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Yuma County Arizona

Yuma County ranks fourth among Arizona's gold-producing counties. Nine districts produced 771,000 ounces of gold, while many other areas produced less than 10,000 ounces each.

All regional watercourses and bench gravels in the Tank mountains contain placer gold. At the east foot of mountains, the Puzzles, Golden Harp, Ramey, and Regal mines and prospects, all worked by dry wash methods, are said to contain coarse placer gold.

In Bouse, there are many old mines, and I was told that in dark red rhyolite, plainly visible fine gold flakes (almost impossible to mine successfully). If you go northwest 5 miles from Bouse, you will find the Old Maid Mine, intermittently operated for lode gold. If you go 1 mile farther northwest, in the low, narrow north part of the Plomosa mountains, you will find the location of the Dutchman Mine, which was a lode gold (visible flakes in copper-stained shale). If you go north 28 miles, in the area of the Bill William's River, the Planet district, 2 miles south of the river, the Planet Lease was a lode gold mine.

In the Castle Dome district, 31 road miles northeast of Dove in the southcentral part of the county in the south part of the Castle Dome mountains 20-25 miles north of Wellton, they had a total production,1863-1959, of 9,500-10,000 ounces of placer and lode gold. There are many area old mines for both placer and lode. The Big Eye Mine was a significant producer of lode gold. In addition, many gravel deposits east and south of the Big Eye contain placer gold.

At Cibola, due south of Blythe, California, on the east side of Colorado River, reached 2.5 miles south of Quartzite via U.S. 95, turn west on a dirt road to this almost totally abandoned camp, in the area mine dumps you can find gold.

The Dome district, 20 miles east by northeast of Yuma, discovered in 1858, had a total production through 1959 of 24,765 ounces of gold, primarily before 1865, from an area 2 miles long by .24 X .75 mile wide. Altogether, this region embraces about 5,000 square. Mile between U.S. 60, 70, and U.S. 80, east of the Colorado River to the Maricopa county line, with hundreds of old mines and prospects working primarily for gold. If you go west 1.5 miles from Dome, in Monitor Gulch and all tributary gulches and terraces, rich placers can be found. In the south and central parts of township 7, 8, south and range 18, 19, and 20 west, canyons around Muggins Peak and some rich placers are also at the base of Long Mountain. If you go out 10 miles from Dome by rough road to Burro Canyon, trending south from Muggins Peak, some rich early placers still produce gold. East of Dome, in the Muggins mountains, in the south and central parts of township 8, 9 south, and range 8, 9, and 10 west, there are many dry placer gravel deposits.

In the Kofa district, about 27 air miles southeast of Quartzite, reached via U.S. 95 and an east trending dirt road, you will find the King of Arizona and North Star mines, which had a total production, between 1896-1941, of 237,000 ounces of lode gold. The Kofa Queen Mine was also a significant producer in the same area. North of the King of Arizona, in a gulch draining west from the north part of detached hills, all areas outwash gravel deposits in debris to 70 feet thick over a 60-acre parcel containing placer gold.

In Laguna, just north of the Gila River and east of the Colorado River in the south end of the Laguna mountains, in range 21 and 22 west total district production to 1959 of 10,500 ounces of gold. Many local placers have proven to be rich at the Laguna Dam, the area at the east end about 10 miles northeast of Yuma, the Las Flores area, and the McPhaul area. Potholes and tributary gulches can find colors and nuggets all along the Colorado River. North of the Gila River and the Gila mountains, in range 21 and 22 west embracing the south, southeast, and southwest portions of the Laguna or San Pablo mountains, also many placer deposits.

Northeast of Parker by 5 miles is the site of the Rio Vista North Side Mine (12 claims) for lode gold, North of Parker; you will find the Capilano Mine, shallow shaft, and open cuts which produced rich lode gold with copper. If you go northeast 5-8 miles, you will find the Cienega district, total production, 1870-1959, exceeding 10,000 ounces from numerous mines, all of which were lode gold and copper. Finally, if you go northeast 7 miles, you will find the Lion Hill Mine and 25-ton amalgamation mill, and 1-mile northeast, the Billy Mack Mine, a sound producer of lode gold.

In Quartzite, on top of the highest peak visible from town to the east, a one-person mine produced some lode gold. If you go southeast 5 miles, the Plomosa district includes east, and west. margins of the La Posa Plain and covers 7,500 acres, the Plomosa placers; Old miners worked these gravels extensively to depths of 70 feet. These are dry wash placers. In the area of the Dome Rock mountains, there are 3 locations worth mentioning: (a) La Cholla, in an area 4-5 miles long south of bordering the east foot of mountains, with abundant placer sands at bedrock level; (b) Middle Camp, at the east foot of mountains, just north of the Oro Fino Placers, you can find an area 4-5 mile E-W and 1 mile N-S, rich seams of gravel at bedrock rich placer gold; (c) Oro Fino, at the east foot of mountains, the Oro Fino placers, rich placers as well. If you go west of Quartzite by 8 miles, you can find the Goodman Mine in the La Paz district. It produced free milling gold. Suppose you go west 9 miles and 6 miles east of the Colorado River, along the west side of the Dome mountains, extensive placers and several lode mines with a total production between 1862-1934, of about 100,000 gold ounces from dry wash placers and 4,000 ounces of lode gold from area veins. All regional gulches and tributaries draining west slopes of mountains contain dry placer gravels. At Goodman Arroyo and Arroyo La Paz, rich placers can be found. In Ferrar Gulch, the most productive placers in the district; out 22 miles from Quartzite, at the west base of the Dome Rock mountains, in township 2N and range 21W the Trigo placers. All area arroyo bottom gravels in an ancient bar and channel gravels contain placer gold in coarse, flat grains. If you go south on U.S. 95 to Stone Cabin, turn east into the southwest margin of the Kofa mountains, and you will find the Kofa district. This is also a rich area.

Southeast of Salome by 5 miles, at the north base of the Harquahala mountains, the Hercules Mine, productive 1909-34 for lode gold. If you go south 8 miles, in Harquahala gulch, gravel deposits worked 1886-87 for its placer gold. If you go south 10 miles, the Ellsworth district in the Little Harquahala mountains had a total production through 1959 of about 134,000 ounces of lode and placer gold. There were many great mines at Harquahala, a ghost town: the Harquahala Bonanza, Extension, Summit Lode, Narrow Gauge, and Grand View mines; the Golden Eagle and subsidiary shafts all for lode gold. If you go south 11 miles, at the south base of the Harquahala mountains is the location of the Socorro Mine and mill. Take the road branching east from the Salome-Hassayampa road for 5 miles, near the south base of the Harquahala mountains; the Hidden Treasure Mine can be found it had fine to course nugget gold. If you go 8 miles farther along the road, toward Aguila, on the plain south of the Harquahala mountains, the Alaskan Mine was discovered in 1920 for its lode gold content. Suppose you head southeast, along rd. Across the desert to Tonopah, there are many regional old mines dumps with gold showings. The area of the Tank mountains is also rich in placer gold.

Near Vicksburg, northeast 30 miles, to Alamo Spring, which is accessible by 13-mile dirt road branching west from the Sheep Tanks road at the east entrance of New Water Pass, is the location of the Alamo Region: Within 1 mile of the south of the margin of the Little Horn mountains and .25 miles south of the southeast corner. Township 1N range 15W is the location of the Sheep Tanks Mine (and district) and 100-ton cyanide mill, active 1909-34 for its lode gold. Nearby, the Resolution and Black Eagle Claims all contain lode gold. If you go 5 miles east of Sheep Tank and just north of the road to Palomas, the Davis Prospect, shallow cuts made 1931-32 for lode gold.

In Wellton, go south 6 miles to the Wellton Hills district. Such mines as the Double Eagle, Poorman, Draghi, Donaldson, Wanamaker, Welltonia, Northern, and Shirley May are contained in this district.

If you go southeast of Wenden by 5 miles, at the north base of the Harquahala mountains, the San Marcose Mine was a high-grade lode gold mine.

East of Yuma by 16 miles on 1-8 (U.S. 80), take a dirt road south to the west base of the Gila mountains; the La Fortuna district contains many outcrops of gold-bearing quartz. Also, the Fortuna Mine, a major producer, intermittently worked for lode gold. Also, many area prospects, cuts, and drifts have gold showings. Three miles north of the Fortuna, on the crest of the Gila mountains, rough terrain, gold-bearing quartz outcrops, some traceable for 1 mile, very little prospected for lode and free milling gold. If you go northeast on U.S. 95 to McPhaul bridge, .8 mile north take branch road 3.2 miles to the southeast margin of the Laguna mountains, the Las Flores district, numerous area mines, including the Traeger, Golden Queen, and Pandino claim all for lode gold. Go to the area of the Castle Dome mountains, an old camp of Thumb Butte, then 10 miles east across mountains to the east side. The Big Eye Mine produced lode gold.

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