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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Aspen in Pitkin County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Finding Gold

Surviving in Independence

 
 
Finding Gold Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 4, 2020
1. Finding Gold Marker
Inscription.  Panning: Panning for gold is a manual technique in which a large shallow pan is used to swirl the water, sand and gravel around, letting the heavier gold nuggets drop to the bottom of the pan. This is the easiest way to find gold and, while not practical for large commercial operations, it's a fun activity for families to try their luck.

Hard Rock Mining: Hard rock mining is the process of extracting the gold from a vein inside a solid rock formation, usually via a tunnel to the vein. The ore is crushed and concentrated to separate gold from other minerals. This is the type of mining that occurred here at Independence.

Placer Mining: Unlike hard rock mining, placer deposits are usually composed of loose rock materials that are not conducive to tunneling as with hard rock mining. In order to extract the ore, placer miners use water to spray the hillside down and collect the water and rock materials in a sluice box. The sluice box allows the water-saturated sand and gravels to slowly move downhill letting the denser gold nuggets drop into the grooves of the box.

Naturalist Note: The arrival
Finding Gold Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 4, 2020
2. Finding Gold Marker Detail
Hand drilling rock to extract ore, 1891.
of gold preceded the miners by about 70 million years. Faults, or cracks, in underlying sedimentary rock were injected with dissolved minerals carried by superheated water from deep in the earth, forming pockets of gold-rich ore.

Caption
Top right: Hand drilling rock to extract ore, 1891.
 
Erected by Aspen Historical Society, Independence Pass Foundation and U.S. Forest Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EnvironmentIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 39° 6.333′ N, 106° 36.311′ W. Marker is near Aspen, Colorado, in Pitkin County. Marker can be reached from Colorado 82 5.6 miles east of County Road 23. Marker is accessible via a footpath leading from the highway overlook to the town site below. The road is closed October-May. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Aspen CO 81611, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Business District (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tent City (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Business District (about 500 feet away); Living at Altitude (about 600 feet away); Independence Townsite (about 600 feet away); Welcome to the Ghost Town of Independence
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(about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Welcome to the Ghost Town of Independence (about 700 feet away); Independence Pass Foundation (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Aspen.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 50 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 19, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 25, 2021