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Sink Hole in Jackson, CA


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JACKSON, Calif. (KCRA) —A large sinkhole in Jackson is causing a buzz around town. The property owner believes it was an old gold mining hole that eroded away.

Marjorie Guletz has seen her fair share of sinkholes on her Jackson ranch since she bought it in 1958. She noticed this one, now guarded by wooden stakes and yellow caution tape, Sunday afternoon.

Her son-in-law, David Carlson, said he believes the hole has something to do with gold mining

"A hundred and something years ago, during the gold mining, the guys would dig holes all the time,” Carlson explained. “They call them glory holes.”

The “glory holes” were often filled with materials like tree stumps, leaves and trash, which are unable to withstand erosion over the years.


A sinkhole opened up on a Jackson, Calif. ranch Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. By Monday, the property owner marked off the area with wooden sticks and caution tape.

Dana Griffin/KCRA

About 35 years ago, another sinkhole formed on the property that was about the same size. Within months, it expanded and formed a new hole -- five times bigger.

"It's something we're concerned about because we're experiencing it, but I’m not sure people in the area should be overly concerned,” Carlson said. “But, I guess over the next few weeks, we'll find out if others have similar experiences.”

The California Bureau of Land Management said there are 47,000 abandoned mine sites. Some are on private land. BLM said they keep inventory of those sites but believe there could be more.

BLM said residents can look for indications of a mine or sinkhole. If certain features on the property are leaning or uprooting, it could be a sign of erosion.

As for the Carlson family, the Jackson Public Works Department will take a look at the hole, but it doesn't plan to do anything until the ground gets drier.

"We'll just bring the tree branches, throw it in there and have a little bonfire," Carlson said.

To report a sinkhole or an abandoned mine in California, call the Abandoned Mine Lands Unit hotline at 1-877-OLD-MINE.

Son-in-law don't know squat.

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