20 Acre Lode Claim For Sale

Historic Hilltop Seclusion

Mine Details

Commodity: Gold, Iron, Quartz
Location: Oregon, USA
Terms: For Sale
Price: $3,500

Seller Website

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Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. is proud to present the Historic Hilltop Seclusion Gold Mining Claim for sale. Locally known as the Merle Brown Mine. This is a 20 acre lode mining claim for sale exclusively through Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. This previously abandoned gold mine is located just outside of John Day, Oregon and has been properly staked and marked at all corners. All Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. claims have been meticulously surveyed, mapped and researched. Field work is completed by our own experienced, well versed Mine Survey Team.

Canyon District – Grant County, Oregon
You have to hike about 100 feet from the mine camp to access each of the mine entrances.
The claim is located 3.6 miles on a high clearance 4WD dirt road.
Contact us for exact coordinates

This is a very remote and rarely if ever visited claim outside of John Day, Oregon. From the claim you have amazing mountain views and views to John Day and the valley’s below. This claim has been worked for nothing but gold. And gold in quantity. Prior to 1900 over 750,000 ounces of rich, native gold had been extracted from the district. It was said that while the placer operations provided enough for the small miners, the real money was in locating the lodes in the hills above. Few miners took this advice. Some of the smart ones did. Merle Brown was one of those miners. The claim is intriguing in the fact that it actually has substantial workings despite its location. The mining claim has also given up quite a bit of gold in the form of wire deposits on quartz. There is little record of the claim except for a few interview with an owner of the mine in the 1970s. He was interested in sinking a shaft to intercept more of the gold veins below. The mining claim was reportedly for sale in 1979 for $400,000. There is no record of sale. In the early 1980s the mine was reported as abandoned despite the gold values. Merle Brown obtained the claims to the Hilltop in 1981.

The adits are short, hand cut and narrow. They do have some stoping where pockets of gold were worked out. The gold ore left at the site is rough but substantially heavy. The ore bodies are largely undefined in the area regardless of the amount of gold recovered. The gold samples from the area are plentiful. The image below is reportedly from the private collection of Merle Brown.

If you are willing to work hard, this mining claim could be a real producer for you and reveal up its treasures. With as much placer gold has been recovered it stands to reason that all the gold broke off from somewhere. Getting underground and locating those veins would really be hitting the Motherlode.

The area north of the John Day River is in large part covered with basalts, except to the east where the older rocks appear in the Quartzburg Area. To the south of the river, the Strawberry Range above the alluvial material of the basin is composed of pre-Tertiary rocks, with the exception of the eastern end and Strawberry Peak itself, which is made up of a great pile of Columbia River basalt flows (Miocene). The high northern crest of the range, culminating in Bald Mountain, is predominantly peridotite, dunite and serpentine. The extreme headwaters of the streams and the southern crest of the range, however, are composed of diabases, gabbros, diorites, and older sedimentary rocks, mostly slates, limestones, and shales of lower Jurassic and Triassic age.

The southern and western portions of Grant County are in part covered with Tertiary basalts and sediments, but there are large areas of Jurassic and Triassic slates, cherts, and serpentines, as well as some Carboniferous sediments.[1]

There is no real history of the mining claim. Limited information from a Bureau of Mines report from the 1970s discusses the owner cutting a shaft to get into the deeper veins. Owner had been living at the mining claim for an undisclosed amount of time and was said to be well equipped with top of the line technology. The claim was taken over and worked by Merle Brown, aka, Hard Rock. Known locally as a legitimate gold miner. He passed in 2011.

Sept. 7, 1924 - Sept. 12, 2011

Merle Raymond Brown, 87, of Canyon City, died Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, at the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles.

He was born in Newport on Sept. 7, 1924 to Raymond and Bertha (Harland) Brown. He graduated from Philomath High School.

He served in the U.S. Navy and was an aviation mechanic during World War II. After his discharge from the Navy in December 1945, he lived in Philomath and worked in the U.S. Postal Service and the timber industry until 1965, when he moved to Canyon City. He worked as a lumber grader for DR Johnson Lumber Company for many years.

When he retired, he pursued his passion for gold mining full time, when he picked up the name "Hard Rock." He was active in the Eastern Oregon Miners Association, National Rifle Association, "We The People," and recently retired from the Grant County Planning Commission and the Grant County Public Forest Commission.

The mining claim is very remote, multiple mines with excellent views. The forest on the ridge below the mines is recently burned and is nearly barren. May need to move a few fallen trees in the road for full size 4WD access. SxS had no issues. These mines have not seen anyone for a good many years. Ores show to be gold with some copper and lead. We were unable to find any defined lodes in the limited workings. Previous owner claimed pockets of high grade gold, his intent was to sink a shaft to measure out the veins. This never happened for whatever reason. The gold mine was abandoned in the mid 1980s according to some trash found in the workings.

Extremely difficult to locate the actual site of the mines. GPS and a good sense of direction will be required. The mines were historically worked for gold and appear to be high grade prospects and cuts. The fact that there is not a lot of gold visible in the waste rock means they took most of the gold off site with them. See historical reports for assays of the mines.