Great American Mines, Part Five: Oregon Gold Country

While Oregon ’ s history is full of many legends, gold mines don ’ metric ton visualize into many of them. But many of these stories are in truth bewitching. specially when you hear the incredible—possibly tall—tales of the lucky Oregon settlers who struck gold .
In 1851, the California Gold Rush was going strong. In order to stock the miners with supplies, trains were shipping cargo from the Willamette Valley to the Sacramento Valley. One of these trains full of mules for the miners stopped in what ’ south now Jacksonville, Oregon, for the night. After securing and tending to the animals, a few of the passengers went off in search of water. They found a gulch south of modern Jacksonville, which is now appropriately named Rich Gulch. As they were gathering water, they noticed an abundance of loose gold flakes ! search parties were soon dispersed throughout the area, and gold was discovered in many of the surrounding rivers and streams. substantial deposits were found at nearby Gold Hill, which would later go on to become the first fully operational mine in the region. Among these early prospectors was a isthmus of brothers known by the name of Althouse .
There ’ s not much on record about the Althouse brothers. What ’ second known is that they were early miners from Illinois who struck it big. Despite the mystery surrounding them, their impact on southerly Oregon can still be felt to this day. The Illinois River, where much of the gold was discovered, is named after their home state of matter. And Althouse Creek, where many of the largest gold deposits in Oregon were found, was besides named in award of the brothers. When parole got out about the Althouse brothers and other prospectors ’ discoveries, wannabe gold miners from all over came to Oregon hoping to get full-bodied quick. Lucky as the Althouse brothers were, none of them found any nuggets quite equally fabled as one discover in the brook bearing their diagnose .
In 1859, an Irishman named Mattie Collins found a 17-pound aureate nugget at a crotch in Althouse Creek. The rock candy took the honor of the largest gold nugget ever found in Oregon. The narrative goes that the small-statured Collins had to hire a bodyguard to escort him and the nugget safely out of town !

All of these discoveries occurred early in Oregon ’ s history, and records from that time were spotty. The claim number of gold miners, or even mines, international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine precisely known. But, by 1860, Oregon data was a set more dependable. The Federal Census data from 1860 suggests that there were respective hundred miners and mines in the gold-producing regions of Southern Oregon. According to records, gold-mining activity there largely petered out by the late 1860s. Despite being small, Oregon gold mining had a lasting impingement on the region. The legends of Oregon gold live on in the names of towns, rivers and streams .
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