Informants: Mr. Pete Beaver and his wife Anna Beaver
The mine was called the Great Eastern Quicksilver Mining Company, of what state I do not know. But I understand it was incorporated in the east—in some eastern state. The mine was first operated in about 1887 and was operated successfully, and ore was taken out of the mine for—up until the earthquake in 1906. At that time, the time of the earthquake, the mine was badly damaged. Quicksilver wasn’t paying so well, the price of it was down, so the mine was closed down in 1909. Operations ceased, all the pumps and the equipment underground was taken out by my father and a few other men. An attempt was made to retime the mine and resume operations, but failed to do so.
Some property next to the Great Eastern Quicksilver Mine known as the Mt. Jackson Mining Company had no mine but did have a very promising future as a mine from outcrops of promising mercury. This Mt. Jackson property was then leased by the Great eastern Quicksilver Mining Company and mined for about five years. The drift or tunnel was put in at the bottom of the 500 foot mine and under the creek that divided the two properties the tunnel was 300 feet in length. At the end of this tunnel a shaft or wince was sunk and operation began on the Mt. Jackson property. This property proved to show some very good pr9ospects and was mined, as was stated, for five years. The ore taken up by cars in the Great eastern shaft. As the ore as sent up the shaft it was, the cars were, switched onto a track that went down to what they call a Chinese dump. Fourteen to sixteen Chinese were employed to process the ore to be sent down to the furnace or mill to be condensed into quicksilver. An elevated camway was used with what was called cable cars, cable ore cars. The loaded car pulled the empty back up to the ore bin, and a man was at the end of the camway at the mill to dump the car. The ore was then slowly fed to camway at the mill to dump the car. The ore was then slowly fed to the condensers or furnaces, rather. The furnaces were fed ore and as the ore burned off, or burned out—burned the quicksilver out of the ore—it was then drawn off into cars and pushed out and dumped in a slag pile.
My father started working at the quicksilver mine in 1889. He started as what is called mucker in am ine at $1.50 a day, that’s a twelve hour shift. As time went on, of course, he advanced and finally got to be a miner running a machine, which at that time was called a Burleigh drill. These Burleigh drills were not operated with air like the present machines are. It was operated by steam power and was a very crude machine at that time. After working the mine and doing everything that was wanted or could be done in the mine, he finally