Malone, located in Hastings County, was first settled around 1855. Originally known as Powell’s Mills, it began as a small milling community. Its name changed with the opening of a post office in 1863. By 1869, Malone had grown to a hamlet of about 60. It had a grist mill, a store, a Methodist church, a school, and a tavern.
Things changed quickly following the infamous Eldorado gold rush that began in 1866. Although the Eldorado rush went nowhere, prospectors weren’t ready to admit defeat. Buoyed by the discovery of small gold deposits in Malone, the race was on once again.
Information shows show at least two gold strikes in Malone by 1871. Not surprisingly, the population suddenly exploded to about 300. On the negative side, the gold deposits proved to be similar to those in Eldorado and the mines failed as quickly as they started.
Things settled down in the 1880s. By then Malone’s population stabilized at around 100. The 1890s once again brought another attack of gold fever. This time the mines had better luck. The Sovereign Mine was a small but steady producer that lasted into the early teens.
Malone began to decline after the mines closed and the lumber supplies became depleted. Today a few buildings and a number of old relics still exist. Learn More