Swift's Silver Mines
By Grant Jennings Smith
       From the WPA Project files, The
  Alderman Library, The University of Virginia,
  Charlottesville, VA.
       No folk tale or legend enjoys so much
  popularity as that of the fabled Swift s Silver
  Mine. Though to be in Stone Mountain, around
  High Knob, in Wise County. Swift s mine has
  been sought for and found and lost again by
  innumerable prospectors. Many early settlers
  thought an Indian half-breed, Chief Benge,
  knew its location. It is said that he once told
  some settlers that if the 'pale face  knew what
  he knew they could shoe their horses cheaper
  with silver than with iron.
       Hans G. Frenchman, who was
  captured by the Indians, and taken, so he
  thought, through the mountains of Southwest
  Virginia, remained with his captors for three
  years. Having been taken to the mine by them,
  he marked the place, with an idea of someday
  returning. He made his escape home, and soon
  after decided to return to the mine and work up
  some of the rich ore. Accompanied by a
  silversmith named Swift, they traveled many
  miles, crossing mountains and rocky regions,
  and passing through great mountain gaps.
  Finally, after much climbing of crags, perilous
  paths, and gorge-like ravines, they reached the
  mine, where they found the ore...the richest
  ever mined.
       They succeeded in coining the rich
  metal into French Crowns, enough for two
  horses, and then returned home. Three months
  elapsed, and they returned once more to the
  mine, but could find no trace of their previous

Return to Wise page

Return to  Silver Mines

Copyright Notice
All files on this site are copyrighted by their creator. They may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from Vickie Sturgill Stevens . Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc., are.