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A Spin on Fortune's Wheel: The Life of a Mine

When he was ten miles from Placerville, in 1851, gold fever struck J.D. Borthwick hard. Five men slung heavy pickaxes by the roadside. They looked like “so many grave diggers,” but much more determined. Borthwick, who had traveled from New York, across the isthmus of Panama and up the Pacific Coast, realized he’d finally reached the California gold fields. But instead of elation, a “disagreeable consciousness” made him jittery: “We might be passing over huge masses of gold, only concealed from us by an inch or two of earth.”

Then he widened his view and wondered why the men still hacked away. Everywhere the earth had already been “uptorn” and sifted. “A confused mass of heaps of dirt and piles of stones” lay beside countless holes and filled-in ravines. Mounds rerouted a creek. Empty cabins crumbled as quickly as they’d been constructed. All heralded the passing of the glitter.

“The cream of such diggings had already been taken.” Borthwick feared he’d reached the land of instant prosperity too late.

The same depression gloomed George Valentine King when he came to Julian in late 1870. Even though gold had been discovered less than a year before, King swore he’d missed his eureka.

Late in 1869, A.E. “Fred” Coleman, a black man who lived on Volcan Mountain, watered his horse at a creek. Something shimmered beneath the trickle. He pulled a skillet from his pack, dipped in to the sandy bottom, and scooped up a few sparkling flakes. Unlike his neighbors, Coleman had worked in the gold fields up north and recognized what he saw.

Word spread. Men with no practical experience became miners. Some, inflamed by the promise of sudden riches, hiked the 60 miles from the coast to scoop silt from the creek, or “gopher” small holes on the shore.

“People here are positively wild,” wrote a miner. “Such a thing as a sober thought is unknown. The rumor comes that Tom, Dick, or Harry has ‘struck it’ and forthwith the whole camp rushes pell-mell for the ‘new diggings.’”

Clusters of tents and brush shanties grew into Julian City, a boom town Drue Bailey named after his cousin Mike (because it “was a better name than Bailey”). Similar to what Alonzo Horton was doing at the harbor, Bailey platted the area to include schools and churches.

When George King arrived, the mining camp at Gold Hill had over 1000 residents. Claims dotted the landscape in Julian and over the mountain in Banner, where mines like the Redman and Ready Relief produced tons of rich ore. Only a fierce, three-day storm in early February 1871 halted production.

King and three friends built a one-room cabin near Banner. Duncan McClelland, Joe Lang, and Jim Coyne did menial jobs so that King, a mining engineer, could prospect the wild mountains nearby. Amid tales of vast wealth — possibly tall, possibly true — the men were going broke. King became so destitute, he pawned his revolver. By February, even that money was running out.

Early one morning he treated himself to a fresh loaf of bread from Mrs. Bell’s boarding house. He filled his canteen and followed the creek south, up a steep canyon. His training had told him: flakes below, veins above. Small amounts of gold must trickle down from a higher source. But he’d combed the region many times and saw few signs of luster.

As he followed water indicators, cottonwoods, and willows, King figured this could be his last try. Occasionally he saw tiny glimmers, but these were just “color,” tinted teasers that never amounted to much. He searched the steep canyon walls, dark green bulges of manzanita, greasewood, tick bush, and sumac. Nothing.

Three miles from Banner, and a good two miles from the nearest mine, King decided to eat his humble meal on a boulder several hundred feet above the creek.

Under an iron-gray sky, he wondered how he’d feed himself in the coming days: chopping wood for $1.50 a cord or working at a mine, doing the back-breaking labor that made some lucky stiff rich.

As he ate, King idly tapped a steady rhythm on the rock with his pick. Just force of habit, the right hand punctuating his thoughts.

A piece of quartz dislodged. When he turned it over, King couldn’t believe his eyes: gold. GOLD!!! Sparkling like starlight, shining like the heavenly host!

King immediately marked his boundaries with piles of rocks. At that time, U.S. mining laws allowed only 200 feet for a claim, and another 200 for the discoverer. If a man made a big strike, this was enough. But, writes Myrtle Botts, “if the vein in its richness extended beyond the boundary line, [the discoverer] confided to a friend and had him locate the remaining open ground.”

After he set his location monuments, King took ore samples down to Banner. He showed his friends. On February 20, they formed a partnership and staked 200-by-200 foot, end-by-end claims next to King’s. They called their find the Golden Chariot Mine.

About a week later, when King showed samples at the new Banner store, Jim Duffy exclaimed, “Why, Mike Mulherron and me sat on that rock to eat our lunch last week!”

“The croppings,” wrote the Union in March, “indicate a heavy deposit of gold-bearing quartz; a great deal exceedingly rich.” Within days after the article appeared, hordes of prospectors climbed the precipitous slopes. Chinking picks echoed day and — by candlelight — night.

King and his partners scoured the surface where he made his discovery (which, when they dug down, became the 350 foot “Whitney Shaft”). They found an “ore zone.” But to crush the rock, they had to use cumbersome hand mortars, iron balls and bowls, and panned it with spoons made from a steer’s horn.

Unlike the diggings in Northern California, big nuggets were rare in the Cuyamacas. What the miners saw in abundance, writes Maurice Donnelly, was “flour” gold: “fine hair-like and plate-like particules of submicroscopic size up to nuggets measuring in fractions of inches.” The largest resembled “grains of wheat.”

The miners experienced a variation of Borthwick’s “disagreeable consciousness.” Gold lay beneath them, possibly a major strike. They knew that, but couldn’t afford the equipment to dig it out.

On the plus side, even with mere hand tools, each made between $4 and $5 a day. And they worked for themselves, not the company store.

Picking, sledge-hammering, and hand-crushing — all took too much effort. So the men began packing the most promising ore on burros down to Banner. Never more than 15 feet wide, a nonstop zigzag down 1000 feet, the route was perilous. People who said the road from Julian to Banner was “the worst mule trail in the world” hadn’t descended from the Golden Chariot with ore-laden jackasses.

“It is a perfect spider performance,” wrote a Union reporter: the cliffs were so steep, “one stumble…and kingdom come would be a present reality. You have to keep ‘juking’ your head to retain it on your shoulders.”

Banner had two two-stamp mills. Steam-driven, the devices had 800-pound crushers, able to make over 100 strokes per minute. The mill, which made a noise “like 50 horses” and “shook the earth for miles around,” could mash 28 tons of ore a day into pieces smaller than three inches.

The Golden Chariot’s first five tons earned $6000, enough to hire workers and buy better equipment, including their own stamp mill.

By October 1871, the Golden Chariot produced what seemed like endless bullion. Deeming themselves as blessed as Midas, the owners made a bet: they would pay $50 to “anyone who could pick a piece of ore off the dump [the pile of uncrushed rock] that did not show free gold.”

The terrain quickened the digging. The soft ground of Julian required pickaxes. Around Banner, the ground was so hard it called for dynamite. Miners used to say: “Where there are trees, the ground is soft; where no trees, we have to blast.” One result, writes Dan Forrest Taylor, was that “the mines in Banner did not usually have to be timbered, as did those in Julian.”

In August, 1872, the Golden Chariot had sunk three inclined shafts along a southeast-northeast axis — five-feet-square and 100 to 125 feet deep — and averaged around $9000 per week in shipments. John Roberts, a mining engineer from San Francisco, inspected the Golden Chariot and declared that it had no “true ledge” of gold; it was at best a “pocket” mine — a false alarm. Like most of the deposits in the area, said Roberts, the gold comes from “shallow underground workings”: the deeper the dig, the smaller the return. Roberts warned Bay Area capitalists to stop investing in the Julian-Banner mines, especially the Golden Chariot, which wasn’t “worth more than $10,000.”

Perhaps because of the negative report, but more likely that he wanted a less stressful life, early in 1873 George King sold his share to his partners for $25,000, even though they had 400 tons of uncrushed ore on the dump. This wasn’t the first time, writes Leland Fetzer, “that a discoverer sold out for cash rather than face the formidable problems, presumably, that working a mine with partners presented.”

Roberts’s report also scared away Bay Area investors. Near the end of 1873, a soft-spoken, bearded man dressed like a “vag” — a vagrant — in tattered overalls, asked for work at the Golden Chariot. The partners, now employing 25 men, said they were full up. Before dawn the next day, the bearded man made the three-mile uphill trek and asked again. And the next. Finally they gave him a job as a “mucker,” an unskilled laborer who did heavy lifting.

A week later, the man gathered the partners together and offered to buy the mine.

“Sure,” they said, astonished at the pauper’s audacity. “It’s yours for $100,000.”

The man didn’t blink. He handed the men a sack of gold worth $2000: a one-month option on the property, he said. He’d bring the rest within 30 days. He waved adios and headed down the mountain.

Two weeks later, a letter arrived: the bearded man had the money and would pay them in San Diego.

At the meeting, the owners didn’t recognize the man. Clean-shaven in a three-piece suit, he made a confession: he was only able to raise $96,000. Would they still sell the Golden Chariot?

Of course! Unfazed by Roberts’s report — a ploy to discourage other investors? — new owners Mark McDonald and W.A. Whitney were San Franciscans. They immediately made improvements, including a ten-stamp mill in Banner. They paid Joe Swycaffer $1790 to carve a safer road down the mountainside. Twenty Indians did the work.

In its first two years, according to various assessments, the Golden Chariot produced $500,000 in gold. The new owners hired another 25 men. They sunk more shafts and cross-cut the mine with tunnels. While digging an air shaft, they discovered a rich, two-foot-wide ledge they called “Little Joker.”

But the deeper they probed, as Roberts had predicted, the less the mine produced. “The strange thing about these diggings,” writes Horace Fenton Wilcox, “the pay dirt was all in the pipes and chimneys [vertical deposits]. When they got down to the bottom of the pipes that was the end of them.”

Although the new owners profited from their investment, by 1876 the Golden Chariot had tapped out. Where once it cleared $1000 a day, it produced a mere pittance. The mine closed in 1877. It reopened in the 1880s, in 1913, and 1924, but each time closed within a year.

In 1922, a geological report by A.B. Dodd claimed that the mine could still “produce several times the amount already taken out.” In 1934, heeding Dodd’s words, investors sought new deposits but shut down within three years. Thieves stole the ten-stamp mill and other machines. They camouflaged and hauled them to San Diego. Caught in the act, the men were tried and convicted. The machinery rusted on a dock in San Diego.

State Mining Bureau reports estimate that the Golden Chariot yielded $700,000 and had “the richest gold in the state.” The figure places the mine second in the region behind the Stonewall, which had the deepest diggings (up to 600 feet) and earned $2,000,000.

Today the Golden Chariot’s a ghost town. On a ledge splotched with coffee-brown buckwheat, galvanized steel outbuildings contrast with old machine-works and three dead trucks, reddish-orange with rust. Five shafts have caved in. The sixth, the “Working Shaft,” has muddy water thick as oatmeal at the bottom. Occasional clusters of dead coals recall when the Cedar Fire swept down the mountain and torched the property.

In 1989, Dwight Juras, PhD, concluded his report on the Golden Chariot: “Faulting and vein offsets suggest that many areas of the mine near present development may contain considerable unmined segments of high grade veins.”

The mine today triggers both variations of Borthwick’s “disagreeable consciousness.” Everything, from rusty poles jutting from dirt-clogged shafts to the trebly-reinforced concrete dynamite shed, says the gleam is long gone. But reports like Dodd’s and Juras’s suggest that, just maybe, Fortune’s Wheel could spin anew. After all, the sun returns every day, thanks to Apollo pulling it across the sky with his golden chariot. ■
Jeff Smith

QUOTATIONS:

  1. Horace Fenton Wilcox: “Minin’ camps is like toadstools. They spring up overnight, so to speak; then, when the pay dirt’s gone, they usually blow up higher than a kite.”
  2. Dan Forrest Taylor: “Imagine 800 men turned loose in the mountains with as little sense and as much frisky-ness as so many wild horses.”
  3. Michael J. Wallawender: “I have panned nuggets from streams in Colorado and Northern California and watched as, on two occasions in the Golden Chariot Mine, finely crushed rock washed over a simple, table-like device left behind a gleaming trail of the magic powder. Each time, the excitement was unabated by previous experiences.”

SOURCES:
Botts, Myrtle, History of Julian, Julian, 1969.

Donnelly, Maurice, “Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Julian District,” California Division of Mines Report, 1934.

Dodd, A.B., “Report on the Golden Chariot Mine San Diego County California,” San Francisco, 1922; ms. at Donn Bree Realty, Santa Ysabel.

Ellsberg, Helen, Mines of Julian, Glendale, 1972.

Fetzer, Leland, A Good Camp: Gold Mines of Julian and the Cuyamacas, San Diego, 2002; The Cuyamacas: The Story of San Diego’s High Country, San Diego, 2009.

Hill, Mary, Gold: The California Story, Berkeley, 1999.

Juras, Dwight S., “A Geologic Report on the Golden Chariot Mine, San Diego County,” San Mateo, 1989.

LeMenager, Charles R., Julian City and Cuyamaca Country, Ramona, 1992.

Taylor, Dan Forest, “Julian Gold,” ms. at San Diego History Center.

Wilcox, Horace Fenton, “Memories of the Gold Stampede to Julian,” Touring Topics, February 1932.

Wallawender, Michael J., The Peninsular Ranges: A Geological Guide to San Diego’s Back Country, Dubuque, 2000.

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When he was ten miles from Placerville, in 1851, gold fever struck J.D. Borthwick hard. Five men slung heavy pickaxes by the roadside. They looked like “so many grave diggers,” but much more determined. Borthwick, who had traveled from New York, across the isthmus of Panama and up the Pacific Coast, realized he’d finally reached the California gold fields. But instead of elation, a “disagreeable consciousness” made him jittery: “We might be passing over huge masses of gold, only concealed from us by an inch or two of earth.”

Then he widened his view and wondered why the men still hacked away. Everywhere the earth had already been “uptorn” and sifted. “A confused mass of heaps of dirt and piles of stones” lay beside countless holes and filled-in ravines. Mounds rerouted a creek. Empty cabins crumbled as quickly as they’d been constructed. All heralded the passing of the glitter.

“The cream of such diggings had already been taken.” Borthwick feared he’d reached the land of instant prosperity too late.

The same depression gloomed George Valentine King when he came to Julian in late 1870. Even though gold had been discovered less than a year before, King swore he’d missed his eureka.

Late in 1869, A.E. “Fred” Coleman, a black man who lived on Volcan Mountain, watered his horse at a creek. Something shimmered beneath the trickle. He pulled a skillet from his pack, dipped in to the sandy bottom, and scooped up a few sparkling flakes. Unlike his neighbors, Coleman had worked in the gold fields up north and recognized what he saw.

Word spread. Men with no practical experience became miners. Some, inflamed by the promise of sudden riches, hiked the 60 miles from the coast to scoop silt from the creek, or “gopher” small holes on the shore.

“People here are positively wild,” wrote a miner. “Such a thing as a sober thought is unknown. The rumor comes that Tom, Dick, or Harry has ‘struck it’ and forthwith the whole camp rushes pell-mell for the ‘new diggings.’”

Clusters of tents and brush shanties grew into Julian City, a boom town Drue Bailey named after his cousin Mike (because it “was a better name than Bailey”). Similar to what Alonzo Horton was doing at the harbor, Bailey platted the area to include schools and churches.

When George King arrived, the mining camp at Gold Hill had over 1000 residents. Claims dotted the landscape in Julian and over the mountain in Banner, where mines like the Redman and Ready Relief produced tons of rich ore. Only a fierce, three-day storm in early February 1871 halted production.

King and three friends built a one-room cabin near Banner. Duncan McClelland, Joe Lang, and Jim Coyne did menial jobs so that King, a mining engineer, could prospect the wild mountains nearby. Amid tales of vast wealth — possibly tall, possibly true — the men were going broke. King became so destitute, he pawned his revolver. By February, even that money was running out.

Early one morning he treated himself to a fresh loaf of bread from Mrs. Bell’s boarding house. He filled his canteen and followed the creek south, up a steep canyon. His training had told him: flakes below, veins above. Small amounts of gold must trickle down from a higher source. But he’d combed the region many times and saw few signs of luster.

As he followed water indicators, cottonwoods, and willows, King figured this could be his last try. Occasionally he saw tiny glimmers, but these were just “color,” tinted teasers that never amounted to much. He searched the steep canyon walls, dark green bulges of manzanita, greasewood, tick bush, and sumac. Nothing.

Three miles from Banner, and a good two miles from the nearest mine, King decided to eat his humble meal on a boulder several hundred feet above the creek.

Under an iron-gray sky, he wondered how he’d feed himself in the coming days: chopping wood for $1.50 a cord or working at a mine, doing the back-breaking labor that made some lucky stiff rich.

As he ate, King idly tapped a steady rhythm on the rock with his pick. Just force of habit, the right hand punctuating his thoughts.

A piece of quartz dislodged. When he turned it over, King couldn’t believe his eyes: gold. GOLD!!! Sparkling like starlight, shining like the heavenly host!

King immediately marked his boundaries with piles of rocks. At that time, U.S. mining laws allowed only 200 feet for a claim, and another 200 for the discoverer. If a man made a big strike, this was enough. But, writes Myrtle Botts, “if the vein in its richness extended beyond the boundary line, [the discoverer] confided to a friend and had him locate the remaining open ground.”

After he set his location monuments, King took ore samples down to Banner. He showed his friends. On February 20, they formed a partnership and staked 200-by-200 foot, end-by-end claims next to King’s. They called their find the Golden Chariot Mine.

About a week later, when King showed samples at the new Banner store, Jim Duffy exclaimed, “Why, Mike Mulherron and me sat on that rock to eat our lunch last week!”

“The croppings,” wrote the Union in March, “indicate a heavy deposit of gold-bearing quartz; a great deal exceedingly rich.” Within days after the article appeared, hordes of prospectors climbed the precipitous slopes. Chinking picks echoed day and — by candlelight — night.

King and his partners scoured the surface where he made his discovery (which, when they dug down, became the 350 foot “Whitney Shaft”). They found an “ore zone.” But to crush the rock, they had to use cumbersome hand mortars, iron balls and bowls, and panned it with spoons made from a steer’s horn.

Unlike the diggings in Northern California, big nuggets were rare in the Cuyamacas. What the miners saw in abundance, writes Maurice Donnelly, was “flour” gold: “fine hair-like and plate-like particules of submicroscopic size up to nuggets measuring in fractions of inches.” The largest resembled “grains of wheat.”

The miners experienced a variation of Borthwick’s “disagreeable consciousness.” Gold lay beneath them, possibly a major strike. They knew that, but couldn’t afford the equipment to dig it out.

On the plus side, even with mere hand tools, each made between $4 and $5 a day. And they worked for themselves, not the company store.

Picking, sledge-hammering, and hand-crushing — all took too much effort. So the men began packing the most promising ore on burros down to Banner. Never more than 15 feet wide, a nonstop zigzag down 1000 feet, the route was perilous. People who said the road from Julian to Banner was “the worst mule trail in the world” hadn’t descended from the Golden Chariot with ore-laden jackasses.

“It is a perfect spider performance,” wrote a Union reporter: the cliffs were so steep, “one stumble…and kingdom come would be a present reality. You have to keep ‘juking’ your head to retain it on your shoulders.”

Banner had two two-stamp mills. Steam-driven, the devices had 800-pound crushers, able to make over 100 strokes per minute. The mill, which made a noise “like 50 horses” and “shook the earth for miles around,” could mash 28 tons of ore a day into pieces smaller than three inches.

The Golden Chariot’s first five tons earned $6000, enough to hire workers and buy better equipment, including their own stamp mill.

By October 1871, the Golden Chariot produced what seemed like endless bullion. Deeming themselves as blessed as Midas, the owners made a bet: they would pay $50 to “anyone who could pick a piece of ore off the dump [the pile of uncrushed rock] that did not show free gold.”

The terrain quickened the digging. The soft ground of Julian required pickaxes. Around Banner, the ground was so hard it called for dynamite. Miners used to say: “Where there are trees, the ground is soft; where no trees, we have to blast.” One result, writes Dan Forrest Taylor, was that “the mines in Banner did not usually have to be timbered, as did those in Julian.”

In August, 1872, the Golden Chariot had sunk three inclined shafts along a southeast-northeast axis — five-feet-square and 100 to 125 feet deep — and averaged around $9000 per week in shipments. John Roberts, a mining engineer from San Francisco, inspected the Golden Chariot and declared that it had no “true ledge” of gold; it was at best a “pocket” mine — a false alarm. Like most of the deposits in the area, said Roberts, the gold comes from “shallow underground workings”: the deeper the dig, the smaller the return. Roberts warned Bay Area capitalists to stop investing in the Julian-Banner mines, especially the Golden Chariot, which wasn’t “worth more than $10,000.”

Perhaps because of the negative report, but more likely that he wanted a less stressful life, early in 1873 George King sold his share to his partners for $25,000, even though they had 400 tons of uncrushed ore on the dump. This wasn’t the first time, writes Leland Fetzer, “that a discoverer sold out for cash rather than face the formidable problems, presumably, that working a mine with partners presented.”

Roberts’s report also scared away Bay Area investors. Near the end of 1873, a soft-spoken, bearded man dressed like a “vag” — a vagrant — in tattered overalls, asked for work at the Golden Chariot. The partners, now employing 25 men, said they were full up. Before dawn the next day, the bearded man made the three-mile uphill trek and asked again. And the next. Finally they gave him a job as a “mucker,” an unskilled laborer who did heavy lifting.

A week later, the man gathered the partners together and offered to buy the mine.

“Sure,” they said, astonished at the pauper’s audacity. “It’s yours for $100,000.”

The man didn’t blink. He handed the men a sack of gold worth $2000: a one-month option on the property, he said. He’d bring the rest within 30 days. He waved adios and headed down the mountain.

Two weeks later, a letter arrived: the bearded man had the money and would pay them in San Diego.

At the meeting, the owners didn’t recognize the man. Clean-shaven in a three-piece suit, he made a confession: he was only able to raise $96,000. Would they still sell the Golden Chariot?

Of course! Unfazed by Roberts’s report — a ploy to discourage other investors? — new owners Mark McDonald and W.A. Whitney were San Franciscans. They immediately made improvements, including a ten-stamp mill in Banner. They paid Joe Swycaffer $1790 to carve a safer road down the mountainside. Twenty Indians did the work.

In its first two years, according to various assessments, the Golden Chariot produced $500,000 in gold. The new owners hired another 25 men. They sunk more shafts and cross-cut the mine with tunnels. While digging an air shaft, they discovered a rich, two-foot-wide ledge they called “Little Joker.”

But the deeper they probed, as Roberts had predicted, the less the mine produced. “The strange thing about these diggings,” writes Horace Fenton Wilcox, “the pay dirt was all in the pipes and chimneys [vertical deposits]. When they got down to the bottom of the pipes that was the end of them.”

Although the new owners profited from their investment, by 1876 the Golden Chariot had tapped out. Where once it cleared $1000 a day, it produced a mere pittance. The mine closed in 1877. It reopened in the 1880s, in 1913, and 1924, but each time closed within a year.

In 1922, a geological report by A.B. Dodd claimed that the mine could still “produce several times the amount already taken out.” In 1934, heeding Dodd’s words, investors sought new deposits but shut down within three years. Thieves stole the ten-stamp mill and other machines. They camouflaged and hauled them to San Diego. Caught in the act, the men were tried and convicted. The machinery rusted on a dock in San Diego.

State Mining Bureau reports estimate that the Golden Chariot yielded $700,000 and had “the richest gold in the state.” The figure places the mine second in the region behind the Stonewall, which had the deepest diggings (up to 600 feet) and earned $2,000,000.

Today the Golden Chariot’s a ghost town. On a ledge splotched with coffee-brown buckwheat, galvanized steel outbuildings contrast with old machine-works and three dead trucks, reddish-orange with rust. Five shafts have caved in. The sixth, the “Working Shaft,” has muddy water thick as oatmeal at the bottom. Occasional clusters of dead coals recall when the Cedar Fire swept down the mountain and torched the property.

In 1989, Dwight Juras, PhD, concluded his report on the Golden Chariot: “Faulting and vein offsets suggest that many areas of the mine near present development may contain considerable unmined segments of high grade veins.”

The mine today triggers both variations of Borthwick’s “disagreeable consciousness.” Everything, from rusty poles jutting from dirt-clogged shafts to the trebly-reinforced concrete dynamite shed, says the gleam is long gone. But reports like Dodd’s and Juras’s suggest that, just maybe, Fortune’s Wheel could spin anew. After all, the sun returns every day, thanks to Apollo pulling it across the sky with his golden chariot. ■
Jeff Smith

QUOTATIONS:

  1. Horace Fenton Wilcox: “Minin’ camps is like toadstools. They spring up overnight, so to speak; then, when the pay dirt’s gone, they usually blow up higher than a kite.”
  2. Dan Forrest Taylor: “Imagine 800 men turned loose in the mountains with as little sense and as much frisky-ness as so many wild horses.”
  3. Michael J. Wallawender: “I have panned nuggets from streams in Colorado and Northern California and watched as, on two occasions in the Golden Chariot Mine, finely crushed rock washed over a simple, table-like device left behind a gleaming trail of the magic powder. Each time, the excitement was unabated by previous experiences.”

SOURCES:
Botts, Myrtle, History of Julian, Julian, 1969.

Donnelly, Maurice, “Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Julian District,” California Division of Mines Report, 1934.

Dodd, A.B., “Report on the Golden Chariot Mine San Diego County California,” San Francisco, 1922; ms. at Donn Bree Realty, Santa Ysabel.

Ellsberg, Helen, Mines of Julian, Glendale, 1972.

Fetzer, Leland, A Good Camp: Gold Mines of Julian and the Cuyamacas, San Diego, 2002; The Cuyamacas: The Story of San Diego’s High Country, San Diego, 2009.

Hill, Mary, Gold: The California Story, Berkeley, 1999.

Juras, Dwight S., “A Geologic Report on the Golden Chariot Mine, San Diego County,” San Mateo, 1989.

LeMenager, Charles R., Julian City and Cuyamaca Country, Ramona, 1992.

Taylor, Dan Forest, “Julian Gold,” ms. at San Diego History Center.

Wilcox, Horace Fenton, “Memories of the Gold Stampede to Julian,” Touring Topics, February 1932.

Wallawender, Michael J., The Peninsular Ranges: A Geological Guide to San Diego’s Back Country, Dubuque, 2000.

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1

soooooo much better than watching 'Alaska Gold' or whatever the latest reality TV show -- Mr. Smith always finds just the right angle to approach these stories with (the histories) -- and this one is no exception - what a wonderful way to dig for our own historical gold in San Diego!

Feb. 27, 2011

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