Other Gold Districts Madera County
Hite Cove is an older district that can be found on the south fork of the Merced River. This place was once very productive for the weekend dredger. The rich quartz gold mines in this area were discovered in 1861 by John R. Hite, and by 1864 the camp had a population of around 100 and a ten-stamp mill in operation. Ten years afterwards a 20 stamp mill was in action.
Hornitos was a pioneering mining camp that was established in 1848 by Mexican miners. It has a reputation of being a wild and wicked place in the past and was known as a rough town. However, it soon turned around and became a decent community. Hornitos has some fine buildings that still stand and the creeks in this area still have some gold in them. Hornitos road runs west off highway 49 and is located north of Mariposa. The creek in the town can be reached by crossing the bridge in Hornitos Road. The best places for prospecting are located up or down the creek at a distance from the bridge. For those that are looking for a good base camp site area you can take the Hornitos road 6 to 8 miles to Lake McSwain. You will also be able to find Indian Gulch. The only thing that is left of the old mining camp is a few adobe walls and a cemetery.
The old mining town of Jerrysdale was located at the north end of Clark’s Valley, on Jerseydale Road, north of Bootjack. Jerrysdale goes back to the placer mining days of the early 1850s, and hard rock mining was done here from the 1860s to the 1930s.
Mariposa is the district around the town of Mariposa. The Mariposa mine was active from August 1849 through 1915. This mine was at first owned by Gen. John C. Fremont but it was supposedly discovered by Kit Carson, who was the famous scout for Fremont. The Mariposa area is a placer and lode region.
Mormon Bar is situated alongside the East Fork of Mariposa Creek, around a mile and a half southeast of Mariposa at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. This placer gold mining camp was said to have been worked at first by members of the well-known “Mormon Battalion” in 1848. Other miners, as well as a large number of Chinese, were very quick at replacing the Mormons. The diggings were said to have yielded close to $2 million and were active during the 1870s, and then once again in the 1930s.
This once upon a time prosperous mining town dates back to 1850. It was named Mount Bullion for Fremont’s father in law, who was Senator Benton, who was known as “Old Bullion”. The placers in Mount Bullion were worked on in 1848 at the beginning of the gold rush. Mount Ophir is also located in this district and in Mount Ophir is where the first private mint was authorized by the Federal Government in California giving the famous octagonal gold coin a minting place. These coins are obviously worth a lot more now than the $50 they were worth in the past. If you are looking for the site of Mount Ophir just take highway 49 north out of Amount Bullion for about one and a half miles. There you will find a historical landmark marker to mark the location.
Another place that can be found in this district is Agua Fria. This was once a busy mining camp and it used to be the County seat. These days it is only full of cows and a fence that was placed besides the road that keeps the people that are interested in inspecting it out.
The district of Whitlock is located five miles north of the town of Mariposa and additionally comprises Colorado, Sherlock Creek, and Whiskey Flat areas. People that are interested in going to this place will be able to find small amounts of gold in the placers. To get there, take the Whitlock Road off Highway 49 some miles north of Mariposa.