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As It Was: Mine Produces a Rich Vein in 1897 after Being Sold

In 1897, an important mining strike was made in Northern California only four weeks after the claim was purchased for a pittance.

William Hanson, an Etna blacksmith, had sold the mine to J.R. Cleaver for about $300.  It was located five miles from Sawyers Bar, in what was called White’s Gulch.

According to an item in the Scott Valley Advance newspaper of Oct. 21, 1897, “Mr. Cleaver began prospecting the property immediately, and two weeks ago he unearthed a five-foot ledge … It is said that it will yield from $40 to $50 per ton.”

Within a week of the sale, two partners had joined Cleaver and sent a pack train with a load of ore to a mill, where it was determined the three men would be able “to keep a pack animal busy” for some time.

The newspaper said, “The strike is regarded as one of the most important ones ever made in the vicinity of Sawyers Bar, and if the ledge proves permanent in size and richness it will mean the opening up of a big mine which will infuse new life into the metropolis of the Salmon River country.”


Calkins, Henry M. “Big Mining Strike: On White's Gulch Near Sawyers Bar.” The Scott Valley Advance, October 21, 1897, vol 1 no 1.

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.