Dating back to 1894, the Amalie Mill & Mine near Caliente, CA remains one of the best preserved mining sites in and around Kern County.
In March 1894 W. E. Rodgers of the Amalie Mining Company purchased the mine and began sinking shafts, driving drifts and before a year had passed erected a 20 ton per day mill.
The ore carried silver chloride and free gold, and was reported to contain ruby silver and native silver.
The gold and silver ore here as almost everywhere in the district, was combined with sulfide minerals…
…and then shipped to smelters for refining. Photo: Kern County Library. Beale Memorial Library
In January 1895 the Amalie was the only active mine in the district, however by the following year more than a dozen other mines were being worked.
At the Amalie site, a boarding house, store, blacksmith shop, and barn had been erected. A Post Office also opened, and a stage to Caliente ran three times a week.
The mine soon fell into litigation and little more was heard from the area until May 1900.
At that time the nearby Cow Boy Mine was shipping ore to smelters from the Zada and Gold Peak claims situated in nearby Studhorse Canyon. The mine was worked steadily through 1906 employing from 12 to 40 men, and shipping 10 to 15 tons per day. A new mill was erected in July 1906, however its performance was disappointing.
The Cow Boy mine was reported to have produced about $100,000 prior to 1905, and $200,000 prior to 1913.
To the west of Studhorse Canyon at the Zenda mine, a mill was erected March 1906 which also treated rock from the Cow Boy mine dump.
In March 1909 the Zenda erected a new mill and a new cyanide circuit was added in 1910. The Zenda was purchased in 1922, the new owners installed a 150 ton per day mill and within four years produced about $650,000 in gold and silver. The Barbarossa mine situated about one mile northwest of the Amalie was active between 1903 and 1904 when 2,000 tons of ore was mined, and milled at the Amalie with total production estimated at $60,000.
The Amalie is reported to have produced $600,000 in gold and silver.
Processed ore was stored in the lower stone portion of the building while awaiting pick-up and transportation to the next location.
The graffiti covered machinery foundations inside the ore processing building.
The land on which the buildings and mine are located are now owned by a private owner, so access is no longer allowed.
BLM posted these prior to the land being purchased by the new owner. The site has been closed since 1932.
A well insulated adobe structure located behind the kitchen that was most likely used for food storage.
“ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE”…cause it’s not in here, they recently put up steel bat bars to keep the riff raff out.
Looking up towards the top of the mill.
Looking towards the bathhouse.
Hopefully she’ll continue to stand and her incredible history will be preserved.
Amalie Mill & Mine is under new ownership and off limits to visitors. Please respect private property, it doesn’t belong to you.
Protecting and preserving historic, sacred, and sensitive sites should be practiced by all. Locations, directions, and names to some of the places found on this site are not listed, please don’t ask for them. Tread lightly, leave no trace and always respect the wonder that surrounds you.