Sutter Gold Mine

Sutter Gold Mine

The Sutter Gold Mine is located in California’s “Gold Country” the site of the “Gold Rush”. This mine is located in the old town of Herbertville, which was established in 1881.  During the big “gold rush”, its population was a staggering 300. This area now known as the Sutter Gold Mine actually includes some other well known gold mines, the Lincoln Mine, Mahoney and Wildman Mines and the North Star Mine, all producing gold in the 1800’s.

Sutter Gold Mine

flickr image by HarryCjr

In 1998 Sutter Gold Mine was opened to the public for guided tours, and was officially closed for operation the next year. The tours are one hour guided underground tours, and take you to a depth of about 400 feet below ground. You travel in an open topped vehicle called the “Boss Buggy Shuttle”. On your guided trip, your tour guide will describe for you different exhibit’s during four stops on your trip down. After reaching the bottom of decent, you will unload from the “Boss Buggy” and enter what’s called the “The Gold Theatre”, where you will watch a presentation of how mining techniques were carried on in the 1800’s compared to how they are now done in the 20th century.

As a group you will then take a very educational walking tour of the tunnels and caverns where you will learn about the evolution of mining. You will hear about the way mining used to be done by ancient fire breaking methods, and how that has evolved to the present day use of boom drill jumbos.

During your tour, the geology of the mine and the quartz veins with gold still in them are pointed out to you. The mine is in metavolcanic and metasendimantary rock. The most common rock type is greenstone where the gold-quartz veins are located. Some of the many uses of gold are pointed out to you during discussion, many of which most people aren’t aware. You will then board and ride the Boss Buggy back up to the surface.

While there, especially if you have children with you, you might want to visit the movie theatre next to the gift shop. Included in your admission price to the underground tour, you can watch a documentary on the Gold Rush, and also a children’s film on mining.

It is recommended that you wear good walking shows, and dress for a constant temperature of 64 degrees F and high humidity. Also, remember that you may encounter slippery conditions.

Don’t leave without getting some time in after the tour to do some gemstone mining or maybe panning for gold. Panning equipment rental is only five dollars, and for that maybe you can “strike it rich”.

Date posted: 23rd December, 2012

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