The Trail of ‘98
October 2008 by Chris RalphOn June 16, 1897, the steamer Excelsior cruised into San Francisco Bay, completing its long voyage from Alaska. While a ship arriving from the far north was not a particularly unusual event, this one heralded news of something truly big.
Q: I found a large quartz vein. I’m interested in mining this myself. Can you point me to a good book or other source on lode mining?
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The Reno Masonic Lodge was built along the railroad tracks back when Ulysses S. Grant was president and shortly after the Comstock Lode of gold and silver was struck in Virginia City.
By the time you read this, the onrushing, unavoidable object which was once a little speck on the distant horizon will have grown into a modest-size attention-getter.
For Maria McCracken, the quest for gold has been a life-long experience. Maria runs the New 49’ers Prospecting Club in Happy Camp, California, along with her husband Dave, and Gerry Westerkamp. But lately her focus has been on silver.
We’re always out there looking, checking, researching and trying to locate a new prospect or deposit. It’s always a question as to where to start. Some days we head down to the river to do some panning, sluicing or dredging.
Because tungsten minerals are heavy, exploration can be done using stream sediment samples. Prospectors looking for gold have found scheelite or wolframite in their placer concentrates, and in some cases this has led them to make important tungsten finds.
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