Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oregon Gold Prospecting

It didn't take long for the 49'ers in California to inch their way north and discover that there was gold in Oregon as well. Gold was first discovered in Oregon near what is now the town of Jacksonville in 1851. It was found that many of the tributaries of the Rogue River had gold. Other areas in Oregon where there were gold strikes are the Klamath River and its tributaries, streams flowing out of the Blue Mountains and Wallowa Mountains in Northeastern Oregon, the John Day River Valley, the Brice Creek area near Cottage Grove, and Quartzville near Sweet Home. Commercial gold mining in Oregon still continues today.
With gold hovering close to $800 an ounce, recreational gold prospecting is becoming a serious hobby for many. Much of Oregon gold is of a very high grade and it has been estimated that only 20% of it has been mined to date.
Every year the streams and rivers rise from the winter rains and wash more soil over the rocks in the river beds. Gold is heavy. Gold sinks. In places where the water slows down or changes direction, gold lodges itself in the crevices and crannies, mixes in with the dirt and gravel, and stays there just waiting for someone to find it. In the spring and summer the water levels go down again. Along the banks where the water has been and where the gravel, dirt, and rock has collected, is where you look for gold.

No comments:

Post a Comment