Deep Dives into the Archives: Are We Sitting On A Gold Mine?

  • [Kaylin Paschall photo]

    [Kaylin Paschall photo]

The Legends of the Lost Padres Mine, Part One

Curated by Kaylin Paschall, TME

The locations of gold discoveries in our local mountains are not settled history. Among many legends, none may hold as much allure as that of the lucrative Lost Padres Mine.

We picked up on the trail in an introduction to the tale by Joyce Campbell, historian and regular columnist for The Mountain Enterprise during the 1960s and 70s. It was in the April 10 and 17, 1969 editions of TME that she began Part One of her ten-part series covering the legend and attempting to trace the location of the Lost Padres Mine.

By Joyce Campbell

“A local reader requested, recently, that we reiterate the legend of The Hill’s lost gold mine. It is referred to as the Los Padres Mine or sometimes the Lost Padres Mine, and rivals the Lost Dutchman in reputed wealth.

“So, with dusty notes and several repudiating letters at hand we shall try to put together the pieces of a puzzle.

“Most of the proper authorities say the whole story is a myth, but Jose Jesus Lopez and many old pioneers verified certain happenings concerning men who claimed to have found the mine, and no less solid a citizen than Samuel Bishop (once owner of Rancho Castac, politician, businessman, founder of Bishop California, and among other things builder of the San Jose Street Car Line) spent several decades trying to find the mine.

“Among the papers in Bishop’s estate is a map which…(please see below to view full stories and photographs)

Photo captions:

While this likely was not the Lost Padres Mine, Silverville Mine, as it was once called in the late 1960’s, was known for it’s platinum and silver ore. Presently inactive, the mine’s remnants are located just past the Y off Mil Potrero Highway. There are many old, abandoned mines in our area, some dating back to the mid-1800s or earlier.

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This is part of the June 9, 2023 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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