on the second and third levels have been opened as follows:

Second level 135 feet west of shaft and 65 feet east.

Third level 80 feet west of shaft and 40 feet east.

The filling is sorted, yielding about one ton of ore to 10 tons of material.

A section of ground between the Par Mine and the Flat Iron has been leased to E. H. Hughes of Randsburg.  A shaft has been sunk to a depth of 56 feet on a vein, the strike of which is east-west; dip 80 degrees to the north.  This shaft is 200 feet west of the Spanish shaft.  This is the same vein as that worked to the east of the Spanish shaft but was apparently lost on the west side.  At the bottom of the shaft, there is a drift east 25 feet and west 21 feet.  This has developed an ore shoot 45 feet long, having an average width of 12 inches.

At the Union Mine a winze has been sunk from the 1000 to the 1200 foot level and the shaft was raised on a steeper inclination than that between the 700 and 1000-foot levels the dip being greater here.  In doing this work, an ore shoot 1000 feet long by and average width of 3-feet was developed.  The average grade of the ore in this shoot is about 0.75% of WO3.  It rakes to the east at an angle of about 55 degrees.  A stope has been started just west of the winze on the 1100-foot level.

The Spud patch diggings consist of a roughly circular pit about 500 feet in diameter, by an average depth of 15 feet.  This pit will be lengthened n a northwesterly direction.  There are at least two and probably more, channels in this area.  After the present surface cut is made, these channels will be worked separately to greater depths.  The placer is known to extend to the Papoose shaft, a distance of approximately 2000 feet, in a northwesterly direction from the present pit face.

The material is loaded into trucks by an Erie G A-2 gasoline shovel, having a 1-cu. Yd. dipper.

The mill to treat this placer material was built in 1926.  It has a capacity of 750 tons in 24 hours and consists of the following equipment:

Trommel screen 4 feet by 10 feet, 2-inch openings.  It is fitted with a shaft through its center, to which twelve-pound hammers are attached by chains. This shaft travels at 350 r.p.m.; the hammers knock all loose material from the boulders, which go to waste.  Tailings go to 4 Harz jigs, thence to 2 Overstrom tables.  The tailings go to 4 dewatering drag belts; thence to 18-inch belt tailings stacker.  This stacker is set on a slope of 3 ½ inches per foot. The stacker dumps on a 16- inch belt conveyor 20 feet long, pivoted so that its outer end swings through an arc of about 300 degrees.  Tailings are discharged at 12% moisture.  Material treated averages 1.75 pounds concentrates containing 60% WO3 per ton.

The No. 1 (or Rust) mill was built at the Union Mine in 1927 and rebuilt in 1928; it was built by the Atolia Mining Company for the Rust Leasing Company.  The Atolia Company took it over in September, 1928, upon the expiration of the Rust Lease.  The mill has a capacity of 130 tons per day and is working on ores from the Union Mine and various dumps on the company’s property; also treating ores from the two leasers mentioned above.

Ores at the dumps are loaded into trucks by power shovels.  Ore from the Union Mine is hoisted by 2250-pound skips.  Material over bar grizzly, 3-inch opening; oversizes to 24-inch sorting belt; wasted to 16-inch belt tailings stacker; ore to storage bin; undersizer to storage bin.  From the bin it is fed by reciprocating feeder to 24-inch belt conveyer equipped with Ding’s magnetic pulley; to 10-inch by 16-inch Hercules jaw crusher, crushing to 2 inches; elevated to Hummer screen; screenings to bin and oversize, by 14 inch belt conveyor to Symons 3-foot cone crusher, in closed circuit with Hummer screen, by means of elevator.  The capacity of this crushing plant is 15 tons per hour, 2 inches to ¼ inch.

Elevated from bin to vibrating screen oversize to Harz jig; undersize and hutch product from jig to Wilfley No. 4 and Overstrom tables; tailings to dewatering drag belts and 16 inch belt stackers.  Slimes are settled in surface ponds.  Concentrates are retreated in a plant which is described in XVll, pp. 370—372.

The dump ores average 5.75 pounds of concentrates containing 60% WO3 per ton.  The mine ores vary somewhat but average about 18 pounds of 60% WO3 concentrates per ton.

Water for milling operations has been developed in the flat, 7 miles northeast of the placer mill.  First a well 400 feet deep was put down.  This well is 3 ½ miles northeast of the placer diggings.  It produced only 16,000 gallons daily.  They then moved 3 ½ miles farther northeast and nearer to the dry lake; put down a 12-inch hole to a depth of 200 feet.  Water is pumped from 115-foot depth by a Pomona turbine pump driven by a 40-h.p. semi-diesel engine.  Pumping from this well at the rate of 125,000 gallons daily does not lower the level of the water. The Pomona pump delivers to a tank at the NO. 1 well, 3 ½ miles away.  A Deane Triplex pump, motor driven, forces it the remaining 3 ½ miles.

It is now reported (July 1930) that this property is temporarily idle.” –State Mineralogist Report  Hhhh

Mineral Survey 6218 Sacramento Land District, surveyed February 11, 1938, knows as Cora D. Lode, owned by Atolia Mining Company, improvements of 8 shafts value,$2,242.

March 30, 1939:  “AT ATOLIA THE MINERAL scheelite or calcium tungstate, was discovered about 1903, and was mined and shipped to Europe for several years until 1913 when the easily mined high-grade surface ore was exhausted.  Production waned until war time demand resulted in the construction of a mill and mining started in earnest.  During the years 1915 to 1918 inclusive, 73,163 tons were mined and yielded $8, 132,333.

The veins, which are generally narrow, occur at various altitudes in the quart-monozite, and lie in a belt 600 to 2000 feet wide and 9000 feet long.  In this area there are over 300 small shafts and pits, in addition to the large operating shafts.  Most of these were made by leasers during the war.  The largest bodies of ore were found in the Union, Papoose, and Par mines.  The Union mine which is 1400 feet deep on the incline has one stope 80 feet long by 20 feet wide, between two levels 50 feet apart, from which a million dollars worth of scheelite was taken.  In fact, this working in now known as the “Million Dollar Stope”.

Freelance 'Spud' Collectors (?) w/Ore Sacks, 1930s (?) Everybody was in the Tungsten business to one degree or another, a form of mining in which even children could participate. If the full bags rest on a pile of sheelite, this was an event worth memorializing! Presumably, the carpenter's claw hammer was to break big spuds into little ones. -WJW (See Marcia Wynn, Randsburg >Mines >Baltic LINK) -- Derick English Collection

In addition to the ore mined from veins a considerable part of the production has come from the “Spud Patch” where leasers dug in the surface gravels or worked the placer channels from shallow shafts.  The large nuggets of scheelite sorted out by hand and the finer sizes were recovered in dry washing machines.  Following the war the company installed a large wet washing plant and mined the placer area with power shovels.  This operation produced 150,000 units of tungstic oxide.

Including the placer plant, four different mills have been built on the Atolia property.  The original mill, built during the war was called the Papoose mill as it was built on a claim known by that name.  The union mill built against the headframe of the old Union No. 1 mine replaced the Papoose, until 1938 when another mill was built on the site of the old Papoose.  This mill which is being operated at present, cost more than $150,000 and incorporates two separate processes, one for treating newly mined ore and the other for retreating the tailings left by former operations.  The run-of-mine ore is treated by a conventional gravity separation plant while the slimed sheelite from the old tailings piles is recovered by newly developed flotation and acid leaching processes. Between forty and fifty men are employed at present and with full activity of the plant between two hundred and 300 leasers and employees are required.”— The Randsburg Times

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