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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 Buena Vista

A Masterpiece of Masonry & Mechanics

 
 
The Buena Vista Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2012
1. The Buena Vista Marker
[Photo captions: Top row; left, center, right]
The Cornish pump’s flywheel measured 24 feet in diameter and weighed 25 tons. In 1887 the pump raised 86,000,000 gallons of water.

Six coal-fed boilers in a brick-lined room supplied steam power for pumps, hoist and air compressor engines.

A dual-hoist system raised and lowered cages carrying miners and ore cars into the descending shaft.

[Bottom Photograph]
The Buena Vista pumphouse, with its red painted fancy cathedral windows was allegedly placed to be visible from San Jose, 12 miles away. It was intended that this attractive building nestled in New Almaden’s hillside would draw wealthy investors to the mining company.
Inscription. The Buena Vista shaft commenced on July 5, 1882. It became the deepest sunk into the Quicksilver Mining Company’s lands, eventually reaching a depth of 2,300 feet, 600 below sea level.

Though not itself a significant source of ore, the Buena Vista’s value was in pumping water out of neighboring flooded mine tunnels, thus allowing miners to follow veins of cinnabar ore deeper into the earth.

Considered a masterpiece of masonry, the Buena Vista’s pumphouse foundation was constructed using sandstone from New Almaden and immense blocks of granite from the Sierras. Abandoned in 1893, these foundations are all that remain of the Buena Vista today.
 
Location. 37° 11.217′ N, 121° 50.626′ W. Marker is in San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. Touch for map. This marker is located in Almaden Quicksilver Park on the Randol Trail, near the junction with the Buena Vista Trail. Marker is in this post office area: San Jose CA 95120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Santa Isabel Shaft ( approx. 0.2 miles away); Mining Operations ( approx. 0.4 miles away); Day Tunnel ( approx. 0.4 miles away); English Camp School
The Buena Vista Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2012
2. The Buena Vista Marker
( approx. 0.6 miles away); Site of English Town ★ CCC Camp Mt. Madonna ( approx. 0.6 miles away); Camp Mt. Madonna ( approx. 0.6 miles away); English Camp ( approx. 0.6 miles away); The Yellow Kid ( approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Jose.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNatural Resources
 
Buena Vista Pumphouse Foundation image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2012
3. Buena Vista Pumphouse Foundation
Buena Vista Pumphouse Foundation image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2012
4. Buena Vista Pumphouse Foundation
Buena Vista Pumphouse Foundation image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2012
5. Buena Vista Pumphouse Foundation
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 30, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 294 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 30, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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