Detailed map of mining claims in La Plata County, Colorado.
At the center of the map, a double red line notes the location of the State Road.
The topographical features shown include Stamboul Gulch, Mineral Trail Gulch, Ruby King Gulch, Leavenworth Gulch, Gains Gulch, and Pocahontas Gulch.
Creeks listed include Elk Creek, State Fork, and Flagler's Fork.
Based upon the names of the claims, we date the map to circa 1890.
Spanish explorers who visited the La Plata Mountains in the 18th century may have found gold, but mining in the region did not begin until 1873 when placer gold was found along the Animas River near the present site of Durango. In that same year placer gold was discovered along La Plata River. Production during the early years in the La Plata district is not known, but it was probably small. Lode gold was also discovered in 1873, and by the end of 1881 many locations had been made.
The output from lodes was small through 1901, but with the discovery of new deposits in 1902, output increased sharply, and through 1914 annual gold production exceeded $100,000 (5,000 ounces).