Tuesday, September 13, 2011

West Virginia Troves Worth a Second Look

(Old hotel ruins near Minehaha Springs, West Virginia.)

Here are a couple of treasure troves in West Virginia that are still kicking around out there. One has to do with man-made gold and silver while the other deals with gold in its natural state:

“We Got Lots More”
Up until the mid 1940s John Kelly and his extended family lived and worked on ground just west of Minehaha Springs in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The Kellys were hard working and industrious, and did very well for themselves, considering the times.

Gold Pans

At one point in the 1930s a cattle buyer traveled to the Kelly farm to conclude a transaction. When change was needed to finalize the deal, John Kelly’s brother presented a metal bucket filled to the brim with both silver and gold coins of various denominations.

When the buyer expressed his surprise over the amount of coins in the bucket John Kelly’s brother quipped back, “Heck, that ain’t nothin’. Back in the house we got lots more hid inside an ol’ log.”

Worth Checking Out
When John Kelly died in 1945, no one ever mentioned these coins being recovered, either by family members or anyone else for that matter. With a bit of research you can probably pinpoint the old Kelly farm quite easily (but be advised it remains private property).

Are the Kelly house and the old log stuffed with silver and gold coins still there? It’s anyone’s guess, but this one’s worth checking out. Maybe you can work a deal with the current owner.

Mini-Gold Rush
Although the Appalachian Mountains have been producers of large amounts gold (and some silver) in other southeastern states, West Virginia has not been noted for either. But natural gold in low-grade ores has been found near Porterwood in Ritchie County, West Virginia as well as two other locations.
Treasure Hunting

A mini-gold “rush” ensued in 1927 when the Porterwood or Sissaboo Hollow “strike” was announced, but the frenzy soon subsided. It seems the ore was so low-grade as to be commercially unfeasible.

As a long-time gold prospector and miner I know I’d be checking this ore out myself if I were in West Virginia. What was commercially “unfeasible” when gold was only $16.00 a troy ounce would be a totally different ballgame with gold at $1,400.00-$1,500 an ounce!

Good hunting.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: “‘Top10’ U.S. Gold Coins (Introduction)”

© Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2011

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com