Welcome to Western Mining History

Where to Find Gold in Arizona

WMH Gold Maps for Google Earth Pro are designed to locate areas with high potential for finding placer gold. A core feature of these maps is the highlighting of townships that contain both active placer mining claims and historical gold mines. The screenshot below is from the Arizona Gold Map and shows gold-bearing PLSS townships  Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Weaverville, California

Featured Mining Town: Weaverville, California

Weaverville was the primary settlement in Trinity Alps region of Northern California. Settled in 1850, Weaverville was a significant placer mining town with thousands of residents, including over 1,000 Chinese. Today the town is home to numerous 1850s era historic buildings and California's oldest Chinese house of worship.  Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Bannack, Montana

Featured Mining Town: Bannack, Montana

Bannack, Montana was the site of the first gold rush in the Montana Territory. The town had up to 5,000 residents by the summer of 1863 and briefly served as the territorial capitol in 1864. Today the ghost town of Bannack has been preserved as a state park.  Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Eureka, Nevada

Featured Mining Town: Eureka, Nevada

Eureka was both Nevada's second largest city starting in the 1870s, and the state's second most valuable mining center after the Comstock Lode. Sometimes called the "Pittsburgh of the West", Eureka was the West's largest and most important smelting center. Sixteen smelters operated just outside town, treating ore from over 50 active mines.   Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Goldfield, Nevada

Featured Mining Town: Goldfield, Nevada

Goldfield, Nevada experienced one of the most dramatic rises and subsequent crashes of all the mining towns of the Old West. Once the largest city in Nevada, today Goldfield only has a few hundred residents.  Continue Reading

Featured Mining Town: Telluride, Colorado

Featured Mining Town: Telluride, Colorado

Telluride was the hub of one of Colorado's premier mining regions. The historic mining town is located in a magnificent box canyon and today has become a popular resort area.  Continue Reading