County Information

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Mariposa County California

Mariposa County is the southernmost of the Mother Lode counties and has had a long and productive gold mining history, with a total production of 2,144,500 ounces of gold recovered from 1880-1959 583,500 ounces came from placer operations. Following the closure of mining during World War II, the annual gold production has been about 1,000 ounces. There were very many important lode gold and placer gold producers. The Copper Queen Mine produced copper as a by-product of gold. In sections 9 and 10 of township 4S and range 15E, you will find the Fitch Mine, a rich lode gold producer. West of Bagby in Quaternary gravels along the Merced range, placers produced 50,000 ounces of gold between 1860-70. In Bear Valley, area mines, especially the Josephine, produced lode gold. In Coulterville, which is more or less central in the Mother Lode and East Belt areas, a northwest-trending zone 3-4 miles wide extending from Mormon Bar into Tuolumne County, had a total production of about 1,009,000 ounces of lode gold. The major mines include the Princeton, Pine Tree, Mt. Ophir, Original and Ferguson, Hite, and Mariposa, all producing rich lode gold deposits.

AQUA FRIA CREEK

Aqua Fria and Mariposa Creeks were the first placers discovered before 1849, with many rich placer gravels.

HORNITOS CREEK

In the Hornitos district, miners produced more than 500,000 gold ounces along Hornitos Creek in Quaternary gravels. This offers abundant placer gold for the panner.

JORDAN CREEK

You will find the Blanchard district in the northwest part of the county; it is located along the Tuolumne county line, just south of Jawbone Ridge; and on the ridge between Moore and Jordan Creeks. 4-5 miles northwest of Bower Cave. Many places in regional Tertiary gravels produced about 75,000 ounces of gold.

MARIPOSA CREEK

Aqua Fria and Mariposa Creeks were the first placers discovered before 1849, with many rich placer gravels. Two and a half miles south of Mariposa, in township 5S. In range 18E, you will find the Mormon Bar district with a total production of 75,000 gold ounces. Near the headwaters of Mariposa creek and its tributaries, rich placer gold is to be found. At Mormon Bar, an area of extensive dragline operations in the 1930s, rich placer gold is to be found. Southeast of Mariposa by 6 miles, the Silver Bar Mine can be located, and it was a rich lode gold producer.

MERCED RIVER

It is said to be rich in placer gold.

MOORE CREEK

You will find the Blanchard district in the northwest part of the county; it is located along the Tuolumne county line, just south of Jawbone Ridge; and on the ridge between Moore and Jordan Creeks. 4-5 miles northwest of Bower Cave. There are many placers in regional Tertiary gravels, which produced about 75,000 ounces of gold.

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