This is the story about the Bonanza King mine. If you read a lot of history on old mines you will notice that there are almost as many Bonanza King mines as there are Burger King resturants. It's almost like there was a limited vocabulary back then as there are countless creeks and mines with that name.
It was in 1880 that silver was first discovered in the Providence Mountains way out in the Mojave desert. This discovery would eventually lead up to the building of the Bonanza King mine. The prospectors who found the deposit didn't have the money to really do anything with it so the deposit was sold to a group of miners in 1882 and it was then that it became known as the Bonanza King Consolidated Mining & Milling Company.
Within a little more than a year the mine had produced over one million dollars worth of silver. In 1884 the mine built a 10 stamp mill to process their own ore. At first most of the miners lived in tents and shacks but soon a small town was built close by. This town became known as Providence because it was right close to Providence mountain. By 1883, the town had over 300 residents and had a post office, two general stores, a couple of hotels, a few saloons, a blacksmith and wagon maker and a deputy sheriff.
In 1885 the silver prices fell and the mine closed up for a short while however even with low silver prices the owners then decided to maybe put the mine back to work. Thw owners decided to actually increase production at the mine figuring volume would off set the lower prices. In July of the same year however, the mill burned down and the mine shut down letting it's workers go. The mine never did rebuild the mill but in 1886 it hired back some of the miners and sent it's ore to a nearby mine called the Kerr and Patton where there was a new stamp mill. It was this mine that kept the town of Providence going for a short time.
Then in 1893 the Panic of 1893 happened and as with many silver mines this was a devastating time and these mines could no longer afford to be proditable and they closed down. Then in February of 1894, gold was discovered just a few miles south of Providence at a place called Hidden Hill.This would be a boon for the town and area during a time of low silver prices as many of the miners were now mining gold instead of silver.
Then in 1906 a new company took over the Bonanza King mine and installed a new 10 stamp mill and worked the mine for close to a year but then the stock market had a crash and money was hard to raise so the mine was closed yet again. Then in 1914 the price of silver was going up and the mine was reopened and had the stamp mill rebuilt. The company hired extra miners and started to modernize the mill with new hositing equipment and mining proceeded to go deeper as new shafts were put in. By this time the mine depth was down 800 feet and the mine saw some good high grade ore and the company had a couple turucks that were hauling concentrates over to Fennel everyday. Then in 1920 the silver price fell to a dollar an ounce and the mine closed yet again.
Then in 1923, the property was leased to a new company called the Bonanza King Consolidated Mines Company. The mine had about half a dozen men 6 men working on the lower levels but in May, 1924 the last car load of ore was shipped out and the mine closed for good.
Today there are just scattered remains of this old mine. You can still drive up to the mine site and see the old head frame and old wooden ore bins. Very little of the town remains.