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** Lost Gold At The Dead Man's Mine ** A Miners Journal **

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28 minutes ago, 1515Art said:

Ahhh, but think how much richer per ton your ground at 3 gal. Per bucket… 

Very true!

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   MAY 30  1936

   The finish of the panning was done early morning. Jacob and me came down to see the weigh. The gravels near the upper level produced an ounce from the 180 buckets. What we all waited for was the 70 buckets from the raised country rock. There was 5 ounces in the pan. We are all happy miners.Then there was the jar with the pieces of gold. They weighed out at 2 ounces bringing yesterdays dig total to 8 ounces. Jacob and me went back up to explore the raised country area and dug to the north working the ground with a vengeance. We dropped off the raised area and the facing fell away under our shovels. The gravels were loose. We were at a depth of about 10 feet and getting lower between the two holes. The trench we had started was becoming more of a pit now, At least that's how it seems. We are tight to the hill facing at our east that rises from 60 feet and up to 80 feet in places along this area. Although the digging is a bit easy the depth is dropping and we will have to haul out the buckets by winch soon. We are still able to walk them out on a steep grade at this point. I have no idea how deep this drop goes. We are now below the raised country by several feet as we dig away. I did some pans at the tub with poor results so I think we will need to get deeper in the drop. My hope is this is a huge kettle in the old river channel under the water fall where the fault line broke everything up.

   We hauled 235 buckets down to John and Will today. It was a good days work. The creek is still flowing with plentiful water and we are hopeful for more gold in the pan tomorrow. 

    TO BE CONTINUED ............

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   I promised to get some journal entries out this weekend & have begun posting them. The next entry is a rather lengthy one as Jed had lots to talk about. This entry gets intense. Because of the length of his writing I am breaking it down into 3 parts. I will get Part One up soon. I ask that you all think about Jed's crew and their situation. They are working in a remote part of the Sierra Nevada mountains with everything they own including their lives on the line. There are no cell phones and even if there were there would be no service. Even totoday there is no cell service at this location. So there is no way to call the law & get help even if they wanted it. And last but not least, John is on the crew. Enough said. 

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   MAY 31  1936      PART ONE

  This morning we did the final panning and weigh from yesterdays gravels while Will cooked us all a miners mountain man breakfast of eggs, bacon, beans, hot water corn bread, and coffee, I sweetened my coffee with a shot of Irish. There was gold in the weigh and it was an ounce. That could have been gold gravels slid over from the lift or it might be of its own value. More digging will tell us. 

   We saw a crew of three prospectors heading north up the creek while at breakfast. We all went over to talk with them. They were all well outfitted and had come all the way from Pennsylvania. They had dreams of gold dancing in their eyes like Will. Their plan was to follow the creek higher up into the mountain. I warned them about the rif raf that may still be roaming and wished them good luck. They were all armed with rifles and shotguns. They looked to be green. 

   Jacob and me resumed the pick and shovel work. The buckets were becoming harder to walk out of the trench as the depths slowly deepened. I had set up a hand winch anchored at a stout tree near the dig. We would soon be using it I think. The gravels remained quite loose with hardly any river rock and we made good time ending the day with 265 buckets. There is no sign of any bottom at 12 feet in depth and the trench has become a rounded pit. We may need to use some of our cut timbers to brace the sides as it is loose. 

   After a supper of beans and corn bread we opened a bottle and were ready to sit around the fire and trade stories when once again there was gunfire up north on the mountain. John figured it to be about half a mile. It stopped and started several times. Something was going on up the creek. We figured it might be the rif raf had seen the new prospectors camp and set upon robbing them. John hollered out that he had enough of this and he was going up to have a look see and nobody was going to stop him. I told him i'd go with him and told Jacob and Will to stick at camp and guard our goods.

   There was a good full moon and the visability was good. We headed on up the side of the creek with rifles at the ready. The gunfire had stopped for a spell but then started up again. It didn't take us too long to get close to the rifle fire and we bellied up near what looked to be a camp with a fire going. For sure it was the three greenhorns from Pennsylvania under fire from the woods up above. We were about 50 feet from them and I gave a holler and said it was us miners they met in the morning from down below. I said we would help them and would circle up to the east and north of the robbers and get them in a cross fire. I told them to stay put and keep shooting. They hollered back and said they would. John said lets get em.

   John and me circled way around to the east so as not to be seen and closed in on them from the north. They didn't know we were up there and we could see the rifle flashes. It looked to be the same four we had run off and probably robbed Will and killed a man. They were well covered by trees and we could here them laughing as they fired volies down at the greenhorns. John took aim and fired a round that hit the mark and we saw one of them drop over on the ground. I don't know how good he was hit because he crawled off into the brush. The other three now new we were there and took off running up the mountain. We fired several shots and they were gone. We chased them up the mountain as best we could but after about 10 minutes we lost them. I told John they might be laying for us.

   We ended up heading back down towards the greenhorn camp and hollered out to them we had one hit and three got away. They came out of their cover and we set about looking for the rag tag we had dropped. We found him under a bush. He was grazed in the leg but not too bad.

   TO BE CONTINUED IN PART TWO ................................

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So now they've caught one of the gang. What will they do with him?

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