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Saturday, March 31, 2012

California - Sounds of the Gold Rush

California Gold Rush Glimpses Video: "DEJA VU—Sounds of the Gold Rush

Standing alone on a hillside, gazing down at what’s left of a Sierra mining camp, you hear the wind sigh through the pines as you glance at a crumbling stone wall, stubbornly defying time, as long as it can.

It is part of the nostalgic spirit, clinging to the once bustling diggings, where water still gushes over and around the stream’s rocks, just like it did back then. You wonder about the rush of hopeful miners, scrambling after their share of riches, working in icy water from sunup to sunset. “Wonder what it sounded like?” you think as your mind drifts away."   read more....

Gold Rush Glimpses III, part of a popular series of books from author Craig MacDonald, has been featured in numerous media outlets.

Before dawn, a miner’s snoring like a trombone inside his tent, while a rooster crows outside. But it’s not long before the dozens of eager prospectors take their spots by the river and begin feverishly searching for their fortunes. You can hear the clinking of pickaxes, the grating of shovels, the rattle of gold pans, the rocking of cradles and the splashing of water all around.
When a lucky miner finds some gold, he may let out a triumphant shriek or say nothing at all, in hopes of finding more before his secret isn’t......    read more....

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stolen rare mining museum artifact recovered |

Stolen rare mining museum artifact recovered | "Stolen rare mining museum artifact recovered"

A rare wooden mining ore cart was recovered along the side of a road just outside Nevada City Monday morning, less than a week after it was stolen from the North Star Mine Powerhouse and Pelton Wheel Museum in Grass Valley, according to the Grass Valley Police Department.

As reported in Monday's edition of The Union, the museum officials had offered a $200 reward for the 75-year-old stolen wooden cart after they noticed the artifact missing from a line of seven more-common metal ore carts in the museum's outdoor yard on Allison Ranch Road five days ago.

“We just don't know how to say it,” said museum Director Robert Shoemaker about the cart's return.

“It's just wonderful.”

The wood cart was a rare piece of the area's rich mining history. With more than $440,000,000 worth of gold extracted from 1848-1965, Nevada County was the most gold-producing county in California, according to California Division of Mines and Geology estimates.

With hundreds of operations that dug thousands of mining miles beneath the county, sturdy ore carts were critical, Shoemaker told The Union Sunday.

By the 1920s, most of those operations had switched over to metal ore carts because the wood carts were far less durable, which is why few remain, Shoemaker said.

Shoemaker estimated the stolen mine cart would fetch more than $1,500 if sold to a collector.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

GPAA: Gold & Treasure Show Headed to Red Bluff, California

GPAA: Gold & Treasure Show Headed to Red Bluff, California: "GPAA: Gold & Treasure Show Headed to Red Bluff, California
Gold Prospectors Association of America: Catch the fever at the GPAA Gold & Treasure Show March 10-11 in Red Bluff, California."

The Gold Prospectors Association of America will hold its Gold & Treasure Show March 10-11 in Red Bluff, California. The show will feature mucking and gold-panning contests as well as seminars led by Tom Massie, host of “Gold Fever” on the Outdoor Channel, or guest speakers.

With the price of gold spiking to record highs in 2011, GPAA President Brandon Johnson said gold fever is definitely rising and memberships to the organization have shown substantial growth over the last year.

“Spiking gold prices are sometimes the deciding factor to turn off the TV and actually go gold prospecting to experience it for yourself. A quarter-ounce or pennyweight of gold is worth a lot more now than it used to be,” Johnson said.

“Prospecting isn’t necessarily all about having the gold. It’s as much about finding it,” he said, adding that for many members the thrill is enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.

The Gold & Treasure Show in Red Bluff will feature vendors and displays of gold nuggets, jewelry and prospecting equipment such as metal detectors, drywashers, spiral gold pans, dredges and highbankers.

Showgoers over 18 years of age will get a chance to win a two-week Alaska Gold Expedition trip to GPAA’s famous Cripple River gold prospecting camp near Nome, Alaska. The event will run Saturday, March 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tehama District Fair, 650 Antelope Blvd., Red Bluff, CA 96080, Tyler-Jelly Building.

Admission is $5.

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