The Jacksonville district is between lat 42Â°11' and 42Â°23' N. and long 122Â°45' and 123Â°03' W., in the Bear Creek valley. Medford is the chief town in the district.
The initial gold discoveries in Oregon were made in this district in 1851 on Jackson Creek, and mining began the following year. The placers were profitable until about 1870, after which the Chinese worked the lower grade gravels that remained (Winchell, 1914b, p. 138). In the 1930's the old placer workings were dredged (Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, 1943, p. 132). Quartz veins were discovered in the 1860's; the chief mines were the Town and the Opp. The lode deposits of this district are similar to those of the Gold Hill district in that they are extremely rich pockets of auriferous quartz which can be mined out in a short time. With this type of activity it is difficult to keep production records; consequently, estimates must be accepted in lieu of factual data.
Early placer production from the Jacksonville district is also unrecorded. J. T. Pardee (in Shenon, 1933a, p. 37) credited the Town pocket with a production of at least $100,000 in gold, and Winchell (1914b, p. 149) credited the Opp mine with production of at least $100,000. The district was fairly active up to 1942; thereafter, production decreased and remained very low through 1959.
Production of the district from 1904 through 1959 was 7,090 ounces of lode gold and 9,172 ounces of placer gold. The district probably yielded a minimum of 26,000 ounces, including the early estimates of the Opp and Town mines, and possibly twice that much, if the early unknown placer production is included.
Wells (1956) mapped and described the geology of the district. Its southern and western parts are underlain by altered basic flows, breccias, and pyro-clastics interlayered with sedimentary rocks, known as the Applegate Group of Late Triassic (?) age. These rocks were intruded by a diorit'e mass, part of which crops out in the northwest corner of the district. Rocks of the Hornbrook Formation (of Late Cretaceous age) are exposed in a band along the west edge of the Bear Creek valley. From Medford eastward, the district is underlain by the Umpqua Formation, a succession of sandstones, shales, and conglomerates of Tertiary age. A wide strip of alluvium in the central part of the district fills the valley of Bear Creek. The lode deposits are gold-quartz veins containing minor amounts of sulfides. The veins cut rocks of the Applegate Group and may be related to the diorite intrusive.
UPPER APPLEGATE DISTRICT
The Upper Applegate district is in southwestern Jackson County between lat 42Â°01' and 42Â°20' N. and long 123Â°00' and 123Â° 15' W.
This was predominantly a placer district. Placers first were discovered along Forest Creek, and the district was organized in 1853 (Winchell, 1914b, p. 125). The original discoveries were soon worked out, but other rich placers were found along Ferris Gulch, and Althouse, Humbug, Keeler, and Sterling Creeks. Hydraulic methods were introduced in the early 1880's; the Sterling mine, with an estimated early production of $3 million (Diller and Kay, 1909, p. 69), was one of the most successful of the hydraulic mines. Other large producers were the Layton, Pearce, Spaulding, and Old Sturgis mines. More recently draglines were used in this district.
Only one lode mine, the Steamboat, was commercially important; before 1869 it produced $350,000 in gold from gold-quartz veins in altered andesite (Winchell, 1914b, p. 136).
Early production data are fragmentary, but the estimates from Winchell (1914b) and from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (1943) give a minimum of 165,000 ounces of gold before 1905. From 1904 through 1959 the district produced 2,135 ounces from lodes, 45,900 ounces from placers, and 779 ounces undifferenti-ated as to source. Total production through 1959 was about 210,000 ounces.
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