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Everything posted by BMc

  1. "The largest nugget ever found in Oregon was found in a tailing pile in Sumpter ..." Tailing pile? Sumpter? The Armstrong Nugget is an impressive gold nugget, and the largest gold nugget from Oregon still in existence today. It was found by George Armstrong and Dick Stewart on June 19, 1913. They were placer mining in Buck Gulch, near what is now a ghost town named Susanville, in Grant county. While washing out gravels in a part of their claim, Stewart spotted an odd looking object in the creek and reached down to pick it up. He was shocked to discover that it was a huge gold nugget, as large as a mans fist.
  2. Don't forget the white mice for his pet . . .
  3. Yeah Gary, I think the Yavapai pretty much went after every white-eye in the Bradshaw's that they ran across in those days. That Battle Flat area has some "killer" history. Glad you made it out alive. And survived Crown King as well.
  4. Allen, not trying to discourage you, but you haven't established, or offered any proof that the rocks actually contain gold. Are you proposing that some knowledgeable person on the forum crush the rocks for you and remove any gold, which you will share based upon agreeable terms for the service?
  5. "That is a provider thing and who your service provider is in a given area" Oh so true. Even the big boys don't always seem to work in certain places way out in the sticks. The smaller local providers, may or may not, let you piggy-back and roam for awhile but it's hard to figure out what works until you get out there and see the set up, range, parameters of coverage etc. Nothing simple anymore.
  6. I have learned from experience that there are times and places that you can be at higher elevations with a direct line of sight and no obstructions to the cell tower (except distance), and still not get a signal, so I am not sure that elevation alone, would always work.
  7. Oregon Gold Story-Dave Rutan: Part-3 Throughout the day before the event, the guests trickled in, with groups of 2-3, being the average and everyone got the guided tour from Dave, then visited and mingled until almost sundown. At that time, almost a dozen people collected in the Lodge, seated around a couple of hand - hewn wooden tables. After plentiful drinks, sandwiches, and a few tall tales, everybody turned in. The following morning after coffee, I hit it early and spent some time probing and detecting the most likely spots around the camp and ended up with lots of trash to show for it. I worked underwater (submersed coil), at the creek with the Fisher, and retrieved nuts and bolts and square nails, as anticipated. At 5:00 pm, I ambled back to the lodge and found Dale distressed and in a lather to get dinner out on time. Dale was several years older than I was, and was the only one responsible for preparing the food. He was the cook, did the food prep and set up, and served the meals, along with doing the clean up afterwards. I could see he was swamped and it wasn't going to work, so I jumped in to help meet the 6:00 pm dinner schedule. I decided to sacrifice some of my detecting time to help Dale out since he was a super nice guy and really did appreciate the help. Between the two of us, the kitchen was kept humming, and I still got in 2-3 hrs per day detecting time which I used to find, "hot spots" to help the high bankers find a place to set up on and I was able to continue pulling in a few "pickers" which keep things interesting (while hoping for a nugget like the 1/4 oz specimen previously found) On the last day, I decided to walk the property to look for old diggings and signs of previous mining. After about an hour of walking and spot detecting in between fallen trees and logs, I found what I would have liked to have seen the first day. A hillside with a huge half moon shaped cut, that had been hydraulically washed out of a cliff face. The hillside wall had trees and bushes growing straight out of it horizontally. I spent about an hour going over stacks and piles of rocks, digging numerous deep signals with the PI and 11" coil. I was finding what appeared to be parts and pieces of the high pressure"Giant" " that had collapsed the wall. I soon began to wish I had brought my GB-2 with me from my truck, so I could have avoided some of the deeper trash targets. It was obvious the hydraulic pit had not been detected before and even though the PI was wearing me down, I knew it should have be just a matter of time before a nice nugget turned up. Unfortunately, that was not to be, since I was out of time. Before I headed back to camp, I discovered two long tom sluice boxes buried deep in the mounds of gravel that had been washed down from the hillside. In addition to being covered with gravel size and larger rocks, the "Toms" were almost completely covered with old logs and a double layer of dead fall on top. It would have probably taken half a day to dig those sluices out, but it sure might have been worth the effort, if I'd only had the time left. When I got back to camp, I told Dave and Jim what I had found. It turned out no one knew where the hydraulic pit or the sluice boxes were located on the property! Jim was grateful for the information and said he had heard a rumor about hydraulic mining having been done somewhere on the place but hadn't been able to take the time to wander around looking for the spot. On the final evening at the camp, after everyone had been fed, and the final tally and split of the gold was completed; assorted brew and mash was served and shared, and good byes were being said. Jim D, who had been a little skeptical of my presence the first day, sat a bottle of bourbon on the kitchen counter where Dale and I were finishing up with the dishes and cleaning. He poured us all a short one, thanked me for the help and told me I was welcome to come back anytime I wanted to. I would have liked to have gone back at the end of July when the next 3 day event was scheduled and had a chance to work the hydraulic pit but that was not to be. I was off to the next adventure which happened to be a summer of prospecting around Idaho City, Idaho, then wintered in Arizona and New Mexico. Dave Rutan continued to expand his interest and investments in prospecting and Gold Camp development which entailed a multi-year long battle with environmentalists and the National Forest Service over claims and patented land ownership and access in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in Oregon. He finally relinquished claims for one gold camp as a means to retain ownership of a second prime gold camp location until an apparent lightning caused forest fire which destroyed the cabins and equipment he had brought in by helicopter. Rather than go through another lengthy legal battle to rebuild, he elected to put the property up for sale. Dave Rutan had to have grit and determination to stay in the fight so long in order to realize his dreams and ambitions and I saw a lot of parallels between Dave and the rugged miners who came before him. He put up a good legal fight. But I wonder what Henry Wines would have done?
  8. Oregon Gold Story: Dave Rutan Part-2 I realized the minute I laid eyes on the camp that the odds of finding any stashes of gold nuggets or coins with a metal detector would be slim to none. As many prospectors know from experience, one of the main problems with metal detecting in Oregon or any place where there are a lot of trees and dead fall is the difficulty in getting a coil close to the ground. Sometimes it's impossible. Trees and brush, overgrowth and carpeted landscape of that nature is the usual ground cover, and Wines camp was no exception. Except for the immediate area around the cabins, parts of the creek banks, and the road going in, the area was a thicket and looked to be practically impossible to get a coil within a foot of the surface, except in a few places where mining had occurred and the brush had been cleared. Most of those areas were of course, littered with trash and mining debris. History of the Claim: From what I could find out about Henry Wines documented history beginning in 1866, and the history of the property, I concluded that the likelihood of him having amassed and buried a considerable amount of both nuggets and gold coins was pretty good, due to the circumstances of his death, which was sudden; and his known propensities to hoard his larger nuggets and buy provisions with his smaller nuggets and fines. At the time of his death, Wines had 20 active claims, about 5 miles of property, including both homesteaded and patented land. His creek property was several miles in length and the pay streaks on the properties were documented to be from 300-600 feet in width. When he went to Grant's Pass for provisions, he always brought with him from $500.00 to $1900.00 in gold that he bought gold coins with. He was never known to have spent a single gold coin, which added to the speculation that Wines was hoarding and burying his gold. At the peak of his mining success, in addition to several cabins, Wines had water ditches, a barn, horses, flumes and a hydraulic giant on his land. From the very beginning though, the main problem in the new mining community that straddled a disputed section of the Jackson-Josephine county was lack of legal jurisdiction and law enforcement. The counties fought over who was responsible for the border area, a condition that basically normalized claim jumping and intimidation by anyone who had the nerve to try it. The record shows that hundreds of angry and disgruntled miners tried to push Wines off his land and jump his claims in the process. He managed to keep them at bay by patrolling his property armed with a rifle, which he apparently, was not reluctant to use. Many miners that wandered onto Wine's property was said to have simply disappeared, never to be heard from again. On several occasions, Wine's was witnessed to be in possession of the personal property of missing miners such as a watch, clothes, and a rifle, and when these observations were reported to the local sheriff, nothing was ever done about it because of the counties dispute over boundaries and jurisdiction, and so the disappearances continued on for years. Wines managed to hold on to his claims, and periodically would acquire one or two new employees and/or partners who were good workers but they never seem to hang around for too long. Maybe just long enough to accumulate a grubstake towards getting a start somewhere else in the new land. Wines would respond to people gruffly when pressed about the matter, and since he was feared for his violent, threatening reputation, he was never pinned down on the issue. Wines was not married, but on one occasion a new miner from California drifted in to Grants Pass on a day that Wines was in town. The miner recognized Wines as being wanted by the law for the murder of his wife in California. The miner alleged that Henry Wines was an assumed name but the miner could not recall what Wine's real name was (or at least the name he was wanted under back in California) So, again, nothing ever came of the incident. July 2002: Since we had arrived on the day before the scheduled 3 day event, Dave and Dale took me around the property on a tour of the old log cabins, the main Lodge (2-story) with a loft, all well preserved and maintained. The original seasoned rustic appearance looked just as it did in old photographs of the buildings. We walked the gold bearing creek which still had occasional stretches of waist deep water in places, and holes that were slightly deeper. Dave mentioned that the creek almost dries up completely in August which is when the 1/4 oz sun baker nugget had been found. I was carrying an SD-2200 with an 11" mono coil as we walked along the creek while they explained how they would set up high bankers for each 2-3 person team every 30-40 yards or so. The backhoe and trommel were parked in the area of the most recently discovered pay streak next to a tall pile of overburden that would be used for the last day for the "common" dig and the participants would split the gold for that event, plus keep the gold found on their own at the high banker stations. Dave said there was one problem that they hadn't been able to get worked out, which was initially determining the best place to set up the high bankers to make sure the users would be finding gold right when they started. It was time consuming to try and test all the different spots up and down the creek that they needed, so usually, they just let the guests work the creek for awhile, then keep moving the equipment around to other spots until they hit on gold. Sometimes that method worked out, but not always. There were many small scattered multi-layered pay streaks on the claim that eroded into the creek, some more consistent and productive than others. I told Dave that I could try detecting the bank with the PI, but to actually search in the water was another matter. The only water detector I had was a Fisher CZ 6-a with submersible coils and I didn't think the sensitivity would pick up on small gold. So, they watched for a few minutes while I detected along the edges of the creek bank and they happily dug all the signals which turned out to be the usual rusty trash targets and a few bullets. Both Dave and Dale were astonished and amazed every time they dug up a piece of trash. They acted like a caveman who had just discovered fire. It was pretty hilarious watching these two grown kids laughing and having fun, and after awhile I noticed that every few feet along the edge of the creek, the banks had eroded off, leaving a horse shoe shaped depression, about a foot wide that water had back filled into. The result was a layer of silt an inch or two inches deep with about an inch of water on top. I decided to test these areas, so I set the 11" inch mono down on top of the water, just barely touching. I immediately started getting soft and faint but repeatable mosquito whispers which turned out to be "pickers" Dale scooped up a shovel full of mud from the first depression and dumped it into Dave's gold pan and several seconds of panning left a couple of nice flakes of gold in the pan. We repeated the process down the length of the creek and kept finding gold the same way, sometimes 2-3 pieces per pan. Now, they were really excited. I have to admit that I was also impressed at learning something new, and with just how sensitive the mono coil was! Later that afternoon, Jim D. one of the other partners showed up to get the equipment ready for the following morning. Jim was the back hoe/front loader operator and the mechanic/fix it man. He was cordial but I could tell he wasn't real happy at having someone brought in without having to pay. After hearing the explanation from Dave, and learning that I would not be using a high banker to mine the creek, he seemed to be OK with me being there and didn't mind me metal detecting since he obviously didn't know anything about detectors either! Part 3 to follow.
  9. All bets are off these days . . . skys the limit.
  10. Right. Again the mint diversion? I never said that coins have been silver plated, although that is what you erroneously inferred in your haste to nitpick and set me straight. I make fun of clad coins by saying they are silver plated or copper plated or whatever. The point is, the diminution of value of the coin. And how do you know that coins are not silver plated, did the information come to you from some supreme being or did you at some point have to learn it? If I don't know something, I look it up. And often, I look up things anyway just to be sure I'm right. "And there is still silver in U.S. coins you can order from the mint" Exactly, what does that have to do with what you claimed to be true about no silver in US coins since 1964? I have known that Kennedy silver half dollars from 1965-70 contained silver content and were worth more than face value since I first started collecting Kennedy halves. Long before the internet came along. And I know they were released into circulation, not purchased from the mint. And if you had done due diligence, hopefully you would have known that also, and not made the blunder you now pretend doesn't exist. Look Clay, I don't mind being corrected when I'm wrong. And if you had stopped at just the issue of silver plated coins, I simply would have clarified, that It's a Joke! and let it go at that. But the momentum of your sonorous lecture allowed your lack of knowledge to lead you into a trap of your own making. I'm reminded of the (paraphrase) Be sure you're right, then go ahead! Here's an internet opportunity for you: Hoisted by Your own Petard.
  11. Clay, clay, clay: It was meant to be a sarcastic remark and a question in jest, by making fun of clad coins in general. It wasn't intended to be a statement of fact. Had you not been so quick to jump on it with an erroneous correction you might have gotten the point. Now, you seem to be dodging the fact, that yes, Kennedy half dollars, released into normal circulation, contain silver. (1965-1970) Next you will no doubt try and tell me you meant minted coins that are "all silver", not what you actual said: "There hasn't been any silver in U.S. coins since 1964" And what does introduce into common circulation except by mistake have to do with your statement: any silver in U.S. coins?? And saying you can buy coins from the mint has nothing whatsoever to do with what you originally said, and are now trying to obfuscate, dodge, change, eliminate and divert and redirect from, Which was: "There hasn't been any silver in U.S. coins since 1964. The "silver" layer of the clad coins is mostly copper ...." Wiki-Fact: "Half dollars made from 1965 through 1970 are composed of two outer layers containing 80% silver and 20% copper with an inner core of 20.9% silver and 79.1% copper (net composition: 40% silver and 60% copper)" Clay, Nothing personal. And I know you are a smart guy. There are quite a few smart people on this forum. But none of us are as smart as we think we are. We all make mistakes. Especially when we shoot from the hip. If you didn't get my sarcasm about the plated coin, the fact remains: There have been silver in U.S. coins since 1964. Kennedy half dollars 1965-70 (In common circulation) Once again, 80% silver outer layer, inner core 20.9% silver: Total silver content=40%
  12. "The period between 1964 and 1965 was a busy time at the U.S. Mint as it transitioned away from 90 percent silver dimes, quarter dollars and half dollars, moving the first two to a copper-nickel clad composition and the half dollar to a silver-copper clad composition (40 percent silver). As a result, a few 1965 coins struck on planchets intended for the pre-1965 90 percent silver issues are known. These are coveted by collectors. The error type is also sometimes called a “wrong metal” error" The mint apparently "accidentally" kept using silver to mint an unknown quantity of these quarters. One recently sold for $7,000.00 They supposedly are rare so you may not have lost that many . . .
  13. "There hasn't been any silver in U.S. coins since 1964" Au contraire. The 1964 cutoff date applied to certain coins and not to others. Apparently it's a little known fact that "some" of these Washington silver quarters do exist. (And maybe even into 1966) And: "In 1964 Kennedy half dollars were made from 90% silver and 10% copper. Half dollars made from 1965 through 1970 are composed of two outer layers containing 80% silver and 20% copper with an inner core of 20.9% silver and 79.1% copper (net composition: 40% silver and 60% copper)" Also: Bicentennial Kennedy Half Dollars-Wikipedia 1965–1970, (some 1776–1976 San Francisco-minted coins: outer layer of 80% silver, 20% copper surrounding core of 79% copper, 21% silver, totaling 60% copper, 40% silver) etc. etc.
  14. At last! I guess that means zinc and copper will be on the rise soon? (no more silver plated coins-just 100% zinc/copper?)
  15. As I recall, Dave compromised by giving up Emily in order to keep his other remote gold camp. Given the circumstances and who he was fighting, I'm amazed he came out with anything at all. He risked a lot, but apparently came out OK in the end.
  16. News Posted Mar 13, 2010 By Les Zaitz The Oregonian/OregonLive Lead: “Dave Rutan runs a gold mining retreat in the wilderness of southern Oregon. His desire to commercially dredge miles of the Chetco River concerns some environmentalists” Three years ago, Dave Rutan opened a gold mining retreat inside the Kalmiopsis Wilderness of southern Oregon, bringing in helicopters, gas-powered dredges and paying customers. He did so without the permission county authorities say he needed. Now he wants to commercially dredge miles of the Chetco, one of Oregon's purest rivers. He plans to helicopter in four-man crews to seek gold from the equivalent of nearly 50 truckloads of river gravel each season" I highly recommend reading the full story of Dave’s long drawn out battle with the Forest Service, the county, and environmentalist over his various gold camps and mining issues. He managed to seemingly fight the bureaucrats to a stand-off and a stale mate, (even after he was denied permits and was banned from building cabins on patented property in the wilderness, he used helicopters to fly in manufactured cabins and mining guests) and continued his fight for mining and property rights. Part-1 In the spring of 2002, I happened to attend a gold show in Monroe, WA, where I first met Dave Rutan and his father Dale, who had a large vendor booth set up and were promoting a 3 day all inclusive pay to dig type operation. They owned over a hundred acres which included original log cabins, a large lodge and a gold bearing creek that ran through the property located on Jump-Off Joe creek near Grants Pass, Oregon. A back hoe, a large mobile trommel and several high-banker sluices completed the equipment requirements for their guests which usually averaged about 7-8 greenhorn prospectors; mostly father/son and buddy teams. I asked about metal detectors and they gave me a blank look. They didn’t know a thing about metal detectors. Nada. But they seemed fascinated by the concept and said they would like to see one in action. As a result, they invited me to come down for one of the three day mining slots free of charge and demonstrate how a metal detector worked. I had been on my way to Boise Basin for a detecting trip and wasn’t really excited about a gold camp experience, but I had never been to Grants Pass, and what elevated my interest even more was the offer for me to keep any gold I found. They also told me a story about a ¼ oz nugget found by a 14 yr old son of one of their guests who had been walking the creek on their claim and had spied the emerald green quartz/gold specimen lying on a flat rock in the middle of the stream. I saw the gold nugget specimen which Dave had bought from his guests. It was a real beauty and mostly gold. I was rapidly warming to the idea when they threw in a verifiable historical reference concerning a Mr. Henry Wines, the original owner of the claim/property in the 1860’s, who had robbed and murdered several employee-miners and buried them on the property. Mr. Wines was known to have buried a large quantity of gold nuggets on his property over a several year period and was killed by one of his miner-employees in the middle of the night when Wines attempted to murder the miner in his sleep. A few days after Wines was shot and killed, the local sheriff’s party conducted a search of the property and found several buried murder victims but never found the gold nuggets. (I verified the story through old newspaper accounts and mining journals compiled in the book: Settling the Rogue Valley-the tough times-the forgotten people. “Henry Wines-The Meanest Miner on the Jackson-Josephine Border” by Barbara Hegne) Good reading. An agreement was reached where I could have unrestricted access to metal detect the property, including searching for the Wine’s gold stash, and at that point I decided I could spare three days. I met up with Dave and Dale in Grants Pass the first week of July when the creek on their property was just starting to dry up in spots. The road to the claim was a rock crawler’s paradise and took the better part of 2 hours to go just a few miles. At that time I was running a long bed Ford F-250 4X4 truck with a cab over camper and a 4 Runner in tow. I dropped off the tow vehicle at a storage facility and headed out to the property guided by Dave Rutan who took us by way of the “shortcut” described above. Part-2 to follow.
  17. "You can buy small cell phone repeaters to attach to the drone, so if your in a remote location, in a canyon, or hills that get no cell, you can send the drone straight up, to get above hills and mountains to get cell" I could see that being a game changer in remote areas. Probably cheaper than a Sat phone . . .?
  18. Congrats and a tip of the hat to you Bob. You called the shot. Perhaps for different reasons than appeared to be the case at the time, but a win is a win nevertheless.
  19. ECONOMIC GEOLOGY OF THE SIERRA ESTRELLA, MARICOPA AND PINAL COUNTIES, ARIZONA OPEN-FILE REPORT 93-12 September, 1993 Gold and Silver Pegmatites of the Sierra Estrella contain an average of 15 to 40 parts per billion (Ppb) gold with one pegmatite reportedly containing up to 23 ppm gold and 13.5 ppm silver (Korzeb, 1988). While most of the pegmatites are not presently an economically feasible source of gold or silver, they do provide a possible source for gold placer deposits. Since 1980 there have been over 75 placer claims located in the alluvium on the western side of the Sierra Estrella. These claims have not been worked beyond a few exploration trenches (as of 1991). Fool's Gold and Real Gold - How to tell the difference - Geology.com Gold Mineral Properties geology.com › minerals › gold Tests for Gold: How to Test a Rock for Gold - Sciencing sciencing.com › Science › Geology › Minerals & Rocks A small magnet, piece of glass and a bit of unglazed tile can help you identify real gold in a flash. ‎How to Identify Raw Gold · ‎Placer-Deposits-Arizona-Maureen-Johnson Googleology: Many more leads out there ...
  20. Do you live in a gold field or in an area where gold has been found before?
  21. You might consider a walking cast, which should help take the pressure off your ankle. Those type of injuries can take a long time to heal, and are prone to re-injury. I had a torn tendon and ligaments in my left ankle which took two years before it stabilized and still bothers me decades later. Hope the therapy does it for you.
  22. Max, Looks like one I saw out around Atlantic City, East of the Cemetery last summer when I was up there. Still a few old cabin remains hidden in the trees. Very wet winter last year and heavy runoff in all the creeks. Flat tails had a lot of them damned up and most of the good tailing piles were under water.
  23. Wow Max, I just reviewed that story yesterday while researching Forrest Fenn. That one rates right up there with Mel Fisher's finds and the Great Britain Hordes. Probably exceeds both in monetary value even!
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