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Ainsworth’s helpful ghost

Updated: Oct 30, 2023


(Nathan Wilkinson @nathancomics)


This ghost story appeared in the Nelson Daily News on April 24, 1911 and has never been reprinted since.


QUEER STORY OF DISCOVERY OF SILVER NUGGET

Ainsworth, April 23 — A tale of an extraordinary discovery of a silver nugget is being circulated here. The yarn is as follows:

As C.F. Olson, Ainsworth’s pioneer hotel men, was working in his garden he uncovered a hidden treasure in the shape of a large nugget of solid silver bullion. The nugget tipped the scales at exactly 225 ounces, making at the present price of silver just $120.12. Mr. Olson says he knows there is more there. This nugget is on inspection at his hotel. Mr. Olson has been working in his garden for about two weeks. Every night about 1 o’clock he awoke from his sleep and heard a voice say “dig deeper, dig deeper.”

Finally to avoid this noise he changed his place of sleeping and moved to a room in his office across the street which was only a few feet from his garden. He was awakened as usual at 1 o’clock by the mystic voice saying “dig deeper.” He determined to find its source. On opening the door facing the garden in the moonbeams appeared a figure of an old miner digging in the garden. On one side of him was a pile of silver bullion consisting of several pieces, some much larger than the one found.

Mr. Olson shouted out, when suddenly the phantom miner seemed to disappear leaving his treasure behind him. Then Mr. Olson went back to bed and slept peacefully for the rest of the night. On the following day, Friday, he ran across the nugget. He says there must be more because he saw more.

Charlie Olson was a real guy and I imagine he told the story to the newspaper. But I don’t know if he found any more nuggets in his garden. The current price of silver per ounce is about $30, so Olson’s nugget would be worth about $6,750 today.


Another local ghost story involving a phantom miner can be found here.

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