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Yuba County


  • Yuba County Granite and Soapstone (historical times through circa 1906) – Excerpts from The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.

    Granite, of a quality suitable for structures, occurs in Yuba County on the east side of Willow Creek, in Sec. 9, T. 18 N., R. 8 E., 2 miles by wagon road southwest from Camptonville. Willow Creek, from this joint southwest and west to its confluence with the North Yuba River, appears to mark the northern end of the granite belt which extends west to the North Yuba River."

    Soapstone is of frequent occurrence in Yuba County, and occasional local uses have been made of it for copings and firebacks. The principal occurrences are:

    W. S. Godfrey, Camptonville. Sec. 35, T. 19 N., R. 8 E., M. D. M.

    J. D. Jaynes, Camptonville. Sec. 10, T. 18 N., R. 8 E., M. D. M. A strong cropping of soapstone.

  • Yuba County, California, Mineral Resources & Introduction to the Yuba County Area of California (circa 1915) – Excerpt from Sacramento Valley and Foothill Counties of California: An Illustrated Description of all the Counties Embraced in this Richly productive Geographical Subdivision of the Golden State, compiled and edited by Emmett Phillips and John H. Miller, Published under the direction of The Sacramento Valley Exposition, J. A. Filcher, Director-in Chief, January, 1915.

    Yuba County

    “Yuba County, while one of the smallest in the Sacramento Valley, having an area of only 638 square miles, is one of the richest in resources in all California. In the early days Yuba was famous as a gold producer. To-day, while still a heavy contributor to the State’s output of precious metal, principal importance attaches to its agricultural production and it is far more famous for some of its farm products. For instance the largest hop fields in the world are located at Wheatland in this county and the quality of hops grown compares favorably with those of the best hop yards in Europe.

    “This county offers exceptional advantages to the homeseeker and settler. The soil and climatic conditions are favorable to the production of practically every crop known to temperate and semi-tropic climates. The crops principally grown are wheat, barley, oats, hops, beans, alfalfa, garden truck, fruits, grapes and nuts. Some Indian corn is grown on the low moist lands near the rivers or by irrigation, also Egyptian corn and other grain bearing sorghums.

    “The orchard crops principally grown are pears, peaches, plums, prunes, apples, olives and grapes. Among other orchard crops grown here are oranges, lemons, grape fruit, cherries, apricots, nectarines, figs, almonds and walnuts. Apples do especially well in the higher foothill and mountain areas and will no doubt become an important product when this region has the advantage of railroad transportation.

    “The subdivision of large tracts of land has been going on steadily for several years and this has brought new settlers into the county; as a result new farms are being developed and new crops introduced.

    “During the last few years there has been a large planting of alfalfa which thrives luxuriantly, producing when irrigated five or six crops a year, and providing the basis for a rapidly growing dairy industry which promises to become one of the most important in the county, as it is one of the most profitable.

    “A considerable area is under irrigation and this is constantly being increased. The principal irrigation canals are the Browns Valley and Hallwood systems which together irrigate several thousand acres. Along the Feather River extensive areas are irrigated by pumping, and some valley land is irrigated from wells, an abundant supply of water being secured near the surface at a comparatively small cost.

    “Cheap electric power is available for pumping and for other farm uses. Many Yuba County farms have motors installed for driving pumps and other farm implements, with electric lights in house and barn. The first successful long distance electric power transmission line was built to convey to San Francisco power generated in this 20,000 horsepower and is one of a great chain of power generating stations which utilizes the waters of this and other streams in this and adjoining counties.

    “The mineral resources of Yuba are great. The methods of mining now followed include placer, quartz and dredge. In the upper foothills and mountain sections, quartz mining is successfully followed and rich strikes have been made in recent years, which have had a tendency to stimulate this important industry. Dredge mining is followed successfully along the bed of the Yuba river, where there are great deposits of gold bearing gravel. The annual gold output of Yuba County is between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000.

    “In a county where most of the boundary lines are never-failing streams, it is but natural to expect that there is plenty of water for all purposes. This is the condition in Yuba County . The Feather and the Yuba Rivers are both important streams.

    “Transportation facilities are excellent; the main California-Oregon line of the Southern Pacific Railway Company passes through this county, also the Western Pacific Railway, a new transcontinental lime, and the Northern Electric Railway, which is a part of an extensive interurban system centering at Sacramento and San Francisco. During certain seasons of the year the Feather River, which is the county’s western border, is open to navigation as far as Marysville.

    “Yuba offers enjoyable recreation to the sportsman. The county’s streams and forests afford the best of fishing and hunting during the proper season. Quail and dove are numerous in the valley and foothill sections, while in the higher altitudes deer are plentiful, and occasionally a bear falls before the gun of the skilled huntsman. Ducks and geese are abundant along the rivers and lakes.

    “Marysville, the county seat and railway center of Yuba County, is a prosperous and progressive city of 7,000 population (circa 1915) situated at the confluence of the Feather and Yuba Rivers. Since the early days, Marysville has been an important commercial city; for years it was the principal supply point of Northern California and to-day (circa 1915) it is the trading center of a large territory. Some idea of its importance may be gathered from the fact that there are located at Marysville three large banks, the combined resources of which on January 1, 1914, were $5,300,000; total deposits, $4,200,000; total capital and surplus, $870,000. Because of its importance as a trading center and lines of communication extending in many directions Marysville has been called the ‘Hub City.’

    “The second city of the county is Wheatland, known far and wide as the center of the principal hop district of California and the scene of the largest single hop field in the world. Wheatland is the center of an extensive agricultural area producing a wide variety of farm and orchard products and boasting a population of approximately 1,000. There is a bank with resources of $80,000.

    “Twelve miles northeast of Marysville is Browns Valley, a farming section comprising 45,000 acres of land. Much of this land is irrigated by a gravity system. The water is taken from the Yuba River in the higher altitudes. In the same district there are a number of rich quartz mines that are now being worked.

    “Smartsville is east of Browns Valley and eighteen miles from Marysville. It is a historic mining camp, and was a lively place in early days. Mining is still followed in the vicinity and the district is also noted for its production of both citrus and deciduous fruits.

    “Challenge and Woodleaf are in the timber melt (sic); Camptonville and Strawberry Valley are mountain resorts during the Summer months.

    Hammonton is the newest town in the county and is the scene of the principal dredge mining operations on the Yuba River.”

  • Yuba County Mines and Mineral Resources (circa 1915-1916) – Excerpts from Report XV of the State Mineralogist, Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions of California, Chapters of State Mineralogist’s Report Biennial Period 1915-1916, Part III. The Counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Yuba, California State Mining Bureau, 1919, pp. 271-459.)

    Yuba County, by Clarence A. Waring, Field Assistant.

    Introduction. “Four weeks were spent by the writer, in August, 1915, doing field work in Yuba County….”

    Description (of Yuba County).

     Location and boundaries. “Yuba County lies in the north central part of the state and borders the east side of the Feather River. It is bounded on the northwest by Butte and Plumas counties, on the southeast by Placer and Nevada counties and on the east by Sierra County.

    Area. “It was organized in 1850 and covers an area of 625 square miles, or 400,000 acres.”

    Population and county seat. “The population in 1910 was 10,042, of which 5,430, or over one-half, were at Marysville, the county seat, situated at the confluence of the Feather and Yuba rivers.”

    Power. “The western and southern parts of the county are well provided with power lines. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company, with power plant at Colgate, has a line southwestward through Smartsville, with branches to Wheatland, Yuba County, and Van Trent, Placer County; also a branch northwestward through Bangor, Butte County. Another line eastward to Nevada City, with branch northward to Alleghany, Sierra County, services the southeast corner of Yuba County….”

    Transportation. “The San Francisco and Portland line of the Southern Pacific railroad crosses the southwestern part of the county through Wheatland and Marysville, while the Northern California line of the same company runs northward from Marysville.

    “The Western Pacific railroad crosses the west side of the county and is paralleled south of Marysville by the Northern Electric railroad, which crosses the Feather River north of Marysville.

    “Fair mountain roads tap all the northeastern and mountainous portions of the county.

    General Geology. “The general geology of Yuba County is similar to that in the adjoining, Nevada and Placer, counties.

    “The main central portion of the county consists generally of gabbro-diorite and granodiorite grading off on either side into the more basic diabases, which in turn grade into metamorphic, amphibolitic rocks. Schists and slates in places overlie the igneous rocks and are intruded by serpentine in the northern part of the county….”

    “The general trend of the rock formations is northwest-southeast.

    Economic Geology. “The areal geology of Yuba County has been covered by U. S. Geological Survey Folios Nos. 17, 18 and 43, but no detailed work has been done on the geologic occurrence and association of ore bodies.…”

    Mineral Production. “The mineral production of Yuba County during the years 1914 and 1915 consisted of gold, platinum, silver and sand. The demand for minerals during the last year has encouraged the opening up of other prospects which are now adding to the state’s production of chrome and manganese.

    “Other mineral deposits of possible economic value, but as yet undeveloped, are: asbestos, clay, copper, ochre, and soapstone.”

  • Yuba County Mineral Industry (circa 1919) – Excerpt from California Mineral Production for 1919, Bulletin No. 88, by Walter W. Bradley, California State Mining Bureau, 1920, pp. 171.

    Area: 639 square miles.
    Population: 10,375 (1920 census).
    Location: Lies west of Sierra and Nevada counties; south of Plumas.

    “Yuba is seventh of the fifty-six mineral producing counties of the state, and leads in regard to gold output, surpassing both Nevada and Amador counties in 1918-1919 in gold yield. Iron and clay deposits have been reported in this county, aside from the following commercial production shown for the year 1919:

    (Headings for the information below are: Substance, Amount, and Value.)

    Gold, ---, $3,875,000 (estimated)

    Platinum, 125 oz., $13,098

    Silver, ---, $15,000 (estimated)

    Stone, miscellaneous, ---, $40,439

    (Total value) $3,943,537

    Yuba County, 1916 Map, from California Mineral Production for 1919 (with County Maps), Bulletin No. 88, by Walter W. Bradley, California State Mining Bureau, San Francisco: California State Printing Office, 1920, pp. 186. Yuba County , 1916 Map
  • Yuba County Limestone Deposits (through 1947) – Excerpts from “Limestone in California,” by Clarence A. Logan, California Journal of Mines and Geology, Vol. 43, No. 3, July 1947, California Division of Mines, San Francisco, California, pp. 175-357. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

    “The western part of Yuba County is in the Sacramento Valley, which is covered to great depths by alluvium. Most of the remainder of the county is occupied by outcrops of altered basic igneous rocks and by parts of the granitic batholith of the Sierra Nevada. These have been almost entirely stripped by erosion of the thick mantle of older metamorphic rocks which once covered them, and which in the more southerly counties contain valuable limestone deposits. A narrow belt of Carboniferous rocks extends northwestward across the extreme eastern side of the county and three small bodies of limestone have been exposed by stream erosion where Oregon Creek and North Fork of Yuba River cross this belt. Another narrower belt of Carboniferous rocks running northwest from near Bullards Bar is not known to contain limestone.

    “The deposit on Oregon Creek is 2 miles west of south of Camptonville, in sec. 15, T. 18 N., R. 8 E., M. D. The others are in the steep canyon of the North Fork of Yuba River, one being on the south side of the river 1 ¼ miles east of the mouth of Slate Creek, and the other on the north side of the river 2 miles west of the first. All three are too remote to be considered except for local use.”


Yuba County – List of Quarries, Etc. *

(* Please note this list does not include sand or gravel quarries.)

  • Camptonville (north of), Yuba County, California – Marble Exposure (Marble) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    “A large marble exposure is reported in Sec. 15, T. 19 N., R. 8 E., 8 miles west of north of Camptonville, on the south side of North Yuba River."

  • Camptonville (near), Yuba County, California – Soapstone Outcrops at Galena Hill (Soapstone) (Excerpt from Report XV of the State Mineralogist, Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions of California, Chapters of State Mineralogist’s Report Biennial Period 1915-1916, Part III. The Counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Yuba, California State Mining Bureau, 1919, pp. 271-459.)

    “A deposit of soapstone outcrops at Galena Hill, near Camptonville just below Weeds Point, the hydraulic mine near the mouth of the sluice tunnel. The deposit is about 8 feet thick and parallels a quartz vein, but has never been opened up.”

  • Challenge (near), Yuba County, California – Soapstone Outcropping (Soapstone) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    “In the vicinity of Challenge, T. 19 N., R. 8 E., M. D. M.; and near Oak Valley, T. 19 N., R. 8 E., M. D. M., croppings of soapstone are found."

  • North Yuba River, Yuba County, California – Marble Exposure (Marble) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    “(A) marble exposure is reported in sec. 9, T. 19 N., R. 8 E., on the north side of the North Yuba River."

  • Oregon Creek, Yuba County, California – Marble Exposure (Marble) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    “Marble is reported to occur on Oregon Creek, in Sec. 11, T. 18 N., R. 8 E.

  • Yuba County, California – Parks Bar Quarry (Stone) (active ca 1996) (From Mines and Mineral Producers Active in California (1994-1995), Special Publication 103 (Revised 1996), California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, in cooperation with California Department of Conservation, Office of Mine Reclamation. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

    Mine name: Parks Bar Quarry; Operator: Nordic Industries, Inc.; Address & County: 1437 Furneaux Rd., Marysville, CA 95901, Yuba County; Phone: (916) 742-7124; Latitude: 39.23, Longitude: -121.33, and Mine location number: Map No. 912; Mineral commodity: Stone.

  • Yuba County, California – Sperbeck Quarry (Stone) (active ca 1996) (From Mines and Mineral Producers Active in California (1994-1995), Special Publication 103 (Revised 1996), California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, in cooperation with California Department of Conservation, Office of Mine Reclamation. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

    Mine name: Sperbeck Quarry; Operator: Carl J. Woods Construction Co.; Address & County: 10163 Spring Valley Rd., Browns Valley, CA 95918, Yuba County; Phone: (916) 673-7877; Latitude: 39.26, Longitude: -121.42, and Mine location number: Map No. 914; Mineral commodity: Stone.

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