Monday, October 31, 2011

Lost Silver Mines in Pennsylvania?

 (Pennsylvania counties.)

An Interesting Anomaly

I have to admit I am a bit surprised by the number of lost silver mine tales coming out of Pennsylvania. Although the "Keystone" state is not noted as a significant precious metals producer, these tales abound just the interesting anomaly, to say the least.

Treasure Hunting

Most of these Pennsylvania lost silver mine tales are lacking in detail, something that may raise an eyebrow or two and also make research more difficult. Still, all treasure legends have at least some element of truth to them so you decide if any of these are worth while:

Lost Ice Mountain Mine

Long ago when local Indians were still living in and around Potter County in north central Pennsylvania, locals claimed that these natives were often seen with chunks of rich silver ore in their possession. This ore was described as being more precious metal than host rock and was said to come from a secret location near Ice Mountain.

Other versions of this legend involve an old Cattaraugus Indian who was said to always have pieces of rich silver ore when he came into local towns or villages. Invariably he would head toward Ice Mountain when he departed. Eventually the old Indian died without ever revealing the location of his rich silver "mine."

Other Lost Silver Mine Legends

Another lost silver mine legend in Pennsylvania is the Lost Birch Island Run Mine. This one too was first brought to the attention of townspeople by a small group of Indians in possession of...yep, you guessed silver ore. Some key information points in this treasure tale are Keating, Pennyslvania and a couple of locals named Groves and Burns who searched for, but never found, the source of the Indian silver.

 (Silver ore.)

The Deep Run Silver Cache is not a mine per se but a large stash of silver ingots mined by Indians near Deep Run in Adams County. There may be some decent leads to research on this one since the area in question does have the potential for at least some precious metals mineralization. Key clues here are Union Mills, a flat rock, and natural "steps" leading down into a cavern or mine.

Less Than Impressed

My problem with these native American connections is this: it's a well-known fact that most North American Indian tribes avoided precious metals and metals mining like the plague. Yes, there are isolated exceptions to this rule, but not many.

Wolverine Boots

The Indians knew the crazed lust the white man had for gold and silver and the extent to which that craziness and greed could be pushed to. So tales of Indians walking around with chunks of rich silver ore in Pennsylvania leave me less than impressed, truth be told.

Good hunting to one and all.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Ohio's Lost Oak Tree Gold"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

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