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Kentucky Mine, Sierra City

Was hard rock gold mining in 19th and early 20th century California limited to large mines like Grass Valley’s Empire Mine, or Jackson’s Kennedy Mine? No, there were many small, independently owned, hard rock gold mines. An outstanding example is the Kentucky Mine located just east of Sierra City on Highway 49. The Kentucky Mine gives a unique sense of gold mining in the Sierra Nevada. It retains the processes of a 19th-century working hard rock gold mine including authentic equipment. And it is the only remaining workable complete gold ore stamp mill in California. Our video slide show gives a taste of the mine and stamp mill and a little more of its history. The mine and mill are part of the Kentucky Mine Historic Park and Museum located about a mile east of Sierra City on Highway 49. The park has been closed for two years because of Covid but may open again this year. When open the museum offers a guided mine and stamp mill tour. This is a unique opportunity to step back into the world of small-scale hard rock gold mining as it was done in the 19th and early 20th century.


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