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

New Idria Mine

54 Miles

 
 
New Idria Mine Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
1. New Idria Mine Marker
Inscription. New Idria Mine ranks amoung the most famous quicksilver mines of the world. Named for Idria Mine, then in Austria. Mission Fathers, before the American Occupation, made assays and determined ore to be cinnabar. Work begun in 50's. In 1881 between two and three hundred men were employed.

Historical Landmark No. 324
Department of Public Works - Division of Highways
 
Erected by California Department of Public Works - Division of Highways. (Marker Number 324.)
 
Location. 36° 43.749′ N, 121° 16.743′ W. Marker is in Paicines, California, in San Benito County. Marker is at the intersection of State Highway 25 and Panoche Road on State Highway 25. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Paicines CA 95043, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tres Pinos/Paicines (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Limekiln Monorail (approx. 2.9 miles away); Palmtag Cutting Shed (approx. 3.4 miles away); Cottage Corners (approx. 3.4 miles away); 19th Hole Rendevous (approx. 4.7 miles away); Site of the Tres Pinos Hotel
New Idria Mine Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
2. New Idria Mine Marker - Wide View
(approx. 4.9 miles away); Vineyard School (approx. 6.9 miles away); State Theatre (approx. 10.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Paicines.
 
Regarding New Idria Mine. The settlement of New Idria is now a ghost town.
 
Also see . . .  Idria (from the October 2005 Three Rocks Report). "The discovery of rich cinnabar deposits in the southern Diablo Mountains in 1853 lead to the development of the worlds fourth largest quicksilver mine. The claim was filed for 'New Idria' by Henry F. Pitts, Rafael Ripa, Josť Dolores Molina, and William Norrlin on March 20, 1854 and the town of New Idria quickly sprung up on the northeastern slope of San Carlos Peak. The town's name honors the world's second largest quicksilver mine, the Idrija Mine located in what is now Slovenia. Other mines, such as the Aurora, Alpine, Clear Creek, Picacho and Fourth of July mines soon opened and the area became quickly became a bustling community as miners, ranchers and farmers began moving in the area.

California quicksilver mining became very profitable during the 1850s because mercury was needed for extracting gold from the ore during the California gold rush and the discovery of the New Almaden and New Idria mines freed American's
New Idria Mine - Ore Tramway image. Click for full size.
By Andreas Feininger, December 1942
3. New Idria Mine - Ore Tramway
"Production. Mercury. Aerial tramway which carries mercury ore from mines at New Idria, California to a nearby extraction plant. Triple-distilled mercury is produced here by the New Idria Quicksilver Mining Company..."

In December 1942, Andreas Feininger documented the workings of the New Idria Mine for the US Farm Security Administration. Shortly thereafter he became a staff photographer for Life Magazine, shooting for them for nearly 20 years.
gold industry from European control, which dominated the world production previous to 1850."

See www.new-idria.org for an extensive description of New Idria, its history, and the surrounding area. (Submitted on January 30, 2010.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Idra Mine
I used to live in Idra as a child around 1966. It was the first home I remember. My father was a miner there and still owns a company yearbook. I also went to school there. The school was run by nuns first, and then by regular teachers. I believe my teacher's name was Mr. Briggs. Idra was just another small town then but still my home. I have fond memories of Christmas, school plays
in which played a tree. Lots of families, and oh yeah, who could forget the tarantulas!
    — Submitted January 17, 2012, by Richard G Hardesty of Lufkin, Texas.

 
Additional keywords. Mercury
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
New Idria Mine - Mercury Extraction Plant image. Click for full size.
By Andreas Feininger, December 1942
4. New Idria Mine - Mercury Extraction Plant
"Production. Mercury. A mercury extraction plant at New Idria, California. Triple-distilled mercury is produced here by the New Idria Quicksilver Mining Company from cinnabar, an ore containing sulphur and mercury mined at a number of workings near the plant"
New Idria Mine - Rotary Kiln image. Click for full size.
By Andreas Feininger, December 1942
5. New Idria Mine - Rotary Kiln
"New Idria, California. A rotary kiln at the mercury extraction plant of the New Idria Quicksilver Mining Company. A 1200 degree Fahrenheit heat drives off the sulphur and vaporizes the mercury, later condensed"
New Idria Mine Marker - Approach from the South image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
6. New Idria Mine Marker - Approach from the South
A few hundred feet south of the turnoff onto Panoche Road from State Highway 25 is a State Historical Landmark sign pointing the direction and distance, 54 miles, to the New Idria Mine. The marker location, although quite far from the mine itself, makes some sense as it is on the stage coach route between Hollister and the mine, and Paicines is the last settlement of any size (from this direction) prior to reaching the mine.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 29, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,942 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 29, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   3, 4, 5. submitted on January 30, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   6. submitted on January 29, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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