In the summer of 1882, a couple of prospectors were on their way west when they decided to stop and pan in the Little Pigeon River. They hit the Mother Lode, MORE DIFFERENT GEMS THAN YOU COULD COUNT!!! Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Tourmaline, Amethyst, Citrine, Topaz, Garnets, Aquamarine, Smoky and more!! It was unnatural all the different gems they found in one spot!!
To help them set up the mine, they went to a local merchant, Big Billy. After the shafts were dug, he set up the General Store over them. This way the stones as they were found could be taken into the store where they had Assayers to check them out and people to cut and mount them.
While digging the shafts three large bears were seen in the area. It is said that these bears can still be seen today…sometimes as many as five will be seen on a good day.
Today the mine is mined by seven small miners who work through the night. In the morning they march off to their cottage they live in the forest. Sometimes at night you can hear them whistling while they work.
(Now if you believe out history, please see one of the old miners out by the flumes, the next time you are visiting the Smoky's, as he has some Tennessee Ocean Front Property he would like to sell you cheap)