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  1. It's been a while since I last posted and I have been busy with work and the yard. Not that I have not been out a few times, But today was something I had to take the time to share with everyone. I had the day off and wanted to go out early and see what the day would bring me. 5:00 am I decided to get dressed for the day and found a new T shirt that the wife had bought me, It said life is good. It had a dog holding an american flag in its mouth. I thought to myself this might bring me some good luck. Well I think it did. My first three hours were at a spot I hunted a few times. Its loaded with clad and I decided to hunt for quarters and dimes. After a few dollars in clad, I hit a 1945 Washington, (good start) A few more Quarters and I changed spots, Hunting an old horseshoe pit. No luck so I moved a few hundred feet and got a 24-25 on the 800. Out pops a ring that was pretty neat looking but seemed odd and silver plated, But it turned out to be sterling stamped ring made by Unca Co. in the mid 1900's. This morning is turning out pretty good. More clad and I decided to go back to the washington find and go a little slower. With in a minute I got a bouncy on edge tone that produced a very worn Denver mint standing liberty with no date. Sadly I had to go mow the lawn, But being greedy I needed to go back out to another spot. I called my buddy and we went to an old farm house that we hit once a month ago. The last trip yielded a capped bust, large cent, silver broach, pocket watch and an really early buckle. Today I had lower expectations. Well that didn't quite turn out that way. It started out a little slow but ended in a great way. My first good hit was a 1918 merc. Followed by a bunch of wheaties, 9 I think. My buddy hit a large cent and I followed up with a really nice 1914 barber quarter and a KG 3. He ended his day with a nice 1915 barber quarter. LIFE IS GOOD !!!!!!!
  2. Gold gets stolen and stories get told. Here is the first part of a series on the 20 greatest gold heists. They are an interesting read. I'm sure there are others out there you've heard of also. https://coinweek.com/bullion-report/the-biggest-gold-heists-of-all-time-part-i/
  3. What do you do when you have multiple Anglo-Saxon burial mounds on your property? You ask your local archaeologist to come by and check it out. And what if he happens to find one of the biggest treasures of the era? Well, we don’t have to speculate, because this actually happened. The Hoxne Hoard might have led to a change in the British law regarding uncovered antiquities, but the Sutton Hoo Treasure changed how the British were able to understand their history. Indeed, it’s difficult to know where to even get started explaining the story of the Sutton Hoo Treasure because it is so deeply embedded into the history of the time. The Anglo-Saxon Way of Death The short background is that after the Romans began withdrawing from Great Britain, the native Britons were faced with invaders from the east — the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, who have become collectively known as “the Anglo-Saxons.” It is believed by historians that their earliest landings and heaviest areas of settlement were in East Anglia, which is where the Sutton Hoo Treasure was unearthed. Now it’s worth explaining a little bit about the Anglo-Saxons with regard to their religious views. The Anglo-Saxons were pagans with religious traditions not altogether different from their Viking cousins. What’s important about this is that it means they believed it was possible — indeed, advisable — to take one’s treasures with one into the next life. To that end, warriors were often buried with as much treasure as they weren’t going to pass onto their posterity. The Excavation of the Sutton Hoo Treasure Begins Fast forward to the dawn of World War II in Europe. Wealthy widow Edith Pretty is a landowner in the UK who knows that she has 18 Anglo-Saxon burial mounds on her property. So she calls up self-taught archaeologist Basil Brown. Edith was very familiar with archaeology, as she had traveled extensively throughout her youth. She paid Basil Brown 30 shillings a week, which is the equivalent of about $200 today. He was given two weeks to do some of his work. Brown initially worked the area with the assistance of Pretty’s gardening staff, which was extensive as Mrs. Pretty was a woman of some means. He was able to excavate three of the mounds and found evidence that they were being robbed as late as the medieval period. The first mound (confusingly called Mound 3) was interesting, but not terribly impressive — a lot of pottery, mostly, which while valuable during the Anglo-Saxon period of interest to historians today, is not terribly valuable. It was the second mound (Mound 2) that changed the nature of the excavation. It was here that signs of a large ship began to emerge in the form of rivets at first, but later other parts, perhaps most impressively a gold-plated shield boss. Mound 4 yielded nothing other than the knowledge that it had been completely stripped by graverobbers over the years. Brown put an end to his work but returned a year later due to curiosity that was spurred by Mound 2. But when Mound 1 began excavation a year later, it wasn’t the dig that had changed — it was the entire conception of British history. It was here that what a British Museum curator later called “one of the most important archaeological discoveries of all time” began to take shape. What was unearthed there was a 7th-century Saxon ship, which may have been the last resting place of King Rædwald of East Anglia. Unfortunately, the body is missing but testing of the soil suggests that the body was once there and that it wasn’t stolen, but rather that it simply decomposed completely due to the high acidity levels in the soil. Brown handed the excavations off to the professionals, believing that he had reached the limit of his abilities. Why the Sutton Hoo Treasure Is Important So why was the Sutton Hoo Treasure so impressive? It wasn’t the value of the items found, despite the fact that these were quite valuable in and of themselves. No, the Sutton Hoo Treasure is more of an archaeological treasure than a financial one. The 90-foot ship was as intact as one could reasonably expect from a ship that was over 1,000 years old. The iconic Sutton Hoo Helmet, which adorns the covers of untold books about the Anglo-Saxons or the British Museum, was found in the Sutton Hoo Treasure. There were other helmets, along with spoons, bowls, weapons, and other effects including textiles. So why did this change the understanding of British history? The main reason is that the early Anglo-Saxon period was understood to be a “Dark Age” of English history, but the uncovering of the Sutton Hoo Treasure proved that there was a vibrant cultural life during this period. The ship contained items not just from the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England, but from around the world, showing how far-traveled the Anglo-Saxon people were. Both Scandinavian and Byzantine objects were found in the treasure ship. What’s more, the Sutton Hoo Treasure shed some additional light on another somewhat recent discovery of Britain’s Anglo-Saxon past — Beowulf. When the site was uncovered, literature scholars noted how closely the burial site matched up with burial reports in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem. The final fate of the Sutton Hoo Treasure? It sits today in the British Museum, where it has lived ever since it was gifted by Mrs. Pretty. An inquest found that the objects belonged to her and her alone, but rather than keep them or even sell them, the already wealthy Mrs. Pretty simply gifted them to the museum. Winston Churchill later offered her a CBE for her service to the British Empire, but she declined to accept the award. Nowadays, anyone can visit the Sutton Hoo Treasure at the British Museum or stomp around the area where the burial mounds were unearthed. No one got rich and no one got famous, but the Sutton Hoo Treasure became a symbol of British culture extending back over 1,000 years. Sutton Hoo Treasure originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com
  4. Reports of the Mineralogist for the state of California. It seems fake news has been around for a long time. https://books.google.com/books?output=text&id=13POAAAAMAAJ&q=217#v=onepage&q&f=false
  5. Not every gold rush changes the world like the California gold rush, the Yukon gold rush, or the Black Hills gold rush. Some simply change the history of a region and become part of the local character and lore. American examples of such include the Carolina gold rush and the Georgia gold rush. But for Finland and Russia, this gold rush is the Lapland gold rush, a rather obscure point of history for both of those countries, but one of immense significance and importance for gold hunters around the world. The Lapland gold rush, also known as the Ivalo gold rush because it began in the village of Ivalo, which is currently in the Republic of Finland, but at the time was in the Grand Duchy of Finland, which was an autonomous region of the Russian Empire prior to its independence in 1917. The Ivalojoki River formed the core of where the gold rush took place. The 16th Century Origins The presence of gold in the region was known as far back as the 16th Century. Gold was discovered in Utsjoki, which is now the northernmost municipality in the entire country of Finland. This, of course, means that this is another one of our very cold gold rushes, similar to the Nome gold rush that flooded people into Alaska. As this was the 16th Century word traveled very slowly and so the presence of gold was not widespread knowledge until literally hundreds of years later, in the 19th Century. It wasn’t until the 1860s when a mineralogist and geologist by the name of Tellef Dahll conducted a survey in the far northern area of Finnmark, which was in Norway. He found gold in the Tana River. What he found, however, was that the best deposits for development and mining weren’t in Norway, but Finland and reported his findings to a government office in Helsinki. The find couldn’t have come at a better time. Finland, which was an autonomous region of the Russian Empire at the time, was in the middle of the Finnish famine of 1866 and it was thought that the gold would help to pull Finland out of its dire economic situation. All told, over 8.5 percent of the entire Finnish population died of hunger during this period, with people resorting to eating pine bark because the situation was so dire. An engineer named Conrad Lihr led the expedition and he would later be rewarded for his hard work by being named the head of the Mint of Finland. It was in September of 1868 that they discovered gold in the Ivalo River of Inali. So rich was this deposit that it was the impetus behind reform in the mineral laws of the Russian Empire, with Emperor Alexander II decreeing that all “noble metal” deposits were no longer the exclusive property of the Emperor. Instead, any “decent man” from the Russian Empire could engage in gold prospecting in the region. 1870: The Gold Rush Takes Off As mentioned above, word traveled very slowly during this time, as well as in this part of the world which had always been backward in comparison to its Western European neighbors. By 1870, however, the gold rush had begun in earnest. Prospectors had to work very hard to get to this part of the world. Boats, walking and even skis were common methods of transportation. The Russian Imperial Government quickly set about drafting measures to manage this massive influx of newcomers into the region. Kultala Crown Station quickly became the center point of Russian management of the region, as well as the center of services for miners and prospectors flooding into the region. It was where licenses for the miners were issued, as well as where they cashed in their gold. Law enforcement, cartographers, a restaurant, and a post office went up to serve the region. This community was soon home to 600 residents at its peak. This might not sound like a lot, but Russia was a sparsely populated nation and this was one of the hardest to reach areas in the entire Empire, not even taking into account the harsh conditions that one would meet upon arrival. Regulations and Fees Choke the Gold Rush One problem for those arriving in Lapland, however, was that fees and licenses were exorbitantly expensive. In practice, this meant that only 19 of the richest prospectors were entitled to any claim on the region. This elite group of 19 prospectors employed the remaining population who had entered the region. The largest of these claims had between 30 and 40 employees working 11 hour days, six days a week. Ten kilograms of gold were produced by larger claims annually, however, these quickly started to dry up. So quickly did these claims play out that by 1873, the government had cut their fees in half in an attempt to lure more prospectors into the region. A special law was passed to attempt to encourage mining in the Tana River as well and by the early 1880s, the Ivola River region was all but abandoned by those who had so recently made the hard trek in search of vast riches. The handful of prospectors who stuck around in hope of striking it rich moved onto Sotajoki and to the Laanila village, which was about 10 kilometers from where the gold rush began. The Kultala Crown Station was later converted by Finnish geophysicist Selim Lemström into a station for studying the Northern Lights. This was closed in the year 1900. In the 1920s, two industrial gold mining companies entered the region, hoping to turn a profit with some of the harder-to-extract gold, but they ultimately fell flat. Werner Thiede and the Second Lapland Gold Rush There was a find of gold in the Norwegian area of Lapland in 1890, but it never led to anything. However, there was a second wave of the Lapland gold rush in Finland which began in 1934. Sami people, basically Nordic Eskimos, found gold in Sodankylä originating in Tankavaara. This, of course, attracted the attention of Finnish prospectors, but also Swedish mining interests who were keen to get what they could from this new find. One strange story arising from this second gold rush is that of Werner Thiede (not to be confused with the prominent German theologian). He was a German miner from Hamburg who came to the region during the second Lapland gold rush. Eventually, he was deported in 1938. When the Second World War came, Thiede served in the German occupying forces in the country of Norway. He later returned to the Tankavaara region in 1944 as part of the German attempt to build a defensive wall. When the Germans began their retreat, they engaged in a scorched earth campaign that destroyed all the mines — save for the ones that had been built by one Werner Thiede. Since the 1970s, the area has become a tourist attraction in Finland, much like many other, more famous gold rush boom and bust towns that we have covered on this site. And despite the fact that the big boom played out quickly, there are still 20 prospectors and 50 working claims in the region, producing collectively over 20 kilograms of gold on an annual basis. These are all in Lemmenjoki National Park, which is a beautiful place to visit even for those who have absolutely no interest at all in gold mining. It is the biggest national park in all of Finland and one of the largest in Europe. It seems far more backpackers than prospectors — 10,000 every year. The Gold Rush Continues Today Lest you think that the prospectors there are simply legacy holdouts from a bygone age, however, this is simply not true. Indeed, people do still flock to the region in the hopes that they can be one of the lucky few to find some of the gold that is still up for grabs in this region of Finland. The official website promoting tourism in Finland offers tales of modern-day prospectors who have come to the region in search of the adventure of finding gold. Part of what has driven this is yet a third gold rush in Lapland. This one didn’t begin way back in the annals of the colonial age, or even at the turn of the 20th Century, but in the year 2009. Europe’s largest currently operational gold mine is currently in Lapland, the Suurikuusikko gold deposit. Drilling samples conducted in 2011 did much to fuel this new case of gold fever in Finland, proving that the days of the gold rush are not behind us. At that time, there were five operational gold mines in Lapland, with geological surveys finding high concentrations of gold in the surrounding ore — in a stunning 200 deposits. What’s more, the price of gold continues to increase, making the threshold for entry into the market lower and lower with each passing year. Perhaps this is why, as of July 2019, there were 20 full-time gold panners in Finland as well as another 150 part-timers. Note that these men are not “miners” in any sense that it is normally meant. They simply pan for gold as the prospectors of old (in the summer, of course — it’s far too cold in the winter), like what one might see in an old Western movie. Again, rising costs of gold make the trade more attractive and very little equipment is needed to join the ranks of these modern-Caday gold hunters. If you want to give it a try in Finland, you can always check out the Tankavaara Gold Village in Lapland where panning is the main activity. Here you can get a taste of whether or not you have what it takes to do this for hours on end, day after day. Guides are available in both English and Finnish. You should also check out the Gold Museum while you are there to get a feel for the history of gold prospecting in the region. There’s even a Gold Prospectors Association of Finnish Lapland. You might think that you have no chance of striking a decent find as a tourist, but you couldn’t be more wrong. In 2020, a tourist happened upon 61.9 grams of gold, worth a whopping $36,000. He did this right next to where he was staying and in an area that all the smart money said had been played out for decades. Before this, the biggest nugget that happened upon by a tourist was 3.2 grams, with finds of one to two grams not all that uncommon. Indeed, the equipment has gotten much better making it not only easier to find gold using high-tech metal detectors like the detectors available for rental at Kellyco but also to extract the gold from the earth. For example, you now have machines like the XP Metal Detectors Deus or the Minelab GPZ 7000 that makes detecting deep gold nuggets a lot easier than it used to be. Fortunately, unlike many other countries outside of the United States, Finland does not have a ban on the private discovery of gold or other minerals within its border. The legal concept of “Everyman’s Right” drives mineral extraction law down there. This doesn’t mean you can simply set up shop wherever you like and start your hunt for gold. There is some red tape to cut through and you can only conduct mining in designated, approved areas. There have been several films made about the time period, but the two most prominent are 1951 At the Rovaniemi Fair, which is something of a classic in Finland, and Gold Fever in Lapland. Finland’s gold rush didn’t dramatically change the landscape of Finland in the manner of North American gold rushes. But it’s fascinating perhaps in large part because of its perennial nature and the fact that it’s still going today. As such it provides inspiration for a new generation of gold hunters looking for their fortunes in the ground. The Lapland Gold Rush originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com
  6. This is an interesting little story about Mineral Park, Arizona. It tells about a geologist who was told to find ore or be fired. There is a bit of history about fine gold recovery also. https://kdminer.com/news/2021/feb/06/mohave-county-geology-concentrate/
  7. An article on the origin of money ..... .....LINK..... Has anyone found any of these.
  8. Aaron had been working a permission with his first detector for a while and decided it was time to purchase a more versatile detector. After purchasing a new Equinox 800 form Kellyco, he decided to start fresh on the property and go back over everything. The permission owner’s family had owned the property since the mid-1800s when they immigrated to America from Sweden. He had been collecting things found on the property to make a birthday gift for the owner since everything found at some point belonged to one of his ancestors. On Aaron’s first hunt with his Equinox, he found something that had been talked about in the property owner’s family for over a century. While detecting where the first home on the property had stood Aaron had a signal that he thought to be a penny. Upon digging, he discovered it wasn’t a penny but a larger coin. After some research, he discovered it to be a Swedish 5 ore copper coin from 1857. The property owner says he always heard about the coin as a child. The coin served as a reminder and keepsake of his great-great-grandfather’s homeland and was a prized possession of his. The coin had been lost when the home burnt down in the late 1800s and had been buried for 130 years. It will be included in the birthday gift to the homeowner. Treasure Find: 130 Years of Buried Family History originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com.
  9. America has the California Gold Rush. It’s equivalent in Canada is the Klondike Gold Rush. All told, this brought 100,000 prospectors into the region, which was not sunny California, but the frozen tundra of the Canadian Yukon over the course of three years between 1896 and 1899, with the bulk coming in 1897 and 1898. Gold was first found in the Yukon by miners who had been working the region on August 16, 1896. Word quickly spread to Seattle and San Francisco, leading to the massive stampede of prospectors who arrived the next year. And while many arrived, this was not the free-for-all that many of the other gold rushes were due to the cold and remote location of the find. The Canadian government required that men arrive with at least a year’s supply of food to prevent mass starvation. By 1898, the rush was largely over, not because the area had necessarily played out, but because the media had lost interest and was now focused on the Nome Gold Rush in Alaska. Many of the men who panned for gold in Alaska got their start working the goldfields of the Yukon. Before the Gold Rush In the second half of the 19th Century, however, more enterprising American prospectors began to flood the region. They made arrangements with the local Tlingit and Tagish tribes, finally arriving at the Yukon Valley around 1870. It was here that they encountered the Hän, who, as mentioned above, we’re aware of the gold deposits but did not place any value on gold and also did not know the extent of the gold deposits that they were sitting on. The Prospector’s Prospector: Ed Schieffelin It was in 1883 that Ed Schieffelin, a prospector and Indian scout who had cut his teeth prospecting for silver in the Arizona Territory found gold deposits in a reconnoiter along the Yukon River. In 1886, he discovered large deposits of gold during a trip up the Fortymile River. As a result of this trip, he founded Fortymile City, one of the boomtowns of the Klondike Gold Rush. Schieffelin was known as a restless and casual figure, who kept his long hair and beard for most of his years on this earth, even after Tombstone silver made him a millionaire. He rarely stayed still and moved from one boomtown to another in search of the massive continental belt of gold running through North America. He was convinced that in Yukon that he had found this, however, he didn’t last long — the cold of the region and the difficulties that it presented in prospecting had him searching for greener pastures in short order. His next stop was Alaska, which had the predictable effect of having him leave the north entirely. He eventually died prospecting in Oregon and was buried with his pick, his shovel, and his canteen outside of Tombstone. Several hundred miners had arrived in advance of the gold rush proper in the late 1880s. This led to the birth of mining camps on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. One boom town that sprung up in the early years before the rush was Circle City, founded in 1893. This was known at the time as “the Paris of Alaska” with a mighty 1,200 inhabitants, but lots of saloons, theaters, libraries, schools, and opera houses for the miners and their families. By 1896, Circle City was a ghost town as all the miners had left for the more remote parts of the Yukon in search of that Klondike gold. The Discovery Claim Discovery Claim is the name for the place on Bonanza Creek where the Klondike Gold Rush began. This is in an area lying approximately 10 miles south-southeast of Dawson City, a remote little Canadian town of about 1,300 people. The site itself is now a National Historic Site that you can go visit this day. Unlike many other gold rushes, we know exactly when the Klondike Gold Rush began. It began with the discovery of gold on August 16, 1896, by American prospector George Carmack and his wife Kate who was of Tagish Indian extraction. They discovered gold while stopping for a rest during a long trip up the river. One of the troops, which also included Kate’s brother and their nephew, spotted something shiny in the water. Carmack claimed that he found it, but this is disputed by some historians, who believe it was his brother-in-law or even his wife who gave up the claim fearful that the Canadian government would not recognize the claim of an Indian. All told four claims came out of this: The law at the time allowed Carmack to establish a second claim because he was the first person to discover gold in the region. The other two claims went to his brother-in-law and nephew. Orphaned at the age of 11, Carmack was a Marine Corps veteran who was serving in Alaska aboard the USS Wachusett’s when he deserted in 1882 to go care for his sick sister in California. He came back to Alaska in 1885 in search of his fortunes in fishing, trapping, and trading, the common activities of those in the region at the time. Carmack was generally disliked by the other prospectors in the area because of his closeness to the local native tribes, which eventually led to his marriage to Shaw Tláa (which means “gumboot mother”), who was known as “Kate.” They nicknamed him “Squaw Man” after the marriage but also referred to him as “Lyin’ George” due to his tendency toward exaggeration. The village of Carmacks, Yukon is named after him to this day, the site of his discovery of a large coal deposit. The discovery of gold made Carmack a very wealthy man. He and Kate moved to Modesto, California after they struck it rich. In 1900, Carmack abandoned Kate and married Marguerite P. Laimee in Olympia, Washington. They later moved to Seattle, where his new wife invested his money wisely in real estate, mostly office buildings, hotels, and apartment buildings. His investments made his fortune continue to grow, but he never gave up his passion for gold hunting. He even did a little prospecting in California as a fat old man in the the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. He died in 1922 at the age of 61 while working a claim. Mount Carmack, along the Alaska-Canada border, is also named after him. Rabbit Creek Becomes Bonanza Creek The creek that Carmack and company were navigating was known as Rabbit Creek, but quickly came to be known as Bonanza Creek. By the end of August, the entirety of the creek’s banks was claimed by prospectors looking to get their share of the massive amounts of gold that were believed to be in the region. Additional gold was found up a tributary creek which was dubbed Eldorado Creek. The claims which were made by the initial prospectors in the region quickly became a source of speculation. Claims were made, then bought and sold and traded among potential prospectors and land speculators looking to increase their wealth either through finding gold on the claim or by flipping it to another land investor or prospector. It was around this time that Circle City cleared out, but those who arrived at this time by dog sled found that most of the best claims were already taken. Beyond Circle City, the news of the gold rush did not reach much of the outside world. This is because once the rivers of the area froze, travel to the outside world was virtually impossible. The stampede into the region began in the summer of the next year. Stampede: The Klondike Gold Rush Begins in Earnest The stampede kicked off the Klondike Gold Rush proper in July of 1897. All told, 100,000 people tried to get into the region, but it was only about 30,000 to 40,000 who made it all the way to the prospecting country. On July 15, 1897, a ship arrived in San Francisco, with one arriving from Seattle two days later. These had huge amounts of gold (the equivalent of $1 billion in 2020 dollars) on them and work quickly spread throughout the two cities, with men picking up stakes and heading off to the Great White North in search of a fortune in gold. The prospectors were joined by those looking to make coin off of the prospectors, including traders, photographers, and newspaper writers. The news of a massive gold discovery came at exactly the right time. The United States was in the middle of an economic depression that saw gold prices spike as paper money became less valuable and was being hoarded by Americans. The Panic of 1893 and the Panic of 1896 dramatically damaged the labor market. This meant that there was both a thirst for gold and a ready and waiting labor pool of men willing to take off to remote regions of Canada in search of their fortune. The prospectors were overwhelmingly American or recent arrivals to America — between 60 and 80 percent. Few of them had any experience in mining, with most of the new arrivals being salesmen and clerks. Among their number was John McGraw, the former governor of Washington, and William D. Wood, who was the current Mayor of Seattle and abandoned his post to go hunt for Yukon gold. It generally costs $1,000 ($27,000 in today’s money) to even get to the region. Supplies were difficult to get to the region, which made them both scarce and expensive. Savvy marketers added the name “Klondike” in front of just about any supply one might need, to imply that it was specially designed for those working in the region. Some examples of high prices include salt (which reached parity with gold), nails ($28 per pound or $784 in today’s dollars), butter ($5 per can or about $140 today), and eggs ($3, equivalent to $84 today). Scurvy was common in the camps. Rich prospectors were not prevented from spending big on food, drink, and entertainment. It was expected that rich prospectors would go through a $60 bottle of champagne in a single night, equivalent to $1,660 today. Dice pots often started at $1,000 ($28,000) and poker pots at $5,000 ($140,000). Prosperous prospector Jimmy McMahon once spent $28,000 ($784,000) in a single night. Unlike many gold rushes, the Klondike Gold Rush is known for a preponderance of law and order, with the Northwest Mounted Police keeping the local population in line. The region was 92 percent male, with less than one percent of all women in the area working a claim. The End of the Klondike Gold Rush The Klondike Gold Rush began to taper off in the summer of 1898 when many prospectors, unable to make any money, started leaving the region. Casual work wages fell dramatically because there was a glut of labor in the region. The average laborer made about $100 per month, equivalent to $2,700 today. The attention of the newspapers turned from the Klondike region and it’s gold to the Spanish-American War, which kicked off on April 21, 1898. When gold was found in other, neighboring regions (primarily Nome), the area largely emptied of everyone seeking fortune, leaving only those who had already made it, either through the gold itself or by selling goods that the prospectors couldn’t do without. Discovery Day is still a holiday in the Yukon to this day, celebrated on the third Monday in August. The Klondike Gold Rush originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com.
  10. If any of you are getting stir crazy with winter and all you can think about is getting back out come spring to find the gold then check out this good documentary on The Oregon Trail's counterpart, The Bozeman Trail, and the gold rushes of Montana. It's pretty good.
  11. It’s no surprise to anyone who knows anything about history that gold was a big draw for colonists coming to the New World. One of the earliest gold rushes that brought people across the ocean and attracted the attention of major world powers was the Brazilian Gold Rush. At this time Brazil was an integral part of the Portuguese Empire. Back in 1690 when the Brazilian Gold Rush kicked off, Portugal was not a small nation almost surrounded by Spain, but a major world power in possession of one of the largest empires in the world. This is largely thanks to their early efforts at overseas exploration that predate even the Columbian Contact between the Old World and the New. Indeed, the Portuguese had been colonizing parts of Africa for the better part of a century before Christopher Columbus set sail across the Atlantic. The Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral first arrived in Brazil in 1500 intending to simply use the land as a trading post, but not to actually create any kind of permanent settlement or society there. Of course, other factors were luring the Portuguese to the region: The allure of adventure on new and untamed lands — and the women who were there. Native women often greeted explorers in a manner that would seem excessive during the hedonistic days of 1970s rock. The final result was that the Brazilian Gold Rush became the biggest in recorded history. The Portuguese colonization of Brazil is very intimately tied to the Brazilian Gold Rush, especially the beginning. It was the Bandeirantes (a term that literally translates as “flag carriers”) who discovered rich deposits of gold in the mountains of Minas Gerais. Who Were the Bandeirantes? The Bandeirantes were something between the Spanish Conquistadors and the cowboys of the United States. They were men who sought to make their fortune in the New World by hook or by crook. Oftentimes this meant through adventuring, treasure hunting, or slaving. They were so-called because as they went on their adventures through the undiscovered country they would plant the Portuguese flag, claiming the land for the mother country. Like the American cowboys, they were largely responsible for the westward expansion of the country, going well past the Tordesillas Line, which Pope Julius declared as the dividing line between the Portuguese and Castilian New World in 1494. The Bandeirantes are an interesting group of people sociologically. They hailed almost entirely from the São Paulo region of Brazil, which at that time was known as the Captaincy of São Vicente before changing its name to the Captaincy of São Paulo in 1709. They were descendants of some of the earliest Portuguese settlers in Brazil, however, they were very commonly of mixed blood between Europeans and Native Brazilians. This racial admixture is called “mameluco,” a term roughly equivalent to the Spanish mestizo. For their part, the Bandeirantes largely adopted many of the indigenous ways, which made it easier for them to survive in the often hostile and unforgiving interior of this strange new world. In addition to claiming the land for the Portuguese Crown, the Bandeirantes’ main charge was to find and enslave the local native population. However silver, diamonds, and, of course, gold quickly became a much more lucrative adventure in the New World. Thus, their efforts shifted away from humans to minerals. They are largely responsible both for the large territory that is a part of Brazil today, but also almost single-handedly responsible for the discovery of mineral wealth in the vast country. The Captaincy of São Vicente transformed into the Viceroyalty of Brazil, more or less coterminous with the modern-day Republic of Brazil, largely thanks to their efforts. While they were certainly engaged in the unsavory practice of slavery, the Bandeirantes continue to enjoy a revered status in Brazilian history to this day. A Massive Influx Into São Paulo The population influx of the Brazilian Gold Rush absolutely dwarfs nearly every other gold rush in history. All told, almost one million souls flooded the country in search of fortune — 400,000 Portuguese and 500,000 African slaves went into the region to hunt for gold. Sugar plantations, previously a massive source of revenue for the Portuguese Crown, were abandoned so in favor of the gold mines in the southeastern part of the country. By 1725, half of the population of Brazil was living in the gold mining region of the country. This also significantly impacted the population of the mother country. The Portuguese court at Lisbon was forced to restrict emigration to the colonies due to the massive outflux of people from Europe to the New World. What’s more, the Brazilian gold rush is distinguished from other, similar gold rushes, by the fact that much of the mining was being done by both African and indigenous slaves rather than free European labor. The result was over 800 metric tons of gold pulled out of the region and that’s just the official tally. There was also illegal mining going on and other black-market forces that were finding more gold than they were reporting to the crown back in Lisbon, thousands of miles and an ocean away. Other gold was simply used for ornamentation locally on churches and other institutions. While the region eventually took on the name the Captaincy of São Paulo, this was not the largest city in Brazil at the time. The largest city was Ouro Preto with 40,000 people by 1730 and a few decades later, 80,000. For context, this was twice the size of New York City at the time, while São Paulo had a mere 8,000 residents. What’s more, the Portuguese were quickly outfoxed by their allies — and rivals — the British. The Portuguese wanted to ship as much of the gold they were mining back to the mother country and were deeply concerned about every last nugget that wasn’t making it back. To that end, they set up a massive bureaucracy to oversee the production of gold in Brazil. Unfortunately, it was also a very inefficient and often corrupt bureaucracy, so it might have caused more problems than it solved. All told, the court in Lisbon demanded that fully 20 percent of all gold mined be sent directly to them, a massive tax that probably encouraged a lot of “off the books” mining allowing the miners to keep more of the spoils from the mines. The Second Wave: The Cuiaba Gold Rush The first wave of the Brazilian Gold Rush might be termed the São Paolo Gold Rush due to it being centered in that Captaincy. However, there was a second wave of the Brazilian Gold Rush that was centered around the Cuiaba River, a little over 850 miles from the site of the first wave. At the time this was terra incognita and the second wave of the Brazilian Gold Rush helped to expand the borders of Brazil all the way to the frontier of what is now Bolivia. Three men are generally credited with kicking off this second wave of the Brazilian Gold Rush: Pascoal Moreira Cabral Leme, Antonio Pires de Campos, and Miguel Sutil. However, we know very little about their lives other than that they were Portuguese adventurers who discovered gold in the area around the Cuiaba River. Over 7,000 men, including 2,600 slaves poured into the region quickly, and soon there were over 10,000 pounds of gold being produced by the region every month. It was mostly to be for naught from the perspective of the Portuguese crown. First, there was the baked-in cost of transporting massive amounts of extremely heavy gold across an ocean. The overland journey out of the region to the coast took between five and seven months on its own. Then there was the unfortunate surprise upon opening the chests and finding lead inside. The perpetrators of this crime were never uncovered and the gold reserves in this area quickly played out making it almost entirely a bust from the perspective of the Portuguese monarch — but what a heist for whoever actually got that gold. By the year 1737, there were only seven white men and a handful of slaves working in the region. A Look at a Portuguese Gold Convoy It goes without saying that transporting heavy goods in the 18th Century was nothing like transporting heavy goods today. Before the industrial revolution, the primary sources of energy were fire and muscle. This muscle might have been animal or human, but it was bound by all of the constraints that muscle is bound to. Having all the gold in the world doesn’t matter at all if you can’t move it to somewhere it can be spent or otherwise used, so this is significant in understanding the Brazilian Gold Rush, which largely took place before the invention of the steam engine. The overland route was just about a hundred miles. This doesn’t sound like a lot by modern standards. It’s barely a “trip” and more of just a “long drive.” However, in addition to not having access to the internal combustion machine, the Portuguese gold train also had to contend with mosquitos (which were a deadly threat, not a minor nuisance, due to malaria and other diseases) as well as hostile natives. The entire 1720 convoy was wiped out, but no one knows why. The 1725 convoy saw only two survivors after it was attacked by a canoe-based native tribe known as the Payaguá. In 1728, another convoy was attacked, this time to liberate a band of Paraesi captives who were being transported back as slaves. The 1730 convoy saw 400 people killed by hostile natives who also took nearly 2,000 pounds of gold, which they promptly threw in the river with no idea as to its true value. They kept about 300 pounds of the gold, which they traded to some Spaniards they encountered later. One Spaniard was able to trade a simple tin plate for five pounds of gold. In 1733, a convoy attack left three survivors. This was the first attack that prompted a punitive counterattack from the Portuguese. To that end, they sent a force of 842 men to destroy a village of Payaguá Indians the next year. A similar attack in 1735 left another four alive. Once the gold stopped flowing from the region the attacks on the Portuguese stopped. Instead, the Payaguá went back to feuding with their fellow Indians, the Guayacuru or Mbayá, who preferred horses to canoes. The Aftermath of the Brazilian Gold Rush The Brazilian Gold Rush was over almost as quickly as it began. Once the gold ran out, the entire Brazilian economy entered a very long period of stagnation. By the year 1807, gold had entirely ceased to be a source of revenue for the Portuguese crown. There is still a great deal of gold to be found in the Amazon region of the nation, however, gold mining in and around the Amazon is strictly forbidden under Brazilian law. Illicit trade in Brazilian gold continues despite this ban, but the penalties are high. These miners come from all walks of life, unlike those who rushed to make their fortunes during the Brazilian Gold Rush. The Brazilian Gold Rush is instructive in terms of how quickly even the largest reserves of gold in the world can be tapped out in a short period of time. We might not live in the days where easy fortunes can be made on all four corners of the globe, but there is still plenty of gold in the earth for those lucky or bold enough to find it. What’s more, we have means to both find and extract the gold from the earth that is far more than what was available to the Portuguese during the Brazilian Gold Rush. Where will you find your fortune? The Brazilian Gold Rush: Gold Mining in Brazil originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com.
  12. This just shows all the Detectors’s that has been over the years.
  13. Several of us on this forum are former Marines or Marine "brats." Today marks the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the 17 day Battle of Chosin Reservoir. My dad, a sergeant in the First Marine Division at Chosin, later co-founded the Sea Angels scuba diving club with Mel Fisher. Their treasure hunting experience, along with that of the Depression Era "survival" gold prospecting experiences of my grandfather and great grandfather, influenced me greatly. Off topic, and reminiscing.
  14. I was thinking the other day about some of the best metal detectors of the analog age and early digital age. My memory shows concentric searchcoils, the Fisher CZ series being an example. What is the earliest commercial detector that had the commercial option of a DD coil? (As opposed to prototypes, experiements, garage builds, etc., although if you know of any of those it would also be interesting to read about.) Were there analog detectors (and if so, which ones) that worked with DD coils or did those not come around until digital circuitry took over?
  15. Fans of the television series Deadwood will be somewhat familiar with the Black Hills Gold Rush. It is this gold rush that forms the background of the television series. Indeed, it is one of the more transformative events in American history, despite being somewhat lesser-known. There were rumors of gold in the Black Hills region in the early years of the 19th Century. Sioux Indians were rumored to have been mining gold in the region as early as 1860. However, there was one small thing preventing Americans from mining gold in the region: the Treaty of Fort Laramie, which recognized the land as belonging to the Sioux. There is another point of law that is relevant to the Black Hills Gold Rush: The General Mining Act of 1872. This allows Americans to mine for minerals anywhere on federal land. The problem, for American prospectors, is that none of the land in the Black Hills was federal land — it belonged to the Sioux. Americans Find Gold on Indian Land In 1874, a deposit was found near present-day Custer, South Dakota. However, these were small deposits. Larger ones were found in November 1875. It was in 1876 that prospectors began to flood the region in violation of the treaty with the Sioux. To make matters worse, this wasn’t just any land to the Sioux — the Black Hills were considered sacred. The first significant arrivals to the region were a force of 1,000 men led by George Armstrong Custer. They were investigating claims of gold in the region which, again, was in violation of the treaty. Small amounts were found, but the troop kept scouting, looking for larger deposits. The South Dakota towns of Hill City, Sheridan, and Pactola were founded by this detachment. Gold flakes were found along the way, but nothing that seemed to justify the expedition. It was in the Northern Black Hills that paydirt was finally struck. This is the area of Deadwood and Whitewood Creeks. When the prospectors first arrived on the scene, gold was being scooped out by the spadeful with virtually no effort at all. The easily found gold is something known as “placer gold.” This had eroded for larger, harder deposits. All of the land was quickly claimed, but thousands more settled the region hoping to find their fortune in gold nonetheless. All told, over 10 percent of the gold mined in the next 125 years was found in the initial Deadwood bonanza. How the Black Hills Gold Rush Changed American History More than just economically, the Black Hills Gold Rush changed the makeup of the United States of America. A large section of the country that had been given to the Sioux was annexed to the United States. While it’s likely that this would have happened eventually anyway — it did everywhere else — the Black Hills Gold Rush provided an incentive for it to happen earlier. It also made economic dynasties in the United States. For example, fans of Deadwood know that George Hearst is one of the primary antagonists of the series. He, in fact, was part of a consortium of developers who were instrumental in developing and expanding the Homestake Mine. The Homestake Mine is an excellent way of conceptualizing the entire Black Hills Gold Rush. Discovered by Fred and Moses Manuel, Alex Engh, and Hank Harney in April 1876, these prospectors sold the claim to George Hearst, Lloyd Tevis, and James Ben Ali Haggin for the price of $70,000 in 1877. When the mine was discovered the land legally belonged to the Lakota Nation under the Treaty of Fort Laramie. Of course, native treaties with the United States were always subject to the whims and vagaries of the United States government and this one was no exception to that rule. It was the desire of the United States to control the gold in the region that sparked off the Great Sioux War, sometimes known as the Black Hills War. This was the last major military operation against the native population of North America by the United States government. The Great Sioux War Many people know of the Battle of Little Bighorn, General George Custer, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull. These are all firmly in the American lexicon as parts of our national mythos. But few know that they relate to the massive infusion of gold that came out of the Black Hills Gold Rush. It is worth noting — as it often is — that the land that was being occupied by the Sioux at the time of the Great Sioux War was land that had previously belonged to other Indian tribes. In this case, it was the Kiowa, who were pushed out by the Sioux and their allies the Cheyenne and Arapaho. The resources the native tribes sought were not gold, but the rich buffalo hunting grounds that lay in the region. For their part, the Cheyenne were one of the most centralized tribal groups on the Great Plains. This is ironic, considering that there were so many different American and European names for them, that the United States military were unaware that they were a single cohesive group for quite some time. It was the Northern Cheyenne who began attacks against white men in the area, but the United States government would not provide any protection — only select government officials had the right to be there. The United States was not going to use its military might to stop interlopers and glory hunters from getting killed by the rightful inhabitants of the region. At least not yet. The Black Hills Expedition AKA The Custer Expedition The Black Hills Expedition, also known as the Custer Expedition, was dispatched by the federal government in 1874. This was where significant amounts of gold were discovered and before the detachment had even returned to Fort Abraham Lincoln, news had spread across the nation of the gold. What’s more, the Lakota Indians in the region could see the writing on the wall and were taking on a defensive posture. Just before the Black Hills Gold Rush began, there was the Panic of 1873. This began what was then known as the Great Depression, but what is now known as the Long Depression. Both individual prospectors and organized groups were moving into the region in violation of the Treaty of Fort Laramie. It was easy enough to evade the United States Army detachments that were nominally patrolling the region and the Army did evict miners where it was able to do so. But without drones and other high-tech equipment to monitor the situation, the Army was at a disadvantage. Spotted Tail, Red Cloud, and Lone Horn headed a Sioux delegation to Washington, D.C. to convince President Ulysses S. Grant to enforce the treaty and stop the flow of miners. The government responded by offering $25,000 for the land and offering to relocate the Indians to Indian Country, in present-day Oklahoma. The breakdown in negotiations was thanks to two main factors: First, a lot of bad blood between the Americans and the native tribes thanks to a slew of broken treaties. Second, the sacred nature of the Black Hills to the Indians. There had also been other encroachments into territories ostensibly belonging to the Sioux, generally by railroad interests. By 1876 the situation had broken out into total war. On February 28, 1877, the land was annexed by the victorious United States government. The Homestake Mine: An American Treasure Trove The Homestake Mine was so laden with gold that it was mined until 2002. It was the largest and deepest mine ever found in North America. All told, there were 40 million troy ounces of gold mined out of the Homestake Mine during its lifetime. George Hearst took active control of the Homestake Mine when he arrived in Deadwood in October 1877. With the arrival of Hearst, the mine became a much more industrial operation. He hauled in mining equipment from Sidney, Nebraska, which is 273 miles away. Arthur De Wint Foote was brought in as an engineer. He himself is an excellent example of the pioneer spirit of the age. In 1873, he left Connecticut and set out for California in search of excitement, adventure, and, above all, gainful employment. He bounced around a number of jobs there in the railroads and civil engineering projects. In 1876, he went back east to get married to American author and illustrator Mary Hallock Foote, an important contemporary documentarian of the American West. It was after his marriage that he moved his new family to the town of Deadwood to oversee the Homestake Mine for George Hearst. After this, he headed south to Leaden, Colorado to oversee a silver mine there. Indeed, any story of American mining and gold prospecting during the time period will likely find Foote popping up. In 1879, the mine went public with shares being listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were listed until 2001, making it one of the longest listed stocks in the history of the exchange. Those who have watched Deadwood know that Hearst is alleged to have used means fair and foul to grow and consolidate the mining in and around Homestake. Of course, the television series is fictional, but there is some truth to his villainous portrayal on the show. Some claims were purchased, others were poached in court. In one instance, a Hearst employee killed a prospector who refused to sell his claim. The man was acquitted in court after all of the witnesses disappeared. An anti-Hearst newspaperman was attacked on the street. For his part, Hearst feared for his own safety and drafted a letter to his partners asking them to provide for his family in the event that he was bushwhacked. However, in three years Hearst left a very rich man, having consolidated most of the mining in the region under his control — a grand total of 30 acres of claims under his belt. By 1900, the Homestake Mine had expanded to include 300 claims sitting on 2000 acres. Mules and horses were finally replaced with fully operated machine equipment by the 1920s. All gold was shipped to the Denver mint. The gold ore at the mine wasn’t actually very good. It didn’t even yield an ounce of pure gold for every ton of ore mined. The reason the mine was such a bonanza was because of the size of the discovery, not because of its quality. The size made the low quality of the ore, not a problem. In addition to the gold, the mine produced 9 million troy ounces of silver. A combination of the aforementioned poor ore quality, low gold prices, and high production costs put the mine out of business in 2001, another American icon lost to the changing times and changing markets. The mine is now run by the National Science Foundation. It was planned to be used as a deep underground research mine. Maintenance of the mine cost a quarter-million dollars every day, so it was quickly shut down as a deal to transfer ownership became mired in the weeds. It was finally selected by the National Science Foundation for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) in 2007. In June 2009 the University of California Berkeley announced that it would begin to operate the mine for research on neutrinos and dark matter particles. A somewhat obscure problem in nuclear physics was discovered at the mine in the 1960s, the solar neutrino problem. The problem itself is a little above our pay grade but the important part is that it came out of an experiment performed at the mine and was not resolved until 2002. Those with a mind for theoretical physics will know this as the Homestake experiment. While not cutting the imposing and impressive posture of Mount Rushmore, which sits in the Black Hills, the Homestake Mine is arguably a more important part of American history. After all, a monument is simply an engineering project, whereas the Homestake Mine carved a Mount Rushmore-sized place into the social fabric of America through the jobs and the gold that it provided. It will continue to be a source of American historical developments as a place for our nation’s top scientists to conduct experiments. The Black Hills Gold Rush originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com
  16. The California Gold Rush certainly was in a far-off land for the Americans of the time, who had to trek long distances to get to their final destination. But the 49’ers had nothing on those brave adventurers who went to Nome, Alaska to seek their fortunes in 1899. Which brings us to the Nome Gold Rush. While Nome, Alaska was owned by the United States at the time of the Nome Gold Rush, it might as well have been Mars, both in terms of getting there and in terms of surviving in the harsh and unforgiving climate. Despite the apocryphal quip often attributed to Mark Twain, that the worst winter he ever saw was June in San Francisco, there is simply no comparison between a miserable Northern California summer and any day of the week in Nome, Alaska. Nome is not simply in Alaska, it is in a more northern part of the state. It is more than 60 degrees north of the equator (64°30′14″N to be exact), which puts it about 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle. It wasn’t the only gold rush in Alaska — there was also the Fairbanks Gold Rush — but it might hold the title for the biggest gold rush at the northernmost latitude. It was the Nome Gold Rush that made Nome the largest city in Alaska for a period. How the Nome Gold Rush Started Alaska is known for many things, one being a popular vacation choice. However, Nome started off as a small outpost at the outlet of the Snake River on the Seward Peninsula, which is part of the Norton Sound on the Bering Sea. Prior to the settlement at Nome, Inupiaq Eskimo used the area as a camp dating centuries prior to the arrival of Russians in the area. The Port of St. Michael, about 125 miles southeast of Nome, was founded by the Russians for the purposes of sailing down the Yukon River. This area quickly became a popular destination for whalers and fur traders. Russian Orthodox Church missions began in the 1880s. Council, Alaska was the place where gold was first found a year before it was found in the Nome area. The first men to strike gold in the region are known to us by the sobriquet “the Three Lucky Swedes.” These were Jafet Lindeberg (who was actually Norwegian-American) and Swedish-Americans Erik Lindblom and John Brynteson. We will talk more about these men and their fascinating life stories later in this article. The short version is that three men struck gold on Anvil Creek and founded what is now the Nome mining district. Their discovery quickly spread throughout the surrounding camps during the winter, leading to an influx of 10,000 fresh from the Klondike Gold Rush which began three years prior. In 1899 there were significant amounts of gold found in the beach sands around the Bering Sea coast. By 1900 there was a tent city along the beach that stretched 30 miles from Cape Rodney to Cape Nome. This only accelerated the influx of treasure-seekers into the region. The spring of 1900 saw arrivals from San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland into the area aboard a newly vibrant steamship line running to the Nome region. People came from much further than the Pacific Northwest and Northern California, coming all the way from Adelaide, Australia aboard Inca, a schooner, in 1902, the maiden voyage of this ship. The Nome Gold Rush was also more contentious than other gold rushes in the United States. “Claim jumpers” came onto the land, upset that all the best land had already been taken by earlier arrivals. They attempted to file claims for land that had already been claimed by other gold prospectors. The federal judge for the region decided to recognize the original claims at the expense of the claim jumpers, but the claim jumpers began offering a segment of their land to influential politicians. How Mining Worked at Nome There were two main locations for mining during the Nome Gold Rush: the beach and the creeks. The beach presented a unique problem for prospectors in the region: The beach could not properly be claimed like the rest of the land around Nome. This created tons of problems because there were literally tons of gold on the beach. Much more, in fact, than what was available in the nearby creeks. As is often the case, the first gold found on the beaches of Nome was simply panned out of the water. There was that much of it around. By the summer of 1899 people were using human-powered machinery to get it out, such as sluice boxes and rock crushers were present. The next year things got a bit more industrialized. Small machines utilizing hoses and pumps began to show up. By 1902, the big companies had taken over and small claimants and prospectors had virtually all disappeared, bought out by bigger interests who were much more capable of getting the harder to reach gold out of the ground than they were. There was a very short window of time every year when the beaches could be worked — June to October. This is because Nome is so far north that even seawater will freeze during part of the year, making gold mining impossible. What’s more, the local police would chase off anyone who wasn’t adequately prepared for the harsh and unforgiving winters of Nome. The creeks were less lucrative because not only are they cold, but they run slowly, making panning a much more labor-intensive form of gold mining than it is anywhere else in the world. At the creeks there needed to be special equipment to thaw the ground and suck up all of the gravel. Mining the creeks in Nome was more a question of quantity than quality. The more gravel you were able to suck up the more gold you were going to find. It was a numbers game. Sluices, gravity, and suction were the main ways of doing this. Gold dredges and mine shafts were also used, but in far less abundance then they were in other places that didn’t have frozen ground most of the year. Steam was used both to soften the ground before the actual mining as well as to collect the gravel during the winter months. Nome: Alaska’s Gold Rush Boom Town Gold rushes always have a massive economic impact on the surrounding areas and the Nome Gold Rush was no exception. What once had been a tiny, insignificant settlement in a backwater of America often referred to as “Seward’s Folly” to reference what was thought to be an imprudent purchase of the land by Secretary of State William Seward, was now a bustling metropolis fueled by the gold rush. Before the gold rush, there was virtually nothing to be found in the area. After the gold rush, in 1905 there was just about anything one could want out of their community: schools, churches, saloons, a post office, and multiple newspapers. Even some of the nation’s earliest automobiles started showing up in Nome in short order and would drive down the planks on Front Street. America’s first wireless telegraph that transmitted more than 100 miles was in Nome. Telegraphs were relayed to St. Michael on their way to Seattle. Strangely, there was no harbor for large ships during this period, only one for small boats. This isn’t to say that there were no ships coming within striking distance of Nome. Indeed, we have already mentioned one by name – the Inca from Australia. What would happen, however, is that the larger ships would stay out at sea and the people would be ferried to the mainland via smaller boats. This is because of the ice around the area that rarely ever melted, making a direct approach a dangerous endeavor indeed. Sometimes passengers were delivered to the ice itself, then brought ashore by teams of dogs. In 1901, the town got a loading crane which certainly made life easier for those who were still mining gold. By 1905 there was a wharf. In 1907 the town got a tramway. The Nome Gold Rush Winds Down Gold is, of course, a nonrenewable resource and like all other gold rushes, the Nome Gold Rush eventually played out, meaning that individual prospectors could no longer profit from the gold deposits and had to either look for gold somewhere else or sell the claims they had to larger commercial interests capable of large-scale industrial mining projects. In 1904 and 1905, gold was discovered on other parts of the beach which made for a sort of mini gold rush that boosted the main one and extended its life. However, none of these new strikes had nearly the same amount of promise as the original. Between 1900 and 1909, Nome was 20,000 strong but by 1909 the population had dropped to a meager 250. Gold mining still takes place in Nome and, indeed prospectors continue to show up looking to strike it rich in Alaska. We’re not sure how many people have struck gold in Nome, but we do know of at least three men who made an absolute killing: The Three Lucky Swedes. Who Were The Three Lucky Swedes? The Three Lucky Swedes were indeed lucky. What else would you call three men who basically tripped over a king’s ransom in gold? First, there was Norwegian Jafet Isaksen Lindeberg. His experience in Nome was not the first time he found himself prospecting. Indeed, he was a gold hunter from a very young age, looking for gold in northern Norway during his childhood. He first found himself in Alaska after the United States Congress stepped in to provide some direction during the Klondike Gold Rush. Congress feared a famine or other humanitarian disaster and sought reindeer handlers to ensure the smooth delivery of goods into the region. Lindeberg was one of these reindeer handlers. He was recruited in Norway and set sail for the states aboard the SS Manitoba on February 4, 1898. Erik Lindblom wasn’t a prospector, but he was from the iron and copper mining region of Sweden, which gave him a working knowledge of mining. He left Sweden at 17 and was involved in mining in Montana, Colorado, and Idaho before he found himself in Nome, Alaska. He became a naturalized citizen in 1894. Finally, there was John Brynteson. He came to the United States from Sweden at the age of 16 and worked in copper and iron mining in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He gained his American citizenship in 1896. He came to Alaska under the auspices of the Swedish Mission Covenant. These three men began hunting for gold together in mid-September 1898. They quickly happened upon what they knew was a major discovery. Together, they formed the Pioneer Mining and Ditch Company, which quickly became Nome’s biggest mining company. Brynteson left Alaska first and was the only one of the three to return to Sweden. Lindblom took his gold profits and invested it in several sectors, including banking, real estate, and transportation. He eventually became the president of the Swedish-American Bank of San Francisco. He personally financed the construction of the ice parks in Stockholm for the 1912 Olympiad. Lindeberg’s life was mostly uneventful after Nome, but while there he was part of a group of masked vigilantes who attacked claim jumpers in an attempt to retain his property. You can still visit the Camp Nome mining district, which is a historical tourist attraction in otherwise sleepy Nome. There aren’t even 4,000 people living in the Nome area these days, less than a quarter of what was there at the peak of the Nome Gold Rush. But for one shining instant, this little fishing village on the coast of Alaska became the hottest destination in the world for the most adventurous men alive. The Nome Gold Rush and Three Lucky Swedes originally appeared on Kellycodetectors.com.
  17. Many people think that gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in January of 1848 but it was actually discovered on March 9, 1842 in Southern California. That is the official 'story' here: http://www.hometownstation.com/santa-clarita-latest-news/in-history-placerita-canyon-celebrates-176th-anniversary-of-the-oak-of-the-golden-dream-224619 Mitchel
  18. Hey all, I got up to Treasure Coast for a couple of hunts, to break in my new/used Equinox! I haven't had one for a few months, but i got back into it in a hurry! The area is always full of detectorists for any rare erosion event, and this past week was no different! The blue erosion bags are a main indicator of the level of erosion present! Normally they are covered by up to several feet of sand! The orange sand is the original sand we look for, when looking for the old stuff! Last friday was the better of the two days i was there! I found a few pieces of lead, iron, copper, and modern coins! For a few lucky hunters, there were musket ball's and spent bullets! There were a few coin and artifact finds, but those were on various other beaches nearby! The highlight of this trip was recognizing, than meeting a local legend here; Terry Shannon, a super nice, very experienced detectorist, and author! He has a few very good books out on Amazon! He was my best "find" of the day! I also went Monday, but i caught the tide incoming, and just got beat up by the big waves, with very few targets! But i will keep going there, whenever i get the chance, to finally find some of the elusive and rare Spanish items!👍👍
  19. We are working on some short videos during our down time of three old prospectors / miners cabins we found. Dating from 1900-1960s
  20. The Carolina Gold Rush kicked off the American lust for finding gold, but the Georgia Gold Rush, also known as the Dahlonega Gold Rush, followed quickly thereafter and was where many of the men from the Carolinas went after the low-hanging fruit had all been panned out of rivers or mined. In terms of national consciousness, the Georgia Gold Rush quickly came to outshine the Carolina Gold Rush, despite the fact that the Carolina region was the powerhouse of American gold until the discovery of gold in California in the mid-19th Century. It all began in 1829 in Lumpkin County, Georgia, situated in the north-central part of the state. This was still relatively untamed at the time, certainly so when compared to the Carolinas. It had long been known that there was gold in this region. The Native Americans told explorers that the small discoveries that they had originated were from the mountains nearby. There is some poorly attested Spanish and French gold mining in the region dating back to the colonial period, but nothing significant to speak of. However, there is an open question of why the gold crazy Spanish would have abandoned these mines. This means that the Spanish either never found gold or weren’t very good at extracting it and considered the area to be a bit of a dead-end, though the former is much more plausible. The connection between the Georgia Gold Rush and the Carolina Gold Rush is more than just temporal and geographic. It is, in fact, the very same vein of gold that runs throughout the region. So in a sense, the Georgia Gold Rush can be seen as a sub-gold rush of the Carolina Gold Rush — an echo of it, as it were. How Did the Georgia Gold Rush Start? Unlike the Carolina Gold Rush, no one is positive who first struck gold in the region. Some of the most popular versions of events are that a man named Frank Logan (or, in some tellings, his slave) first discovered the gold in White County, Georgia at Duke’s Creek. Others say that the gold was indeed found in White County at Duke’s Creek, but that it was found by John Witherood rather than Frank Logan. Other’s say Jesse Hogan, fresh from prospecting in North Carolina first struck near Dahlonega, Georgia, at Ward’s Creek. Another version of the Duke’s Creek theory has Thomas Bowen first discovering gold sitting in the roots of a tree overblown by a story. Finally, others say that Benjamin Parks celebrated his birthday in 1828 by striking gold walking along a deer path, choosing to lease the land from Reverend O’Barr with his business partner, Joel Stephens. The problem with all of these theories is that there is no contemporaneous document to verify any of them. The historical record is nonexistent as to who first kicked off the Georgia Gold Rush. There might have been contemporaneous accounts, but they have been lost to the sands of time, leaving us to simply speculate about which or another theory of who first found gold there might be more plausible. Whoever it was that first struck gold in Georgia in 1828, we do know that the gold rush itself began in earnest in 1829. On this, we have some evidence in the historical record. A notice ran on August 1, 1829, in the Georgia Journal (a newspaper for the Milledgeville community) declared that there were two mines in the area and that men were seeking their fortunes there. At around the same time, the Macon Telegraph reported discoveries in the winter of 1829 and 1830. This report isn’t simply about gold being found, but about an influx of men into the region to mine, representing a contemporaneous account not just of finding gold, but of the Georgia Gold Rush itself. The Gold Boom Carroll County, Georgia was the next site of gold discovery in 1830. Much of this was found on land that was, at least in theory, owned by the Cherokee people. However, this did not stop miners of European extraction from descending upon the region in search of treasure. Lumpkin, White, Union, and Cherokee counties became overwhelmed with prospectors hunting for gold. Most of this was placer mining. Contemporary accounts put a whopping 4,000 miners just at the Yahoola Creek site. In a single area north of Blairsville, there were over 300 ounces of gold being found every day. In 1830 alone, the Philadelphia Mint received $212,000 in gold from Georgia. By 1830, there were between 6,000 and 10,000 miners working between the Chestatee River and the Etowah River. Boomtowns such as Auraria and Dahlonega sprung up as a result of the Georgia Gold Rush. Dahlonega alone is said to have had as many as 15,000 miners during the height of the gold rush. For context, the 10th largest city in America in 1830, Southwark, Pennsylvania, had barely 20,000 residents that same year. Needless to say, this influx of Americans working in the mines that were springing up throughout the entire North Georgia region created a lot of tension with the Cherokee who nominally owned the area. The tension came to a head in what is known popularly as the Trail of Tears — the forced migration of the Cherokee people from their ancestral lands in North Georgia and vicinity to what was then known as “Indian Country” in present-day southwest Oklahoma. Many of the Cherokee people continue to live in this region to this day. Indeed, the Indian Removal Act of 1830 is a direct result of the American lust for gold on land that had been occupied by the Cherokee people. The Cherokee turned to the court system to attempt to protect themselves from this forced removal from their lands. And, indeed, the Supreme Court found in their favor in Worcester v. Georgia in 1832. This recognized the Cherokee as a sovereign nation. However, in one of the most famous Presidential actions of all time, Andrew Jackson simply ignored the order saying “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.” That same year, the Philadelphia Mint received half a million dollars in gold from Georgia equivalent to $15.1 million in 2020 dollars. The State of Georgia held the Georgia Gold Lottery in 1832. This was the seventh such land lottery. Tickets were sold for $10 each. To be eligible, one needed to be a bachelor over the age of 18 who had resided within Georgia for the last three years and were citizens of the United States. The same rules except for the age limit applied to orphans, married men, and widowers. Excluded from the lottery were previous winners of lotteries, convicted felons, anyone who had mined or profited from mining on former Cherokee territories prior to June 1, 1830, and members of “a horde of Thieves known as the Pony Club.” A second lottery for the remaining lands was held in 1833. By 1838, Georgia was producing so much gold that the Dahlonega Mint began operation. This was particularly poor timing because gold in the region began to “play out” by the 1840s, meaning that there wasn’t much gold left to be mined at all, let alone by inexperienced amateurs with crude tools. Much more sophisticated and intensive efforts would be required to get the remainder of the gold out of the ground. The Decline and Fall of the Georgia Gold Rush The assayer of the Dahlonega Mint, M. F. Stephenson, implored miners not to leave for California from the steps of the local courthouse as they prepared to leave for the Golden State. “Why go to California? In that ridge lies more gold than man ever dreamt of. There’s millions in it.” His pleas largely fell on deaf ears. The California Gold Rush put a final end to the Georgia Gold Rush as it did to many other areas of mining in the United States at the time. There was a sharp decrease in the number of men looking for gold or working as professional miners in the region. However, the production of gold from Georgia did not cease — not by a long shot. Hydraulic mining and blast mining were the preferred methods rather than panning or placer mining. All told, 37 counties boasted 500 working mines until the beginning of the Civil War, which largely brought gold mining in the region to a halt, as men were needed both to fight and to equip the Confederate Army. After the war, mining began anew at some of the older mines and several were reopened during the Great Depression when the Federal government needed gold so badly that it confiscated it from American citizens under penalty of prison for those who did not comply. Commercial production of gold in Georgia finally came to a close in the mid-20th Century, but there had been a lot of work done before then: The entire state of Georgia produced 870,000 troy ounces (24,000 kilograms) of gold between the first discovery in 1828 and when commercial production ceased. But what of the Cherokee? While their removal from their ancestral lands was certainly a tragedy for this Native American tribe, they left with their knowledge of how to mine gold intact. This meant that many of them were able to strike it rich in later gold rushes, having experience in something that others were only just learning how to do as they went along. They were represented in both the California Gold Rush of 1849 and the Colorado Gold Rush 10 years later. The town of Cherokee, California is named after the Indian miners who worked claims there. The Cherokee weren’t the only ones who applied their experience to the Colorado Gold Rush. Indeed, there were men such as Lewis and Samuel Ralston who went west to try to find gold, came up empty-handed, and went back east to Colorado where they remembered deposits of placer gold on the way out to California. Famed prospector William Greeneberry Russell led a crew of men from Georgia and the Cherokee Nation back to modern-day Denver where they ran a successful mining operation for many years. Golden, Colorado is named not for the gold that was found there, nor the hue of the sky at sunset, but the Georgia miner Thomas L. Golden. Outside of California and Colorado, four miners known as “the Georgians” were instrumental in the founding of Montana state capital Helena because they found placer gold there, which led to the settlement of the region. Those interested in the history of the region will find no shortage of tourist attractions appealing to interest in Georgia’s mining past. The Crisson Mine, located in the heart of the Georgia Gold Belt is open for visitors who wish to try their hand at panning for whatever gold might be left. Like other American gold rushes, the Georgia Gold Rush has left its impact not just on the economics of the nation, but also its demography. In the case of the Cherokee, it might be said that it was the most important event in their history. While no one knows how it all began, we know how it ended. The days of Georgia as a gold mining powerhouse of the American economy might be firmly in the past, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t deposits there still to be found. With the right equipment, you might even find that your modest plot of land is home to significant deposits of gold. The Geogia Gold Rush originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com.
  21. Received Volume 65 ("20/21") catalog in the mail a couple days ago. There (on page 9) is a 10 question quiz. This question stumped me -- see if you can figure it out: "5. This metal detecting technology uses two coils, is great at finding gold, and its invention is credited to an engineer at First Texas."
  22. You probably don’t think of North Carolina as a hotbed of gold mining, despite the mascot of the University of North Carolina being a gold prospector. In fact, those unfamiliar with the history of the region might be confused as to why UNC chose this, of all things, as their mascot. However, once upon a time, it was the second biggest industry in the Tarheel State after agriculture which led to what is known as The Carolina Gold Rush. And it all began with a 12-year-old boy happening upon a gold nugget in Cabarrus County, 50 years before anyone dreamed of finding any gold in the “Golden State.” Conrad Reed was out playing on Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County (northeast of modern-day Charlotte and in the southern central part of the state), which ran through his family’s farm when he found a 17-pound gold nugget. No one thought there was gold in the area, so no one in his family thought anything of the treasure the boy brought home. The rock was wedge-shaped and approximately the same size as a flatiron. They thought it was an interesting curiosity, but little else and the find was used as a doorstop for several years in the Reed home. Three years later, Reed’s father showed the “doorstop” to a jeweler who immediately recognized it for what it was and offered to purchase it. Reed decided to sell it, for the princely sum of $3.50 ($62.54 in 2019 dollars), which was the average weekly wage for a farm laborer at that time. The actual value of the nugget was somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,600 at the time, but the current market price of a 17-pound gold nugget is over a quarter-million dollars. They had previously brought the “doorstop” to a silversmith who, unfortunately for the Reeds, was unable to identify the raw gold. For what it’s worth, Reed didn’t seem to have any concept of what the gold was worth. It was Reed who suggested $3.50 as the price, which seemed like a large sum of money to him. He did quickly learn about the mistake he had made and the jewelry paid him an additional $1000. After this, the search for more gold on the land began in earnest. They mostly looked during the summer, not just because they weren’t working on tilling the fields, but also because the creek was much drier, which made hunting for gold a more fruitful enterprise. Reed eventually learned about the true value of what he had sold and entered into a partnership to extract the massive value from his land. Regional newspapers spread the news of the find and soon everyone was trying to get in on the bonanza. However, the Carolina Gold Rush was different from later gold rushes in that it wasn’t a free-for-all that anyone could get in on. Rather, the Carolina Gold Rush was primarily about small farmers investing in their own land to extract the riches that lay below the surface. It was also mostly a side project for the farmers who would go out hunting for gold after the growing season was over. The North Carolina Gold Rush Begins in Earnest Gold was soon found in the surrounding counties of Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Rowan, Stanly, and Union. People poured into the region hoping to get a piece of land that would have the next big paying gold mine. One of these people was William Thornton, better known as the man who designed the United States Capitol building. He purchased 35,000 acres of land in the region forming the North Carolina Gold Mine Company whose investors included the former Governor of Maryland and a former Treasurer of the United States. Prior to that, there were very few people in the region and it was primarily an underdeveloped backwater. There were fewer than 100 families in the region, primarily of Scots-Irish stock, but also some Germans. They were all farmers raising livestock and some foodstuffs. The farmers were able to do this using a technique known as placer mining. This is where a stream is mined for gold in the manner of “panning for gold” using a variety of tools and technologies that were contemporary at the time. Panning for gold doesn’t have the efficiency of more modern techniques, but it was all that farmers were able to do and it served their purposes well enough. The gold extracted through this method is also low-hanging fruit, so by the 1820s, all the deposits that we’re able to be extracted through placer mining were exhausted. This led to the opening of the first lode mine shaft in 1825. There were also significant changes in mining technology around this time that allowed for a greater yield but largely meant that farmers could no longer perform the mining operations. Cornish Miners Leave Their Mark on America The need for skilled miners meant that there was an influx of immigrants from England, primarily from the ceremonial county of Cornwall in the far southwest of England. The spread of news about the big gold strike was not limited to North Carolina or even the United States — it had spread to Europe as well. Copper mining and tin mining were the major projects there but by the early 19th Century there was no more copper and tin to be mined in the region, so those miners were looking for work around the same time that the Carolina Gold Rush started taking off. In addition to how they changed the population of the region, the influence of Cornish miners can be seen in the design of the ore mills, which are nearly identical to the ones in Cornwall. They also taught their techniques to the local miners. The techniques that came from Cornwall spread throughout the entire Carolina terrane where they quickly became standard operating procedures in all mining in the region. This labor pool later is what made it possible for the California Gold Rush to happen. The labor supply was there to get gold out of the mines in an efficient way when Americans started finding gold out west. Unsurprisingly, it was typically single men who set out west to find their fortune while the married miners were content to stay in the Carolina region that had previously been so good to them. The Carolina Gold Rush was largely put to bed by the fact that it wasn’t a free-for-all and because gold was discovered in Georgia in 1828. The locus of American gold fever thus moved a few hundred miles south, but the region where the Carolina Gold Rush first took place continued to be a powerhouse in terms of gold production in the United States. Whatever Happened to John Reed? John Reed, Conrad’s father, of course, had his own mining operation, known as the Reed Gold Mine. He started with placer mining and a slave named Peter soon found a 28-pound gold nugget, the market value today of which would be closer to a million dollars than not. Underground mining began on the site in 1831. John Reed was originally Johannes Reith, an illiterate Hessian soldier who saw action during the American Revolution underneath Colonel Friedrich von Purbeck. He later deserted the British with his arms and equipment somewhere outside of what is now Savannah, Georgia. He settled first in the lower part of North Carolina and later upper Mecklenburg County. He finally landed in Cabarrus County, where an ethnic German enclave had come together. This is where he anglicized his name and also where he struck gold. Reed died a very rich man thanks to the mine. Still, he lived a modest life, largely investing the money that he made back in the land and in the slaves to work it. He purchased an additional 2,000 acres of land in the area, retaining about half of it and flipping the other half. At a time when the average North Carolinian owned no slaves, Reed and his partners joined the upper crust of society by being part of the top 2 percent of all slave owners in the state. Other North Carolina Farmers Get in on the Action Many of the landowners never profited from gold strikes at all but were able to make a handsome return on their land by selling it to speculators hoping for the next big motherlode of gold. Some kept the land, selling only the mineral rights to the land, which was a very low risk — they could continue to till the land while speculators took all of the risks for gold that might or might not even be there. The first lode was found in Stanly County on the land of a man named Tobias Barringer. Union County’s Smart Mine (which was operational from 1835 to 1911) and the Howie Mine (which ran from 1840 to 1942). The Carolina Gold Rush peaked in the 1830s and 1840s when there were fully 56 mines operating in the state. Entire towns sprung up to support the workforce, which had ballooned to 25,000, as well as the industry related to extracting purer forms of gold from the raw ore. Up until 1829, North Carolina was the only state that was producing domestic gold for the purpose of minting coins for the United States. Mining activity at the Reed Gold Mine decreased significantly during the American Civil War. The Confederacy badly needed both labor and resources and the Reed Gold Mine was taking too much of the former without providing enough of the latter to justify it continuing to be open. The last significant find through placer mining took place in 1896. Underground mining was discontinued on the site in 1912. But during the late 19th Century and until the mine was shuttered, it was one of the biggest producers of gold for the American treasury. The Charlotte Mint largely existed to process the gold from the Reed Mine and other mines like it in the area of the original Carolina Gold Rush. However, there was gold mined in North Carolina all the way up until 1971, the value of which is somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million. Most of this, however, was mined before 1900. When the preliminary excavations were being performed for the One First Union Center in 1988 and the NationsBank Corporate Center in 1992, trace amounts of gold were found, attesting to the incredible value of the gold in this region. North Carolina Gold Mining Today These days anyone can go to the Reed Gold Mine. It’s a National Historic Site owned and operated by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. There is a museum dedicated to the history of mining in North Carolina. Visitors can also go inside the gold mines, which have been reconstructed for visitation by the general public. There is still a little bit of gold mining taking place in the state, but nothing compared to the glory days of the Carolina Gold Rush. Most of the hunt for gold today is about finding ways to extract it from volcanic rock. There are no active mines as such, but some people are still doing a little placer mining in the region, hoping to find a nugget or two that the Carolina Gold Rush and the resulting intensive mining in the region might have missed. All that said, it is estimated that only 2 percent of the gold in the region has actually been mined. One of the most important lessons to learn for people who have never heard of the North Carolina Gold Rush is that there is gold to be found in a number of areas that are not necessarily thought of as being “gold-rich.” Indeed, one never knows where the might be gold, even underneath your land. But whatever you do, don’t sell your gold doorstop for a couple of hundred dollars, even if it is simply the first sign that you’re sitting on top of a total bonanza. The Carolina Gold Rush originally appeared on kellycodetectors.com.
  23. The California Gold Rush is, forgive the pun, the gold standard of gold rushes in the United States. Indeed, California is known as the “Golden State” both because of its beautiful natural scenery, but also because of this gold rush that absolutely changed the face of American history in a short period of time. A great way to explain the changes is to compare California before the gold rush — a sparsely populated area inhabited mostly by Indians and Mexicans — to a state important enough that the first Republican Presidential candidate, John C. Fremont, hailed from the state. It all began on January 24, 1848, when James W. Marshall, a sawmill entrepreneur, and carpenter, discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California in the northern central portion of the state. California was still technically a part of Mexico at this time, as the Mexican-American War was still underway, but it had been claimed by the United States since the Bear Flag Revolt in 1846. When all was said and done, 300,000 people had poured into the region and the population demographics of the territory — a state by 1850 — were changed forever. Tens of billions of dollars were extracted from the mines in the state, which helped the United States on its road to becoming an economic powerhouse. Who Was James W. Marshall? As is often the case with a gold rush, the California Gold Rush had very inauspicious beginnings. James Wilson Marshall didn’t own the land where he discovered the gold and thus joins the long list of people who came close to grabbing the golden ring but were unable to do so due to circumstances outside of their control. The land itself was owned by John Sutter, born Johann August Sutter, an immigrant from one of the many small states that made up the Holy Roman Empire. Marshall was examining a channel on the land when he noticed the shiny flecks that often meant there were large deposits of gold. For his part, Sutter was far more concerned with the completion of his sawmill than he was with panning for gold, so he simply allowed the workmen to hunt for gold on his land in their spare time.california gold rush Ironically, the discovery of gold on his land led to Sutter’s economic ruination. Though he attempted to keep the find quiet, the discovery of land was exposed to a mass audience by newspaper publisher Samuel Brannan. When news of the gold spread throughout his crew, they all left the steady work of building a sawmill to hunt for gold. Eventually, the hordes of prospectors drove Sutter off of his own land. His son, John Augustus Sutter Jr., had no small success rebuilding the land, but the prospectors destroyed virtually everything of value that lay on the land. The elder Sutter eventually received a $250 monthly pension as reimbursement for his land. Marshall, too, was economically ruined by the army of squatters who destroyed crops and cattle as they went. However, he returned to business in Coloma in 1857, running a vineyard that saw some success in the 1860s before being ruined by higher taxes and increased competition. He then returned to prospecting, which was largely unsuccessful. He died broke in a cabin on August 10, 1885. A monument was eventually erected to him and visitors can still go see the cabin where he spent his final days. Going to California It bears repeating that going from a “western” American city of the time, such as St. Louis, to California, was not anywhere near as easy as it is today. Indeed, there was not even rail transportation out to California at this time. And it was the California Gold Rush that changed all of that. Most of the 49’ers, in fact, didn’t even travel over the land. They got to California by sea. Remember that this was prior to the construction of the Panama Canal. The journey went all the way around Tierra del Fuego and took between four and five months. That was a total of 18,000 nautical miles (21,000 land miles or 33,000 kilometers). The other option was to go to the thinnest part of Panama, cross the jungle, and pick up another boat on the other side. Companies such as the U.S. Mail Steamship Company, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company (which enjoyed federal subsidies), and the Accessory Transit Company allowed for men who weren’t prospecting to make their fortunes off of the California Gold Rush. Of course, some adventure and treasure seekers did use an overland route, with most utilizing the California Trail, a 3,000-mile trail that ran from the Missouri River to California. It was one of a series of so-called “pioneer trails” that were built by enterprising settlers on their way out west during the 19th Century. Supplies were likewise needed in California, but it was difficult to keep crews because men generally deserted to go hunt for gold in the fields. Some abandoned ships were converted into warehouses, taverns, hotels, and other structures, including at least one jail. But when all was said and done, it was the merchants who made out like bandits during the California Gold Rush, not the miners. Continue reading The California Gold Rush at KellycoDetectors.com.
  24. I just wanted to pose a question to all DP user's. Who is your detecting Hero, mentor or person who gave you the detecting/prospecting interest???? or you just plain admired for the dedication and promotion of the hobby. This can be anyone who influenced or inspired you to do what we all enjoy so much. Please share your stories about these people for all of us to enjoy. We do not want their legacy to be forgotten!! I would like to start with Jack Gifford of Tesoro, For actualizing Tesoro detectors. His life and endevors are what we all strive to accomplish. A truly great person in so many ways. There are also many contributors on this forum that have helped me become a better more informed detector. GB, Kac, Chase, Joe D, T Vallen, and so many more. I also have to include Mr. Herschbach for creating the best detecting forum on the old interweb. Thanks to all who contribute to this great site.
  25. From Placer Gold Deposits of Nevada, USGS Bulletin 1356, By Maureen G. Johnson 1973 HISTORY OF PLACER MINING IN NEVADA The first authenticated discovery of placer gold in Nevada was made in 1849 by Abner Blackburn, a member of an emigrant train to California, at the junction of Gold Canyon and the Carson River at the present site of Dayton, Lyon County (De Quille, 1891; Vanderburg, 1936a). Parties of men worked the gravels in Gold Canyon and nearby Six Mile Canyon, Storey County, for 8 years before the source of the placers, the Ophir silver lode, was discovered by Peter O'Reiley and Patrick McLaughlin in 1857 while digging a small water hole for placer mining in Six Mile Canyon (De Quille, 1891). Other lode discoveries in the immediate area followed, and soon the whole world knew of the Comstock lode in Nevada. Although placer mining continued on a small scale in Gold Canyon and Six Mile Canyon, and other placers were discovered elsewhere in the State, the richness and fame of the Comstock lode far overshadowed the importance of placer production and new placer discoveries. Following the discovery of placers at Gold Canyon, placer discoveries in Nevada were broadly in three periods: the 1860's to 1880's, when many small deposits throughout the State were discovered and sporadically worked and several large placers were discovered and extensively worked; the short period between 1906 and 1910, when very rich placers were discovered at Lynn, Battle Mountain, Manhattan, and Round Mountain; the early 1930's, when economic conditions created by the depression caused a renewed interest in placer mining, and many individuals sought, and a few discovered, new placer areas throughout the State. The location of the placers described in this report is shown on plate 1. Very little factual information can be found about the early periods of placer mining in Nevada. For many placers, the only reports available are hearsay estimates of production and speculations about the extent of the placer ground based on remnants of placer pits, shafts, and other workings. Many of the placers said to have had a high production between 1860 and 1890 were worked by Chinese miners who came to Nevada during the building of the railroads and stayed on to work at mining and other activities. The Chinese were reputed to be secretive with their earnings from the placers and did not ship the gold to the mint by Wells Fargo or other shippers. They worked the gravels very thoroughly in areas where American miners did not wish to expend great labor to win the gold. The placers in the Sierra and Spring Valley districts, Pershing County, were worked by Chinese miners; they have a very high estimated production before 1900 and a comparatively low known production since that time. One reason for the lack of information about early placer-mining activity in Nevada was the great attention given to the rich silver-lode districts such as the Comstock, Eureka, and Reese River districts. Whereas in many other States, the discovery of gold placers stimulated the search for lode-gold deposits and other gold placers, in Nevada early attention was devoted to searching for rich silver lodes not necessarily associated with derived placers. The comparatively late discovery of some of the richest placers in the State has afforded a very clear picture of the development of placer mining during the 1900's. The discovery of rich silver ores at Tonopah in 1900 and rich gold ores at Goldfield in 1902 stimulated great activity in mining exploration throughout Nevada. Many placers discovered during the 1906–10 period were found by men looking for ores similar to ores at Tonopah and Goldfield. Placer mining at Manhattan and Round Mountain districts, Nye County, and Battle Mountain district, Lander County, began with numerous small drywash operations in the gravels, then expanded as water supplies were developed for sluicing and hydraulic methods of mining. Late in the history of these districts, but long after many other placer districts were inactive, large-scale dredging operations began. The success of the dredge operations in these semiarid districts is unique in the history of placer mining in the Southwestern States. Placer mining history in the other districts is typical of desert placer mining throughout the southwest. Most production resulted from the relatively intense period of prospecting immediately following discovery; a decline in placer-mining activity followed, then a small revival during the early 1930's. The economic depression of the early 1930's stimulated investigations of many Nevada placer districts for the purpose of developing large-scale placer-mining operations. By the late 1930's, many mining companies had investigated many placer areas and had formulated plans to develop certain areas. The placer activity of the 1930's was abruptly halted by the beginning of World War II and the passage of War Board Order L–208, which restricted gold mining throughout the country. The dredge operation at Manhattan was given special permission to continue operations, although on a reduced scale, and, as a result, placer gold production after 1942 did not decline as markedly in Nevada as in other States. Most of the placer mining was done by the basic methods of drywashing, sluicing, and rarely, small-scale hydraulic mining. In addition to the large dredge operations at Manhattan, Round Mountain, and Battle Mountain, other dredges operated in different districts, notably Silver City, Lyon County; Spring Valley, Pershing County; Van Duzer, Elko County; and Bullion, Lander County. Since the completion of the Round Mountain dredge operation in 1959, placer mining in Nevada has progressively diminished in importance. GOLD PRODUCTION FROM PLACER DEPOSITS The U.S. Bureau of Mines (1967, p.15) cites 1,900,000 troy ounces of placer gold produced in Nevada from 1792 to 1964. I estimate a total production of 1, 700,000 ounces of placer gold for the State from the first placer discovery to 1968. The U.S. Bureau of Mines estimate includes some unauthenticated reports of very high placer gold production from some districts worked before 1900. The most productive placer districts in Nevada are the Battle Mountain district, Lander County; Silver City district, Lyon County; Manhattan and Round Mountain districts, Nye County; Spring Valley and Sierra districts, Pershing County; and Osceola district, White Pine County. Most of the gold recovered before 1900, an estimated 905,850 ounces, was recovered by many individuals using drywashers or small sluices to work gravels brought to the surface from shafts or pits. In the major districts (Silver City, Spring Valley, Sierra, and Osceola) worked intensely between 1849 and 1890, the miners dug numerous shafts, tunnels, and adits in the gravels. At Osceola, large banks of gravel were hydraulicked, leaving sheer cliffs of unworked gravels exposed today. After 1900, drywashers, small sluices, and small concentrating machines continued tp be used in placers throughout the State, but, except for the very productive first few years of drywashing at Manhattan, Round Mountain, and Battle Mountain (1906-15), the greatest part of the placer gold was recovered by large dredging operations. Figure 1 is a graphic representation of the total amount of placer gold recovered yearly in Nevada (1900-68) and the contributors to the major production peaks. Dredge mining in Nevada started in 1911, when the Federal Mining Co. used a small wooden dredge to work gravels in Spring Valley Canyon (Pershing County). The operation was only moderately successful, but it encouraged other companies to consider desert dredge mining. During the periods 1920-23, 1940-42, and 1946-47, dredges worked in the relatively well-watered Carson River at Gold Canyon (Dayton, Lyon County). Small dredges worked gravels in a number of districts throughout the State (such as the Bullion district, Lander County; the Willow Creek district, Pershing County; and the Olinghouse district, Washoe County), but in many of these operations, the water was not sufficient for the use of floating dredges, and other conveyances were used to transport the gravels to the dredge, which acted as a central washing plant. The era of major large-scale desert dredge operations began in 1939, when a floating bucketline dredge was brought to Manhattan Gulch (Nye County). When operations ceased in 1946, this same dredge was transported to Battle Mountain (Lander County) to work the placers in the Copper Canyon fan from 1947 to 1955. In the 1950's, a non-floating dredge was used at Round Mountain (Nye County) to recover large amounts of placer gold from a deep pit. Since cessation of dredge operations at Round Mountain in 1959, placer gold production in Nevada has returned to small-scale sporadic or part time operations by individuals. SUMMARY Placer gold has been found in 115 mining districts in Nevada. Many of these districts have produced, or are said to have produced, only a few ounces of placer gold. Thirteen districts have produced more than 10,000 ounces. Although placer gold has been recovered from each of the 17 counties in Nevada, most of the placers are in the western part of the State (see pl. 1) in the area termed the "Western Metallogenic Province," which is characterized by the dominance of precious metal ores (Roberts, 1946a). A few placers (all of minor importance except the Osceola district) are found in the eastern part of the State in the area termed the "Eastern Metallogenic Province," which is characterized by the dominance of base-metal ores. Most of the placer gold found in Nevada has been derived from veins and replacement deposits that have been successfully worked for the gold and silver content of the ores. In the few districts where source of the gold is unknown, it is presumed to be small scattered veins in the adjacent bedrock. In most of the very productive lode mining districts, only small amounts of placer gold have been recovered, whereas in the very productive placer districts, lode-gold production is close to, and sometimes less than, placer gold production. An exception is the Silver City district (Lyon County) , which has yielded a high production of placer gold derived from ores of the Comstock lode (Lyon and Storey Counties), the largest silver producing district in the State.
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