Idaho History September 10, 2017

Deadwood

Part 1 – Mining

Valley (previously Boise) County, Idaho

Campbell 1931

1931 Office at the Deadwood Mine (right center), with the mill in the background.

source: Figure 10 from History of the Deadwood Mine, Valley County, Idaho, Mitchell
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Deadwood City

Started in 1867, the first settlement lasted only a few years. Since then, there have been bursts of activity now and then with the latest occurring in the 1940s. The present Deadwood Lodge is a stopping place for those wishing to explore the old camp, which is located on the upper Deadwood River behind the Lodge. There one will find the remains of the mine buildings. Along the road below the Lodge are the remains of several old miner cabins.

source: Henry Chenoweth Ghost Towns
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Deadwood

Excitement over placers in Deadwood Basin attracted several parties in the early summer of 1863, and the Golden Age of July 15 announced that prospects ranged as high as 12½¢ to the pan. A company of Frenchmen worked most of the summer of 1864, and several placer finds on the South Fork of the Payette River, not far from the mouth of the Deadwood, kept prospectors in the vicinity. Interest in the Deadwood placers grew that fall when a mining district was organized on October 17. Reports of finds running 50¢ to $1 per pan brought many men there from Boise Basin. One company made $600 in one day, but the commotion was a temporary one. When mining at Deadwood began again in 1867, the district was regarded as brand new.

Nathan Smith, one of Idaho’s most distinguished prospectors and a member of the Florence discovery party, revived the Deadwood mines. The miners’ meeting over which he presided on August 16, 1867, and in which a new district was organized, may be regarded as the serious beginning of Deadwood placer operations. When the story of the new discoveries reached Idaho City, a stampede to Deadwood resulted on September 8-9, 1867. J. Marion More’s party found a gulch that prospected 50¢ to $2 to the pan, and two or three other gulches also promised to yield well. After James A. Pinney, postmaster in Idaho City, returned on September 14 with a good report, it was hoped for a time that Deadwood would build up Idaho placer mining to something like that of the earlier boom days. By the time mining ended for the fall, however, only four gulches had proved workable. Deadwood City already was “quite a little town.” But aside from arranging to construct a substantial ditch for use in the dry gulches the next spring, little could be done that fall.

Mining commenced in earnest about the beginning of May 1868.

One hundred men went to work in the older (August 1867) placers, and about thirty prepared to open up a new placer area as soon as the snow melted. One three-man company in the old snow-free district cleaned up $5,000 with a giant hydraulic in two weeks, and production increased when the new 300- to 400-inch ditch came into use on May 4 (water was supplied at what was regarded as a reasonable rate of 50¢ to 65¢ an inch for twenty-four hours). At the very beginning of the season, two men in the newer placers made $212 in two days, and in the middle of May two men took out $70 in one day with a rocker in a dry gulch. The average daily production for the most successful company reached $100 during the season that ended early in July. Those were the high figures for the area, but even so, placers were worked easily and promised to last for more than one season.

Quartz possibilities in Deadwood Basin pointed the way to the main future production of the district. On May 16, 1868, one prospector worked a rich outcrop at the rate of sixty-two ounces to the ton, using a “rough process,” and another good vein was discovered on June 2. Then in July, J. G. Bohlen, whose experience in the mining country had been limited to running the Idaho City Dancing School, astonished everyone with still another very rich quartz ledge. These quartz prospects could not come into production instantly, but they finally accounted for most of the Deadwood yield.

Interest in Deadwood diminished in 1869 with the gold rush to Loon Creek, and by 1876 Deadwood City had become a ghost town.

Mining finally resumed there from 1924 to 1932. By 1947, a Deadwood lead-zinc property had yielded about $1 million.

source: Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series Number 223 September 1996 – Publications–450 N. 4th Street, Boise, ID 83702–208-334-3428
(broken link)
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Deadwood Pictures from Earl Waite

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(courtesy of Scott Amos, personal correspondence)
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History of the Deadwood Mine, Valley County, Idaho

by Victoria E. Mitchell Idaho Geological Survey 2007

Introduction

The Deadwood Mine is in the Deadwood mining district in secs. 11 and 12, T. 13 N., R. 7 E., on the Bernard Mountain 7.5-minute topographic quadrangle. The mine is approximately 25 air miles east-southeast of Cascade, Idaho (Figures 1, 2, and 3). The mine is at about 6,000 feet in elevation, and the mill ruins are about 200 feet lower. The mine is on Pilgrim Mountain near the head of Deadwood River.

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Figure 2. General location of the Deadwood Mine, showing the Deadwood River and the topographic features of the surrounding area (National Geographic TOPO! map, scale approximately 1:100,000).

The mine is approximately 25 air miles east-southeast of Cascade, Idaho (Figures 1, 2, and 3). The mine is at about 6,000 feet in elevation, and the mill ruins are about 200 feet lower. The mine is on Pilgrim Mountain near the head of Deadwood River.

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Figure 2. General location of the Deadwood Mine, showing the Deadwood River and the topographic features of the surrounding area (National Geographic TOPO! map, scale approximately 1:100,000).

The Deadwood Mine is actually a consolidation of the properties owned by two separate mining companies: the Lost Pilgrim Mining Company and the Hall Interstate Mining Company (Table 1). The claim blocks of these companies adjoined each other and covered parts of the same vein system. A third company, the Deadwood Mining Company, Limited, owned claims adjacent to the Hall Interstate Mining Company.

Access to the property from Cascade is 35 miles of paved road and 17 miles of gravel road. Between January and June, snow closes the road, and the only access is by snowmobile (Reimers, 1981). The first time Idaho Mine Inspector Stewart Campbell visited the property in 1922, he left Boise at 5:30 a.m. by automobile, traveled via Lowman and Bear Valley, and reached the mine at 11:30 p.m. that night after walking the last 8 miles from the end of the wagon road (Campbell, 1931). Conditions had improved greatly over that arduous trip by the time Bunker Hill took over operation of the property in the mid-1920s, but the following description from Campbell (1930, p. 38) shows how isolated the mine was:

From about the 10th of November to the 20th of June each year the roads are closed to wheeled vehicles, and the only means of communication, other than Forest Service telephone, is by dog sled [Figure 4]. The teams are employed under contract, and two are necessary to meet the schedule of three mail deliveries to the mine per week. The trip between the mine and Cascade requires two days. The contract calls for a 100-pound load and the transportation of one company official or injured employee when necessary, but the contractor is obliged to carry only the mail. Two cents per pound is paid for freight and five cents per pound for personal baggage.


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During the summer months three 5-ton dump-body trucks [Figure 5] are used for hauling the concentrates and supplies. The trucks operate on a 24-hour schedule and make two round trips per day. All hauling is done under contract at a price of $10.00 per ton in each direction. As supplies of all kinds in sufficient quantities to maintain operations throughout the winter months must be hauled during the open season, the trucks moving in both directions are usually fully loaded.


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Geology

[excerpt pg 8]: Practically all of the veins are fissures striking northeast and southwest and dipping to the south at a small angle. They vary in width from a few inches to over 40 feet. In the north end of the district all of the ore is silver or lead-silver. These veins vary from about three feet to over 40 feet in width, while in the southern part of the district gold is the only mineral so far discovered, and here the veins are narrow, varying from a few inches to not over two feet in width, although exceedingly rich. On account of the dense forest growth and heavy overburden but few veins have been discovered, these as the result of placer operations.

History of the Deadwood Mine

Placers in Deadwood Basin first attracted miners in the early summer of 1863, and a second Deadwood Basin placer gold rush began in 1867. By 1868, miners had started to locate the quartz outcrops which would lead to the discovery of the Deadwood lead-zinc deposits. However, many of the miners left the following year in the rush for the Loon Creek gold discoveries, and the area was all but abandoned by 1876 (Wells, 1983). James H. Hawley (whose career included the varying occupations of prospector, lawyer, and governor of Idaho) discovered a narrow outcrop of high-grade silver-bearing quartz on the Lost Pilgrim ground in the 1880s. A small shipment of ore, sent by pack mule to the Ketchum smelter, proved unprofitable (Bell, 1929).

By 1905 the Idaho Mine Inspector noted that the gold veins in the Deadwood Basin were starting to attract considerable attention. About this time, the Hall brothers found some galena float on strike with the Lost Pilgrim vein on an adjacent property (Bell, 1929). In 1907, the IMIR (p. 43-44) described the discovery of the main surface exposure at the Hall-Interstate Mine, as well as noting the difficulties to developing this deposit:

Aside from its gold mines, one of the most important ore developments of the year in Boise County (*) was the disclosure of an extensive deposit of lead-silver mineral, carrying good gold and copper values in addition, at Deadwood Basin, where the Hall Brothers succeeded in running down the source of some rich float, the source of which had been a prospector’s problem for years. This discovery was made by sluicing off the deep surface debris with water conveyed through a long ditch dug for that purpose, and disclosed a lode or zone of rich concentrating ore 100 feet in width, of which 20 to 30 feet is said to carry lead values of 10 to 20 per cent with masses of clean galena mineral that runs 60 to 70 per cent lead.

Numerous samples have shown from 1 to 2 ounces silver to each unit of lead, together with several dollars per ton in gold. The situation of this mine is rather remote for a base ore proposition, but it is of such magnitude and promise that if its present size and values are maintained for any important length along its strike, its extensive development would doubtless warrant railway construction for no other purpose than to handle the mineral traffic it could produce, and it will doubtless receive the attention of mining investors as important discoveries of lead mineral have been very few and far between during late years.
(*) Valley County was not created until 1917.

In 1917, Mine Inspector Robert Bell sampled a 10 foot vein in an open cut that ran 10 percent lead, 22 ounces per ton silver, and $2.00 per ton gold. The price of gold at that time was $20.67 per ounce.

The Hall Interstate Mining Company was organized in October 1915 and originally held a group of five claims along the vein exposed by the Hall brothers. The Deadwood Mining Company, Limited, was organized in June 1921 and controlled seven claims to the south of the Hall Interstate Company. The Lost Pilgrim Mining Company, organized in November 1921, owned six claims to the north of the Hall-Interstate. For the Deadwood Mining Company, the 1921 IMIR (p. 123) reported: “This company was actively engaged in developing a large body of high-grade lead-silver-gold ore, and reports sufficient tonnage available to justify the installation of a milling plant and the construction of a road.” This sounds suspiciously like claims made later about the adjacent Hall-Interstate claims, especially in light of the Deadwood Mining Company’s report to the Mine Inspector for the same year: “We have reached the ledge and drilling through to hanging wall. Ledge seems to be about 50 feet thick. Last assays show no values. First assays run as high as $50.00 per ton in silver and gold, mostly silver. Unless more valuable rock is reached in the hanging wall, claims may be abandoned.” The Hall Interstate Mining Company reported development work throughout the year.

During 1922, both the Hall Interstate and Deadwood companies did assessment work. Only the Lost Pilgrim Mining Company noted a large amount of development. The company’s report to the Mine Inspector described the deposit as: “Simple fissure vein, carrying quartz, in granite country rock. The quartz contains silver up to 212 oz. per ton, and averages 40 oz. Width of quartz 18 inches to 31/2 feet, averaging 2 feet.” The company further noted that it was continuing development by extending existing tunnels and that it was building cabins and a 20 tons-per-day (tpd) mill.

All three companies did only assessment work during 1923. In October of that year, the property was visited by Oscar Hershey, long-time consulting mining engineer for the Bunker Hill & Sullivan Mining & Concentrating Company. Hershey (1923a, p. 1) introduced the mine to Bunker Hill’s management as follows: “The Hall-Interstate impresses me as being the prospect for which we have been looking for a long time, I recommend that the company take an option on it, and hence please read this fully as a decision has to be made within 30 days from October 11th.” …

Hershey (1923a) examined the adjacent claim groups and recommended Bunker Hill lease the Lost Pilgrim property at the same time it leased the Hall-Interstate. His assessment of the Deadwood claims was much less encouraging, and he suggested that Bunker Hill lease those claims only under extremely favorable terms. This apparently did not happen, although Deadwood eventually became the name by which the larger, adjoining property became known.

In late October 1923, when Hershey received the assay results from samples taken on his trip to the mine, he became more enthusiastic about the property even while commenting (Hershey, 1923b, p. 1): “These assays do not bear out the claims made by Mr. Hall as per my report of October 13th, but there is not as much discrepancy as we usually find between the claims of a prospect owner and the contents as determined by our sampling.” He continued the letter with an analysis of the assay results and his own conclusions about the property (Hershey, 1923b, p. 2-3):

It now appears to me that copper is an important constituent of the entire ore-shoot where unoxidized and may average 3 or 4%. The zinc content is probably at least equal to the lead. The entire ore-shoot may average 7% lead, 7% zinc, 3% copper, 13 ozs. silver and $1.20 gold per ton, a gross value of $ 33.00 per ton or $13,860,000 gross value of ore that may be developed by the proposed expenditure of $50,000, aside from equipment, and not counting what may be in the vein outside of the main big ore-shoot. It seems to me that I must have figured wrong somewhere for I can hardly think that a thing like that is lying loose in the State of Idaho.

Bunker Hill began negotiations, which were not concluded until the following year, with the Hall Interstate and Lost Pilgrim companies. The 1924 IMIR (p. 211) described the year’s activities:

The properties controlled by this company [Bunker Hill] were acquired in May after many months of negotiation; immediately thereafter arrangements were completed for the construction of the necessary buildings and the installation of the equipment.

A large two-story boarding house, a power house [Figure 7], shop, barn, and outbuildings were built. The power plant was constructed, the compressor and mining equipment were installed, and sufficient supplies were put in to permit operations throughout the winter months, before the roads were closed. Everything was hauled in from Hailey through Stanley Basin and Bear Valley. Construction work was completed and mining operations were commenced on Oct. 24.

The development campaign outlined consists of extending the Independence tunnel, of the Hall group, a distance of 1500 feet, at which point it will intersect the Hall vein at a vertical depth of 600 feet below the apex. The Hall vein will be explored first, and if conditions warrant, the main tunnel will then be extended into the Lost Pilgrim vein.

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Figure 7. Looking across Deadwood Basin toward the power house (center of photograph) for the Deadwood Mine (page 210 from Campbell, Stewart, 1925, Twenty-sixth Annual Report of the Mining Industry of Idaho for the Year 1924).

The 1925 IMIR announced that Bunker Hill had located the main vein, which was 50 feet wide and consisted mostly of commercial ore. Hershey’s (1925) description of work at the mine was less glowing and more candid, as he described the detailed underground occurrences of the differing rocks in the lower tunnel and attempted to unravel the structural relationships between various faults and the ore veins. He also noted a zone of finely textured, fault granulated, wet biotite schist just beyond the Deadwood fault that ran like wet sand when the hard dike next to it was penetrated by a tunnel. In one instance, this crushed material filled 40 feet of tunnel in 5 hours.

Bunker Hill ran nearly 2,200 feet of drifts and tunnels in 1926, but the large vein the company was seeking remained elusive. Hershey and Gwinn identified two major faults underground, which they called the Deadwood and the Independence (Figure 5; Hershey, 1926a). The Independence fault, farther to the east, is now mapped as a branch of the Deadwood fault system (Breckenridge and others, 2003). In the 600 feet between the surface and the lower tunnel, the Deadwood fault changed dip from about 65º SE. to a northwest direction. Ore-bearing zones were present on the lower level, but it remained to be determined whether any of them were rich enough, thick enough, or long enough to be considered commercial ore (Hershey, 1926a). By mid-year, although some promising showings had been found, the development had come no closer to finding an answer to the structural problems found on the lower level (Hershey, 1926b). By September the main crosscut, which had been driven from the lower tunnel obliquely between the Deadwood and Independence faults, had nearly reached the Independence fault. Because the ore-bearing quartz veins were concentrated in the area between the two faults, the angle of the crosscut was deflected to avoid cutting the Independence fault (Hershey, 1926c).

By early 1927, Hershey (1927a) had unraveled the structure of the Hall-Interstate vein and recommended that Bunker Hill build a small mill on the property. In June, Hershey again recommended the immediate construction of a mill, estimating that the mine contained a minimum of 140,000 tons of ore with a gross value of $2,131,544 (Hershey, 1927b). During the summer, the company began construction on a 100-tpd flotation mill and a 250-horsepower hydroelectric power plant, as well as additional camp buildings (1927 IMIR). During Hershey’s March visit, a location was selected to begin a raise from the lower tunnel to the surface. The main reason for the raise was to help unravel the vertical structure of the vein (Hershey, 1927a). By October, Hershey was convinced that locating the pieces of the highly segmented ore veins would depend on unraveling the structure of the numerous faults that crisscrossed the property (Hershey, 1927c).

The 700-foot raise from the lower (Independence) tunnel to the upper (Anderson) tunnel on the Hall-Interstate property was completed by late January, and plans were being made to drive four levels off it. By contrast, the main drift heading into the Lost Pilgrim claims had stalled in a section of crushed schist that swelled and was wet. This broke the timbers in the tunnel, which had to be constantly replaced (Hershey, 1928a). In late May, efforts were still continuing to find the downward extension of the large ore body exposed in the surface cut. Exploration on the Anderson tunnel level and on the No. 2 level off the raise below the tunnel had yet to provide an answer to this problem. In the lower tunnel, plans were made to drive parallel to the main drift and bypass the zone of crushed, wet schist (Hershey, 1928b). Exploration continued for the rest of the year, with plans made in late August to start the first stope on the No. 1 (Anderson tunnel) level (Hershey, 1928c). In November, the mill (Figure 8) was completed. Although only enough flotation equipment to process 100 tpd was installed, the ore bins, crushing machinery, and mill building were large enough to handle 300 tpd. The mill produced very rich silver-lead concentrates containing considerable copper and high-grade zinc concentrates. …

1930DeadwoodMill-a
Figure 8. Mill building at the Deadwood Mine, with the boarding house in the background (page 265 from Campbell, Stweart, 1930, Thirty-first Annual Report of the Mining Industry of Idaho for the Year 1929).

Other construction during the year included a sawmill, and a large new office and residence (Figure 10). The mine had nearly 9,000 feet of workings, with 2,469 feet of development done in 1928.

During 1929, the mill treated 2,729 tons of lead-zinc ore, which yielded 415 tons of lead concentrates and zinc concentrates, which together yielded 25 ounces of gold, 17,723 ounces of silver, 13,118 pounds of copper, 165,208 pounds of lead, and 324,164 pounds of zinc. The mill operated for only four months because of insufficient power, but a new 400-kilowatt hydroelectric power plant was installed during the year. Additional ore bins were also built at the mill. The mine operated all year; in addition to stoping operations, the company did more than 600 feet of development. The 700-foot raise between the Independence and Anderson tunnels was widened to three compartments. Hershey (1929a, p. 7), while still trying to puzzle out the exact structure of the underground veins, still predicted large amounts of ore to be found at the mine:

It is fairly clear that the bands rich in siderite and ore sulphides are fairly persistent for long distances on the tunnel level but strike faulting along the Independence fault and cross-faulting has given the ore a bunchy appearance it did not have originally. I see no reason why the ore-bands should not, in a more or less faulted and bunchy condition, extend to near the surface and to great depths. In other words, just for the purpose of determining the possibilities of the combined properties and for no other purpose, I would consider an average heighth of 1000 feet and average depth of 1000 feet below the main tunnel and possible average of 1000 tons per foot depth as within the reasonable bounds of possibility.

Soon after Hershey’s February visit, Bunker Hill shifted their focus to production, and all exploration work was discontinued (Hershey, 1929b).

The Deadwood Mine operated throughout 1930 and nearly 25,000 tons of ore were mined and milled during the year. The concentrates were hauled 54 miles by truck to loading bins at Cascade, where the lead concentrates were shipped by rail to Bunker Hill’s lead smelter near Kellogg and the zinc concentrates were taken to the company’s electrolytic zinc plant nearby. The company was having trouble finding commercial ore in the Lost Pilgrim ground, as noted by Hershey (1930a) in February. In addition, the main drift had reached a wet, crushed section of the vein, and the miners were forced to drive the tunnel parallel to the vein until past this zone. At the beginning of July, C. Y. Garber replaced James Gwinn as the manager of the mine. At almost the same time, the ore dropped below commercial grade in three of the main stopes. However, following up on suggestions made by Gwinn, Garber started several new stopes and soon increased the grade of the ore being produced by the mine (Hershey, 1930b).

By 1931, two ore shoots (the Drake and the Grey) were defined in the Hall-Interstate workings, but the location of commercial ore in the Lost Pilgrim section of the mine was still uncertain (Hershey, 1931). At the end of May, the mine was closed and a small crew was left at the mine to maintain the property. Nearly 11,000 tons of ore were produced before the mine was closed. In June 1932, all the supplies were removed from the property and the options to the claims forfeited.

The Lost Pilgrim produced some ore in 1938. In July 1940, Leverett Davis obtained a lease on the Deadwood Mine. A crew averaging ten men under his supervision rehabilitated the mine in the second half of 1940. The main tunnel had caved in after the mine was closed, and by the end of the year, about 1,000 feet of adit had been reopened and retimbered (Davis, 1940). The Lost Pilgrim Mining Company forfeited its corporate charter at the end of November 1940, and the Hall Interstate Mining Company acquired the Lost Pilgrim claims. Callahan Zinc-Lead obtained a long-term lease. The company rehabilitated the property and repaired the mill during 1941.

In 1942, Callahan mined 7,733 tons of zinc-lead ore, which yielded 240 tons of silver-lead-copper concentrates and 590 tons of zinc concentrates. Initial work at the mine revealed less ore than expected, and in November, the company requested help from the government to do exploratory work at the mine (Van Sinderen, 1942a). At that time, the Bureau of Mines budget for work in Idaho was entirely allocated (Lorain, 1942). However, company president Van Sinderen’s (1942b, p. 1) reply noted that the “Deadwood, which is being run today as a war operation and, therefore, like some others, really needs the promptest possible assistance.” After receiving maps and other information concerning the Deadwood Mine, Shenon (1942, p. 1) evaluated it as follows:

If I understand the Deadwood situation properly, there is considerable doubt as to whether the property can be expected to contribute much zinc and lead toward the fulfillment of the national requirements on a reasonable manpower and transportation basis. First of all, the figures we have make it appear doubtful whether the property could be made to pay at the present quota price of 11¢ per pound for zinc. If the W P B [War Production Board] should raise the quota price the question arises whether or not other less isolated properties of similar ore grade should not be given first consideration. The Deadwood property, I believe, is 60 miles from the railroad at Cascade and over three high summits. The truck and tire wear per pound of zinc would be high. However, as you know, the national requirements are such that the difficulties of transportation might be overlooked if a sizable body of good grade zinc ore could be developed by exploration work. The data available to us do not look too hopeful for the development of such a body by a reasonable amount of exploration work. If your information indicates otherwise, please advise us.

Despite this discouraging evaluation, Van Sinderen (1943) continued to urge the Bureau of Mines and U. S. Geological Survey geologists to explore the Deadwood Mine. On this subject, Collins (1944, p. 1) noted: “Operations have shown that it was not necessary for the Department of the Interior to start a project there. The vital thing was to raise the bonus prices so that the Company could afford to operate.” During 1943, the mine produced 18,934 tons of zinc-lead-silver ore, which yielded 539 tons of silver-leadcopper concentrates and 1,358 tons of zinc concentrates. The government geologists took no action toward examining the mine during the year.

During the first eight months of 1944, Callahan only milled 5,263 tons of ore, concentrating instead on development work. Full operations resumed in September, and during the rest of the year, 10,525 tons of ore were treated. The company reported 9,737 feet of workings at the mine, not counting about 3,330 feet of old workings that were still caved. In June, the Non-Ferrous Metals Commission granted an increase in wages at the property. A Bureau of Mines Engineer visited the mine in early September (Full, 1944a). Collins (1944) recommended that the Deadwood Mine should be mapped while the workings were still open as it was likely the mine would close when the bonuses were withdrawn (at the end of World War II) and the workings cave almost immediately. Roy Full spent eleven days mapping the underground workings in December 1944. At that time, the mine had ten levels and sublevels, seven of which were open in part (Full, 1944b).

In 1945, Callahan produced 24,377 tons of ore, containing an average of 0.02 ounce of gold and 3.89 ounces of silver to the ton, 0.23 percent copper, 1.43 percent lead, and 3.53 percent zinc. The company’s annual report noted that four years of work at the mine had failed to locate ore of the grade and quantity hoped for. Inadequate ore reserves and a shortage of labor forced Callahan to curtail its operations in 1946. L. J. Bills operated the mine on a sublease during the second half of the year. The mine produced 16,350 tons in 1946 and 3,297 tons in 1947. Various small items of equipment were transferred to other Callahan properties in the early part of the year, and Callahan surrendered its lease in October 1947.

In 1950, the Deadwood Mine produced 8 tons of zinc-lead-copper ore. The Hall Interstate Mining Company forfeited its corporate charter on December 1, 1952. In its final report to the Idaho Mines Inspector, the company noted that the underground workings were all abandoned and the surface rights had been sold to third parties.

From 1929 to 1950, the Deadwood Mine produced 125,793 tons of ore (Table 2), which yielded 2,658.46 ounces of gold, 634,277 ounces of silver, 444,343 pounds of copper, 4,978,449 pounds of lead, and 10,176,833 pounds of zinc. Almost all of this production was when the mine was operated either by Bunker Hill or by Callahan Zinc-Lead. Callahan produced over twice the tonnage as Bunker Hill, yet Bunker Hill produced 43-45 percent of the silver, lead, and zinc, and 50.6 percent of the gold. In contrast, Callahan produced 48.6 percent of the total gold mined. Only in copper did Callahan’s 62 percent of total metal produced outshine Bunker Hill’s 37.6 percent.

excerpted from: Author Victoria E. Mitchell Year: 2007, Idaho Geological Survey, Staff Report 07-2 University of Idaho
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Deadwood Mine, Idaho.

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Edward F. Rhodenbaugh Collection.
MSS 011 IMAGE 0057
shared by Skip Myers
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Deadwood Mine Preliminary Assessment Report

Valley County, Idaho February 2000
Monica Tonel – Task Monitor U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Deadwood Mine is an inactive gold and silver mine located in Valley County, Idaho. The site operated from 1924 to approximately the mid-1940s. A former mill, laboratory, bunkhouse, and cabin are present on the site. Tailings piles, several waste rock piles, adits, and seeps were also observed. The START observed water discharging from the adits into an unnamed creek on the site. The START also observed tailings migrating into a suspected wetland adjacent to the Deadwood River. Based on site conditions, further action at the site under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) is recommended.

full report: 2000 Waste Data Reports Mining Waste Deadwood Mine
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Link to: Deadwood (part 2 Dam)

page updated Dec 27, 2019