Richinbar Mine

Richinbar Mine
Richinbar Mine - Photo from 1940 - Courtesy of Arizona Geologic Survey files

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sharlot Hall Folk Arts Festival - Prescott Courier Photo

Thanks to Bob Sanstedt, who added his fine banjo playing to back up my historic and mining songs.  He sang a few of his favorite songs and played some banjo instrumentals.  Our photo appeared in the Prescott Courier.

Thanks to Jody Drake, Curator of Education at Sharlot Hall Museum, for setting up a p.a. system for my use on Saturday morning.  The Sharlot Hall Museum provides a unique venue for the Arizona folk music community to entertain and educate the public.

Monday, June 11, 2012

North Star Mine Powerhouse - Grass Valley, Californa

I visited the North Star Mine Powerhouse in Grass Valley, California in May.  Gage McKinney, a local mine historian, recommended that I include this site during my tour of the area.  It is a small museum that contains many working examples of historic mining technology.  The 30-foot Pelton Water Wheel is the highlight of the exhibit.  I included three photos, since the wheel was too large to fit in one photo.  The second photo shows the tour guide to give some perspective to the scale of the wheel.

The tour guide explained that the Pelton Water Wheel was invented in the 1870's.  Each scoop is divided in two equal sections (see last photo for a good view).  According to the tour guide this design transfers more energy to the water wheel than traditional waterwheels.  He was proud to report that he saw a Pelton Water Wheel among the massive hydro-electric generators at Hoover Dam.  

The museum display includes one of the only working Cornish Pumps in the world.  Cornish Pumps were designed to pump large volumes of water from mine shafts.  

This small museum is rich in mining history, but does not appear to attract a large amount of visitors.   It is worth your time to check it out if you are visiting the Grass Valley area. 

 North Star Mine Powerhouse Historic Landmark

30 foot Pelton Waterwheel

Smaller Pelton Waterwheel showing the divided scoops

Cornish Pump 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sharlot Hall Folk Arts Festival - History Meets Music

I had an enjoyable day on Saturday at the Sharlot Hall Folk Arts Festival in Prescott.  I participated in the Gold Panning area by telling historical stories and singing songs about the early days of Arizona's settlement.  We were fortunate that Jack Light, an expert mining geologist, led the gold panning activities.  We can't say for sure, but it looked like a lot of children went home with packets of gold dust.

I sang one of my songs, "The Hassayamper Song" that pays tribute to the men (Pauline Weaver, Joseph Walker, and Jack Swilling) who led the first two parties of pioneers and prospectors up the Hassayampa River in 1863 in search of gold.  Pauline Weaver led a small group of men, including Henry Wickenburg and Abraham Peeples, north from Yuma along the Colorado River, east along Bill Williams River and Date Creek.  It was there that they discovered the rich placer gold deposits at Rich Hill, and along Antelope and Weaver Creeks.

It was especially appropriate that I sang "The Hassayamper Song" since Pauline Weaver's gravesite is located at the north entrance to the Sharlot Hall grounds.  The plaque on his granite boulder headstone reads as follows:

Pioneer - Prospector - Scout - Guide
Trapper - Fur Trader - Empire Builder - Patriot
Pauline Weaver, truly a great man
Born in Tennessee in 1800
Died at Camp Verde June 21, 1867

He was born, lived, and died on the frontier of this country, always in the ever advancing westward move of civilization and was the first settler on the site of Prescott.  He was descended from the best blood of the white man and the native american, and his greatest achievement was as peacemaker between the races, understanding as few ever did the true hearts of the two peoples.