The George Washington Mine. On page 6, Book A, of The Julian Mining Records appears this entry registering the George Washington claim on February 26, 1870:

Notice is hereby given that the undersigned claim forty four hundred feet on this Lead Known as the George Washington Ledge. We run and claim Eight Hundred feet Easterly and Thirty six hundred feet Westerly with all its dips spurs and angles and one hundred feet on each Side of Said Ledge for Mining purposes and forewarn all persons from trespassing Hereon.

Following this typical entry in the Julian Mining Records is a list of eighteen personal names, the long list needed to claim such a large property. Obviously the owners were pressed to come up with enough names because one entry reads “Proff. Durant.” At the time Henry Durant was President of the University of California at Berkeley. Such evasions apparently did not violate the District’s bylaws. Mike Julian’s name as District Recorder appears at the foot of the entry.

Although the Washington Mine was the district’s first producing mine it never came up to its owners’ high expectations, remaining forever modest in size and production. On the claim miners dug a hundred-foot tunnel into the hillside and a hundred-foot shaft from the bottom of which they cut a three-hundred-foot drift that followed the path of the gold-ridden quartz vein prospectors had found on the surface, or a total of about five hundred feet of workings. Mary C. Morse, the school teacher wife of the merchant Ephraim W. Morse, visiting Julian in September 1870 not long after the mine’s discovery left a brief and inaccurate description of the mine. “We afterwards visited the Washington, the first mine discovered. Here are three tunnels running into the hillside each about 150 feet in length, which we examined following a guide with a lighted candle.” She added, “It seemed to me a gloomy place to work….”

A number of owners worked the Washington intermittently fr6m 1870 to 1904 and then again in 1931. The total production of the mine Donnelly estimated at only between $25,000 and $50,000.

In 1969 the Julian Historical Society collected some old mining equipment and placed it under shelter at the site of the Washington Mine, erecting nearby a plaque that commemorates the mine’s historic contribution to the Julian Mining District.

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