Picks & Pans: Dredging and Detecting in Sierra City
October 2003 by Chris RalphEvery year for the past several years I have taken a prospecting trip to Sierra City, California, to dredge on a friend’s claim. Sierra City is a historic gold rush town of a little more than 200 persons. Known mostly for its rich lode mines, it also had...
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During the two weeks that Jack had been hanging around the dump, no more than a dozen words had passed between us. As far as I knew, he didn’t know any more about me than I did about him. Consequently, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard Jack ask, “Would you like to come and work with me?”
Not too far from the pine-filled mountains, a young boy was exploring along Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, one fine day in 1799. He discovered a beautiful rock that he took home and put to good use as a doorstop. Shortly thereafter, a jeweler stopped by to visit his folks, and as it turned out, the new doorstop was actually a 17-pound gold nugget. That nugget truly did open a door as it marked the beginning of the first gold rush in America.
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