Phoenix Gold Mine's Lucky Bucket

a photo of the lucky bucket in the mine

Phoenix Gold Mine’s Lucky Bucket Supporting RMV

The Phoenix Gold Mine was purchased in 1968 by Alvin “Al” Mosch, and now is owned by a family of 4th generation, Colorado miners. In 1988, they decided to share their passion for prospecting, mining and panning for gold with others by offering tours. The history of the mine is rich. It is estimated that the mine has produced over 100,000 troy ounces of gold.

Alvin Joe Mosch was born June 10, 1930 in Denver, Colorado

During his childhood in the early Great Depression, he first worked to help his family by delivering milk to houses in Idaho Springs. As a teen in Arvada he repaired radios and worked as a movie theatre projectionist. In 1947, Al joined the U.S. Navy and studied electronics becoming a radio and teletype communications specialist. He soon advanced to become one of the youngest commissioned officers for his age as a First Class Petty Officer at age 17. During the Korean War he was stationed at the Port Lyautey Naval Air Station in Morocco. From there, he flew secret air surveillance missions while gathering intelligence about the Soviet Union. Al was honorably discharged near the end of 1951 following a plane crash at sea in which he was the only survivor.

At the end of his tour with the Navy, Al helped his father in numerous Clear Creek, Jefferson and Boulder County mines where they mined gold, silver, tungsten and beryllium. He learned drilling, blasting, timbering and milling techniques. Using his expertise with explosives, he dislodged dangerous “rock hang ups” in the stopes of the Climax Molybdenum Mine near Leadville. In the 1950s he worked at the Lamartine mine, running the mineral concentration plant for Montana Mining Company. Close to Moab, Utah, at Dead Horse Point, he prospected for uranium ores and found many significant mines.

Ultimately, his greatest discovery occurred in 1957 when he met his bride-to-be inside a mine up Virginia Canyon near Idaho Springs. He was married on May 30, 1958 to Patricia C. Herald, a student at Colorado School of Mines. Early in their marriage, Al worked at Sundstrand as an inventor then as an aerospace quality control inspector at Martin Marietta and Beech Aircraft for the Gemini and Apollo space missions. His efforts helped Pat earn her Engineer of Mines and Geological Engineer degrees from the Colorado School of Mines which allowed them to begin a family. From 1959 to 1963 his children Cyndi, David, and Susie were born and then in 1978, he was blessed with the birth of his youngest child Victor.

Moving to Idaho Springs in 1972 after acquiring the Phoenix Gold Mine, Al helped his community in many ways. He was active with mine search and rescue as well as the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Posse by becoming its captain. Concerned about local senior citizens, he helped create Project Support, a senior care program in Clear Creek County. For the Empire based Easterseals Colorado Rocky Mountain Village (RMV) camp, he helped blast and move rock to create the first wheelchair accessible trails. His son, Victor, was a camper at RMV during the summer so Al knew the importance of accessibly for the children and adults living with disabilities that were experiencing camp life.

Al created the prospectors “Lucky Bucky” to help raise funds for Easterseals Colorado’s RMV and special needs children’s organizations. The “Lucky Bucket” are donations made from visitors taking the mine tour, as well as Dave and Becki Mosch who continue to honor Al’s tradition.

At the mine, tour guides share stories with visitors worldwide about the “Lucky Bucket” and how it enriches many people’s lives.  The “Lucky Bucket” has several stories of its own surrounding it about hundreds of people who rubbed or hugged or kissed it and have had phenomenal good luck.

To this day, the Phoenix Gold Mine Tours has the prospector’s “Lucky Bucket” on display and still shares about its history and origination.

Show your support of the Lucky Bucket today and help send children and adults living with disabilities to camp!

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