Desert Fever
An Overview of Mining History of the California Desert Conservation Area

Riverside County



In March, 1911, J. J. Casey was in Blythe with some rich samples of ore discovered in the Coxcomb Mountains. Casey, Thomas Connors, and William Bailey were grubstaked by Gabe Lopez of Swansea, Arizona for a prospecting trip to the mountains. They discovered a ledge of gold-bearing rock reportedly 1300 to 1400 feet long and 5 feet wide. Samples of ore averaged $310 in gold per ton and 33 Ounces of silver. 21

In April, 1931, on the northeast side of the mountains, “Chuckwalla” Frank Webb and “Granite” Nick Molitor found some rusty tools and a rude stone house, the object of a long hunt. According to their story, in the l880s, gold was discovered there. Some time after the turn of the century, the owner sold the mine, but the new owner was hit by an automobile which rendered him mentally impaired. Nick and Frank spoke with him and obtained directions. After looking for the mine for some time, they found it. Initial assays were from $65 to $850 per ton. Late in December of 1931, a truck filled with ore from the Longhunt Mine (belonging to Webb and Molitor) arrived in Mecca on its way to the Selby smelter in San Francisco. It is probable that these 2 mines mentioned in the 2 preceding paragraphs are the same. 22



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© Larry M. Vredenburgh, Gary L. Shumway, Russell D. Hartill