There has often been a shroud of mystery surrounding the mining camp of Coloma. Facts about the town were difficult to come by and even those who knew the story, weren’t telling it. Over the years historians, explorers, archaeologists and geologists have put together bits and pieces.
Located a couple of miles above Garnet, the structures of Coloma are dated by old newspapers and magazines from the 1920s and 1930s, which were commonly used as insulation in the cabin walls. Placer gold discoveries in the Coloma Mining District date back to the 1860s. The rush that would ensue brought thousands of miners to the area and camps started dotting the area, Coloma being one of those. The Coloma area housed 10 and 20 stamp mills and after crushing, most of the ore was trucked to local smelters to be treated.
In 1897, lode deposits were discovered at Coloma. The two largest mines included the Mammoth, opened in 1896 and the Comet in 1905. But even those proved to be unprofitable for their investors with much of the gold being lost in the tailings. The district produced about $250,000 in gold, silver, lead and zinc. Mining did continue off and on over the next few decades but the high altitude mining camp began to fade away.