Danville, Washington

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Danville, Washington
Unincorporated community
Danville, Washington is located in Washington (state)
Danville, Washington
Danville, Washington
Coordinates: 48°59′33″N 118°30′29″W / 48.99250°N 118.50806°W / 48.99250; -118.50806Coordinates: 48°59′33″N 118°30′29″W / 48.99250°N 118.50806°W / 48.99250; -118.50806
Country United States
State Washington
County Ferry
Elevation 1,745 ft (532 m)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 99121
Area code(s) 509
GNIS feature ID 1518480[1]

Danville is an unincorporated community in Ferry County, Washington, United States. Danville is located on Washington State Route 21 near the Canadian border, 26 miles (42 km) north-northeast of Republic. Danville has a post office with ZIP code 99121.[2] The population at the 2010 census was 34.

Danville was founded in 1899 and took its name from the Danville Mining Company.[3]

Early Years[edit]

Danville was the first town in the county. Danville was originally known as Nelson and was established in 1889 by the Nelson brothers. By 1897 the town had half a dozen businesses and a post office. The town also had the first newspaper in the county called the Reservation Record. In 1897 the Nelson brothers built a commodious store right on the international boundary line with a north entrance and a south entrance. The north entrance was to serve the Canadian patrons and the south entrance to serve the American patrons. The authorities suspected customs duty evasion and closed the store. In 1901 the Washington and Great Northern railroad built through Nelson. The railroad officials had Nelson's name changed to Danville to avoid confusion with Nelson in British Columbia. When the mines in the area became depleted Danville slipped in importance.[4]

1920s[edit]

In the 1920s some level of prosperity returned to Danville with prohibition. Danville became a whiskey smugglers rendezvous. The whiskey smugglers used local guides and old trails to avoid detection by the border authorities. When prohibition came to an end Danville went into a state of decline. The town changed as a series of fires also took their toll. It was rumored that old Man Jennings the justice of the peace used to counterfeit half dollars.[4]

Lost gold ledge[edit]

A prospector named John Falconer was working in Danville during the summer of 1912. At that time an electrical storm passed through the area and ignited a tree on a hillside to the south east of town. Falconer proceeded on horse along a game trail toward the distant fire in order to put it out. Along the way it began to rain and his horse’s hoof trod on a rock in the middle of the trail. By the time Falconer reached the fire the rain had put it out. As Falconer made his way home he stumbled upon the rock he initially found. He took the rock home and figured it was full of “pyrites”.[4] A few months later Falconer realized the rock was full of gold and not pyrite. The gold slab was worth over $1,000.00 and weighed 50 troy ounces of gold at $20.67 an ounce.[4] Old timers in Danville have called the slab “the golden plate”.[4] It is believed the gold slab was part of a gold ledge. Falconer and his wife searched for the original location where the rock came from but were unable to find it. Many have searched for the Danville’s gold ledge in the hills south east of the city. It is believed more gold waits to be discovered where the gold slab was found. No one has found the gold ledge.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Danville, Washington
  2. ^ ZIP Code Lookup
  3. ^ Majors, Harry M. (1975). Exploring Washington. Van Winkle Publishing Co. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-918664-00-6. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f N.L. Barlee, Gold Creeks and Ghost Towns of Northeastern Washington., Hancock House Publishers., 2004