Salmon River 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

The Salmon River drains the Salmon Mountains, which are in the central portion of the Klamath Mountains province in Siskiyou County. This river is not as long as the Klamath or Trinity Rivers, but it flows through several rich and famous placer-mining districts. The most productive districts have been at Snowden and Sawyer's Bar on the North Fork, Cecilville and Knownothing on the South Fork, and Forks of Salmon at the junction of the North and South Forks. Probably the richest portion of the river was the 17-mile stretch of the North Fork between Sawyer's Bar and Forks of Salmon, a segment that had an estimated gold production of $25 million. Eddy's Gulch, just south of Sawyer's Bar, yielded $4 million. As in the other streams in this province, the river bars were first worked by hand methods and later by wingdams and flumes. The bench gravels were hydraulicked or worked by drift mining. Placer gold was discovered on the Salmon River in 1849 at Cecilville and in 1850 near Sawyer's Bar. Most of the other important placer "diggings" were developed soon aftetward. Among the important lode-gold mines are those in the Liberty and Gilta districts (see separate sections on these two districts) .

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