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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Jose in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The “Main Tunnel”

 
 
The “Main Tunnel” Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 9, 2012
1. The “Main Tunnel” Marker
Inscription.
[Side-bar on left:]
The Beginning
of New Almaden’s
Rich History
Just ahead lies the original site of mining activity in New Almaden’s rich history, where Ohlone Indians extracted cinnabar ore from a “red cave”. In 1845, while visiting Mission Santa Clara, Mexican soldier Andres Castillero observed Ohlones using crushed cinnabar as a paint pigment. He recognized the significance of such a find and followed the Ohlones to this site.

Castillero claimed his “discovery” and began mining the cinnabar ore, which was known to contain mercury – a valuable liquid metal needed by Mexico to process silver and gold. This Main Tunnel was the principal entrance to the New Almaden Mine, which would grow to become the richest mining area in all of California.
 
Erected by New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association.
 
Location. 37° 10.606′ N, 121° 50.47′ W. Marker is in San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. Click for map. This marker is located in New Almaden Quicksilver County Park on the Yellow Kid Trail approximately 0.3 miles from English Camp. Marker is in this post office area: San Jose CA 95120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
The “Main Tunnel” Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 16, 2011
2. The “Main Tunnel” Marker
are within walking distance of this marker. The Yellow Kid (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); English Camp (approx. 0.2 miles away); English Camp School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of English Town ★ CCC Camp Mt. Madonna (approx. 0.2 miles away); Camp Mt. Madonna (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mine Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); SpanishTown (approx. ¼ mile away); Mining Operations (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in San Jose.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNative AmericansNatural Resources
 
Detail from the The “Main Tunnel” Marker image. Click for full size.
3. Detail from the The “Main Tunnel” Marker
[Photo caption:]
A community called Spanish Camp grew around this site in the 1850s. where Mexican, Spanish and Chilean mining families settled to live and work. Children used the pond directly below the Main Tunnel as a swimming hole while their fathers and older brothers dug deeper into the mountain in search of the valuable ore.
Remains of the Old Swimming Hole image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 16, 2011
4. Remains of the Old Swimming Hole
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 369 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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