Silver: Santa Catalina Island

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Silver: Santa Catalina Island

In the News~

March 5, 1864 [LAStar]: “Mining Incorporations. Old San Pedro Mining Company, located on Catalina Island. Capital stock, $54,000; No. of shares, 5,400, at $10 each. The Trustees are: Gabriel Allen, H. Dockweiler, Oscar Macy, A. R. Davis and O. W. Childs.”

March 5, 1864 [LAStar]: “Mining Incorporations. Marquis Lafayette Copper and Silver Mining Company, located on Catalina Island. Capital Stock, $26,000; No. of shares 2,600 at $10 each. The Trustees are H. Demeral, R. S. Baker, M. Schlesinger, H. Wartenberg and A. Portugal.”

March 5, 1864 [LAStar]: “Mining Incorporations. Black Jack Copper and Silver Mining Company, located on Catalina Island. Capital Stock, $32,000; No. of shares 3,200 at $10 each. The Trustees are J. Schumacher, G. Butler, F. W. Koll, C. Schweer and D. Muller.”

March 5, 1864 [LAStar]: “Mining Incorporations. Little Harbor Copper and Silver Mining Company, located on Catalina Island. Capital Stock, $22,000; No. of shares 2,200 at $10 each. The Trustees are F. W. Koll, S. H. Wilson, D. Reese, W. Howland and C. Schweer.”

June 18, 1864 [LAStar]: “Santa Catalina — We have heard a rumor of a sale of Santa Catalina having taken place, a company of capitalists being the purchasers, for mining purposes, it is supposed. The Island is claimed by Don. J. M. Covarrubias of Santa Barbara, and has been confirmed to him by the U.S. Supreme Court. The purchase money is said to be $90,000.”

June 12, 1864 [DAC]:June 12, 1864 [DAC]: “Letter from Santa Catalina Island. June 3rd, 1864... The mining region, so far as yet developed, is chiefly confined to the part of the island above described. The claims laid out are almost innumerable. Scarcely any regard has been paid to original locators. Litigation will be abundant, provided the mines prove rich, to settle conflicting interests. Many tunnels have been run from twenty-five to fifty feet and abandoned. Galena is the prevailing mineral. and will doubtless be found in rich and permanent abundance—but probably not to exceed in the proportion of one to forty of the claims already made. There are many indications of gold, and no doubt copper and silver will be found in paying quantities. The Argentine, situated in Cherry Valley, is yielding silver rock which looks as if it would pay well. Opposite to the Argentine, in the same valley, commences the little Gem of the Ocean. This claim has yielded more and richer Galena than any other mine on the Island, but it has not yet struck the lead in its water-level tunnel, and its upper tunnel has every appearance of being run out. It was probably only what is called by lead miners, a chimney; besides, it is claimed to be a part of the Albion lode of the Monster Company, and the Gem may have to resort to expensive law suits in order to keep the claim. On each side of the Fourth of July Valley, beginning at the beach and running to the very summit of the mountain, overlooking the ocean southward and westward, are to be seen holes and tunnels without number. The old Santa Catalina, the San Francisco, the New England, the Monster Consolidated, and several other Companies, have done much work on their claims, and bid fair to have a rich reward for their labors. The latter Company have run tunnels into three of their leads, adjacent to each other, and have found well-defined veins. They are now sinking a shaft at the mouth of the Albion, intending to go one hundred and fifty feet deep, and then drift across the three leads and test them all at once. The shaft is already seventy feet deep, following the vein, which has increased from two inches at the top to twenty-four inches in width at that depth, with galena and quartz...”

June 18, 1864 [LAStar]: “From Santa Catalina Island the reports are most favorable. The discoveries of silver, lead and copper, are spoken of in the most enthusiastic manner, and we have heard it stated that richer mines have been brought to light here than any man can form any idea of, without personal inspection. Large quantities of ore have been sent to San Francisco, and should the expectations formed regarding it be realized, machinery will at once be brought down to the island. We hope this will be the case, as a mill on the island would be a most important agent in developing the resources of the locality. Such a means of testing the ore is generally desired by the miners, and would, for such purpose alone, be a profitable investment of capital.”

August 6, 1885 [LAT]: “Santa Catalina Island… Next in point of attractiveness… these are the mines, located in a branch canyon [Silver Falls Canyon] near by. These mines consist of two tunnels run into the mountain’s side about twenty years ago, in search of argentiferous ore. With remarkable sagacity, worthy of the true mine-locator, the tunnels were obligingly located in convenient proximity to water, though not immediately under the falls, where they might have got flooded. The tunnels were sunk forty or fifty feet, traces of silver and lead discovered, and then, strange to say, the mines were quietly abandoned. The miners didn’t seem to like the climate…”

April 8, 1925 [TI/Avalon]: “The new road from White’s Landing to the silver mine at Black Jack was opened last week. General Manager D. M. Renton made the first trip from the mine to the beach and return in his Studebaker Special Six.”

July 18, 1935 [TI/Avalon]: “Points of Interest — The seat of an early minig excitement, where the hillsides are honeycombed with tunnells. From 1862 to 1864 the island was swarming with prospectors, for precious metals. The seat of the excitement seems to have been at Cherry Valley. Every foot of ground from the sea to the summit of the hills was filed on as mining claims. Recently extensive deposits of lead and silver ores have been lovated here.”

August 19, 1977 [LAT]: “…But if a hiker can live with the notion that a dirt road can also be a trail, he can trek over Catalina’s mountains and through its canyons and see ruins of old silver mining operations… The hike from Black Jack to Avalon is perhaps the most scenic on the island. You pass ruins of silver mining operations — boarded up shafts and rotting shacks that date from the 1920s…”