The gold producing areas in Kittitas County are close to the town of Republic. Most of the county had small production amounts, but there were many lode and placer mines in the county. The placer gold in this county is mostly fine, but large nuggets have been found. Around 40,000 ounces was all that has been reported, but record keeping in the county has been poor.
Along the Cle Elum River, near town, the Cle Elum Placer was very productive. From the head waters to about halfway down to the mouth is best. On Mammoth Mountain, you will find the Broncho Mine. It was a lode gold mine. East of Eagle Mountain, is the location of the Mammoth Mine, it had a by product of gold. On Fortune Creek is the location of the Queen of the Hills and Ruby Mines. The Queen of the Hills was a lode gold mine, but the Ruby Mine produced primarily antimony, copper, lead, silver with a by product of gold. In township 23 N, range 14 E is the location of the Silver Bell Mine. It was located in Stevens Gulch. In Section 12 of the township is the Silver Creek Mine. On Hawkins Mountain, near the southwest corner of section 24 is the Cle Elum Mine and nearby is the Cascade Mine. All produced lode gold, silver with some lead. In the NW 1/4 section 25 is the Maude O. Mine, which produced free gold in pyrite. In the south 1/2 of section 244 and the northeast 1/4 of sec 25 is the Ida Elmore Mine.
In the Liberty area you will find the Black Jack and Sunflower Placers, which were very productive. At township 20N, range 17E, section 1 there are a few mines. In the SW 1/4, The Old Bigney Placer will be found. In the N 1/2, the Ewell (Flag Mountain) Mine, Stamp mill produced lode gold. Along Williams Creek, near town and at the junction with Swauk Creek, is the location of the Williams Creek Placer. It had good pay gravel within 4 foot of bedrock and 70-80 feet below present stream level. About 3/4 mile up Williams Creek, in section 2, is the location of the Ollie Jordan Mine. This mine had rich, erratic pockets of free and wire gold. In the Cougar Gulch area in T21N R4E, 4 mile up gulch, in SE1/4 of SW1/4 of section 26 is the Cascade Chief Mine which produced free milling gold. 5 1/2 miles up the gulch (1 1/2 miles by trail), in section 30, the Wall Street Mine, consisted of 3 claims for lode gold. All bed and bench bars in Cougar Gulch, below the mines you can find abundant gold colors.
Out of Ronald by 20 miles to just north of Camp Creek, on the line between sections 25 and 26 of T23N R14E, is the location of the Camp Creek Mine. This mine consisted of 4 claims of lead, silver, zinc and by product of gold. 24 miles out by road and trail on the east side of the Cle Elum River, in sections 26 and 27 of T24N R14E, is the Aurora (Lynch, Paramount) Mine. It consisted of 16 claims producing free milling gold with copper and silver. West of The Aurora, on Eagle Mountain, is the location of the American Eagle Mine and the nearby Boss Mine. Both were lode gold mines with by product silver.
On Red Mountain, near Thorp, is The Thorp Mine, which produced lode gold and silver.
North of Virden, between Latitude 47 deg. 14 min. and 47 deg. 16 min. N, Longitude 120 deg. 28 min. and 120 deg. 42 min. W, is the Swauk district, which had a total production of 7,141 ounces of lode gold and 4,972 ounces of placer gold between 1868 and 1959. In the area around the Blewett Pass Highway, is the Gold Reef Mine, which produced lode gold and silver. At T20N, R17E, at the junction of Boulder and Williams Creek, in section 1, is the Boulder Creek Placer. It is said that the pay dirt on bedrock in this area is very good. On the East Fork of Williams Creek, the Gold Leaf Mine produced free gold, sometimes found in beautiful octohedral crystals. On Snowshoe Ridge, in section 2, is the location of the Clarence Jordan Mine. This mine consisted of 3 claims which produced gold and silver. In the NE 1/4 of section 3, is the Cedar Creek Placer. In sections 3 and 10 is the Swauk Mining and Dredging Placer, which was a very productive large scale operation. In section 10 is the Bryant (Deer Gulch) Placer. In the NE 1/4, the Burcham Placer is found and in the SE 1/4 is the Dennett Placer, all of which were productive. Along Baker Creek, above its junction with Swauk Creek, is the Baker Creek Placer. In the NE 1/4 of the SW 1/4 section 13, T21N R17E is the Golden Fleece (Mercer, T-Bone) Mine. It consisted of 3 claims, mill which produced free milling gold, silver and pyrite. In section 33 is the Bear Cat Placer, which was productive. In the NE 1/4 section 15 is the Sylvanite Mine, which produced free milling gold. Near the head of Swauk Creek, in section 8, T21N R18E, is the Zerwekh (Big Z) mine, which produced free gold.
The Liberty Mining District in the Central Cascades of Washington State has consistently produced gold. The first discovery was in the late 1800′s, and over the years the area has seen everything from hard rock mining to bucket line dredges. Currently removed from active claiming, the area is open to anyone who wants to give prospecting a try. The area starts at the bridge on highway 97 over Swauk Creek just south of the Liberty turnoff and is open almost up to the pass. Any part of the creek within 200 feet of the highway has been removed from mineral entry and is open for panning, sluicing, dredging and highbanking. Permits are required however for any movement of material by mechanical means. (i.e. dredge and highbanker) Permits are available from the State offices in Olympia. The area is known for its “Wire Gold”, but the finds today are rather small specimens. Mostly, the finds range from specks to small nuggets, especially since we had a couple of floods over the last few winters that moved new material into the streambeds. However there are still a few rare, large nuggets found that weigh in ounces rather than dwt.