Oregon Gold
California GoldIdaho GoldNevada GoldWashington Gold


Gold Price Charts    How Much Is Gold?   Live Gold Prices

Entries Tagged ‘Collins nugget’

Great Gobs of Gold Abound in Southern Oregon

The largest gold nugget ever found in Oregon was discovered on the East Fork of Althouse Creek in the Illinois Valley in 1859. Its discover, a small Irish miner by the name of Mattie Collins found the whopper in the face of the stream bank under a large stump located about twelve feet about the normal waterline. Dubbed the “Collins Nugget”, it weighed in at a whopping seventeen pounds!

After Mattie Collins found the nugget, he lived in constant fear of being killed and robbed until he hired a fellow countryman of his by the name of Dorsey to help him transport the nugget out of the Althouse. With the nugget hidden in a sack on Dorsey’s back and Collins taking up the rear armed with a double barreled shotgun, the two men trekked down the old Althouse Trail (which still exists in places to this day, and upon which this writer has walked) and spirited the hunk of yellow metal out of the district under the cover of night. Every twenty or so feet, the two men would stop and peer into the darkness, mistaking every other stump or some other object for a highwayman, until finally, certain that it was a trick of the eye, Collins would tell Dorsey to go forward. Local legend has it that after selling the big yellow marvel to the smelter at Jacksonville for $3500, that awash in wealth, Mattie Collins celebrated his discovery until he drank himself to death.

Today, the Collins Nugget would be valued at about $375,000, though a gold nugget of this size and notoriety would certainly carry a hearty premium.

Other notable large nuggets found in Southern Oregon include:

The Vaun Nugget which was discovered on Slug Bar, near Browntown, also on Althouse Creek. Weight: Approximately 40 ounces.

The Oscar Creek Nugget, discovered in 1892 by Boardman Darneille. It weighed over 18 ounces. Three additional large nuggets were discovered on Oscar Creek around the same time, weighing respectively 12 ounces, 6.25 ounces and 5.75 ounces.

The Klippel Nugget, found in 1904 on McDowell Gulch, weighing approximately 25 ounces.

The Burns Nugget, discovered on Brimstone Gulch at the Stovepipe mine near the site of Leland in 1934, weighed 34.47 ounces.

Also in 1934, Ed Prefontaine discovered a piece of quartz float on Foots Creek that contained 13.63 ounces of gold.

Several large nuggets, one weighing almost 15 pounds were also taken from Sucker Creek which is due east of Althouse.

Bunker Hill

The crew at the famous Bunker Hill Mine on Silver Creek show off a two week clean up. The man at far right is pioneer Galice area miner, John Robertson. Photo courtesy of Sharon Crawford, who is the grand daughter of Orval Robertson, who discovered the Bunker Hill with his partner Ted McQueen in 1926.

Numerous discoveries of rich gold “pockets” which Southern Oregon is famous for have dotted the mining maps of this area, not limited to the fabulous Gold Hill Pocket discovered in 1860 by Thomas Chavner and partners which some say contained over 250,000 ounces of gold, the famous Revenue Pocket (2500 ounces) discovered on Kane Creek by Enos Rhoten, the SteamBoat Pocket in the Upper Applegate drainage and the famous Briggs Strike of 1904, as well as a rich discovery by Orval Robertson and Ted McQueen at the Bunker Hill Mine on Silver Creek exceeding some 5000 ounces in 1926. One piece of nearly solid gold ore from the Bunker Hill was so heavy that when it fell from the side of the tunnel, it broke the leg of a miner named Bill Mitchell who was operating a drill. The piece of ore was only a foot long, 6 inches wide and 3 inches thick, but it contained nearly 20 pounds of free milling gold. There was so much gold in this vein of ore that Mitchell called it the “Ham and Eggs Vein”, because of the amount of ham and egg breakfasts he had been able to buy with his share of the gold.

As recently as a half decade ago, a couple of pound sized nuggets were taken from a small tributary of the Applegate River, proof that the “big ones” are still out there if you are willing to work hard to find them.

~ Kerby Jackson

Josephine County, Oregon

Oregon’s Biggest Gold Nugget: The Collins Nugget

If you trawl the internet for information on gold mining in Oregon, sooner
or later, you’ll find mention of the Armstrong Nugget. This huge lump of
placer gold was discovered near what is today the ghost town of
Susanville, Oregon in 1913 by George Armstrong. This big monster weighed
in at 80.4 ounces. Today, its gold value alone would fetch over $80,000
U.S. dollars. The Armstrong Nugget is currently on display at U.S. Bank in
Baker City in Grant County, Oregon. Most online sources claim that the Armstrong Nugget was the biggest gold
nugget ever discovered in Oregon, but it isn’t so.

In fact, here in Josephine County, on the opposite side of the state, a
number of larger gold nuggets have been discovered near what was refered
to as Sailors Diggings. One of them, pulled out of Sucker Creek, weighed
over 15 pounds. That’s a big chunk of gold, but it’s still not the biggest
nugget that Oregon ever produced.

In 1859, a little Irish fellow by the name of Mattie Collins was mining in
the high bank along the East Fork of Althouse Creek when he uncovered a
huge lump of almost pure gold that became known as the Collins Nugget.
Mattie’s find weighed in at a whopping 204 ounces (approximately 17
pounds. At today’s gold prices, the Collins Nugget would be worth over
$200,000, but typically a nugget will fetch a significantly higher price.

The Collins Nugget is the largest single hunk of gold ever pulled from the
Oregon lands, but unlike the Armstrong Nugget, it doesn’t survive today.

As was always done in those days, Mattie took his find to the smelter at
Jacksonville, sold it for $3500 and then drank himself into poverty.

~ Kerby Jackson

  
Plugin from the creators of Brindes Personalizados :: More at Plulz Wordpress Plugins