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Entries Tagged ‘Lucky Boy Mine’

The Blue River Mining District

The Blue River Mining District is primarily found in Lane and Linn Counties and consists of the Lucky Boy Group of mines and Rowena Mine (Callaghan and Buddington, 1938). The gold geology in this district is often compared to other Oregon Cascade Districts, such as Bohemia, Quartzville, and North Santiam. It is compared because of the amount of pyrite associated with gold in the quartz veins. They are also compared because the quartz veins are considered small and erratic without any explanation, such as is the case with the other districts.

The Blue River Mining District itself consists of a ridge of the Calapooya, Blue and McKenzie Rivers and is located about 45 miles east of Eugene. The ridge stands at about 4,500 ft and the north side has been heavily glaciated. On the north Calapooya side the gravel roads may be blocked by snow until June or July on most years, that lead up to the Lucky Boy Mine. At one time the Lucky Boy could be searched for hydro-quartz crystals, but from what I have been told, they do not allow explorers or gem hunters in the mines anymore.

A swift section of the Calapooya River

The Lucky Boy Mine was the largest gold mine and was discovered in 1887, and produced gold between 1898 and 1915. Other mines in the area, were worked around this time period including the Great Northern, the second largest producer (approx. 1,200 ounces), Cinderella Mine, Evening Mine, Great Eastern Mine, Higgins Mine, North Star Mine, Poorman Mine, Red Buck Mine, Sochwich Mine, and Treadwell Mine. Exposure of veins are generally poor and mainly consist of trenches or outcroppings with most of the gold belt vein being hard to find, or mostly underground.

The Cinderella Mine, was mined during the 1960’s in which 5 tons of ore averaged 1.84 ounces of gold per ton and 1.18 ounces of silver per ton. The price of gold at that time prevented serious development. The new vein discovery in 1992 at the Nimrod Mine was made.

The Bohemia Mining District ranks #1 for production for all Cascade Mining Districts as far as gold production is concerned. The Blue River District is ranked #3 right behind Quartzville followed by a few other districts who barely made it onto the list. These include, (might not be worth mentioning, but mentioned in order of rank) The Buzzard Mining District, North Santiam District, the Barron District, and the Salmon Creek District. I mentioned those areas for those who want to take their chances, even though gold production was not high.

Written by Robert E. Streiff

UPDATE 6/9/2013: The gorge of the Calapooya River in Linn County is blocked by a Weyerhaeuser gate on the western side near the town of Holley. It is a shame that Weyerhaeuser would block road access to public lands, but they do pay to maintain the roads going through their property. A year ago, I did enter the area on the Blue River side and according to maps there is a connecting road on the Sweet Home side of HWY 20 although I have never found that road, and have looked a few times. Edwin Waters, webmaster, OregonGold.net

Lane County Oregon Gold

Gold mining began in Lane County in 1858 and continues today. Gold has not been an important commodity in Lane County and only about 50,000 ounces have been reported. All this came from two locations. The Blue River District is actually in Lane and Linn counties, but it’s only productive mine, the Lucky Boy Mine, was located between the Calapooia and Blue River systems. It produced about 10,000 ounces, all from lode deposits. About 40,000 ounces came from the Bohemia District about 35 miles southeast of Cottage Grove.

Most forestry campgrounds are “Mineral Withdrawal Sites” and may be used for gold panning, nugget hunting with a metal detector. The larger “Mineral Withdrawal Sites” within the Forestry Service have plainly marked boundaries to indicate the “Free Use Sites” where dredging, gold panning, sluicing and nugget sniping can be done.

BLUE RIVER

Well east of Springfield on U.S. 126, this district overlaps into Linn County. The total production between 1887-1959 was 10,200 ounces of lode gold. The Lucky Boy Mine is 14 patented claims lapping into Linn County. See Linn County for more information.

COTTAGE GROVE

Southeast of Cottage Grove 35 miles on a divide between the Willamette and Umpqua Rivers is the Bohemia mining district. This was the largest and most productive gold district in the West Cascade Mountians. Along Sharps Creek, Martin Creek, and Steamboat Creek, placer gold is located in the gravel bars and benches. There are many lode mines in the area. The Champion (Evening Star) Mine had an 18,000 foot underground tunnel with a by product of gold from copper zinc ores. The Music Mine (14 claims) along Sharps Creek had a rich history and produced about $300,000 in gold from 1891-1949. The Crystal (Lizzie Bullock) Mine had a by product of gold from copper ore. The Helena Mine produced $250,000 in gold from 1896-1950. The Mayflower mine on Horseheaven Creek also has a good history. Other mines in the area are the Star, Captian, President, Grizzly, Leroy, Shotgun, Carlisle, all of which produced lode gold.

BRICE CREEK

Parts of Brice Creek are open to the public through Mineral Withdrawal as a “Free Use Site.” Brice Creek can be reached by travelling from Cottage Grove exit 174 on 1-5 and turning east past Dorena lake for 18 miles. Follow the Row River on the Brice Creek Road past Culp Creek to Disston, turn right onto County Road #2470 and Forest Service Road #22 which leads to Champion Creek. There are patented mining claims in the area. Stay off the private property. Brice Creek and it’s tributaries share heavily in the distrubution of flood gold particles after each new spring thaw and summer thunderstorms. It also has easy access.

Edwin Waters on the GPAA claim "Golden Cat" on Brice Creek

Edwin Waters (webmaster of OregonGold.net) on the GPAA claim "Golden Cat" located on Brice Creek.

  
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