These stereographs depict images from the Sucker Flat Mine, Yuba County, California. The first hydraulic mining in the California decade of the Gold Rush (re: 1849-1860) was done at the Blue Point Mine in Sucker Flat near the town of Smartsville (Yuba County), California. It was here that the first large scale primitive methods of washing auferious gravels began. Because of the primitiveness of the water hoses, nozzles, and engineering used, the easy gold played out. Later (1864-1871) hydraulic mining technology was perfected, allowing for stronger penetration into gravels (and the greater loss of soil to the rivers) and mining again brought people to Sucker Flat.
These images depict the new mining operation, the town, and the day that the corporation (Blue Point Mining Company) was robbed (1871). Millions of dollars in gold were pulled from the ground at Sucker Flat, much of it shipped east to supply Union soldiers during the Civil War and the Indian Wars that followed (1865-Wounded Knee).
Mains and Shippy were transient photographers moving from place to place throughout the west