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  1. #1

    Jul 2003
    kentucky
    407
    5 times

    Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    The following is from news paper accounts of Swift, Waite and Sprinkle. I will be adding more later. As for swift, he came looking for one of his upper mines with the carving of a triangle carved on a rock near the headwaters of kinnicnick creek. the story goes that he was sick and went on to lexington kentucky and died there. there is a john swift buried there in the old grave yard.
    But, we have another john swift that came and stayed with the catlett family. Cattlettburg Ky. is named for them. the catlett family took care of him until he died. Now, in the old family grave yard there is a small marker with J. swift 180? a 2 maybe 3 cannot tell. This story and waybill i will be adding later

    Silver Mines on Kinny. The following letter is from the Portsmouth Press, the latter part from the author of the Press letter direct to the author:

    A Silver Article


    Recently the Press contained a letter from a gentleman who knew the Waites, who used to make silver money in Adams County. That letter stirred up Mr. W. R. Beatty, Sr., of Sciotoville, who kindly contributes the following interesting information relative to the subject:

    "Editor Press. Having seen the articles in your columns relative to the discovery of silver in Adams County, O., and the mention of a Swift and Montgomery coming to Maysville kentucky and searching main kinnicnick for a mine. Sprinkle dollar, the family of Jonathan Waite and the so-called 'Waite dollar,' I thought the following would be of interest to your readers. "The log cabin referred to by your former correspondent was a veritable mint where thousands of silver dollars were coined, which passed as current as the coin of the realm. "But Waite could not work ore so impure as that found in Adams County. The Waite dollar was made from the ore just as found, without refining, and contained more silver than the American dollar. "Waite procured his ore on Kinniconnick, in Lewis County, Ky. My great uncle, Andrew Beatty, discovered the mine in 1812, and it was through the intimacy of his and my father's family that Waite came to a knowledge of the mine.
    "Andrew Beatty's prospecting extended from the head of main Kinny to within twelve miles of Boone Furnace. Here the ore became impure, and was not traced further. This territory embraces nearly the whole of Lewis and Carter Counties. My uncle, after many failures to open and work the mines, died upon the eve of success, and none of my ancestors ever made any further attempt in that direction. "Waite was interested in the matter, and one day came to my grandfather's and told him that, as it appeared that they would never get to do anything with the mines legally, he intended to make immediate arrangements to begin 'free coinage.' My grandfather tried to persuade him not to do so, but when he would not be persuaded, he gave him several hundred weight of the ore, which he then had in his possession, and this ore made the first installment of Waite dollars.
    Waite took into his confidence a smart Yankee, who assumed an Irish character, and who was supposed to be insane. He was known as Billie Johnson. Billie was not infrequently absent for months. His business was to transport the ore to the Ohio River, at a point now known as the Boone Furnace landing, it being taken across the river in a 'dug-out' and concealed in a place
    agreed upon. Waite was very ingenious, and divided his time between his mine and the furnace.

    "Waite's phenomenal success induced parties in Highland County, whose names I do not care to mention, to increase their finances by the same method, and thousands of dollars were made there. The quality of this ore may well be guessed, when it is remembered that there was not a mile of wagon-road between Highland County and Kinniconnick, and the only means of
    transportation was the pack mule.
    "A man named Sprinkle, of Kentucky, was the next to enter the ring. (I know that some will dispute this and claim that the scene of Sprinkle's operations was in Virginia.) The principal scene of his operations was on Laurel Fork of Kinny, and they were of no mean proportions, either. Sprinkle often crossed the river at Greenup, and his first stopping place on this side was
    at a house near what is known as Giant Oak Mills, on Pine Creek. On these occasions he was always loaded, but he much oftener made his way to Vanceburg, and many a goodly structure in that vicinity owes its existence to Sprinkle dollars. (Two Sprinkle dollars are now owned in Vanceburg.) The next to take the cue was Shepherd, of Kentucky fame. The scene of his
    operations was about fifteen miles from Boone Furnace, Ky. "Shepherd was a regular 'moonshiner,' and had a smelter of no mean proportions concealed in the mountains, which was guarded night and day. He was soon trapped, and was sent to the penitentiary for eight years. The ore worked by him was not very good, and gave him a good deal of trouble to flux it. It is to be found about ten miles beyond Boone Furnace, where my uncle left off prospecting. "The next to add to the circulating medium was George Wright & Co., of near Haverhill, in this county. Shepherd having served his time in prison, returned to
    his old haunts and questionable ways. Wright and others, all well-to-do farmers in the vicinity of Haverhill, O., formed an acquaintance with him, and undertook to work the ore on this side the river. Wright was an ingenious mechanic, but the impurities of the ore baffled him. Shepherd came to his relief by smelting the ore in his furnace, and casting it in long strips the exact thickness and width of a half dollar. These bars were taken to a trysting place near Greenup and turned over
    to Wright. Wright procured a powerful machine from Cincinnati. This machine was working with a lever, and every stroke made a half dollar. But the old proverb 'The wicked are taken in their own craftiness' was here verified. A slight indiscretion of one of the parties revealed their little scheme. Wright went up for five years, the others for a shorter term. "Shepherd was indiscreet, and being closely watched, soon found himself the second time in 'limbo,' and went up for a long term, dying before his time expired.

    "I have endeavored to give a brief and connected outline of the principal actors upon this curious drama. Many others of lesser note might have been instanced, but to follow the devious wanderings of all would make this too long a newspaper article.

    "The question may well be asked, what became of all this spurious coin? The answer is easy: "Having once passed into circulation, it could not be distinguished from the genuine, because it was silver. After becoming a very little worn, the slight defect of execution could not be noticed; and if any one should receive a Waite or Sprinkle dollar to-day he would be
    satisfied to know that it was silver without having it tested for the copper alloy. They are all in circulation, and if you should chance to have two dollars in your pocket, one from Waite's and the other from the United States mint, you can not tell 'which is which.'


  2. #2
    us
    Having the time of my life!

    Sep 2008
    Cincinnati
    563
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    What a great article Boomer!

    It sure would have been nice to find the previous articles the writer was mentioning. Kinni is a pretty long creek and as I understand it full of rattlesnakes. Not that I would let that stop me from looking. Do you think these guys found one of Swift's mines or a separate place?
    Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death I will fear no evil for thou art with me.

  3. #3

    Jul 2003
    kentucky
    407
    5 times

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    This is just a small part of stories you can find in news papers. most counties had a monthly are weekly news paper and old land and court records are a gold mine.

    "This article would seem incomplete without a brief outline of the circumstances that led to the discovery of silver by my ancestors in the territory here named. One who has ever visited Kinny will be surprised at the number of weird traditions related to him by the old settlers, and would find it a hard task to trace the traditions back to their origin. In the year 1776 a small
    party of men were making their way from the East to the new settlements of Kentucky. On the journey they were attacked by Indians, and one of their number, named McCormick, was taken prisoner. He was taken to the head of Kinny, where the main body of Indians were encamped. He was tied to a stake, and they proceeded to roast him after the manner of their instinct.
    As the Indians were firing the fagots, three white men approached. The three white men proved to be French missionaries, who interfered and saved McCormick's life. On the day following an Indian brought into camp a specimen of pure silver, which excited the curiosity of these Frenchmen. Upon making inquiry they found that it existed in abundance near the camp. After a careful investigation they decided to work the mine, and one of the men De Burtte by name and an Indian started to Fort Pitt for men and material. In due time they returned with sixteen other Frenchmen, and proceeded to build a small smelter, to make char-
    coal, and to open the mine. Twenty of the Indians remained with the French, and they continued their operations for the space of nearly three years. The Revolution was now in full blast, and the Indians went on the war path. Nearly the entire product of this
    mine, consisting of silver bars, was concealed near the scene of operations. The above is a condensed statement of De Burtte's story, given in writing thirty-five years later. Andrew Beatty had discovered the old furnace and the old mine, and had prospected the entire country from the head of main Kinny to near the Spheherd mine, and had found many rich deposits of silver before he ever saw De Burtte's statement. Perhaps the richest of these is on Laurel Fork. My father had what he considered some 'lean samples' of this ore assayed, which yielded seventy per cent of silver.

    But this article has increased in length far beyond my expectations, and I am not through. If it should seem to interest any one, I may have more to say hereafter. W. R. Beatty, Sr."

    "If any one is curious to locate the old mine worked by the French and Indians, they will proceed up main Kinny until they come to the property owned, in A. D. 1867, by a man named Coleman. About one mile above the Coleman residence, a long, deep hollow intersects Kinny on the right as you face up stream. At the mouth of this hollow (in the fifties) stood a log cabin owned and occupied by a man known as Billy Burriss. The cabin burned down long since. This cabin stood on nearly the exact spot where McCormick was tied to the stake, and also on the spot occupied by the little smelter which was built by the French, and is truly an historic spot. Standing on this spot, with the face up Kinny, the old mine is on the left, a short distance up the hill, and is an object of much interest. It is easily found, and presents a strange appearance. The furnace, when found by my uncle, was compeltely in ruins. All the mining tools and implements used by them were in the furnace, and a small portion of their last heat
    was chilled in the crucible.

    "I know that geologists will and do say that the geological conditions of Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky preclude the possibility of the precious metals, but since the declaration of these geologists silver has been discovered in Adams County, Ohio, and I speak the words of truth when I say that I know there are rich silver mines in Lewis and Carter Counties; and further,
    some as rich specimens of gold quartz as I ever saw were found on the dividing ridge between main Kinny and Triplet Creek. I have been in many placer gold mines, and I wish to say with emphasis that the locality here named shows every evidence of free gold. Has there ever been a single panful of dirt washed in all this region?

    "W. R. Beatty."

  4. #4
    us
    Having the time of my life!

    Sep 2008
    Cincinnati
    563
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    Boomer this is most excellent! I have tried a few old newspapers but nothing was there like what you have found! This is most interesting because of the historical aspects and the location of it all. Henson had been there at the smelter, but he didn't seem to have near as much info as you do. That 70 percent is no doubt what Sprinkle and Waite were into! Just like the previous article suggests. Keep it coming Boomer, man we have missed you!

    Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death I will fear no evil for thou art with me.

  5. #5

    Jul 2003
    kentucky
    407
    5 times

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    if you run a line from sandy hook ky. up to the mouth of kinniconick creek. all the silver locations are 5 miles ether side of the line. i have about 2 dozen other articles on silver and some gold for the area. i think sprinkle got his silver near his cabin and some where is his coins. i wonder where his furnace is thats the key. that ridge past boone furnace. thats the starting point.

  6. #6

    Jul 2003
    kentucky
    407
    5 times

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    This little bit was from the greenup news paper in 1932.

    11/1/1932

    Greenup: Enthusiasm for a treasure hunt stirred this town today following the discovery in a cave of 12 nuggets which apparently are gold.

    The cave discovered by two boys, John and Troy Holbrook also contained Indian relics and a petrified human arm.

    the cave is in an obscure place 18 miles south west of here near the Carter County line.

    The nuggets have withstood acid tests for gold.

    Over the years small nuggets have been found near the boat ramp on the little sandy river at greenup. also at the mouth of tygarts creek. if this is correct the location would be some where between iron hill and the entrance to carter caves state park on tygarts creek or one of the branches? a lot of oldtime railroaders from greenup, carter and lewis county, all farmers. know the areas well. some have verified the story.






  7. #7
    us
    Having the time of my life!

    Sep 2008
    Cincinnati
    563
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    Hmmm this fits into the other posts about the guy who worte to the newspaper about gold in that area! Please keep thes pieces coming Boomer! I feel like a spunge, just trying to soak it all in.
    Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death I will fear no evil for thou art with me.

  8. #8
    us
    "Seek And Ye Shall Find"

    Feb 2009
    EASTERN KENTUCKY
    MD & Handwand "CaveHunter"Hiker" SonyDigital SLR
    610
    1 times

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    Great Storys....
    "A picture can speak a thousand words"

  9. #9
    us
    .... Never Ever Give Up ....

    May 2009
    Eastern Kentucky
    Garret Ace - 250
    78
    1 times
    Gold and Silver!!!!

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    Boomer:

    I actually live in Catlettsburg and was wondering if you have any info. on the location of this old graveyard.. I am like Curtis and just trying to soak all this in.. Very interesting stuff.. Keep it coming..

    Thanx

    Casey

  10. #10
    us
    Having the time of my life!

    Sep 2008
    Cincinnati
    563
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    You might check with the library, they should have a section on genealogy, they will have a subsection on all the grave yards. Some places even have lists of the people buried in those grave yards.It will probably be lists and locations of both public and private. Then you have the ones that do the rubbings, they take special paper and place it on the grave stone, then rub it with every thing form charcoal to crayolas. Bound to be someone to help you....but then Boomer might already know right where it is.
    Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death I will fear no evil for thou art with me.

  11. #11
    us
    Having the time of my life!

    Sep 2008
    Cincinnati
    563
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    Boomer,

    Any more likely treasure stuff around the Carter/Elliott/Lewis/Green up Counties? The stuff on the guy from Portsmouth newspaper was some of the best I've read on Tnet or any other site...it rang true and was very much appreciated!
    Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death I will fear no evil for thou art with me.

  12. #12

    Jul 2003
    kentucky
    407
    5 times

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    there have been recorded on early topo maps the location of silver and gold mines in kentucky. but most have been removed from the newer topo maps, except for 8 i know of, here is one that is located just east of the dam at grayson lake. notice it says mines not mine? look at the areas around silver mines creek. see the places that have the word mine, could those be silver mine openings?
    going on rt. 7 from grayson, just before you get to the dam there is a road that heads east rt. 1496. go about 3 miles and you will come to this location.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	grayson lake silver mines.jpg 
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  13. #13
    us
    Having the time of my life!

    Sep 2008
    Cincinnati
    563
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    I remember seeing those (back in early 80s) on the maps the guy who got me into treasure hunting had. I bought the newer ones and they were not on them.

    Good catch Boomer, have you been into that area?
    Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death I will fear no evil for thou art with me.

  14. #14

    Jul 2003
    kentucky
    407
    5 times

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    only one time, just looking around. there was a locked gate there. never did go back.

  15. #15
    us
    Having the time of my life!

    Sep 2008
    Cincinnati
    563
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Lewis/Carter County Silver Mines

    Boomer,

    Was that a state park gate? I will be going to the Caney area when the shoulder heals up sometime at the end of April I hope I'll check that area out if its state land, if private will try to find land owner. Any chance in meeting you there?
    Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death I will fear no evil for thou art with me.

 

 
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