Texas Heritage, Volume 18, Number 4, Fall 2000 Page: 9
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A THF-SPONSORED PROTECT
The Lost Spanish Silver Mines
of Llano County, Texas
A chance find, a curious and persistent landowner, and more than a little luck
have led to an exciting discovery in the Hill Country of Central Texas.
THF is currently supporting an investigation of one of the mysteries of the state's
Spanish Colonial era: the location of the lost Spanish silver mines of Llano County.
BY S. CHRISTOPHER CARAN
Photographs by Robert Baumgardner
In the mid-1700s, the Spanish Colonial government in present-day
Mexico and Texas was rocked by a startling rumor: rich silver deposits
had been found in the region now known as the Texas Hill Country. This
part of the northern colonial frontier of New Spain was then largely unexplored
and unsettled, and there was keen interest in its resource potential.
Previous discoveries of valuable ores in Mexico and Peru had made
silver mining a driving force in the maintenance and expansion of the
Spanish colonies throughout the New World. The vast region from Texas
to California had long been poised for intensive colonization, but the
pace of development hinged on the ability of the area to attract and support
settlers and to generate revenue for the crown and church. The prospect
of ready mineral wealth could not have been more welcome.
HERITAGE * 9 * FALL 2000
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Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Volume 18, Number 4, Fall 2000, periodical, Autumn 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45391/m1/9/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.