"The frenzy created new businesses and broke up families. Those with vision were intoxicated by the lure of easy money. The dream pitted friend against friend and made hermits of many. Before it was over, fortunes were made and lost and made again and the world would never be the same...." Is this a description of a software company in Washington State? No! LinDee Rochelle wrote this opening paragraph about the Gold Rush Era in the inaugural edition of Antiques and Collectibles Journal, March 2007.
There is a fantastic article on the Gold Rush http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Californian_Gold_Rush
Roger and Connie Peterson grew into enthusiastic collectors of mining antiques while living in a 1900s cabin in Conifer, Colorado. It was a single purchase, a miner's candlestick that started the journey and quest for knowledge. Roger consults throughout the world on miner's candlesticks and other artifacts. He also appraises and restores mining memorabilia.
Roger shares: "Amador City was one of the first towns started after the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill. In 1849, prospectors were fiddling around here looking for gold, when seven Methodist ministers discovered hard rock gold in quartz veins just outside of town...." An essential part of a miner's tool kit was his pick, candles and holders. Thousands of shapes and designs exist. There were 88 patents issued with the U.S. Patent Office and two in Canada. Miners candlesticks are the specialty of The Miner's Pick. At the end of the candle stick era, in the 1920s, carbide lamps became predominate.
The circa 1870 site where their shop and residence is located was a boarding house, a garage with the oldest part being a blacksmith's shop near the creek.
The Miner's Pick has the most fantastic collection of miner and mining artifacts. There are advertising pieces, blasting cap crimpers, blasters, maps, photographs, bell signal signs, candlesticks, tools, equipment, and ore cars among the fantastic array of authentic objects. A majority of the inventory dates from the 1850s to the 1920s. One of their most memorable sales was supplying ore cars to Disney for a theme park.
The history of the era is rich, complex, always interesting, sometimes mythical. For more information, the key references are for sale at The Miner's Pick. California author Jody and Ric Hornor are: The Golden Corridor, The Golden Highway and The Golden Quest. published by 19th Century Books.
Roger and Connie look forward to your visit!