Thursday, May 28, 2009
Siskiyou Gold Display, 1947
Above is a postcard image of the Siskiyou County Gold Display from 1947. There are prize winning specimens of placer and quartz nuggets within the photograph. All of the gold was mined or found in our county! This is the only known collection of its kind and this same collection was shown at the 1939 World's Fair in San Francisco, California on Treasure Island to let the world know that gold is a big deal in Siskiyou County!
Today one can view this gold collection that has been added to and is displayed quite professionally. In the foyer of the Siskiyou County Courthouse located in Yreka one finds this impressive collection of gold. The display has often been estimated at $1 million, but with today's gold prices pushing ever upward, it is everyone's guess to the real value! Our County gold display is encased by a layer of native rock and measures 8 by 12 feet and is located just a few feet from the law enforcement officers that guard the area. Although the display is protected by a thick layer of bulletproof glass and is virtually burglar proof, in 1979 a couple made an unsuccessful attempt to steal the gold collection. They apparently entered the courthouse through a bathroom window and smashed the display setting off a silent alarm. The police arrived and apprehended the two after a short chase down a nearby street about a block away.
This gold is owned by the county of Siskiyou and was accumulated a little at a time by the members of the Board of Supervisors through purchases and donations. One of the most valuable items is a gold nugget discovered by a miner in a pile of discarded shavings near Hawkinsville just a few miles north of Yreka. Also found in the collection is the "shoe nugget" found near the Scott River in 1913 and purchased by the City for $550.
The County Treasurer-Tax Collector for Siskiyou County is the person chiefly responsible for the display and the acquisition of the contents. A former Treasurer-Tax Collector, Susan Reather, said that the gold within the collection represents nearly all the mines from Siskiyou County. Mr. Mike Hendryx, the Siskiyou County Museum Curator and Director, arranges the exhibit and adds new donations from time to time with the able assistance of the law enforcement officers at his side.
A special thanks to Mike Hendryx for providing the historical information about our world class Gold Display!
Copyright, Claudia A. East 2009.