Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ruins of Early Smelters

Finding & exploring old mining claims in the Ozarks seems to be one of my favorite things to do. ( The second is going to old cemeteries.)  In the following article from 1907, the ruins of of smelters comes to topic. This old article reminds me of a past excursion from last year's adventure & blog in discovering the same thing. That blog can be found at Bruce Creek Excursion..

In addition, I will also re-post the map from the early 1800's showing the Ozarks' Region of American Indian Tribes. Double Click on the map to enlarge it.

I hope you enjoy finding your own treasures in our Ozarks' History.


Relics of Unknown Explorers in the Cherokee Hills.

In the hills of the Cherokee nation are found the ruins of several crude and primitive smelters that undoubtedly were used by the early Spanish explorers in this country, says the Kansas City Star. The presence of these old ruins are taken by many as proof that there are valuable minerals in these hills and that the Spaniards found and mined them.

According to the best historical authority and according to Indian legends, the Spanish explorers made periodical visits to the Indian country, coming usually from the southeast. Marking the line of their operations are these old smelter ruins that stretch from the Ozark regions of northern Kansas, embracing half a dozen counties, most of the ruins being found in the White River country.

There can now be found among the Cherokee who live in the hills pieces of melted slag out of these ruins. From one of these primitive furnaces there was also washed out on the banks of the Illinois river a silver coin that bears the date of 1618. Not far from the same spot is a Spanish monument and cross erected by explorers long before present Indians inhabited this region.

The fact that old smelters are found in a region which in later years has been shown to contain large deposits of lead and zinc might be taken as evidence that they were erected for the purpose of reducing these minerals, and that the Spanish took large quantities of both minerals out, but many believe that the Spaniards also found silver and gold and coined them.

Works Cited:
"The Ozark Plateau." Map. Point Lookout, Missouri: School of the Ozarks Press, 1970.
Annotation: Map located inside of front cover of book entitled: Indians of the Ozark Plateau by Elmo Ingenthron. Full plate title: Map of the Ozark Plateau Showing Principle Streams, Indian Territorial Areas, Treaty-Fixed Boundaries, Migration Routes, Early Roads and Settlements. Color enhancements added by Vincent S. Anderson.

" Ruins of Early Smelters." New State Tribune. Muskogee, Oklahoma.13.44  (22 August, 1907) 1. Access Newspaper Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 2 Nov. 2010.


Bill said...

Mr. Anderson,
I discovered your blog a year or so ago, and this week reread all again, it’s fascinating reading. My family’s from Fulton, Baxter and Izard counties so really enjoy these stories. Thanks and keep ‘em coming.
Bill Hodges

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