"What's in a Name?": (Tales, Historical or Fictitious, about 111 California Gold Belt Place Names)

By C. M. Goethe | Go to book overview

GLOSSARY OF CALIFORNIA GOLD BELT TERMS
AMALGAM . Gold has an affinity with "quicksilver." Quicksilver, laden with its captured gold, is dubbed AMALGAM.
ARRASTA . Primitive Spanish machine for extracting gold from quartz. Its circular floor and sides were of hard rock. This often was of an andesite lava called "nigger beads." Power, usually a blindfolded mule. It slowly treadmilled the weights. The arrasta uneconomically ground auriferous quartz to sand. Pioneer resourcefulness soon invented, to replace the wasteful ARRASTA, the STAMPMILL, (q. v.). (Mr. Baggelmann's sketch illustrates same. See Index.)
BAR . A river terrace, usually of Tertiary Time. No relation to a saloon.
BEDROCK . Auriferous gravels were river-washed. They were deposited atop older country rock. This might be Carboniferous-Calaveras shaly slates. These often were silver-colored, oxidizing to tawny. It also might be a hard, greenish, emphibolite-schist. In other places it was a granodiorite, usually dubbed "granite". In some places, it was a black Jurassic slate. This, sometimes, was almost of roofing quality. (See item on BRANDY FLAT.)
BLACK SAND . In nearly all California placer gravels, the next heaviest element, after gold, was a magnetite sand. This was a hard black iron oxide. It contrasted in color with other iron oxides, red hematite, yellow limonite. As all dross in panning or hornspooning was washed away, one saw first the black sand, finally the gold dust.
CLAIM . An area of mining ground, usually unpatented. In writer's boyhood, a claim generally was limited to 1500 feet along the ledge. In '49 and the '50s, gold was so plentiful, claims of placer ground usually were very much smaller. A claim at DOWNIEVILLE 60 feet square was said to have produced $800,000 in 6 mos. working.
"COLOR," THE . If, when one panned or hornspooned, a few specks of gold showed bright against the black sand, this was called "getting the color".
COPPER PLATE . Much gold was recovered from the crushed quartz, or tailings, by washing the latter over aprons of quick- silvered copper. (See drawing of a stampmill).

-190-

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"What's in a Name?": (Tales, Historical or Fictitious, about 111 California Gold Belt Place Names)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page I
  • Dedication III
  • The '49ers XIII
  • Pioneer Leadership XIV
  • Foreword XV
  • Gold Rush Days' Chinese XVIII
  • List of Illustrations IXX
  • Amador City 1
  • Angel's Camp 2
  • Antelope 5
  • Brown's Valley 13
  • Brandy Flat 18
  • Butte City 20
  • Calico Mountains 22
  • Camptonville 24
  • Carmelito 25
  • Carson Creek 26
  • Cherokee (butte County) 28
  • Cherokee, (calaveras County) 30
  • Chile Gulch 33
  • Chinese Camp 35
  • Coloma 38
  • Coyote Diggings 50
  • Delirium Tremens 51
  • Donkeyville 52
  • Doty's Flat 55
  • Double Springs 57
  • Downieville 62
  • Eel River 65
  • Fiddletown 68
  • Folsom 71
  • Forbestown 72
  • Forest Hill Divide 74
  • Forest Home 77
  • Gold Run 81
  • Gouge-Eye 82
  • Grass Valley 85
  • Growlersburg 87
  • Hangtown 87
  • Hangtown "Fry" 88
  • Hangtown (deer Creek) 91
  • Humbug 91
  • Hundred-Ounce Gulch 92
  • Illinoistown 93
  • Jackass Hill 96
  • Jayhawk 96
  • Jesus Maria 98
  • Kentucky Slide 99
  • Liars' Flat 102
  • Lotus 104
  • Marysville 105
  • Michigan Bar 107
  • Michigan Bluff 111
  • Mokelumne Hill 112
  • Murphy's 120
  • Mad Mule Canyon, Whiskey Creek 124
  • Nevada City 127
  • One-Horse Town 128
  • Oroville 132
  • Paradise 133
  • Pinchemtight 134
  • Pokerville 137
  • Prairie City 139
  • Railroad Flat--Also Bummerville 140
  • Rattlesnake Bar 142
  • Rebel Hill 145
  • Red Dog 148
  • Rough and Ready 150
  • Shingle Springs 152
  • Sicord Flat (not "Sucker Flat") 152
  • Slumgullion 153
  • Smartsville 156
  • Sorefinger 159
  • Squaw Hollow 159
  • Sutter Creek 160
  • Sutter's Fort 162
  • Tiger Lily 164
  • Timbuctu 166
  • Tin Cup 174
  • Twenty-Mule-Team Canyon 175
  • Vallecito 177
  • Virginiatown 179
  • W. Y. O. D. 185
  • You-Be-Damned 187
  • Greeks and Forty-Niners 187
  • Glossary Of California Gold Belt Terms 190
  • Index 199
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