South Fork Canal Company Stock Certificate, Gold Rush [155322]

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money / Stock & Bond - Mining Start Price:250.00 USD Estimated At:500.00 - 1,000.00 USD
South Fork Canal Company Stock Certificate, Gold Rush [155322]
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Beautifully engraved partially-issued certificate. No. 321. Placerville, El Dorado County, Cal. Dec. 9th, 1852. This item has been hand signed by the Company's President, B.F. Keene, and Secretary, A.G. Taylor. Not issued to anyone. Ornate side-borders with a vignette of a chest with a dog laying in front with paw on key. Black print on extremely thin paper. Faded red print on reverse side shows through. 5 x 10". Printed in Placerville. Holes, wear to edges._x000D_
The company was formed on July 10, 1852 to bring water to the mines in Placerville from the South Fork of the American River. The soil wasn't suitable for a canal so a wooden flume was built four feet wide and three and one half feet deep. The joints were covered with canvas. The flume went from the South Fork of the American River, at the foot of Randolf Canyon, to Long Canyon, then to Reservoir Hill. The flume had a grade of 4 feet per mile. It took from 1853 until 1854 to complete the first 25 miles of flume. Ultimately the company had more than 34 miles of ditch, and 108 miles of lateral channel. These ditches were critically important to placer and hydraulic mining. Keene was a politician in the Mother Lode region. Taylor was a clerk for the 2nd US Marshal for the southern district. He was a California pioneer and a historian. (Bancroft, Browne). This is one of the few early California gold rush companies floated in San Francisco during the early part of the Gold Rush. Mining expanded west along the South Fork American River, and prior to 1852 the Natoma Ditch system began in the Salmon Falls area (now under Folsom Lake). This extensive system supplied mining camps east and south of Folsom as well as the rapidly developing vineyards. It also expanded the South Fork Canal, taking water at this time from upper Weber Creek on the Placerville Divide. The South Fork Canal systems extended from its Weber Creek diversion 5 miles below Brockless Bridge on the American River to a reservoir in Placerville. From here, water was distributed in several directions by laterals and other canals or ditches. It ultimately conveyed water close to Shingle Springs.

Date: 1852
Country (if not USA):
State: California
City: Placerville