The Sunflower Mine was discovered in 1911 by E.H. Bowman. Intending to find gold, Bowman instead discovered a rich vein of cinnabar and malachite. An ore of mercury, cinnabar was used in the amalgation of gold and an essential part of gold mining. The mine was later purchased by the Sunflower Mining Company. A large processing facility was built onsite to break down the ore into mercury whereby it was shipped by wagon and later truck.
From 1913 to 1965, an estimated 3,973 flasks of mercury were produced as well as 2,140 pounds of copper. Also very notable was 764 ounces of gold and 1,095 ounces of silver. The mine continued to operate until about 1982, most of the production prior to the 1960's.
The workings include several adits, open cut workings, and stopes and covered as much as 15 claims. The ore was transported to a large processing facility on site which processed the ore into liquid mercury.