Gold Districts of California
Location. The Soulsbyville district is in west-central Tuolumne County in the
general vicinity of the towns of Soulsbyville and Tuolumne. It includes the Arrastraville
and Buchanan areas.
History. This district was placer-mined during the gold rush. Lode mining began
in the early 1850s, and there was a rush to the district that began in 1858 after Ben
Soulsby discovered rich ores. The mines were worked on a major scale until about 1915.
There was some activity during the 1920s and 1930s, and there has been minor prospecting
and development in a few of the mines since. This has been the most productive district in
the Sierra Nevada east gold belt, with a total output value to be at least $20 million.
Geology. Granitic rocks, of which granodiorite predominates, underlie the
west-central portion of the district (fig. 24). These granitic rocks are intrusive into
slate, schist, phyllite, and quartzite of the Calaveras Formation (Carboniferous to
Permian). Limestone is to the south and west, and the interstream ridges to the north arc
capped by andesite. Numerous dioritic and aplitic dikes are present, often associated with
Ore Deposits. A large number of unoriented gold-quartz veins occur in both the
granitic and metamorphic rocks, usually ranging from one to five feet in thickness. The
ore bodies are often lenticular in shape and contain native gold and often abundant
sulfides, especially galena, which is nearly always associated with the gold.
Milling-grade ore usually ranged from V2 to one ounce of gold per ton, and considerable
high-grade ore has been mined in the district. The maximum depth of development is 1500
Mines. Agua, Caliente, Black Oak $3.5 million, Black Hawk, Blue Lead, Buchanan
$600,000, Carlotta, Chickenfeed, Columbus $100,000+, Consolidated Eureka, Dead Horse,
Draper $1 million, Dreisen, Empire, Fair Maiden, Fair Oaks, Garfield, Gilson (Platt &
Gilson) $1.25 million, Grizzly $1.5 million, Hattie Ester, Hunter $300,000, Jigger Bill
Brothers, Junction, Lady Washington, Laura & North Star, Louisiana, Mammon, New
Albany, Ophir, Park and Mason, Phoenix, Providence $700,000, Prudhomme, Seminole, Spring
Gulch $250,000, Soulsby $5.5 million, Starr King $100,000, South United $1.7 million,
Waif, Wheal Ruff, Worcestor.
Excerpt from: Gold Districts of California, by: W.B. Clark, California
Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 193, 1970.
Return to Principal Gold Districts