Found Two Placer Claims Last Worked 1800s

Desert Hermit

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Feb 1, 2014
86
75
Randsburg, California
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Found Two Placer Claims Last Worked 1800's

I've been working myself to death trying to locate gold out here in the California Desert, it finally paid off. I've located two separate placer claims that somehow have gone overlooked since the early 1800's. Out physically prospecting didn't reveal these finds, studying closed and abandoned mines and claims didn't do it either; studying history revealed it. For whatever reason neither of these can be found in any database I've researched, how something like this slips through the cracks I have no clue.

One is 160 acres, the other is 40 acres, neither are posted. When you live in the desert one thing you learn real quick is that lots of people come and quickly go, and many things and memories are eventually buried by the hands of time, and mountains of blowing sand :hello2:.

I visited the 40 acre placer claim yesterday and collected a pile of rust stained quartz, crushed it up and panned away. One thing I love about panning crushed quartz is the pan empties fast and you get to the bottom of things (gold) real quick. There it was, just like the old feller left her in the 1800's, gold in my pan!

When I can safely share more info. you'll understand one big reason it's lasted this long without being discovered. I owe a great big thank you to the user on TN, rodoconnor. I've explored this desert for years and never knew of a couple places he had mentioned to me, that got me to researching the area much deeper, thank you Rod!

There's Gold In Them Thar Hills! But not just limited to them thar areas alone. One thing this find has taught me is that in the early days not all prospectors filed their finds as claims, this is one of those times. Basically I've called these placer claims but they were never claimed; here you have a great example of two men that wanted to get all they could without alerting others to their find. I didn't live in the wild days of the 1800's but history tells me that these two men probably lived a little bit longer because they only shared their news and location with close and trusted friends.

My heart was set on hard rock mining and filing a lode, but what the heck, this will work! :thumbsup: I have no idea what eventually became of these men or why not a soul followed up on what they had left behind, all I know at this point and moment in time is that I am truly grateful to these two men and Rod.
 
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KevinInColorado

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Jan 9, 2012
7,030
11,344
Summit County, Colorado
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Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
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Prospecting
This is a great story and illustrates an important point. Digging where the documentation shows people found gold before is the standard advice for good reason...however, going out beyond the edges the documented goldfields is also wise. Not every good gold deposit was documented (or the docs may be lost) and some sites that were abandoned as poor producers back in the day (and therefore never claimed or really worked) are worthwhile with modern gear and gold prices!
 
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Desert Hermit

Jr. Member
Feb 1, 2014
86
75
Randsburg, California
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MineLab GPX 5000
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
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This is a great story and illustrates an important point. Digging where the documentation shows people found gold before is the standard advice for good reason...however, going out beyond the edges the documented goldfields is also wise. Not every good gold deposit was documented (or the docs may be lost) and some sites that were abandoned as poor producers back in the day (and therefore never claimed or really worked) are worthwhile with modern gear and gold prices!

There are still a few mysteries about this that I will probably never get the answers to, the big question is why the info states 40 and 160 acres yet there are no claim records. If this was a legitimate claim and the family could somehow show this evidence, maybe this could be restored as a patented claim.
 

Hoser John

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Mar 22, 2003
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Once patented and escheats to the the state patent is dead and cannot be restored and patent moratorium expressly forbids such. No records mean prior to microfische and must go to County Recorders office and book hunt as you found name/date/location already so work half done already. Then LA/Frisco and do your research there. I have records on some of my claims back to 1879-86 from Frisco-John
 
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Desert Hermit

Jr. Member
Feb 1, 2014
86
75
Randsburg, California
Detector(s) used
MineLab GPX 5000
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
  • Thread Starter
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Now it's coming together, By 1832, the minimum land purchase from the feds was set at 40 acres, and the minimum price per acre had steadily fallen off to about a dollar per acre. At one point this find was probably owned by the individual. Now I can understand the 40 and 160 acre issue.
 
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Desert Hermit

Jr. Member
Feb 1, 2014
86
75
Randsburg, California
Detector(s) used
MineLab GPX 5000
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
Once patented and escheats to the the state patent is dead and cannot be restored and patent moratorium expressly forbids such. No records mean prior to microfische and must go to County Recorders office and book hunt as you found name/date/location already so work half done already. Then LA/Frisco and do your research there. I have records on some of my claims back to 1879-86 from Frisco-John

That was next on my list John, thank you. On the positive side of this is the fact that the specific area it's located in out here in the desert is undesirable even to desert lovers, got my fingers crossed.

LOL, I'm up at 4 every morning, that means I have to sweat for 5 whole hours waiting for the county to open their doors, get up people, I have work to do! :BangHead:
 
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pacog

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Apr 23, 2013
29
8
Ridgecrest, California
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Gold Bug Pro
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Prospecting
I'm taking care of this quick, my fingers are crossed so tight I'm afraid I may break them :occasion14:

DH, Good luck on the project hope it works out for you. If you need to know if any claims are open or not let me know. I have the US Gold Maps program and it's a good program in my opinion.
 

rodoconnor

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Mar 4, 2012
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D/H I'm glad it's working out !Good luck with the county
 

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