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Autobiography Title
Commercial picture of author with a gold pan

Bruce W. Harris 1991

Bruce W. Harris 1985 on location N.F. Yuba River, CA.

Bruce W. Harris 1984 on location N.F. Yuba River, CA.

To tell briefly a little about myself, I was born in 1953 in San Antonio, Texas. I have been living in Springfield, Missouri for some time now, but have spent a great deal of my life in both Los Angeles, California and Dallas, Texas. 

     I spent 26 years climbing trees for the first part of my life and computer geek on the later.  I love being in the National Forest and was clearing transmission lines in the Plumas & Tahoe National Forests for some time.  I also spent a considerable amount of time living in the city and working right-of-ways, city utility lines by the grid.  I have also worked for the Los Angeles City Parks & Recreation, but overall spent the most time ornamental pruning on residential and commercial or  land & lot clearance.

    In gold mining, I have spent many years mining in California's Grass Valley and Mother Lode areas. My first experience of actually living for many months on a claim and seriously learning the gold trade, was on the N. F. Yuba River out of Brownsville, California.

    My father knew of a mining operation there where I could learn the profession. The location was a section of river on the N. F. Yuba river owned by the noted Bill Crestman  [William  W. “Bill” Chrestman 1915-1989 ]  of of Quartzsite, La Paz County, Arizona.  Most of the mining going on there was gold dredging. Everything from 4 to 8 inch dredges were operating up and down the claim section. There were other types of mining equipment among the miners, but mostly for spare time and not used in the daily routine.  Since most dredging is done in teams, this gave a few miners a chance for their own handiwork.    A personal friend and fellow mining enthusiast, Robert Jacobsen; from Dallas, Texas; joined me on this mining endeavor. We joined teams working a 5 inch dredge on a percentage basis to start.

    There were many other miners in separate camps along his one mile section of river claims.  At the end of the day most would gather at Mr. Crestman's camp to process their days work and collect their percentage of the take. During this time one could learn new techniques from the older or more experienced miners.  I was fortunate to make a few friends there and tried to apply what I learned to my own work.

    A short time later we were nicknamed the "Texas Rangers" by Mr. Crestman and his family. My love for gold really started here under Mr. Crestman. His help and understanding was truly inspirational. To him and his charming wife Thelma, I give my love and respect.

    My father owned a few claims on Otter Creek out of Georgetown, CA. It is a unique place to mine compared to working the larger rivers. Here the canyon walls are sheer and overgrown and the water at its best is 50 degrees F.   I'll never forget my first visit to this place. When we finally parked, there was a small trail with a USDA sign stating "Otter Creek 1 mile." From this point on, I learned what "packing in" is all about. Not only did we have to pack down into this ravine, but also along the creek too!

    I eventually spent a whole mining season here with a few friends, dredging with a 4 inch Keene single sluice. The best part of working this place is that the bedrock is mostly slate and the nuggets found were rough. I have learned a lot from my father about different kinds of placer mining and appreciate his help through the years.

    Another place I spend a great deal of time is on the M.F. Yuba River out of Alleghany, CA. Here again, the place chosen was one you had to pack down to the claim area. It is about 1,300 feet down, from where you can park on a fire break road. I have spent a whole mining season here also and know the hardships involved with living on location through the seasons, especially with no transportation. But as it turns out, some of the best places to mine are the most remote.

Owner / Mining Consultant

Heavy Metal Mining Company, 

POB 8256

Springfield, Missouri, 65801-8256   USA

Publishing Company (1990 - Present)

Own & Operate the "Gold Miner's Headquarters" Internet site

Opened 6-6-99


"Gold Miner's Handbook© 1986 published 1993," Modern Gold Dredging Series© 1992 published 1995, updated to 2020 25th Anniversary Edition; “Modern Dredge Sampling,” “Finding That Perfect Location,” “Gold Placer Geology,” “The Modern Gold Dredge.”

Worked for Keene Engineering, Inc. 1988-2002

Chatsworth, CA (Formally located in Northridge, CA) [Worlds largest underwater mining equipment manufacturer; recreational, industrial & commercial] Keene published my first book "Gold Miner's Handbook© 1986 published 1993."


The World Wide Association of Treasure Seekers (W.W.A.T.S.)

- Founding Member.

- Missouri State Director (2003-present)

    “Bruce Harris” <>

- Member of the Board of Directors (2003-present)

Bruce W. Harris 1985 on location N.F. Yuba River, CA.

Bruce Harris 1984 on location N.F. Yuba River, CA.

Me and the World Wide Association of Treasure Seakers [WWATS]

I was interviewed on the “Bugler’s Shack,” a live Internet radio show covering prospecting, metal detecting, and treasure hunting hosted by Bob "Bugler" Sloan (Founder of WWATS) about my first book the “Gold Miners Handbook” just published by Keene Engineering.  Bob Sloan shortly afterward offered me a position on the Board of Directors of a new treasure club called WWATS along with Patrick Keene (Keene Engineering, Inc.) who he also had on his show.  

    I want to thank Bob and Vice President Keith Wills for their trust in me and their comments:


A Message from the Vice President of WWATS

We are here to provide a service to all detectorists, prospectors and other various outdoor hobbyist. It has taken us several years now to find the best of the best people in various hobbies to serve on our board-of-directors. Each of the board members are executive material, finest in their field and very dedicated to solving the problems that exist within our hobby. We feel we have the finest Washington based lobbyist, several very intelligent attorneys, an outstanding legislative liaison, several major publishers, the best of the diver/prospector/detectorist community and several CEO's of major manufacturers on our board. As I said before, each of them are very dedicated to our cause and will be the best in intelligent problem solving in the future.

Keith Wills, Vice President

Best of luck in your mining adventures!

Author Bruce Harris 2005 - On location N.F. Yuba River, CA

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