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LOST GOLD AT THE DEAD MAN'S MINE ** A Miners Journal **


GhostMiner

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   As an introduction I am the president of a small gold exploration & mine leasing company. While doing background research on one of our mining properties I cam across an old journal & thought i'd post it over time here. I named it "Lost Gold At The Dead Man's Mine." Hopefully the old timer who wrote it won't mind. I tried to find any relatives but have run into one dead end after another. I felt it was a story worth telling so here we go ...........................................

   PROLOGUE : This is a journal of the experiences written by a lone prospector by the name of Jed Stevens while mining at the Whiskey Jack Mine in 1936. This was a gold mining property of over 500 acres on which several old gold mines were worked over the years. Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains some of these mines produced large amounts of gold from the mid to late 1800's. They were abandoned in the late 1800's when California banned or limited large scale hydraulic mining. The journal is written by Jed Stevens in the first person.

   APRIL 12  1936  :  Today I filed all the paperwork at the county court house for the mining claims I now hold near Lost Ravine. I then drove my Ford truck out to my claims which total 520 acres. There was a good spot near Jake's Creek up to the north about 1500 feet from the main road that follows Morgan Creek where I set up my camp. It took the entire day to pitch the tent and set up my kitchen. The tent is a 15 foot cabin with a stove jack. I have a first rate box stove set up inside to be used for heat and some cooking. I also set up a second stove about 200 feet from camp for the main cooking jobs during good weather. 

   Today was a good day for getting camp set as the day was sunny and not too cold. Tomorrow my plan is to investigate one of the claim sites where where the old diggings took place and get a bearing on my situation as far as where I might sample the gravels and old tailings. I am losing daylight and getting cold so I will get into my sleeping bag on the cot and get some sleep. 

                          TO BE CONTINUED ..................... 

 

 

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   APRIL 13  1936

   Last night got very cold. My water containers had some ice in them when I made morning coffee. I hiked out to the eastern most section of the property armed with my Smith and Wesson Model 27, a shovel, and a bucket and I found an abandoned drift going into the mountain. It was timbered for support and looked to be solid. Inside the opening was an old two man tuttle tooth two man saw. The tunnel had seen some good work i'm guessing back in the late 1800's. All the mines here as far as I know were placers so they probly dug this when water was scarce as I saw abandoned iron pipe in the area. It was nearly high enough for me to stand upright and went back about 200 feet where some of the timbers had started to rot and were collapsing. There was signs of some exposed country rock in the drift. I used my shovel to dig some sample gravels and took them back to camp where I later panned them in the creek. There were fines and a few nice course peices from the two buckets I processedand and the drift looked to hold some promise. Tomorrow I am going to hike out on a fault line in the northern area of the claims to take more sample gravels. I've got beans on the stove and a cup of good Irish whiskey before I turn in tonight.

                   TO BE CONTINUED .................................

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   APRIL 14  1936

   Today I traversed a major fault about 1500 ft to the north east of camp. Part of the fault was exposed by old diggings while the northern portion on my claim was buried in heavy gravels. Unable to get a good hole going in the heavy material I focused my pick and shovel work near the base of the exposed area which was about 60 feet below the top of the rim. I took several buckets out of the area and panned them at the creek near camp. The pan showed fines mixed with coarse and weighed heavy. So far the claims are showing good signs of gold and I am thinking of a way to do more digging at each of these spots. I will do more exploration out there at the fault tomorrow. It is closer to the creek so i'm thinking it may be a good location for serious digging. It is beginning to snow tonight as I write this and I am stoking the stove and turning in. 

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   APRIL 15  1936

   I woke to a cold and snowy scene this morning. About three or four inches of snow. I broomed the roof of my tent and fixed a breakfast of hot water cornbread and coffee. The snow had stopped before I woke so I set out on the hike back to the fault line and also seeing some bear tracks that looked fresh. Up at the base of the faultline I spied the critter. He looked to be needing nourishment and no doubt had not been too long out of hibernation. I gave a good holler and he bolted up into the woods higher up the mountain. 

   I worked the gravels swinging the pic and scooping out gravels by the shovel full at the base of the fault. There seemed to be broken country rock at the base. I went straight in and tried to get some depth which was hard work. After several hours of this I had myself a good hole going into the fault. About mid afternoon I was in deep enough to rake some good sample buckets down to the creek. I saw lots of fines and very good heavies that weighed out rich. I went back out with a handsaw and started cutting back brush & small pine in order to fashion a crude roadway for my truck. At the last of light I went back down to camp & heated up beans on the stove and poured a good cupful of Irish whiskey. I began to formulate my mining plan as darkness took the camp.

      TO BE CONTINUED  .................................

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On 12/21/2021 at 2:50 PM, GhostMiner said:

   As an introduction I am the president of a small gold exploration & mine leasing company. While doing background research on one of our mining properties I cam across an old journal & thought i'd post it over time here. I named it "Lost Gold At The Dead Man's Mine." Hopefully the old timer who wrote it won't mind. I tried to find any relatives but have run into one dead end after another. I felt it was a story worth telling so here we go ...........................................

   PROLOGUE : This is a journal of the experiences written by a lone prospector by the name of Jed Stevens while mining at the Whiskey Jack Mine in 1936. This was a gold mining property of over 500 acres on which several old gold mines were worked over the years. Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains some of these mines produced large amounts of gold from the mid to late 1800's. They were abandoned in the late 1800's when California banned or limited large scale hydraulic mining. The journal is written by Jed Stevens in the first person.

   APRIL 12  1936  :  Today I filed all the paperwork at the county court house for the mining claims I now hold near Lost Ravine. I then drove my Ford truck out to my claims which total 520 acres. There was a good spot near Jake's Creek up to the north about 1500 feet from the main road that follows Morgan Creek where I set up my camp. It took the entire day to pitch the tent and set up my kitchen. The tent is a 15 foot cabin with a stove jack. I have a first rate box stove set up inside to be used for heat and some cooking. I also set up a second stove about 200 feet from camp for the main cooking jobs during good weather. 

   Today was a good day for getting camp set as the day was sunny and not too cold. Tomorrow my plan is to investigate one of the claim sites where where the old diggings took place and get a bearing on my situation as far as where I might sample the gravels and old tailings. I am losing daylight and getting cold so I will get into my sleeping bag on the cot and get some sleep. 

                          TO BE CONTINUED ..................... 

 

 

   Readers of this journal are invited to comment on any of the threads posted. 

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1 minute ago, Morlock said:

So the "Whiskey Jack Mine" was really a hydraulic pit and not a mine per se?

2 minutes ago, Morlock said:

So the "Whiskey Jack Mine" was really a hydraulic pit and not a mine per se?

A hydraulic pit is a mine. It's a placer mine as opposed to a hard rock mine which is generally worked with tunnels & shafts. Some of the hydraulic pit mines were worked with shafts & tunnels at times because of lack of water for the monitors or after hydraulic mining was restricted due to regulation in late 1800's. 

 

1 minute ago, Morlock said:

So the "Whiskey Jack Mine" was really a hydraulic pit and not a mine per se?

 

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Thanks for the clarification. I've always thought mines always have portals, shafts, adits, etc. I never thought of a hydraulic pit as a "mine".

Looking forward to the rest of the story.

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1 minute ago, Morlock said:

Thanks for the clarification. I've always thought mines always have portals, shafts, adits, etc. I never thought of a hydraulic pit as a "mine".

Looking forward to the rest of the story.

Probably the simplest example would be the Gold Rush TV Show. Parker & Tony Beets are working above ground placer mines with bull dozers, excavators, & trommels. Also, we located the areas Jed talked about & tested them. I'll hold my comments on what we found for now. 

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35 minutes ago, Morlock said:

Thanks for the clarification. I've always thought mines always have portals, shafts, adits, etc. I never thought of a hydraulic pit as a "mine".

Looking forward to the rest of the story.

We have a LOT of mines that could have been hydraulically mined, but we’re mined manually by tunneling along the bedrock….

Not all placer deposits were large enough or rich enough to justify the expense of mining them by any method other than pick and shovel.

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1 hour ago, GhostMiner said:

Probably the simplest example would be the Gold Rush TV Show. Parker & Tony Beets are working above ground placer mines with bull dozers, excavators, & trommels. Also, we located the areas Jed talked about & tested them. I'll hold my comments on what we found for now. 

I’ve read, but don’t know for a fact, that the old Yukon miners used to tunnel down through the permafrost to bedrock, pile up the pay layer through the winter and wash it in the spring. :idunno:
 

ETA: looking forward to the rest of the journal

Edited by middleforkminer2
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4 minutes ago, middleforkminer2 said:

I’ve read, but don’t know for a fact, that the old Yukon miners used to tunnel down through the permafrost to bedrock, pile up the pay layer through the winter and wash it in the spring. :idunno:
 

ETA: looking forward to the rest of the journal

I've heard that also. Some of them used steam pipe to thaw gravels. 

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   APRIL 16  1936

   Got woke up last night to loud screaching sounds which lasted an hour or so. Might have been lion or bobcat. There was more than one and they came close to camp. I spent the day working on the road up to the faultline. All hand saw & pick and shovel. Was too tired to take more samples. Tomorrow I should be able to get my truck up to the dig site. I will load some gravels to take down to the creek. I have a tom sluice that will sit in the creek where the flow is right. The creek is running good from all the melt off up higher in the mountain. My claims are anywhere from 3500 ft to 4000 ft in altitude. I have a hard wood grizzly screen to set over the head of the tom. I'll shovel onto that to screen out anything over two inches. The tom is 20 feet in length and 18 inches wide. I've got it lined with carpet matting and riffles. Got a nice supper of dried beef and beans. Turning in now. 

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1 hour ago, middleforkminer2 said:

We have a LOT of mines that could have been hydraulically mined, but we’re mined manually by tunneling along the bedrock….

Not all placer deposits were large enough or rich enough to justify the expense of mining them by any method other than pick and shovel.

Yes, that was a good method used to high grade the deposit.

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   APRIL !7  1936

   Got a good nights rest. I was able to drive the truck up to the dig site with my buckets. I worked on getting in further and as deep and close to country rock as I could. Then I filled about a quarter ton of good gravels in some buckets and drove down to the creek. I set up the tom and grizzly and set a good angle on the tom. Worked the rest of the day processing and finished up the panning from the heavies that were pulled. When weighed out it was about 20 cents to the ton. Not glory days but working wages at least. My thinking is there is better pay in there to be found. Tomorrow I will begin doing the road work out to the eastern drift mine I sampled. There is an old wagon road out there I can use once it's fixed up some. Then I plan to get a good test of that mine. Fixing a good supper of hoover stew with coffee spiced with Irish whiskey and turning in. 

Edited by GhostMiner
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15 minutes ago, GhostMiner said:

   APRIL !7  1936

   Got a good nights rest. I was able to drive the truck up to the dig site with my buckets. I worked on getting in further and as deep and close to country rock as I could. Then I filled about a quarter ton of good gravels in some buckets and drove down to the creek. I set up the tom and grizzly and set a good angle on the tom. Worked the rest of the day processing and finished up the panning from the heavies that were pulled. When weighed out it was about 20 cents to the ton. Not glory days but working wages at least. My thinking is there is better pay in there to be found. Tomorrow I will begin doing the road work out to the eastern drift mine I sampled. There is an old wagon road out there I can use once it's fixed up some. Then I plan to get a good test of that mine. Fixing a good supper of hoover stew with coffee spiced with Irish whiskey and turning in. 

Why is it called Hoover stew?
 
 
 
Hot dogs,beans,canned tomatoes and macaroni.
The dish was named for Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States, whose term was notably marked by the stock market crash of 1929 and the beginnings of the Great Depression. ... When people used cardboard to fix their shoes they called it Hoover leather.
 
A cup of this stuff, which would quickly require several more cups of the good stuff . . .
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7 minutes ago, BMc said:
Why is it called Hoover stew?
 
 
 
Hot dogs,beans,canned tomatoes and macaroni.
The dish was named for Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States, whose term was notably marked by the stock market crash of 1929 and the beginnings of the Great Depression. ... When people used cardboard to fix their shoes they called it Hoover leather.
 
A cup of this stuff, which would quickly require several more cups of the good stuff . . .

Yes, I think it could be almost anything you had available to throw in the pot LOL.

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Just now, GhostMiner said:

Yes, I think it could be almost anything you had available to throw in the pot LOL.

Hoover hog: (possum, raccoon, armadillo, etc)

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When I read "Hoover Stew" I figured it had something to do with Herbert Hoover since it was during the Great Depression, but I didn't know exactly what was in it so I looked it up as well, when I was growing up my father (a widower) was raising 8 kids by himself, money of course was tight and we had many a meal made up from what ever was in the pantry, many times just can beans or tomato soup for supper, so I know sorta what is was like back then for those folks.

Here's a video where the guy makes up a pot of Hoover Stew that feeds 8 for $3.74.

 

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8 minutes ago, Au Seeker said:

When I read "Hoover Stew" I figured it had something to do with Herbert Hoover since it was during the Great Depression, but I didn't know exactly what was in it so I looked it up as well, when I was growing up my father (a widower) was raising 8 kids by himself, money of course was tight and we had many a meal made up from what ever was in the pantry, many times just can beans or tomato soup for supper, so I know sorta what is was like back then for those folks.

Here's a video where the guy makes up a pot of Hoover Stew that feeds 8 for $3.74.

 

Looks like typical boy scout food.😉

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