Gold in Clear Creek

Gold in Clear Creek (HMY5K)

Location: Golden, CO 80401 Jefferson County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 45.412', W 105° 13.37'

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Inscription
From the mid-1800s, to the mid-1900s, gold mining and dredging represented an economic boon to the Clear Creek region.

In 1904, the National Dredging Company, led by Herman J. Reiling, purchased the historic Arapahoe Bar in Clear Creek, which had been mined various ways and times since 1858. The Company wanted to mine the bar to its fullest potential, using the then-new invention of gold dredging barges. The dredges were used to scoop the rich soil from the riverbed and sift out the "flour gold." The dredging company build two large gold dredges, Eleanor #1 and Eleanor #2, the largest vessels to ever float on Clear Creek. Eleanor #1 dredged the north bank of the creek and Eleanor #2 dredged the south bank.

The dredges sat in river ponds as their large conveyor bucket lines scooped soil from the river and deposited tailings behind as great dunes of cobblestone.

Unfortunately, while the dredges were good for the economy, they also ruined fertile bottoms soils, making the land unfarmable forever. Golden area farmers refused to sell land to the company. Also, the flour gold proved to be too fine in particulate size for the technology to be able to recover it all from the soils at Arapahoe Bar. In 1907, the company left Arapahoe Bar and dismantled the dredges for redeployment. Eleanor #1 can be seen today as the Reiling Dredge in French Gulch near Breckenridge, Colorado. Eleanor #2 was sent to Sacramento, California.Background: Eleanor #1, circa 1904. Courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Department.

Details
HM NumberHMY5K
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 7th, 2014 at 4:10am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 480911 N 4400796
Decimal Degrees39.75686667, -105.22283333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 45.412', W 105° 13.37'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 45' 24.72" N, 105° 13' 22.20" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)303, 720
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 53-99 Clear Creek Trail, Golden CO 80401, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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