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  1. Hello, all. I am new here, so this is my obligatory first post. I live in Oregon and have been an explorer and mountaineer most of my life. However, in recent years, I haven't had as much time as I would like to get out there on multi-day adventures, and have been limited to day trips around the PDX region. I am always looking to hear about any abandoned mines, ghost town updates, and abandoned buildings to photograph. I have been a rockhound most of my life, but only recently decided to add precious metals (namely gold) to my list of things to prospect for. Of course, I don't expect anyone to share their spots, but if anyone has any useful info in this regard, I'd love to hear it. I am hoping to make adventuring a more regular thing, including blogging my trips reports (which I intend to crosspost here). I am also beginning my search for a better adventure vehicle, so am looking for suggestions there, as well. I have a knack for getting small cars into places they should not be (and even getting them back out again), but am definitely looking for something more rugged for my next purchase (I have experience with Subaru, Toyota, and Jeep, but it's been a number of years since I had anything with 4WD). My dogs go with me everywhere, so they get their own intro. Mesa is the australian shepherd and D'Argo is the belgian malinois. Both are in training for scent work (mantrailing, nosework, and truffle/antler hunting) and backpacking, and D'argo is also learning to be my primary method of defense (the secondary being a gun, of course).
  2. Winrod Cabin, Sierra County, California A little known piece of gold mining history, known as the Winrod Cabin, sits in a lonely and remote area of the western Sierras, just outside of Downieville, CA. I came across this gem while looking for lost and forgotten ghost towns, where it was mentioned on a newer website called Ghost Town Explorers, where photos of this quaint old miner’s cabin can be viewed at: http://www.ghosttownexplorers.org/california/winrod/winrod.htm#bmark A search of the internet brings up little to nothing about this unique cabin and it’s history, but a visit to some of my favorite resources has provided the missing answers. The San Francisco Call, Volume 107, Number 166, dated 15 May 1910 provides us with the origins of the cabin… “COYOTE RAVINE STRIKE Downieville is much encouraged over the mining strikes that have been made in that vicinity during the last few months and a lively summer is anticipated. Recently T.E. Winrod of Downieville made a find in Coyote ravine, about a mile from the Standard mine, that promises to develop into something good. Winrod bonded some claims from William Watson and Henry Morse and has been doing some surface prospecting, running cuts and sinking shafts. He uncovered an entirely new vein that is on the contact and free gold ore has been found. The vein is a true fissure lead and gold can be easily seen in the rock with the naked eye. It is Winrod’s intention to go right ahead and develop his new discovery. He was formerly interested with Jason Frye in the Standard property, which continues to yield rich ore.” T.E. Winrod was Thomas Eli Winrod, who was born in Mahaska County, Iowa in 1867, a son of George Winrod and Lydia Perkins. During the 1870 census the family were living at Oskaloosa Township, Mahaska County, Iowa, but by 1880 had moved south to Cunningham, Chariton County, Missouri. Since the 1890 census does not exist, we are unable to pinpoint when it was exactly that Thomas arrived in California, but we do know from California County Marriage records that he was in the state by 25 November 1894, when he married Kate E. Finance at Sierra County, California. Two years later the Great Register shows that by 8 July 1896 he is recorded as living at or near Gibsonville, Sierra County, California. The 1900 census informs us that Thomas and Kate, along with their young daughter Margery, were living at Gibson, Sears, and Table Rock Townships, Sierra, California. The San Francisco Call, Volume 104, Number 175, dated 22 November 1908, tells us… “A bond has been taken by Jason Frye, Thomas Winrod and R.E Blevins on the Crittendon quartz claim in Sailor ravine.” The 1910 census, at the time of Thomas’ strike at Coyote Ravine, the family are listed as living at Butte, Sierra County, California, and now have a son, named Carrol. In 1913 Thomas was working the Monte Cristo mine. Thomas must have been a very determined man, for we read in The Washington Times, dated September 30, 1920… “TAKES 92-MILE WALK TO CAST HIS BALLOT Downieville, Cal., Sept. 30 – One Sierra County miner values his vote. Thomas Winrod, former justice of the peace for Sierra County, is operating the Black Diamond mine. The mine is forty-six miles from the nearest ballot box. Winrod walked the forty-six miles over rough mountain trails and roads, marked his ballot, and then walked home again.” In the 1930 census for Downieville, Sierra County, California, we find Thomas living alone as a divorced man. Sometime after the 1930 census Thomas moved to Alameda County, California, where he died in Oakland in 1938, and was buried in the Mountain View Cemetery. It is possible that he moved to the area to help or be near his former wife, Kathryn “Kate” Finance, who died at Hayward, Alameda County in 1935. She lies buried in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery at Hayward. @ 2013 Cindy Nunn. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 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
  4. Join our Chapter. It’s FREE! Route 66 Gold Miners, Inc. is the non-profit, Orange County Chapter of the GPAA. We hold our monthly meetings in Brea, CA, centrally located in beautiful Southern California. Our chapter was formed in 2003 and since then has grown to one of the best prospecting clubs around. Our members range in experience from the beginner to the seasoned pro, each willing to make you feel welcome and share the wealth of knowledge they have on how to find gold and treasure. http://www.route66goldminers.com/
  5. Ore Deposits of the Silver Peak Quadrangle, Nevada By Josiah Edward Spurr Ore_Deposits_of_the_Silver_Peak_Quadrang.pdf
  6. Getting Gold: A Practical Treatise for Prospectors, Miners and Students By Joseph Colin Francis Johnson Getting_Gold.pdf
  7. A history of the Comstock silver lode & mines, Nevada and the great basin A history of the Comstock silver lode & - William Wright.pdf
  8. My book is now being advertised at the Western Mining History site http://www.westernmininghistory.com/blog-details/37793/
  9. A once bustling mining camp transformed into a home for the destitute during the Great Depression, eventually saw its buildings trucked away and it now stands as one of Fremont County's ghost towns. It was first known as Radiant, then Pyrolite and finally Kenwood. Located 3 miles south of Coal Creek, it was never platted, never incorporated. Radiant mine was opened by the Victor-American Fuel Company in 1903. At its peak, the mine employed 125 miners and produced an average of 800 tons of coal daily. "An idea of the importance of this one coal camp can be had when we consider the immense deposits of coal that abound here and the facilities the company has for handling it," wrote the Florence Daily Tribune in November 1904. "Thorough examination by company experts has demonstrated the inexhaustibility of the coal deposits and its excellent quality. The Victor-American Fuel Company built about 80 houses for the miners and their families at the camp. The houses had no modern accommodations - kerosene lamps and coal stoves were used and water was piped into the homes from a reservoir filled by 50 to 60 feet deep wells. The company also built several boarding houses, a company store that stocked everything a family would need for the house, as well as everything a miner would need for the mine, a saloon and a two-room schoolhouse. When the mine was built, the Santa Fe Railroad extended its rails to Radiant and Rockvale and made daily trips to haul out the coal. In 1913, during the miners' strike, tensions rose on the rail line as the Santa Fe continued to ship coal produced by non-union miners. In November, a portion of the bridge over an arroyo on the rail line was burned, causing significant damage. While the cause of the fire was a mystery, according to the Florence newspaper, the strikers or their sympathizers were suspected. In early 1914, a guard who was protecting the rail line was murdered in a raid. In 1915, the mine began to be referred to as Pyrolite in the Fremont County newspapers. The Cañon City Record explained the change was due to the fact that another Colorado post office was called Radium and the similarity of Radiant was confusing mail carriers. As Radium was the older of the locations, Radiant was asked to make the change. "It is beautifully situated in a pleasant valley and all of the buildings are of uniform size and all of excellent appearance," the paper said of the small town. The mine continued production until 1929 when it was closed. However, once the miners left, many of the houses remained standing, making it suitable to house the large number of transients roaming the country during the Great Depression. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration leased the camp in 1930 and began bussing in transients from Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Cañon City and Florence. By this time the camp was called Kenwood. The camp housed indigent men and boys, four to a room. The government provided doctors, dentists, a hospital, a mess hall and a school for the boys while the transients were free to come and go as they pleased, those who chose to stay were expected to work or go to school. The camp also had a baseball team that played against teams from other Fremont County communities. The transient camp served its purpose until 1937. When economic conditions improved, the residents drifted away, the staff was discharged and the camp closed. Afterward, the buildings were sold at auction and either razed for lumber or moved to other Fremont County towns. The company store was donated to the American Legion and is now the Florence Eagle's Hall. This article originally appeared in the Cañon City Daily Record on Jan. 26, 2009
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