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U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2004-1205

Prepared in cooperation with the Idaho Geological Survey,
Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho

Preliminary Report on the Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Atlanta Hill Area, Elmore County, Idaho

By T.H. Kiilsgaard and L.D. Bacon

Gold was discovered in the vicinity of Atlanta, Elmore County, Idaho, in 1863. Placer mining along the nearby Yuba River started in 1864, and in November of that year major northeast-trending outcrops of quartz were discovered on the hill east of the Yuba River. Initially called the Eagle of the Light, the quartz discovery came to be known as the Atlanta lode, a name selected by local southern sympathizers in honor of the Civil War battle at Atlanta, Georgia, which was fought in 1864. Many claims were staked along the Atlanta lode, which was traceable at the outcrop for almost 2 mi. Discovery of the Atlanta lode led to intensive prospecting of the area, which, in turn, led to other mineral discoveries such as the Minerva, Tahoma, Last Chance, and Big lodes, all of the discovered veins offshoots from and near the Atlanta lode.

The discoveries led to development of the Buffalo, Monarch, General Pettit, and other mines along the Atlanta lode and to establishment of the town of Atlanta, about 1.5 miles north of the Atlanta lode, at the mouth of Quartz Gulch.
  Photograph probably taken during the 1880's, looking northeast at the Monarch

Photograph probably taken during the 1880's, looking northeast at the Monarch mine. The Monarch shaft is beneath the large building.

[Copyrighted photograph used with permission of the Idaho State Historical Society.]

VIEW THE REPORT: PDF FILE [5.7 MB] | PLATE 1 [14.7 MB] | PLATE 2 [16.6 MB] | PLATE 3 [1.9 MB]

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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