Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Mojave Desert History - Pioneer of the Mojave
Part-time Prospector

Patenting a Mine and a Lot of Red Tape

It is often difficult to trace mining claims because they changed hands frequently without detailed documentation. The rules of the mining districts required that a certain amount of work had to be performed each year to keep a claim active, and since most of the locators were not interested in physical labor, this tended to create a brisk market in the selling and trading of claims. Until a claim was patented, it was likely to change names as it changed hands, or possibly lapse altogether if not worked.

Patenting a mine meant getting involved in a great deal of red tape. A survey had to be done by the U. S. Mineral Surveyor, the boundaries of the claim had to be distinctly marked by monuments, and then a plat and field notes submitted to the proper land office. Besides filling out an application and posting an on-site notice for 60 days, a notice also had to be placed in the newspaper closest to the claim for the same time period.

Following that, it was necessary to file a certificate with the U. S. Surveyor General stating that $500 dollars worth of improvements had been expended on the claim. After the 60-day period, if there were no challenges to the claim, the applicant then paid a fee of five dollars per acre and the land office issued the patent. It was mainly because of all these requirements that few prospectors -- including those in Captain Lane's circle of acquaintances -- had their claims patented.

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

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