When Ross spilled his guts to Russell Ishman about his exceptional gold find in the Jarbidge Mountains he did one hell of a job. In fact, Ross pretty much told Ishman how to find the exact spot where the rich quartz float lay, including the key clue of the presence of human remains nearby.
What happened to Ross after his chance meeting with Ishman remains unknown. I could find nothing more on Ross other than the fact that he seems to vanish completely from accounts of the Lost Ross Mine at this point of the story. What is known, however, is that Ross (for whatever reason or reasons) never returned to the Jarbidge Mountains.
Ishman Decides to Claim Jump
Not that this mattered much to Russell Ishman. The sheepherder had already decided to claim jump Ross’s rich gold find come early spring.
Ishman returned to his place of employment, the John Pence Ranch, and mulled things over for a few days before deciding to tell his boss about Ross’s find in the Jarbidges. Pence listened to Ishman’s recounting of Ross’s story but placed little credence in the tale.
Committed to Finding Ross’s Gold
In the spring Ishman told Pence he was heading for the Jarbidge Mountains to locate the source of the rich gold-in-quartz samples Ross had showed him. Nonplussed, Pence promptly fired the sheepherder.
Gold Panning Kits
Now totally committed to finding Ross’s gold Ishman headed up into the Jarbidge Mountains following Ross’s clues to the location of the quartz float. And find the location he did, human remains and all.
Not Equipped for a Protracted Stay
The sheepherder had not equipped himself for a protracted stay or for any sort of hard-rock mining operations. After gathering up a bag of samples rich in free-milling gold, he headed down and out of the Jarbidges for the Pence Ranch, knowing that he would need capital to develop his (i.e., Ross’s) mine.
Once there he showed his former employer the samples he had retrieved from the site. Finally, Pence was convinced of the wealth of the location and both men began making plans to return to the site and further exploration.
The Location of Immense Riches Dies with Ishman
Unfortunately for both, their dreams of immense riches died with Ishman who came down with a virulent illness that took his life. And, unlike Ross, Ishman had not laid out specific details or directions to the mine before his demise.
This left John Pence with little to go on except the mention of nearby human remains. For many years afterward, Pence scoured the Jarbidge Mountains for the location of the rich float, but he was unable to find it.
So somewhere in the Jarbidges there is a seam of rich gold ore located near a detritus trail of gold-in-quartz float. Oh, and let’s not forget the scattered bones of an unfortunate soul who points the way to a vast treasure trove of gold....
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Nevada's Lost Ross Mine (Part 1)"
(c) J.R. 2009
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