Description

    [California Gold Mining] Excavation for Pridham and Quinn Mill (Randsburg's First Stamp Mill) 1898 - Glass Plate Negative. 8.5" x 6.25". The men in the foreground of this photo are excavating for the foundation of Pridham and Quinn's mill. As reported in the Los Angeles Saturday Times and Weekly Mirror, February 5, 1898: "A new stamp mill is to be erected on Fiddler's Gulch on part of the ground belonging to the Kinyon mine. The parties are now in Los Angeles negotiating for the plant and it is an assured thing." On February 12, 1898 the paper reported: "Workmen began a week ago on the foundation for the new mill at Messrs. Pridham & Quinn. The mill machinery, all but the engine, and an order for that has been given to a Los Angeles firm, is on the ground and the work of building is ready to begin. A 10,000 gallon redwood tank is contracted for, to be placed in the top of the hill to hold the water supply for the mill, and in a little time the dropping of the first stamp in Randsburg will be heard." The mill was completed in March of 1898 and a cyanide plant was added in September of that year. The house above the mill belonged to one of the Kinyon brothers. The mine buildings above that are the Little Butte mine. Fine condition.

    More Information:

    Clarence W. Tucker Photograph Collection

    Randsburg, California - Mojave Desert, Circa 1896 - 1898

     

    Simply spectacular! This collection consists of twenty-seven studio-mounted photographs and ten glass plate negatives taken by pioneer California photographer Clarence W. Tucker (1874-1964). The archive represents the most important and rare grouping of mining camp images to come to market in many years. The photos were found at the bottom of a mine in the Mojave Desert in the 1950s by amateur prospector William Young as documented by a series of articles in Westways Magazine in 1971 and 1972. Not a great deal is known about C. W. Tucker's early days in photography. He was born in Indiana on September 22, 1874 and in 1893 he became a photographer's apprentice in Warsaw, Indiana. In 1895 he came to San Jose, California to visit a cousin and ended up staying in California and working as a photographer until his death in 1964. Tucker settled in the rough mining camp of Randsburg around 1896 and remained there until about 1898. During that time he met and married Grace Doughty and she worked as his assistant from thereafter. In the early 1900s the Tuckers moved to Covina, California where they ran a photography studio until 1950. Tucker could not have avoided being affected by the raw energy of the mining camp at Randsburg and his keen photographer's eye fortunately chronicled its rise from a tent city to a small but booming mining town. His images are possibly the only photographic record extant of Randsburg's glory days as an Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) search shows no images by Tucker taken during his time in Randsburg in institutional holdings.

     

    Randsburg's decade-long boom began in 1895 with the discovery of rich gold and mineral deposits in the El Paso mountains in the northwestern Mojave Desert. John Singleton, a hard-rock miner, in a last attempt at striking it rich, got lucky with the discovery of rich gold deposits which would become the famous Yellow Aster mine. The claim was named the "Rand" giving a nod to the rich mines of South Africa and the early mining camp was called "Rand Camp". The discovery touched off the inevitable flood of prospectors and a crude tent camp was hastily established. By the end of 1895 there were thirteen buildings, most of them canvas but by the next year the population had swollen to 1,500 and more permanent wooden structures began to appear. The town suffered a series of devastating fires and as mining played out in the area, the town effectively reverted to ghost town status.


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    Auction Dates
    Nov-Dec, 2011
    30th-1st Wednesday-Thursday
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