Bruce W. Harris 1991
Bruce W. Harris 1985 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 was clearing transmission lines in the Plumas & Tahoe National Forests, working right-of-ways, city lines by the grid and line drops from the pole to the house or business for CU, I have worked for the Los Angeles City Parks & Recreation, ornamental pruning on residential and commercial, land & lot clearance, tree stump removal, tree repair cabling/bracing, etc. Basically everything but get certified as a ISA Certified Arborist®. Just was not good at the native language required; i.e. Latin; and just never really wanted to be one.
As far as gold mining:
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 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, 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 park 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,
Springfield, Missouri, 65801-8256 USA
Publishing Company (1990 - Present)
Own & Operate the "Gold Miner's Headquarters" Internet site
Gold Miner's Handbook©1986, Finding That Perfect Location©1992, Gold Placer Geology©1992, Modern Dredge Sampling©1992, The Modern Gold Dredge©1992.
Worked for Keene Engineering, Inc. Chatsworth, CA (Formally located in Northridge, CA) [Worlds largest underwater mining equipment manufacturer; recreational, industrial & commercial] 1988-2002.
The World Wide Association of Treasure Seekers (W.W.A.T.S.)
- Founding Member.
- Missouri State Director (2003-present)
- Member of the Board of Directors (2003-present)
Bruce Harris 1985 on location N.F. Yuba River, CA.