The New Almaden Mining Historic District takes its name from the Almaden mercury mines in Spain. Originally developed by the Romans, they were renamed by the Eighth Century Islamic conquerors of Spain and called “Al Madan” (The Mine). The name survived for well over a thousand years and was reused when mercury was discovered in California. In the March 2018 Sourisseau Academy photo album Sourisseau Board Member and Anthropology Professor Charlotte Sunseri explores the history of New Almaden, from the California Gold Rush to the early Twentieth Century.
The New Almaden Quicksilver Mine brought technical expertise from around the world. Miners came from Mexico, from Chile, and from as far away as Cornwall. In the March 2018 Sourisseau Academy news video Ralph Pearce details the story of the tremendous growth of the ethnic diversity of the Santa Clara Valley’s populace during the decades of quicksilver production at New Almaden.