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John Daggett Develops Black Bear Gold Mine

 
 
Discovered in 1860, the Black Bear Mine was one of the most important quartz gold mines in Siskiyou County, Calif.  It was located along the Salmon River in the Liberty Mining District, nine miles south of Sawyer’s Bar. 

 
The mine yielded 200,000 ounces of gold and consisted of two rich veins, one running north and south and the other east and west. 
 
John Daggett owned and worked the mine off-and-on for many years, starting in 1862 and ending in 1885. Mule trains hauled much of the equipment from the Coast, while some arrived in large burden baskets carried by Indian women from neighboring tribes.
 
Daggett hired 300 Cornish miners to work the mine, which featured a 16-stamp mill. Later he hired Chinese miners.  When one of them was murdered, he hired a gunslinger to protect them.  
 
Californians elected Daggett to the State Assembly three times between 1858 and 1880.  He was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1882 and appointed Superintendent of the United States Mint in San Francisco in 1893, a position he held for four years.
 

 
 
Sources: Black Bear Mine. Yreka: Siskiyou County Library, Web. 23 Feb. 2014. 

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.