THE QUEST TO RESTORE & PRESERVE GOLD POINT GHOST TOWN
I never started out to find a ghost town to preserve back in the 1960’s.
It just slowly evolved into that. With that in mind I will try to give you a brief history of how things got started and how I got to where I am today and where I’m going with Gold Point, Nevada.
I grew up in a small town called Carmichael, California, just East of Sacramento and like most teenagers I didn’t have a clue what life would have in store for me in the early 2000’s, I was just having fun. Then one day back in 1966 when I was just 15, my Dad was going with his buddy, whose name I don’t remember, up into the gold country to pan for gold and wanted to know if I wanted to come along and bring a friend.
I called my friend Gus and he was just as interested so off we went on our great unknown adventure.
We went to a place called You Bet Diggins. One hundred years before that weekend they mined gold by the hydraulic mining method. This is where they would wash away the hills by powerful streams of water from huge monitors using vast amounts of water brought from man made reservoirs miles away.
You Bet was right next to another hydraulic mining camp called Red Dog and was about half way between the mining towns of Colfax, on what is now Interstate 80, and Grass Valley, which is on highway 49.
There was a small stream of water running through the middle of the Diggins where my Dad’s friend set up the sluice box. We all dug into the sides of the old workings, where the old 49’s had dug over a century before, and shoveled the dirt and rock into the sluice box. We threw out the rocks and the water would carry off the lighter material. After a couple of hours it was time for the clean up.
We dumped the concentrated material into a gold pan and reduced it slowly until there was a lot of black sand. Dad’s friend rolled the water around in the pan and the small flakes of gold started appearing.
Needless to say I then got “gold fever”. I would then start out on the long road that would one day send me to Gold Point, Nevada.