Oil Seeps in Northern California
July 2001 by Edgar B. Heylmun, PhDIndians used asphalt from oil seeps in California for caulking boats and other objects long before the white man arrived. Spaniards noted seeps as early as 1542, and the Portola expedition in 1769 used oil for wagon axles and as a fuel. Spaniards also used crude stills for obtaining lamp oil for use in the missions.
This was no ordinary nugget. It had not traveled very far from its nearby source, and that did mean a lot, as we were searching for the source of several such nuggets found during a gold rush that occurred in 1859.
from H. Mason Coggin, PE & LS
In August 1862, prospectors from Walla Walla, Washington, led by George Grimes, discovered gold near the present townsite of Pioneer City. Grimes was killed by Indians shortly after the discovery. The remaining argonauts retreated to Walla Walla. On October 10, 1862, 52 men returned to Grimes Creek. They built a fort and several cabins before continuing their quest for gold.
Quarry operators would face tighter state regulations under proposed legislation that moved a step closer to approval recently.
Excerpts from California Mining Journal, our original title, published 50 years ago this month.
...this county contained some of the richest placer ground found in all of California and still produces some pretty impressive finds to this day.
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