The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine
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Thread: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

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  1. #1
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    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
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    The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    Greetings,

    Anyone have any info on this (locally famous) lost placer? It is one of the oddest lost mine stories of the Black Hills, in that the location was very well known, apparently to virtually everyone, in the early days (1876-78) but just a few years later, no one knew where it was. Thank you in advance,
    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  2. #2
    us
    LookieLou

    Feb 2011
    Where I Hang my Hat
    24

    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    In short: General Custer and men along with a U.S geological team led by Walter P. Jenny in 1874/75 were on an expedition to find proof of gold, silver etc. Standoff Bar was supposedly found in/on Jenny gulch by this United States Geological team.

    Some believe that Pactola Dam has covered the original mouth of Jenny Gulch. On the west end of Pactola Reservoir is Silver city. From Siver City Rd - Follow Forest service rt 671 / Sunnyside Gulch rd to Jenny Gulch Rd - OR - Silver City Rd North until it T's - to the left is Forest rt 671 / Jenny Gulch Rd, to the right is Silver City Rd - Google maps - Google Books has more information






  3. #3
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    Jan 2005
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    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    Hola amigo and thank you for your reply,

    <You posted>
    Some believe that Pactola Dam has covered the original mouth of Jenny Gulch. On the west end of Pactola Reservoir is Silver city. From Siver City Rd - Follow Forest service rt 671 / Sunnyside Gulch rd to Jenny Gulch Rd - OR - Silver City Rd North until it T's - to the left is Forest rt 671 / Jenny Gulch Rd, to the right is Silver City Rd
    Yes this is one theory, however "Jenny gulch" may or may not be the same one which connects to what is today Pactola, and Standoff Bar is supposed to be at least a mile up the canyon from either the mouth of the canyon or Prof Jenny's mine. So it would not be under water. Even if it were under the lake, with a hookah and dredge the mine could be worked today.

    One of the letters (or diary) written by one of the original owners described the mine as being "either Jennys Gulch or Spring Creek" which further confuses this matter. Spring creek is miles away from what we call Jenny Gulch today (near Silver City) and has no part known as Jenny Gulch. A letter written by a soldier who was with Crook on the campaign after the Little Bighorn mentioned passing Standoff Bar and seems to place it on Spring Creek, but is not specific enough to be sure.

    Pactola is central to several other lost mine legends of the area including several silver mines, which as far as I can determine are not under the reservoir. Rainbow canyon is key to locating one of them, and I have not been able to ID this canyon yet.

    What I suspect is that the canyon where Standoff is located is not known today by the same name, as many have been renamed since the 1876 gold rush including Beaver creek, Amphibious creek, etc. The fact that there was a 'standoff' at the mine in the early days of the rush suggests (to me) that the crowd of rushers came through there, not that this is a strong clue but we know that the 'crowd' first gathered at Custer, then Spring creek, and so on to each new site as the discoveries were made so if we had any diaries of the rushers, it might help pin down exactly which canyon was "Jenny gulch or Spring creek" at that time.

    Thank you again, I look forward to your replies.
    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  4. #4
    us
    LookieLou

    Feb 2011
    Where I Hang my Hat
    24

    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    Notes, logs diary's, can certainly be helpful, To me, words like "Standoff" may mean something that is overlooked. We're told that modern day bars were called saloons so that one is dubious, could mean miners, Indians, something one could stand off of, possibly close by or in the distance, a common sand bar or something completely out of the box. As I understand it, Jenny was from New York, maybe he looked at life a little different, maybe not. Then again, I may be putting to much into it.

    These maps were posted over in the California location on the forum. They date back to 1877, maybe they can be of some assistance. http://menotomymaps.com/gold_claim_maps.asp

  5. #5
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    Jan 2005
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    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    Muchas gracias amigo!

    The name "Standoff" supposedly came from the original locators, for the incident which occurred shortly after they discovered it; they had started work on it when a crowd of rushers arrived and tried to muscle their way in, the three partners armed themselves and the two sides had a literal "standoff" with guns aimed at each other, until the crowd decided there were plenty more gold mines to discover without bloodshed and dispersed. This story of how it was named is pure folklore, nothing to substantiate it of course.

    The fact that the owners collapsed the entrance before leaving should leave a landmark (the collapsed entrance) even after over a century of time - that is a point I am counting on at least. If the depression has filled in, then picking out the mine will be very difficult indeed.

    This mine was so rich that the three partners were able to 'retire' with their fortunes after a relatively brief period of work, and the work had been done with the most primitive of equipment. They collapsed the entrance to discourage anyone else from working it, but apparently kept the option to return, so I surmise that there must be a good amount of gold remaining; perhaps even more than they extracted.

    Oroblanco

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

  6. #6
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    Jan 2005
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    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    Here is the letter written by John W. Allen, one of the original discoverers of the celebrated Standoff Bar mine, written to a Chicago newspaper;

    Cheyenne Wyoming Territory August 30 1875
    o the Editor of the Inter Ocean
    After prospecting a short time in the park we moved to Spring Creek or Jenney's Gulch and on the morning of the 20th of July we commenced prospecting Stand off Bar. We did not work more than half an hour until we panned out 25 cents to the pan found coarse gold and ran across the bar about 35 feet. From the last pan of dirt taken out of the face of the drift we got one pennyweight and three grains or what we term a good dollar to the pan. This is about one mile up Jenney's Gulch above Professor Jenney's discovery. We panned several pans that weighed from 25 cents to 50 cents and from 73 cents to 93 cents to the pan it ranged all the way from 10 cents to $1 We prospected also on Castle Creek and have proven beyond a doubt there are good placer mines there as well as on Spring Creek We also found good six dollar per day diggings on Rapid Creek and had not the military order arrested our work we would soon have had plenty of the yellow metal out of the ground have shown the world that the Hills are very rich. While we were preparing sluice boxes whip sawing lumber &c preparatory to working our ground we got the grand military shake and had to leave our claims and the Hills
    JOHN W ALLEN
    <Taken from Prof Jenney's official report on the Black Hills, The mineral wealth, climate and rain-fall, and natural resources of the Black hills of Dakota Govt Printing Office 1876, pp 25-26>

    As you can see, identifying which creek or gulch is the right one is a major problem - even Allen himself used ambiguous language, "..we moved to Spring Creek or Jenney's Gulch..". The values he listed would equate to very rich placer ground; at his low estimate of 10 cents to a pan, would amount to 43 grains per pan; using the old formula for a standard struck pan (? x 192 = ? per cubic yard) the poorest pans Allen tested would be over 17 oz of gold per cubic yard! The upper end is ten times this value. So finding this lost mine, which is certainly not mythical whatsoever, could pay the finder very well indeed.
    Oroblanco

    Coffee?

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

  7. #7
    us
    LookieLou

    Feb 2011
    Where I Hang my Hat
    24

    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    Upon my reading, and as I presently understand it, spring creek is a district as well as a creek. The districts created and named by miners of the day appear to have changed, I would think the labels given at the time of some creeks have changed since too. However, accounts of what I call landmarks were noted that would be difficult to change. Jenny / Jenney gulch is in the Spring Creek District perhaps on the spring creek of that time. Standoff Bar - Mine may be underwater today but I'm not convinced yet.

    As long as it isn't spiked or to hot, I'm a coffee drinker...

  8. #8
    um
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    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
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    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    Quote Originally Posted by lookielou
    Upon my reading, and as I presently understand it, spring creek is a district as well as a creek. The districts created and named by miners of the day appear to have changed, I would think the labels given at the time of some creeks have changed since too. However, accounts of what I call landmarks were noted that would be difficult to change. Jenny / Jenney gulch is in the Spring Creek District perhaps on the spring creek of that time. Standoff Bar - Mine may be underwater today but I'm not convinced yet.

    As long as it isn't spiked or to hot, I'm a coffee drinker...


    The name problem in the hills is difficult to track down - as you noted and are correct, there is a Spring Creek district as well as the creek of the same name! There are (today) no less than three Beaver creeks but two of these had different names in the past. The Forest Service is trying to change names yet again, which I wholly oppose.

    Yes this one could be underwater today, but I seriously doubt it; unless the valley where Pactola reservoir was then known as Jenny Gulch, which as far as i can determine it was not. On the other hand, if it were under the lake - it might be possible to mine it with diving equipment and a dredge profitably, if the proper permits could be obtained.

    thank you again for your replies, this lost mine is one of the more fascinating to me in that even the government geologist Prof Jenney knew the location well so is fairly well authenticated, yet somehow became lost.
    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  9. #9
    us
    LookieLou

    Feb 2011
    Where I Hang my Hat
    24

    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    Lost... is amazing!

    If I were in the position to do so, I'd look myself and gather what I could along the way. Sounds like you've been researching Standoff Bar for quite sometime. Good Luck with your search and thank-you for the replies.


  10. #10
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
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    9617 times

    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    Quote Originally Posted by lookielou
    Lost... is amazing!

    If I were in the position to do so, I'd look myself and gather what I could along the way. Sounds like you've been researching Standoff Bar for quite sometime. Good Luck with your search and thank-you for the replies.

    You surmise correctly amigo - I first heard about this from an old-timer while tending bar in Wyoming over 20 years ago, and at the time thought it just so much hot air like any saloon story but on checking it was very much "the real deal". The story has been published in a few magazine articles and at least one book but; you know only the "famous" lost mines and treasures get to be well known so we rarely hear anything about such 'legends' as Standoff. My wife Beth and I were a little surprised to learn there are so many lost mines just in our own Black Hills region (at least 23 that I can document) that one never hears about.

    Standoff Bar even featured in one of the newspaper serial adventure stories, found one chapter online at the Library of Congress growing collection of old newspaper archives;
    http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lc...=Bar+Stand-Off

    Thank YOU for your replies and interest, as I turn up any new info I will post it - and maybe one day this lost mine will get found?
    your friend in 'Dakota Territory'
    Roy ~ Oroblanco

    PS I figured you must be a 'coffee addict' like myself, so until we can share hot coffee around the campfire some day I can only offer you the virtual type.

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

  11. #11
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    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
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    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    The book I mentioned is titled "Lost Gold" by Mildred Fielder, has several of the lost mine stories of the Black Hills.
    http://www.amazon.com/Lost-gold-Mild...8447513&sr=1-1

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

  12. #12
    us
    LookieLou

    Feb 2011
    Where I Hang my Hat
    24

    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    Here's a book/report by Walter Proctor Jenney

    The mineral wealth, climate and rain-fall, and natural resources of the Black hills of Dakota

    Govt. print. off., yr 1876, 71 pages - a free Google eBook

  13. #13
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    7,818
    9617 times

    Re: The Lost Standoff Bar Gold Mine

    Thank you amigo, that is a great read!
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  14. #14

    Oct 2016
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    Researching Treasure Stories Author
    I found something that might help.
    Oroblanco likes this.

  15. #15
    us
    Apr 2012
    Rapid City, SD
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    I see the note mention--- 1 mile from Jenney's discovery. That is the key. I can't find anything about a discovery. I do know of a place about 1 mile upstream from where Jenney Gulch meets Rapid Creek. It does look like possible gravel bar as well as a tunnel.

 

 

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