Arrastres – Gold Ore Grinder

Walk 150 feet west of the Belleville cabin to see stone remains. Take care to protect the natural features of this meadow.

The oldest tool for recovering gold from rock was the arrastre, a wheel introduced by Mexican miners. The early arrastres consisted of a low rock wall banked around large, flat and fairly level stones. In a hole in the center was set an upright post, and on this pivoted a long horizontal beam. A donkey or mule harnessed to the end of the beam provided power by walking in an endless circle outside the arrastres wall. A chain bolted midway on the beam pulled a heavy drag stone. The ore was crushed between the stones. The slow, tedious process of grinding a stone pile of ore took about four hours. Over 100 gold-grinding quartz arrastres one dotted Holcomb Valley.

Arrastre Gold Ore Grinder

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