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Thread: Alfred Lewis Discovery at the old Mammoth Mine 1949 - 1950

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  1. #1
    us
    Apr 2013
    Huntington Beach California
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Alfred Lewis Discovery at the old Mammoth Mine 1949 - 1950

    In January of 1949 Alfred Strong Lewis a mining engineer discovered an old previously unknown Spanish / Mexican excavation on the grounds of the old Mammoth Mine at Goldfield.

    With partners, Hugh Nickols, Charles Waterbury, Tom Russell and Ted Sliger they formed Goldfield Mines Inc. and took $50,000 in gold from the discovery before breaking into a tunnel of the Charles Hall section of the Mammoth Mine. At that point the vein was lost and all mining came to a halt.

    A detailed examination of the Lewis discovery was done by Charles H. Dunning, the Director of the Arizona State Department of Mineral Resources on February 4, 1949.

    His official report and findings are among the most astounding and fascinating facts of early mining in the area of the Superstition Mountains.

    Posted here is Dunning's 3 page report. I have a copy of that report given to me by Lewis's wife's family. The scanning of that report to upload is blurry so it is transcribed below.

    For anyone who is a serious enthusiast of Spanish / Mexican mining in Arizona and the LDM this report is unparalleled.


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    Transcript Of Dunning's 3 page report.

    STATEMENT OF CHAS. H. DUNNING, DIRECTOR OF THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF MINERAL RESOUNCES, REGARDING THE DISCOVERY OF AN OLD MINE WORKING AT GOLDFIELD.

    I have inspected the working on two occasions at the request of Mr. Alfred Lewis and Mr. Tom Russell and it appears to be a true “Antigua” or mine opening that antecedes recorded history. The discovery was made within a stone’s throw of the old Goldfield Mine workings which are reported to have produced over a million dollars in gold, but it apparently is not connected with those workings and seemingly was entirely unknown to the operators of the Goldfield.

    One must visualize a vein formation or mineralized zone somewhat over 100 feet in width running parallel to a prominent wash and extending partly into or under the wash and partly along its bank. At one point, a small promontory of the rather hard quartzose vein material just cut into the wash and forms a steep bank. In the wash, close to this cliff, Lewis discovered an ancient cribbed shaft dipping out under the wash at an angle of about 70 degrees.

    The working was discovered accidentally but not without sensible reason. The little promontory of vein matter carried quartz stringers showing only low values on the surface. Lewis felt that these stringers might become higher grade with a little depth, so he planned to sink down in the wash a short distance and then crosscut back into the hard wall. About two feet below the wash level he began to encounter old ironwood logs, and a little deeper these took shape as a cribbed (like a log cabin) chute or shaft, completely filled with wash material.

    The state of the opening inside of the timbering was only about 18 x 36 inches – too small to work in – so Lewis had to tear out the cribbing on the lower side to make room to excavate further. The fill on the underside of the cribbing extended a short distance to a wall which approximately followed the dip of the shaft. By excavating out to the wall, Lewis gave himself enough room to work while still leaving three sides of the cribbing intact.

    It soon became evident that the wall had been the limit of an old mining excavation, and the area in the vicinity of the shaft was a mined out and filled area. Tool marks on the wall show that it had been sealed off, and remnants of quartz sampled by Tom Russell assayed $40.00 per ton in gold.

    The fill on the outside of the cribbing had been carefully placed by hand even to rocks being chinked in between the logs. This fill material is such as might have come from a mine working waste dump after the high-grade had been extracted, and was not wash material. Inside the cribbing the fill is entirely wash material such as would fill any opening if a cover over the opening had given way and a flood had taken place.

    All crib timbering was done with heavy ironwood logs – some of them 10” in diameter. Occasional pieces of completely rotted mesquite are encountered in the inside fill, indicating that a cover or bulkhead of this material had been used, and later had rotted away permitting a flood to fill the shaft.

    At the present writing, Lewis has excavated about 25 feet and the timbering and fill is continuing.

    It is impossible to accurately estimate the age of the timbering but it is no doubt very old. All bark and an outer layer of the ironwood has disintegrated, and even mesquite will last a long time in a mine. A section of one of the ironwood logs was taken to the tree ring laboratory at the University of Arizona but they advised that it was impossible to determine its age.

    If the work was done with the idea of concealment, one could scarcely imagine a more thorough job. The timbering was done for permanency and at a great expenditure of labor. And it must have been done from the bottom up, precluding any idea of a “prospect” shaft. It then stopped abruptly a couple of feet below the wash level where a log cover could be overlain with wash gravel, some brush dragged over it, and the first rain would obliterate all traces. Its relation to the promontory is such that floods down the creek would tend to pile more gravel on top of it instead of exposing it. If one planned to come back in a reasonable time there would be no use making the cover of ironwood, but if one planned to have the shaft itself intact, indefinitely, the ironwood cribbing would be ideal.

    The formation is one in which it is reasonable to expect high grade gold pockets and if the Spaniards, or the Dutchman, or whoever it was, found such an outcrop, mined it down from the surface, and then wished to leave it for a while but conceal it, there could be no more perfect way than to put in such a cribbed opening for access, fill in around it and cover it over.

    The answer to most high-grade gold pockets and lost mines is that they were small and worked out, and that may be the answer in this case. But the nature of the work indicates that it is a true “Antigua” and that it was cleverly arranged for concealment.

    Signed
    February 4, 1949 Chas. H. Dunning, Director Dept. of Mineral Resources

  2. #2
    us
    Dec 2008
    1,942
    4466 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Roberts View Post
    In January of 1949 Alfred Strong Lewis a mining engineer discovered an old previously unknown Spanish / Mexican excavation on the grounds of the old Mammoth Mine at Goldfield.

    With partners, Hugh Nickols, Charles Waterbury, Tom Russell and Ted Sliger they formed Goldfield Mines Inc. and took $50,000 in gold from the discovery before breaking into a tunnel of the Charles Hall section of the Mammoth Mine. At that point the vein was lost and all mining came to a halt.

    A detailed examination of the Lewis discovery was done by Charles H. Dunning, the Director of the Arizona State Department of Mineral Resources on February 4, 1949.

    His official report and findings are among the most astounding and fascinating facts of early mining in the area of the Superstition Mountains.

    Posted here is Dunning's 3 page report. I have a copy of that report given to me by Lewis's wife's family. The scanning of that report to upload is blurry so it is transcribed below.

    For anyone who is a serious enthusiast of Spanish / Mexican mining in Arizona and the LDM this report is unparalleled.


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    Transcript Of Dunning's 3 page report.

    STATEMENT OF CHAS. H. DUNNING, DIRECTOR OF THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF MINERAL RESOUNCES, REGARDING THE DISCOVERY OF AN OLD MINE WORKING AT GOLDFIELD.

    I have inspected the working on two occasions at the request of Mr. Alfred Lewis and Mr. Tom Russell and it appears to be a true “Antigua” or mine opening that antecedes recorded history. The discovery was made within a stone’s throw of the old Goldfield Mine workings which are reported to have produced over a million dollars in gold, but it apparently is not connected with those workings and seemingly was entirely unknown to the operators of the Goldfield.

    One must visualize a vein formation or mineralized zone somewhat over 100 feet in width running parallel to a prominent wash and extending partly into or under the wash and partly along its bank. At one point, a small promontory of the rather hard quartzose vein material just cut into the wash and forms a steep bank. In the wash, close to this cliff, Lewis discovered an ancient cribbed shaft dipping out under the wash at an angle of about 70 degrees.

    The working was discovered accidentally but not without sensible reason. The little promontory of vein matter carried quartz stringers showing only low values on the surface. Lewis felt that these stringers might become higher grade with a little depth, so he planned to sink down in the wash a short distance and then crosscut back into the hard wall. About two feet below the wash level he began to encounter old ironwood logs, and a little deeper these took shape as a cribbed (like a log cabin) chute or shaft, completely filled with wash material.

    The state of the opening inside of the timbering was only about 18 x 36 inches – too small to work in – so Lewis had to tear out the cribbing on the lower side to make room to excavate further. The fill on the underside of the cribbing extended a short distance to a wall which approximately followed the dip of the shaft. By excavating out to the wall, Lewis gave himself enough room to work while still leaving three sides of the cribbing intact.

    It soon became evident that the wall had been the limit of an old mining excavation, and the area in the vicinity of the shaft was a mined out and filled area. Tool marks on the wall show that it had been sealed off, and remnants of quartz sampled by Tom Russell assayed $40.00 per ton in gold.

    The fill on the outside of the cribbing had been carefully placed by hand even to rocks being chinked in between the logs. This fill material is such as might have come from a mine working waste dump after the high-grade had been extracted, and was not wash material. Inside the cribbing the fill is entirely wash material such as would fill any opening if a cover over the opening had given way and a flood had taken place.

    All crib timbering was done with heavy ironwood logs – some of them 10” in diameter. Occasional pieces of completely rotted mesquite are encountered in the inside fill, indicating that a cover or bulkhead of this material had been used, and later had rotted away permitting a flood to fill the shaft.

    At the present writing, Lewis has excavated about 25 feet and the timbering and fill is continuing.

    It is impossible to accurately estimate the age of the timbering but it is no doubt very old. All bark and an outer layer of the ironwood has disintegrated, and even mesquite will last a long time in a mine. A section of one of the ironwood logs was taken to the tree ring laboratory at the University of Arizona but they advised that it was impossible to determine its age.

    If the work was done with the idea of concealment, one could scarcely imagine a more thorough job. The timbering was done for permanency and at a great expenditure of labor. And it must have been done from the bottom up, precluding any idea of a “prospect” shaft. It then stopped abruptly a couple of feet below the wash level where a log cover could be overlain with wash gravel, some brush dragged over it, and the first rain would obliterate all traces. Its relation to the promontory is such that floods down the creek would tend to pile more gravel on top of it instead of exposing it. If one planned to come back in a reasonable time there would be no use making the cover of ironwood, but if one planned to have the shaft itself intact, indefinitely, the ironwood cribbing would be ideal.

    The formation is one in which it is reasonable to expect high grade gold pockets and if the Spaniards, or the Dutchman, or whoever it was, found such an outcrop, mined it down from the surface, and then wished to leave it for a while but conceal it, there could be no more perfect way than to put in such a cribbed opening for access, fill in around it and cover it over.

    The answer to most high-grade gold pockets and lost mines is that they were small and worked out, and that may be the answer in this case. But the nature of the work indicates that it is a true “Antigua” and that it was cleverly arranged for concealment.

    Signed
    February 4, 1949 Chas. H. Dunning, Director Dept. of Mineral Resources
    nice post matthew

  3. #3
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    7,297
    7776 times
    Quote Originally Posted by azdave35 View Post
    nice post matthew
    Ditto, great post!

    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
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  4. #4

    Apr 2014
    Tartarus Dorsa mountains
    1,536
    790 times
    Stayin' alive :D
    Your first date might be off? Or did he really accomplish all that in a month?
    Improving the world, one post at a time

  5. #5
    us
    Apr 2013
    Huntington Beach California
    655
    2829 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by ConceptualizedNetherlandr View Post
    Your first date might be off? Or did he really accomplish all that in a month?

    You need to carefully read the Dunning Report again.

    Lewis makes the discovery in January 1949.

    Dunning views the site in February 1949. At this point Lewis has just begun to excavate the first few feet of the tunnel.

    After the Dunning Report was written is when Lewis and his partners formed their Mining Company and took out the gold ore.

    Everything ended sometime in the late summer of 1950 when Lewis broke into an old tunnel of the Mammoth Mine.

    Lewis then himself died in the fall of 1950.

    Nowhere in the post or Dunning's report does it indicate everything occurred between January and February of 1949. That is your misinterpretation of the events.

    Best,

    Matthew

  6. #6
    us
    Dec 2008
    1,942
    4466 times
    that entire area along apache trail has produced many pounds of gold...a couple mines are still producing

  7. #7

    Apr 2014
    Tartarus Dorsa mountains
    1,536
    790 times
    Stayin' alive :D
    Thanks for the clarification. Didn't seem right so I asked! So the lost mine could be any of these holes assosiated with that area, and has been found!
    Last edited by ConceptualizedNetherlandr; Mar 04, 2018 at 06:07 PM.
    Improving the world, one post at a time

  8. #8
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    7,297
    7776 times
    Quote Originally Posted by ConceptualizedNetherlandr View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. Didn't seem right so I asked! So the lost mine could be any of these holes assosiated with that area, and has been found!

    Could be, after all the Lost Dutchman's mine has been found over 200 times already! So you can set your mind at ease.

    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  9. #9

    Apr 2014
    Tartarus Dorsa mountains
    1,536
    790 times
    Stayin' alive :D
    so what keeps you looking?
    Last edited by ConceptualizedNetherlandr; Mar 05, 2018 at 04:29 PM.
    Improving the world, one post at a time

  10. #10
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    7,297
    7776 times
    Quote Originally Posted by ConceptualizedNetherlandr View Post
    so what keeps you looking?
    Who said I am looking? I merely ask for anyone that is claiming to have found the LDM to provide some scientific proof of having accomplished the fact, rather than just stories, Google Earth photos etc. An ore comparison (which I am sure many will take issue with) can provide this kind of scientific proof, but no one seems to bother to take that step. Can you tell me why that is?


    Also, even if the LDM never existed at all, just by going out and searching, a good prospector or lucky man or woman might just happen upon a rich gold or silver mine, not perhaps the famous LDM they were seeking, but one rich enough to set you up for life financially. More than one good gold mine has been found over the years by people out searching for a famous lost mine, which unfortunately was not the famous lost mine but rich enough in gold anyway. Yet for nearly all of our over 200 people that have claimed to have found the LDM in over 200 different places, it seems much more important to get everyone to believe that they found the LDM than to get the gold which would make them wealthy enough. To me that makes no sense, and in my opinion it would not matter what name the mine is called, if it has plenty of gold, I could not care less if it was the LDM or the lost Adams or the Pink Bunny Slippers mine, since it is the gold I am after anyway. I hope I have answered your question.

    So what keeps you trying to discourage everyone from looking?

    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  11. #11
    us
    Mar 2004
    Severn, Maryland
    None
    891
    3148 times
    Cache Hunting
    Everything ended sometime in the late summer of 1950 when Lewis broke into an old tunnel of the Mammoth Mine.


    That reminds me of a story a friend of mine told me. He picked up a hitchhiker back in the 90's that had been working in a silver mine in Colorado. The guy had nothing left as he had rented an apartment, rented funishings while working the mine.
    "What Happened?" "We were digging the shaft and put the pick right through the wall into another mine." "No more silver, no more money so I am going back home".
    That happened more than once even to Tombstone, The mines were so interconnected that when they hit the underground river, it flooded the entire mining in the mountain. It has been tried to puimp it out twice that I heard of, but the water flow was so strong that even newer more power pumps could not expose the bottom of the shafts to allow mining the silver again.

  12. #12

    Apr 2014
    Tartarus Dorsa mountains
    1,536
    790 times
    Stayin' alive :D
    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco View Post
    Who said I am looking? I merely ask for anyone that is claiming to have found the LDM to provide some scientific proof of having accomplished the fact, rather than just stories, Google Earth photos etc. An ore comparison (which I am sure many will take issue with) can provide this kind of scientific proof, but no one seems to bother to take that step. Can you tell me why that is?


    Also, even if the LDM never existed at all, just by going out and searching, a good prospector or lucky man or woman might just happen upon a rich gold or silver mine, not perhaps the famous LDM they were seeking, but one rich enough to set you up for life financially. More than one good gold mine has been found over the years by people out searching for a famous lost mine, which unfortunately was not the famous lost mine but rich enough in gold anyway. Yet for nearly all of our over 200 people that have claimed to have found the LDM in over 200 different places, it seems much more important to get everyone to believe that they found the LDM than to get the gold which would make them wealthy enough. To me that makes no sense, and in my opinion it would not matter what name the mine is called, if it has plenty of gold, I could not care less if it was the LDM or the lost Adams or the Pink Bunny Slippers mine, since it is the gold I am after anyway. I hope I have answered your question.

    So what keeps you trying to discourage everyone from looking?

    I'll start thinking about an ore comparison just as soon as you provide the standard to which such compariaon is to be made.
    audigger53 likes this.
    Improving the world, one post at a time

  13. #13
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    7,297
    7776 times
    Quote Originally Posted by ConceptualizedNetherlandr View Post
    I'll start thinking about an ore comparison just as soon as you provide the standard to which such compariaon is to be made.
    I see that you neglected to answer my rather simple and straightforward question for you, an oversight perhaps? I will repeat the question, and will be happy to answer your question as soon as you answer mine. It is only common courtesy after all.

    So what keeps you trying to discourage everyone from looking?

    Thank you in advance,

    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  14. #14

    Apr 2014
    Tartarus Dorsa mountains
    1,536
    790 times
    Stayin' alive :D
    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco View Post
    I see that you neglected to answer my rather simple and straightforward question for you, an oversight perhaps? I will repeat the question, and will be happy to answer your question as soon as you answer mine. It is only common courtesy after all.

    So what keeps you trying to discourage everyone from looking?

    Thank you in advance,

    Your question is based on a false premise therefore not worthy of answer.

    Your turn amigo
    Improving the world, one post at a time

  15. #15
    us
    Nov 2011
    Jamestown ND
    Garrett 2500
    1,161
    976 times
    Old Jesuits and Spainish Mines
    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco View Post
    Who said I am looking? I merely ask for anyone that is claiming to have found the LDM to provide some scientific proof of having accomplished the fact, rather than just stories, Google Earth photos etc. An ore comparison (which I am sure many will take issue with) can provide this kind of scientific proof, but no one seems to bother to take that step. Can you tell me why that is?


    Also, even if the LDM never existed at all, just by going out and searching, a good prospector or lucky man or woman might just happen upon a rich gold or silver mine, not perhaps the famous LDM they were seeking, but one rich enough to set you up for life financially. More than one good gold mine has been found over the years by people out searching for a famous lost mine, which unfortunately was not the famous lost mine but rich enough in gold anyway. Yet for nearly all of our over 200 people that have claimed to have found the LDM in over 200 different places, it seems much more important to get everyone to believe that they found the LDM than to get the gold which would make them wealthy enough. To me that makes no sense, and in my opinion it would not matter what name the mine is called, if it has plenty of gold, I could not care less if it was the LDM or the lost Adams or the Pink Bunny Slippers mine, since it is the gold I am after anyway. I hope I have answered your question.

    So what keeps you trying to discourage everyone from looking?

    Well here you go Oroblanco, but you woun't believe it and ask the same question again next month.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This come from the same ore I posted, That paper it's on is a standard size 8.5x 11 copy paper.
    12.4 oz just got back 10 days ago with about 600 pounds of ore to bust up yet.

    Here's to not believing I guess. And it's not in California white Quarts.

    babymick1

 

 
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