Angels Camp in Calaveras County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
California Hydraulic Mining
Hydraulic Mining was the largest and most destructive form of mining. Water, brought through flumes and ditches from high up in the mountains, was redirected into an ever-narrowing channel and out through a giant iron nozzle, called a "monitor." This high pressure stream of water was used to wash entire hillsides through enormous sluices to recover the placer gold.
By the early 1880s, it is estimated that 11 million ounces of gold had been recovered by hydraulic mining in California. However, hydraulic mining had a devastating effect on the environment, causing pollution in rivers and streams. Due to the environmental issues and lawsuits put forth by farmers, it was essentially outlawed in California in 1884. This monitor is believed to date to the late 19th century.
Erected by Angels Camp Museum.
Location. 38° 4.576′ N, 120° 32.828′ W. Marker is in Angels Camp, California, in Calaveras County. Marker can be reached from South Main Street/Golden Chain Highway (State Highway 49), on the right when Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 584 South Main Street, Angels Camp CA 95222, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Whim (here, next to this marker); Gold Furnace (here, next to this marker); Water Wheel (here, next to this marker); Hogarth Stamp Mill (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Hogarth Stamp Mill (a few steps from this marker); The Hogarth Family (a few steps from this marker); Just Jenny (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Camp 9 Powerhouse Pelton Wheel (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Angels Camp.
Also see . . .
1. Gold Fever Giant Gold Machines. Water was diverted into ditches and wooden flumes at high elevations, and gravity did the rest. Channeled through heavy iron pipes, the water exploded from a nozzle far below with a force of 5,000 pounds. (Submitted on June 21, 2012.)
2. Monitors - Water Cannons of Hydraulic Mining. The Sierra College web publication Snowy Range Reflections - Journal of Sierra Nevada History & Biography presents an article giving full details of the monitor and hydraulic mining. It includes the effects on the environment, and historic photos. (Submitted on June 21, 2012.)
Categories. • Environment • Industry & Commerce • Natural Resources •
More. Search the internet for The Monitor.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 21, 2012, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 579 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 21, 2012, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.