Chasing the Rainbow
As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information
Robert Lee Hatcher was born June 24th 1867 in Montague, Texas. He arrived in Alaska in 1888. Hatcher had started prospecting in White Oaks, New Mexico, came north at twenty-one, spent time prospecting in Atlin, Canada, and southeast Alaska before heading to south-central Alaska.
In September 1906, Hatcher located hard rock gold. The Skyscraper Vein was a quartz gold claim 1,200 feet above the floor of Fishhook Valley and nearly 5,000 feet above sea level. It was on a ridge below Skyscraper Mountain in the southern Talkeetna Mountains.
Robert Lee sold a 25 percent interest in his gold discovery for $1500.00 worth of cash and some food. In 1909 Hatcher and his partner, J.H. Carnegie, sold the remaining 75% of the claims for $6000.00. The $7500.00 received for the claims is worth over a quarter of a million dollars today.
In 1910 Hatcher was back in Alaska prospecting on the Kenai Peninsula with a new partner, C. A. "Scotty" McPherson. The Hatcher-McPherson Groundhog claim was sold for $30,000. The purchaser was Samuel I. Silverman who started, and sold stock in, the Seward Gold Company.
Within a year Silverman had sold the Seward Gold Company for $225,000 to a group of British investors. Unfortunately the ledge pinched out, the gold disappeared and the first payment was never made.
By 1943, Robert Lee Hatcher had been responsible for the discovery of the Independence, Martin, Talkeetna, Jam, Ray Wallace and Gold Mint mines.
At the age of seventy-six he announced what he called the greatest gold discovery of his career. There was no interest from investors even though the grade, at an estimated $7 per ton, was very high. In 1933, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt had increased the price of gold from $20.67 to $35.00 per ounce. The increase in price led to more gold mining in Alaska. This expansion continued until the early years of World War II when federal order E-208 shut down gold mines throughout the United States - the United States War Production Board thought gold mining was not essential to the war effort.
In 1950, Hatcher was found in his cabin on Ptarmigan Creek twenty-three miles north of Seward; he was paralyzed on his left side and unable to speak. Robert Lee Hatcher died in Seward, Alaska, 24th September 1950 and was buried October 1st 1950 in an unmarked grave in the Seward Pioneer Cemetery.
Seekers Of Gold
"You see we prospectors are a dying breed. The world doesn't function around us anymore like it used back in the gold rush. The people who care for you can't understand. What in the world would make you want to risk your life to look for gold? They don't understand the dream, but in the old days everybody understood. You didn't have to worry about your wife leaving ya or your friends scorning you because you wanted to find the gold.
Everyone was doing it. Everyone dreamed of the day when they would be the one to strike it rich. represent freedom for all, but what does it mean to people today? I'll tell you, a big house and a nice car. People don't see that it's so much more than just finding the golden score. It's not seen as a building block for freedom. It's been twisted and messed up to the point of being stuck on a scratch and win ticket. That is what is left of the prospector's dream in today's world. All the people around you don't understand, they can't see the freedom and the hope it brings you when you chase the dream. They just think you're dreaming, but we know the truth don't we?
The truth is you're living and they are the ones that are dreaming. Their search for the big car and the nice house. Ha! Illusions I tell you brought onto their brain less minds by a media machine. How I wish I could chase after it still, but the fight's over for me lad. I've got a bad ticker you see, but you can, can't you son?" he explained eyeing me almost enviously, there is nothing better than standing high up on a mountain top and gazing down upon the world. It makes you feel like your own man. Free from all prison that the world tries to make of your life. You see the world doesn't want you to be your own man. If they did, they wouldn't be trying to make you swallow the lie all the time and you know how they do it. Through that little box over there, he said pointing to the television across the room.
Look at those people over there, he explained pointing to the people staring at the TV. They're swallowing every word of it and it makes me sick. Our pioneer brothers are rolling in their graves I tell ya. They wouldn't have wanted it this way, this isn't freedom. People today don't know what freedom is. That little box over there tells them that they're free, but they're not. You see when somebody tells you something enough times you'll start to believe it. Tell me you won't give up, tell me you will follow the dream to the ends of the earth. If not for yourself then do it for your pioneer brothers who help create this world and you become one of them. Remember freedom is worth dying for and I'm not talking about dying in a war fighting for some illusionary freedom that your government tells you have. I'm talking the real stuff that comes from the open spaces and when you spent enough time in the mountains you'll know what I'm talking about. It will grab your soul and won't leave you until the day you die. It's what pushes all great men and once you see it you'll chase it for the rest of your days."
Seekers of gold is dedicated to all the prospectors out there who have searched for the dream and all of those who are still out there searching for it. Daryl Friesen author, Seekers Of Gold
Prospectors are today still scouring the bush, in remote, and not so remote places - chasing the rainbow and its pot of gold - looking for the next discovery. Alaska, Canada's Yukon Territory and Province of British Columbia are still vast and underexplored places.
Prospecting is of course the integral first step in the process of discovery, walking the bush and hammering rocks means boots on the ground. It's people walking through the bush that have found the worlds mines. Staking claims and making a deal with a junior resource company, a vendor's agreement, is often the second step - the prospectors claims are turned over to be worked for shares and or cash and a one or two percent net smelter royalty (NSR) from a mine if the showing goes all the way. Most prospectors don't have the wherewithal, the money raising capabilities or the expertise to develop a showing so this is where a junior would come in. Being publically traded they have access to capital and expertise the prospector most often does not.
Only a few prospectors among the many thousands who search ever find an economic to mine deposit. But prospecting success and drill programs that are targeting these showings should be on every investors radar screen.
Most of us can't be prospectors, but we can dream of discoveries made and money hard won, we too can chase the rainbow through our publically traded junior resource companies. Have you got an exploration, or drill program, on your radar screen?
If not, maybe you should.