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Finding Aid to the Mariposa Land and Mining Company of California Records
BANC MSS C-G 127  
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Collection Details
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  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Alternate Forms Available
  • Accruals
  • Processing Information
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library
    Title: Mariposa Land and Mining Company of California records
    creator: Mariposa Land and Mining Company of California
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-G 127
    Physical Description: 13 linear feet (6 cartons, 8 oversize boxes, 2 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1863-1924
    Abstract: The records of the Mariposa Land and Mining Company of California, including correspondence, reports, property records, legal records, financial records, and a few photographs.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Mariposa Land and Mining Company of California records, BANC MSS C-G 127, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.


    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Lara Michels in 2012.

    Administrative History

    In 1863, the Mariposa Mining Company of New York was established to organize mining operations on the 70 square miles of John C. Fremont's Las Mariposas Estate in Mariposa County, California. The estate encompassed Bear Valley and was encircled by Mount Bullion on the east and the lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada on the west. The Merced River ran along the northern line of the property. The Mariposa Mining Company operated, with some difficulty and constant litigation over title to the estate, until 1874, when it was bought out by the newly formed Mariposa Land and Mining Company of California, which assumed complete ownership of the Mariposa Estate. This new company owned and managed all facets of life on the estate, including the mines, water power, quartz mills, mill dams, engines, ore houses, dwellings, and stores. The principal mines on the estate were the Princeton, Josephine, Pine Tree, Linda, Green Gulch, Mariposa, and Mount Orphir mines. Ore was treated at the Orphir Mills, located on the Merced River and powered by means of the Benton Dam (and, after 1900, by the Benton Mills hydroelectric power plant).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The bulk of the collection consists of the records of the Mariposa Land and Mining Company of California and its successor, the Mariposa Commercial and Mining Company. There are also a few records from the Mariposa Mining Company of New York, which was the first corporation to manage the Mariposa Estate (1863-1874). Included are correspondence (1875-1923) mostly to and from the company’s manager and secretary; mill reports (1904-1913); assay reports (1869-1913); reports on gold production and development work on the mines and estate; a large number of leases for tenants on the estate; lists of tenants on the estate; other documents relating to estate property, including recordings of legal proceedings relating to the disputes over title to the Mariposa Estate that took place in the period between 1863 and 1874; legal files documenting accidents at the mines; other legal files; financial records, including annual financial statements, cash account statements, cash books (including three from the 1860s and early 1870s that show purchases of supplies from local stores and include lists of local Chinese miners employed by the company), billheads, and mine employee payroll lists from 1887 to 1916; powder reports; materials relating to the operation of the Benton Mills Power Plant; and two photographs of the Princeton mine and its surroundings.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Hydroelectric power plants--California--Mariposa County
    Mine accidents--California--Mariposa County
    Mines and mineral resources--California--Mariposa County
    Mining corporations--California--Mariposa County
    Bear Valley (Mariposa County, Calif.)
    Las Mariposas Rancho (Calif.)
    Mariposa (Calif.)
    Account books--California--Mariposa County
    Billheads--California--Mariposa County
    Cashbooks--California--Mariposa County
    Financial records--California--Mariposa County
    Mariposa Land and Mining Company of California
    Mariposa Commerical and Mining Company
    Mariposa Land and Mining Company--Archives
    Mariposa Mining Company of New York