Argonaut Mine Centennial Event
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Press Images

Breathing Apparatus

Gibbs Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, which provided two hours of oxygen in firefighting and rescue efforts

Red Cross

The American Red Cross, Amador County Chapter, at the Argonaut Mine with Chapter President Mary Warrington, center. To raise morale among the rescuers, the federal Prohibition director gave the Red Cross special dispensation for 480 bottles of bourbon

Rescuers in Kennedy

200 men worked almost three weeks tunneling from the Kennedy Mine to reach the doomed miners, wheelbarrowing rock and debris through a tunnel too narrow to allow ore carts and too low for the men to stand up

Bureau of Mines

Rescue experts and a car rushed to the scene of the disaster on a Southern Pacific train, breaking all previous speed records for the 139-mile trip from Elko, Nevada (4 hours, 15 minutes)


An army of reporters and motion picture crews, arriving by plane, train, automobile and motorcycle, reported to Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco newspapers.

Gas 3 O’clock

The last messages left by the trapped miners, photographed by Aird MacDonald, indicate that all of the miners were unconscious about 4 hours after the fire began, and likely perished by sunrise.

Argo Sunset

(Lisa Lucke) – The headframe of the Argonaut Mine at sunset

Press Availabilities


Frank Tortorich
Teacher, Author, Historian

Cedric Clute
Author, Historian, Radio Personality

Linda Gonzales
Event Committee Chair,
Manager at Kennedy Gold Mine


Media Tours of the Argonaut Mine Site and Historic Kennedy Mine & Museum
Linda Gonzales, 209-304-0349,

A diverse schedule of memorial and living history events commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the worst mining accident in California history and the subsequent 22-day rescue and recovery effort will be held in Jackson, beginning August 27, 2022.

The eyes of the country and the world were riveted on Amador County and forty-seven miners trapped by fire in the Argonaut Mine. As many as two hundred men helped tunnel from the Kennedy Mine in the rescue attempt, and untold community members assisted in other ways. A collaboration of civic, historical, religious and arts organizations have planned a month of memorial and living history activities in Jackson, August 27 – Sept. 25, 2022.

Planned events include:

  • Sat., Aug. 27: Italian Benevolent Society Dinner and historical program on the anniversary of the fire, with Jackson bells tolling at the time of the disaster, 11:30 pm.
  • Thurs., Sept. 22 and 24: Commemorative memorial services Jackson’s historic cemeteries and guided tours of the Argonaut Mine site.
  • Sat., Sept. 24: Living History Day at the Kennedy Gold Mine. Activities for the whole family, costumed characters, lively speakers, live music, cultural food vendors.
  • Sat., Sept. 24: Vaudeville Musical Review of the 1922 performance by Argonaut miners held at Sid Grauman’s Million Dollar Theater in Hollywood, with the Easy Winners ragtime string band.
  • Aug. 29 - Sept. 20: KVGC Radio (96.5FM/1340AM): Dramatic broadcast of historian Cedric Clute’s, “Argonaut Mine Disaster,” a real-time chronology of the disaster and rescue attempt.
  • Fri., Sept. 23 and Sat., Sept. 24: Dramatic stage reading of “Gold Fire,” which recreates the disaster and rescue attempt using the participants’ words and contemporary reporting.
  • Sun., Sept 25: Closing concert by pan-cultural musicians Miroslav Tadic (Guitar) & Yvette Halzwarth (Violin), Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre.

Other areas of interest to visit include:

Flags representing each victim of the Argonaut fire arrayed at the Vista Point on Hwy 49/88, just north of the Argonaut Mine property.

Period decorations and an exhibit chronicling the day-by-day timeline of the rescue displayed in Historic Downtown Jackson,153 Main Street (on display through Sept. 25).

Do you have an ancestor, memorabilia, or other connection to the 1922 Argonaut Mine Disaster? Please contact the Centennial Commemoration Committee Chair Linda Gonzales (209-304-0349, or Cathy McGowan (

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