NAME: New Almaden
COUNTY: Santa Clara
CLIMATE: Wet during november to march and hot 80-90 during the summer months
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Open year round
COMMENTS: New almaden itself is a thriving little community and is easily accessed by taking the Almaden expressway exit from Highway 85 and heading west.
REMAINS: The majority of the buildings in New Almaden are still inhabited. There is a cematary, and a Museum that are both worth seeing. The mines are open to the public but are not accesible by car. Those interested in veiwing any sites must do so on foot or by bike or on horseback.
New Almaden was the site of the first mining in California. The Ohlone indians dug for cinnabar to use as the base for their red paint. In 1845 Andres Castillero a Mexican officer filed for and was granted title to the land. The Barron, Forbes Co. aquired the title in 1846 and began operations. By 1854 there were thireteen furnaces in operation that extracted mercury from the ore. The mine sremained open until 1972. During the Great depression a CCC camp was established on site. The mines are located on the ridge above the town and accessible only by foot, horse or bike. The site is owned by Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation. Maps are available on site at no charge. The park itself is open from 8:00 am until sunset, the museum is open Fri-Sun 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Submitted by: Murphy