Potholes California is a former gold mining camp and ghost town located in Imperial County, California. The town is located on the western side of the Colorado River near the present day Laguna Dam. The location was first mined by Spanish Miners in 1871. These early workings and miners were lost during the Yuma War, 1850 – 1853.Continue Reading →
In 1907, Gold was discovered at the town site which would be known as Nivloc Nevada by a Native American prospector. The town derived its name from for the former owners “Colvin” who operated the site in 1923. The name spelled backwards was Nivloc and such is the haste in the Nevadan desert.
The original mining operations were short lived. The town experienced a bit of a resurgence in the 1930s. The town never amounted to much boasting only one saloon. At its height of operation from 1940 to 1943 the town could claim a post office. Between 1937 and 1943 the small town produced between $2 and $3 million dollars of Gold and Silver. The 400,000 tons of ore was pulled from mines reaching depths 440 feet and 600 feet of below the surface. During this time, the mines of Nivloc ranked as Nevada’s number one silver producer.Continue Reading →
The Anniversary Mine and Narrows trail is truly a fun place to go and the location has a little bit of everything. This is a very short side trail found off the northern shore of Lake Mead and suitable for almost any vehicle.
Located in the Muddy Mountain Wilderness of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the Anniversary Mine was founded in 1921. The colomanite mine operated at seven years until 1928 and produced an estimation 200,000 tons of ore. The mine is located a short ways off North Shore Road (167). There exist some foundations, and tunnels along with some minor infrastructure of the operation.
Should you drive down into the wash you have the opportunity to continue on to the left, or you can turn right and drive towards the mine narrows located at the end of the canyon. The only obstacle is right at the beginning and and easy to get past with some clearance. Once past the trail is just a wash, but do yourself a favor. Park the 4×4 and take the time to walk it. Just past the beginning obstacle, there are some tunnels about 20 feet up on the side of the canyon wall, which are fun hike up to and explore.
There are things to explore all along the route to the narrows and it is a great excuse the get out of the truck. The slot canyon is about 1/4 of a mile in length and a bit tight in the few places. This is a nice place to hike on a hot day.
Anniversary Mine 4×4 Trail and Destination
A discovery by the famous prospector “Shorty Harris“, led to the founding on the Goldbelt Springs mining district off Hunter Mountain Road in Death Valley National Park, California. The earliest known occupants of this area were a seven member family Saline Valley Panamint Indians who, despite the higher elevation, would winter in the area.
Gold was discovered in the area, just a few miles away by Frank “Shorty” Harris in the later half of 1904. Following “Shorty”, miners migrated into the area utilizing a route from Ubehebe via Willow Springs. Soon, small claims were staked out on the northwest slope of Hunter Mountain. Harris, L.P. McGarry, E.G. Padgett (Pegot or Paggett), Joseph Simpson, and W.D. Frey were among the first credited with strikes. In January, 1902 the Gold Belt Mining District was established and recorded.
Initially the site looked good for mining development. There was a water source and fuel to facilitate mining operations. High grade gold ore with small silver veins was discovered on four foot ledges prompted optimism in the sight. The ore was assayed at $8 – $176 or $38 to $240 in gold depending upon the source. On this news, plans for a town were starting to be developed.
In February of 1905, enough capital was available from investors from San Francisco to allowed expanded exploration of the area. Not much is available of this exploration, however by the fall of 1905 and exploration was abandoned. It could be inferred that the ore quantity and quality was not sufficient to justify the expense to those investors.
Regardless, smaller operations continued in the area of Goldbelt Sprints, from 1905 to 1910 including operations by Annetta Rittenhouse of Los Angeles, H.W. Eichbaum of Venice, L.P. McGarry of Pioneer, and W.S. Ball of Rhyolite.
In 1916, “Shorty” Harris again road into the area near Hunter Mountain. World War I had increased the price of tungsten. Harris pulling from his previous exploration probably knew of the mineral, and soon found a tungsten mine. By March, he had produce several hundred pounds of tungsten ore worth some $1500.00.
Throughout the 1940s and 1960’s various small operations were mining the area. This would include mines called Calmet and also nearby Quackenbush. The site today has smaller ruins. A truck and mine are still visible and an ore sorting platform is standing at the Calmet location. The wooden structures are completely flattened by time and the elements.
|Location||Hunter Mountain, Death Valley National Park, California|
|Production||Gold, Silver, Copper, Tungsten, Talc|
|Year Productive||1904 –|
The Keane Wonder Mine is perhaps the most visited gold mining facility in Death Valley National Park in eastern California. Mining operations began in December 0f 1903 by Jack Keane. Keane and his partner Domingo Etcharren while Keane was prospecting in the Chloride Cliffs of the Funeral mountains. The names was originally called “Keane’s Wonder” when gold and silver were found.
Trying to raise capital, Keane and Etharren sold options to Joseph DeLamar from New York. Despite modest gold production, DeLamar quite his claims. It was not until 1906 when Homer Wilson and John Campbell bought into the mine that operations really starting producing. Homer Wilson was also involved in founding nearby Chloride City.
1907 saw the full operations in place. Operationally, the mine build a tramway up into the mountains, which was used to haul 70 tons of gold rich ore each day. The tramway climbed into the mountains over 1500 feet in elevation and was over one mile long.
The Keane Wonder mine survived the Panic of 1907. Operationally, the lack of water and high desert heat caused the mine to operated in the cooler air of the desert night. The mine continued until 1912, when it was sold and subsequently closed.
The Keane Wonder Mine was included in the founding of Death Valley National Monument. The popular site was closed to visitors by the NPS in 2008 over fears of collapse of underground tunnels, toxins and the structural stability of the cables used in the tramway. The location was opened to the public again in 2017.
Today, the aerial tramway, stamp mill, storage containers and assorted artifacts litter the grounds.