Item #7537 Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A. Martin Goldmining Properties.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.

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Views on the Martin Gold Mining Properties in White County, Georgia, U.S.A.

Nacoochee, Georgia: The Franklin Printing & Publishing Co., 65-71 Ivy St., Atlanta, GA, Geo. W. Harrison, Gen. Mgr., 1897. Oblong 8vo (8.5” x 10.75”), full burgundy calf, gilt title at front-cover, spine and corners sympathetically renewed, gilt inner dentelles. 1 p. table of contents, followed by 45 original bromide silver print photos mounted on linen. Most images numbered in white in the negative “X1” to “X45”, with #33 and #32 out of order, and a few numbers effaced in the negative. CONDITION: Good, light wear to covers; flyleaf re-hinged, two initial blank leaves with reinstated loss at inner edges and re-hinged, photos with strong tonality, occasional light stains and light to moderate wear to photos, occasional minor losses at edges of images, occasional light damp-stains to linen mounts.

An exceptionally rare promotional photo album comprising forty-five captivating and beautifully composed photos of the extensive Martin Goldmining Properties and related activities in White County, Georgia, offering a comprehensive view of this large collective gold-mining operation.

Born in Dundee, Scotland, John Martin visited Georgia several times before moving to the North Georgia Mountains in 1889 in search of gold, and where he undertook a number of business ventures. Prior to moving to the U.S., Martin trained as an engineer and worked for the Dundee Courier and in the electric light business. In the late-1880s, he bought a vast amount of land (some 50,000 acres) in the Nacoochee Valley and along the Chattahoochee River. In addition to operating a mill, Martin ran the Hamby Mining Ditch and Martin Mine, and as early as 1896 he controlled the largest collective gold tract in North Georgia. The heart of this property had been brought under one management in 1857 by the Nacoochee Hydraulic Co. of Boston. Following the Civil War, the company successfully undertook hydraulic mining for a number of years. During this period, extensive quantities of gold were taken from these hills as well as some of the largest nuggets ever found in Georgia.

When John Martin came into possession of the property he added new territory. In addition to employing his own large work-force, Martin gave many small parties leases to work at the various deposits, the parties in turn paying him a portion of their earnings. In conjunction with his mining operations, he operated a commissary store through which many of the laborers he hired were paid and to which the lessee-miners brought their gold. Through such management, he was able to improve and increase the size of his property. A since-deleted internet article on the White County Historical Society’s website notes that these photos were taken to acquire capital to create a town at Parks (which in these photos is identified as a “townsite”), as well as to open a shaft at Parks and to build a reservoir on the highlands on the south side of Dukes Creek. Martin ceased his gold-mining operations in 1904 and moved to Clarkesville, Georgia in 1905, after which his residence (pictured here) was used as a hotel. Martin contributed greatly to the modernization of Clarkesville.

This album features several shots of Martin’s family outside his residence—built in 1876 and identified here as “Headquarters”—showing well-dressed men, women and children. The majority of images show miners working at sites of mining interest: cuts into the rock and earth, tunnels, mine shafts, pipelines, and so forth. Laborers are variously shown pushing wheelbarrows, operating a massive hose (called “giant”), sawing, and engaged in sluicing. One shot shows miners—including an African American worker—eating fruit with knives and standing on a log flume. In other images, miners pose in front of tunnels, veins, and a stamp mill. Several images feature the same miner, who wears a long white beard and is seen in one shot underground with two other miners in a candle-lit tunnel named “De Soto.” Various photos show veins (such as the Reynolds Vein), mountains and farms in the area, and John Martin’s commissary store, known as Parks Store. One image offers a close-up view of the Martin Vein which was four feet wide (“fifteen feet below grass roots and twelve feet in from Face of Hill”). One family is pictured standing outside a home identified as “Dwelling House on Lot 101,” while several other families are pictured at the foot of Ball Mountain and at Sims Place. Several shots show canals, waterfalls, dams, creeks, and valleys, and in many of these scenes miners (and better-dressed men who may be investors or managers) are often shown posing. Also pictured is a canal-crossing highway over Blue Ridge and a 440-foot log flume at Swinging Rock. Some of the other identified locales include Mount Yonah, Chattahoochee River, Conley Farm, Duke’s Creek, Mount Allison, Horton Valley, and Nacoochee Valley. The subjects of all forty-five photos are identified in the table of contents.

No copies recorded in OCLC. We have been able to locate just one other copy, at the White County Historical Society.

A fine and extremely rare photo album documenting what for a period was the largest collective gold tract in North Georgia.

REFERENCES: Knight, Lucian Lamar. A Standard History of Georgia and Georgians, Vol. 5 (New York: Lewis Publishing Co., 1917), pp. 2480-2481; Yeates, William Smith. A Preliminary Report on a Part of the Gold Deposits of Georgia, Issue 4, Part 1 (Atlanta, GA: Geo. W. Harrison, state printer, 1896); "Historic Commercial Buildings" at Sautee Nacoochie Cultural Center online.

Item #7537

Price: $12,500.00

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