Oral Histories

Placer mine at Buckskin Gulch

Placer mine at Buckskin Gulch

The mining boom attracted people from around the world who established themselves as some of the earliest non-native settlers in Park County. To this day, many of the residents have their own stories, and those of family members, involved in the mining industry. Many recall working in placer, hard rock (lode), or uranium mines, often moving from one to the other dependent on sucess. The Park County Local History Archives has been able to record and transcribe many of these oral histories which piece together the larger narrative on how mining shaped the lives of these people and the communities they created.

"Sometimes you’d make good money and the next time, hardly anything…it was in the black sand! Where it was coming over a little (inaudible) deal and you get clear water boiling up the black sand and you could see the gold in it. So…that’s where I found it." 

-Robert "Shorty" Robeson [1]

Interview with Robert "Shorty" Robeson on February 19, 2002

Sanborn postcard, F-861, of placer mines operation near Alma

Sanborn postcard, F-861, of placer mines operation near Alma

"The first gold that I can remember seeing - other than what people bring to me - placer gold."

-Maurice Reiber [2]

Interview with Maurice Reiber on August 26, 2002

Portal house on Mt. Bross at Buckskin Gulch in 1971

Portal house on Mt. Bross at Buckskin Gulch in 1971

"They got rich in placer and then they put it all back in the tunnel. I think it runs, I think it is 1500 and some feet but then they quit. You remember the shaft house that was in the film? They were trying to strike the vein that went down from the shaft house because that was really good gold in there. I think it was $225 bucks a ton back then when it was $20 bucks an ounce."

-Paul Heil [3]

Interview with Paul Heil on June 29, 2002

[1] Robeson, Robert. "Interview with Robert “Shorty” Robeson." Interview by Cara Doyle, February 19, 2002. https://pclha.cvlcollections.org/items/show/991.
[2] Reiber, Maurice. "Interview with Maurice Reiber." Interview by Cara Doyle, August 26, 2002. https://pclha.cvlcollections.org/items/show/990.
[3] Heil, Paul. "Interview with Paul Heil." Interview by Cara Doyle, June 29, 2002. https://pclha.cvlcollections.org/items/show/979.
[4] To listen to more oral histories on the topic of mining, please follow this link here.