Sunday, November 13, 2011

Prospecting for Gold

Today's picture was taken ni 1889 and it shows some Old Timers mining for gold. The picture was taken near Rockerville in the Dakota Territory. The men are Placer Mining using a Sluice. Placer mining is a technique where you are looking for gold in loose dirt or other sediment. 

Prospecting is still a major hobby in the US although you do not hear it talked about much. When I was in New Mexico I had a number of friends who were avid prospectors in their spare time. I will have to tell you that it is a little bit of a sickness. Yes, they would find nuggets, but the value of the nuggets would never come close to the cost of the equipment, gasoline, supplies and so forth used in their expeditions. They would love to come to work though, and show their exciting finds from the weekends. They always had that dream, though, of finding the big one, and the dream kept them going.


  1. It is like any other hobby.
    That fishing, you buy a nice boat and motor, $35.000. Then yuou buy bait, $10.00. A nice rod and reel, $350.00. Gas for the trip, $100.00. Gas for the boat $35.00. Beer and snacks, $100.00. Special fishing wear, $150.00. Fish finders, $150.00.
    All that to catch $10.00 - $20.00 worth of fish.
    My son lives in Montana, and I go out there about every Summer, and we will spend a day or so gold mining. We will find 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of gold must trips. He does build his own equipment, so he keeps the price down for that stuff. He even builds abd sells equipment (that is where the money really is). But there is always the hope that you will find a pay streak, really clean up.
    His wife loves it also, she is a tough old gal.
    Then we will also spot a nice stream and get a little fishing in up in the mounainbs

  2. I have not been to Montana in years now. It used to be the promised land but over population has so changed it. I like to remember it and Colorado,Idaho area the way it was when the snow was still on the mountains.

  3. Yeah, they are getting all that riff raff like the uni-bomber and movie stars who are friving up the price of land real bad.
    I lived out there for over 15 years at Miles City.

  4. Bill been there and done that, still do soom

  5. Looks like hard work? Must have been some tough characters?

  6. I grew up in northern Wyoming. We got to do all of these fun things, panning for gold, etc., as kids. Some of it was during scouts (yes, Girl Scouts - we also camped in tents, not buildings) and some on school field trips. I doubt they have field trips like that any more.


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