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Mine Claims (benchmarks?)


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Today while getting this cache Mine Cache We ran into a gentleman, who when hearing about Geocaching asked if there was a similar game about finding survey markers. He is doing history work on the mines in and above Big Cottonwood Canyon in Utah, and has found many of these markers, but would like help in finding more. I explained what little I know about benchmark hunting, and told him that I would email him any coordinants I could find of nearby benchmarks. I looked for nearby Benchmarks on Geocaching.com, and found a couple nearby, but not nearly as many as he said there should be or as close to that cache as he said they should be. Do all survey markers show up on Geochaching.com, or only those that people have looked for, and is there anyone that knows how I could find the claims markers if they are not "benchmarks?"

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Here is some information that you are looking for; the BLM has a data base of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) corners. It is called the GCDB - Geographical Coordinate Data Base, and is available for most rectangular surveyed states. The GCDB is a Least Squares adjusted database of the PLSS by Township and Range for each state or Initial Point. Not all areas have been built yet, but the good majority are. This data is an excellent search tool for the cadastral survey corners.


Some of the data is great, some not as good; it all depends on how good the control was for the Township and how recent some of the physical data is.

The GCDB takes the original plat information, some quad corners and recent survey information; all by the bearings and distances, runs some checks and does a least squares and then also calculates the corners down to the 1/16 corners. Including state boundaries, reservations, meanders, resevoir take lines, mineral surveys and quite a few others that I am forgetting.


All of these corners are then put into the GCDB along with quite a few other files which make sense to the people working on the data. Inside of this data you can find a file with all of the NAD27 Latitudes and Longitudes for this adjusted data. You run it through a spreadsheet and you can have all of the corners for any Township that has been built by the BLM or other government agencies.


This is a pretty basic stab at what the GCDB is, but you get the idea; there are a lot of data bases out there if you know where to look and what you are looking at.

Here is the link to the real knowledge: National GCDB


More specifically Utah GCDB here is the link for the utah GCDB page. Hope this helps you out a little.




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I have Worked on mining claims in New Mexico and Colorado.

These are at the Least 20 acres and sporadic.

The reason is that minerals follow no specific form.

A claim may be established by Required laws and the markings of the corners in specific ways.


I will try to get you a link.

They are the most diificult to find sometimes because of the Secrecy of the Mine itself.

It may be a very rich claim.


Mining Claims


New Mexico Mining

Edited by GEO*Trailblazer 1
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Thanks folks for the helpful links. I just got interested in finding out about the old Timberlake placer mining operation in Moffat county, Colorado. Wife's ancestor ws involved with it "after 1892". We have an old photo which may be of that area. Next summer I would like to try to find it. So any other ideas on finding out old mine claims?



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Mining Claims are under the Jurisdiction of the BLM.

Therefore:the claims are done by Patent and in the,






You need to go to the specific County Court House and dig in the records.

If you know the name you can look here by entering name or other format.




I hope this helps HAPPYCYCLER and others.

If you can not find it there go t the County Courthouse and start with the date and name you have, in the County Accessors Office,In The Patent Books of the County.


Colorado BLM and Mines

Edited by GEO*Trailblazer 1
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