Life in the Old West

True stories, tall tales, memorabilia of the American West

Posts Tagged ‘gold prospecting’

Crazy Bob Womack launched Cripple Creek gold strike but died in poverty

Friday, May 18th, 2012:

Known to many as “Crazy Bob” for his wild early years as a cowboy, for his constant boozing, and for the years he spent digging in Poverty Gulch, Bob Womack discovered the ore that ultimately led to Colorado’s greatest gold strike at Cripple Creek. But more than 15 years after his discovery, which led to millions of dollars in gold, Bob died in poverty in Colorado Springs.

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Gold led settlers to Boise; irrigation farming kept them there

Friday, February 10th, 2012:

As with many towns of the West, promises of sudden wealth brought the first settlers to Boise, Idaho — prospectors drawn by an 1862 gold strike. But it was the rich soil, coaxed into bearing crops by a complex of irrigation channels cut into the Idaho desert that turned fortune seekers into settlers.

Originally named “Les Bois” (French, meaning “wooded”) by Hudson’s Bay Company trappers who came into the area as early as 1834, the stretch of wooded land was transformed first into gold diggings, then a small town, and finally the capital of the state of Idaho. It grew from about 400 houses and other permanent structures in 1868 to a city of more than 205,000 population by 2009.

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