Weaverville, Trinity County, Ca. [ca. early 1890s]. Blueprint map, 33 1/2 x 33 inches. Old folds, a handful of small areas of loss on the left side and along folds, minor staining. Good plus. Framed, under plexiglass. Item #WRCAM54816
An exceedingly rare blueprint map enumerating the mining prospects in Trinity County, California in the late-19th century. Located in northwestern California, between the towns of Eurkea and Redding, Trinity County is better known as a logging region rather than for its mining. This map is revealing of the high level of mining activity in the county at the time. The map shows rivers, creeks, lakes, mountain ranges, and other topographical features and is laid out in a grid pattern with lines delineating wagon roads, trails, and county boundaries. The reference key at bottom indicates places on the map where one can find auriferous gravel, land containing gold-bearing quartz, cinnibar, and coal. Mining-related locations specifically identified on the map include the Hawkins Bar Mine, the Golden Chest Quartz Mines, the La Grange Mine (the largest hydraulic mine in the county), Musser Hill Mines, Bullychoop Quartz Mines, and others. A California court ruling known as the Sawyer Decision of 1884 aimed to protect California public lands and waterways from mining debris caused by hydraulic blasting of entire mountains. Judge Lorenzo Sawyer's ruling is sometimes referred to as California's first environmental law, and it forced miners to look at alternatives for unearthing valuable minerals. Dredging gravel beds became a commonplace practice, and the current map shows the way to numerous locations where miners might try their luck at this newest method. The map was compiled by Henry L. Lowden, U.S. Deputy Mineral Surveyor and civil engineer, and John F. Johnson, topographical engineer. It is perhaps a precursor to what Vogdes calls the first map of Trinity County, also compiled by Lowden and Johnson and published in 1894 as OFFICIAL MAP OF TRINITY COUNTY CALIFORNIA. Mining in the Trinity County region began slowly in the 1850s, but was most active between 1880 and the late- 1950s, when over two million ounces of gold were produced, mostly from placer mines. Rare, with no copies in OCLC.