In the 1870s, a quicksilver mining boom took hold of Sonoma County, California. Claims were staked, and a rowdy camp took shape in Pine Flat as farmers traded plows for picks and miners answered the siren call of cinnabar. In this compelling account, historian Joe Pelanconi relates the development of the twenty-mile Cinnabar Mining District. Pelanconi shares intriguing stories like those of the Donner Party survivor, Chinese laborers who worked the mines in danger of mercury poisoning and the two brothers who were leading citizens of the district and purported victims of murder. Delve into Sonoma County's heritage and a lost era when eccentrics and dreamers sought shining flasks of riches in the Mayacamas Mountains above today's wine country.