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


Arrastra Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, March 2, 2012
1. Arrastra Marker
Inscription.  The Spanish first introduced the arrastra to the New World in the 1500’s. The work “arrastra” come from the Spanish word “arrastre”, meaning to drag along the ground. When ore was quarried out of the hard rock mines, the quartz had to be crushed to free the gold. The arrastra was the earliest and simplest device introduced into the remote areas of the California Gold Fields to do this operation.

The simplest form of the arrastra was a flat-bottomed drag stone place in a circular, rock-lined pit and connected to a center post by a long arm. With a horse, mule or person provided power at the other end of the arm, the stone dragged slowly around in a circle.

Ore place between the stone floor and drag stone was crushed into a coarse powder after which water and quicksilver were added. The resulting slurry was removed to sluices (troughs) were the gold was recovered.

Thanks to the efforts of the Stanislaus National Forest Groveland Ranger District, the title to the drag stone and all of the floor stones of this arrastra was transferred to the Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum. It has been
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reconstructed by local volunteers.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNatural Resources.
Location. 37° 50.388′ N, 120° 13.568′ W. Marker is in Groveland, California, in Tuolumne County. Marker is on Main Street (State Highway 120), on the right when traveling west. This marker is located near the Groveland Library/Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 18990 Main Street, Groveland CA 95321, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Groveland Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Iron Door Saloon (approx. 0.2 miles away); Groveland (approx. 0.2 miles away); Second Garrote (approx. 2 miles away); Joseph E. Lemos (approx. 2.1 miles away); Big Oak Flat (approx. 2.2 miles away); Ferretti Shrine (approx. 5.3 miles away); Stevens Bar Bridge (approx. 6.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Groveland.
Arrastra and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, March 1, 2012
2. Arrastra and Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 7, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 563 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 7, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 5, 2023