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Pioneer Mining

Gold Districts - Dutch Flat

Gold Districts of California


Location. Dutch Flat is in north-central Placer County. This district includes the Alta and Towle areas. The Gold Run district lies just to the south, the You Bet district to the west, and the Lowell Hill district to the northeast.

History. Placer mining began here in 1849. The settlement was established by some Germans or "Dutch" in 1851. Hydraulicking began in 1857 and, during the following few years, the hydraulic mines were highly productive. Operations continued until 1883, when the mines were shut down by anti-debris injunctions. Some work was done in the district again in the 1890s and early 1900s. Logan (1936) estimated the district to have a total output of $4.5 million to $5 million although it may be more. The old town of Dutch Flat is well-preserved and is now a popular tourist attraction.

Geology. This district is located at the junction of several major channels of the Tertiary American River. One channel enters the area from the Lowell Hill district on the northwest, another from Lost Camp and Shady Run on the cast, and a third from the Gold Run district on the south. The main channel then continues west and northwest through Little York, You Bet, Red Dog, and Hunt's Hill. It has been estimated that 90 to 105 million yards have been washed here. The gravels have a maximum depth of 300 feet, the lower 150 consisting of coarse blue gravel. The bottom gravels are well-cemented. Bedrock consists of slate, gabbro, quartzite, and amphibolite.

Excerpt from: Gold Districts of California, by: W.B. Clark, California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 193, 1970.