Although originally known as Poverty Hill, the name must have come
from a miner with a sense of humor, as the area was extremely rich,
eventually producing over $15 million in gold. Founded as a placer camp
in the early 1850’s, Stent later turned into a prosperous hardrock
mining center, competing with its twin camp to the north which was known
variously as Quartz, Quartzburg, or Quartz Mountain.
The history of this area is entwined between these two mining camps.
The post office was first located at Stent, later moving to Quartz when
the former’s gold began to give out. It was finally discontinued in
Stent also served as a busy supply center for the many mines in the
area. John App located the very productive App Mine in 1856 in rival
Quartz. He later achieved an additional measure of fame when he married
Leanna Donner, one of the six Donner girls orphaned by the Donner Pass
tragedy in 1847. The area’s quartz mines fared very well: The App Mine
yielded $6.5 million; the nearby Jumper produced $5 million; and the
Dutch Sweeney, $3 million. But eventually the gold gave out and many of
the town’s inhabitants moved on. A fire in 1906 wiped out more than one
hundred houses, most were not rebuilt.
Along the road between Stent and Hwy 49 are numerous abandoned
mines, identifiable by the distinctive gray tailings pouring down the
hillsides. Hydraulic mining remains and sections of old pipe, which may
have once carried water to “dry diggins,” are visible along the canyon
walls, following the course of the river.
Stent is located eight miles off Hwy 49 via the Jacksonville Road.
Visit Stent's Historic Sites