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Coos County Gold Claims

Here is a new list prior and current beach gold mines and beach gold claims for Coos County and a few hard rock mines also. Some may be on private property and some may be simple placer claims. The whole reason for posting such information, is for investigation to find places to find your own gold claim or to find a place to recreate without infringing on somebody’s rights. A good prospector does a fair bit of investigation, and is the reason for this post.

Chickamin Mine – Private property – Beach Placer Claim – located at or near 43°16′60″N , 124°18′17″W

Eagle Mine – Beach Placer Claim – located at or near 43°11′43″N , 124°21′43″W

Fletcher Myers Property – Private Property – U. S. Mining Company- Beach Placer Claim – located at or near 43°13′37″N , 124°22′13″W

Geiger Creek Mines – Beach Placer Claim – near 43°5′55″N , 124°22′37″W

Iowa Mine – Beach Placer Claim – near 43°6′43″N , 124°22′9″W

Lane Extension Mine – Beach Placer Claim – near 43°11′20″N , 124°21′50″W

Pioneer Mine – Beach Placer Claim – near 43°11′42″N , 124°21′47″W

Rose Mine – Beach Placer Claim – near 43°13′14″N , 124°21′47″W

Sengstacken Occurrence – Beach Placer Claim – near 43°17′21″N , 124°17′59″W

Hard Rock Gold Mines in the Coos County Area

Independence Mine – Sixes River District – Host Rock= Serpentinite – near 42°42′12″N , 124°5′29″W

Johnson Creek Placers – Sixes River District – Host Rock= gravel – near 42°45′41″N , 124°6′30″W

Salmon Mountain Mine – Sixes River District – near 42°46′40″N , 124°8′50″W

Greenhorn – Oregon Gold Locations

The Greenhorn Mountains are found in the middle of the Umatilla National Forest. The area extends both Grant and Baker Counties. Gold was first discovered in 1864 on Olive Creek, where gold was found in decomposed quartz. The elevation in this area is high and many miners faced snow and hard long winters. In it’s heyday around 1,500 miners lived in the area and worked the many streams and creeks for placer deposits. Once these deposits were worked down, lode deposits were sought out and lode mining began. The lode gold in this area was primarily found in quartz veins.

greenhorn-oregon-map-2

One of the gold mines in the area was known as the Virginian Mine, which was reported to have had a pocket of quartz gold worth approximately $70,000 at that time. Other mines in the area were: the Morning Glory Mine, Phoenix Mine, Golden Gate Mine, Humbolt Mine, Gold Coin Mine, Don Juan Mine, Royal White Mine, Golden Eagle Mine, Black Hawk Mine, Rabbit Mine, Worley Mine, I.X.L. Mine and Red Bird Mine. These oregon gold locations are all found around the town of Robinsonville and the Greenhorn area. The Worley Mine was reported has one of the richest mines with it’s gold ore being estimated at $1,100 a ton.

greenhorn-oregon-map

The ghost town of Greenhorn City, or Greenhorn is located in both Grant and Baker County has it straddles the county lines. Although not easy to get to in the winter it is a good place to get out your metal detector. Miners first came to Old Greenhorn in 1864 or 1865 for the prospect of gold. Ten years later the town was relocated as just a mining camp. The town was incorporated in 1903. At that time Greenhorn was the highest town in the State of Oregon, with it’s county seat being in Baker County. The location on the map above is the newer location since it lasted much longer and is still referred to;  just Greenhorn. Robinsonville is located one mile to the east of Greenhorn. Mining laws prohibited Chinese from gold mining anywhere in the area. The area is mainly known for it’s underground mining, and like most mining towns, Greenhorn went extinct during World War II, but ironically still has a mayor.

greenhorn-city

The Bohemia Mining District

Located in Lane County, 35 miles east of Cottage Grove is the Bohemia Mining District and gold was first discovered on Sharps Creek in 1858 by four friends (Rufus Adams, O.P. Adams, William Shields and W.W. Ogelsby) . The area received it’s name from the nearby Mount Bohemia, and later it lended it’s name to the town that eventually was formed around 1866 so aptly named Bohemia City.  The Bohemia District has a very rugged landscape, is located on a saddle (a low dip on a ridge between Mount Bohemia and Mount Fairview, which are the high points). Cottage Grove was the key supply point for all the mining equipment, food and supplies to the area. Many winter’s were hard on the miners who were very reluctant to ever quit and go home. Many prospectors had up and left by 1900, but many returned during the great depression. The Bohemia Mining District was the richest district in the West Cascade Mountains.

The four friends who first discovered gold in 1858, lacked real knowledge on how to capture good amounts of gold and decided that two of them should travel to Josephine County; a already well established mining district, to observe and take notes from other miners. When they returned they built a sluice box and on Sharps Creek and the amount they were taking quadrupled and made it much more profitable to work. The very next year the four friends split up once again, this time to test the other streams in the area. In many of the streams there was no sign of gold, but the story was not over there.

An outlaw known by some as Bohemia Johnson, who was on the run and hiding from the law for killing an Indian in Roseburg, found gold in quartz in a stream 3/4 of a mile from the south side of Mount Bohemia. The gold-quartz was found in creek known as City Creek.  Bohemia Johnson did not start mining. Instead he eventually made his way back to Cottage Grove and told of his discovery. The next summer in 1864, gold prospectors and want-a-be gold miners poured into the Mount Bohemia area, including the original four who had first discovered gold in Sharps Creek.

Even though Bohemia Johnson had spilled the beans that led to the gold boom, ironically it was Bohemia Johnson who located the first lode deposit. Today his discovery is known as the Mystery Mine. He reported that he found a pocket of gold that gave out six feet of depth. Many believed that Bohemia Johnson secretly found his gold elsewhere, which gave arise to the name Mystery Mine. Many people have searched for the so-called true Mystery Mine and it has never been reported as being found, if it exists.

The Musick Mine

The Musick Mine

Several lode gold mines have been dug in the area with it’s gold being found in quartz outcropping located along the ridges of the five mile long Bohemia Mining area. Many lode mines were located under the creeks and streams that the four friends had tested, but had found no gold. Little did they know it was right under their feet. After the initial boom, the gold started to dry up and people left the area around 1877.

In 1889,  the Bohemia Mining Camp was rebuilt. Two years later a well-known  gold miner from California known as James Musick, came to Bohemia City looking for investment opportunities and found the richest quartz vein in the whole district. The location of his claim was a stone’s throw away from the Bohemia City Mining Camp.  Ten years later the Musick Mine was sold for $85,000 (3 million dollars in today’s values) to form the Calapooya Mining and Tunnel Company who also owned Champion Mine (Evening Star Mine) and Helena Mines.

A much older William Oglesby, discovered the Annie Mine located near the summit of Grouse Mountain, next to another mine known as the Knott Mine. the Annie Mine produced roughly about $26,000 in gold at 1890 prices in two years. The Helena Mine has a interesting story. It is said that a photographer from Cottage Grove got gold fever and asked if he could find some gold for a hobby (in today’s terminology: a weekend gold prospector) and someone told him to try a place along Annie Trail; a place thought to already have been tested and nothing but really fine powder gold was found previously. His name was C.B. Bruneau. He did just that, but he found more than fine flour gold. Later four claims were filed and he had discovered the richest per ton of ore at that time, valued at $30,000 per ton of ore.

Today you have to be very careful about where you prospect, as a lot of places are claimed up in the area. You should do your homework, before you head out.

Josephine Creek – Oregon Gold Location

Illinois River & Josephine Creek

Located in the western side of Josephine County, between latitude 42′13′ and 42′29′ N, longitude 123′38′ and 124′05′ W, the Illinois district had a total production in 1852-1953, between 5,000 and 10,000 ounces of Oregon placer gold along the Illinois River downstream from the mouth of Josephine Creek, and were very productive. The Illinois River and tributaries  were worked almost continuously from 1852 to 1942, and actively continues today by hobbyist gold prospectors and serious miners. The river flows west into Curry County.

Some of the tributaries such as Althouse Creek and Briggs Creek have already been described and Josephine Creek will be described here. The first discovery of was made in 1850 and was made at the mouth of Josephine Creek and not long later Josephine Creek and it’s tributaries. Canyon Creek, Days Creek, and Fiddler Gulches, were places where gold mining was quite productive. The bedrock is decomposed serpentine, and aside from gold and platinum group metals in the waterway, gold is also found in two partially cemented gravel benches. The highest of which is 150 above the current stream level. These gravels were worked by hydraulic methods as well as, by drifting . Up to 20,000 ounces of Oregon gold was recovered. Between 1886 and 1911, considerable gold was recovered using hydraulic methods from a broad gravel bench on both sides of the Illinois River below it’s junction with Josephine Creek.

josephine-creek-map

Much of the gold and platinum group metals found in the Illinois River and it’s tributaries came from mineralized zones in the district where there were small lode gold mines. Near the headwaters of the Illinois River where you would find Waldo, the famed “”Sailors’ Diggings” can be found. The Sailors dug a 41 mile ditch to bring water for the huge hydraulic and sluicing operation that soon followed. The placer mining continued into 1942, with intermittent activity into the present. This area is noted for large nuggets.

On Jack Creek and nearby Horse Creek in the Josephine Creek area, placers were worked extensively before 1910. No official records were found by the author on the total production of these two creeks.

  
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