|About half of black-and-white map from book shows distribution of mines and prospects in Independence quadrangle. Map symbols are intentionally blurred to protect mine locations. Map symbols on real map are not blurred. |
This rare first-edition report is perhaps the only one devoted solely to geology and mines of the Inyo Mountains above Owens Valley, near Independence, California.
|Detail of map in book shows location of Independence quadrangle in relation to Saline Valley, Owens Valley, Mt. Whitney, Lone Pine and Big Pine. The famous lead-silver mines of Darwin and Cerro Gordo are just to the east (right) of this map. Kern County is to the south.
This is the 49-year-old first edition. Yes, it has the big color map in the rear pocket, and everything is in very good, near-fine condition.
Rarely seen on ebay
In almost 20 years of buying and selling on ebay, I have only seen one other copy offered for sale, last July, and I was the one selling it. It took me almost a year to find another. It is that rare.
Sure, you see other dealers selling "rare" books about mining and geology on ebay. But look closely. Almost all are boring reports about sand, gravel and limestone or earthquakes.
Watch my auctions: My books are about unusual mineral deposits. Many of my books include much about valuable deposits of gold and silver. When was the last time you heard of someone going prospecting for materials to make concrete?
This is not some touristy rockhound book; this is a U.S. Geological Survey publication. No serious collection of Inyo County historical source literature is complete without it. So buy it now, or forever hold your peace. Once it's gone; it's gone.
Covers remote backcountry
The report summarizes geology of the quadrangle, which includes part of Owens Valley and part of the Inyo Mountains. The area is geologically unique. It is in the transitional zone between two great geologic provinces: the Sierra Nevada batholith and the Basin and Range province. The quadrangle is also a stratigraphic transitional zone between the eastern (carbonate) assemblages and the western (clastic) assemblage of the Paleozoic Great Basin. Much of the area discussed is steep unpopulated backcountry.
Although some of the area is accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicles, much of the area can be reached by passenger cars, trucks or SUVs with highish clearance. Well, sure, it's a little difficult to get to. Where did you expect to find valuable fossils and minerals in this day and age? Under the parking lot at Santa Monica Place Shopping Center?
|Approximate eight-by-11-inch section of map in pocket: "Geologic map and sections of the Independence Quadrangle, Inyo Count, California."
"Gold, silver, lead, copper, tungsten and talc have been produced from the area. Prospects have been dug for iron, dolomite, quartzite, asbestos and quartz crystals."
Almost as valuable as the 64-page report itself is the book's extensive bibliography. You can't look for other books about Inyo County mining and geology if you don't know the titles of the books and their authors.
Map would look great framed
Like other sought-after mining and geology books about the Owens Valley area, the maps are arguably the real prize here. The large color map from the rear pocket (with a scale of 1:62,500) would look great framed if it wasn't so useful in the field. Then again, you could have the best of both worlds: Make a color copy of the map for the field, and frame the original. It's a handsome example of geologic cartography with pleasing colors and nicely executed calligraphy; they just don't make 'em like this any more. It's big, in full color, covers about 240 square miles and measures about 28 by 24 inches with a scale of one inch = one mile.
Map shows mine locations
Lode gold, placer gold, silver, tungsten, copper and talc are keyed to their respective mine locations in the three-quarter-page mine map (top photo). Although mine locations are not given in range-and-township coordinates, it would probably take a minimum effort to approximately match these mine locations to corresponding geologic features on the larger map (above right).
Mine and geologic features are not just shown on the maps, the importance and location of some are also discussed in the text; sometimes mileage and directions are given from known landmarks. This area is particularly rich in fossils trilobites, gastropods, brachiopods, worm trails, etc. and author Donald C. Ross often gives detailed directions to those deposits and identifies in which rock types they occur (another use for the map from the pocket). I have never seen these deposits detailed in ANY other book, neither scholarly text or gift-shop rockhound book.
Where is it?
Independence the county seat of Inyo is in Owens Valley, about 220 highway miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. Next nearest town is Lone Pine, 15 miles away. Independence is also about 15 air miles from the new mid-western boundary of Death Valley National Park. Nearest town with supermarkets and chain stores is Bishop, CA, about 45 highway miles away.
The area around Independence for many miles in all directions is chiefly unpopulated mountain and desert wilderness. Although much of the Independence quadrangle is only accessible by dirt roads (some graded, some rough), the roads are plainly marked on the Auto Club of Southern California Death Valley road map, so that road map can be used easily to correlate some exact mileages to mines and other geologic features on maps from this report.
Geology of the Independence Quadrangle, Inyo County, California, Geological Survey Bulletin 1181-O, 1965, by Donald C. Ross, prepared in cooperation with the California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, United States Printing Office, Washington, first and only edition, 64 pages, stapled binding, stiff paper covers. Very good, near-fine condition, no rips, no bent pages, no notes in text. Pages are supple not brittle. Map in pocket is folded with some slight rippling, otherwise in very good shape. Some slight yellowing around cover edges.
As always, I am extremely conservative about rating book condition and very detailed in listing any potential flaw, no matter how slight. You get what you pay for. If you want a trashed book filled with scribbled notes, dog-eared pages and underlined passages that the seller just "somehow forgot" to tell you about in his ad then look elsewhere on ebay.
Payment methods and domestic shipping
Paypal only. Shipping via priority mail in the United States. (Sorry, no UPS or FedEx shipping.) I pride myself on bulletproof packaging.
The fine print:
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the item or terms of sale. Do not wait until you have bought the item to ask questions. I post feedback once a week. Not responsible for typographical errors.
Good luck and thanks for bidding!
|Tiny detail of map in pocket showing rock types and faults around Badger Flat, at the end of Mazourka Canyon, to the east of Independence, California. Maps like this are very valuable in finding probable new locations of mineral deposits, which are likely to occur in geologic settings similar to known deposits. |
|Book discusses and gives directions to many fossil deposits, including this dense exposure of girvanella (?) in Bonanza King dolomite east of Badger Flat. (Note penny for scale). |
Counties adjacent to Inyo are Mono, Fresno, Tulare, Kern and San Bernardino; nearby counties include: Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Tuolumne and Alpine. Towns, population areas and interesting sites in or near Inyo County include Aberdeen, the Alabama Hills, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Argus, Badwater, Ballarat, Big Pine, Bishop, Bullfrog, Cartago, Cerro Gordo, China Lake Naval Weapons Center, Cottonwood Lakes, Coso Junction, Darwin, Death Valley Junction, Dolomite, Dunmovin, Eureka Sand Dunes, Fossil Falls, Furnace Creek, Greenwater, Haiwee Reservoir, Independence, Inyokern, Keeler, Laws, Lake Sabrina, Little Lake, Lone Pine, Mt. Whitney, Olancha, Owens Lake, Onion Valley, Panamint Springs, Pearsonville, petroglyphs, Rhyolite, Saline Valley, Scotty's Castle, Shoshone, Sierras, Sierra Nevada, Stovepipe Wells, Swansea, Trona geology mining mines stock certificate, Tecopa, Ubehebe Crater, Whitney Portal.
Good luck and thanks for looking!