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Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum

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21350 Almaden Road. Almaden, CA 95042
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Phone: 408-323-1107
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Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum
Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum in Almaden
New Almaden quicksilver mine in the Santa Teresa Hills in Santa Clara County, California, United States, is the oldest legally denounced (claimed) and most productive quicksilver (i.e., mercury) mine in the U.S.The site was known to the Ohlone Indians for its cinnabar long before the mines were formerly denounced in November 1845. The claim to the mines was first made under Mexican mining law by Captain Andres Castillero, an officer in the Mexican Calvary and formerly an aide to Governor Juan Alvarado. Eventually the title to the mines was secured by an Amercican company, under American laws, after thirteen years of costly litigation. By the time they were identified as mercury, the mine was perfectly timed to supply the California Gold Rush.The mine ran intermittently after 1927 and eventually closed. It was purchased by the county and is now part of Almaden Quicksilver County Park.

The New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum is open year round Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays except for major holidays. From September to June the hours are 12 noon - 4:00 pm on Fridays and 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. In July and August the hours are 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. School tours are available Monday - Friday year-round by reservation. Guided tours are available by request for groups of 35 or less. Call (408) 323-1107 for reservations. No fees are required.

The museum presents visitors with an interesting array of exhibits about the history of mercury mining and the lifestyles of mining communities at New Almaden. A mine diorama duplicates the interior of a mine shaft, giving visitors a feel for working underground. Other exhibits explain the changing technology of how the liquid mercury was extracted from mined cinnabar ore. Artifacts from Cornish, Mexican and Chinese mining families depict the diversity of people that once lived and worked together on "the hill." Antique furniture adds authenticity to a formal mine manager''s office inside the Casa Grande, where extravagant dealings were negotiated with wealthy investors.

Museum visitors can search for items hidden in the exhibit and earn shares of Quicksilver Mining Company stock (carefully "forged" by volunteers), or walk the 1.6 mile self-guided tour through the historic town of New Almaden - a pleasant walk into the past even on a moist day.

Guided tours through the museum are provided to groups of 35 or less. Call the museum office at (408) 323-1107 for information and reservations.

Guided walking tours through historic New Almaden are offered by the New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association members. Contact the museum office for more information.
21350 Almaden Road. Almaden, CA 95042
Phone: 408-323-1107
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