Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Mining History: Desert Fever

Inyo County:

COSO

Located within the confines of the United States Naval Weapons Center at China Lake, Coso was discovered in March 1860 by Dr. E. Darwin French who was looking for the Lost Gunsight Mine. His Butte Mining and Exploring Company quickly changed it's name to the Coso Gold and Silver Company. A group of prospectors who had been following French's expedition down from Oroville soon arrived, staked their claims, and the Coso Mining District was organized. This second group was led by Dr. Samuel Gregg George. W. I. Henderson, a member of this party discovered and named Telescope Peak, and was among the first white men to view the hot mud springs at Coso

Ore found in 1860 by M. H. Farley, a prospector in French's party, assayed over $1,000 per ton in silver and $20 per ton in gold. By June 24, 1860, 500 men had stormed into Coso. In August, mines were being discovered with ore assaying $2,000 or more of silver per ton. This caused a flurry of stock promotion companies trying to raise capital for a district plagued by unfriendly Indians who for many years had visited the healthy hot springs, and probably feared their loss to white miners

After several battles with the Indians, and with the stockholding public having lost trust in Coso's riches, the Anglo miners abandoned Coso, leaving it to “Mexicans” who reorganized the district on March 23, 1868. The Coso Range experienced sporadic production during the l890s and again in the 1930s, though no activity approximated the fever of the l860s. However, $17,000 worth of cinnabar (mercury ore) was mined near Coso Hot Springs between 1929 and 1939. At the time of military land withdrawal, the area contained over 100 validated gold, silver, tungsten copper, zinc, and quicksilver mining claims, a rather large reserve of mineral wealth.



ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments

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