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V. THE GOLD BLUFFS (continued)


In the years since 1923, the beach fronting the Gold Bluffs has continued to grow. It now parallels the bluffs for eight miles. The northern section of the beach, which was built-up first, is at least one-third of a mile in width. The beach then narrows and fronting the Lower Bluffs, it is several hundred yards across. As the beach at the Gold Bluffs is a valuable resource and will attract many visitors, the Service will have an opportunity of interpreting the story of how nature creates beaches.

A map on file in the Humboldt County Clerk's Office in Eureka for 1922 locates the mining operations at the Upper and Lower Gold Bluffs. At the Upper Bluffs, the camp and facilities are positioned on the bluff overlooking Home Creek from the north, while at the Lower Bluffs, they are located in the swampy area behind the pond. The Ossagon Placer is not located, an indication that little or no remains existed in that year.

On April 26, 1969, using this map as a guide and a photograph found at the Visitor Center of the Prairie Creek California State Park, I was able to pinpoint the Upper Bluffs camp. Remains of the sluiceway, ditch, and several buildings were identified. Assisted by a Ranger of the California State Parks, I searched in vain for any remains of the camp at the Lower Bluffs. Dense undergrowth and a swamp, however, made a thorough reconnaissance impossible. Lack of time and the thick underbrush made it impossible to locate any remains that may survive of the Ossagon Placer.

It is recommended that the story of mining operations at the Gold Bluffs be interpreted at the Upper Bluffs. Our reasons are: (a) here there are some historical remains; the operations here were the most profitable and therefore probably the most significant; there is a historic photograph of the camp; and as the camp was located adjacent to Fern Canyon, it will have high visitor interest. The camp site should be designated Class VI Land. Efforts should be continued to locate and identify historical remains at the Lower Bluffs and the Ossagon Placer.

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004