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The Midas Mine Of Harrison Gulch

It was in 1893 that three prospectors named Leonard Benton, John Fowler and another man named Rhodes were out prospecting for gold. They found some rich ground along a creek running through a gulch that later became known as the Harrison Gulch Creek. The three prospectors didn't have the resources to mine the ground so they ended up selling it to the Hurst Brothers who gave the mine the name of King Midas shortened to Midas Mine because the gold there was so rich.

Then in 1898 a fellow by the name of J.W. Roberts purchased the Midas Mine. called it the Midas Gold Mining Company and it was the largest operating at Harrison Gulch and also the largest gold mining camp in Shasta County. It was recorded that the Midas, in Harrison Gulch, had a pay chute 2700 feet long off the fourth level. It was high grade pay ore all the way and averaged from two to three feet wide. It was claimed to be the longest pay chute in California or anywhere at the time. The mine contained free gold along with some sulfides. Much of the ore produced at the Midas mine yielded more than one ounce of gold per ton. The vein was mined to a depth of 1500 feet.

One day Roberts who owned the Midas Mine came into the town of Redding carrying a solid gold brick weighing 50 pounds, and worth about $13,000 at that time. The Midas Mine averaged about $30,000 per month. Roberts shipped the gold bricks from the Midas Mine from Red Bluff to San Francisco in his own boat. Roberts also had interests in other mines in the area. It is also said he always had a few "fake" gold bricks along with each shipment in case of robbery.

Then in February of 1904: The Midas Mine of Harrison Gulch was closed down as the result of labor troubles. Over one hundred men are thrown out work. The miners Union demanded the discharge of an engineer because he was a non-union man and so the mining company decided to shut down rather than give in to the whims of a union. Once things got back to normal and workers got back to work a second shaft sunk across the gulch from the Midas and named Gold Hill. Monthly cleanup from the stamp mill at the Midas Mine in Harrison Gulch yielded enough gold to make a $28,000.00 gold brick. L. A. McIntosh, manager of the mine, came in from Harrison Gulch and brought the valuable gold brick with him.

By the end of mining the Midas Mine group had a few different mines in the area. These included Gold Hill, Esperanza, Gray Eagle, and Harrison Gulch Mines. There was another mine in the same area owned by another party. That was the Victor Mine and it was located on the edge of Knob, adjoining the Midas Mine on the east. Fights and arguments between the two mining companies were a regualr occurance as each mine owner claimed the "big vein of pay gold" and their tunnels were heading toward each other.

In 1910 a fire swept through and burned most of the town however most of it was rebuilt over time. The mine produced millions worth of gold over it's 20 year life.

harrison gulch miners

harrison gulch today
Harrison Gulch today