Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Looking Back: Gold Fever Struck Our Area More Than 120 Years Ago


"Is there gold in them thar plains?"

Yes, if you believe guys like this one, who posted a video on YouTube of a successful prospecting trip on a creek near the Niobrara River.

There aren’t high concentrations of gold in Nebraska, but the gold that is found here comes primarily from two distinct sources, according to experts.  From the west, rivers that drain the rich gold bearing lands in Colorado and Wyoming that flow through Nebraska carry very fine placer gold. And in the eastern portion of the state, like Saline County, there are glacial gold sources.

More than 120 years ago, believe it or not, there was a gold rush in the Dorchester area.

The Oct. 7, 1895 edition of The New York Times reported: "A raging gold fever has settled down on this section of country over a startling discovery" of gold just north of Dorchester.

Back then, it was a discovery that caught the attention of gold prospectors from as far away as Denver.

According to The Times, the primary source of speculation was a gravel pit near Milford, which was said to be "rich in gold dust."

The gravel pit had been used by Burlington Railway in the construction and upgrade of its rail system.

The New York Times noted that there was "great excitement in the vicinity of the reputed find" and that speculation was active. 

See The New York Times' 1895 article by clicking here.

And if you are too skeptical to go panning for gold on the West Fork or Turkey Creek, you can always look for buried treasure in old outhouses.

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