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Merced County California Gold Production

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Posted February 8, 2007 in Gold Mining

By A. H. KOSCHMANN and M. H. BERGENDAHL - USGS 1968

Click here for the Principle Gold Producing Districts of the United States Index

Merced County, which adjoins Mariposa County on the southwest, has produced considerable gold from one general locality - the alluvial plain of the Merced River between Merced Falls and Snelling. Small quantities of gold were mined in the early days; then in 1907, the Yosemite Mining and Dredging Co. began operating the first connected bucket dredge in the country, and immediately production doubled. From 1929 to 1943 several bucket dredges operated in the Snelling area - this was the era of peak gold production for Merced County (Davis and Carlson, 1952, p. 221-222). The War Production Board Order L-208 of 1942, rising costs, and resoiling ordinances all contributed to a marked decline in large-scale dredging, and gold mining in Merced County never regained the magnitude of the 1930's.

Total production from 1880 through 1959 was about 516,346 ounces, all from placers.


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