Mining in Ravena
Map by Norton Allen, used to illustrate the story, “Green Garden Stone Above Old Ravenna,” Desert magazine, February 1957. Shows gemstone quarries above the tiny mining town of Ravenna, four miles southwest of Acton in Soledad Canyon.
A number of miners, most notably Colonel Thomas Finley Mitchell, arrived in Soledad Canyon in 1860 and set up various mining camps near the canyon’s rich veins of gold, silver and copper, which came into great demand when the Civil War broke out only a year later. Historian Jerry Reynolds writes:
“A conglomeration of log cabins and tents moved up and down the canyon with each new strike. Called “Soledad City” wherever it was plunked down, it provided such basic needs as faro tables, rye whiskey, and ladies of the evening. A portable grocery was operated by James O’Reilly, a flaming-haired Irishman of medium build, pug nose, and happy-go-lucky air about him.”
It wasn’t long before a post office was needed, and as one might expect, the U.S. Postal Service rejected the name “Soledad City” out of fear that it would be confused with the city of Soledad in Monterey County. O’Reilly suggested the name “Ravenna,” in honor of the local merchant and saloon keeper, Manuel Ravenna. The name became official on June 12, 1868.
Ravenna became a shipping point from which the canyon’s gold, silver and copper ores were hauled off to San Pedro. The area was also rich in a variety of gemstones, particularly moss agate and green waxy quartz, as evidenced by this map of several old gemstone mines. Strip mining is still a big industry in the Soledad and in parts of the neighboring Mojave Desert, but the little mining camp that was named for its long-forgotten barkeep is little more than a faded memory.
ADVERTISE WITH US
The Wine Affair, brought to you by Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley, celebrates their 10th Anniversary on Sunday, April 15th from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Town Center Drive. What better way to relax after getting your taxes done! The Wine Affair...read more
Forty years?! Yes!! The folks at St. Clare are quite passionate about these dinners that have become legendary in the community. They’ll reel you in! This year’s series of six Lenten fish fries got underway on February 16 and continues each Friday through March 23....read more
The SCV Senior Center is so excited to announce we are sold out of tables to buy for our Celebrity Waiter Dinner at 5 p.m. on Saturday March 3. Our theme Spies Like Us: A Mission to Remember has been a very popular one as each table is getting ready to decorate and...read more
ABOUT THE MAGAZINE
The Magazine of Santa Clarita has set a high standard for excellence in advertising for over 25 years. A family owned and operated business, The Magazine of Santa Clarita has grown with the Santa Clarita Valley since 1989 and become the #1 place to advertise locally.
SANTA CLARITA MAGAZINE