Pleasant/South Park Canyons, California

  The main mines of Pleasant Canyon were the Ratcliff which was Henry Ratcliff's "Never Give Up" claim that started production in 1896 and the Montgomery brother's World Beater also discovered in 1896. The South Park Mining District was also formed that same year. The town of Ballarat came into existence at the mouth of Pleasant Canyon to serve the mines. The World Beater operated until about 1905 and the 10 stamp mill was burned down by vandals in the 1980's. The Ratcliff Mine tailings were reworked during the 1930's by W.D. Clair and within a couple of years over $60,000 were pulled out. He had skirmishes with 2 gun-toting sisters, Orpha and Mary Thompson, who held nearly all the claims in Pleasant Canyon and tried to run him out. In the later years Mary would become known as "Shotgun Mary". She lived at the end of Surprise Canyon at Thompson Camp and would chase off  unsuspecting visitors with her shotgun.

Let's explore the mines of Pleasant & South Park Canyons

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Updated, May 2000 trip
Pleasant Canyon is now badly washed, it's better go up South Park Canyon.

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Updated 2002 Trip, The road up South Park is now gone at "Chicken rock" just above the Bridge.
The road up Pleasant Canyon is now in better shape than it was.

Updated 2004 Trip, The damage at Chicken Rock in South Park has been repaired.

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