The first mineral location or claim filed on the Morrisonite Jasper deposits was established in 1964 by Arnold Peterson and Emmett Morris. This claim was later dropped. In 1971 Ed Brandt filed the Christine Marie and Amy Ellen claims and J. Longwell filed the Big Hole claim.
In 1973 Charlie Caress filed the Big Hole II claim to the north of the Big Hole claim. In 1975 P. Caress filed the Lacey claim to the south of the Big Hole claim. Ed Brandt filed the Amy Ellen claim overlapping a portion of the southern part of the Christine Marie claim. The Amy Ellen claim has a long tall rock formation on it referred to as "the pinnacle". There is jasper showing at various places around its base and up on its side. The Amy Ellen is sometimes referred to as the pinnacle claim. This claim is in a very rugged part of the canyon and is difficult to reach by any means. To this day no mechanized equipment has been used to work this claim. The ground covered by these five claims is under claim today although some of the names have changed over the years. All the claims have one or more common borders. Their position is indicated on the topo map relative to the actual stakes on the ground.
The names of the claims as of 1996 are Christine Marie, Amy Ellen, Veronica Lee (old Big Hole II), Jake’s Place (old Big Hole) and Verla Ruth (old Lacey). The Amy Ellen and the Christine Marie overlap a little. The story goes that Ed Brandt was so concerned about getting the best area covered, that he overlapped the claims. While the Amy Ellen is reported to have the most exotically colored jaspers, the Jake’s Place claim has the largest excavation or mine. Most of the Morrisonite Jasper in the market today came from this excavation. The mine is on the north end line of the claim and actually goes over onto the Veronica Lee claim. This area has been worked by many different miners over the years.
Read more about Gene’s experiences mining
the most desired jasper in the world through anecdotes and vignettes.