Julian Historical Society
The Washington Mine was discovered on George Washington's birthday in 1770. Gold bearing rock was found at the site and a claim was filed by three men camped near the site. Gold had been found in the area, but this claim was the first producing hard rock mine to be developed in the Julian area. Gold was not found in nuggets such as found in Northern California. Julian gold was locked in quarry rock. The ore (rock) was removed from the mine and then crushed and processed to extract the gold. This was hard work and labor intensive. Miners felt they had a good day if by dark they had an ounce or two of gold.
Julian gold was considered jewelry quality and was often sold in San Diego.
Miners at the Washington Mine about 1910