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  1. Hey everyone, so this is my first explore post, I'm probably going to be slow sharing since I'm planning on waiting until my YouTube videos come out. but I just wanted to give an update on Olinghouse Nevada. I was out there about a month ago with my friend. As some of you may know there is many rumors about the Olinghouse area being guarded by an "old man with a gun chasing people of the property". Well I took a few trips out there because I really wanted to get some cool footage. I didn't go into all of the structures because it seemed like the floors weren't sturdy enough to hold my weight. My friend went in them but she only weighs about 115 lbs. The mine has been purchased and is currently active. We went on a Sunday after the first ground freeze because that's usually when mining operations stop for the winter. There was still a lot of activity of a small ATV vehicle going back and forth to the miners headquarters building, so we tried to stay hidden as possible. I looked at the Olinghouse Facebook page just a few days ago and it said people tried to get permission to go out there but were denied, so I'm glad I got what I did without being seen. The place is still in really good shape. Its hard to tell the age of some of the buildings, most of them have probably been frankensteined over the years since its been a home to squatters, meth-labbers, and the occasional mine enthusiast. If you plan on exploring the area, I suggest at least with 4 wheel drive and drive past the headqaurters building and do a little 4wheeling to the back ranch house and you can stay hidden easier from back there. There is also a road that seems to lead to some interesting thing that I can see from the Sat pics, but I will definitely need an ATV to get there. anyways. Here is the video if you'd like to check it out. See you out there! Backwoods Beast
  2. http://www.odt.co.nz/regions/central-otago/267266/app-will-breathe-new-life-ghost-towns A computer program believed to be a world first will breathe life into the ghost towns that once served the Bendigo goldfields. A gold-mining heritage site mobile device app designed by the University of Canterbury will be available for free download later this year. It will allow people visiting the Bendigo area in the hills behind Tarras to point their smartphone or touch-screen computer at any site within the historic reserve and receive information and photos about what was on that site at the height of the gold rush. The man behind the project is Canterbury University history researcher Lloyd Carpenter, who has developed the content. Dr Carpenter is passionate about Central Otago's goldfields history and wanted visitors to Bendigo to ''see it as it used to be''. ''The worst thing about wandering around Bendigo now is that it's dead. It was such an exciting vibrant place, full of people in the gold mining days, and if you were visiting then, it would be full of noise and bustle. This app will take away that ghost town feel and put people back in the town. ''Visitors don't want to see just another stone house; they want to know who lived there, what was it like to live there and what was it like inside. Often they had wallpaper and carpets, so they weren't the primitive homes some imagine.'' Interpretation boards could hold limited information, but the app would give a fuller picture, and even include data such as class lists from the school, Dr Carpenter said. Experts involved in heritage interpretation in the United States and Australia believed the heritage app was a world first, he said. ''It's exciting that Central Otago's gold mining history has been dragged into the 21st century with the development of this app.'' The university's Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HIT Lab) had produced the computer software and the Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust was a partner in the project and sourced $50,000 funding from the Central Lakes Trust. Bendigo was the first focus and the technology would be rolled out to other nearby mining sites. Dr Carpenter and a team from HIT Lab would be testing the app ''in the field'' at Bendigo at the end of this month . It would be an international team, with computer programming technicians from Austria, Korea and the United States. The app, which should be ready to launch in November, would be simple to use and quick to download, as well as providing information, photos and audio for all kinds of user groups, Dr Carpenter said. ''We're so lucky to have this exciting goldfields history in Otago and this is one way to communicate my passion for the area's heritage.'' The stories being presented would not be a sanitised version of events, he said. ''It'll be the real stories. It was a hard life for those who lived there but a good life.'' Goldfields trust president Martin Anderson said the organisation was excited about the app, after seeing ''snippets'' of it in action and was delighted to be a partner in the project. - lynda.van.kempen@odt.co.nz
  3. http://gizmodo.com/take-an-eerie-tour-of-americas-creepiest-ghost-towns-686506223
  4. This year, Montana is celebrating the 150th anniversary of gold being struck in Alder Gulch, leading to booms in nearby towns such as Bannack, Virginia City and Nevada City. Fast forward a century and a half and the story seems common enough: gold was discovered, miners hoping to keep their finding to themselves got found out, the population of these towns exploded, then busted and on and on. Throughout the year, Virginia City is hosting events to commemorate the occasion, including concerts, farmer's markets and art shows. For visitors eager to see a few spots, there is a short tourist train connecting the towns of Virginia City and Nevada City, which both feature reenactments. Nearby Bannack is a state park and is among the best preserved ghost towns around. Check out the nice photos, too.... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/abandoned-montana-towns_n_3503915.html
  5. The People Who Built the Ghost Towns: or, How to bring your explorations to life Exploring old ghost towns is an exciting adventure, where we can catch glimpses of a populated place that once was bustling with life and activity, but now sits in eerie silence, peopled only by the ghosts of the past. There is a certain feeling of awe and wonder, as well as a bit of sadness, that one experiences when tentatively reaching forward to stroke the graying texture of weatherworn wood, as if trying to find the gentle echo of a heartbeat beating somewhere in the fabric of an old abandoned building. Finding a lost button or discarded antique bottle, we pick it up and inspect it with curiosity, then slowly close our eyes and try to conjure up an image of how it got there and of whom it may have once belonged to. We see visions of a dusty miner, fresh out of the diggings, chugging down a cold beer, and then tossing the bottle aside as he heads back to the dreary drudgery of trying to strike it rich, or at least eke out enough gold for one more beer. The brass button, filigreed with delicate swirls, brings to mind the town madam, in all her flashy finery of feathers and silks. So tightly encased in her embroidered walking vest that one good, hearty laugh, straining her ample bosom, pops off a single button, launching it into the loose dirt of the main street, where it lies buried and forgotten, waiting for discovery over 100 years later. With a little shake of your head, and a small wistful smile, you pull yourself out of your daydreams, feeling a bit silly for trying to imagine something that is forever lost to time. But wait! Put on the breaks! Forever lost? Well, maybe to some, but not to all. If you have the tenacity and willingness to do a little digging, you CAN resurrect the original inhabitants, even if only on paper, and sometimes, you can get very lucky and find a few old photographs. The first place to start is with a very basic history of the town, such as the year of its settlement. This will help us to determine the type of records to search for and where they would be located. The census, enumerated every ten years since 1790, is the first record to search. The only census you will not be able to utilize is the 1890 enumeration, badly destroyed by a fire in 1921. You will also sometimes come across a State census, which would have been taken in odd numbered years, like 1875 and 1885. One thing to keep in mind when dealing with some of the people who came West is that for one reason or another they changed their name, so you might find them in the census for the year 1900, and other years after that, in the ghost town you are researching, but you won’t find them in any census previous to their arrival in the town. For those who did not change their names, but are still elusive in other census records, keep in mind that even though the name doesn’t change, their other information, such as age, place of birth, etc… can, and quite frequently, does change. Always add and subtract an extra two to five years to your subject’s age. Sometimes another person in the family or household provided the enumerator with the information, and guesswork played a large part in the answers provided. A number of western states had the Great Register, or a registration of those able to vote. These records help to more closely pinpoint just when someone arrived in the area, and will often give a date and place of birth, as well as occupation. Tax records provide a clue into how much someone was worth financially, as well as an address of where they were residing at the time. These records and the amount of information provided can vary from state to state. Another valuable resource is old newspapers, which give us a clearer image of what was going on than any history book could do. You can find everything from births, deaths and marriages to lawsuits, arrests, executions, accidents, business transactions, advertisements, and just plain nosiness! Back in those days anything and everything, including that which was embarrassing, ended up submitted to the news hounds. Fell off your ladder and broke your big toe? Expect to read about it the next day! Aunt Minnie decided to come for a visit from Kentucky? You can bet that within 24 hours every resident would know about it, and many would be knocking at your door seeking news from “back east.” Wife caught you down at the local brothel, did she? The gossipmongers and tongue wagers will be having a field day with it by morning. Truth is, back then you couldn’t fart in a noisy wind without someone reporting about it. Here are a few resources to get you started in your newspaper searches… http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ (Free) http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cdnc (Free) http://www.genealogybank.com/ (Fee Based) http://newspaperarchive.com/ (Fee Based) http://guides.library.upenn.edu/historicalnewspapersonline (Free and Fee Based) The CLAN system posted for Nevada has since changed their link to this... http://www.clan.lib.nv.us/nvdigital.htm Ignore all the criteria you can choose from. Just type in your search words in the box and click "Search All Collections." The local, or closest, cemetery is another good place to gather information. Sadly, many old graveyards are now nothing more than a few dirt mounds with some rocks scattered on them, but quite a few still have headstones or markers. Reading legible dates also provides clues to a possible epidemic, disaster or massacre in the town. Some headstones and markers might also have initials carved into them, providing evidence of religious affiliation, membership in a fraternal organization, social group or professional trade. There are a couple of excellent, free online resources for locating cemeteries and those buried in them. Please remember that the databases are created by unpaid volunteers, so they are far from being complete. So, if you don’t find someone in a cemetery it doesn’t mean they aren’t there, they just have not been recorded by the transcriber. http://www.interment.net/ http://www.findagrave.com/ If you want to have a hand in helping to preserve the carving in old headstones and markers, but find many hard to read, you can try this technique to safely copy the information… http://www.ancestryprinting.com/headstone.html Vital records, which include birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates, are a great resource if you can locate the records. Not everyone officially recorded these events, or, if they did, the information was lost by the official doing the recording. Some itinerant preachers visited the more distant settlements and kept journals or log books of vital information, but any number of things could have prevented them from giving this information to a county or local clerk, such as death or natural disasters. Other people simply never sent the information in to a recording clerk, but may have entered it into a family Bible or with the local church. Many vital records have been digitized and are offered online through various sites, with Ancestry.com being one of the main ones, with a huge price tag attached to access these records. Many libraries offer their card-holding patrons free access to the Ancestry database, but you must use the library computer to utilize the service. However, there is another site, just as good, if not better, where you can find a lot of these same records for free. https://familysearch.org/ Many of the men who settled the western territories also did military service in the Indian Wars, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, and other military expeditions. There are a number of sites where you can locate this information, such as Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org (Free) and Fold3.com. There is also the free Soldiers and Sailors database, where you can find Civil War participants. http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm There are also some old photographic databases that you can search or browse. http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/233_cwsoldiers.html http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/sets/72157625520211184/ http://www.civilwarphotos.net/ Maps are a great way to get a good idea of the layout of the town before its abandonment. To find out where a business was, or maybe someone’s home, look for plat maps and Sanborn Insurance maps. Here is a good example. http://www.loc.gov/rr/geogmap/sanborn/index.php One final resource that I highly recommend, which is free, is Google Books. http://books.google.com/ Type in your search criteria, and then hit the Search Books button. Once in you can customize your search to only show entire books that are free, which you can then read online or download. There are many other resources out there, so if you get stuck and need some help, just give me a shout or send me a message. @ 2013 Cindy Nunn. All Rights Reserved.
  6. The site of the once thriving town of Brandy City is located six miles northeast of Indian Valley and sits on a ridge at an elevation of 4000 feet. Hydraulic placer mining began in 1851 and the growth of the town was extremely fast. By the middle of the 1850’s it was the center of the mining and business activity for the area from Eureka to Morristown. In 1854 there were about one hundred and fifty miners at work in the diggings and the town had a population of several hundred citizens. Through the 1850’s the town continued to grow and by 1860 the town had a population of five hundred permanent residents. All matter of businesses was located in the town and outlying camps supplied their needs at Brandy City. One could buy a pair of boots, walk across the street to purchase mining supplies and finish off your trip to town with an oyster supper and a shot or two of San Francisco’s finest whiskey. To read more... http://www.westernbitters.com/2012/09/brandy-city-sierra-county-california.html
  7. My book is now being advertised at the Western Mining History site http://www.westernmininghistory.com/blog-details/37793/
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