Chasing the Dream, Part I is the story of mining in French Gulch, near Breckenridge, Colorado, where prospectors discovered gold in 1859, and especially of John and Catherine Sisler, who arrived in French Gulch as newlyweds in 1865. When John Sisler dies, as well as Catherine's second husband John Nolan, Catherine assumes the role of manager of the mining properties and becomes a well-respected businesswomen in the county.
The Sisler holdings, sold by Catherine in 1900, become the property of the Mecca Gold Mining Company. In turn, the properties are sold again to the Lincoln Gold Mines Company and the name changed to the Mekka Properties.
Ben Stanley Revett, noticing the successful operations on the Mekka Properties, purchased adjacent property and begins construction of a massive gold dredge boat that ultimately operated from 1905 until 1920 under two owners: the Reliance Gold Dredging Company and the Tonopah Placers Company.
One of the principal owners of the Mekka Properties, John Evans, joins forces with Herman J. Reiling. Together they form the French Gulch Dredging Company and construct the Reiling dredge that operated in French Gulch from 1909 until 1922. The story of both dredges is detailed in Chasing the Dream, Part I.
Numerous historic and never-before-published photographs from several private collections illustrate the story that will enhance your understanding of this important part of Summit County's history.
Written by Bill Fountain and Sandra Mather, PhD.
(c) 2012 by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance