“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Auburn in Placer County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Marguerite Mine “Quartz Rock”

Marguerite Mine “Quartz Rock” Marker image. Click for full size.
By James King, March 14, 2015
1. Marguerite Mine “Quartz Rock” Marker
The quartz rock on site here at the Auburn depot came from “The Marquerite (sic) Mine” of Auburn
Donated by
Don Robinson
Don Robinson Sand & Gravel

Location. 38° 54.128′ N, 121° 3.95′ W. Marker is in Auburn, California, in Placer County. Marker can be reached from Lincoln Way. Click for map. This marker is in the Transcontinental Railroad Plaza near the front of The Chinese Coolie statue. Marker is at or near this postal address: 601 Lincoln Way, Auburn CA 95603, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Chinese Coolie (here, next to this marker); Southern Pacific Caboose (here, next to this marker); First Transcontinental Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Auburn Depot (within shouting distance of this marker); East Auburn Bell Tower (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Auburn Depot (within shouting distance of this marker); Auburn Iron Works (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ford & Co. Building (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Auburn.
Also see . . .  Once Were Poor But Now Are Rich
San Francisco Call, Volume 80, Number 81, 20 August 1896
Marguerite Mine “Quartz Rock” image. Click for full size.
By James King, March 14, 2015
2. Marguerite Mine “Quartz Rock”
Rejoicing Among the Marguerite Mine Stockholders.


Placer County's Wealth of Gold Ore Believed to Be Fabulous.


How the Shareholders Received the News of Their Good Luck— Their Future Plans

The remarkable discovery of gold in the Marguerite mine near Auburn, Placer County, as published in yesterday's CALL, caused great excitement among the mining men, not only in this City, but wherever the news was spread by the paper.

Hundreds remarked that they knew gold would be struck in great quantities in that section. Among these was J. A. Filcher, manager of the State Board of Trade, whose home is in Auburn. "I have known for years," said he, "that there would be a big strike in Placer County one of these days.

"The county is marked in all directions by rich quartz ledges and those who have stayed right by the business have made lots of money. The trouble with the majority is that they have done too much 'coyote mining.' That is, they would dig for a short time in a place, get out fair ore, have it milled and with the proceeds go out and root around and find another vein. These coyote holes are all over the county and there is no doubt that dozens of them, if mined properly, would yield good returns.

"As for the Marguerite mine, I am familiar with every foot of the ground. I am glad that this rich find has been made, for it will induce a more systematic plan of mining in that section in the future. There is more gold in Placer County's hills than has ever been taken out by pick or pan."

Mr. Filcher's belief is shared by all who have any knowledge of the county's resources, and particularly by those who are so fortunate as to hold stock in the rich Marguerite mine. These shareholders are about 100 in number, and they are scattered all the way from the Golden Gate to New York.

The principal holders are Directors George Schafer, F. M. Freund, H. Helfrich; H. Gumbel, the treasurer; Charles Peach, the secretary; George Schmitt, ex-president; Charles Winters, the ex-secretary; G. Gall and Charles Lotz, vice-presidents; Max Schwab, G. Schafer, J. Engish, Charles Martin, A. Wirtner, Fred A. Britten, C. Reittig, J. Winkler, H. Mettmann, G. Britten, Gus Ungermann.

As stated in THE CALL the strike was made last Friday and the majority of the stockholders went to bed Thursday night and woke up to find themselves wealthy on the following day. Many never knew what it was before to have a dollar not earned by hard work, and it is safe to say that they scarcely realize their position in the community. While among them there is a feeling of exhilaration and rejoicing, and to a certain extent suppressed excitement, still all preserve a quiet demeanor, and they receive the congratulations of their friends with pleasure. None have yet had time to become haughty.

At 427 Hayes street there was a small gathering of stockholders last evening. This is the little pork store owned by Charles Peach, the secretary of the company, and the promoter of the enterprise. Charles Peach, retailer of pork, sausages and such delicacies, did not present the least appearance of a wealthy mine owner. He still wore his snow-white apron, soft shirt and skull cap, and he was as willing as ever to weigh out 10 cents' worth of leaf lard to a customer. In this there was a moral — wealth has not spoiled him. Near by was his wife beaming with the happy thoughts that went through her mind. "We will stay by the pork store," said she with a laugh, "until the mine begins to make returns, then the sausages may go to the dogs."

Cleaning the counters and waiting upon customers was another whom no one would suspect of being wealthy. He was Charles Martin, one of Peach's employes (sic). Martin, too, carries a neat little bit of Marguerite stock in his inside pocket.

"I have scratched a poor man's head for many years," he remarked, "and now I do not propose to lose that head. I don't expect that I will get enough to spoil me."

G. Britten, the youngest stockholder in the company, is another who does not intend to go wild with the acquisition of wealth. He is only 18 years of age and is attending the San Francisco Business College. His little bunch of stock will assist him to secure a most thorough education, which has been the aim of his life.

So far the young man has bad to mind his p's and q's in order to advance as far as he has on the path of knowledge. He blesses the day he put his small savings into Marguerite mining stock. His brother, Fred A. Britten, now in the East, also has a slice of the same source of wealth.

The little party listened with interest to Peach, who told the story of the recent history of the mine, a story they knew by heart, but still loved to hear. Peach had been in the mining business before and once owned an interest in the well-known Spenceville copper mine, in Nevada County. He now owns a small mine, also in that county. During the Midwinter Fair he met Professor G. F. Deetken, the owner of the Marguerite, then called the Salzac.

Deetkin wanted to sell, and Peach at once went to Auburn to inspect the mine. He found it filled with water to within forty feet of the surface. He went down the shaft and his inspection of the ledge of quartz showed him that it was a good property. At forty feet he found excellent pay ore, and in a short time the company he formed purchased the Balzac and the improvements for $30,000.

The next move was to purchase five acres of adjoining land so as to be able to run a tunnel for ventilation and exploration of the five well defined veins that showed on the surface. The sinking of the shaft, the 450-foot drift, that cost $20,000 was mentioned in yesterday's CALL, but the tale was listened to with interest.

It was the description of the ledge of rotten quartz, rich with sparkling gold that interested them the most, and from all accounts it contains untold wealth, for it is known to extend from the surface 300 feet into the earth.

Peach says that there is now over 3000 tons of first-class ore piled on the surface that has been taken from various parts of the two shafts and the connecting drift. The first move will be to put up a small mill and go to work extracting the gold from the quartz. In time a larger mill will be erected. He said: "We will have but little trouble to work our ore. The mine is close to the railroad station and the annoyance of long-distance hauls is thereby avoided."

In contrast with young Britten, who is so favorably beginning his life, there is another stockholder who has seen his best days. F. M. Freund of 1135 Shotwell Street is now 70 years of age. It was the ambition of his life to be wealthy some day. In his old age that day has come. The dream of his life has been realized.

One of the largest stockholders in the company is George Schafer, a capitalist. He holds 3000 of the 50,000 shares. Yesterday, after the news of the strike was published in this paper, Mr. Schafer was offered $20 a share for all he had. Although the par value is $10, he laughed at the offer and said that he would rather buy than sell stock. Mr. Schafer has resided twenty-two years in San Francisco. He lives at 14 Shotwell Street, is married and has an interesting family.

Good luck has been known to cure sickness. Here is a chance for the remedy to be tried. Charles Winters, the former secretary, is lying ill with typhoid fever in his home on Sanchez Street. His friends believe that the news of the strike will bring him out in a very short time.

One of those most excited by his good fortune is Charles Lotz, who conducts a bakery down at 344 Sixth Street. When told of the strike he is said to have exclaimed, "Well, for once my cake is not all dough."

G. Gall, the proprietor of a large coffee saloon under the Pioneer building, on Fourth Street, came in for his share of the great, but as yet unknown, riches. He is not sorry that he went into the company two years ago. Neither are any other of the stockholders, although at times in the past they wondered when the tide would turn and money come in from the mine. They will not have long to wait.
(Submitted on March 17, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California.) 
Categories. Natural Resources
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by James King of San Miguel, California. This page has been viewed 171 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by James King of San Miguel, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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