Central Montana Prospectors
Central Montana Prospectors

Historical Tidbits are When We Consider Something as a Connection with the Past; It Comes in All Sorts of Forms

Making Your Own Maps From Historical Files

     In each city there are places where archival documents are stored. Court houses, and city offices have maps. If you want maps of areas where you might want to prospect why not get some printed up, tape them together and plot your trip into the back country.

     In Great Falls there is an establishment called Blend's Copy Shop that one can go in and tell them you want a map of a specific area of Montana and they will print them up for you.  If you are building an enlarged area so you can plan on how long it will take to get to an area, or just what fork in the road you might have to make a decision at, tape the sections together and have a plan.

      On a recent trip to Utica, through the backroads, this makeshift map was referred to on multiple occasions in the middle of now where when one must predict just how far it is to the next gas station or campground. These reference points come in handy. 

    The predictability to destination points and the probability is much better when you have an enlarged hard copy in hand. Just an idea. 

New York City's Historical Rocks

      Will Heierman, of Texas, when visiting Montana told of how when he was president of New York City's metallurgical club they were given stones and rocks that were found in the underground tunnels as they were dug for the subways.

     Now, just what would a person do with such gifts of historical nature? Of course, they were archived and are now stored in a museum in the city. But the historical value of protecting our precious minerals is so awesome to hear that someone was directly involved in the stewardship of rocks. So important.

       While at the time there was contact with Montana, Will was given the opportunity to buy 10 claims for $1000 each. He sprung on it, and over the years has sold and moved some of them. but he still mines some claims in the Avon area to this day after 40 years. Amazing. 

Why Not Try What the Old Duffers Did?

      At the Mining Symposium in Butte, a presenter told of the actual discovery of gold was on Gold Creek in Montana, not in Bannack. He had an interesting point and shared what the natives had spoken of in the discovery in the mid 1800's. Lots in the history books about the discoveries.

     Nowadays they say the land is all tied up in private land, but why not explore; go to the creek and see what you can do. Ask the US Forest Service where there is some government land and explore like the old prospectors bringing out some history. You might stike it lucky as gold is always being unearthed in the world. 

Montana Volcano

     Did you know that Montana has a volcano and we are sitting on it? That's one thing learned at the symposium in Butte, Montana recently. The descriptions of it is provided with this statement The last time the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted was 640,000+ years ago. The Yellowstone eruption area collapsed upon itself, creating a sunken giant crater or caldera 1,500 square miles in area. The magmatic heat powering that eruption (and two others, dating back 2.1 million years) still powers the park’s famous geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pots. 

Here's an interesting site that says more: https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/yellowstone-supervolcano

Mine Entrances Remain

     While exploring Montana former mine sites, one can see what remains of the historical past when people searched for all kinds of minerals. One thing that dot the countryside everywhere are the former entrances to mines that have collapsed.

      Barite site has closed by collapse entrances that beckoned, "Don't Enter Here!" long ago, but the remains speak of how dangerous it is to try and tread on these former busy sites. The roof could collapse and bury you and no one would know, but the sticks just jut up. So, heed the warning: Stay Out!!

4th Annual Montana Bureau of Mining and Geology Symposium...So Worth It!!

      Even though Saturday morning's mine tour got ditched due to the heavy snowfall, the three days prior made the trek so valuable and the outpouring of the conglemerate of information so all consuming for the geological brain.

     Stimulating talks and presentations with brushing shoulders with people coming from all points of interests filled the mining bill of learning and growing by association.

      Never knew there were so many mines in the state of Montana; got some put on the list for exploration next season.  Just gotta wanna get out and see them.

      But the history of how Montana was formed with the volcanic eruptions were at the basis of all the studies and examinations of the terrain often time with much done via drilling and core samples as one couldn't see much from up above or topical. Explanations of how the land was formed was full of supposition and possibilities.

      Got ideas for some presentations for next year to pique the curious and intellectual mind.

Even though this symposium just happened in 2018, it is historical because it is the fodder for next year's edition of this traditional concortium of the mining mind. Plan on attending in October of 2019

Avoirdupois? What does that have to do with Troy?

      We are talking how to weigh your precious metals such as gold or silver. The system was developed centuries ago and can be complicated due to the conversion from one system to the next. The importance of the troy ounce cannot be understated because it provides you with an extra factor for purchasing power. While the system may seem overly complicated, there is good reason for it. The troy ounce was implemented to ensure there were standards in place for certain goods, including Precious Metals. There are few examples where the avoirdupois system takes precedence over the troy ounce.  

       Would you like to know more about this system? Check out this website for expanding your knowledge base. It will help you when selling your gold. https://www.apmex.com/education/history/what-is-a-troy-ounce 

Bannack, Montana Brings in the Crowds

     Our state park devoted to how it was "way back when" is a draw for family and friends to get a load of history. Bannack State Park rings in the votes for recreation of time gone by with storytelling, examples, historical vignettes, and questioning techniques along with gold panning in the streets from pay dirt provided by local mining groups.

     One question was, "Just what did they do with the bodies of guys the vigilantes hung?" The speculation was curious from the crowds of tourists, but the use of scare tactics abounded. 

     Self-guided tours worked along with guided, on the clock ones did too. But the opportunity by the US Forest Service personnel of family gold panning along with the stories of electrical dredging in the creek when no one else had electricity was astounding. Such a worthy mid-day, mid-holiday experience for many. Put it on your list. This web page is full of information from here and the trip; almost on every page eventually.

The Montana Feature of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893

     When the 27 million people streamed through the doors of the Chicago Wolrd's Fair, one of their destinations was the Montana exhibit because it had a silver sculpture of Lady Liberty hand carved from silver found in Montana and modeled after the the perfect size woman for it.

      The sculpture was featured along with sapphires people could have cut and lots of minerals to feast your eyes upon. Lady Liberty was sculpted without her eyes being covered or wearing a blindfold. 

      Montana was well featured long ago in our country. We can be proud today too of our state's greatness.

A Prospecting Gift From Dad

     While working on an art project, Jesse Buff pulled out his prospecting pack from his father. His father used this canvas war pack stuffed full of gold pans, chisels, rock hammers and hand made knives to encourage those tough little critters out of their dirt nest like crystal hunting with Andrew Luna. Those crown jewels that come from the heat of the earth don't always want to leave their home. 

     It is a proud moment when you can say, "My father used these when he went prospecting in the mountains of Montana!" One could be so lucky as to inherit their parent's supplies for prospecting the Montana earth. Life is good.

Life As it Was in the Beginnings of Montana without Law & Order While Prospecting in the 1800's as Recreated by a Park Ranger

Avalanche Gulch Mining Remains Explained by Experienced Prospector

Despicable Behavior

       Learned last week about the US Forest Service disservice; more today. Disgusting. There was a 10,000 year old road all along the Continental Divide from Alaska, through Canada, on down the US that was used by the Native Americans forever and people here.  The US Forest Service not only didn't contact the Historical Society, but came in, closed the road and bulldozed it over without notifying anyone. Just destroyed access to historical roadways for no justifiable reason or without notice to those involved.

       This is out of Avon and I was told to go take pictures of it as the people in the area who live there are livid. No respect for history, the people or access by the public to the traditional ways of the Chippewa Cree or any human. 

      That's what we have to live with when we have a government agency that does not want the public to have access to the forest and can do anything they want. So much for travel plans that don't include the people involved and who are excluded; it's all rigged and the USFS is NOT serving the people but taking the forests for themselves, keeping people from having access destroying historical roads of use of indigenous people and others.

Montana Gold Prospecting Learning Goes Alaskan Style

     News came that Delbert Henry of the Missouri River Diner in Great Falls who is vacationing in Alaska with his son, found lots of gold while prospecting in July there.       

      With a call he said, "And that photo sent was only 1/3 of the gold found!"  The kicker to this is the fact that Delbert learned most of his gold prospecting techniques right here in Montana and can take his knowledge and reasoning anywhere in the world he wants to  apply it right then and there. This is family history in the making for the prospector.  Now Delbert has a lot more on his counter to show patrons of his diner just what he accomplished while he was away. Montana gold search goes everywhere!! Montana shows the way.

This is how the Government does it: If they want your claim, they send in a validator who assesses the land to see if any prudent person would want to spend their time searching for gold. If they can find an assessor who says, "NO!!"  then the claim is invalidated and thus the government can take it and do what they want with it and the miner can't relocate and the claim is withdrawn.

      That is how this campground came into existence; it once was an original claim that the government wanted to take over, and they used the discrediting technique just like when they want to claim land for road construction: they just condemn it to take possession.  BLM

      But this area is still full of gold and it was suggested to go check it out while in the area. 

A tour of the Butte, Montana, underground mine

A Milemarker Came; we are onto more.

     Coming up here shortly will be time for celebration. No we don't go out and tie one on, we take a moment to say, "Job well done!" to each other. We are about to reach 10,000 hits on our webpage and we expect to set off some noise, fireworks and ground blooms for sure. I'm sure some cake just might be in store and there is a perfect one downtown at the Cory Block with crystal rocks all up the side of it in a swirl from bottom to the top. That just might be the share point to say, "Hey, we never had any idea our simple idea of sharing Montana treasures would be so informative all over the world. But any day now, we will be a hollerin'. Prospecting news is a popular item. Hallelujah!! We are blessed!!  We hit it at about 3 PM, June 3, 2018!!! What's that for numbers? A 6-3? Numerically interesting. 



One of the first 10 Original Gold Foxes Comes Back Home to Conrad, Montana after 5 years

      Someone from Washington bought one of the first Gold Fox mini trommels from Kelly Fowler in 2013, said she found over 100 ounces of gold with his original machine and wanted to know if she could trade her Gold Fox in for a newer model. Right away, Kelly said, "I will buy your Gold Fox back for $500." He intends to put a historical section together of his prototypes in his shop to showcase the history of his company. Such a good idea as people can visually see the parade of creative thought, technical changes, and improvements in the retrieval of gold for the prospectors.

      In calculating the money generated from the original Gold Fox from 5 years ago, at a rate of $1295.00 per ounce, this woman made about $129,500 for her investment. That's why prospecting is a good hobby because it doesn't take much money and you can stand the chance of getting a good return on your dollar if you apply some smart, strategic thinking. 

      So happy that Kelly Fowler can see the value of his own equipment and making a scenario of manufacturing development in his own shop. Historical legacies are what make this world of value. Seeing and measuring our progress is important.



Remember When These Were the Treasured Item to Have?

     Long ago, gift shops always had a healthy supply of these treasure boxes for the visitor to say Glacier Park, Yellowstone Park or in most any other state. They get stored and come out of the cedar chest or attice when the need to declutter comes around for a garage sale.

       When people know you are a rock hound and they see these, they become great gifts for Christmas in someone's stocking. They have such a nice selection of stones with perfect examples that are unheard of these days. 

      The Rock Box is entered into history as the delight for rocks is endearing and lasts through all generations and especially with women!!


Handout Given to Visitors in Garnet Ghost Town That Has Some Interesting History In It. Print Your Own Copy To Enjoy!

Notice that the buildings are numbered to correspond to what they are on the map and the numbers help you to explain the buildings’ history to your kids during the Kid’s Challenge.

A Guide to Recreational Gold Panning in Alaska

Gold Panning Alaska Book

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© Central Montana Prospectors Coalition, Site Created & Written By Alma Winberry