YELLOW ASTER MINING & MILLING CO. (Rand Mtn. Mining Co.)
- 1894 thru 1897

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:
Discovery and Litigation

Olympus Mine 1895. This photo of the Olympus Mine appears in the 13th Report of the State Mineralogist published in 1896. As it takes time to compile, write, edit, and print such a publication it is assumed that this photo was taken in 1895 in order to be included in this publication.

SUMMARY: 1962: “YELLOW ASTER MINING & MILLING CO.. owns 49 patented and 6 unpatented claims. It was the principal source of gold in Kern County and had an output of $12,000,000 most of which was mined and sold at pre-1934 prices. The mine was operated continuously by the Yellow Aster Mining and Milling Co. from 1895 to 1918, closed until 1921, then reopened and operated until 1933. The Anglo American Mining Corp. Ltd. leased the mine in 1933 and operated it until 1939. Since that time it has been mined intermittently by lessees who have worked at various places underground and in the walls of a large open pit. For a few months following its discovery on the Yellow Aster property in 1895, rich gold-bearing placer was worked in dry washers. Following the depletion of the richer placer material, mining was conducted underground and by 1905 about seven and one half miles of horizontal underground working had been driven. Most of the ore mined from 1905 to 1933 was obtained from a large glory hole, but underground mining was continued and, by 1909, workings totaled between 12 and 15 miles in length. Part of the old workings were engulfed in the glory hole. About 1938, open pit mining was begun on the walls of the glory hole and continued until the mine was closed in 1939. Since then parts of the mine have been mined at intermittent intervals by lessees. The first ore mined in the Yellow Aster mine was hand sorted and hauled to Garlock, 8 miles to the northwest, and treated in stamp mills. Later the ore was shipped to custom stamp mills at Barstow. In 1898, a 30 stamp mill with amalgamation plates was build at the mine, and in 1901, a 100-stamp mill was added. In 1916 the 30 stamp mill was abandoned, and in 1918 a new crushing and screening plant was constructed. Fines were treated in the 100-stamp mill; oversize went to the dumps. This operation continued for only 4 months, and the mine was closed in 1918. The crushing plant was destroyed by fire a few years later. From 1921, when the mine was reopened, to 1933, only 50 stamps were used. In 1933, Anglo American Mining Corp. Ltd. rebuilt the crushing and screening plant and repaired all the stamps. Because only about 80 percent of the gold was recovered by amalgamation, flotation equipment was installed to treat amalgamation tailings in addition to the ore from the pit. After 14 months operation the flotation plant was closed and the recovery of gold by amalgamation was resumed. In 1934, a sand and slime cyanide plant was built. In it 1,100 tons of old stamp-mill tailings and current stamp-mill tailings were treated daily. In 1936, the crushing and screening plant was rebuilt to provide for a smaller product to the stamp mill. Between 1895 and 1939, more that 3,400,000 tons of ore was milled, and about 500,000 ounces of gold was recovered, nearly all by amalgamation. In addition, 1,700,000 tons of mill tailings was treated and yielded 41,000 ounces of gold.” — Mines and Minerals of Kern County California, California Division of Mines and Geology County Report 1. 1990s: THE MINE WAS RE-OPENED by the Glamis Gold, Ltd. Corporation who worked out the whole ore body by open pit, heap leaching methods. Both the Baltic and Lamont properties, (in the Stringer District directly to the South), were included. The average gold content of the ore processed was .002 ounces to the ton (?).
CHRONOLOGY:

Yellow Aster Discoverers Drywashing, May 1895, View N to NW(?). Marcia Wynn Rittenhouse in her book "Desert Bonanza" identifies John Singleton, as second from the left,(However, in a letter written to his mother, John says that he is the one holding the gold pan under his arm and wearing a helmet), Frederic M. Mooers holding the riffle tray at right. More of a 'Photo Opportunity' than actual work. The riffle tray, held as it is, may have been to aid the photographer in processing the film. They wear the same clothes as in the First Camp photo, below. The dry-washer would have been of the standard model in use at Summit Diggings, Goler & Red Rock Canyon; a hopper with 1/2 inch screen above a bellows box, driven by a hand-crank and flywheel. The riffle tray is carpeted with shirt fabric, passing air from beneath, 'winnowing' the heavy gold (and magnetite black sand) from the lighter material. This is the earliest photo in the collection of mining at Rand Mountain. - McPherson

Yellow Aster Discoverers Drywashing, May 1895, View N to NW(?). John Singleton, second from the left, Frederic M. Mooers holding the riffle tray at right. More of a ‘Photo Opportunity’ than actual work. The riffle tray, held as it is, may have been to aid the photographer in processing the film. They wear the same clothes as in the First Camp photo, below. The dry-washer would have been of the standard model in use at Summit Diggings, Goler & Red Rock Canyon; a hopper with 1/2 inch screen above a bellows box, driven by a hand-crank and flywheel. The riffle tray is carpeted with shirt fabric, passing air from beneath, ‘winnowing’ the heavy gold (and magnetite black sand) from the lighter material. This is the earliest photo in the collection of mining at Rand Mountain. – McPherson
May 6, 1895: “MR. PETRIE went up to the new quartz mines a few days ago with a load of goods for the miners, and he brought back some quartz. It is fine looking rock.To the south and east of this camp fifteen miles, quartz has been discovered, and there are gold, silver and copper, but all of low grade ore.” — The Californian

Yellow Aster First Camp, view SW, May, 1895. The Burchams, man and wife are probably away, or they'd have been in this photo, at a guess. The other two men are presumed to be the first employees. - Wynn Collection

August 2, 1895: “NOTES FROM GOLER—Editor Californian—Sir– I took a prospecting trip recently from Goler along through the southeast range of mountains directly opposite Goler camp for a distance of some fifteen or twenty miles to the rich quartz and placer mines discovered by Messrs. Singleton, Moore, & Burcham. They have a good quartz ledge, but have not gone down over ten feet on the vein, which is about six or seven feet wide and goes about $21.50 to the ton, and they claim to take out from four to seven dollars to the man in their placer claims, which is good for a new camp.” — The Californian

August 14, 1895: “SAN BERNARDINO, Aug. 13.—The interest in mining is becoming almost an excitement in this city, and scarcely a day passes without word of some new strike in the districts around this city. The latest strike in the mines is reported from Goler, where C. A. Burcham has opened up a six-foot ledge that is rich in gold and promises well. The find is about eight miles southeast of Goler and at the camp known as Randsburg, which is named from their mine—the Rand.  One of the most encouraging features of the prospect is the clearly defined walls, both hanging and foot wall being of such rock as goes with rich ore. The shaft is down twenty-five feet on the lodge, and drifts have been run at long distances, but the quality of the ore continues, while the ledge shows no signs of “pinching out.” The ore is rich.  Almost at the surface it went $12.50 to the ton, while a little lower it showed $30. But of late the ore is much richer than and as good as $180 and $200 has been assayed, and of very fine gold.” – The Herald

August 20, 1895:”AUSTIN BURCHAM, who made the big strike six miles from Goler, will send a car load of ore to San Francisco to have it tested.” – San Francisco Call

August 22, 1895: “A RICH STRIKE has been made by C. A. Burcham of San Bernardino in Summit district, eight miles from Goler, Kern County.” – San Francisco Cal
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August 29, 1895: “C. A. BURCHAM’S BIG FIND in Kern County, about eighteen miles from Goler, is said to be the richest strike in that section. When down about fifteen feet on a ledge, which was followed and shows for a quarter of a mile, ore was taken out, which went $180 in gold and $3.16 in silver. The mine is named the “Olympus” and is situated in the Summit mining district. Water has to be hauled eight miles, but as alkali spots are quite numerous in the vicinity of the mine wells will be bored. At present the dry-washer is being used and about $1 per hour to the man is taken out, there being three men at work, but they can only work a few hours a day on account of the excessive heat” – San Francisco Call

September 11, 1895: “ACCORDING TO THE EXAMINER negotiations are in process by which O. B. Stanton of this place is to become one of the lessees of the Baldwin Hotel for a number of years. Mr. Stanton is a thorough hotel man and is successful in his negotiations will keep the Baldwin up to the highest standards.” The Californian

September 26, 1895: “A CORRESPONDENT WRITES that Austin Burcham has struck a big thing in his mines at Goler, Kern County. Several assays have been made and the rock runs between $100 and $200 per ton. Some of the assays were as high as $1400. Mr. Burcham is building a road to his mine so as to more readily transport the ore. He has taken out a carload of rich rock ready to sack and ship to San Francisco.” – San Francisco Call

September 26, 1895: “SAN BERNARDINO, CAL, Sept. 25.—There is big excitement now in the Goler district, near Mojave, at the junction of the Southern Pacific and Atlantic and Pacific lines. Hitherto work has been confined to placers, at which about 150 men have made a good living. The only incident out of the routine was the finding of two nuggets, one worth $275, and the other$190.The present excitement is over the discovery of quartz eight miles from the Goler camp. Men are taking out $5 to $10 a day each with dry washers from the decomposed quartz on the surface. Burcham, Moore & Singleton of this city have ten locations, comprising about 200 acres, on the mountainside.  There appears to be a whole mountain of quartz. John Hall, an old and experienced miner of this city who returned home to-day, said to The Call correspondent: “It is the biggest thing for surface indications I have ever seen. The gold is so fine that you cannot see it on the riffle board, but it is there just the same. The mountain is full of stringers all the way from the breadth of your hand to a foot wide, and these are certain to lead to pockets. There is no telling how much gold-bearing ore there is on that mountain side. “The owners have begun the construction of a road from the mines to Mojave, a distance of forty-five miles, and will immediately commence boring tunnels and sinking shafts. Unless all surface indications fail, they have a notable piece of mining property.” – San Francisco Call

October 3, 1895: “IT IS KERN COUNTY ORE—Under the head of “San Bernardino Ore.” The Call publishes the following dispatch. The only trouble is, that Goler is not in San Bernardino County, but in Kern. There is big excitement now in the Goler District, near Mojave, at the junction of the Southern Pacific and Atlantic-Pacific lines. Hitherto work has been confined to placers, at which 150 men have made a good living. The only incident out of the routine was the finding of two nuggets, one worth $275, the other $190. The present excitement is over the discovery of quartz eight miles from the Goler camp. Men are taking out $5 to $10 a day each with dry washers from the decomposed quartz on the surface, Burcham, Moore & Singleton of this city have ten locations, comprising about 200 acres, on the mountain side. There appears to be a whole mountain of quartz. John Hall, an old and experienced miner of this city who returned home today, said to the Call correspondent: “It is the biggest thing for surface indications I have ever seen. The gold is so fine that you cannot see it on the riffleboard, but is there just the same. The mountain is full of stringers all the way to a foot wide, and these are certain to lead to pockets. There is no telling how much gold-bearing ore there is that mountain side.” The owners have begun to construction of a road from the mines to Mojave, a distance of forty-five miles, and will immediately commence boring tunnels and sinking shafts. Unless all surface indication fail, they have a notable piece of mining property.” – The Californian

Rand Camp, view S, from New York Hill, 1895. Already thinking big, someone has named the 'streets' while most residents were still in tents. The layout of the town was arranged in an ad hoc fashion, much like tin cans on a dump. - Wynn Collection

October 04, 1895: “QUARTZ STRIKE NEAR MOJAVE, San Bernardino Cal. Sept 25 There is big excitement now in the Goler district near Mojave at the Junction of the Southern Pacific and Atlantic Pacific lines.  Hitherto work has been confined to placers at which about 1oo men have made a good living.  The present excitement is over the discovery of quartz eight miles from the Goler camp.  Men are taking out $5 to $10 a day each with dry washers from the decomposed quartz on the surface. There appears to be a whole mountain of quartz.  John Hall an old and experienced miner of this city who returned home today said it is the biggest thing for surface indications I have ever seen the gold is so fine that you cannot see it on the rime board but it is there just the same. The mountain is full of stringers all the way from the breadth of your hand to a foot wide and these are certain to lead to pockets.  There is no telling how much gold bearing ore there is on that mountainside.  The owners have begun the construction of a road from the mines to Mojave a distance of forty five miles.   San Francisco Call”The Spanish Fork Press

October 25, 1895: “IN THE GOLER DISTRICT—C. A. Burcham has returned from the mines in the Goler District, and his account of the mines being opened there is a glowing one. Along with him came W. B. Van Slyke, who has been looking through the district, and he is persuaded that some of the mines about to be opened there are very rich.

Ore Car Tag From Truax Company Used On One Of The Early Ore Cars In the YELLOW ASTER MINE. Collection of Rand Desert Museum

Burcham is one of the three owners of the claims in the district covering about one hundred acres, and some of the assays give almost fabulous returns. He is of the opinion that there is enough $40 ore in sight to keep a ten-stamp mill at work for many months. The ore is mostly of high grade, and the quartz is found in porphyry dykes. The ledge upon which they are now working is about forty feet in width, and samples $50 clear across. But the rich ore seems to be a “blow out” or chimney, and Burcham exhibits one piece of rock from this that assayed $1389. The mines are very difficult of access, however, and the nearest point where water can be obtained is twelve miles from the prospects. It is forty-six miles to Mojave, the nearest railroad station. As yet but little development work has been done, most of the ore having been taken from the surface, and the deepest shaft is not more than ten feet. They now have 700 sacks of ore at the depot in Mojave ready for shipment to a smelter and all this ore is supposed to be better than $200 to the ton. But, as usual, legal complications have come up, and just as the ore was to be shipped they were served with notice of injunction by the Kern county officers. The mine is one and a half miles across the county line Several months ago, while Burcham was in this city, his partners, John Singleton and F. M. Moors were visited at the mine by San Francisco parties, who entered into a contract with the two, by which the San Francisco people were to put in machinery for a certain interest in the mine and proceed to work it.  When the contract was brought to Burcham he refused to sign it and the deal fell through.  However, the operators from the north saw that the mine was worth fighting for, and when the miners were ready to begin to ship ore they were enjoined, and the matter will now go into the Kern county court for adjustment.  Mr. Burcham expects to go from this city direct to Bakersfield.  (Los Angeles Herald).”   – The Californian

“SUPERIOR COURT NOTES—Monday October 28–  Stanton vs. Singleton et al—Defendants given ten days further time to make their appearance in court.”   — The Californian

November 28, 1895: “If half the stories are true which come up from the Goler region, near the Mojave Desert, Kern County, some of the mines there are abnormally rich.” – San Francisco Cal

The Honorable Pat Reddy Was a Famous Lawyer, and State Senator From Inyo County, Cal. He Was Reteamed by Singleton, Burcham and Mooers to represent them in their Legal Problems with O. B. Stanton and McGee. As Part of This Deal He obtained an Option to purchase a Quarter Interest in The Mine That Was to Become the Yellow Aster –Photo Courtesy of Inyo County Museum

November 29, 1895: “GOLD IN DEATH VALLEY – Captain Reddy Tells About the New Mining District. THE RICH OLYMPUS VEINS. Find Gold Dust so Fine That It Blows Away in the Wind— A Region of Promise. The Hon. Patrick Reddy and his brother, Captain Ned Reddy, have just returned from a ten days’ trip to Randsborough, the new mining district situated some fifty miles northeast of Mojave and ten miles due east of the Goler mines, discovered twenty-five or thirty years ago by the man whose name they bear. The Randsborough mines also bear the name of their discoverer, a Mr. Rand, who was a famous discoverer of gold mines in South Africa. “The new district was first discovered in April of this year,” said Captain Ned Reddy, “and it already gives promise of being one of the richest quartz and placer mines in the State. The great drawback, as usual ‘with all mines in the Death Valley and Mojave region, is the scarcity of wood and water. There is greasewood for all domestic purposes, and when mills are built crude oil will be shipped or hauled by freight teams from Los Angeles to furnish fuel for the furnaces. “To get water in sufficient quantity is quite another thing. All water used in the camp is brought in by teams from Cow Wells, some twelve miles distant. These wells are forty feet deep, and were sunk years ago by the Goler people. It is believed that water can be had within three miles of the mines by sinking to the depth of 150 feet in the bed of an old dry lake. “There are twenty-live locations in the district. The principal ones are the Rand and the Olympus. The Olympus shows a vein of twelve-foot ore that will assay from $10 to $1500 a ton. The Rand has a shaft down twelve feet, showing a ledge six feet wide that assays from $75.00 to $200 a ton. “There is free gold all over the hills, and a man with a dry rocker can make from $6 to $7 a day, and then not save more than 50 per cent of the gold, as it is so fine that it is blown away with the worthless dust. “The discovery of the Olympus was quite an accident. Men were on top of the hill with a horse and scraper removing the dirt to the little mesa below, there to be run through the dry washer, when the twelve-foot ledge of gold quartz was uncovered. “The principal locators are John Singleton, Burcham and the Mooers. They with some others have located about all the valuable quartz ledges, but in the absence of the proper facilities for working quartz they are running the dry washer. “Myself and Brother,” continued Captain Reddy, “went from here to Mojave by train. There we secured a private conveyance and drove back fifty miles over the road made by J. W. Searles in hauling borax from his marsh near Death Valley. “The road was in prime condition and we made the trip without difficulty. We were six nights in camp, and bitter cold nights’ they were, too. The elevation is about 4800 feet above sea level. There is one eating-house, one saloon, three dwelling-houses and fifteen or twenty tents. There is no rooming-house in the camp, and I would advise men going there to carry their blankets. But in the present state of affairs it would be well for poor men to stay away until capital takes hold of the place and builds mills and sinks wells. This, in my opinion, will be but a short time, as the mines are among the very best in the State. “Patrick Reddy visited the mines in the interest of a client, whose troubles were amicably settled, and the little camp is now prosperous and happy in the dawn of a prosperous day.” – San Francisco Call

January 27, 1896: “RANDSBURG—JANUARY 25—The axiom that silver comes in ledges and gold is where you find it seems to be a self evident proposition enough, but what has agitated the grey matter in the craniums of many prospectors is “Where did the gold from that has supplied the dry diggings of Goler, Red Rock, Summit, Last Chance and other camps east of Mojave? Messrs. Burcham, Mooers, and Singleton, who had been working the Goler and Summit diggings with more or less success for two years, determined after the wet winter of ’94 and ’95 (when the dry process was no longer feasible at the surface) to try and solve the problem, and solve it they did.  There was an old legend of ledges of fabulous richness in a range of mountains about ten miles south of where old man Goler first pitched his tent, since become famous at Goler mining camp. F. M. Moors, with W. J. Langdon and B. F. McGee made a hurried trip to the spot in the winter of ’94 and found very find gold in a canyon running northeast and southwest to the summit of a mountain, which the aneroid indicated as 4800 feet altitude.  There was no evidence of prehistoric “wash” and they came to the conclusion that the gold came from nearby ledges decomposed. The stiration of the mica schist and porphyry float indicated glacial action, and a hunt for the ledges that gave up the gold began.  Following up the main canyon they came upon numerous porphyry dykes with walls of trachyte and mica schist.  Some specimens of this rock were sent to Los Angeles for assay, but getting no returns the place was abandoned.

Three Men, a Few Supplies and This Wagon Followed a Rainbow and Found a Fortune. Original Wagon Used by Burcham, Singleton and Mooers Rests on the Desert Floor Near the Yellow Aster Mine in 1957. It is Now on Display in the Yard of the Rand Desert Museum. -- Bonanza Magazine

Nevertheless Messrs. Mooers, and Singleton could not rest satisfied without paying a visit to the locality, and last April with a well-equipped outfit for a long stay, started for what is destined to be one of the richest  gold camps on the Pacific coast.  Following up the same canyon they came upon quartz outcropping standing seven feet above the surface, a chip of which assayed at $70. Here they sunk a fifteen foot shaft and developed a ledge six feet wide between well-defined walls of porphery and mica schist, the vein on the wall assaying for two feet $97.50.  They then began prospecting for other ledges and located fourteen other claims. It first appeared that the “__ass” first claim located was simply ___per from the mother lode, a vast body of ore running northeast and southwest, 30 feet wide and by mill tests running from $48 to $1440 per ton.  There is a stratum in this enormous ledge that will yield anywhere from $300 to the latter figure per ton. The mountain is covered with “float” showing free gold as large as wheat grains to the naked eye, and from two to four feet of decomposed quartz from which two men last week in 5 ½ days took out $193.33 with a “dry washer.”  The gold is very fine, hardly perceptible on the “riffle board” until water touches it, is very heavy and assays at the mint $10.50 Development work was at once begun on this ledge and thirty-six tons (two car loads) were hauled by the Searle’s Borax team to Mojave and shipped to the Selby works in San Francisco.  Then the injunction suit brought by your former townsman O. B. Stanton and tried before Judge Van Dyke of Los Angeles at Bakersfield caused a temporary suspension of development, but after the injunction was raised, development was resumed and some astounding discoveries made. Parallel with the “Olympus” (the mother lode) is another ledge called the “Trilby”, running northeast and southwest, of a bluish grey quartz colored with hematite of iron red, eight feet wide, the striatum on the hanging wall assaying $2942.  Repeated trials by pounding up one quarter pound of the rock in a mortar and washing in a horn spoon have showed this rock to run one dollar and a half per pound. .”   — The Californian

This Time Book Was Used by Rand Mountain Mining Company in 1896. Note the “Table Wages by the Day”, on the left. Use of this chart was beneficial to those who were mathematically challenged. It also eliminated errors due to math mistakes. In February of 1866 the work being accomplished was in the Trilby tunnel.

February 11, 1896: “MESSRS. BURCHAM, MOOERS AND SINGLETON have 150 tons of ore on the dump of the Olympus mine and have started a tunnel on the Trilby ledge adjoining, which is eight feet wide and from which good wages can be made by pounding up dry ore in a mortar.  A few tons of this rock milled will place them on their feet and enable them to erect a mill of their own.” — The Californian

February 11, 1896: “SOME EXPERTS FROM LOS ANGELES were recently in Randsburg and said they thought the reports they has heard were exaggerated.  When they saw the immense body of ore opened out on the Olympus thirty feet wide with its perfect walls, and every rock they picked up along the whole 1500 feet of the ledge showing free gold they said “the half had never been told.”  The owners of the above have received some very flattering offers for the Rand, Olympus, and Trilby group, but have declined them all as they prefer to thoroughly develop them themselves.  If it took years instead of months to build a stamp mill they have a practically inexhaustible supply bank from which to draw in the rich placer gravel of decomposed quartz lying on top of the Olympus and Trilby mountains, from which it is no trick for two men and a dry washer to take out from $100 to $200 per week. A mine in California will only sell for what is in sight and the owners of the “Rand” group wish it distinctly understood that they have nothing for sale at present.  The rains have somewhat restarted the dry washing, but it still pays handsomely to strip off the top and work the bed rock, which is the quartz itself decomposed.  When dry it pays as well as the grass roots as the bottom is from two to five feet deep. On New Year’s Day the owners of the Rand group resolved to give a chicken dinner.  Accordingly the chanticleers were purchased.  When the birds arrived, however, they proved to be two superb game cocks, and Mr. Singleton, who has and exceptional eye for the beautiful, refused to have them decapitated, so they grew and waxed fat, making their home in the topmost branch of a yucca palm, where, when the rosy morn began to tint the eastern sky they awoke the echoes of the home of the horned toad and the tarantula.  No alarm clock was needed to recall the slumbering miners from dreams of golden ledges to the stern reality of bacon eggs and drill pounding, until one fatal moonlight night when a muffled scream of a rooster startled the coyotes and night birds of the desert.  It also startled Mr. McCormack, who was sleeping in his tent hardby, and thinking it was coyote blazed away with his Colt’s 45, when something fell heavily to the ground and scampered away with a gunny sack under its arm and disappeared of the canyon.  Now, as there are no members of the Lime Kiln Club in camp, it is a source of much discussion what it could have been.  It, however, had a slight Hibernian accent and it is reported that the menu of a certain camp in South Randsburg was materially augmented. —OLYMPUS.” — The Californian

Getting Ready to Ship Ore at the Yellow Aster -- Tucker Photo Courtesy of Greg Bock

June 25, 1896: “Randsburg is the quartz camp. Patrick Reddy is here looking over the Burcham, Singleton and Moore claims, in which he has a quarter interest. This is known as the Olympus ofthe Rand group and is the original locate n in the camp. Two runs gave respectively $190 and $100 a ton milled at Cow Wells. The ledge is well defined, six feet wide and shows every indication of being permanent.”  - The Record Union

July 2, 1896: “RANDSBURG MINING DISTRICT—RANSBURG, (VIA MOJAVE) July 1, 1896—Randsburg, probably the richest gold mining camp in the United States , situated fifty miles northeast of Mojave, …… Hon. Pat Reddy left for San Francisco today to order a twenty-stamp mill for the Olympus mine, in which he owns a fourth interest.”  — Los Angeles Daily Times “Randsburg, which is attracting so much interest now, is fifty two miles from Mojave.  Senator P. Reddy and his partner, Campbell are interested in one of the leading mines there, the Rand.  They have arranged to bring water, and have sent to Los Angles for an oil-boring outfit.  In an old shaft which they abandoned on account of water running in it at a depth of 300 feet, they intend to put in a pump and pipe it to the mine, where they are erecting  a twenty stamp mill, which will run night and day.  They have an immense pile of ore, and will be unable to crush any for outside parties.  Several more stamp mills are being erected in other parts of the district.”  — Los Angeles Daily Times

July, 2 1896: “RANDSBURG MINING DISTRICT—RANSBURG, (VIA MOJAVE) July 1, 1896—Randsburg, probably the richest gold mining camp in the United States , situated fifty miles northeast of Mojave, ……Hon. Pat Reddy left for San Francisco today to order a twenty-stamp mill for the Olympus mine, in which he owns a fourth interest.”  — Los Angeles Daily Times

July 13, 1896: “Patrick Reddy Is at Randsburg and with his associates is actively preparing for the erection of a 20-stamp mill to work the ore from their group of mines. They will pipe water from Squaw Springs, some five miles away, pumping it for that distance, which can be done at small cost.” – The Herald

August 13, 1896: “BURCHAM, MOOERS AND SINGLETON have men at work on the Olympus, Yellow Aster and the Trilby mines, and have ore enough on the dump to keep the 10-stamp mill at Garlock at work night and day for weeks. Mr. Burcham, the superintendent, says the Tehachapi Pick and Pan, is a thorough miner and a rustler and keeps things on the move.” – The Herald

Olympus Tunnel Was One of the First Worked at the Yellow Aster Mine. Collection of Deric English

September 15, 1896: “OlympusMines (quartz) – This group lies ½ mile E. of Randsburg, at 4,450’ elevation and comprises the Big Horse, Burcham No. 1, Burcham No. 2, California, Mariposa, Mooers, Nancy Hanks, Olympus, Rand, Singleton, Tennessee, and Trilby.  Gold was discovered in the Randsburg Hills in the spring of 1895, and this group contains the first locations.  The veins are large and very rich, but owing to the want of milling facilities very little work has been done.  There seems to be two veins about 600’ apart, with quite a number of small stringers running at right angles between.  The strike of the large vein is N. E. and S. W. and the dip is 26 degrees N. W.  In the Olympus ground an open cut 40’ long and 7’ x 14’ incline shaft, 30’ deep, discloses the vein, showing 14’ of dirty yellow high grade quartz.  The hanging wall is diorite; the footwall has not been exposed.  Several hundred tons of rich ore are sacked, awaiting the mill now being erected at Koehn’s, 30 miles away, where a good supply of water (said to be 3 miner’s inches) has been obtained in wells.  F.M. Mooers, ET all of Randsburg, owners. “  — California State Mining Bureau, Thirteenth Report of the State Mineralogist for the Two Years Ending September 15, 1896.

Y. A.M.M. Time Book – This time book actually dates from prior to the name change of the mine to Yellow Aster Mining and Milling. At the time this book was used the mine was incorporated as the Rand Mountain Mining Company, of which Pat Reddy and Company owned a quarter interest. The other three quarters interest was owned by Singleton, Burcham and Mooers. It is interesting to note that of the nineteen employees working at this time two of them were owner, Burcham and Mooers and one was the brother of an owner, Ned Reddy.

October 18, 1896: “MINES AMD MINERS (Special Correspondence) I have made a thorough examination of the Randsburg district, a new mining camp located fifty miles east of Mojave, a station on the Southern Pacific, 100 miles north of Los Angeles. The traveler on arriving at Mojave will be surprised at the activity and the general stir. The ten to sixteen mule teams loading for Randsburg, gives it the appearance of a Western forwarding station. The six-horse Concord coaches, loaded to the top with passengers for the new El Dorado, reminds one of the days in California mining excitement. After being seated in a comfortable six-horse coach, the driver cracked the whip, and we were off at a five mile gait, through a level stretch of the desert. The first station after leaving Mojave is the Six Mile house, with plenty of water. The next station, sixteen miles, with water enough to run several stamp mills, and following that eight miles beyond, is the Cain (Koehn) springs, the point where Messrs. Cohn (Koehn?) Bros, of Mojave have built a 10-stamp mill, and are now treating twenty-five tons of ore per day that averages $50 to $60 per ton. They have also erected a very comfortable stone hotel for the accommodation of the travelers. Our next point was Cow Wells, a place of several hundred people, with two stamp mills, several stores, saloons and restaurants, with all the appearances of a live boom town. Three miles beyond, at the foot of the mountains, the Olympus Mining company has sunk a well, 100 feet, and has been rewarded with a two-inch flow, and is now piping it into Randsburg, a distance of ten miles. Continuing up the mountain, you come to the now famous Gold Camp, and find a beautiful location for a town. Your first impression will compel you to acknowledge that you are in a live western town, with the sound of hammer and saw the only music, and you will wonder how they have built in so short a time a place of this size. There are several good stocks of merchandise, to say nothing of the many saloons and restaurants; in fact all branches of trade are being represented, and all seem to be doing a rushing business. The citizens have laid out a government town site, and lots are selling on the main street as high as $500, and a great many cannot be bought for that price. As the lots continue to advance in price, the “Lot Jumpers” are doing good work, but the committee of safety guarantees protection to all. Located one mile east is the group of claims owned by the Olympus Mining company, with Pat Reddy, the noted criminal lawyer of San Francisco, as the manager. My first property to inspect was this one and on arriving at the shaft. I was met by the foreman, and when I stated that I was a representative of The Herald, and wished to give to the people of Southern California the true factor he afforded me a hearty welcome, and gave instructions to one of the men to show mc through the entire property. I expected to find a good healthy prospect, and was not looking for a fully developed mine, but I saw them mining from several points, ore that averages about $75 to $100 per ton in gold, but the beauty of the property is that the entire mountain can be run through a stamp mill with good results. To use the words of an old miner, when told that Mr. Reddy was now in San Francisco buying a 40-stamp mill, his remark was, that a 40-stamp mill could not stamp the ore now in sight in 100 years. It is undoubtedly a remarkable piece of property. Charles Lane, the well-known California miner, offered for this property $100,000 in cash. A short distance from this property is the Cannon (Kenyon) mine, owned by Mr. Cannon (Kenyon) and sons of San Bernardino County.

Rand Mountain Mining Company Stock Certificate-- This certificate was issued to Rose Burcham

They have a four foot vein, that when assorted averages $100 to the ton. They are doing all of their own work, and have taken out $6000 within the last few months. Their property is not for sale. A representative of the Moffat-Smith syndicate of Colorado offered $50,000 for a controlling interest. The adjoining claim is owned by the Butte Mining company, composed of five miners from Butte, Mont., who opened the property several months ago and the last ten days they prospected they lived on beans alone, but were compelled to deed a small interest three days before the ore was struck, for a barrel of water. They now employ a foreman and a superintendent, and all of them, including the water man are making; their homes in San Francisco. The property is not for sale. We inspected several other small properties, and they all look well. There several hundred men dry washing in. camp, making from $1 to $20 per day. The town is building very fast, and the number of arrivals is increasing every day. All classes seem to be taking advantage of the boom, including lawyers, doctors, and professional men of all kinds, but for working men at present, it offers no inducement. A new stage line will start next week from Barstow on the Southern California railroad. The stage ride will be the same distance from Mojave. In talking to the miners of this camp, they all acknowledge that the ore is here, and several old California miners claim it to be ahead of any other California discovery, while Cripple Creek men claim there is more ore in sight here now, than there was in Cripple Creek two years after it was discovered. Everyone seems to be preparing for a great boom, and men who own claims will not talk to you about selling out. It does not require an expert to Judge the camp, as the ore is here with the free gold in sight. I, myself, saw one pound of ore taken from the Butte mine and crushed in a hand mortar, which returned $1.10 in gold.” – The Herald

December 08, 1896: “A STEADY RUSH TO RANDSBURG – Patrick Reddy Returns Here After a Week in the Great Camp. Men Going in From Everywhere at the Rate of One Hundred a Day. Patrick Reddy, the widely known attorney and one or the owners of a rich gold mine in the Randsburg district, has returned here after a week’s absence at the mine. He says there is a big boom at Randsburg, the mines are all looking well, and he believes the district will prove one of the richest ever known. He was found at his law office yesterday, very busy trying to catch up his work. He said he did not have time for a detailed interview, but would in brief say that it looked like a coming great country to him. “As to the area of the rich region,” he said, “it is several hundred miles long, and it is known to be from forty to fifty miles in width. Both quartz and placer mines are found all over. In a general way the veins follow the north and south course of the hills. Taking it from east to west, a number of mountain and ranges are crossed. “There is water at Cow Wells, the place recently called Garlock, where there is an eight-stamp mill, two stamps run by steam direct. Another mill, one of ten stamps, is being erected. Plenty of water can be had by sinking. “Reddy, Campbell and Metson have a shaft 377 feet deep. At sixty feet water was struck, and it has been increasing rapidly. There is enough now for a 20-stamp mill. This mine is on the west side of the valley from the Randsburg mine.  All the Randsburg mines that have been worked for ore exclusively pay, and will pay. “It was estimated a week ago that there were from 1000 to 1500 men in the camp, and they are going in at the rate of about 100 a day from everywhere. It is very cool there. I had a fire in the cabin all the time I was down there. It was average winter weather. Up where most of the developed mines are it is much cooler. The altitude is some 4000 feet. The weather never gets hot. Even in summer it is pleasant. “There is another mill at Kain’s (Koehn’s) Spring. It is of five stamps and is running, and besides this there is machinery on the ground tor five stamps more. No doubt other mills will be erected there. Kain’s (Koehn’s) Spring is also on the west side of the valley. “On the eastern slope they are putting up a ten-stamp mill, and have found water that will be pumped into Randsburg.” l think it is the greatest gold field in California. The mines are not confined to a single range, but there is range after range, and the extent of the field east has not by any means been determined. As I see it there will be a great big camp there by the next year. I cannot compare the district with the Rand or Coolgardie, because I have not an intimate enough knowledge of those places. “Lots of capital is now coming into the Randsburg country for investment. This capital and the men that are going there will, I think, cause some great developments. It is in all respects a remarkable country.” – San Francisco Call

December 12, 1896: “MOST ALL OF THE MEN in camp are doing assessment work and some of them will have a hard job to it done before the first of the year.  The manager of the Rand Group has his men divided up into gangs of 2 and 3 and will do but little work in the large mines until all assessment work is done.  The Olympus is down about 135 feet and the Yellow Aster a little less.  They expect to start a tunnel at the foot of the hill.  All the dirt that will not pay to mill will be used to fill up the town lots back of the St. Elmo Hotel.  – The Californian

Yellow Aster Crew in front of Trilby Tunnel -- Collection of Deric English

December 19, 1896: “MOST ALL THE MEN in camp are doing assessment work and some of them will have a hard job of it to be done before the first of the year.  The manager of the Rand Group has his men divided up into gangs of 2 and 3 and will do but little work in the large mines until all assessment work is done.  The Olympus is down about 135 feet and the Yellow Aster a little less.  They expect to start a tunnel at the foot of the hill.  All the dirt that will not pay to mill will be used to fill up the town lots back of the St. Elmo Hotel.”  — The Californian


January 21, 1897: “THE ORIGINAL LOCATERS IN THE CAMP were F. M. Mooers, C. A. Burcham and John Singleton. They took Pat Reddy the noted criminal lawyer in with them to perfect their titles and Reddy put up $ 2000 working capital Last May the claim to the mines was perfected and the firm of Mooers, Burcham, Singleton, and Reddy was incorporated.   The firm has spent  many thousands of dollars in tunneling and in sinking shafts into its best ledges and has developed the Olympus, Yellow Aster and Trilby mines more than others All last summer the mountain sides yielded ore that averaged $ 94 a ton and on some days it ran into rock that was worth over$ 130 a ton .  The firm keeps its business a secret but the story goes about Randsburg that from September to November it sold over$ 185,000 worth of ore and it has not begun to reach the ledges where the richest rock is to be found is an open secret among all the miners in and about Randsburg that Charles D Lane the wealthiest miner on the Pacific coast today offered the firm of Mooers Burcham Singleton, and Reddy$ 650,000 for a fourth interest in their property when he was at Randsburg a few weeks ago.”  – The Salt Lake Herald

February 16 1897: “NO AUTHENTIC INFORMATION can be obtained as to the result of the bond held by Pat Reddy on three-fourths of the Rand Group.  This bond expired on the 10th of this month.  Mrs. Burcham, to whom the money was to be paid, is in Los Angeles, and Mr. Burcham left for that city Friday last.  This is a matter in which everybody is interested, and the news that the sale had been consummated would be hailed with delight.”  — The Los Angeles Daily Times

March 21, 1897: “PAT REDDY CAME IN LAST NIGHT.  Mr. Reddy is one of the owners of the Rand group of mines and has a bond on that property.  Coli Will A. Harris, attorney of Los Angeles, is also here representing some of the parties interested, and today Reddy, Robinosn, Burcham, Moors and Harris are in conference endeavoring to adjust their differences and arrive at a conclusion so that work, which has been suspended on those properties since February 10, may be again resumed.  It is sincerely hoped that they may be successful as opening up of the Rand group of mines means much too every interest in Randsburg.”  — The Los Angeles Daily Times

April 22, 1897: “WORK HAS NOT YET BEEN RESUMED on the Rand group of mines, and it is not known when it will be.  The owners are keeping their own counsel, but the indications are that something will be done soon.”  – The Los Angeles Daily Times

May 1897: “THE SUMMIT DISTRICT, eight miles north by east, is worked today and it was there that in January of 1894, Mr. W.J Langdon, and others were placer mining.  One day while looking for water he saw the smoke of a campfire and made for it.  He found an Indian, Panamint Tom, and his squaw, camped by what is now known as Squaw Springs, some five and one half miles East of Randsburg. He stayed all night at the springs, and in the morning came over the hill to the place now famous as the Rand, prospecting; for the sign of minerals were discoverable all the way.  He went down into a little wash and found placer gold by dry panning,–the first so far as recorded taken from the Rand, He went back to the Summit and got water, provisions, and tools, in a wagon, and with three other miners, McGee, Mooers, and Cummings, came back and made the first locations in the district.  These were placer locations for dry washing.  Mr. Langdon wrote an account of the find, which was reported in the Tulare, Register between January 15 and March 1st, 1894.  He, however, soon left California and went East. F. M Mooers, C. A. Burcham, and John Singleton, later returned to the new placers and spent some time there, dry panning six or seven dollars per day apiece.  It was they who found the first quartz lead, which they named for the famous African gold fields, the Rand, and relocated under this name on April 25, 1897.  Langdon saw the notice of the notice of this strike in the papers at Carlin, Nevada, and returned to the Rand, to fight for his claim to the ground. The Rand mine is now closed, pending, it is said, and the outcome of this litigation, and other suits brought on a bond for a deed given by two of the three owners, but not ratified by the third.  The desire on the part of several parties to get possession of the property is, according to all mining history, the best proof of value.”  — Overland Magazine

May 21, 1897: “RANDSBURG, May 18—(Regular Correspondence.) Active work was begun this week on the Rand group of mines, which have been shut down for two months, on account of litigation which has been almost continuous since the mines were opened. The parties owning three-fourths of the property have appointed Col. C. C. Lane at manager, and a force of ten men are at work on the Rand, Olympus and the Yellow Aster. Pat Reddy, who owns the other quarter interest, has posted notices that he will not be responsible for any debts incurred. The Rand mines are very rich and no money has ever been expended in production of ore, the mines paying “from, the grass roots down.” The ore, yields’ by free milling process from $80++ to $125 a ton. The greatest amount of work has been done on the Olympus and the Yellow Aster in the way of tunnels, shafts and inclines. The veins are from three to fourteen feet. There are numerous stringers on these properties that will mill thousands of dollars a ton.”  – The Herald
June 11, 1897: “THE LOS ANGELES DAILY TIMES, June 10, 1897 — Like many other valuable properties, the famous Rand mines have come to the objects of litigation.  A suit for partition and sale and for the appointment of a receiver pendent lite was filed yesterday in the United States Circuit Court.  The complainant is the Rand Mountain Mining Company, and the suit is brought against the Sunlight Gold Mining Company, Rose L. Burcham, C. A. Burcham; John Singleton, Patrick Reddy, J. C. Campbell, and W. H. Metson, says the Los Angeles Times.” Page 1 of the Deed Assigning all of Sunlight Minings Interest in The Olympus, Trilby, and Yellow Aster Claims to John Singleton for The Sum of Ten Dollars in Gold. All the parties to the suit are owners of the quartz and placer claims in the Rand Mining District known respectively as the Olympus, Trilby, Singleton, Johannesburg, and Desert View claims.  The Rand Mountain Mining Company owns one-fourth of the whole property, and the remainder is owned in proportions varying from one-fourth to one twelfth by the respondents.   C. A. Burcham, Mrs. Rose Burcham, and John Singleton owned one-half of the property, which was sold to Patrick Reddy for $100,000, so the complaint alleges, although the consideration was not accepted when tendered.  Mr. Reddy in turn disposed of his right to the Sunlight Mining Company. It is alleged that in the early days of the mining district expenses were incurred which are not yet settled, and that, in consequence, liens upon the property are held by Messrs. Reddy, Campbell and Metson.  The complainant prays that the nature of these claims be set forth, and that a decree of partition and sale may be given by the court in order that all claims may be satisfactorily adjusted.  In the meantime a receiver pendent lite is prayed for, as it is alleged that the claims, which are valued at $250,000, are being managed in a wasteful manner by certain of the respondents.  It is understood that this is a friendly suit as far as Reddy, Campbell and Metson are concerned.  June 21 was set for the hearing. –

Sunlight Mine Deed Signature Page -- Collection of Rand Desert Museum

June 12, 1897: “THERE ARE NOW ABOUT EIGHTEEN men at work on the Rand group in different places, and some very good ore is being taken out, sacked, and hauled to the mill in Garlock.  Such is the extent and richness of these mines that it is to be hoped that the time is not far distant when 1800, instead of eighteen, men will be at work in the rich hills of the Rand group of mines just back of Randsburg.” — The Los Angeles Daily Times

June 22 1897: “PROSPECTING ON THE RAND Mountain Mining Company’s group goes merrily on and rich discoveries are only a matter of time. Thirty-six men are at work on the Rand group, and they are taking out about twenty tons of ore per day which is being shipped with encouraging regularity.  There is a growing feeling that Colonel C. C. Lane will work the Rand group “in the queen’s taste,” unless legal cyclones strike too hard.”  — The Californian
July 11, 1897: “WHAT IS KNOWN at the Big Rand Group comprised of the Olympus, Yellow Aster, Trilby and some other claims of lesser note.  They were all located by Moors and Singleton.  Pat Reddy, the Inyo Attorney, who owns a quarter-interest in them, and it, is said here that he is striving to get control of them.  He has not succeeded in doing so yet, but he has succeeded in throwing the properties into litigation, where they are likely to remain as long as he can keep them there, or until he gets what he wants.  For nearly a year he has been trying to shut down the mines in the hope of getting the other shareholders to accept (h) is offers.  About six months ago he succeeded in getting about three-fourths of them to bond their interest to him for $150,000.  During the pendency of the bond, suit was brought by William Langdon of this place, who claimed to be, with others, the original locators of the claims.  The result of that was to cloud the title to the properties and Pat Reddy refused to make good his bond.  The other share-holders representing the three-quarters interest combined and started in to work the mines.  There are at present time thirty-five men at work in the Olympus, and last month’s work is reported to have shown net profits of $9000 which were divided among the owners, Pat Reddy getting his share.

Sunlight Deed -- Notary Page -- Collection of Rand Desert Museum

Much regret is expressed here at the litigation over these claims, for, as one of the owners remarked “We could work 100 men to advantage on these mines.”  Great things are expected from the Big Rand when it gets into smooth water and no litigation to bother it.” — The Los Angeles Daily Times

September 11, 1897: “LYING SOUTHWEST of Randsburg and almost in the center of the district is the Big Rand Mountain, on which are a number of locations, among them the Olympus, the Rand, Trilby, Mariposa, and Singleton.  Some people here will tell you that the Big Rand is in their opinion, the keystone of these diggings, and that as the Big Rand goes so goes the camp.  That however is taking an extremely partial view of the case, for enough work has been done on hundreds of other locations, and enough results obtained in other mines in this district, to clearly establish that the camp is not in any large degree dependent on the mines located on the Big Rand.  But apart from that, it is satisfaction to all here to know that these Big Rand mines are showing up so well, and that some of them have proven themselves good payers. When the first gold-bearing quartz veins were discovered in the Randsburg hills, two years ago, some of the first locations made, were on this mountain.  They were made by Moors and Singleton, and the first one they recorded was named the Olympus.  From that the group, which comprises twelve claims, is known as the Olympus mines.  Owing to disagreements amongst the owners work on them has been frequently stopped, except on the Olympus, which for some months past has been paying over all expenses from $9000 to $10,000 a month.  There are two parallel veins, about six hundred feet apart on this mountain, with a number of small stringers running at right angles between them.  The strike of the larger of these two veins is northeast and southwest and the dip is 26 deg., northwest”.  – The Los Angeles Daily Times.
November 4, 1897: “THE RAND MINES are seven in number, Rand, Olympus, Trilby, Yellow Aster, Nancy Hanks, California, and Big Horse.  The principal ones so far developed are the Rand, Olympus, Trilby, and Yellow Aster.  Nearly all the work has been done on these four and a force of men is now working on each.  The men who own these mines have not worked together always harmoniously, but their differences have not stopped work, and they now have fifty-one men on the pay roll.  It is understood that a settlement of their difficulties was about accomplished last week, which included the purchase of Mr. Reddy’s interest by the other partners, but at the last minute some unforeseen difficulties arose which for a time at least will delay the settlement. The Rand group is doubtless the richest deposit of mineral in this camp and also the most extensive.  A great deal of money has been expended in developing the mines, making roads, building chutes, laying car tracks, and in the purchase of cars, buckets, and mining machinery.  All this and much more besides have been taken from the mines.  At the present they are shipping about twenty four tones per day to Garlock, and keep both the Visalia, and Henry mills running constantly.  If everything else in the district was to fall, there is plenty of material in the Rand Group and Rand Hill to make a good town of Randsburg. ” — The Los Angeles Daily Time

November 27, 1897: “JUDGE WELLBORN of the United States Court has issued a decree fixing the ownership of the Rand group of mines. The property reverts to the original discovers, Messrs. Singleton, Mooers, and Burcham.  Articles of incorporation have been filed with Secretary of State of Nevada under the corporate name of “Yellow Aster Mining and Milling Company.”  The company has thought it best to change the name from the Rand Mining Company which was given to it by the discoverers when they were the only people on the ground, because the name has been appropriated by other companies, who have issued stock now commonly knows at “three for a nickel scrip” which possibly may have misled the public into believing they has some connection with the original Rand group. The Yellow Aster Company comprises all of the 18 mines in that group and no other.  These mines have paid 5 per cent dividends on a million dollars the past year, besides the expenses of new machinery and litigation. All of this has been taken from the Olympus, Trilby, and Rand properties. In doing the assessment on the south group of the Rand mines a large ledge was struck on the Nancy Hanks, from which was taken out $1025.  This ledge embraces four claims, being 6000 feet in length. ” – The Los Angeles Daily Times

December 6, 1897: “THE RAND COMPANY are now employing sixty-five men and paying off every ten days so that the money goes at once into circulation.  They have leased the Visalia Mill at Garlock and are running it day and night. Superintendent Lane of the Rand has gone, and John Singleton, one of the owners, is now in charge of the work as superintendent.  The company has changed their plans somewhat, and instead of paying the men twice a month as now, will make in the future a monthly payment of all employees.  They are taking out lots of ore, and have something like seventy-five men at work. ” — The Los Angeles Daily Times

December 19, 1897:  “Colonel Lane, for many months superintendent of the Yellow Aster Mining Company (the Rand), has resigned his position.” –The Herald

December 19, 1897:  “On Thursday afternoon a rumor was current in town that a 20-foot ledge of $10 ore had been opened up on the Trilby mine, one of the Rand group.”—The Herald
December 29, 1897: “THE (R) AND PEOPLE have again struck some very rich ore in the Lilly mine, and a large body of it.  The company is now working eighty men, and contemplates increasing their force.  Their output is about $20,000 per month. ” — The Los Angeles Daily Times [JBP1]
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