Location and History
Silver Mountain is in south-central Alpine County about 10 miles south of Markleeville. Gold and silver were discovered here around 1860, and a rush began soon afterward. Kongsburg, later known as Silver Mountain City, was established by Scandinavian miners in 1862. The town grew rapidly and had a population of nearly 3000 in the following year. It was the first seat of government in Alpine County.
However, the district was not too productive. Hundreds of claims were located, and vast sums of money were spent on long tunnels and unsuccessful reduction works. Many of the mines were controlled by the Isabel Mining Company of England. Activity declined in the 1870s, and by 1886 the town had been abandoned. Some of the buildings were moved to Markleeville. The area has been prospected since, but there has been little recorded production. The total output of the district is estimated to be about $200,000 worth of gold and silver.
Geology and Ore Deposits
The gold- and silver-bearing deposits occur chiefly in altered volcanic rocks. The deposits consist of veins of silicified bre.ccia containing pyrite, chalcopyrite, and other sulfides. Some deposits contain a series of parallel veins. The values usually are erratically distributed, although a few high-grade pockets were found in the early days. A few quartz veins are found in granitic rocks in the western part of the district.
Exchequer, Garfield, Isabella, J.X.L., Lady Franklin, Pennsylvania, Raymond Meadows.
Eakle, A. S., 1919, Alpine County, Silver Mountain district: California Min. Bur. Rept. 15, pp. 22-23.
Irelan, William, Jr., 1888, Silver Mountain district: California Min. Bur. Rept. 8, pp. 38-39.