Friday, June 23, 2017


My first novella in the new Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs series was recently published. The setting for this novel takes place high in the Colorado mountains and involves a silver mining town.

Silver mining?

For my Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series, I have been writing about gold mining. That is what I have researched. Although I know often gold and silver were (and still are) found in the same localities—often the same mines, I didn’t know much about silver mining.

For starters, I thought I would gather a few mining terms. Some pertain to silver mining specifically, others are for mining in general. Silver mining in our hypothetical town of Jubilee Springs was hard rock mining and hard rock mining of any ore often involved the same or similar processes. So, here we go with A through L for your reading education, if not enjoyment.

Adit at Nevada's Lucky Tiger Mine
Adit - An entrance to a mine, generally a horizontal tunnel.

Amalgam - Gold or silver combined with quicksilver

Arastra - A mill, consisting of one or more large stones dragged around on a circular bed, used to grind ore. A horse, mule or humans provided the power.

Argentiferous - Bearing or producing silver.

Assaying - Finding the percentage of a given metal in ore or bullion.
Assay equipment

Base Bullion - Precious metals contained in lead.

Breasting Ore - Taking ore from the face, breast or end of a tunnel. Bullion. - Precious metals, gold and silver, etc., not coined.

Carbonate - A geological formation which carries silver ore, and from 5 to 70 per cent. of lead.

Chlorides - A compound of chlorine and silver.

Crosscut - A horizontal tunnel driven perpendicular to the main direction of a vein.

Diluvium - A deposit of superficial sand, loam, gravel, pebbles, etc.

Drift - A horizontal passage underground that is .excavated along a rich vein of ore. Used in hard rock mining.

Dump, or mine tailings

Dump - The pile of ore or debris taken from mines, or tailings from sluicing.

Face - End of level or tunnel against the ore or rock.

Gangue - The worthless rock in a vein which holds valuable metals.

Gash Vein - A vein wide above and narrow below.

Hanging Wall - The layer of rock or wall over a lode.

Miner and ore cart - hard rock mining
Hard Rock Mine - A tunnel that is dug into solid rock for the sole purpose of finding valuable or precious rocks, minerals, or metals.

High Grade Ore - Ore which runs more silver than twenty ounces to the ton, with 50 or more per cent of lead.

Hill Claims - Minerals found in or under a hill.

Horse - A mass of rock matter occurring in or between the branches of a vein.


Kibble - Iron Cornish bucket used to hoist ore and miners to the surface.

Level - A tunnel cut on the vein from the main tunnel. A drift.

Ledge - A vein or lode.
Lode - gold vein in Blue Ribbon Mine, AK

Lode - A metallic vein.

Low Grade Ore - Ore which runs below twenty ounces of silver to the ton, fifty per cent of the ton being lead.

Here is the book description for my first novella in the Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs series,

     Aaron Brinks, son of the Jubilee Springs mercantile owners, has been living in a small room above his parents’ store even though he is employed at the Prosperity Mine. When the mine owners announce they have contacted a mail order bride agency, and will allot company houses to the first ten miners who choose a bride and pay her way, he decides it is time for a house of his own.
     Shy Andrea Draper must escape her father’s ranch. Her father has discouraged all potential suitors because he does not want to lose his unpaid housekeeper, laundress, and the cook for him and his men. Then there is the problem of Lloyd McCreary, her father’s foreman.
     Learning her friend intends to go to Jubilee Springs as a mail order bride, going with her seems Andrea’s only option for escape. She agrees to marry Aaron even though she knows she is not worthy to be any man’s wife. While trying to convince him to be married in name only until he gains title to his house, at which time they can annul the marriage, Andrea’s father shows up to drag her home against her will.
     Learning what he is up against, Aaron must decide if it is just the house he wants, or if he wants Andrea.

You may purchase Aaron’s Annulment Bride from Amazon by CLICKING HERE.
Also, please follow Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs on Amazon to find all the books in the series, including my second book, Cat’s Meow, which is now on preorder and due to be published July 4th.

Source:  Legends of America, Glossary of Mining Terms

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