Along Highway 299, 4 miles west of Weaverville.
Opened in 1851, La Grange Mine became one of the largest hydraulic placer mines in the world. More than 100 million yards of gravel were processed before the mine closed in 1918. To provide enough water for this large operation, a series of ditches, tunnels and flumes were constructred over a distance of 30 miles to Stuart's Fork.
The Lagrange Mine. This mine, originally known as the Oregon Mountain Group of Claims, first operated about 1862. In 1892 the mine was purchased by the Lagrange Hydraulic Gold Mining Company which brought water from Stuart's fork through 29 miles of ditch, tunnels and flume and delivered it to the mine pit under a 650 foot head. Over 100,000,000 yards of gravel were moved and $3,500,000 in gold produced. Large scale operations ceased in 1918.
California Registered Historical Landmark No. 778. Plaque placed by the California State Park Commission in cooperation with the Mt. Bally Parlor No. 87, Native Sons of the Golden West; Trinity County Historical Society; and Trinitarianus Chapter, E Clampus Vitus, June 9, 1963.
Searching for Gold
Imagine a pile of dirt as big as 6 football fields and two miles high. That pile of dirt used to be where you are now standing. It is called Oregon Mountain. Hydraulic mining dissolved 90% of this mound in the quest for gold. From 1851 until 1933 Oregon Mountain was slowly washed down the Trinity River by "monitors". This hydraulic mine was the largest in the world.
Building a Highway
The remaining 10% was washed away in search of another type of gold...travel, tourism and trade. The California Department of Transportation liquidated what was left of Oregon Mountain to make a road cut. It took them 5 years of day and night washing with monitoros to elimiante the mountain. In 1939 the last segment of Highway 299 was finished. The valley and coast were connected.