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The Homestake Mine is a small mine in the San Francisco Mining District and is just down the street from Oatman. Two men, Mike and Jack, currently work the mine. They are getting about an ounce of gold out of 1700 pounds of rock. The Homestake appears to have quite a history, although the information below is not 100% accurate. Due to the numerous mines named Homestake, we tried our best to get information only on this particular one.
We see first documentation of the Homestake Mine in the Mohave County Miner , an old newspaper, on December 21, 1889. It says, “Finagan and Uncapher continue to develop their Homestake, they have 16 inches of high grade ore in sight. In fact everybody working hereabouts is
meeting with the most flattering results.” Next, on March 15, 1890, the Mohave County Miner says, “Finagan and Uncapher have resumed work on the Homestake. This is one of the best properties in this section and will speak for itself before long. They have a large shipment of ore ready for the market.” Again, we see on May 17, 1890 in the Mohave County Miner, “The following lots of ore were received by the Kingman Sampling Works during the week: Finagan and Uncapher five tons, from the Homestake.” We believe that this is all for this particular Homestake we’re talking about. A mining claim was probably filled around this time.
On November 12th, 1910, W.M. Harrison filled an Amended Mining Location lode claim for the Homestake Mine. This is more than likely the new owner of the mine after it was sold. However, we see that it changes hands again by 1927. At this time, Gibbs & Company of Syracuse, New York owned the mine. In a letter they say, “The Homestake-Jack Pot Group, comprise two patented claims, about forty acres. These has been about 1500 feet of work done on the property in shafts, tunnels and cross cuts…” Later in the letter, they say, “…they can show a vein about twenty five feet wide that will average about $12. per ton.”
The Hardy mine, which is ¼ of a mile east of the Homestake mine was also a very big producer. Ore from these two mines were either shipped to San Francisco or processed in the Old Moss Mill along Silver Creek. The mine was named after W.H. Hardy that took out about $80,000 of ore. Frank Holmes later bought the mine and then a few years later was bought by Colonel Thomas Ewing. The estimated production to date of the Hardy Mine is about $250,000.
The area around Silver Creek was first explored by Union soldiers in 1862. They were under the command of Gen. J.H. Carelton. They found gold in Silver Creek and later, a 10 stamp mill was built. The discovery of the Hardy Vein, which runs through the Hardy Mountains and both mines, was found around 1864.
This is about all the information one can find on this and the surrounding mines. The Hardy Mine is fenced off and can be seen from Silver Creek Road, about 0.25 miles from the Homestake Mine. The Homestake Mine currently welcomes visitors on the weekend or by appointment. For more information on the Homestake Mine Tours, call Mike at (928) 542-3236. The tour is great. Spend about half an hour on the topside learning about how they process the ore. Then, spend the next 20-30 minutes down in the cool (literally) mine. The coordinates for the Homestake Mine is: 35.0652, -114.4325. Access to the mine means traveling about 3.6 miles on an easy dirt road (suitable for a passenger car). The road you turn onto is slightly rougher and narrower, but it is not very hard.
The entrance to the Homestake Mine
Special thanks to the Research Library at the Mohave County Museum of History and Art as well as Jack & Mike, the owners of the Homestake Mine for an awesome tour!
Homestake Mine sign where you turn to get to the mine