Dec 24, 2013, 02:07 PM
the headwaters of Morrison Creek, Gore Range of Colorado
If one examines a geologic map of Colorado one of the first things they notice is a linear band or chain of mountain ranges that cuts diagonally across the center of the state and trends roughly N20ºW. This great band of uplifted peaks spans the entire state and includes (from north to south) the Sierra Madre Range, Park Range, Gore Range, Mosquito Range, Turret/Calumet area, Sangre de Cristo mountain chain, and Culebra Range.
This extensive chain of mountain peaks intersects the Colorado Mineral Belt near the town of Climax. Except for this junction and the small mining districts at Hahns Peak, Turret, and along the western foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the linear band is nearly devoid of minerals. But this vast chain of mountains harbors a secret at both its northern and southern ends. Ensconced in the hidden recesses of these lofty peaks are two gold veins of legendary proportions - in the south, the Lost Golden Ledge of the Sangres, in the north, the Lost Golden Ledge of the Gore Range.
The Gore Range of Colorado was named after the famous Scottish gentleman and hunter Sir George Gore. Although it is located west of the Colorado Mineral Belt, the Gore Range has an amazingly rich store of lost mine tales. Many of them concern an immense lode of gold that has come to be known simply as the "Golden Ledge". It has attained an almost legendary status in the annals of Colorado mining history.
Rumors of gold in the Gore Range of Colorado began to surface prior to 1850 when Ute Indians showed up in Middle Park carrying handfuls of the yellow metal to trade. Then, during the mid-1850's,
gold was discovered somewhere near Piney Lake in what is now Eagle County by a member of the famous Gore expedition. Led by Sir George Gore and guided by the renowned mountain man Jim Bridger, the expedition would achieve notoriety by its extraordinary harvest of big game animals. Another early discovery of gold in the Gore Range involved the Utah-bound Bela M. Hughes party. A member of the party named Lemuel Pollard found an extremely rich piece of gold-bearing float while passing through the range.
During the 1870's, an old fur trapper named Hill claimed to have found an immense ledge of gold-bearing ore somewhere near the headwaters of Morrison Creek. Hill's samples were rich in free gold and assayed out at over $15,000 per ton. Sadly, the outcrop has evaded prospectors and gold-seekers ever since.
In 1896, a ledge of "peculiar-looking rock" was discovered in the Gore Range by a hunter named Horace Pullen. Pullen collected samples of the rock which turned out to be extremely rich gold ore worth $17,000 to the ton! Again, Pullen was unable to find his way back to the bonanza.
The Lost John La Foe Mine has a similar pedigree. Discovered around the turn of the century by a party of miners on their way to Nevada, the La Foe deposit is said to be an outcrop of rich, free-milling gold ore. It too has evaded re-discovery.
The Gore Range hides its secrets well. Somewhere in those rugged mountains an incredibly rich ledge of gold-bearing ore apparently lies hidden. Of all its discoverers, only the Utes were ever able to return to the ledge repeatedly.
scouring the central NY area for treasure always happy to get leads and buddies to dig with and learn with!
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