Location and History
You Bet and Red Dog are in south-central Nevada County, eight miles southeast of Nevada City. This district also includes the "diggings" at Little York. You Bet sometimes is known as Chalk Bluffs. The region was first placer-mined in 1848 or 1849. The name "You Bet" is supposed to have originated in 1857 from saloon keeper Lazarus Beard's favorite expression. Red Dog was named by Charley Wilson after his former home, Red Dog Hill, Illinois. The district was hydraulicked on a large scale from 1855 until the 1880s. There was some drift mining. Later, the area was mined on a moderate scale, chiefly by Chinese. It was intermittently active until about 1935. The total ouput is valued at more than $3 million. Lindgren (1911) estimated 47 million yards were removed and 100 million remained. Jarman (1927) estimated 20 million yards of 10- to 15-cent gravel remained at Red Dog.
The gravels were deposited by a Tertiary channel of the Yuba River that extended north and northwest to Hunts Hill and Scotts Flat. The lower gravels are 30 to 40 feet thick, well-cemented, and contain a high percentage of quartz including a number of large boulders. It is capped by as much as 350 feet of fine gravel with some interstratified clay and sand. Bedrock consists of slate and some chert.
Averill, C.A., 1946, Placer mining for gold in California, You Bet mines: California Diy. Mines Bull. 135, pp. 269-270.
Hobson, J.A., and Wilhee, E.A., 1892, You Bet mining district: Caljfornia Min. Bur. Rept. 11, pp. 317-318.
Jarmon, Arthur. 1927, You Bet district: California Min. Bur. Rept. 23, pp. 99-100.
Lindgren, Waldemar, 1900. Colfax folio, Californio: U.S. Geol. Survey Geol. Atlas of the U. S., folio 66, 10 pp.
Lindgren, Waldemar, 1911, Tertiary gravels of the Sierra Nevada: U.S. Geol. Survey Prof. Paper 73, p. 144.
Mac Boyle, Errol, 1919, Nevada County, You Bet mining district: California Min. Bur. Rept. 16, pp. 63-66.
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