Monday, December 22, 2008

Kennedy Mine Tailing Wheels

Jack and I spent the Wednesday before Thanksgiving waymarking historical sites in Western Amador County in the rain. This was the thirteenth of twenty-one places that we stopped.

Kennedy Mine Tailing Wheels
National Register of Historic Places #1981000146

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This historic place is located on Jackson Gate Road north of Jackson in the county of Amador, California. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 21.804 W 120° 46.525.

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In 1912, the California State Legislature passed an act which compelled mining companies to impound their tailings which had been polluting streams and river or cease operations. The fifty-eight foot diameter Kennedy Tailing Wheels were necessary to accomplish the task of lifting some 850 tons every 24 hours over two hills to an impound dam.

The ore from the Kennedy Mine was crushed in their one hundred-stamp mill on the south slope of Humbug Hill. The residue (tailings) from the mill was finely ground rock particles. The tailings were then mixed with water in the slime plant and allowed to flow downhill by gravity in a one thousand-foot-long flume to the base of Wheel #1.

Wheel No. 1's 208 stationary redwood buckets lifted the material 58 feet and dropped it into a flume which delivered it to the base of wheel No. 2 where the process was repeated. Wheels No. 3 and No. 4 performed the same function to move the material to an impound dam.

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