Why a Museum?

A museum is a place where the past is tangible in the present.


It is a receptacle for stories, photos and artifacts that otherwise would scatter. A museum is the thread that ties these things together in a meaningful way for future generations.


An example: In the summer of 2003 I got a phone call from a fellow named Les Foster. He told me that his family had a connection to Alleghany that he hadn’t explored. His Grandfather Walter Iverson Smart had been involved in a mine here. I told him that a W.I. Smart was one of the men who incorporated the Sixteen to One Mine. The time frame was correct. The next day Les, his wife and sister made the trip to Alleghany to see the museum. He and his sister mentioned they had photos and promised to send me copies. (I hear this promise often but very few people follow through.) Lo and behold in November I got a call from Les. They had dug up the photos, scanned them and were sending me copies. When the package arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find several good quality copies of photos of Walter in Alleghany. One photo shows him with his Chinese Cook, another with the crew presumably of the Sixteen to One Mine. A well dressed gentleman appears with him in several photos….is this J.G. Jury or H.K. Montgomery one of the other men who incorporated the mine? Or is it Tom Bradbury? All it takes is one person with the right bit of information to help the pieces fall into place…



W .I. Smart with two men, one a Chinese cook during
his time in Alleghany (late 1800's)




W. I. Smart with a mine crew - possibly the 16 to 1 crew

Walter Iverson Smart - One of the men
who incorporated the Sixteen to One Mine



Rae Bell


2018 Underground Gold Miners Museum
356 Main Street
Alleghany, CA 95910
Phone: 530-287-3330
E-mail: info@undergroundgold.com