Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Book Review: Images of America: New Almaden

Images of America New Almaden, by Michael Boulland and Arthur Boudreault, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina, 2006.
I have been fascinated by the mercury mining operation south of San Jose.  This would be the most productive mine in America over its history producing $200 million dollars worth of mercury.  The cinnabar was originally mined by Native Americans and used for body paint.  The mining operations began with the Indian cave.  
Henry Halleck, later of Civil War fame was an early manager, commissioned the building of Casa Grande which was the residence for the manager during the years. The house is still used as the museum. 
The ore was processed in the area close to the house.  The major mines were on the hill.  1000 men were employed in the heyday.  There were two communities on the hill, Spanishtown and Englishtown.
The mining company went bankrupt when mercury was no longer needed to process gold.  Only minor comebacks since that time with final production in 1976.  The area is now a county park.
This book is mostly a collection of photographs.  It is very nice.

No comments:

Post a Comment