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Mining History: Desert Fever


San Bernardino County:

Death Valley Mine

The Death Valley Mine was discovered in 1906 by J. L. Bright of Kelso. In July, 1906, the Death Valley Gold Milling and Mining Company of Denver took over the mine, and by September, 1906, the camp of Dawson had sprung into existence, named after the directors of the company, the Dawson brothers. The first shipment of ore left during that month, consisting of several wagons full of ore hauled to Cima by a team of 12 horses. From Cima the ore was hauled via the Salt Lake Railroad and California Eastern to the Needles smelter. At the same time, the Arcalvada Mine, adjoining the Death Valley to the northwest, was active. Both companies mined rich lead-silver-gold ore running up to 634 ounces of silver and .48 ounces of gold per ton. 194

In January, 1907, the Death Valley Company made its first ore shipment to the American Smelting and Refining Company in Salt Lake. During September 1907, the Death Valley and Arcalvada companies merged to form the Death Valley Arcalvada Consolidated Mining Company, and by November there were 75 men employed. The mines were quite busy until June, 1908, when the company became involved in litigation which was not cleared up until 1915, although some mining continued throughout this period. In 1915 a new owner took over the property, and these operations continued until 1921. Water was pumped from the shafts until June 11, 1927, when the plant and mill were destroyed by fire. The mine had produced about $131,000, $93,000 before 1915. In 1930, there was a camp that could accommodate 100 men, a thirty-ton concentration plant and a 6-room residence. Today the residence still stands, as do 3 other buildings. The property is presently occupied. An electric line connects the camp with Cima. 195


Photos of the Death Valley Mine



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