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Sierra Buttes Gold Mining Company. Records, 1869-1912
MANUSCRIPT 2380-2389
Collection Overview


Records, 1869-1912
Sierra Buttes Gold Mining Company records, 1869-1912


Sierra Buttes Gold Mining Company, creator


This collection consists primarily of financial data in bound volumes reflecting the operations of the last two, of three, owners of the Sierra Buttes Mine during the period 1869-1910. Neither the type of financial data provided or the methodology of book-keeping is uniform throughout the collection. There are also copies of outgoing correspondence covering in part the years 1884-1912 and assay data from a brief period 1904-1909.
The collection is organized into three series: Correspondence (1884-1894, 1904-1912): Copies of outgoing correspondence in two letterpress copy-books. Most of the earlier book concerns orders for materials. Correspondents are primarily the mine foremen, including: Thomas Preston (1884-1888), Alvah G. Briggs (1889-1890), W.D. Pinkston (1904-1907), E.J. Olson (1907-1908), and Jay C. Folsom (1909-1912).
Financial (1869-1910): Sixteen bound volumes. Income and expense is a running daily account for the periods 1869-1870 and 1904-1909. Monthly summaries provide data for total operations 1871-1910. Costs of specific operations provide data on component parts of the mine operation 1890-1910. Payrolls provide names and earnings of miners 1887-1896; a receipt book documents receiving payment in cash 1889-1896. Assay Data (1904-1909): Two volumes containing assay data from mine, mill ore, and tailings.


1869 (issued)


2380: Correspondence. -- 2381: Financial, income & expense (1869-1870). -- 2382: Financial, income & expense (1904-1909); Monthly summary, 1871-1875. -- 2383: Financial, monthly summary (1885-1889). -- 2384: Financial, monthly summary (1889-1895). -- 2385: Financial, monthly summary (1907-1910) cost of specific opertions, 1890-1896. -- 2386: Financial, cost of specific operations (1904-1909). -- 2387: Financial, cost of specific operations (1907-1910). -- 2388: Financial, payroll (1887-1888). -- 2389. Financial, payroll (1889-1896); Assay data (1904-1909).


Sierra Buttes Gold Mining Company -- Records and correspondence
Gold mines and mining -- California -- Sierra City
Sierra City (Calif.) -- History


The Sierra Buttes Mine was located around the present site of Sierra City, Sierra County. Gold-bearing (auriferous) quartz ledges were discovered in 1850, and first developed by the Reis brothers (Ferdinand and Gustavus), of San Francisco. William A. Farish, the brother of historian Thomas E. Farish, then served as superintendent. By 1866 two mills, of twelve stamps each, were handling the ore produced from three ledges.
The mine was purchased by an English syndicate in 1870. In July 1871, the Sierra Buttes Gold Mining Company, Limited, employed 137 miners who produced 3496 tons of ore. This ore was crushed by three mills totaling 72 stamps, and yielded a profit of $23,000 for the month. By 1882 the mine had produced over 7 million dollars of gold. In July 1889, 112 miners produced 3213 tons of ore, which was milled by two mills, with the same number of stamps, but the profit for the month had dropped to $2733. The difference was due to sulphurets in the ore, which inhibited recovery and added to the costs of reduction.
In 1904 the operation was sold to E.A. and J.O. Hayes, who built a cyanide plant to enhance the recovery of gold. Correspondence indicates that in 1907 the profitability of the mine was questionable, and that in 1912 the mine was shut down. The Sierra Buttes Mine had been the major producer in the area, with an all time estimated production of 17 to 20 million dollars. Today, no signs of the mine's facilities remain, but there is a good collection of photographs, tools, and ephemera in the museum east of Sierra City on Highway 49.
Sierra Buttes Gold Mining Company records, 1869-1912
Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.


Letterpress copies

Physical Description:

10 ms. boxes (20 items)




MANUSCRIPT 2380-2389



Copyright Note:

Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.