Gold Panning - Papa's Notes
Papa's Notes on Gold Panning and the Gold Rush-related Study Materials & Activities
After stumbling across the idea of tying together some of the places and stories of Gold Rush era history of the Eastern Sierra (mostly connecting the dots between the legend of the "Lost Cement Mine" and the murder of Robert Hume, which gave rise to the place-names of Deadman Creek and Deadman Summit), it occurred to me that I really needed a study unit about the history of the California Gold Rush, along with some tie-ins to geology, mineralogy, and other topics. I also realized that I should add more resources about mining and mineral resources, including the Mammoth Consolidated Gold Mine, and many other places. Cerro Coso, the Mojave Silver Queen (not properly in the Sierra, but passed and generally overlooked by travelers heading to the Sierra from parts South), and perhaps even some of the lesser-known and under-appreciated mineral resources mined in the Sierra and nearby regions, such as tungsten, pumice, and others.
Since children (of all ages) get excited about treasure hunting, adding some information about gold panning seemed a natural way to connect my grands with all of this.
Nana and I soon discovered that Amazon (our go-to general store and trusty messenger in this time of COVID pandemic) could supply age-appropriate gold-panning kits. And we couldn't resist also including a box of the "Gold Mine" nugget-shaped bubblegum that I seem to remember fondly from my childhood, and which is still sold. It comes in drawstring pouches, reminiscent of a Miner 49er's "poke" pouch, for stashing discovered gold flakes and nuggets while prospecting.
I'm sharing the images and links below, in case anyone else might find this a fun thing to do for the kids in their lives. Click on the pictures if you want to connect with these items on Amazon.