By Chris Ralph
The intelligent men who worked the gulches and rivers in the early days, soon sought the sources of the gold they found in the gravels. Sometimes gold was found with quartz adhering to it, or occasionally a quartz pebble riveted through and through with gold. The veins of quartz seaming the hills in the vicinity of the richest placers, also served to point to that rock as the original source of the gold. At Carson Hill, in what was then Mariposa county, quartz had been found immensely rich; but the expense of blasting the rock out and crushing it was such, that no serious attempts were made, until 1851. The whole California gold country abounded with quartz; in some places there were mountains of it, which had filled the ravines with broken quartz, but not all the quartz had gold in it - most did not. The miners found that the search for auriferous quartz was a tedious affair until some more experienced men were put upon the scent.