Description

    [California Gold Mining] Loading Ore at the Yellow Astor Mine. 6.75" x 5". The Rand Mountain Mine being tied up by litigation until 1897 did not mill much ore as Pat Reddy had not provided the funds to build a mill while he held an option on the property. When the law suit between Reddy and the original discoverers was settled the name of the mine was changed to the Yellow Astor and ore began to flow to the mills. Milling was primarily done in Garlock, California, a haul of about ten miles. Although various mills in Garlock were utilized, the primary mill was the Visalia Mill which the Yellow Astor Mining and Milling Company held under lease until they built their own mill in 1898. Patrick Reddy was known as the best lawyer in the West during the 19th century. He came to Virginia City, Nevada in the 1860s as a miner and was a contemporary of Samuel Clemens. During his time there he lost an arm in a saloon gun fight before moving to Aurora, Nevada. He followed the early mining strikes to Independence, California where he became an attorney. Next he moved to Bodie where he opened a practice. Following Bodie, his ever present mining dream took him to Randsburg. After the turn of the century he moved to San Francisco where he practiced law until his death. This rare image is in fine condition.

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    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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