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Haralson County mining history exhibit (2008)

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An impromptu chat (mp3 format file) with geologist Travis Paris in August 2008, who professionally surveyed the Royal Vindicator (gold) mine in Haralson County in the 1980s. This discussion is about gold mining in the southeast United States, with special focus on Georgia and its Haralson County. A collection of photographs and other visuals, not published here, is often the subject of the discussion. The interviewer is a scientist/engineer who has no special training in geology and tries to ask some probing questions to educate the lay person.

Career choices today and tomorrow

The end of the discussion with Mr. Paris includes an examination of how a young person might enter a career like geology or mining, as he did. If you would like to follow another type of calling, perhaps you can profit by surveying the Web page here at the Open Source Teaching Project, which provides audio testimonies of successful people in a wide variety of disciplines. This being the Web site of a historical society, you should also know that we describe in detail the profession of historian and related occupations here.

The changing character of work in advanced economies like that of the United States is the subject of a couple pages starting here in the book The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent (2005) by Prof. Richard L. Florida.

The changing relative sizes of employment classes in America over the twentieth century is examined in The Rise of the Creative Class... (2002) starting here and is illustrated succinctly by the graphic here, summarizing data tabulated here.

Unemployment rates in these vatious classes during good times and bad are presented by the University of Toronto's Martin Prosperity Institute here and here. (Aside: As we write this, the US unemployment rate by gender, race, age and education level is graphed over the years 2007-2009 by The New York Times here. Google allows interactive exploration of the overall unemployment rate by state and county over the interval 1990-present here, while MSNBC maps it by state over 2007.09-2009.05 here, and The New York Times maps it by county for 2009.05 here.)

As we write this paragraph in June 2011, there are two million jobs open jobs in the United States because employers can't find workers with the skills they need.

The Council on Competitiveness publishes Thrive. The Skills Imperative, a compelling, short and easily accessible analysis of the key trends underpinning future workforce skills challenges and opportunities in the United States.

In very recent years, Georgia has endorsed the employment skills metric developed by ACT called WorkKeys®, which is a critical part of its Georgia Work Ready program. Learn more about this important effort here.

Related materials

  • The early history of the Royal Vindicator Mine (previously known as the Owens Mine, Holland Mine, et alia) is recounted on page 79 of Haralson County (GA): A History (W. H. Wolfe, 1994) by Lois Owens Newman, which text appears online here.
  • Video from a January 2009 gold prospecting expedition to Buchanan, Georgia.
  • Other northwest Georgia mining and geology museums.
  • Using science to identify gold. Video and other free materials to learn more.
  • For perspective, the horrific existence of enslaved gold miners in ancient Egypt is documented here.

The huge historic spike in the price of gold explains why investors were willing to fund re-evaluating the potential of the Royal Vindicator Mine using modern methods during the 1980s.

Exhibit focus - Left: snapshot show with audio; Right: gold-mining tools in glass case

Close-up view of tools, samples and other gold-mining paraphenalia in glass case

View near glass display case looking right; note Haralson County gold mine map on wall

Left: gold-mining sluice; Right: photo and text recalling Pres. Harrison's 1891 whistle-stop visit

Left: Royal Vindicator gold mine map; Right: Fictional placards welcoming Pres. Harrison during the county mining era

Permanent mineral collection exhibit and lent mine artifacts supported on the foreground metal stand

Foreground: Royal Vindicator gold mine artifacts used circa 1900 and found circa 1985

The Haralson County Historical Society would like to thank Mr. Roy Black for loan of the gold mining tools and paraphenalia, including their annotation with labels and design of the display case layout. It also thanks geologist Travis Paris for the snapshot show stills, nearly all of the poster source materials, and the Royal Vindicator gold mine artifacts on display which he lent.