The Bonanza Mining District is located in the northern end of the San Luis<br>Valley of south-central Colorado, centered around upper Kerber Creek and its<br>tributaries and the old mining town of Bonanza.<br>Rich silver ore was first discovered in the Kerber Creek drainage in<br>approximately 1880; hundreds of claims were soon staked and the town of Bonanza<br>was established. Productive early strikes included the Rawley lode in Rawley<br>Gulch, two miles upstream from the town of Bonanza, and the Bonanza mine,<br>located a mile upstream of town in upper Kerber Creek.<br>The initial boom was short-lived, however, as the rich surface ores were<br>rapidly depleted. The twin problems of discontinuous, generally low-grade<br>sulfide ores at depth, requiring more sophisticated milling, and a 16-mile<br>wagon trip from Bonanza to the railhead at Villa Grove, soon emerged.


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