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Early Gold Mines Surround Scott Valley’s Deadwood

The mining community of Deadwood, located on the old road that connected Scott Valley to Yreka, Calif., only 10 miles from Fort Jones, was an important town from 1851 to 1861.  The California-Oregon stage line stopped there until 1886.  Deadwood, Cherry, Indian, French, and McAdam creeks all yielded significant amounts of placer gold during the early years of the gold rush and later to dredging.

The principal lode-gold around Deadwood came from the Franklin, Cherry Hill, Golden Eagle, New York, Mt. Vernon, and Schroeder mines.  The New York and the Golden Eagle were highly profitable; the Golden Eagle alone producing roughly $1 million worth of gold before 1931.

An official report in 1916 said that “Gold dredging is being successfully pursued on McAdams Creek, near Fort Jones; and as there are many acres of gravel that will yield handsome returns by this method of mining, dredging bids to become one of the important industries of the county.”  

Although only tailings and rusted artifacts are left today, some mines have been intermittently worked in recent years. The veins occur in greenstone with some slate and contain free gold and varying amounts of sulfides.


Sources: Koschmann, A. H., and M. H. Bergendahl. "Siskiyou County California Gold Production." Western Mining History. N.p., 16 July 2009. Web. 17 Apr. 2016. http://www.westernmininghistory.com/articles/21/page1;  Perazzo, Peggy B., and George Perazzo. "Siskiyou County." Stone Quarries and Beyond. Ed. George Perazzo. N.p., 27 June 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2016. .

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.