In plain sight from the 14 freeway, an inoperative 5-stamp mill stands as a relic of a very old operation. It’s one of only two upright stamp mills remaining in Los Angeles County.
The stamp mill belonged to the Puritan (Union) mine located on the south side of Mint canyon, 18 miles east of Saugus and 4 miles northwest of Acton. The Puritan was a small scale producer during the Cedar Mining District (1870s-1900s) in the Acton area.
Taken from LA County Office of the Assessor’s site. The stamp mill is located on lot 4. Parcel ID # 3216-018-004.
Large but undetermined production was reported prior to 1893. There’s two shafts (140 and 65 feet) which are now completely filled with dirt and gravel. Only the stamp mill remains…
The 5-Stamp Mill itself was made by Joshua Hendy Machine Works, an American engineering company from the 1850s to 1940s (S.F. CAL)
Its founder, Joshua Hendy built California’s first redwood lumber mill and in 1856, established the Joshua Hendy Iron Works in San Francisco to supply equipment to Gold Rush placer miners. By the 1890s, the Joshua Hendy Iron Works had become a technology leader in the mining industry, supplying equipment to mining companies all over the world including ore carts, ore crushers, stamp and ball mills and equipment to other countries.
It’s unclear whether there is a current owner for this particular lot in which the stamp sits. Hopefully they realize the historical value of this stamp mill. Its a beautiful relic standing exactly where it once served in the old mining days.
More about the Puritan (Union Mine)
In Section #21, Township 5N, Range 13 (Survey # 3924).
T.G. Shaeffer and Ira L. Hauser of Acton were the latest reported owners of the mining claim but it was leased out in 1934 to a R. P. Fenner. In the 1940’s the Puritan Mine Corp. (ltd.,) tried their hands at the Puritan.
The Mining Journal for January 15, 1940 states:
“The Puritan Mine Corporation, recently organized with a capitalization of $60,000, has secured a lease on the Puritan mine at Acton, California, and development work has been started. The present inclined shaft is to be sunk to greater depth and crosscuts will be run on the lower level. William T. and Ethel B. Haight and A. G. Axline, 5224 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, California; and Glenn and Glady De La Mare, Burbank, California, are directors of the new company.”
It seems that during this venture, about 50 tons of ore were milled at the Governor mill. It’s been idle since 1940 and machinery removed.