By Polly Johnson
Related to Emory L. Hamilton on October 7, 1940. The WPA Project papers, The
Alderman Library, The University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.
I heard about them Swift Mines when I lived at Prestonsburg, KY. I seed an old man
that said he has been hunting for them for two years. He had a map. I was just about
seventeen or eighteen years old. I had one child then. We was living on Ad Harris farm. That
old man came there and took up to make a crop like we did. He asked if we ever knew
anything about Swift s mine. That was the first time I ever heard of it. His name was
Marion Henderson. He said he was traveling and by this map to try to find the mines.
He said it (the map) represented Cumberland Mountain. I seed the map. It was
a paper map, not deer skin. It was one Sunday he asked us about the mines. My husband told
him his daddy lived in the Cumberland mountains, but he d never heard about any
silver mines there. I don t know where he was from. He
said at that time, but I ve forgotten. He said he d been traveling three year. I heard and
believe finding gold or silver in the Cumberland mountain. It was sorta down in a
hole or something, but when they d put in their hands to get it, there was the awfullest streaks
of lightning and thunder ever was. The old man said: "If I s there I d get it." Anyway the ones
that found it couldn t tech it - had to leave it alone.
Its the truth about this, but its been so fur (deep) hidden in, it d take a man a year to
blast it out. This place was in Cumberland
Mountain, to the left of Pound Gap. I don t know whether it was rooted up or not when
they built the new road through there. Then was before a road was ever built there. I don t
know if this was where they found the money or not, but this place was a small hole and cool
wind blew out of it all the time. People used to sit there when traveling to cool off. All around
it the weeds would quiver like the wind blowing. Snow couldn t lay on around it. What
do you reckon it was? It could have been the Swift mine down in there. It might have been a
swift stream of water running under the ground there making the weeds blow around the hole.
It might have been a good place to make liquor or money either - running water there.
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