From the May 15 1926 Arizona Mining Journal - the authentic history of the mining activities of the Chilson brothers who were active in the locating and developing of Arizona’s mineral resources.
Gold mining in Arizona did not start to any appreciable extent until after the acquisition of the territory by the United States from Mexico in 1848 and 1853.
Gold dust was discovered in the Carson Valley as early as 1848 by Mormons traveling to the gold fields of California. However, with seemingly better prospects on the other side of the Sierras, and with supplies dwindling after the long desert crossing from Salt Lake City, nobody stayed to work these placers until at least 1850. By 1851 a small and remote mining colony had formed and was known as the "Gold Cañon Placer Mining Colony", located roughly where the town of Dayton still is today.
Silver Lake, which early settlers called Arrastra Lake, lies in a basin at the head of Arrastra Creek, four miles southeast of Silverton, Colorado, near the center of the Las Animas Mining District, in what was then part of La Plata County. Silver Lake Basin was one of the West's most isolated and difficult to access districts. This article explores the incredible feats of transport and engineering were required to make the mines of Silver Lake successful.
Part two of the incredible account of Silver Lake Basin continues to explore development and subsequent decline of the basin's mines. The article also describes the state of Silver Lake Basin today, and includes details on how to visit the area.
While the gold fields in the southwestern part of Oregon were discovered about 1852, those of the Blue Mountains remained unknown until about ten years later.
The Elkhorn district was prospected early in the history of the State and numerous quartz locations were made in the years preceding 1870, but the district did not attract attention until the A. M. Holter lode became a producing mine.
The following notes concerning the metal prospects of the Los Burros district, in the southwestern part of Monterey County, California, are based on observations made during a visit of a few days to this section of the Santa Lucia Range in February, 1921.
Tourists will naturally desire to visit some of the towns, where they can observe closely the various operations connected with gold-mining, which is such an important industry of California. This can be done by leaving the main line of railroad at any station in the mining-region and going a little way into the country. Indeed, on the main line of the Central Pacific are several towns, where almost the only occupation of the people is gold-digging.
In the early days of lode gold mining, stamp mills were used for crushing the ore. Where there was free gold in the ore, a silver-plated copper plate was placed so that the discharge through the screen from the mortar, with the addition of water, flowed down over this plate which was coated with quicksilver, allowing the free gold to become amalgamated and retained on the plate. The man who operated such a mill was called an amalgamator.