Virginia Dale Mine (Dale Mining District)

 

The Virginia Dale Mine and the Dale Mining District are located roughly 18 miles east of Twentynine Palms, and 8 miles north of Joshua Tree National Park.

Placer gold was first discovered in the area in 1883 by Lew Curtis,  by 1886 the Virgina Dale Mine was in full swing. Other mines in the area had already began producing not long after the initial discovery in 1883,  near the town site of Dale (now referred to as Old Dale). Old Dale was located at the intersection of current day Highway 62 and Gold Crown Road meet.

The Virginia Dale Mine operated under The Virgina Dale Mining Company until 1899, when the company suspended operation. Despite the suspension of mining at Virginia Dale, the district continued to boom. After World War I, Virginia Dale was redeveloped by Jim Sigifus. Sigifus installed a new mill on the site, and attempted to sell the mine for half of a million dollar. Jim died before a deal could be struck. In 1923, Dave Post leased the mine, and three days into operation was shut down due to a lawsuit.

In the 1930s, a new life was given to Virgina Dale by a new operation that ran until 1937. It is estimated that during the operations peak, that 40 tons of ore was being extracted every day.

For 75 years, Virgina Dale has been in a state of abandonment. All the remains of the once bustling mine are Cyanide tanks, half standing stone walls, and foundations. Today the site is popular with recreational miners, and weekend desert warriors.

 

 

Virginia Dale Mine - A foundation sits on the hill side. The mine can be seen in the background.

Virginia Dale Mine – A foundation sits on the hill side. The mine can be seen in the background.

 

 

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.

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