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Sam Bacharach, Lumpkin County Georgia, is the winner!

Blacklead Iron Prospect is the answer for Trivia 554 a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Join in the discovery!

Monday: Iron

Tuesday: Granite

Wednesday: Clearwater National Forest

Thursday: 7001 feet

Friday: South of Kelly Creek

Saturday: Idaho-Montana border

Monday: Rugged country

Tuesday: Gold

Wednesday: Prospecting

Thursday: Distance an issue

Blacklead Iron Prospect is at elevation 7,001 feet on the Clearwater National Forest south of Kelly Creek near the Idaho-Montana border.

Gold and iron deposits are documented. However, gold is at present the only commodity viable. According to 'The Diggings' the iron is not currently recoverable, though economically interesting.

'Western Mining History' identifies the rock as granite from the late Cretaceous period. It also says that the distance from steel plants and lack of adequate coking coal make it of little value to mine the iron.

According to The Clearwater Story: The History of the Clearwater National Forest, some of the earliest prospecting in the Blacklead area began in 1886 when Billy Rhodes teamed up with Jerry Johnson and another man and discovered silver ore deposits in the Blacklead Country. While the other two were not interested in lode mining, Rhodes returned to Lewiston and reported his find to backers who were quite enthusiastic.

Rhodes and two other men hired by his backers packed into the Blacklead Country and barely had time to build a cabin before winter. The men went to work on a tunnel at a spot picked by Rhodes. Unfortunately, despite rumors, they did not find anything very promising. Rhodes became ill with dysentery around Christmas and died the next March and he was buried in the deep snow. The first part of June after the deep snow melted, the two men reburied Rhodes and marked his grave with a pile of stones. Then they hiked out to Pierce.

Interest in the minerals of the Blacklead area continued and others had some claims, including Lafayette Williams, the Hansen Brothers, Walter Sewell and John Austin.

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Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733
Fax: 208-476-4140