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Gold Riches of French Gulch by Mary Ellen Gilliland

French Gulch yielded incredible riches in gold to lucky 1800s prospectors. Its stunning wire gold nuggets, found on Farncomb Hill, were beautiful clumps of tangled gold wire, never melted down for gold bars but prized and kept as jewelry specimens. French Gulch's rich gold mines provided record production for their owners. The Wellington Mine alone generated an estimated $32 million in an era when a bushel of tomatoes cost five cents. All this mineral abundance precipitated the Ten Years War, an 1860s conflict over ownership of Wire Patch gold that sprayed smoke, bullets and blood over the gulch in the finest Western tradition.

Information from the newly-published SUMMIT, A Gold Rush History of Summit County Colorado by Mary Ellen Gilliland. Available at Weber's Books in Breckenridge, by calling the publisher at 970-468-6273 and at http://www.alpenrosepress.com.

Summit cover