Finding A 103 Year Old Jacket (and Jeans?) In Abandoned Silver Mine


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In this video, I explore a remote mine at Cerro Gordo with very difficult access. The exploration was over 2 days, as the first day I saw fabric and materials further down in the mine that required more support. I have to say, this was the coolest find I’ve ever had in a mine!

I’m getting much more comfortable exploring the mines, so expect many more videos to come!

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Weird that you go to a uh abandoned silver mine to find denim, but you know that’s what I want to find holy. All right, I am about to go into this hole. I agree with you: It’s uh, quite small, for comparison. This flashlight is about 12 inches, and so maybe 12 13 inches height to get underneath this thing I am going to slither my way back under there, because behind this rock is an abandoned silver mine that has been active in about 100 years. It’s virtually untouched because It’s quite remote, we’re on a part of the Cerro Gordo to a property that not very many people get to go to. Uh access is obviously difficult.

I mean most people wouldn’t even think that this x, this mine is accessible. If you’re walking by you might not even notice it was here, but I’m gonna go in there. I’m really excited, I think, anytime, the mine’s a little bit more difficult to get to uh. Obviously, that leads to a little more treasure back there. These days, I bring quite a bit of gear with me. When I go back and know mine, I bring a gas detector first and foremost, It’s a four gas monitor just to make sure I don’t run in any bad air and uh have my last mine trip ever I have that gloves.

I bring a knife just in case flashlight. Of course I’ve been starting to bring climbing gear, so I have my rope uh. I use a petzl descender. This is usually made for, I believe, rescue attempts, but It’s a really nice one. It has a kind of like safety. This way safety. If you let go of it, it stops you. So I really really really like this petzl descender, It’s kind of the way to get down. I have my ascenders, so I can get back up. I have my headlamp, you know a must in any mining exploration. Finally, I have a hard hat because, when you’re going down when, if a rock were to drop, I’d rather have a drop on this than on my head.

Beyond that, I just have some water, some snacks, just in case, obviously the camera, but you know let’s get into it, probably won’t need these in here: [, Music, ], that’s cool! Look at those colors like blue and green marble. that’s awesome. Whoa looks like we got a good amount of collapse, that’s a it’s! No powder room shoot, that’s where they kept the dynamite back in the day, so there used to be a door on this. You can see kind of where the frame would be or the hinge. I mean door here dynamite in here a lot of the old sawdust, I’m not going to go back in there.

Just I don’t see anything that interesting and I don’t want to risk stepping on some more dynamite or something look at this. Just There’s these spans. Where There’s no drops? Oh man, I wouldn’t really be a mining adventure without finding one of those. The classic prince albert do not bite the tongue. It goes pretty deep. You see, I have to bring some rope over here, but look at old timbering. It’s not so interesting, like look, the bark is still on it and everything It’s so cool. What do you think head up? Oh trash bit, how’s this ladder where, where do you go? that’s cool! Look at that temporary inside there?

Hmm, there must be another entrance above us. Maybe I can find that. I think that might be like an old scrap pile. Sometimes you know they didn’t want to take stuff out of the mine. They just backfill it like that, saves them the trip out, and sometimes you can find some really cool stuff. Oh, that might be dynamite, see that um. I might not get too far back in the stuff. that’s dynamite that that that might be something that’s jeans. We got jeans, that’s blue denim right there, It’s cut. I can’t really tell when that would be from it might be old, though see that stitching. Do I move this to find more, I think I i have to. I gotta dig through this. Oh There’s more wrapping paper there or dynamite paper. Oh that’s kind of hairy, all right. let’s dig! Oh [, , ], There’s a whole other ladder over here. About that got super excited. I thought it was jeans.

Wasn’t jean saw that thought it was jeans got excited, saw that thought it was also jeans. None of these are jeans, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t excited to see them. You know, how are you gonna see jeans if you’re not expecting them? So I what was that not jeans? I am always searching for jeans right, so this is a bit sketchy. So I am standing currently on like regular ground, but as soon as you see these planks, these planks are just being supported by little wedges and old wood, and underneath these planks is just hundreds of feet of drop in some areas.

So you really are putting a lot of trust in these old timbers, but It’s so cool. Look at that. I mean imagine, being the guy that had to do all that go down there, put all those types of things in It’s crazy and the gaps just get bigger as you go over I mean it can seem fine, probably on video, but this drop below me is Pretty pretty severe, I am kind of trusting my self to this beam, so I am going to get off of these for right now and see what else is here: crazy dynamite boxes, so they all came out of there, which is some kind of collapse from down There, but you have a giant giant giant powder company, giant gelatin, a bunch of these boxes, this one’s in pretty good shape. You know, but they’re really cool.

I don’t know if I can take them out of here, so probably leave them here for now, but I always love finding those. that’s an old uh carbide container, if I’m not mistaken, but been wrong before, could be wrong again. So I’m most interested in is there and then see over there. It’s underneath these boards.I gotta come back, I’m just back here by myself now, and I didn’t always give you anything like this. So I gotta I gotta bring support. I gotta bring more supplies. My first headlamp is already dead. I gotta bring, I mean if this is denim down there, then it changes everything.

So I gotta come a little more prepared, maybe my gopro – to get better footage on there. Someone else to document it, it could be the coolest thing I’ve ever found it just sucks to have to come back. Sometimes people are like you know. Why be so obsessed with denim? Why are you always trying to find jeans? Well, genes are originally created for silver miners, specifically california, silver miners. I believe around 1871 or 1873 This was a silver mine in california that was opened up in 1865. and the reason that’s cool, because original levi’s kind of from that era can go for almost a hundred thousand dollars. Levi’s collects them.

There’s denim collectors that buy them levi corporate buys them back for their personal archives. So I just when I heard that it became more of like a treasure hunt. I don’t think I’d ever sell them. If I found them, they would go in the museum, but I’ve heard the old owners of saragordo found jeans here levi specifically had sold them, and so I know they’re here and I find scraps in almost every mine that I go into, and so I always get Excited when I see denim it always is a big deal to me It’s kind of like I don’t know the thing I’m looking for, and so I’m gonna come back, become more prepared and see what that is down there.

If it is denim a bunch of whiskey’s in store weird that you go to a uh abandoned silver mine to find denim, but you know that’s what I want to find and see if we can get that. that’s the fabric down here see that that’s kind of what we’re going for. Almost there look at that. You see it crazy. How crazy is that holy yeah. Let me hold, let me pass it up. Let me see your photo real fast. Look at that wow! that’s a jacket full on jacket, crazy. How crazy is that all right? Let me go down one more ledge. Then, okay got this. This jacket super cool which says black, bear brand, waterproof hello. We are in the little museum here at Cerro Gordo.

This is the place that I put all the little things I find back in the mines. It’s in the back of the general store pretty much in the center of town, and so obviously this week this was the high ticket item, this uh jacket from black bear company and There’s a pretty cool follow-up. You know after I found it in the mine. I came home and I looked down. I just googled the brand to see if it was still around turns out it was I shot them a message on instagram just seeing if they could find any more information about the jacket. Maybe the year um anything about it and a shout out to a photo.

The somebody told me to call them turned out to be the owner of the company. There’s a guy named josh that kind of took over the company five or six years ago and he’s working to rebuild the brand and just doing an amazing job at it I mean, if you look them up, it looks amazing and he spent 15 minutes with me. Just talking about the history of the brand and then immediately afterwards he kind of went to research mode. He looked up the jacket. He found that the jacket is probably from 1917 Uh – and I believe it retailed for 27 – then, which adjusted for inflation is close to 500. Now it was a pretty expensive jacket and It’s an oil skin jacket and I believe they dipped it in wax and oil and the wax is why It’s so stiff.

Looking still, but probably why It’s still in such good shape, but I mean hey: this is over 100 year old jacket, still looking like this. After being in a mine, It’s pretty good, and so I I’m i’m super excited about that. I think that’s. The most fun part for me is like when you find something, even if It’s just the lid to a can just going home, googling it trying to figure out a little bit of history behind it and then putting it here in the museum. that’s what gets me most excited about Cerro Gordo and exploring these mines and I hope that’s what gets people excited to come visit sometime?

You know and learn these things and if I’m here I’lltell you everything, I know about every single piece in this museum, hopefully by then it expands. Maybe we’ll need some more of these glass cases around the corner. But for now this is pretty awesome and I thought I’d show you guys a couple more of the cool finds I found recently, I’m hoping to make more videos. It’s just tough honestly. You know I’m living up here, trying to do my regular day job and then fix up the town, and I love making videos, but I love exploring mines even more so I have a huge backlog of videos coming soon. I promise I just I’m really slow to editing and uploading takes forever, but subscribe.

If you like stuff like this, please subscribe to this channel, it means so much to me um. I have a lot of cool stuff coming, including all the explorations that led to finding some of these things like uh. I found these gloves over 100 years old and look how hard they worked them back. Then I mean these things are just holes in every single finger: they don’t have anything to waste, and these are both the left and the right glove, their left and right glove of the leather gloves that they just wore down to nothing which is pretty awesome um.

These are this, and the jacket are my favorite two things I found recently, but these are a pair of pants and I found these in a mine. It’s pretty far away from sarah gordo. There was this one collapsed portion and I decided to walk over the collapse and then behind the collapse was this ladder. This ladders went straight up and it was probably the sketchiest ladder. I’ve seen – and I just saw a little bit of fabric on some of the rungs, so I walked up maybe 20 feet, and this was wrapped around one of the rungs in this old chute, and I only saw maybe this much of it.

And so then, as I did it as you can see It’s even rolled up at the bottom and There’s like the pockets, There’s buttons – that’s a union manufacturing company. I haven’t done a good job of figuring out much more beyond that, but I asked somebody that’s a really big denim expert named brit. If he can help me identify it, he thinks that they’re from the 1910s 1920s so 100 year old pair of pants they’re, not the levi’s.

You know I’m really always on the hunt for Levi’s, because original levi’s can sell for up to 100 000, but that’s a whole other story. Um and mission of mine is to hopefully one day I’ll find one of those original pairs of Levi’s. But until then I found this uh. This is a small scrap of jeans. Is it Levi’s? I don’t know, as you can see, It’s very dusty, because it was down 500 feet in the main union mine.

I took the hoist down, which is a whole other video, but this was down there and I don’t know the brand uh and just a little sliver, but It’s like if There’s this down there, maybe There’s a full pair. So this has me pretty excited and then um. This is like an original dynamite box from the atlas, dynamic company and I think uh inside yeah, this crazy logo i’ll zoom in on it, but these boxes are always really cool to find There’s quite a few of them, but not usually in as good shape.

As this one is, It’s already like that, and then of course, the prince albert tobacco, can, I think, prince albert is by far the most popular tobacco back in the day. So I find these things I don’t say all over the place, but fairly often you’ll find these. These are also what they use for the claim markers to put the mining claims in later on, but this is a little bit of the things I found recently um. I’m going mining a lot these days, I’m going down in the mines almost every day, I’m getting more comfortable roping down.

So hopefully There’s a lot more of these videos to come and, like I said, thank you guys so much for watching this. It really does mean a lot, and you know the attention for the town has been fantastic and I do hope so you guys come here and enjoy this town, but until then subscribe to this channel follow me on instagram, It’s brentwunderwood. I post a lot of the photos of these things as I find them, and until next time I’m signing out here from the museum of Cerro Gordo and yeah hope you have a good day.

Jason Smith

Former Marine, IT Guy & Builder of Websites.  I have 5 US states left to visit. I enjoy hot springs, adventures, hiking, photography, sci-fi, wine, coffee & whiskey.  I am fluent in sarcasm, name that tune, & speak in movie quotes.  I spend most of my time building websites, fixing computers, metal detecting, magnet fishing and gaming occasionally.

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