LDMA Gold Prospecting Club camp grounds - Restored old town site of Stanton, AZ
I have great memories of this area! I got my first 2 nuggets metal detecting (with
my GP3000 I bought off of Chris Gholson’s dad) around the Stanton area (at that time
the area belonged to Ellie’s claims - the 24k Gold Prospecting Club. Since then she’s
sold the claims) I got some nice pickers and gold from the creek as well! There’
s something I love about this area! It’s beautiful and the LDMA has it’s club here
and its sister club, the GPAA has claims here also (You have to join a club to prospect
this area as it’s all claimed up). Also, you can dry wash, metal detect, sluice,
re-circulate, etc here! Below you’ll see the photos of my trips to this area! It
took me about a year before I found my first two nuggets! This is not uncommon -
even well known nugget shooters took some time before they found their first nugs!
Chris Gholson said that it took him about a year before he found his first nugget
- persistence is the key - you can’t be lazy!
For a short period I joined a club that owned some claims in the Middle Camp area,
I only went one time and I didn’t find anything, but I have plans on going back after
renewing my club membership (it’s only $20 bucks) A lot of gold was found here and
I want to see if I can find some next time. I also want to go to the famous; Lynx
Creek, San Domingo Wash, Lake Havasu area, The Bradshaw Mountain area, some of the
AZ GPAA Claims and other areas in the future - I can hardly wait, just not enough
WEAVER (RICH HILL) DISTRICT
Yavapai County, Arizona
In 1863, a gold prospecting party led by mountain man Pauline Weaver pushed deep
into Arizona Territory. Trackers from the party were trailing a runaway burro when,
on a dry hill top (now known as Rich Hill), some “spud-sized” objects in the dirt
attracted their attention by reflecting sunlight. A closer look revealed that the
flashy objects were exactly what they had set out to find- huge nuggets of gold!
(They call this area on the top of the hill, the ‘potato patch’ because of the potato
sized nuggets found here! Once word got out, the stampede started! Stanton, just
north of Wickenburg (and at the base of Rich Hill), was rescued from obscurity in
1978 when LDMA purchased 65 acres of deeded, patented land for recreational use.
Over the years, several historic buildings, including the Stanton Hotel, have been
restored. Recently an additional 60 acres were purchased which includes the rest
of the historic ghost town and a major portion of the main wash that drains the famous
Rich Hill! Members now enjoy camping and prospecting, telephone, showers, water and
electrical hook-ups, along with 70 new full hook-ups. There is a full time care taker
on the premises.
As stated above, the Rich Hill placers were discovered by a party of prospectors
led by Captain Pauline Weaver in 1863 or 1864 (one account reports 1862 as the year
of discovery) about the same time as the discovery of the Lynx Creek placers. According
to many reports, a Mexican in the party found loose gold on the top of Rich Hill
while looking £or a stray animal. Immense excitement and intense mining activity
followed the discovery. Within 3 months, 108,000 dollars in gold ranging in size
from a pinhead to large nuggets worth hundreds of dollars was recovered, and within
5 years, $500,000 in placer gold was recovered. By 1883, about 1 million dollars
in placer gold was recovered.
The placers have been worked extensively since the discovery, but because of the
nature of the gravels, few large-scale operations have been attempted. Most of the
mining has been done by drywashers, pans, rockers, and sluices, although some miners
used power shovels and dry-separation plants.
The famous Rich Hill, where potato sized nuggets were found!
The old restored Opera House
Stage stop where Charlie Stanton was shot and killed
My first two nuggets that I ever found metal detecting using the GP3000 that I bought
from Chris Gholson’s dad, Steve. It took me about a year to find my first gold with
a detector! Don’t give up!
Weighed almost a half ounce for both
Tommy and I detecting the backside of Rich Hill on the 24K Gold Club
Found a little nug right here in this pic!
Club members getting ready to look for some of that pretty gold!
I had a big smile when I found my first nuggets with my nephew AJ!
A rattle snake was there the entire time with us just chillin, can you see him?
Former rival gang members turned prospectors, thank God!
The famous Rich Hill again!
My friend Dion doing some panning
The desert has it’s own beauty that Pictures and words can’t describe!
Middle Camp Placer area
For some reason this area interested me because it’s not far from my home in So Cal
(about 4 hours away) and good gold was taken from here. So I became a member of a
club that has some claims in this area and checked it out. I didn’t find gold the
first time I went but I’m planning on going back again! Below you’ll see some photos
of the area.
Middle Camp gold production/history
The Middle Camp area, immediately north of the Oro Fino, is 4 or 5 miles long from
east to west by a mile wide at the eastern foot of the Dome Rock Mountains. Here,
according to Church, “rich seams of gravel on bedrock yield from four to ten times
the value of thicker gravels, and in crevices there have been found nuggets worth
$10 to $25.” (This was back when gold was $20 per ounce!)
During 1932, tow companies attempted large scale operations in this tract.
On ground leased from Middle Camp Placer Gold, Inc., La Cholla Mining Company, Ltd.,
tried out a large machine equipped with a 3 ½-yard dragline shovel, approximately
100 feet of sluice boxes, and settling tanks for water recovery. This machine, for
which water was hauled from Quartzsite, operated for only a few weeks.
American Coarse Gold Corporation installed a plant equipped with dragline shovel
and two Cottrell tables. It was operated, with water from Quartzsite, for about two
In June, 1933, approximately twenty individuals were carrying on small-scale in the
Middle Camp Placers.
PLOMOSA DISTRICT: is near the town of Quartzite on La Posa Plain, between the Plomosa
Mountains on the east and the Dome Rock Mountains on the west. This is mainly a placer
district; however, gold, copper, and lead have been produced from lode mines. In
1862, prospectors on their way west to the rich La Pat gravels found placers on the
east side of the Dome Rock Mountains, at Oro Fine, La Cholla, and Middle Camp. These
were worked intermittently until the 1950's, and several unsuccessful attempts were
made to mine the gravels on a large scale. Gold, copper, and lead veins were exploited
after 1900 but their yield was small. Total gold production of the district through
1959 was about 24,570 ounces: about 19,400 from placers and 5,000 from lodes.
La Cholla, Middle Camp & Oro Fino Placers
Location: East side of the Dome Rock Mountains, Tps 3N and 4N, R20W
Access: From Quartzsite it is about 5 miles west on US Highway 60-70 ( I-10) to Dome
Rock Mountain. Dirt roads lead from the highway to adjacent placers
Extent: Placers are found on the east side of the Dome Rock Mountains in three localities.
La Cholla placers, located south of US Highway 60-70 (I-10) in an area 4 to 5 miles
long from east to west. (NE1/4 T3N, R20W); at the southern base of the Middle Camp
Mountain (approximately SW 1/4 T4N R 20W); Oro Fino placers, located north of US
Highway 60-70 (I-10) and southeast of the Middle Camp placers (SE 1/4 T 4N R 20W).
History: The placers on the east side of the Dome Rock Mountains have been worked
intermittently since the 1860's. The placer camps are usually considered to be part
of the Plomosa mining district and production records are usually grouped with the
Plomosa placers, 12 miles east. The deposits at La Cholla and the Middle Camp have
been worked on a small scale throughout this century. From the 1930's until 1941,
the La Cholla placers were the most active in the area; large-scale operations by
the La Posa Development Co. at the Arizona Drift mine during the period 1939-41 accounted
for most of the placer production. This company worked a channel on bedrock that
was 6 feet thick and 50-150 feet wide at a depth of 140 feet. No estimates of the
Old miners house
Quartz vein in bedrock
Miners trusted leaving their equipment there with each other
Short video clip below of cool bug and of the area
In front of claim signs
GOLDMINER’S OUTPOST 8011 PIONEER BLVD., WHITTIER, CA 90606 USA 1-800-594-3318
Stanton was killed in his own store by two Mexican bandits who were revenging Stanton's
insult to one Cristo Lucero's sister. Stanton was a ruthless person who plotted to
kill people for his own benefit and had the blood of many people on his conscious.
He never committed the acts himself, but hired others to do them. Several buildings
are still at the site today.
Originally named Antelope Station, name changed in 1875 to Stanton, with Charles
P. Stanton as postma-ster, because there was another Antelope Station.
Stanton was named after Charlie P. Stanton - He did not have a very good reputation!