The Argonaut Mine is a gold mine in Jackson, California, United States. It was discovered in 1850 and was the site of the worst gold-mining disaster in the state's history. The mine closed in 1942 and, along with the nearby Kennedy Mine, is registered as California Historical Landmark.
On August 27, 1922, forty-seven miners, mostly immigrants from Italy, Spain, and Serbia, were trapped in a fire 4,650 feet (1,409 m) below ground. Other miners who had been near the surface poured water down the shaft in an attempt to put out the flames. By dawn, townspeople and other miners arrived to help, but it took two-and-a-half days for the fire to be extinguished.
Rescuers began re-opening tunnels from the Kennedy Mine which had been closed since an earlier fire in 1919. It was slow going, but hopes remained high until September 18, when a canary inserted beyond a bulkhead by oxygen-tank-equipped workers died. Still, it took them three weeks to finally get to where the miners were trapped by the fire. None survived, and evidence indicated that they had all died within hours of the fire's breaking out. One of the bodies was not recovered until a year later. Most likely, water flushed down the shaft carried his body further into the mine, but in the intervening time, newspapers speculated he had fled the mine to start a new life.