West Coast Mining Supply will be on hand teaching people to pan for gold. (Photo courtesy West Coast Mining Supply)

West Coast Mining Supply will be on hand teaching people to pan for gold. (Photo courtesy West Coast Mining Supply)

West Coast Mining Supply to offer gold panning experience | KITSAP COUNTY FAIR

For the first time ever Kitsap County Fair goers will have the opportunity to live like a prospector and learn to pan for gold from the father and son duo of West Coast Mining Supply.

Wes Kerry and his son Kevin own West Coast Mining Supply in Bremerton.

The father and son duo have always enjoyed prospecting and that love eventually evolved into a business opportunity. For the last four years, the pair have taken customers out on several mining trips a year to their gold bearing placer claims.

Gold bearing placer claims are defined by the Washington State Bureau of Land Management as “Including all forms of deposit, excepting veins of quartz, or other rock in-place. Placer claims, are located by legal subdivision with a maximum size is 20 acres per locator.”

Additionally West Coast Mining Supply also provides demonstrations of its mining equipment, including how to pan for gold on its mobile gold panning station.

“This will be the first year we bring this to the Kitsap County Fair,” said Wes Kerry.

Participants of any age will learn from Wes and Kevin how to pan for gold.

“They won’t get to keep the gold that’s already in the panning area, but once they learn how to pan they can buy some pay dirt and, pan, and keep that gold,” Kerry said.

“Pay dirt” are clumps of dirt that contain gold or other valuable minerals that can be extracted.

West Coast Mining Supply will be selling bags of “pay dirt” for $10 at the fair for folks to take home and sift through.

“They can also buy a full kit and learn about how to go prospecting from us too,” Kerry said.

The Kerry’s have their own YouTube channel about mining and panning called “Gold Father,” which has a little more than 340 subscribers and features videos about products, tools and services West Coast Mining Supply provides.

There isn’t much history regarding gold mining in Washington state.

The California Gold Rush of the 1850s reached as far north as the Columbia River, making Walla Walla the largest town in the then Oregon territory. In the 1880s Spokane became a boom town for gold miners in Idaho.

The Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska in the 1890s pulled the city of Seattle out of a recession and gave rise to some of the most prominent businessmen like John Nordstrom and George H. Bartell.

But the most significant and successful gold mining effort in the state took place in 1873 along the Swauk Creek, which gave rise to the city of Liberty, just outside the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

As far as gold rushes impact on Kitsap County? It was minimal. The only minerals mined out of area were tin and cobalt found in the Green and Gold Mountains.

More in Life

Kitsap/Bainbridge Island Back-to-School Photo Contest!

Submit photos through Sept. 20; vote for your favorites Sept. 21-27

<em>K-9 Cooper learns how to traverse on elevated, narrow pathways during his three-month police K-9 training.</em>						 KCSO photo
Facebook reports: ’Hi there. K-9 Cooper here …’

Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office canine in rigorous training to become a certified K-9 police dog

Briefs

Local part of Trident protest Peace activists, including Rev. Gilberto Perez of… Continue reading

This I know: Staying active important during virus lockdown

(Noella Rosentrater, a seventh-grader at Woodward Middle School, shares how physical routine… Continue reading

Bainbridge scenery sets the backdrop for short horror film

Island resident Courtney G. Jones’ ‘Wood Witch’ was recently picked up by Amazon Prime Video

Six songs of protest that still resonate today

As the nation grapples with the continual systemic issues of racial injustice… Continue reading

One pilgrim’s progress: Island travel writer talks trio of spiritual journeys

Carla Mackey’s favorite band may not be The Proclaimers, though she has… Continue reading

The Rodeo Drive In Movie Theater, Kitsap County’s sole drive-in movie theater, recently reopened after a brief closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nick Twietmeyer / Bainbridge Island Review
Silver screen escapism: It’s once again showtime at Kitsap County’s sole drive-in theater

Silence your phone and don’t forget the popcorn. After a strong start… Continue reading

Travel testimony | ‘Papa and I in Iceland’ by Ryan Powers

Bainbridge High School freshman Ryan Powers recently traveled to Iceland with his… Continue reading

Island dancers turn to online outlet to share student showcase

The show must go on — online, that is. The worst American… Continue reading

Threshold moments: Island author’s debut mixes pictures, poetry, philosophy to inspire and educate

Threshold, despite being relatively short letter-wise, is a deceptively big word. It… Continue reading

Bloedel Reserve reopens with timed ticketing

Bloedel Reserve officials recently announced the grounds would again be available for… Continue reading