Kimble's Hole Mine

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Kimble's Hole Mine is a location in Barlow County in the Melisende Dulac Series.


Located on the southwest foot of Shatter Hill in southern Barlow County. The mine itself was established in 1898 by Kimble Stott, who led a group of prospectors with adjacent claims to form a consortium to share in the work and proceeds. While active, the mine was primarily a source of copper and some mercury excavated from a tunnel-and-shaft hard rock mine. A small vein of gold and electrum was mined in 1905-1908, but no other gold was ever found in the area.

A small number of modest crystals, primarily in the quartz family but also gem-quality feldspars, were excavated in the years 1901-03. Some of the gems were of the variety popularly known as the Oregon sunstone.

The mine shut down in 1912, though in the 1970s a group processed the mine tailings for trace metals that had been economically impractical to extract with earlier technology.

One member of the Kimble's Hole Consortium, Otto Zedler, was expelled in 1902 owing to the failure of his own claim to produce quality ore. In 1903, he sold a large example of an Oregon sunstone to Dalton Hensley. While he claimed to have found the gem on his own claim, many believed it had been taken from Kimble's Hole. Hensley had the gem cut and put into a pendant setting for his wife, Alice. This gem would subsequently be known as the Hensley Sunstone.

Rancor arose between the members of the Consortium on the one hand and Hensley and Zedler on the other. It is speculated that Hensley's refusal to turn over the Sunstone to the Consortium, or at least pay them for it, was the reason they would later refuse his investment offer after gold was found.

A land swap in the 1970s resulted in the mine and its environs switching to private ownership. In 1993, Darby Wormwood bought the site. At present Kimble's Hole is home to a rock shop.

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