Monday, February 16, 2009

El Dorado County, California

I guess they call it El Dorado (a legendary place fabled for it riches in gold and jewels) for a reason.

This story takes us to California, specifically to a ranch near Bottle Hill. If you go to look for this place on a map it won’t be there. Bottle Hill sprang up in 1854 during the gold rush and the town pretty much died out by 1882 when the gold rush of that area subsided. The remnants of the town were destroyed many years ago by wildfires and logging and then the wild brush grew in virtually erasing the location of the town. Bottle Hill was located in a gold baring area described as a “big lake, bone dry, leaving gravel and gold in it’s basin”.

In the 1860’s a rancher by the name of Hiram Neal owned 600 acres of land near Bottle Hill. Mr. Neal prospered during his life but he never had a family of his own. As he began to age he decided to confide in his nieces and nephews about a rich gold deposit that was located on his ranch.

Hiram Neil told his nieces and nephews that the gold deposit was something he visited often and showed them a gallon jug filled with gold nuggets, most the size of a marble. He was in his 70’s when he told of his secret and apparently the nieces and nephews were anxiously awaiting his death after that. Hiram Neal told his relatives that he would eventually tell them where the gold deposit was but on his deathbed he refused to do so.

As they pestered the dying old man about where the gold was he continued to refuse to tell them, saying only that the gallon jug of gold nuggets he had collected was “buried near by”.

He took the secret of the location of the gallon jug of gold nuggets and the location of the gold deposit on his land to the grave with him. The family searched for many years after his death for both but never found either.

With a good metal detector, some research and a little luck you just might be able to find one or both of these golden deposits.

No comments: