Location and History
These two adjacent placer-mining districts are in southwestern Shasta County about 15 miles southwest of Redding. The South Fork silver-mining district lies just to the north. The region was first mined soon after the beginning of the gold rush. From the 1860s through the 1880s the hydraulic and drift mines were highly productive, especially the Hardscrabble and Russell mines near Igo. Many Chinese placer miners were here during this period. The origin of the two names is reputed to have been from the expressions "I go?" and "Oh no!", derived either from the pidgin English spoken by the Chinese miners when they were told to move on or from statements made by a young son of the superintendent of the Hardscrabble mine. There was appreciable activity in these districts in the 1930s, much of the gold output having come from the use of power shovels and dragline dredges. From 1933 to 1959 the districts were credited with an output of 115,000 ounces of gold.
The gold production has come from Recent stream gravels in South Fork, Eagle, Dry, North Cottonwood, and Clear Creeks, and older terrace deposits. Some of the older terrace deposits are quite extensive, the gravels at the Hardscrabble mine being as deep as 50 feet. Bedrock consists of slate, schist, greenstone and granite. There are some small gold-quartz veins that have yielded high-grade pockets.
Averill, C. V., 1939, Shasta County, gold: California Div. Mines Rept. 35, pp. 129-159.
Brown, G. c., 1916, Shasta County, Igo district: California Min. Bur. Rept. 14, p. 775.