Plumas County Adventures
Send Ron EMail: rcooke@oavax.csuchico.edu
Back Home

The Jennie Mine (Senator Perkins Mine)


The Jennie Mine is described (MacBoyle, Errol. 1920. Mines and Mineral Resources of Plumas County. California State Printing Office) as follows:
Jennie Mine. (Senator Perkins Mine.) Owner, Senator Geo. Perkins, Oakland. (Grouped with the Caldwell and New Century by J. H. Hall, Brush Creek)

The property consists of one claim, the Jennie, which is patented. It is 200' x 1500', covering the lode for 1500'. Low ridges and creeks are characteristic of the surface.

Development consists of a 250' tunnel on the vein, from which ore has been stoped to the surface.

The deposit consists of a small quartz fissure vein in granite, containing free gold and from 1% to 2% of sulphide. It varies in width from 2' to 25', strikes northeast, dips 80 degrees E., and is said to average $5.

Equipment consists of a blacksmith shop, houses and an 8-stamp mill erected in 1870.

Water from Frazier Creek through one-half mile of ditch and 300' of 10" pipe furnishes power for the mill. It can be run eight months out of the year.

This property adjoins and lies northwest of the Whidden fraction, which adjoins and lies northwest of the Caldwell mine. All of these properties have been grouped and are under the management of J. A. Hall.

Unfortunately, most of this is gone. Next to a gigantic granite boulder there is a small entrance to a tunnel:


Inside, the tunnel is partially full of water for most of the year:


The trees in this area are fantastic! Often in the old days trees were used as property corners or bearing trees. Here is the picture of a fir that was a bearing tree in the 1800's. It is now 63" in diameter!


OK! So you're not interested in caved in tunnels or big trees--what about history? The Jennie Mine was also known as the Senator Perkins Mine. The owner George Perkins was also Governor of California. The following excerpt was taken from "Hunting for Gold" by Major William Downie. (1971. American West Publishing Co. Palo Alto, CA).
No man is better known throughout the State of California than George C. Perkins, and it is safe to say that none is more highly esteemed in the Golden State. In saying so, one may not fear being accused of empty flattery, but rather, perhaps, of having expressed too inadequately the great worth of a most excellent man.

Mr. Perkins arrived in California from his home in New England, in the fall of 1855. At that time he was a beardless youth, but had, nevertheless, seen much of the world as a sailor, having made his first voyage as a cabin-boy when only twelve years of age. A few days after his arrival here he went to Sacramento, by schooner, and saw for the first time the city which he should afterwards play a part entrusted to only to the highest officers of the State. From Sacramento he walked to Oroville, a distance of one hundred miles, and displayed the energy and persistence which gave the impetus to his splendid career.

At that time his resources were few, but his enterprise and ambition were great. He first followed mining, and afterwards teaming and lumbering, but not being satisfied with the small remunerations he received for his labors, he finally engaged in mercantile pursuits as a clerk in the store of Hedley & Knight. Here he laid the foundation to rapid advancement. He became instrumental in establishing the Bank of Butte County, built the Ophir Flour Mill, and also became interested in mining, sawmills and sheep-farming. He throve wonderfully, and the success of his various enterprises not only redounded to his own advantage, but added to the wealth of the entire country.

No wonder, then, that Mr. Perkins soon became a very popular man. In addition to his rare abilities as a business man, he was possessed of many personal traits which endeared him to a large circle of friends, and at their earnest solicitation he entered the political arena on the Republican side, being also here destined to meet with unqualified success. He became a State Senator, and during his stay at the Capital, formed a friendship with Captain Goodall, of San Francisco, the result of which was the formation of the firm of Goodall. Perkins & Co., which to-day is one of the leading shipping enterprises of the coast, and it may be said, of the world.

Mr. Perkins' rise to the gubernatorial office was the crowning success of his life, showing by a tremendous majority the great confidence which the people of California repose in him. Mr. Perkins is a member of many orders; he is a prominent Free Mason, and is foremost in a number of charitable societies. In opening up a steady trade between San Francisco and Alaska, Mr. Perkins became the Pioneer who made it possible for the business man and traveler alike, to visit that interesting land with comfort and at a small expense, and his splendid line of steamers, calling at Alaskan ports, is not only one of his largest enterprises, but is probably the one which is most universally known and appreciated.
Here is an old picture of Governor Perkins:


I particularly like the part "From Sacramento he walked to Oroville, a distance of one hundred miles, and displayed the energy and persistence which gave the impetus to his splendid career." Can you imagine any people today doing this? Perhaps more people today would have "splendid careers" if they seized the day a la George Perkins.

But I digress. The "History of Plumas County" indicates that George Perkins represented the Plumas section of the district as a senator from 1873-1876. He was inaugurated as Governor on January 8, 1880. He was a Republican and had won the Plumas County portion of the gubernatorial election with 702 votes. Hugh J. Glenn was listed as a "New Const. and Democrat" and received 500 votes. William F. White was a member of the "Workingmen" and trailed with 100 votes. At this time Plumas County had a population of 6,262 . This population was made up of 3,259 White Males, 1,476 White Females, 849 Chinese Males, 15 Chinese Females, 277 Indian Males, 250 Indian Females, and 1 Colored Person.

Was the mine successful? I'm not sure. Here is a report that was prepared in 1875 by Arthur Keddie as part of the Jennie patent application:
The Jennie Quartz Ledge is located in what is known as Granite Basin, in the Southern portion of Plumas County, California and is a vein of gold bearing quartz varying in thickness from 2 to 3 feet and is encased in granite. The country in the vicinity is well timbered with pitch pine and sugar pine, spruce and cedar and the surface of the ground is covered with a dense growth of Manzanita chaparral.

But little work has been done on the lode in late years on account of the locality being so inaccessible from the main thoroughfares of the County.

Running in on the ledge are two tunnels, one at the north end, and the other at the south end of the claim; that at the north end is about 400 ft. in length and well timbered throughout, and has a car track the full length, strapped with iron, from this tunnel two shafts have been raised to the surface. The south tunnel is in a distance of about 100 ft. and is also well timbered.

Roads have been built for the purpose of hauling quartz to the mill and for the general convenience of the mine.

About 5OO tons of rock taken from the mine have been worked in a mill situated near the north end of the claim, not less than $2OOO (two thousand dollars) in work and improvements have been put on the claim.

The nearest claim to the Jennie Ledge Mine is the Caldwell Quartz Mine, which is situated about 4 chs. to the southeast of the Jennie.

Respectfully submitted,

ARTHUR W. KEDDIE
U.S. Dep. Min'l Surveyor
Quincy, Plumas Co., Cal.
Aug. 8, 1875

Back to the Plumas County Adventures Index