Preserved here is equipment used in quicksilver mining. A few examples are from New Almaden, but most are from the Guadalupe Mine and were used in the last fifty years of mining, until the mines closed in the 1970s.
The equipment is organized in the order in which the mercury ore (mercuric sulfide, HgS, called cinnabar) was mined and processed. The ore from the mine is broken into small pieces, fed into a furnace to drive off mercury vapors. The vapors are contained and cooled back to liquid mercury. The mercury is cleaned and bottled in iron or steel flasks, each containing 76 pounds of the metal.
From left to right, the display starts with underground mining and ends with roasting and cleaning. The now closed Guadalupe Mine itself is located about seven miles north of the village of New Almaden, just north of the park. The Guadalupe Rubbish Company donated the equipment to the New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association in 1987.
[Illustration caption:] Guadalupe Mine illustration by local artist Jim CampbellPartnersNew Almaden Quicksilver County Park AssociationThe California State Society, Daughters of the American RevolutionSanta Clara County Parks and Recreation