TBNC dgemon Milda Town at Pala Creek Large Scale Environmental Planning Exhibit, Pala Creek, California USA

Large Scale Project Entitlement, Very Rich Oak Riparian Habitat Enhancement & Site Development Program




The King & The Queen

TBNC Edgemon Milda Town at Pala Creek, The Tourmaline Queens is on Throne, Reigns Again at Pala Creek, Southern California USA


TBNC Edgemon Milda Town at Pala Creek, The Tourmaline Queen Reigns on High, Pretty Rocks and Gems, Southern California USA

The Tourmaline Queen Mine located in Pala, San Diego County, California
has always inspired mineral collectors, high graders and geologists.




Originally claimed by Frank Salmons and Associates in March, 1903.  Exploratory work yielded some eighty [80] pounds of gem tourmaline. The Queen immediately became the leading producer of tourmaline in the Pala district during the period 1904 through 1914. With the collapse of the major Chinese market for tourmaline, due to the 1911 overthrow of the Imperial government, the mines soon became uneconomical.

From about 1914 to 1971, the Queen was worked intermittently by high graders, with limited success.


TBNC Edgemon Milda Town at Pala Creek, The Queen is On HER Throne, PalaGems Banner Icon Credits, Edgemon Pala Creek, California USA

visit palagems.com






TBNC Edgemon Milda Town at Pala Creek, Milda's Mining Neighbors THE QUEEN, and Her Beautiful Gemstones, Pala Creek, Southern California USA

The“Candelabra” Tourmaline

This stunning specimen was mined by Pala at the Tourmaline Queen mine in 1972.
Today it is on public display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
[Photo: Harold & Erica Van Pelt]

TBNC Edgemon Milda Town at Pala Creek, Milda's Good Mining Neighbors over at The QUEEN, across the Crik' at Pala Creek, Southern California USA


Tourmaline Queen & Pala Chief

With success at the Stewart mine, the next project was the Tourmaline Queen. After connecting roadways were established between the two mines, work began in late 1971. Older workings were reopened and examined, providing information for the mine plan and new theories regarding the location of mineral-rich zones for study. A successful period followed, with approximately 1500 feet of underground workings developed in a little over three years.

Among the many discoveries at the Tourmaline Queen, one stands out—the “Blue Cap Pocket,” which was later referred to as the find of the century by Dr. Vincent Manson, then-curator of the American Museum of Natural History.

Among the many discoveries at the Tourmaline Queen, one stands out—the “Blue Cap Pocket,” which was later referred to as the find of the century by Dr. Vincent Manson, then-curator of the American Museum of Natural History.

Although underground tunnel footage production is commonly looked at in “tonnage” or “footage” per day, mining top-quality mineral specimens and gem material is a completely different form of tunneling. The smallest fracture or imperfection can reduce the value of the product. Therefore, the technique used requires a pace set to eliminate any disturbance to the crystals, and footage becomes secondary to careful tunneling.

Since the use of explosives is the primary cause of damage, a great deal of experience is needed in this type of mining, with smaller crews preferred over larger production methods. Pala’s safety record reflects its expertise in this type of mining, with the continuous awards [1989–1993] of the Certificate of Honor, Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association for no lost time/injuries.


Between the years 1973–74, Pala International expanded its mining operations to include two full-time crews. This expansion allowed for the exploration of other areas in the district, as well as working on the Pala Chief mine, the San Pedro mine, and the Canyon Diggings mine. These mines presented a different challenge, in that most of the mining was surface work, with several hundred feet of tunnel developed. A joint venture mining project worked the Senpe, Anita, and Little Three mines with moderate success over the next five years. These successes were in addition to continuous mining in the Stewart and Tourmaline Queen mines.





Tourmaline is a crystal boron silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. Tourmaline is classified as a semi-precious stone and the gem comes in a wide variety of colors. The name comes from the Sinhalese word "Thuramali" or "Thoramalli", which applied to different gemstones found in Sri Lanka.

Some fine gems and specimen material has been produced in the United States, with the first discoveries in 1822, in the state of Maine.

California became a large producer of tourmaline in the early 1900s. The Maine deposits tend to produce crystals in raspberry pink-red as well as minty greens. The California deposits are known for bright pinks, as well as bicolors.

During the early 1900s, Maine and California were the world's largest producers of gem tourmalines. The Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi of China loved pink tourmaline and bought large quantities for gemstones and carvings from the then new Himalaya Mine, located in San Diego County, California. It is not clear when the first tourmaline was found in California.

Native Americans have used pink and green tourmaline as funeral gifts for centuries. The first documented case was in 1890 when Charles Russel Orcutt found pink tourmaline at what later became the Stewart Mine at Pala, San Diego.




Tourmaline Crystal Structure

Tourmaline belongs to the trigonal crystal system and occurs as long, slender to thick prismatic and columnar crystals that are usually triangular in cross-section. The style of termination at the ends of crystals is asymmetrical, called hemimorphism. Small slender prismatic crystals are common in a fine-grained granite called aplite, often forming radial daisy-like patterns. Tourmaline is distinguished by its three-sided prisms; no other common mineral has three sides. Prisms faces often have heavy vertical striations that produce a rounded triangular effect. Tourmaline is rarely perfectly euhedral. An exception was the fine dravite tourmalines of Yinnietharra, in western Australia. The deposit was discovered in the 1970s, but is now exhausted. All hemimorphic crystals are piezoelectric, and are often pyroelectric as well.


Tourmaline Color

Tourmaline has a variety of colors. Usually, iron-rich tourmalines are black to bluish-black to deep brown, while magnesium-rich varieties are brown to yellow, and lithium-rich tourmalines are almost any color: blue, green, red, yellow, pink, etc. Rarely, it is colorless. Bi-colored and multicolored crystals are common, reflecting variations of fluid chemistry during crystallization. Crystals may be green at one end and pink at the other, or green on the outside and pink inside; this type is called watermelon tourmaline. Some forms of tourmaline are dichroic, in that they change color when viewed from different directions.

Physics explains color in terms of the wavelength of radiation. A spectrograph that only identifies the position of spectral lines will perfectly differentiate between a radiation at 0.530 μm and another at 0.532 μm, where our eyes will only perceive the same green.

The pink color of tourmalines from many fields is the result of a continued natural irradiation. During their growth, these tourmalines incorporate Mn2+, whereas initially they are by nature very pale. Their granitic environment exposes to them a natural gamma ray exposure due to radioactive decay of 40K, causing the gradual formation of the Mn3+ ions responsible for a pink to red color.[ci


Tourmaline Geology

Tourmaline is found in two main geological occurrences. Igneous rocks, in particular granite and granite pegmatite and in metamorphic rocks such as schist and marble. Schorl and lithium-rich tourmalines are usually found in granite and granite pegmatite. Magnesium-rich tourmalines, dravites, are generally restricted to schists and marble. Tourmaline is a durable mineral and can be found in minor amounts as grains in sandstone and conglomerate, and is part of the ZTR index for highly-weathered sediments.




TBNC Edgemon Milda Town at Pala Creek, Milda's Good Friend Mr. Tourmaline King, a Grubstake Miner across Pala Creek in them there Mountains, Pala, California USA

Gem Claim; King Mine; MS 4500; MS 4926; Schuyler Mine; Wilke Mine
Pala, Pala District, San Diego County, California, USA


visit Tourmaline King Mine History Off-Site @ www.minrec.org


TBNC Edgemon Milda Town at Pala Creek, Milda's Mining Neighbor THE KING, across Pala Creek in Them Moutains, Beutiful Gemstones, Museum Quality Too, Pala, California USA


The most famous specimen found by Schuyler at the Tourmaline King mine,
"The Steamboat," collected around 1907 and sold to Washington A. Roebling; it is now in the Smithsonian Institution.



The Tourmaline King is a gemstone mine located in the SE4 Sec. 15, T9S, R2W, SBM.

The mine development workings are situated at an elevation of 1600 feet, and extend laterally along the steep northern slope of the Tourmaline Queen Mountain following a gem-and-rare earth element [REE]-bearing pegmatite deposit. The property is a patented lode mining claim totaling 13.47 acres of private land within the boundaries of the Pala Indian Reservation.


TBNC Edgemon Milda Town at Pala Creek, The King & Queens Mappage Edgemon, Pala, California USA




TBNC Edgemon Milda Town at Pala Creek, The Tourmaline King General Information & History, Milda's Neighbors and Friends, Pala Creek, USA

64 x 101 mm. Schuyler's Calling Card

From the 1915 Panama-Pacifix International Exposition
in San Francisco, used as a specimen label
[note pencil inscription]

Frank B. Schuyler


Frank Barlow Schuyler was born in Falls City, Nebraska on August 20, 1872, the son of Ann Francis Barlow and John Schuyler, a machinist and manufacturer of mechanical tools. He took up the same occupation as his father, and married Ella S. Libby in San Luis Rey, California in November 1894; they had a son, Gerald Barlow Schuyler [1897].

In March of 1903, Schuyler and D. G. Harrington of Oceanside were exploring for pegmatites on Pala Chief Mountain in San Diego County when they came upon a rich tourmaline-bearing pocket zone; they claimed the deposit, naming it the Tourmaline King mine.

In 1904 they began constructing an underground drift into the pegmatite immediately below the point of the surface discovery. Several years later and no more than sixty [60'] feet underground, a huge tourmaline crystal-filled pocket was discovered, which extended nearly 30 feet in length, averaging 10 feet in width, and was continuous for up to 30 feet down dip.

This single pocket zone produced nearly 8 tons of pink tourmaline, consisting of many exceptionally large and deeply colored crystals, most of which were sold to the Imperial Chinese government for a then substantial price of $187.50 per pound. One such shipment contained 16 powder boxes full of large pink tourmaline crystals.


California mineral dealers Albert Everett and Robert Max Wilke both purchased specimens from Schuyler's big pocket; Wilke acquired some of the largest tourmalines found on matrix for display in both his personal collection, and for major museums in the United States and Germany. These specimens were carefully repaired by Wilke.

At the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, Schuyler exhibited and sold tourmaline gems and specimens obtained from his mining operation at the Tourmaline King mine; the motto for his marketing campaign was "Wear a tourmaline for luck."

Around 1916, Wilke purchased the patent grant deed from Schuyler, in order to work the deposit for himself. That marked the end of Schuyler's involvement at the Tourmaline King, and Wilke is thought to have found considerable amounts of lepidolite, morganite, tourmaline and kunzite before abandoning the workings around 1922.

Schuyler lived most of his life in the Berkeley, California area, at 2237 Haste Street from 1908 to 1912, then at 2452/3 Martinez Avenue in 1912-1916, but by 1920 had moved to nearby Ocean View at 1035 Euclid Avenue and at 740 Alameda. In 1924 he lived at 3120 Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, and in 1926 he was living at 1892 San Juan Avenue in Berkeley. In 1913 he filed a patent on a gas heating device for termpering metals. He does not appear in records after 1926.

U.S. Federal Census, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920.
California Voter Registration Records, 1900-1968.
Mindat MS-4500.





TBNC Edgemon Milda Town at Pala Creek, Milda's Good Neighbors The King's of Tourmaline Fame, just acroos Pala Creek, The have dug-up some neat gemstones and other rocks, too at Pala, California USA

Tourmaline King Mine

Gem claim; King Mine; MS 4500; MS 4926;
Schuyler Mine; Wilke Mine

Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all.
Mindat relies on the contributions of hundreds of members and supporters.
Mindat does not offer minerals for sale

Citation format for this entry: WILSON, Wendell E. [2011]
Mineralogical Record Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.



Beginning sometime in the early 1950's, substantial portions of the upper underground inclines, and to a lesser extent the workings further down dip, were subjected to pegmatite support pillar removal or “high-grading” by numerous unauthorized individuals. These rogue miners in search of gems used methods ranging from simple hand tools to actual drilling and rock-blasting. The tell-tale debris and backfilling from these illegal ventures greatly contributed to the degradation of the underground workings, continuing intermittently until the early 1990's. Some hobbyists went as far as to construct large shakers and screening devices which were packed in and assembled on site - used to recover valuable tourmaline crystals buried within the dumps. Sadly, vandals eventually destroyed the old structures and early mining equipment.

The San Diego Mining Company [SDMC] began a program of surface reconnaissance and detailed underground mapping of the old Tourmaline King mine workings in 1998. Work occurred intermittently throughout the months of October, November and December, with considerable time being spent defining the areas of greatest historic yield. Persistent screening of the brush-covered mine dumps continued well into the 21st Century. One individual accounted his 20 year career of occasional weekend trips - recovering nearly twenty [20] kilograms of fine commercial-grade tourmaline crystals suitable for faceting clean and colorful gems in calibrated sizes. As a result of other interviews and admissions, it is estimated that "weekenders" removed well over one hundred [100] kilograms of tourmaline crystals and segments from the property in this manner.

Negotiations with the surviving relatives of R. M. Wilke between 1998 and 2002 by SDMC ultimately resulted in the purchase of the patent grant deed to the Tourmaline King lode.

A surface development and underground exploration program by SDMC commenced early October of 2002. The event was marked by the delivery of a new Hitachi ZX800 hydraulic excavator from Japan - to be used for roadway redevelopment and portal reconditioning required by federal and state mine safety regulations. Within 3 weeks nearly 1600 linear feet of bermed roadway was completed by the crew, providing safe vehicular access to the old upper workings by contouring along the original northeast access trail as it meanders westward across the adjacent land of the Pala Band of Mission Indians and Tourmaline Queen mine property.

Remote sensing has confirmed the Tourmaline King lode is continuous and traceable along the surface for a minimum distance of 2000 linear feet. Underground inspections by SDMC indicate that the deposit remains continuous down dip and along strike as exposed within the outer margins of the deepest workings. Small amounts of gem and specimen quality pink green and blue tourmaline [elbaite (vars. rubellite, verdelite, indicolite)], pink beryl (var. morganite), and red to orange garnet [specs. almandine, spessartine] have been collected from remaining sections of previously exploited pocket areas within the pegmatite as exposed in the old underground workings, which have since become inaccessible due to near surface caving.

Observations and physical data collected by the SDMC indicate another large fault/fracture related country rock anomaly located approximately 600 linear feet south from the deepest existing underground working face.





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Environmental Planning concerns itself with the decision making processes where they are required for managing relationships that exist within and between natural systems and human systems. Environmental Planning endeavours to manage these processes in an effective, orderly, transparent and equitable manner for the benefit of all constituents within such systems for the present and for the future. Present day Environmental Planning Practices are the result of continuous refinement and expansion of the scope of such decision making processes.

Some of the main elements of present day environmental planning are:

Social & Economic Development / Urban Development & Redevelopment / Regional Development / Natural Resource Management & Integrated Land Use / Infrastructure and Intermodal Interconnectivity Systems / Governance Framework

The environmental planning assessments encompass areas such as land use, socioeconomics, transportation, economic and housing characteristics, air quality and air pollution, noise pollution, the wetlands, habitat of the endangered species, flood zones susceptibility, coastal zones erosion, and visual studies among others, and is referred to as an Integrated Environmental Planning Assessment [IEPA].

In the United States, for any project, environmental planners deal with a full range of environmental regulations from federal to state and city levels, administered federally by the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA].

A rigorous environmental process has to be undertaken to examine the impacts and possible mitigation of any construction project. Depending on the scale and impact of the project, an extensive environmental review is known as an Environmental Impact Statement [EIS], and the less extensive version is Environmental Assessment [EA]. Procedures follow guidelines from National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA], State Environmental Quality Review Act [SEQRA] and/or City Environmental Quality Review [CEQR], and other related federal or state agencies published regulations.

The Association of Environmental Professionals [AEP] is a non-profit organization of interdisciplinary professionals including environmental science, resource management, environmental planning and other professions contributing to this field. AEP is the first organization of its kind in the USA, and its influence and model have spawned numerous other regional organizations throughout the United States. Its mission is to improve the technical skills of members, and the organization is dedicated to "the enhancement, maintenance and protection of the natural and human environment". From inception in the mid 1970s the organization has been closely linked with the maintenance of the California Environmental Quality Act [CEQA], due to California being one of the first states to adopt a comprehensive legal framework to govern the environmental review of public policy and project review.


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