ABYSMAL LUCK IN THE ABSAROKAS: GOLD REEF – A LATE 19TH EARLY 20TH CENTURY MINING LOCALITY IN NORTHWESTERN WYOMING
Click Thesis title to open fulltext pdf version of complete thesis
ABSTRACT OF THESIS
This thesis examines Gold Reef, a small mining locality in the Absaroka Mountains of northwestern Wyoming. Gold Reef was occupied from approximately 1895 to 1914. The mining archaeology of Wyoming has received only minimal research to date and this paper seeks to partly redress this imbalance. The primary goals of this study are to provide a description of the sites at Gold Reef, compare these sites to other contemporary mining location in the Wyoming Absaroka Mountains, discuss the economic and social
forces shaping the development of mining at the time and to verify local indigenous knowledge that the activities at the sites were actually fraudulent. To address these issues the historic, geologic, archaeological and economic aspects of the mining activities in the area are explored and discussed. Discrepancies in the historic records along with the lack of viable economic mineral deposits at the location indicate that the site was indeed an attempt to defraud either investors or the company’s management, although alternative
explanations for the archaeology are briefly explored.
Andrew C. Mueller. Anthropology Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Fall 2006