Brief History of Chloride City

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Posted by Cecile on November 06, 2002 at 20:31:12:

In Reply to: Re: Chloride City posted by Cecile on November 06, 2002 at 19:29:42:

Ok, I did a quick research for you - and here's what I've found:

In 1871, August J. Franklin picked up a rock to defend himself against a rattlesnake. Underneath the rock he found a shiny metal. The rock he extracted contained silver-lead ore deposits and the Chloride Cliff Mine was born. Transportation costs to haul the mules 180 miles away to San Bernardino, made the mining prohibitively expensive. The deposits turned out to be lead chloride, not silver chloride, thus the mine never really profited.

George Franklin inherited the Chloride Cliff Mine from his father when he died in 1904. Operations had already ceased years before George took control, but many new discoveries were sprouting around it. The Bullfrog Cliff Mining Company, the Mucho Mining Company and the Death Valley Mining and Milling Company came into being around Chloride City.

Chloride City itself apparently featured a bunkhouse, cookhouse, blacksmith shop, assay office and the mining superintendentís house. Water, scarce as it is throughout Death Valley, was pumped from the Keane Springs in the Funeral Mountains 4 miles away.

The great 1906 San Francisco earthquake tied up investors money, and mining ceased. not to resume again until 1906. George sold the Chloride Cliff Mine to a Pittsburgh syndicate. From 1909-1940 there were continued mining efforts.

According to Backcountry Adventures - Southern California by Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson, the road to Chloride City today requires high 4-wheel drive clearance and is rough in places. Chloride City itself is only a short distance from the main trail. Although there are some old cabins, and many mines to see in the area, most buildings were only temporary structures that did not survive the ages.

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