Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | May 17, 2017

Gold Prospecting

asher gold miners

Gold on Palomar?

In the summer of 1904, Palomar prospectors were mining for gold in the lower Doane Valley.  This photo was from a collection of one of Palomar’s early pioneers, Robert Asher.  Robert Asher’s glass photography plates and original manuscripts from the 1930’s were quite a gift to this mountain a few years ago.  The story of how they became a book called My Palomar, is for you here.  Part of Mr. Asher’s land was donated to what we now know as the Palomar Christian Conference Center.  His book is a great read!

Meanwhile, our Palomar historian, Peter Brueggeman has this story for you:

Gold on Palomar Mountain… from Robert Asher’s diary of 22 September 1933:

“… Clifford wanted to know about a gold mine in Doane Valley. The only mine I know about is more of a prospect hole than an honest to goodness gold mine. George Doane once gave the Cartt Boys permission to mine on his property and they opened up a hole at the foot of the hill north end of Lower Doane Valley and took out something like two tons of gold-bearing ore. This was hauled to Banner near Julian and milled there with a return of a thirty-dollar button of gold. Doane told me that he bought the button from the brothers for a souvenir. Later Mr. Dixon of Pine Mountain worked in the same place. Summer and fall of 1915 if I remember correctly. He had a deep cut in the hillside and was using a steel wheelbarrow which I think he left there when he went home the last time. Then came the floods and slides of January, 1916 and the whole thing caved in. Dixon never returned to dig the barrow out. At one time, and for several months. Peter Schnack of Escondido and a Mr. Cooper prospected the neighborhood pretty thoroughly, but found nothing worthwhile. As for the Cartt Mine the pay ore was only a stringer of quartz – nothing like a real vein.”

See also: Sunday visits 100 years ago



  1. I’ve found Gold on Palomar before. I’d shouldn’t say where but I’ll say it was near our old 1923 Cabin by the Lodge. When you’re digging deep around plumbing pipes, a Prospector has to pan some of that reddish brown gravel & it had two tiny pieces of Gold. That’s actually good for test panning. I know there’s an old green fluorite mine on the North side of Palomar, but I’ve never seen it.
    Adam A

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