The Ganim mine of New York Gulch
Joseph Solomon Ganim was born on December 25, 1877, to Solomon Ganim and his wife, Annie (Jabul) Ganim. He was a Lebanese immigrant, well-educated, and he arrived and settled at Whiskeytown in 1906. Ganim was a traveling merchandise seller by trade and later he became interested in mining.
In 1912, Ganim located the quartz vein of the Hard Luck Gold mining claim which was situated at New York Gulch two miles northwest of Whiskeytown, and inside the boundaries of the Whiskeytown mining district. New York Gulch received it’s name from the early settlers who settled upon the flat of this gulch who were natives of New York, since that time, the area has retained it’s name.
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At this location, Ganim struck a lucrative chunk of high grade ore and then he employed a small crew of miners to assist him in probing and developing this mining claim. By December of that year, labor improvements to this mining property consisted of the following: “sinking a shaft upon said claim at 50 feet, at an average cost of $6.00 per foot, and running a drift on said ledge for a distance of 34 feet, and an average of $7.00 per foot.” After it transitioned from it’s placer mining form into a hard rock mine, it was then called the Hard Luck Gold quartz mine, and it became the first mining claim of the Jerusalem Consolidated mine which is better known as the Ganim mine.
Joseph S. Ganim and his miners extended the drift of the shaft, while following the vein to tap into the ore body. Then, on the surface of the mining property Ganim and his men drove an adit into a hillside which became the main haulage tunnel of this mine and they extended it to 900 feet where it faced-out at that point. After that, they laid down a narrow gauge ore car system on the mining property to help them transfer their ore to a ten-stamp mill which was installed by them to crush their rock to obtain their gold they sought after. By 1921, several additional crosscut adits were opened which contained drifts between 50 to 400 feet in length on the mining property. Most of the probing and exploratory work up to this point dealt with gold; however, that soon changed when a large body of Talc was located inside the main 900 foot haulage tunnel.
Above: this is one of three adits that I located at the Ganim mine. Present-day topography maps show that their are three remaining adits on this former mining property, and I only found one of them due to roads that no longer exist on the property. It is gated off by the park service and the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. A sign is posted on the gate which states, “DANGER! Abandoned mine hazards – unsafe mine openings and highwalls, deadly gas and lack of oxygen, cave-ins and decayed timbers, unsafe ladders and rotten structures, unstable explosives. STAY OUT – STAY ALIVE!” This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on February 27, 2021.
Two years later, in August of 1923, Joseph S. Ganim established the Ganim Gold Mines Company in San Francisco, and transferred this mining property to his newly established mining company. Ganim also brought on additional stockholders who controlled sixty percent of the mining company’s stock. The following people were the additional stockholders: Joseph Merciari, F.F. Freitas, J.P. Brennan, Charles Walters, and Doctor Charles A. Mueller, all prominent residents of Redding.
Then, on September 4, 1924, a media outlet from Big Pine, California, heralded the following news about the Ganim mine in Shasta County:
“Stockholders of the Ganim Gold Mines Company have voted to bond the Ganim group of mines near Whiskeytown, Shasta County, for $1,250,000 to Carl Oding. One hundred thousand dollars must be paid within ninety days. The rest of the purchase price is to be paid in royalties at the rate of $115,000 a year. The Ganim mines was first located as gold mines, while running through a ledge of a good ore drift they cut through an immense body of high grade talc. The mines are really valued at present more for the talc than gold.”
Apparently, Oding failed to pay off the remainder of the above lease because the mining property reverted back to the full ownership of the Ganim Gold Mines Company. In January of 1925, the Ganim Gold Mines Company reorganized and they relocated from San Francisco to Redding. They also voted to downsize their stockholders. The stockholders became the new directors of the company, that month, consisting of: Joseph S. Ganim, president and owner, F.F. Freitas, J.P. Brennan, Joseph Merciari, and Charles Walters.
A year later, in 1926, the Ganim Gold Mines Company erected an electric light plant and a sack house to store their ore, and a concentrator to treat their ore, on the Jerusalem Consolidated mining property for $15,000. During June of that year, work progressed on the Phoenix mine and the Phoenix No. 2 mine at Whiskeytown which was a separate mining site also owned by Joseph S. Ganim. $100 of improvements were made on these mining claims by Joseph S. Ganim and a man by the name of John Haggblum, at that time. Haggblum also contributed money to Ganim for labor and improvements at the Jerusalem Consolidated mining property as well.
The Jerusalem Consolidated mine consisted of 14 mining claims as of June 30, 1926, which included the following: the Jerusalem No. 1, the Jerusalem No. 2, the Jerusalem No. 3, the Jerusalem No. 4, the Jerusalem No. 5, the Jersualem No. 6, the Jerusalem No. 7, the Admiral Oak mine, the Gold Nugget No. 1, the Gold Nugget No. 2, the Blackstone mine, the Hard Luck Gold quartz mine, the Phillips No. 1, and the Phillips No. 2 mining locations. Up-to-this date, the Jerusalem Consolidated mine were yielding the Ganim Gold Mines Company $15 per ton in gold through the extraction and crushing of quartz.
This video was filmed on location February 21, 2021.
Then, on September 27, 1927, an estimated $10,000 fire was ignited by unknown causes on this mining property which destroyed the bunkers, hoisting works, sack house, the ten-stamp mill, and all of the machinery of the Jerusalem Consolidated mine. No insurance was carried on this mining property. The fire was discovered by their superintendent, J.C. Hess, who was working on their compressor at that time. Two other mine employees were with Hess as well who were mining for talc and filling up an ore car load of it, eventually, the three men put the fire out before it could turn into a ravaging forest fire.
The Ganim Gold Mines Company decided to begin the work of rehabilitation at once. An assessment of five cents a share was levied which produced $9,000. The company re-estimated the damages of that fire and they decided it totaled $7,000 instead. Then they focused their attention on reconstructing the buildings they lost and to purchase brand-new machinery. Their Talc production resumed as well.
During the decade of the 1930s, the mining company’s attention turned to extracting gold from a number of crosscut tunnels on the mining property. The gold yielded the Ganim Gold Mines Company a lucrative amount which assayed from $1.50 to $50.00 per ton. Over the next few years occasional mining occurred at this location until May of 1941, when the Pomona Tile Company, of Pomona, California, secured it’s lease from the Ganim Gold Mines Company, and they began mining it’s talc ore body from a stope six hundred feet away from the adit of it’s main haulage tunnel.
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Mining operations continued by the Pomona Tile Company, which produced a successful run of talc, yet after their lease was up on the mining property, the Ganim Gold Mines Company then bonded it to Paul E. Littel, of Redding, in October of 1941. Littel produced a carload of talc which assayed well, and he continued to operate the mining property until 1946. The Jerusalem Consolidated mine also known as the Ganim mine is the only producer of talc in Shasta County. The Ganim mine was last mined of it’s ore deposits in 1959, when the owners bonded the mine again, that year. Since then it has been owned by the Ganim Gold Mines Company.
Joseph Solomon Ganim died in Redding on November 12, 1960, at the age of eighty-two years old, and he was buried at the Saint Joseph Cemetery in Redding. In 1974, the Ganim mine was owned by Joseph S. Ganim’s son Joe Ganim. Later, this mining property became part of the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, just opposite of the weigh station on Highway 299 West at New York Gulch.
This C-Block marker is located off the main road to the Jerusalem Consolidated mine which is better known as the Ganim mine. Highway 299 West is seen in the background of this photograph. This C-Block marker was placed by the California Division Of Highways. This picture was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on May 6, 2021.
- Proofs Of Labor Book 3 – Hard Luck quartz mine, December 26, 1912
- Ganim Mining Company Is To Be Reorganized – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 4, 1926
- Ganim Mining Co’s Head Office To Be Moved To Redding – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, January 5, 1926
- Grinding Mill Will Be Built Near Schilling – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 6, 1926
- Shasta Mine Makes Third Talc Shipment – Blue Lake Advocate newspaper of Blue Lake, May 1, 1926
- Proofs Of Labor Book 5 – The Pheonix Mine, June 30, 1926, page 348
- Proofs Of Labor Book 5 – The Pheonix No. 2 Mine, June 30, 1926, page 349
- Proofs Of Labor Book 5 – The Jerusalem Consolidated Mines, June 30, 1926, page 350
- Proofs Of Labor Book 5 – The Pheonix Mine and the Pheonix No. 2 Mine, July 29, 1927, page
- Proofs Of Labor Book 6 – The Pheonix Mine and the Pheonix No. 2 Mine, June 25, 1928, page 381
- Proofs Of Labor Book 6 – The Jerusalem Consolidated Mines, June 30, 1928, page 383
- Big Pine Citizen newspaper of Big Pine, September 4, 1926
- $10,000 Fire At The Ganim Mine; Loss Complete – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, September 27, 1927
- Ganim Mine To Running Again In Two Weeks – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, October 4, 1927
- 1940 U.S. Census
- 1963 The Covered Wagon published annually by Shasta Historical Society
- Mines and Mineral Resources of Shasta County, California – County Report 6 – by Philip A. Lydon and J.C. O’ Brien ©1974 by California Division of Mines and Geology
- Historic Resource Study Whiskeytown National Recreation Area by Anna Coxe Toogood, May 1978, Denver Service Center, Historic Preservation Team, National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior
Meet the writer: Jeremy M. Tuggle
Education and Community Engagement Manager – Shasta Historical Society
Jeremy M. Tuggle, born in Redding, is a descendant of 11 pioneer families who settled Shasta County between 1849-1889. Jeremy attended Shasta College and is the author of two published books, Rooted in Shasta County (2003), and A Journey Through Time: Ono and the Bald Hills (2008), as well as various articles on local history.
In 2017 Mr. Tuggle was awarded a Community Service Award, a prestigious national award for community service in historic preservation, by the Major Pierson B. Reading Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Jeremy is a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, and an Eagle Scout.
Tuggle has been employed at the Shasta Historical Society since November of 2009. In his present role as Education & Community Engagement Manager, Jeremy conducts research for the historical society’s programs and events, contributes to the Society’s social media presence, and ensures the highest quality guest and patron experience at our programs and community events.
Mr. Tuggle enjoys sharing his knowledge of local history and events, and is available to community organizations to present programs about Shasta County history.
Contact the editor: [email protected]
Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.