By Clara Bozarth
Related to Emory L. Hamilton on July 19, 1939. Mrs. Bozarth lived in Josephine, near
Norton, VA. It is related in Mrs. Bozarth s own words and deals with the Swift Silver Mine.
The legend of this mine has been handed down in this section (Wise Co.) for generations.
The oldest people now living remember hearing their grandparents talk of this legendary mine.
Many people believe that this is a true story and that the mine is in the mountains of Wise
Co. somewhere in or around High Knob in Stone Mountain. This one is told by Mrs.
Bozarth, as she remembers her grandmother, Mrs. Clarissa Beverly Nickels, used to tell it
around the hearthside. Mrs. Bozarth believes his legend to be true and that somewhere in
the High Knob section this mine is hidden.
The Story of Swift
Mr. Swift came down to Virginia, from Pennsylvania a long time ago, while the
Indians were still here. He got acquainted with a white man that was raised by the Indians
who was called "Monday" (one legend says that it was a Frenchman named Monde).
Monday showed Mr. Swift where a silver mine was that the Indians had found.
'Tis said that the Indians shod their horses with silver. They went to counterfeiting money
that was pure silver, without alloy. The Indians attacked them and Swift
killed Monday for fear he would tell where their mine was and buried him in what is
known as Pickum (a rough valley in the mountain SE of Norton). They buried a lot of
coined money along their route as they fled from the Indians.
Swift was gone for several years, then returned to get some of the money he buried
and maybe coin some more. He knew they went up Ice Plant Hollow (the route leading to
High Knob, by the Norton Ice Works) to the High Knob. When he came back he would go
that way by a 'rock man that stood near the road. The men working with him used to say,
'Good morning to the rock man when they passed on their way to work.
When Swift reached the High Knob he would try to set his compass and Monday s
hand would appear over it so he could never determine the direction of the mine. For some
several years he hunted but could never find any of the money nor the mine.
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