Harney County

Chinese Borax Harvesting Harney County

China Cap Mine. Harney County.
China Cap Mine is a group of open pits in an area characterized by many prospects. It is a cinnabar (ore of mercury) mine, more recently known as Horsehead Mountain Mine. The China Cap portion of the place name is likely derived from the conical shape of a nearby peak. The peak’s shape is similar to that of the peasant-style hat worn by Chinese in the 1800's. Reference: U.S.G.S. Quadrangle 7.5’ series, Goose Egg Butte, Oregon, 1986.

China Hill. Harney County.
China Hill is approximately two miles south of the community of Venator near Crane Creek. Reference: U.S.G.S. Quadrangle 7.5’ series, Venator, Oregon, 1986.

China Hill Reservoir. Harney County.
China Hill Reservoir is on the eastern flank of China Hill. Reference: U.S.G.S. Quadrangle 7.5’ series, Venator, Oregon, 1986.

China Lake. Harney County.
China Lake is an intermittent body of water covering about one square mile during the rainy season. It is approximately two miles northwest of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Chinese were known to collect various types of evaporate minerals such as borax from dry lakes in California. Reference: McDannold 2000: 185; U.S.G.S. Quadrangle 7.5’ series, Squaw Butte, Oregon, 1980.

Rose Valley Borax Company. Harney County.
Rose Valley Borax Company (1898-1907) was located on Borax Lake, also known as Hot Lake, about 5.5 miles southeast of Sharps Peak and 7.0 miles northeast of the community of Fields. The borax harvesting and processing operation employed an all-Chinese labor force. They were from Nevada, being provided by a Chinese labor contractor in that state. Reference: Shaffer and Baxter 1972: 235-237.

References .

McDannold, Thomas. 2000. California’s Chinese Heritage: A Legacy of Places. Stockton, California. Heritage West Books.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. 2010. http://www.deq.state.or.us/ Accessed November 8, 2010.

Shaffer, Leslie L.D. and Richard P. Baxter. 1972. “Oregon Borax: Twenty Mule Team-Rose Valley History.” Oregon Historical Quarterly. September: 228-244.

U.S.G.S. Quadrangle 7.5’ series, Goose Egg Butte, Oregon, 1986.

_______. Quadrangle 7.5’ series, Squaw Butte, Oregon, 1980.

_______. Quadrangle 7.5’ series, Venator, Oregon, 1986.