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The Kennedy Gold Mine

The gold rush of 1849 in California was a big rush that saw thousands of new comers arrive into the state looking for fame and fortune. Even after the rush was over with and the gold seemed to have run out, many people had spent all their money just getting to California and therefore had nowhere else to go. Some of the people struggled along trying to make ends meet while others continued exploring for gold with what little they had.

It was in early 1860 when four prospectors Barringan, J. Flemming, John Fullen and Andrew Kennedy eached staked four claims. Andrew kennedy got to work right away and started to put down a shaft. He got down 100 feet. In 1861 Andrew sold a quarter of his interest in the claims. The four men did continue on putting in shafts until 1869 at which time they sold out to a group of investors. This group of investors formed the Kennedy Mining Company and worked the area off and on from 1870 to 1878. During that time they recovered around $300,000 in gold from three different shafts they had dug.

In 1886 this group sold the mine to some different investors who were keen on mining after a prominent mining engineer had been to the mine and did an inspection. This new group of men formed the Kennedy Mining & Milling Company and with guidance of a few of the investors who knew mining the mine became quite prosporous. New gold zones were discovered at greater depths and because there was an influx of new money this work could be performed whereas before many attempts to expand were halted because the money was always running low and the mine could not afford the costs.

The mine continued to produce gold for many more years. Then in 1942 the US government ordered all gold mines to close do to the war effort and gold was classed as a non essential metal in war times. After the war though this order by the government was finished and gold mines could go back to work however during the time the mine was shut down the water had been running into the shafts and different chambers below so much that the company decided against starting back up. After that the mine sat idle and never worked again. a

In 1961 the mine was purchased by a lady who lived at the mine in one of the old houses. She died in 1994 and left the mine to be maintained as a historical site. In 1996 the Kennedy Mine Foundation was established and today you can travel to see and tour this great mine.

In it's time the Kennedy Mine was the deepest and largest gold mines in North America. It's shaft went down 5912 feet and underground there was over 50 miles of tunnels and excavations. In total the mine produced over 28 million dollars worth of gold.