Other Gold Districts in Calaveras County
Most of the production in the district of Paloma has been obtained from the Gwin Mine, which has produced more than $7 million dollars. The first diggings in this place were done in the Lower Rich Gulch. You can get to the district of Paloma by taking the Paloma Road east off Highway 26, half way between Highway 12 and Mokelumne Hill.
There are a couple different ways of getting to Railroad Flat, however the easiest way to get there is by taking Highway 26 east out of Mokelumne Hill; after having reached Ridge Road you will need to turn right and continue on Ridge Road until you get to Railroad Flat Road. This is where the mines can be located.
Railroad Flat has both lode and placer areas. The placer gold can be found in buried gravel of a Tertiary channel. Some rich gold quartz veins have been discovered in this area as well but they are not very deep. The name Railroad Flat comes from some wooden tracks an early miner laid.
The district of Rich Gulch is located between Railroad Flat and Mokelumne Hill, and the Jesus Maria area is included in it. At one time Rich Gulch used to have some high grade gold quartz gold that was taken from the surface deposits.
San Andreas is one of the few districts in the Mother Lode that had people living in it before the gold rush occurred.
After the gold was discovered in 1849, the Mexican settlers that lived here were forced out and it was said that this is where the bandit Joaquin Murrieta started his life of crime. Another heard of bandit called Black Bart also ended his career of stage coach robberies in this place after having done twenty seven hold ups. The jail cell where Black Bart was kept while on trial can still be seen as well.
There are lode deposits and placer deposits in the district of San Andreas as well and there are a number of deposits of Tertiary gravel channels in this district too. These have been mined by hydraulicing and drift mining. San Andreas is located on Highway 49 and is the county seat.
During the gold rush the streams in the district of Sheep Ranch were worked on later on drift mining of the channel gravels started and kept on going until the 1900’s.
The Sheep Ranch Mine assisted in building the fortune of Geo. Hearst, the father of Wm. Randolph Hearst. You can get to Sheep Ranch by taking the Fricot City Road east off highway 49 halfway between Altaville and San Andreas.
The first ones to find gold in this area were the Murphy brothers in 1848. The district of Vallecito is a placer mining district and the Tertiary channel gravels have been worked on in this area by hydraulic and drift mining. Dredging was also done in this area in the 1930’s.
The best part of the gravels are on the bed rock and this consists of limestone, schist and slate. If you are interested in getting got Vallecito, take Highway 4 east out of Angels Camp.