Grave Creek (Mostly resides in Josephine County)and it’s tributaries have produced placer gold up to the present time. The largest dredging operation in Josephine County was conducted between 1935 and 1938 on the south side of Grave Creek east of Leland. Bedrock became too deep for the dredge to clean and operations terminated, rather than re-outfit the rig with new customized parts that could do the job. An undisclosed, but significant amount of gold was recovered. Butte Creek, Coyote Creek, Dog Creek, Poorman Creek, Shanks Creek, Tom East Creek, and Wolf Creek were important gold producing tributaries.
Tom East Creek, which drains the area of the Greenback Lode Mine, produced over 25,000 ounces of placer gold after 1897. A dragline excavator was used for awhile on Coyote Creek east of the village of Wolf Creek. Considerable placer gold remains to be mined in the region. Northeast of Grants Pass about 18 miles and 5 miles East of I-5 at Grave Creek bridge, in the Northeast part of the county from Winona to King Mountain, the Greenback Tri-County District can be found (A group of lode gold mines along adjacent boundaries of Douglas County and Jackson County).Along Grave Creek and tributary Coyote Creek and Wolf Creek; extensive placers are found, especially for gold dredging on the south side of Grave Creek. Upstream from Leland you will find the largest operations County history.
Grave Creek is roughly about 30 miles long and is a tributary of the Rogue River. Grave Creek starts near Cedar Springs Mountain just north of the Douglas County/Jackson County border and flows approximately southwest through Jackson County and Josephine County to its confluence with the Rogue River.