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United Prospectors Inc.,

The oldest family-oriented small miner's corporation in the US, established in 1947

Original History

The history of United Prospectors

History Of United Prospectors
Copyright Jerry Bowen, 1999

January 24, 1848. It was wash day for Jennie Wimmer at Coloma, California, the site for John Sutter’s new sawmill. The Wimmer children were enjoying a day of play in the warm morning sun. John Marshall and Peter Wimmer were checking the newly dug ditch that was to provide the water-power for the wheel to drive the new sawmill. According to accepted history, Marshall spotted something shiny in the ditch’s water and picked it up. It was gold! GOLD! The nugget was given to Jennie who tested it by placing it in her lye kettle. The next morning she determined indeed it was the real thing. Differing versions of the discovery have been put forth over the years, but the fact is, gold had been discovered in California. It was several months before the reality of the discovery sank in and the rush was on.

In 1896 George Washington Carmack and his Indian brothers-in-law discovered gold while fishing on Rabbit Creek (Bonanza Creek) about 14 miles from Dawson City, Alaska. The great Klondike gold rush bloomed into full swing by July, 1897.

The year 1898 found the United States involved with the Spanish American War, Gatling announced his new gun that could fire 3,000 rounds a minute and in California, San Francisco celebrated the "Semi-Centennial Discovery of Gold" with the Golden Jubilee and Mining Fair.

Early in 1947, 99 years after the first discovery of gold, Jack Douglas and a few miners in the small town of Dutch Flat, California decided they needed a prospectors organization of some sort with the condition that it was to be run by the members. During the planning of the organization, Jack Douglas posed the question, "If the very few who started this organization set up a bunch of rules and regulations to govern the members, we would immediately be violating the condition that the organization was to be run by its members and not by a few." So it was decided to obtain 100 charter members and let them be the governing body. Little did they realize, then, that the organization would endure as long as it has!

Initially, the organization was to be a voice and educational tool for the person that earned a living prospecting and mining as a first priority and for non-professional miners as a second priority. The first announcements of the organization were by printed brochures and publicity in the CALIFORNIA MINING JOURNAL, DESERT SPOTLIGHT, and DESERT MAGAZINE.

Volume #1 of PANNING GOLD, issued in October 1947, had fifteen pages and was professionally printed. Evidently print shops were very busy at the time. In Volume #2 Jack Douglas stated in his editorial, "After getting the manuscripts lined up for PANNING GOLD No. 2, we found out that unless we waited for a lull in the printing business, we would have to pay overtime rates for having No. 2 issued. That made us mad, so we just doubled the size of the booklet and put it out on the mimeograph machine at headquarters." The booklets were not only sent to members of the UPI, but also mailed as subscriptions to non-members and sold in bookstores and mining supply stores.

The first booklets were not published on a regular schedule, but were issued as Jack compiled enough material to make up a complete volume. Many of the members contributed articles to the book describing their adventures, tips for identifying ore, plans for gold saving devices, and general letters of whatever was on their minds. The early books provide much insight into the mood of the nation, and the interest in mining in general. Several members contributed lost treasure stories and, judging from the letters to the editor, these were in great demand. Politics then, as is true today, reflected some interesting parallels. It’s like watching history repeat itself as you read through the old United Prospector books.

The first memberships were only one dollar and after a few minor setbacks, the organization began to grow at a rapid rate. By issue #2, the organization had grown to two hundred members, mostly in California, but slowly spreading to other states. The first booklet covers were drawn by a lady from Olympia Fields, Illinois by the name of Speed Freeman (also known as "Peeda")' She was also to become one of the Directors. Peeda and many other women contributed heavily to the UPI as it grew.

An interesting observation was made by Jack Douglas in his Volume #4 issue of PANNING GOLD editorial. He stated, "The United Prospectors organization is just a toddling infant, one year old, but in that one year we have come a long way. We have brought together in that short time over 250 miners and would-be-miners. It’s not so much the number, but the kind of people that make up our membership roll that is going to make the United Prospectors an outstanding organization in its field." That statement holds true fifty years later and is the reason the United Prospectors has lasted as long as it has.

Articles of Incorporation were filed in 1948, and approved in time for the Centennial of the gold rush. The UPI was incorporated on November 29, 1949. Jack Douglas was elected President, and officers at the time of incorporation were Walter Robertson, Stockton, CA; Tylar Jack, Reedy, CA; Speed Freeman, Olympia Field, IL; Louis Borde, Eugene, OR; Harold Mitchell, Umatilla, OR; and Glen Houston, Lodi, CA.

By issue #9, The UPI was growing so fast that chapters had to be formed in other areas. Several Chapters were formed in California and soon spread to other states as far away as New York, Wisconsin, and the New England states. Issue #13 had an article on the methods to be used to organize a chapter.

Rapid growth is reflected by an article in #13 describing a picnic at the Crater Hill Market in the small town of Ophir, California. An estimated five hundred people attended. By issue #15 the UPI was 700 members strong! Uranium was becoming a prospectors choice and many articles were being written about geiger counters and how to use them. Politics reared its ugly head as environmentalism became the latest craze. Dues increased to $3.00 for regular membership and Life Memberships were $6.00. PANNING GOLD subscriptions were increased from $1.50 a year to $1.80.

In June, 1956, Jack Douglas passed away and Frank J. Harnegy took over the reins as President and Editor of PANNING GOLD. The organization acquired a five year lease on property near Mariposa, California that had gold and enough room to hold outings and an annual meeting. A continuing series of articles on geology and minerals was being written by Frank J. Harnegy. In later issues he added a series on assaying. Regular ads appeared in DESERT, OLD PROSPECTOR, and CALIFORNIA MINING JOURNAL magazines. UPI headquarters was located in Los Angeles, California.

The members got a lot of use out of the Mariposa property, but theft, vandalism and declining reserves of gold led to dropping the lease on the claim in 1961. The organization was without a place to gather once again. Issue #72 has an article reflecting the difficulty in acquiring a property with gold that had easy access and a large camping area. A property near Cecilville, California on the Salmon River became the next area that was used as a meeting place. The organization contributed greatly to the economy of the small community as was reflected in a letter to the editor from the residents. Recession was in full swing in the U.S. and more people were trying their luck at mining as a means of support.

In February, 1962, Harnegy moved to Auberry, California, and the UPI headquarters had a new address. The UPI was gaining international status with members as far away as Johannesburg, Africa in 1961. Efforts to acquire a permanent property at Cecilville were underway, but would later fail. Many members were contributing articles to PANNING GOLD telling of their own adventures, and providing mining tips and techniques or locations to prospect.

In issue #78, June, 1962, the lack of volunteers required to keep an organization viable began to become apparent. Frank Harnegy, after eight years as president and editor was getting fed up with the lack of help and the increasing costs to him to keep the UPI operating. In the editorial he spoke plainly of his feelings on this subject and declined to run for office in the next election. Due to concerns for their continued employment, the membership meeting at Cecilville was poorly attended. Recession was in full tilt and members were afraid to take time off. The UPI President and vice-president couldn’t attend the meeting because they were under doctors care. As a result, no nominations were made, and the Board of Directors had to call another meeting later to take care of required business.

Other meetings were scheduled but were not held for a variety of reasons. Then, starting with issue #82, the UPI publication took on a new look. Wendell Harrell volunteered to take over the duties of Editor/Publisher as well as Secretary/ Treasurer. PANNING GOLD was renamed LOCATING GOLD and fresh new ideas were implemented.

Further attempts to hold a Board of Directors meeting were made without success. Finally nominations were made and a ballot by mail was held. So many write-in votes for Harnegy were made that he consented to remain President for another year, but would not be able to participate as much as in the past. Even then, he continued to write many articles for the UPI while traveling around the United States. Frank J. Harnegy’s last known address was in New York.

A permanent claim for the organization was still high on the agenda. The organization address was relocated to San Jose California (the Editor’s address), starting with issue #87 in 1969. For a time, gold nuggets were even being offered to members for signing up new members. Volunteers for various committees were being sought with little success. Many letters from members published in LOCATING GOLD contained a wide variety of interesting information. The gold standard was changed and membership was again on the upswing.

With the elections in 1971, came a new President, Walter J. Price, a very knowledgeable miner and mineral surveyor. Outings and meetings were still being held whenever someone could come up with as a good place to meet. The organization still had no claims to call its own. Soon an area near Dutch Flat, California (UPI member, Kennedy’s property on the Bear River) was being eyed as a permanent facility. Much work was put in by a few members trying to make it a home for the UPI.

In 1972, Wendell Harrell was elected President of the UPI, adding to his duties as editor of LOCATING GOLD. Interface with other prospecting, rockhounding, and treasure hunting organizations increased with each supporting the other. By 1973, Walt & Marge Price took over the duties of Editor with a few new changes to the format.

Continued interest in the Kennedy property near Dutch Flat was still evident in the improvements being made. It’s interesting to note that the organization started at nearby Dutch Flat and after several moves was back to its original home. Roads, trails and a water system were installed and an area cleared for camping.

In 1974, cancer (later reversed) forced Wendell Harrell to slow down his efforts on behalf of the UPI. A continuing series of articles by Walt Price entitled "When Times Were Tough" provided interesting insights of the hardships experienced not only by the old ‘49ers, but also by the new ‘49ers. There were many articles on ghost towns. Articles on new prospecting techniques were also in demand. People were now allowed to own gold and the price began to rise. The gold fields were becoming crowded with folks that didn’t have the slightest idea of how to recover the precious metal. It was an interesting era.

Even with the renewed interest in gold prospecting, membership growth was slow. In 1976 it was noted that the treasury had zero dollars due to the cost of printing prospector training courses.

Joe & Elsie Burns joined the UPI in April of 1976, and soon became very active in all its affairs. In January, 1977, Joe Burns was elected as a Director. Gold was $131.80 an ounce and annual dues were $6.00. Members were located as far away as Australia, Brazil, Greece and Germany. Hermann Zaucher of Germany visited UPI and the members gave him a guided tour.

The lease on the Dutch Flat campground was allowed to drop in July of 1977, because of its limited size. The UPI was again looking for land of its own to buy. Outings were held at Bagby, CA, Gold Beach (near Plymouth), Ponderosa Park (near Coloma), River Rest Campground (near Washington, CA) and AMS Marina on the Merced River. In November, 1977, Bill Sanger and Hugh Royston began prospecting the Red Dog area and were finding good color in Missouri Canyon.

In 1978, Joe Burns was elected President. Long time active member Bill Sanger passed away at age 77 and UPI members Wendell Harrell, John Gardner, Carl Peterson, Mike Cooney, and Al Losado acted as pallbearers at his funeral.

Radical environmentalism was big in the news, and the Forest service was busy conducting armed attacks on isolated Trinity mining camps and other areas.

In 1979, Walt Price resigned after many years as a Director and the Editor of the UPI publication, leaving the duties to Joe Burns. No one else would volunteer. Walt still helped out by continuing to write his very interesting articles. One of his fiction series about two itinerant miners named Hod and Jim are still hilarious to read today. Jackass Jack began writing a series of articles in language that reflected the way an old time miner might speak. Gold reached $600.00 an ounce in 1980 and membership activities were on the rise.

In 1981, the organization acquired its first claim. Haskell Berry donated his claim "Digger 1". "Hack", as he was affectionately known by the members, earned a place of high honor in the UPI. The members had dreamed and worked for thirty-three years before reaching this long sought milestone. Hack and his older brother had some experience at an early age panning gold for spending money. During the depression his brother worked an old mine in Steppy Hollow above Nevada City and after a couple of years opened his own service station and later a sawmill.

Other meetings were also being held in 1981 at Oxbow reservoir, a public recreational site. It was a good year!

In 1982, long time Director, Carl Peterson, was elected as Vice President and Haskell Berry, a printer by trade, took over the reins as Editor/Publisher of the official UPI publication renaming it LOCATING GOLD, GEMS, & MINERALS. Member Victor Jans, living in Switzerland, contributed several interesting articles on mining in his area of the world. The organization reversed its priorities. Family oriented mining became its number one priority, and professional mining interests took second place.

Member Jim Martin, a professor at Solano Community College, was allowing the UPI to use his claim in 1983 located near Genessee and later donated it to the organization in 1985. Jim Martin also published a book, RECREATIONAL GOLD MINING. Included in the book was a photo of UPI President, Joe Burns. Government rules and regulations on mining were becoming more restrictive but membership was still on the rise.

Then, in 1984, the UPI acquired the claim at Red Dog near Grass Valley that had been prospected earlier by Bill Sanger and Hugh Royston. Bob Moran of Vacaville was contributing articles, cartoons, and drawings on a regular basis to LOCATING GOLD. Herman Zaucher (a member from West Germany) visited the UPI and Joe Burns gave him a royal tour of our gold country.

In 1986 dredging permit fees were raised to $10.00. Metal detecting contests and raffles added interest to the outings on the UPI claims. A story, still being told over evening UPI campfires, made the rounds about a man that had never been prospecting before. He had just married and was on his honeymoon in Auburn. He had decided to go for a drive in the country while his wife was shopping when he stumbled onto a UPI outing. UPI members taught him a little about panning. When he saw his first bit of color he got so caught up in the excitement, he forgot all about his bride. The way I understand it, he was several days late in returning to a very angry bride. What a case of gold fever!

In 1990, Joe Burns, plagued by old injuries received during his days as a county sheriff, were resurfacing and causing him great pain. Even then, he pushed himself to the limit and along with his wonderful wife, Elsie, they continued doing all they could for the organization. Joe kept a cheerful smile on his face and always kept his door open to any and all interested in the UPI.

Long time members Jerry and Joan Randall were spending a lot of time actively involving themselves in the interests of the UPI. Their efforts were instrumental in preventing the loss of the Red Dog Claim when paperwork was not filed in time. The UPI publication was being published less often because few volunteers were willing to help out.

In May of 1991, the organization was invited to hold an outing at Twain, California on the east branch of the north fork of the Feather River by an old Idaho miner who owned a claim there. Arrangements were made by Tom and Phyllis Malicki. It didn’t take long for the UPI’ers to find gold and a decision was made to buy the claim. All the legwork and paperwork was handled by the Randalls and the organization had a terrific new claim to call their own.

By 1992, Joe Burns’ medical problems had become more serious and his hand at the helm was sorely missed. Fewer and fewer issues of the LOCATING GOLD were being published. Without this regular communication, membership was on a downhill slide. Haskell Berry had open heart surgery and was looking for someone to take on the responsibilities of Editor/Publisher. No one came forward.

In 1993, several new Officers and Board of Directors emerged. Joe Burns remained as President, Jerry Randall was elected Vice President, and Frank Monez, Treasurer. The Board of Directors had a completely new slate; Steve Barnett, Jerry Bowen, Bill Collins, Henry Henry, and Don Scalise. The new kids on the block decided to get fully involved and put in the effort needed to help Joe keep this fine organization going.

Jerry and Joan Randall spent countless hours renewing claims, updating the charter, and involving themselves in promoting the UPI. Steve Barnett actively hunted for new claims. Frank Monez and Jerry Bowen computerized the membership records and updated the mailing lists. The Board of Directors decided they could communicate with the membership better by going to a less costly bimonthly newsletter. Jerry Bowen volunteered to be the new Editor/Publisher. Old hands, Carl Peterson and Mike Cooney volunteered as area representatives for California and Arizona respectively.

The first newsletter hit the streets in May, 1993 with articles about recent outings, a lost mine story on the American River, plans for a rocker box and an article about Cholla cactus mine fields in the Arizona desert.

The increased communication via the newsletter and annual booklet, RV accessible claims, a renewed vigor among the volunteers and a people friendly atmosphere had an immediate positive effect. Membership continued to increase rapidly, outing attendance rose and new ways to serve the membership began to be discussed.

Joe Burns’ illness finally landed him in surgery and sadly, into a nursing home. Many of the long-standing members still tell fond stories of Joe with his battered hat entertaining the members with his clowning around the digs, yet retaining a firm hand at the UPI helm. For eighteen years Joe was instrumental in keeping the dream inaugurated in 1947 by Jack Douglas alive and well. He never gave up even when times were tough and was always counted present and accounted for when other members needed a hand. No one served longer than Joe and Elsie, even in the worst of times.

1994 began with Jerry Randall being elected President and Carl Peterson as vice-president. Charlie Brown was elected to the Board of Directors when Jerry Bowen decided not to run for re-election in order to concentrate on the UPI publications. After three issues, Jerry finally began to get over the jitters of having to write and produce a newsletter. The newsletter format was revised and renamed TRAILS N’ TALES. The annual booklet retained the name of LOCATING GOLD,GEMS, AND MINERALS and a claim guide was added.

The new claim at Twain soon became a favorite because of the easy access, good gold, friendly atmosphere of the local people and of all things an RV park, Post Office and the Twain Store right at the site.

Evening campfires, swapping "tales", Saturday evening potlucks and "white-elephant" raffles became a trademark of the friendly folks of the UPI. Members were quick to welcome newcomers and teach them techniques for recovering gold and offering use of their equipment.

As friendships were forged, members began to travel with each other. Unofficial outings began to spring up with several members joining together at places such as Quartzsite and Death Valley. The friendly folks of the UPI spread the word of the organization and membership continued to grow with people signing up from all over the United States.

In 1994, the UPI acquired another claim, the Golden Fleece, located several miles west of Oxbow. The property had fair access but no regular outings were held at the site. Members worked the claim on an individual basis.

The Twain Store near the claim site decided to hold a small craft and miners fair in 1994 assisted by UPI members. It was met with mild success that first year and plans were put into motion to do it again in 1995. Director, Bill Collins, assumed the post of Ways and Means and was instrumental in the planning and coordinating the organization’s efforts.

Several UPI members volunteered to assist the Truckee District of the National Forest Service with building a trail through the historic site of Boca and restoring the old graveyard. In fact, the majority of volunteers were UPI’ers. The NFS estimated it would take two weeks to build the initial trail, but much to the amazement of Carrie Smith, NFS Archaeologist, the volunteers accomplished the job in four days! Finished in four days even though it rained, hailed and snowed during two of the four days, the hardy volunteers enjoyed every minute of it.

The ever resourceful Bill Collins built a panning trailer for the UPI after the Board of Directors took his advice and funded the project. The trailer was made available to other organizations as an educational tool and to promote the UPI. Many potential and new gold-seekers got their start by learning how to pan at the trailer.

The 1995 Twain Outing and Gold fair was attended by approximately 200 members and guests of the UPI and an undetermined number of tourists and local people.

Several members visited the ‘near’ ghost town of Cherry Creek, Nevada, traveled the Pony Express Trail and conducted a search for the lost Joshua Ward Cabin in eastern Nevada. New friendships were forged with the Cherry Creek residents and the local BLM office.

The year ended in a grand manner when many UPI members volunteered to assist with the National Gold Panning Championships along with the Auburn Goldhounds. It proved to be such a good time that most of the volunteers decided they would return in 1996.

1996 proved to be another productive and interesting year. Outings attendance grew to large proportions, another trip to Cherry Creek, Nevada, hikes with member and noted Nevada author, Stanley Paher, 2nd annual Twain Fair and the National Panning Championships rounded out another very successful year for the UPI and its members. The previous year’s rain produced plenty of gold for those who sought it. Mineral hunting continued to be under attack by so-called environmentalists pushing their own selfish agenda. The Mother Lode Research Center won several major issues thanks to Ron Stockman’s common sense approach to working with the political system for the betterment of all pursuits.

Jerry and Joan Randall were honored with a gold pan plaque during the Twain Fair for their outstanding efforts in rebuilding the United Prospectors.

In addition, on Labor Day, 1996, the United Prospectors honored Joe and Elsie for their tireless efforts to keep the United Prospectors alive. For many years Joe and Elsie Burns were the guiding light of the United Prospectors Inc. In recognition of these years the Board of Directors and members asked Tom and Phyllis Malicki to present a very special gift to Joe and Elsie. A gold pan plaque bearing the following inscription was presented to them. "PRESENTED TO JOE AND ELSIE BURNS. MANY THANKS FOR GIVING YOUR ALL FOR SO MANY YEARS. YOUR EFFORTS ARE DEEPLY APPRECIATED. signed: MEMBERS AND BOARD OF UNITED PROSPECTORS INC".

This solid gold couple sent their heartfelt appreciation to all for this thoughtful gift and wished all a gold pan full of "love and happiness".

The end of 1996 and first month of 1997 were fraught with devastating floods, landslides, and significant damage to a number of towns in California’s Central Valley. Highways in the Feather River Canyon sustained major damage or were obliterated completely. The river beds were turned upside down and washed downstream.

The Randall’s investigated the condition at Oxbow and found most of the site had been washed away during the floods leaving only rocks, sand an debris. It’s obvious that no outing could be held at Oxbow this year. Then they visited Red Dog and found the road in fair condition. Missouri Canyon Creek was now about 60 feet wide and panning produced some match-head-size nuggets. The first outing was rescheduled from Oxbow to Red Dog. Highway 89 from Quincy to Twain reopened to full use. Highway 70 from Oroville to Twain which suffered significant damage remains restricted to escorted traffic three times a day. It was late summer before repairs are complete and traffic began to flow freely.

The Randalls investigated the claim at Digger 1 and found it fully accessible. The route to the Genesee claim was littered with giant boulders but remained open by the time scheduled outings begin.

As always, the organization has shouldered the good with the bad and the membership realizes that even with all the weather problems there is a golden lining in every cloud. The millions of tons of dirt and gravel that was rearranged by Mother Nature produce undiscovered gold, new stories and adventures and last but not least, a renewal of the spirit that was born 150 years ago at Coloma, California.

The UPI assumed more responsibilities for the National Gold Panning Championships at Coloma. Bill Collins and Jerry Bowen developed an efficient way to dredge the panning pools between heats. Bill Collins came up with the idea to hold a "Gold Rush" during the festivities in order to give the visitors a chance to pan their own gold. The gravel dredged from the panning pools which containing much lost gold was dumped on a tarp near the edge of the River. Nuggets, more flake gold, and tokens for prizes were also mixed with the approximately five yards of auriferous gravel. Tickets were sold to a limited number of people who would be allowed to pan the gravel. Tension mounted as the last panning heat completed. Suddenly a giant wave of people appeared on the dike separating the panning area from the American River as the crowd rushed to the area to participate or watch the Gold Rush! The ticket holders were lined up around the valuable pile of dirt. At a given signal the Gold Rush was on! I don’t believe I have ever witnessed a five yard pile of gravel disappear so fast! The river teemed with modern day 49ers as they sought the golden treasure. It was a scene reminiscent of the gold rush 150 years ago.

Winners of the Nationals claimed their rightful place in the history of gold-panning as Larry Weilnau, a member of the Gold Prospectors of Colorado took top honors for the men’s skilled category. He also joined the UPI before leaving for home. UPI’s Bob Williams took the top honor in the seniors division. It had been a good year for the United Prospectors.

1998 began with a new slate of officers. Joan Randall was now president of the UPI and husband Jerry became the claims director. We had a new Vice President, Dan Short, and the board members were Marylee Riley - Secretary, Helene Everest - Treasurer, and the Board of Directors were Al Downey, Guy Everest, Henry Henry, Al Mowery and Don Scalise. Membership Chairman, Annie Bowen, was working full time and the long hours required were weighing heavily on her. After a year-long search for someone to assume the duties of Membership Chairman, Don Riley volunteered to take on this very important post. Annie trained Don in the new duties and his son set his computer up to efficiently maintain the files. Jerry Bowen continued as publications editor/publisher and historian.

A large number of UPI members assembled at Quartzsite, Arizona to enjoy the annual winter flea-market and Gem and Mineral Pow-Wow in January. While at Quartzsite, Jerry Randall and several members checked on possible new claims to acquire for the organization, but none satisfied all the requirements.

England passed a good common-sense Treasure Trove law, President Clinton’s past and present became apparent to even the most hard-headed liberal, gold prices hit a decade low, and the Sesquicentennial Celebrations of the Gold Rush were in full swing.

Coloma celebrated the discovery of gold on January 24 with "Gold Discovery Days" which drew about 20,000 spectators. Coloma Gold Discovery Park resembled a scene not unlike the days of 1848 with a plethora of fascinating displays and reenactments.

UPI used one of their scheduled outings to assist Fred and Marielle Faieta with a cleanup of the area behind their Coloma Resort and RV Park. The recent floods had left a lot of debris behind that needed immediate attention. It was a tough job but, of course, the UPI members were up to it. Fred’s Coloma Resort had hosted the UPI during past National Panning Championships and it was a good way to return the favor.

Later in the year Jerry Randall checked out more claims in the Trinity River for possible acquisition. Unfortunately, environmental problems and site access difficulty resulted in another rejection even though the gold was good.

Another July 4, two week outing at Twain renewed old UPI friendships and provided a restful time for about two hundred members. Gold was good and the Taylorsville 4th of July Parade was enjoyed by all.

Bill Collins and Jerry Bowen attended the committee meetings at Coloma in preparation for the World Gold Panning Championship scheduled for September 28 to October 4. The same displays and reenactments used at the Coloma Gold Discovery Days celebration on January 24 will all be present along with much more. The UPI Gold Rush will also be held on different days during the competition. Both sides of the river will have something for everyone to enjoy. Approximately 800 contestants were expected from all around the world with several nations already signed up at this writing. It’s going to be blast!

The United Prospectors has had a long and varied history to this point and the future promises even more. We of the UPI are proud to claim to be the oldest and the best mineral hunting organization in the United States . . . and perhaps the world!