Jump to content
DolanDave

Anyone Know Ben Thompson ?

Recommended Posts

I got this manual at a swap meet in Quartzsite, Arizona. It's a manual written by Ben Thompson, who placer mined a lot in Northern Nevada/ Mill City area. He describes. Terry T bones in 90's that found a 27 ounce nugget, and killed by a train. He also talks about Burns Bros truck stop, and Dick who worked there also found a 24 ounce nugget near where Terry found his (Big Easy). Enclosing pic if his book. 

Dave

ObKBEQHx-456743008.jpg

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My old friend, the late great Smokey Baird of Lovelock, Nevada, knew Ben Thompson and said he used to live out at Barrel Springs, working his claims there. I got into the northern Nevada area just after T-Bone was killed, and I knew "two-pound" Dick Bailey before he found his big nugget, back when he used to work as a tire repairman at the Burns Bros truck stop at Mill City.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The old metal sign for that Burns Bros Truck Stop and coffee is sitting on some land I bought a while back. I'm too late in the game to know any of those guys myself though.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I remember right, my buddy Mike who  hunted with Dick and also lived in the area, talked with Ben sometimes. I think he saw him a few years ago out Imlay way. Mike told me the old guy used to dry wash a lot, and really knew some good areas all over.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Lunk said:

My old friend, the late great Smokey Baird of Lovelock, Nevada, knew Ben Thompson and said he used to live out at Barrel Springs, working his claims there. I got into the northern Nevada area just after T-Bone was killed, and I knew "two-pound" Dick Bailey before he found his big nugget, back when he used to work as a tire repairman at the Burns Bros truck stop at Mill City.

Thanks Lunk, yeah Ben talks a lot about Barrel Springs area, in the book. Also Mill City, how some guys pulled out 100 ounces on the water districts property there...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard stories of this legend of a gold hound man but was never a pleasure to meet him.  Yes another of Northern Nevada Legend's who is swinging better golden pastures "the Smokey Baird" mentioned him to me a few times.  Others, 2 pound Dick, a regular at the T & A, knew and spoke of him also.  T-Bone, Jim Malone and Sue Thompson- now Sallee, were all well known big gold grabbers back in the 90's.  In fact, the last time I was down Jungo Road, I swung by the T-Bone Memorial on the tracks near Pronto.

I was fortunate back then as Largo (great Boise guy) took me down and introduced me to many of them.  Back then a VLF machine was able to do well and getting 1 ounce weekends was not unheard of.

Old Chuck Graff and his wife from TX spent the summers down there and boy did he have a collection.

Jim Malone owned "Lunker Hill" and many 1+ oz'ers with a few monsters came off that knob.

My 1st instructor on VLF gold machines, the famous "Gordon Zahara" who taught me at the Rye Patch burn barrel where I still train customers (some 20+ yrs later) and find a few nuggets, was also swinging the desert asphalt and eluvium fans forming from the high slopes working down across the desert floor.

Lunk became a good friend of Smokey and luckily towards the end was able to hear some of the great stories probably mentioned in the Ben Thompson writings.

If you ever decide to sell that piece of history Dave, please let me know.  Nice find BTW and thanks for sharing some old memories.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The joy of remembering and the sobriety of reality - dealing with a non-renewable resource in the absence of new technology for discovery and recovery.  Remember “peak oil” of a decade ago - blown away (for now) by advanced horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (at who knows what environmental cost).

Sadly, for gold in North America and probably Australia - no new technology is likely to return the “artisanal miner” to his former glory.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Gerry in Idaho said:

I've heard stories of this legend of a gold hound man but was never a pleasure to meet him.  Yes another of Northern Nevada Legend's who is swinging better golden pastures "the Smokey Baird" mentioned him to me a few times.  Others, 2 pound Dick, a regular at the T & A, knew and spoke of him also.  T-Bone, Jim Malone and Sue Thompson- now Sallee, were all well known big gold grabbers back in the 90's.  In fact, the last time I was down Jungo Road, I swung by the T-Bone Memorial on the tracks near Pronto.

  Thanks for reply Gerry, WesD, Lunk n JasonG .... I bet Jim Straight might also know him. Ben talks about hunting placer gold fields to include Northern Nevada, Northern California, Quartzsite, Rich Hill area since 1947.... Need to get a few more of the old prospectors to write their memories down before its gone into the golden pastures...

  I know when my prospecting legs get to tired, I will be releasing all my info I know, documented mostly on google earth... for others to learn from.

Dave

 

Google Earth.jpg

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ben Thompson last years were spent in Randsburg Ca. I would see him out in the stringer district with his drywasher.

 

I have some pictures I'll post when I find them.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right on Dave, that's the attitude that will keep prospecting alive and well for those who come after us. Every nugget we dig up is one less lead for a greenhorn to find and make the same connections we made to find more gold. I remember how hard it was to succeed without anyone helping with some of those missing pieces when I started, and today it's even harder for greenhorns, tomorrow it might be impossible. A side note, you are the only person I've ever met who took me to a place where gold was found, to which I am still very appreciative.

I think about this a lot when I'm out detecting because I know today there are plenty of great places I've cleaned out now, that a newer prospector would pass right through and assume there is no gold, just as I did for years when I started. Yet I know if I took a dozer back there would still be more gold out of detector range and I know exactly where to dig if I have to permit them. I can't doze them all, someone should though. That's the kind of knowledge that I feel shouldn't be lost or modern prospecting is going to die with it. New technology is great, but a backhoe in just the right place can be just as good when most the surface stuff is gone.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By kac
      Wondering if anyone else has this issue with glare when detecting with the sun behind your back. The big screen reflects back. I was wondering if anyone has tried any anti-glare film and have any suggestions.
    • By dogodog
      I would like to introduce to you my new favorite hand digger. After about three weeks of detecting, I have come to love this new digger I have come across. It's small, light weight (about 10 1/2 oz.) and super strong. The handle design is not your typical T handle, It is reversed and angled for better leverage while digging. Great for some of us with bad hands and It's made from heat treated Chromoly steel. The edges are serrated and the tip is perfectly designed and sharp. The handle has a bed liner type grip and 3/4 inch tubing. The blade is 2 1/4 inches wide and 6 inches long. The overall length is about 12 1/2 inches at its longest measurement. This guy has figured out what diggers are supposed to be. I added a custom paint job and paracord /carabiner clip, The paint job  is holding up better than I thought and In my opinion this is one of the best diggers I have ever used.  Well where do you get one????? Lucky for you members here, It's made Here in the USA by one of our great members Kac. He makes them on a limited basis and Quantity so be aware that there are only so many to be had at a given time. Kac will give you all the details on pricing and shipping if you PM him. 







    • By Steve Herschbach
      I've been updating this guide for almost twenty years now. It started back when there was little to offer in way of objective opinions on gold nugget detectors. That's not so much this case these days, but this is still the most comprehensive roundup available, along with some admittedly personal opinions about the models. These days we honestly have almost too many options, which can be confusing for beginners. So a few years ago I added my own short list of three models I recommend as safe picks for anyone around the world.
      The list was updated mainly to change my notes on the various Fisher 19 kHz models, where oddities in the First Texas marketing have now left the Gold Bug models high and dry as other FT 19 kHz models are available with better prices. I added warnings that the Minelab X-Terra 705 and GPX 4500 are in the process of being closed out and discontinued. Also added a big warning up front about counterfeit detectors - very common now in the nugget detector world.
      See the full guide here
       
    • By PPP
      As many of you guys,i have waited for this machine for a long time.Actually last year my patient was at its end and i decided to buy a TDI Beachhunter. I have already a Garrett ATX , Equinox , and Garrett sea hunter. Iwanted to sell my ATX and sea hunter and put som money to buy the TDIBH. I dont know why but i decided to wait untill christmas and i assumedAQ will come as a christmas present which did'nt. Now im out of my patient again and don't know what to do? It is still nothing from Fisher.What should i DO??

    • By Fossiker
      So today i picked up the Vanquish for my young bloke (son) and the Nox is mine.
      Looking at another machine for the minister of finance and war with more of a focus on gold. Heading out to a gold field in Australia soon.
      Do you recommend another Nox 800 or a goldmonster 1000 they are approximately the same price here. Thanks guys.
       

    • By Steve Herschbach
      White's is the only manufacturer I am aware of that makes the LCD window covers easy to replace and easy to get. Just peel the old one off and stick a new one on!
       

       
      Available at some dealers or online at https://www.whiteselectronics.com/?s=Window+decal&site_section=site-search&lang=us
×
×
  • Create New...