Chinese Operate Successful Gold Mines in Siskiyou County

May 1, 2014

 Chinese mining companies were rare and their workers often persecuted during the California gold rush, but a number of operations were successful in Siskiyou County. During the late 1800s along the Klamath River, Chinese worked for white miners or ran their own mining companies. 

  The Chinese stuck together and tended to work claims the Americans had abandoned. The Seiad Valley was a rich mining area. Near Walker Bar on the east side of the river, two companies of Chinese, each numbering a dozen men, mined successfully with derricks. The derricks picked up gravel and dumped it into flumes for the gold separation process.  Across from the Lowden Mine on the south bank, 24 Chinese at the Lee Yet Mine operated two hydraulic nozzles known as “giants,” night and day, seven days a week. Chinese working at Lowden’s Mine for 35 years grew relatively rich, one year reportedly removing $52,000 worth of gold.  They sent much of their money back to China. Other rich mines worked by Chinese included the Muck-a-Muck, which produced $75,000 in gold a year.  In the 1890s, the Woodland Mine, another successful Chinese mining company, employed 500 miners. 

  Source: Grider, J.B. Siskiyou Pioneer 2 (1957). [Yreka, Calif.] Siskiyou County Historical Society.