The Kennedy Gold Mine is named for Andrew Kennedy, an Irish immigrant, who reportedly discovered a quartz outcropping in the late 1850's near what is now Highway 49. The Kennedy Mining Company was formed in 1860 when he and three partners began digging shafts near today's mine property entrance.
Walk up the well-marked trails to get a closer look at the huge tailing wheels erected in 1913 that carried vast amounts of gravels up and over the hills into a settling pond. Only two of the original wheels are still standing, one on each side of Jackson Gate Road. The others lie in ruins, victims of the elements and age. Picnic areas and restrooms are available.
The mine operated sporadically until it closed in 1878. In 1886 fifteen people invested $97,600 to reopen the mine under the corporate entity of the Kennedy Mining and Milling Company. In 1898 the company began sinking a new shaft 1950 feet east of the original shafts. This East Shaft would eventually reach a vertical depth of 5912 feet, the deepest vertical depth gold mine in North America at the time. In 1928 a surface fire burned all the structures except the Mine Office and the Stamp Mill. All other buildings and foundations were built after 1928. The company operated the mine until 1942 when the U.S. Government closed gold mines because of the war effort.
At the time of its closing, the mine had produced some $34.3 million (some dispute this number) when gold was valued at $20.67 and $35.00 per ounce. The company paid its stockholders $5.8 million between 1886 and 1937. Over 95% of these dividends were paid at $20.67 per ounce.