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Defender Mine, Pioneer Station, Amador County

The mine is located one half mile southeast of Pioneer Station. The mine was worked intermittrently under lease from 1900's to 1938. Between $20,000 and $30,000 of gold was produced during the 1930's.

Typical Miners of the 1800's

The chief industries of Amador County are logging, agriculture, and mining. Since 1880 more than $165,500,000 worth of mineral products has been produced. The single commodity responsible for nearly 85 percent of this total is gold, most of which has been produced from that part of the Mother Lode gold belt between Jackson and Plymouth. Actually, this segment has been the richest part of the entire 115-mile length of the lode. Other important mineral products are clay, coal (lignite), and copper.

The largest producers of gold have been the Kennedy, Argonaut, Keystone, and Plymouth mines, all of which have been inactive for nearly a decade. The Central Eureka mine which is now active (circa 1954) is one of the few Mother Lode gold mines which survived the government restriction order L-208 of 1942 and increased mining costs. Other past important gold producers have been the Fremont-Gover, Lincoln, Zeila, Oneida, Original Amador, South Eureka, Wildman, Mahoney, Treasure, and Bunker Hill mines. In the east belt the Belden, Rainbow, and Pioneer Lucky Strike mines were important producers. Several small east belt mines are now active (circa 1954). Substantial quantities of gold have been produced by gold dredges, hydraulic mines, drift mines, and by the re-working of old tailings.

Monitors used in hydraulic mining in the diggings


  • Alpine Mine
  • Amador Queen
  • Amador Star Mine
  • Amelia Mine
  • Anita Mine
  • Argonaut Mine
  • Balliol Mine
  • Bay State Mine
  • Belton Mine
  • Black Hill Mine
  • Black Wonder Mine
  • Bunker Hill Mine
  • Christmas Mine
  • Clinton Mine
  • Central Eureka Mine
  • Defender Mine
  • Fern Mine
  • Ione Coal Mine
  • Jackson Gate Mine
  • Johnsen Copper Mine
  • Kennedy Mine
  • Keystone Mine
  • Leland Mine
  • Lincoln Mine
  • Lonesome Willow
  • Lucky Queen Mine
  • Manzanita Mine
  • Mahony Mine
  • Moore Mine
  • Motherlode Gold
  • Newton Mine
  • Nugget Mine
  • Onita Mine
  • Pathfinder Mine
  • Penn Mine
  • Peterson Mine
  • Pioneer Mine
  • Plymouth Mine
  • Red Hill Mine
  • Seaton Mine
  • Spring Hill Mine
  • Urzula Mine
  • Volcano Gold Mine
  • Weiland Mine
  • Wildman Mine
  • Zeile Mine