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The Lost Schofield Mine


The Clipper Mountains consist of an uplifted core of heavily weathered and dissected igneous and metamorphic rocks that include older Precambrian granites and gneisses and younger Tertiary volcanics (mostly basalts with minor pyroclastic rocks). A small exposure of Pliocene-Pleistocene nonmarine sedimentary rocks occurs along the southern flank of the Clippers. In addition, three small Tertiary-age rhyolitic intrusions occur just south of Castle Dome. The Tom Reed Mine is located just to the south of the largest Tertiary intrusion; the Clipper Mine and the Gold Reef Mine

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are also located in the same general area.

The Clippers are cut by a series of northwest-southeast trending faults, the result of widespread block faulting which characterizes the Basin and Range Province of North America.


Railroad men seem to make pretty good prospectors. Tom Schofield's lost mine in the Clippers and John Sutter's fabulous Bagdad-Chase lode were both discovered by railroad men and both were incredibly rich. The Bagdad-Chase Mine eventually produced more than $6 million worth of gold during its lifetime. That a rich vein of gold lies hidden in the Clipper Mountains is entirely possible. The Hidden Hill Mine is very close to the Clipper Mountains, only about 8 miles or so. We should never forget the extraordinary gold pocket taken out of that mine in 1915.

Prospectors may want to concentrate on the southern flanks of the Clippers and along the fault zones that cut the range. In addition, all contacts between the Tertiary rhyolites and older country rock should be checked for mineralization.

A metal-detector may be useful in tracing gold-bearing float.

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Importantly, wear boots, spats, and heavy gloves if you are considering venturing into this area on foot! -- this is home ground for the highly poisonous and aggressive Mohave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus). Alone among rattlesnakes, the Mohave possesses a venom consisting of a mixture of hematoxic and neurotoxic agents. Drop for drop, it is the most toxic of all rattlesnake venoms.