Primary Mining Districts of Plumas County

11 of the Primary Gold Mining Districts of Plumas County
Plumas Country represents the northern extent of the gold mining that occurs in the Sierra Nevada Range. The gravels here were some of the richest to be found anywhere.


1. Butte Valley


The main mining areas in Butte Valley include the North Fork Feather River, Indian Creek and Rush Creek. This was primarily a placer mining district with gold recovered by standard methods. Other deposits of note around Lotís Diggings and Dutch Hill were from ancient river beds from the tertiary age.


2. Crescent Mills


Most of the gold from this district comes from quartz mines with some smaller placer activity in the existing creeks in the area. The largest producing mines have been the Crescent Mills, Green Mountain, Indian Valley and McGill- Standard mines. Indian Creek is the main site for placer mining activity. Ancient gravels have been worked near Round Valley Reservoir.


3. Edmanton


Ancient gold-bearing gravels were historically worked a couple miles west of Edmanton. These gravels are also exposed on Spanish Peak. Other exposed gravels are present three miles southeast of Edmanton. Some hydraulic mining has occurred near Grub Flat.


4. Genesee


Gold and copper have both been mined in this area. Good gold was found in Indian Valley in 1850 and brought considerable interest to the area. In the 1860s, rich copper ores were also found and worked with interest. Many of the smaller tributaries that eventually flow into Indian Creek are auriferous including Little Grizzly, Red Clover and Wards Creek. Tertiary gravels were mined at Taylor diggings.


5. Granite Basin


This district is located in western Plumas County and parts of Butte County. Most gold from here has come from hard rock mines. The Reynolds mine is NW of Merrimac and produced gold-rich quartz. Some mining activity has taken place around Buckeye including drift mining and hydraulic. The Horseshoe mine is located on Little North Fork and processed placers in the river.


6. Johnsville


This is one of the major mining districts on the Middle Fork Feather River that is responsible for considerable gold discoveries. The existing river was the site of considerable mining activity during the Gold Rush of í49. All gravels in this area were productive for mining. No shortage of ancient river channels are present and were heavily worked as well. The quartz mines centered around Eureka Peak were quite rich. The Plumas Eureka was the largest mine on Eureka Peak.


7. La Porte


This is the largest placer gold district in Plumas County. La Porte was a major hub of mining activity in this region during the heyday of mining. Hydraulic mining resulted in most of the gold mined here due to abundant water and extensive gravel deposits. Major deposits have been worked at Secret Diggings and Barnards. Dutch Diggins was another large operation.


8. Lights Canon


Sluicing of modern stream gravels have occurred primarily in Cooks Canon and at Lightís Creek. Some old gravels have been worked near the head of Lightís Creek, Mountain Meadow and Moonlight. Lone Rock Creek carries gold as well. As with most other areas in Plumas County, there has been considerable hydraulic activity in some areas.


9. Quincy


Quincy now is the population center of the county. No shortage of mining has taken place here, with much occurring along the Middle Fork Feather River. English Bar and Nelson Point both had tertiary deposits. Considerable old river gravels high above the existing river are found all around town, many are quite rich in gold. Not all have been worked due to water limitations and thick gravels.

Read: Finding Gold in Quincy, California


10. Sawpit Flat


This is yet another mining district comprised mainly of Tertiary river systems in which drift mining and hydraulic operations resulted in most of the production. Richmond Hill and Union Hill were large mines operating in the 1860s. Other gold deposits are known northwest of Onion Valley. Many of the better gravels are capped with volcanic flows but are exposed throughout the district.


11. Spanish Ranch


East of Spanish Ranch there was a mine at Gopher HIll. Southwest was Grub Flat. Shores Hill and Badger Hill gold mines were washed and resulted in considerable gold. Fales Hill, Bean Hill, Chaparral Hill all yielded gold.

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