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Mining History: Desert Fever

Inyo County:

THE LOST GUNSIGHT LEGEND

Claiming with certainty that one mine was the Lost Gunsight would be an extremely difficult task, even today. The Lost Gunsight Mine became a legend at a very early stage and its location probably would have been cruelly disappointing to its discoverers and to future fortune seekers. As long as it remained undiscovered, there was hope of finding a second Comstock.

Prospectors have discovered dozens of silver mines in the Panamint and Argus ranges, yet few have claimed to find the Lost Gunsight, and fewer still believed those who so claimed. If it was found at all, the most likely candidate for being the Lost Gunsight Mine would be one of the mines on Lookout Mountain.

John Colton, one of the emigrants who heard about Turner and Martin's discovery of silver ore, wrote, “The Georgia men were old silver miners. They told us upon arrival in camp that there was immense wealth of silver in sight where we camped. One of the boys showed me a chunk of black rock he held in his hands, and he told me it was half silver, and that nearly all the rock we were walking over was very rich in silver, and if we only had provisions and water and knew where we were, that there was all the wealth in sight that we could ask.

Colton's camp, according to historian Carl Wheat, was located just a few miles west of Towne's Pass. It was here that the Georgia boys met up with Colton and informed him of their find. Float from the Lemoigne, Kerdell and Big Four mines may have provided the rock “very rich in silver” over which the emigrants walked. Scouts searching for water and a trail would have gone west to explore a way over the Argus Range. Such a search pattern would of necessity have included Lookout Mountain.

Lookout Mountain
In 1876 the Minnietta Belle Silver Mining Company was formed. Mr. James Dolan was superintendent of the ...



recreation - ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - 360 photos - glossary - comments

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