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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns, Mining Camps,

and Other Formerly Inhabited Places in

MARIPOSA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA.

 

Locations beginning with M

 

 

MACIY’S BAR

This old placer gold-mining river-bar was possibly located on the Merced River west of Coulterville.  Actual location not determined.  It is under the waters of Lake McClure.

 

MALONE MINE

This hard rock gold mine was located directly on the Mother Lode vein system.  Location not determined.

 

MALONE’S MINE

Located near Midpines and Bear Creek.  Actual location not determined.  Possibly the same as Malone Mine?

 

MALVINA MINES GROUP

This mine is located about a mile southwest of Coulterville, and just north of the Tyro Mine.  The mines that were a part of the consolidation include the Malvina, Potosi and Tyro. Located in the Coulterville Mining District.  Total gold production was around $1,000,000.

 

MAMMOTH BAR

This was another of the early 1850s era many placer mining camps along the Merced River near Horseshoe Bend.  Now under Lake McClure.  Actual location not determined.

 

MARBLE SPRINGS

         …SEE Marble Springs Mine

 

MARBLE SPRINGS MINE

This hard rock gold mine was located directly on the East Belt vein system in the Greeley Hill Mining District, which is part of the larger Kinsley Mining District.  It was on the Merced River east of Coulterville and south of Bower’s Cave, and operated from the 1850s-1937, producing about $200,000 in gold.  It had a brief reopening in 1949.  The gold was combined with about 20-30% silver.  The small mining camp of Marble Springs was also located here.

 

MARIPOSA (CHL #670 – Courthouse)          elevation 2000’

         AKA – Logtown

Mariposa is a long way from being a ghost town, but is listed here due to its immense historical importance.  It is located along SH 49, southwest of Yosemite Park at the southern end of the Mother Lode.  Originally called Logtown, this old mining town dates to 1849.  On Nov 10, 1851 it wrested the county seat from Agua Fria, and has remained such until today.  PHOTOs!

 

MARIPOSA CREEK

This rich gold-bearing creek flows from near the town of Mariposa southwest into the sloughs south of Merced.  It was the site of several mining camps, including Logtown, Mariposa and Mariposita.

 

MARIPOSA MINE

About a mile south of Mariposa near the county fairgrounds, this was California’s first recorded hard rock gold mine.  It was active from August 1849 through 1915. It is said to have been discovered by the famed scout Kit Carson, but probably wasn’t.  California’s first stamp mill was built here in July 1849, to crush the mine’s ore.  In 1859, John C. FREMONT obtained title to the mine.  Peak production was 1900-1915, and the mine produced $2.4 million in gold from its 60-70º, 1550’ long inclined shaft.  The buildings burned in a fire in early 2002.

 

MARIPOSA MINING DISTRICT

            Located around the town of Mariposa. 

 

MARIPOSITA

This small, early 1850s-era gold mining camp was populated mostly by Mexican and French miners and was located along Mariposa Creek.  Actual location not determined.

 

MARTINEZ MINE

Located near Hornitos, the actual location of this old mine is not determined.

…SEE Hornitos for a listing of the mines in that area.

 

MARY HARRISON MINE

Located on the west side of SH 49, 1.8 miles south of Coulterville, this mine produced over $350,000 in gold between 1852 and 1903.  It later was consolidated with a number of other claims, and the total production of the group was about $1.5 million in gold.  It had a 1200’ shaft and 12 levels.  The mill was located four miles away, and according to an old postcard I have, the railroad connecting the mine to the mill was called one of “the crookedest railroads in the world.”  In October 2000 it was for sale for $8 million.  (Did it sell?)

 

MATSELL’S CREEK

            A misspelling of Maxwell’s Creek.

            ...SEE Coulterville

 

MAXWELL’S CREEK

            ...SEE Coulterville

 

MAXWELLVILLE

            ...SEE Coulterville

 

McCAULEY STAGE STATION

This old stage station was located on the old WENGER Ranch, 3.2 miles east of Bower Cave on the Old Yosemite Road.  It was in use until 1902. 

…SEE Way Stations for a listing of the various way stations in Mariposa County.

 

MELVINA MINE

            Possible misspelling of the Malvina Mine (above)

 

MENLO MINE

            In the Bear Creek area near Midpines.  Actual location not determined.

 

MERCED RIVER DIGGINGS

This was not a specific location, but a cluster of placer mining river bars along the Merced River.  In fact the entire area around the Merced River was also referred to the Merced River Diggings in several contemporary accounts.

Some of the mining camps located in what was known collectively as “The Merced Diggings,” included, but are not limited to the following locations, which are listed on the appropriate individual listings.

·        HARVEY’S BAR

·        HORSESHOE BEND

·        MAXWELL’S CREEK

·        SAVAGE CREEK

·        SOLOMON CREEK

·        WASHINGTON FLAT

 

MEXICAN DIGGINGS

This East Belt vein system gold mine was active in 1949-1950.  Location not determined.

 

MEXICAN MINE (#1)

This pioneering mine is one of the oldest mines in the Bagby Mining District.  It was discovered and worked by Mexican miners until 1859 when Fremont obtained control of the mine.  It was later re-worked in 1908 and in the 1930s.  It produced about $50,000 in gold.  Actual location not determined.

 

MEXICAN MINE (#2)

One of a dozen or so gold mines located at Hite’s Cove.  Actual location not determined.

…SEE Hites Cove for a listing of the mines in that area.

 

MIDAS MINE

            In the Coulterville Mining District.  Actual location not determined.

 

MIDPINES
         AKA – Mid Pines

A map dot located on SH 140, 6.5 miles northeast of Mariposa.  It was established by Newell CHAMBERLAIN, author of the book THE CALL OF GOLD — True Tales on the Gold Road to Yosemite, as a resort in 1926, and is located midway between Merced and Yosemite.

(What is the current status?)

 

MILBURN MINE

This lode silver/gold mine was located just south of and adjoining the Permit Mine.  By the 1950s the shaft had caved in. Several buildings and the head frame were still standing at that time.  Operated a little during the 1937-1948 era, with a brief closure during the Second World War.

 

MILLVILLE

Bexter White & Company’s Sawmill was located here.  It was built in January 1854.

…SEE Sawmills for a listing of the various sawmills in Mariposa County.

 

MINERS HOPE MINE

One of several dozen mines located in the Sherlock-Whitlock area of the Whitlock Mining District.  Actual location not determined.

 

MINES

Mariposa County played host to hundreds, and possibly thousands of gold mines, a good number of copper mines and some combination gold-silver mines.  They are given detailed listings in their appropriate locations on the alphabetic listing pages.  They are also listed (and appropriately linked) for reference without details in the alphabetic listings for the various mining districts, as well as the individual site pages.  If you know of a mine not listed here please let me know so I can include it in an update.  Also, if you have any corrections contact me.  (GBS)

 

MISSOURI GULCH

This old 1849 era placer gold mining camp was located in Missouri Gulch, which is now a part of Mariposa.

 

MOCKINGBIRD MINE

Located just southeast of the Colorado Mine, in the Colorado area of the Whitlock Mining District.

 

MOHAWK MINE

One of several dozen mines located in the Sherlock-Whitlock area of the Whitlock Mining District.  Actual location not determined.

 

MONO CAMP

Three miles north of Mariposa, two miles southeast of Colorado at the junction of Whitlock and Colorado Roads, west of Mono Gulch.  I have no other information on this place name.  (GBS)

 

MONTE CRISTO MINE

One of several mines in the Jerseydale Mining District.  Actual location not determined.

 

MOONLIGHT MINE

This gold mine was located in the Kinsley Mining District.  Actual location not determined.

 

MOORE HILL MINE

Shown in the DeLorme Northern California Atlas 0.8 miles southwest of the Francis Mine, north of Mariposa Creek, 1.5 miles south of Old Highway, 4.4 AIR miles southeast of Catheys Valley and 4.4 AIR miles southwest of Bridgeport. 1850s-1930s.  It was located in the Cathey Mining District.

 

MORMON BAR  (CHL #323)

Located along the East Fork of Mariposa Creek, about a mile and a half southeast of Mariposa at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.  This placer gold mining camp was reportedly worked originally by members of the famed “Mormon Battalion” in 1848.  The Mormons were quickly replaced by other miners, including a large number of Chinese.  The diggings were reported to have yielded about $2 million and were active through the 1870s, and again in the 1930s. 

An historic marker is at the site, located 500’ southeast of the intersection of SH 49/Ben Hur Road, 1.8 miles south of Mariposa.

 

MORNING STAR MINE

This gold mine was located in Hunter Valley, but its exact location is not determined.

 

MOUNT BUCKINGHAM

The first hard rock mine in this small mining camp ten miles northeast of Mariposa was located in 1850.  It was owned by and named after William BUCKINGHAM.

 

MOUNT BULLION                             elevation  2176’

         AKA – La Mineta, Princeton

This once-flourishing mining town dates back to 1850.  It is located on SH 49, about 4.7 miles northwest of Mariposa.  It was originally located on Colonel John C. FREMONT’s property.  First called Princeton, the post office and town name was renamed named after Missouri Senator (and Fremont’s father-in-law) Thomas Hart “Old Bullion” BENTON. 

 

MOUNT BULLION MINING DISTRICT

The Mount Bullion Mining District stretches from a point midway between Mount Bullion and Bear Valley, southeast several miles to the Sorrel Mine, a half-mile south of Mount Bullion.  It included the Agua Fria area.  Placer mining began in 1849, giving way to hard rock mining from the mid 1850s through the 1870s.  The mines were again worked in the 1900-1920 era, and again in the 1930s-1942.

 

MOUNT GAINES

Named after John GAINES, this old mining camp was located about eight miles northwest of Mariposa, near Quartzburg in the Hornitos Mining District.  It was active as a placer camp in the 1850s, and as a hard rock mining camp in the 1860s.

Mount Gaines was the support community for the Mount Gaines Mine, which is on Mount Gaines Road, several miles south of its junction with CR J-16 (Hornitos-Bear Valley Road), five miles northeast of Hornitos. Through 1911, it recorded $1.25 million in gold.  The mine closed on Jun 28, 1949, but some development work continued until Oct 1, 1949.  A total of $3.59 million in gold was mined here.  After it shut down, the shafts flooded. Its 1322’ shaft was inclined at a 30º angle.  Could this be the same as Gaines Mine?

           

MOUNT GAINES MINE

         …SEE Mount Gaines (above)

 

MOUNT OPHIR

AKA – Ophir

Located on old SH 49, which is a small spur just west of and paralleling the present highway 1.5 miles northwest of Mt. Bullion and 4.5 miles south of Bear Valley.  First called Ophir, this 1848 placer mining camp was operated first by Mexican miners.  On Feb 20, 1852 the Ophir Post Office was established in camp.  The name changed in November 1856 to MOUNT Ophir. 

In 1858 three stamp mills consisting of 24 stamps were in operation here.  The Mt. Ophir Mine was also located here. (SEE below)

The only remaining building is the schist rock-walled ruins of the TRABUCCO Store, built in 1853, is located here.  It was covered on the inside with a lime mortar plaster and was still standing in April 2002.  Other memories include mounds of tailings and foundation outlines.

The town is also the rumored, but unproven site of the “Mt. Ophir Mint”, a small 30 foot square rock-walled building that is said to have been the source of $50 gold slugs (octagonal coins), that in all reality were probably minted in San Francisco at the privately owned Moffatt Mint.  However rumors of the existence of the Mt. Ophir mint and stories of a lost pack-load of those $50 coins in a local creek still persist to this day. John L. MOFFATT was the owner of the “mint”, and also was on the board of directors for the Merced  Mining Company, which is known to have mined in the area. 

My own personal opinion after researching this issue is that the mint did not exist in Mt.

Ophir.  Also the probability of a load of $50 coins being lost in a local creek is almost nil.  The coins

did exist, but were almost certainly produced at the privately owned Moffatt Mint, which was

located in San Francisco. (GBS)

 

MOUNT OPHIR MINE

This hard rock mine was located at Mount Ophir, which was in the Mount Bullion Mining District.  It operated off and on from the 1850s through 1914.  It yielded between $250,000 and 300,000 in gold.

 

MOUNTAIN HOUSE

            Location not determined.

 

MOUNTAIN KING MINE

Located in the Bagby Mining District, on the Merced River northeast of Sherlock and about six miles east of Bagby.  It had four-five miles of underground workings, and was in operation from 1899-1925, yielding about a million dollars in gold and silver.

 

On January 14, 1922, the following article was in the Merced Express regarding the Mountain King Mine:

The famous Mt. King mine on the Merced River, which has been in operation for nearly twenty years, has ceased operations and will sell all equipment, it is learned from a letter received from the board of directors addressed to stockholders in Mariposa. This step is taken on a report made by Clifford G. Dennis, a mining engineer on the staff of Frederick W. Bradley, who has made a careful examination of the property and does not recommend further development. This is the deepest mine in the county having a shaft 2150 feet and the ore bodies at that depth do not carry sufficient gold to justify further development.”

Contributed (Feb 25, 2008) to the Mariposa County Discussion E-mail group by Thomas Hilk.

 

On Mar 21, 2008, Don Rose added the following:  “The Mountain King Mine is located on the Merced between Halls Gulch and the North Fork of the Merced.  It is down river from Briceburg.  I believe that there is a house on the bluff above the old YVRR right of way.  It's a nice walk from McCabe Flat on a spring day.”

 

MOUNTAIN VIEW MINE

This c1884 gold mine was located in the Sweetwater Mining District and was owned by Mr. RICE and FERGUSON.  Its actual location is not determined.

 

MOUNTAIN VIEW I MINE

Located in the Mount Bullion Mining District.  Exact location not determined.

 

MOUNTAINEER MINE

This mine was located in Hunter Valley.  The exact location is not determined.

 

MT. ***

            …SEE appropriate MOUNT listing above.

 

 

*       *       *

 

Return to the GTs of Mariposa Co., CA Index Page

 
Mariposa County locations with names beginning:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | PQ | R | S |TUV | W | XYZ

 

 

Detailed information on individual locations:

AGUA FRIA | BAGBY | BEAR VALLEY | COULTERVILLE | HORNITOS | MARIPOSA | MOUNT BULLION

BIOGRAPHIES | SOURCES

 

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First Posted:  December 10, 2001

Last Updated: March 21, 2005

 

 

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