TQ Newsletter March 2009


Well-Known Member
Administrator-Site Founder

The thaw is just around the corner and we are seeing some stirring in the south already as members can get out and actually see the ground! We have had some great finds reported this month already! As a result, it is always hard to choose one single finds post to feature. I would like to show a few more.

February's Digital Camera Contest #44 was very well received and had many wonderful entries from members. This made for some very tough judging and congratulations to Sweetthunder, jcinpc and Anne, for their winning submissions!

Prizes were also handed out to the winners of the two contest going on in the TQ: Quest for Treasure area. Tinman and Mr. Silver handed out some very nice prizes and the participants enjoyed some fun times in the process!

In a blast from the past, Bbqcook has let us know that he is in possession of Metal Man. The idea behind Metal Man was to send him to the ends of the TQ world, have people take a picture of him enjoying his visit and adding an item that will be auctioned off for a donation to a good cause. If you are interested in hosting Metal Man, please sign up in the Fun and Games forum in the Metal Man Roster thread!

Decided to leave the "How many detectors and probes do you own?" poll in another month. Sponsors, some interesting info there!


We are fortunate to have received an article for the newsletter from Denise at Gold Rush Trading Post. She has a number of great articles that we will be featuring here in the TQ newsletter. I hope you find them as informative and entertaining as I did! Thank you, Denise!

Sumpter, Oregon: A Gold Mining Ghost Town That’s Still Alive

When prospectors first discovered gold near Oregon's Powder River in 1862, the gold rush of eastern Oregon was on! In fact, over 10,000 mining claims were filed in Baker County during Oregon's gold rush, and boomtowns like Sumpter sprang up almost instantly. You can still get a sense of this area's rich history by visiting Sumpter today. Tucked away in Oregon's Elkhorn Mountain Range surrounded by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, there's enough natural beauty and historic sites to keep your family busy for days!

Sumpter a.k.a. the Queen City

With the discovery of gold, the town of Sumpter got its start. By the early 1900s, numerous hard-rock mines were in operation and over 80 businesses served a population of about 3,000. Back then, the town was also known as the Queen City. After about 20 years, the mines began to lose yield, but then dredging commenced in 1913 and the town prospered greatly—recovering over $10 million in gold altogether. Finally, in 1954, when costs outweighed profits, the clattering dredge buckets were forever silenced. Mining operations ceased and folks moved on to find other jobs. The former Queen City is not completely deserted, though. Visitors will find accommodations, restaurants, a country store, and a gift shop. Huge flea markets are held over major holiday weekends and draw thousands of visitors. The old Sumpter Bank vault still stands, too.

Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area

Not many gold dredges of yesteryear are still on public display, but luckily you can peek inside a massive 1,240- ton YUBA style dredge at the Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area, located on the edge of town. Built in 1935, it produced $4.5 million in gold until 1954 (gold was then $35 an ounce. It's hard to believe all that bulk actually floated on its own small pond, but that's exactly how the dredge moved from place to place—digging into the soil in a sideways pattern creating a constant pool of water that came from the Powder River. The dredge ran 24 hours a day/7 days a week in all weather, requiring three shifts of about 20 men each. The workmen had just two days off each year—Christmas and Independence Day—and earnings were only 90 cents an hour for oilers and $1.10 per hour for winchmen. What a way to earn a living!

Sumpter Valley Railroad (also in State Heritage Area)

All aboard! After dreaming of striking it rich on the dredge, ride the rails of the steam-powered train that originally hauled millions of dollars of gold ore and timber from the Elkhorn Mountains between 1890-1947. The 5-mile trip runs weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through the end of September.

Although many private and federal mining claims still exist around Sumpter, don't let that stop you from finding a fortune (or at least have fun trying!). Bring your gold pan or metal detector and try your luck; just be careful not to trespass on posted claims.

• For more information on the history of Sumpter and its attractions, visit Sumpter, Oregon - Visit Historic Sumpter, Oregon!.

• For fares, schedules, and to read the story of the Sumpter Valley Railroad’s restoration project, visit Sumpter Valley Railway Home.

• Contact the Oregon Bureau of Land Management at 503-808-6002 to determine which streams and rivers are open to the public for recreational gold panning.


Club Meetings and Hunt Activities. (If you have an activity that you are planning, know about or are thinking about, send me a Private Message as far ahead as possible and we will include it here in the newsletter.)

Cowtown Treasure Hunters Club
Ft.Worth, TX.
Meeting dates: 3rd Thursday of each month, 7:00 P.M.
American Legion Post #569
400 West Felix St.
Ft. Worth TX. 76113
Contact Texaspapa (Larry Carr) 817-240-1943


And we have a Gold Hunt in Charlottesville, Virginia to announce from TQ member Relichunters!

Gold hunt in a river in Central Virginia (Louisa). Normal amount pulled out daily is flakes to marble size nuggets. Dredging machines would help. I recommend wearing waterproof boots as the some of the water has iron base in it. There is a natural spring down river.

Saturday, March 28th! Meet at 9am Leave at 9:30am Arrive at 10am, return around 5:00 pm.

Box lunches with drinks will be provided, also 2 rolls of toilet paper just in case, being as you will be about 3 miles from any bathroom.

Meeting Place: Pantops Shopping Center halfway between Subway and Hallmark (there is little to no vehicles there). To those coming I will provide directions and my cell phone number in a PM in case you are running late or get lost.

This river also produces various gemstones as well, so if you have no interest for gold, there is a half dozen gemstones worth some money. The river and bank is 100% county public property, however the woods is private property. Most places there is a fence anyways. But we will be parking on county public property in one of two parking areas at a bridge.

Added Bonus: There is two Large mine sites on location, they are long forgotten and not blocked off, you are allowed to check it out, it's in the middle of the woods very close to where we park. The original cables and all still exist, I detected like 3 signals and got a large raw chunk of Iron Ore and some mining tools. The mine entrance has fallen mostly, so you won't be able to get inside, but you can go into the pit of it. Bring your cameras it's worth a photo.

Rain/Bad Weather: If the weather is going to be bad, or too cold to go, I will notify everyone within 5 days of the event.

Send me your club or activity news and we will make it known to the membership!


There are still some Treasure Quest T-shirts available in the Auction Area or by contacting Digginit62 directly. I can personally state that they are top-quality Tees and are a great way to show you are a proud member of TQ!


Did you ever wonder what it would be like walking in an old time pre Civil War general store? The next best thing would be to read their store book. I have the original store book 1857-1860 and created an 681 page downloadable ebook from it. It states the visitor's name, what they purchased and some prices. It's quite interesting for folks who enjoy revisiting our historic past. Read more about it here : Shade Mills Store Book


Please send us (Any Admin or Moderator) any suggestions you might have for TQ. After all, TQ is the sum of all of us together!

Also, if you have news or have written a Metal Detecting article that you would like to share with the membership, please contact Steve in PR!

This newsletter is sponsored by Ron at Windy City Detector Sales, Kellyco Detectors & TC Detectors.
Please visit them for all your detecting needs.





King of Spam
Staff member
Very good news letter...Liked that a lot..Thanks for all the hard work on making it happen...Buster......:wave: