Social drug consumption in the New River Mining District

by Mark Arsenault

Institution: Humboldt State University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Social drugs; Historical archaeology; Trinity County; Northern California; Hard rock mining; Socioeconomic group
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2065333
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/175506


The New River Mining District Project assessed the correlation between socioeconomic grouping and social drug use in a remote mining district of the Trinity Mountains. The New River Mining District of the Trinity Mountains played a significant role in this region???s hard rock mining gold rush. Historic accounts like that of William Brewer suggest that social drug use was a central part of Trinity mining culture. Brewer also suggests that Trinity mining culture was unique to the northern Californian region. The New River Mining District is perhaps the best preserved of any Trinity mining district, this is why New River Mining District sites were used as a case study in late 19th century social drug consumption. The projects primary research questions were investigated utilizing modern archaeological methods. These methods included intensified pedestrian survey, subsurface testing, and intuitive data recovery. How did an individual???s socioeconomic grouping affect what social drugs they consumed and where they consumed them? Research in the New River Mining District was conducted to answer this research question. It is the intention of this project to provide archaeologists and resource managers a model to identify socioeconomic grouping based on social drug data. Advisors/Committee Members: Cortes-Rincon, Marisol.