Fiddletown District

Publication Info:
Gold Districts of California
Bulletin 193 California Division of Mines and Geology 1976
Table of Contents

Related: Where to Find Gold in California

This district is in northwestern Amador County in the general vicinity of tbe old mining town of Fiddletown, six miles east of Plymouth. It also has been known as the Oleta district.

Fiddletown was settled in 1849, reportedly by Missouri miners addicted to "fiddling." The district flourished in the 1850s when the drift and hydraulic mines were active. Attention was drawn to C. A. Waring. the area by Bret Harte's short story, An Episode at Fiddletown. The name proved offensive to one of the distinguished residents and, in 1878, he succeeded in having the name changed by legislative enactment to Oleta. In 1937, the California Historical Society, with the approval of local residents, obtained the restoration of the original name. There was some drift mining and dragline dredging in the district in the 1930s and early 1940s.

Numerous patches of quartzitic gravels remain that were deposited by several channels of the Tertiary Cosumnes River. One channel comes in from the Coyoteville area from the northeast and another from Volcano from the southeast. Some of the gravels are capped by andesite. Bedrock is chiefly graphitic slate, metachert and schist of the Calaveras Formation (Carboniferous to Permian). Limestone lies to the east and granodiorite to the north. There are a few narrow gold-quartz veins in the district.

Carlson, D. W., and Clark, W. 8., 1954, Amador County, gold: California Jour. Mines and Geology, vol. 50, pp. 164-200.

Haley, C. 5., 1923, Gold placers of California: California Min. Bur. Bull. 92, pp. 146-147.

Lindgren, Waldemar, and Turner, H. W., 1894, Placerville folio: U.S. Geol. Survey Geol. Atlas of the U.S., folio 3, 3 pp.

Lindgren. Waldemar, 1911, Tertiary gravels of the Sierra Nevada: U.S. Geol. Survey Prof. Paper 73, p. 199.

Turner, H. W., 1894, Jackson folio: U.S. Geol. Survey Geol. Atlas of the U.S., folio 11, 6 pp.

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