Mining Notes 1851-1870
Refer also to the general news reports, and:
Mining Notes 1871-1890
Mining Notes 1891-1897
Mining Notes 1898-1905
Mining Notes 1906-1957
For the very earliest mentions of gold in Oregon, see my gold discovery page.
The Mines and Miners of Oregon.
It is not, as a general thing, known by our citizens that Oregon has beyond question rich gold mines, and that there is a perfect gold fever pervading the whole community there, particularly that of the Willamette Valley. We are informed by Gen. McCarver, who has just arrived from Oregon, that at least one half of the people of the Territory have left the farms and towns and have gone or are going to the mines. These mines are but a continuation of the Californian mines. But little is known, it is true, with regard to the northern boundary line of the state, but wherever it lies, there can be no doubt that the mines of the South Fork of the Umpqua and those of Rogue River are in Oregon.
The streets of Oregon City and Portland are at the present time filled with pack animals and wagons which are continually loading up and pushing off for the mines. These towns present in their bustle and their general aspect at the present time very much the appearance of our Californian supply towns.
The miners on their way pass up the Willamette Valley to the dividing ridge between that and the Umpqua, over the ridge and down upon the South Fork of the Umpqua, or, keeping on, they cross the dividing ridge between the Umpqua and Rogue River valleys and so down on to Rogue River.
At the last advices there were at least a hundred wagons and several hundred miners waiting at the canyon between the Umpqua and Rogue River valleys, on account of the high water. So soon as the stream falls they will pass through.
Such is the feeling in relation to the Oregon mines that the Oregonian comes out in a leading article praying all Californians who have the interests of the Territory at heart to remain upon their farms. The argument it uses is after the style of the proverb "Money is the root of all evil." We imagine, however, if money is the root of all evil, the want of it is a pretty important branch thereof.
Sacramento Transcript, May 8, 1851, page 2
MINES OF OREGON. --The mines of the Umpqua Valley, Rogue River and the other gold mines of Oregon will doubtless have a prompt effect of throwing a heavy population into our neighboring Territory. The benefits that will result from this are great and obvious, for the various agricultural, manufacturing and mineral resources must inevitably be opened up as a result of the increased population. We notice that the Oregon weeklies are beginning to give mining intelligence. The Oregonian of May 3rd says:
"We have at length received late and reliable information from the mines, from which it is certain that those who are engaged in this important business are doing well--making from $8 to $12 per day--while some few are doing much better. Instances have occurred in which men have made $100--these, however, are like 'angel's visits, few and far between.'"
Sacramento Transcript, May 16, 1851, page 2
FROM THE MINES.--Several miners and packers are just in from Rogue River and Shasta mines. They represent the mines as yielding from $5 to $12 per day to the man, wherever they can get water to wash out the dirt. Several large specimens of gold, one over $500, have recently been found. Rogue River promises to become an important mining region.
Oregonian, Portland, August 14, 1852, page 2
New gold discoveries have recently been made near Table Rock. There are now a large number of miners engaged in working there, who are making from ten to sixteen dollars per day.
Oregonian, Portland, December 18, 1852, page 2 In 1852 there were only three landmarks in the future Jackson County. "Near Table Rock" could have been anywhere within a 30-mile radius of the rock.
THE MINES.--The news from the mines is of a cheering character--miners were now generally doing well. New diggings had been discovered 18 miles east of Table Rock on Rogue River, which are reported to pay $16 per day to the man. The Shasta mines are reported as paying well. The Shasta River Company is organized to turn Shasta River through the mines. It is estimated that it will cost $75,000, and about two thirds of the stock is already taken; the other third will be taken no doubt soon. They take the water some 18 miles.
Miners on South Umpqua are making 5 to 6 dollars per day, 6 miles above the Kenyon.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, December 18, 1852, page 2
New gold discoveries have recently been made near Table Rock.
----GOLD.--The gold mines of Rogue River Valley, and other localities, near the southern boundary of Oregon, are being wrought to considerable profit. Gold, in small quantities, has been discovered on several small tributaries east of the Cascades. There is considerable analogy between the gold-bearing rock of California and the talcose and other allied rocks of the Umpqua Valley. And gold has been found on most of the small streams entering the Umpqua as well as the main stream. Also on the south fork of Santiam and on Calapooia Creek.
"Later from Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, December 29, 1852, page 2
Very rich diggings were lately discovered upon Althouse Creek, a tributary of Rogue River, distant about 60 miles to the northward of Yreka. The miners are rushing thither in great numbers. The diggings about Jacksonville are also very good, and have been so all winter.
'From Yreka," Shasta Courier, Shasta, California, March 12, 1853, page 3
A correspondent of the Shasta Courier, writing from Jacksonville says: "I have heard of extensive placer and bank diggings some two days mule travel north of this on Grave Creek, yielding from $50 to $200 per day to the tom."
When will this gold region end? Pit River is yet unknown. The whole counties of Shasta, Klamath, Trinity, and Siskiyou are but one unknown gold-bearing region, larger than several of the Atlantic states taken singly; and to those is to be added a large part of South Oregon yet untraced, but from which on the rivers from their mouths to their sources evidences of gold have been obtained.
Placer Herald, Auburn, California, May 21, 1853, page 3
Miners in Southern Oregon were doing moderately well. Chauncey Nye & Co. had a streak of luck in the shape of an $860 lump. Provisions are reported plenty and low. Flour was 20 cents per lb.; sugar, 35 cents; coffee, 40 cents; beef, 25 to 30 cents per pound at Jacksonville. At Althouse, flour was 18 cents per pound.
"From Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, May 23, 1853, page 2
An Althouse Creek correspondent writes as follows:
Messrs. More & Co. took out, on the 5th ult., one piece of gold weighing five pounds avoirdupois. Mr. Carman took our thirty-two ounces to the one-fourth share, making a total to four persons of one hundred and twenty-eight ounces in one day. New excitement has broke out about new diggings being discovered on Sucker Creek. Sailor Diggings remain deserted on account of the scarcity of water, but the general impression is that those diggings will pay well when water is obtained sufficient to wash. A few companies on Smith River are doing well. Mr. Rice took out $1,300 clear of expenses last week, and continues to do well. This stream and locality will be thickly populated with miners another season. A few persons that have worked on Josephine Creek this season have done well.
"From the Interior: Siskiyou," Sacramento Daily Union, June 13, 1853, page 3
THE OREGON MINES.--A correspondent of the Shasta Courier, writing under date of May 22nd, from Jacksonville, in Oregon Territory, about 190 miles from Shasta, says several large lumps, worth from $100 to $300, have lately been taken out in the vicinity. Miners are about getting into the bed of the stream. The banks, where freed from water, are paying remarkably well. A copious rain during the previous week, says the same writer, has kept the miners at work in the gulches near town, and night and day behold the golden treasures bountifully spread forth in reward of labor. Both forks of the stream have now bared their beds to the gold seekers, and they are reaping a golden harvest. On the left-hand fork "Old Man Rogers," as he is commonly called, took out, with four hands, a week since, $800, and his claim continues to pay. Others near him are also profiting by steady work, and will be well rewarded for their patience and perseverance through winter and spring. It would be perhaps unpleasant to themselves to give names. On the whole, all are doing well, and making better than the ordinary average of miners' wages.
Nevada Journal, Nevada City, California, June 17, 1853, page 2
JACKSON CREEK.--A friend from this place, who arrived a few days since, informs us that new Coyote Diggings have been discovered in the hill near the forks of Jackson Creek. It is said that they prospect rich. Up to the time our informant left, they had not been sufficiently worked to form a decisive opinion--but were believed to be quite extensive. This is within about 1½ miles of Jacksonville.
ALTHOUSE, APPLEGATE and other creeks in that vicinity were yet too high to work the beds of the streams when last we heard from there.
"Mining Intelligence," The Mountain Herald, Yreka, June 18, 1853, page 2
MINING IN THE NORTH.--We learn from the Yuba Herald that on Althouse Creek, one company had worked one afternoon in the bed of the creek, and found dirt that paid $50 per pan. Other persons are taking out from $3 to $5 per day. At Smith's River the miners were generally doing well. At Democratic Gulch they had struck a new lead, and were making money fast. At Salmon Creek they were doing but moderately well. Quite an immigration had taken place there.
The Shasta Courier learns that new and rich diggings have been discovered on the Umpqua River, about 20 miles north of the town of the same name. They were yielding, according to report, about $1 to the panful of dirt.
"Later from California," Albany Evening Journal, Albany, New York, August 24, 1853, page 2
MINING NEWS.--A correspondent of the Herald writes from Althouse Creek as follows, on the subject of mining:
"Althouse at present is thinly populated with miners. I do not think there is over one hundred persons on the creek. During the last two weeks the population has flown to the Port Orford excitement, Sucker Creek, Illinois River, Jacksonville &c. We hear of persons taking out $100 per day in the vicinity of Port Orford. These operations, with others of a similar character, are generally believed here. It is expected that there will be a great many miners winter at Sailor Diggings."
Sacramento Daily Union, November 26, 1853, page 2
JACKSONVILLE, OREGON.--A correspondent writes from this point that new diggings are being discovered on the right-hand fork of Jackson Creek. On the claim of Osborne & Co., among other specimens, one was found weighing 16½ ounces.
"Mining," Sacramento Daily Union, March 8, 1854, page 2
Mining.We gather the following mining news from our latest exchanges. From the Mountain (Yreka) Herald:
SALMON CREEK.--Miners are doing well on this stream.
KLAMATH RIVER.--Miners at Hamburg and other places on this stream, from whom we have recently heard, are making good wages at present.
SCOTT RIVER.--This river has yielded largely since September, 1850. A friend writes from Scott's Bar that some of the bank claims have paid first-rate this winter; among others those of Galahan & Co., Warney & Co., and Hill & Co. Messrs. Neal & Co., working a hillside claim above the Tennessee Bar, have been making some fine strikes lately. Operations had been impeded by bad weather and high water. Many miners who had left to seek winter diggings had returned.
HUMBUG CREEK has yielded well every season. It is thought that it will yield as much gold this summer as it has any one season since the first.
DEADWOOD CREEK.--The new diggings on the main creek below the junction of Deadwood and Cherry creeks have proved to be very rich; and in that vicinity there will be a large amount of gold taken out this season.
GREENHORN CREEK continues to pay good wages. The diggings are tolerably extensive. Most of the water which we now have for mining purposes in the Yreka diggings comes from this stream.
YREKA DIGGINGS.--Placer diggings, the richest and most extensive ever discovered north of the Trinity range of mountains. The prospective yield will be immense in comparison with the past.
As yet there has none of these mines been worked except with the scanty proportions of water from Greenhorn and the gulches afforded in the wet season. There is an area of country from Greenhorn Creek to the Shasta River, a distance of about six miles by about one in breadth on an average, all of which, with an abundance of water for sluicing, will pay largely. This will afford work for many thousands of men for many years.
We have at this time a fair prospect of a good supply of water from the Shasta River, through the Yreka Water Company's flume, within one year from the present time. The sawmill will be in operation in a few days, and the flume will be commenced shortly thereafter. When this work is completed we may confidently expect to see all kinds of business more flourishing, and money more abundant, than at any time since the discovery of Yreka Flats in March, '51.
BARKHOUSE CREEK empties into the Klamath west of Yreka, is newly discovered, and thought by many to contain extensive diggings. This summer will, however, prove the matter, as there are many miners at work at present on that stream.
INDIAN CREEK.--There are several streams of this name in the north, on all of which gold has been found, but not in sufficient quantities to pay over $2 to $3 per day to the hand.
COTTONWOOD.--Placer diggings next in importance to those of Yreka, and unsurpassed for richness by any in the country. They derive their water from Cottonwood Creek by means of two ditches. There is a large area of auriferous deposits in and about Cottonwood which are being worked at present to good profit.
JACKSONVILLE.--The mines in this vicinity are rich and extensive. Want of water has prevented extensive working. The enterprise of bringing the waters of Applegate Creek to these diggings has been long talked of, and will eventually be accomplished.
ROGUE RIVER.--The bars are auriferous, but few have been worked advantageously.
SAILOR DIGGINGS.--Extensive placer diggings, supplied with water from Illinois Creek by two races.
ALTHOUSE and Sucker creeks are of considerable mining importance. The former yielded largely in places last summer, and will be worked successfully in the bed of the stream the coming season. The latter is generally bank diggings.
NEW DIGGINGS.--A correspondent, writing from Jacksonville, Oregon, says that new surface diggings have been discovered near Fort Lane, which bid fair to prove rich and extensive. The miners there are doing exceedingly well, better than has been done since the first discovery of gold in Rich Gulch, some two years ago. It is thought this region has not been fairly prospected. Rich diggings are said to have been discovered on Rogue River, below the "ferries," and several gentlemen of Jacksonville have gone to visit them.
Sacramento Daily Union, March 27, 1854, page 2
A correspondent, writing from Sucker Creek, April 4th, estimates that there are 2,000 men on the coast above Crescent City, most of them wandering up and down, looking for diggings. The want of water, however, has obliged many to leave. Higher up Rogue River, men are laboring with better success and better prospects; but Indian difficulties have deterred men from prospecting this portion of the river thoroughly, hence its importance as a mining stream is unknown.
Sacramento Daily Union, April 29, 1854, page 3
PORT ORFORD NEWS.--From the Alta we learn that there has been a good deal of excitement during the past week at Port Orford, on the subject of rich diggings said to have been discovered on Galice Creek, which empties from the south into Rogue River, about fifty miles from Port Orford. These mines were found by the party which started out about a month since from Port Orford to open a pack trail to Yreka. The prospects are represented as having been exceedingly favorable, and the ground extensive. A number of persons had left the vicinity of Port Orford for Galice Creek with strong expressions of confidence in the reliability of the report. There was another report that diggings had been discovered on Deer Creek, only seventeen miles from the Port.
The party had gone out to open the Jacksonville trail, had proceeded beyond the more difficult portion of the route, but have not as yet returned. It was supposed, however, that they had about concluded their labors, and the first train of pack mules was to start for Jacksonville and Yreka in the beginning of the week.
San Joaquin Republican, Stockton, California, June 7, 1854, page 2
THE GOLD DISCOVERIES AT PORT ORFORD.--We published on Wednesday a brief account of reported valuable discoveries in the neighborhood of Port Orford. A correspondent of the Alta, under date of May 31st, gives the following confirmation of the rumor:
"It will be remembered that much excitement was created, during the last fall and winter, in relation to the "beach diggings" in this vicinity. Many came here with high anticipations of amassing sudden fortunes, but in few instances were these expectations realized. There are undeniably large deposits of gold all along the beach, extending from Rogue River to within fifteen miles of Cape Arago, but the great and only difficulty in collecting the gold has heretofore arisen from the scarcity of the water, there being, perhaps, on a beach four miles in extent not water sufficient to run more than six or eight machines. Within a short time, however, the experiment of using sea water has been tried with great success. This is done by the application of horse power to a common pump, raising the water into a reservoir, and distributing it along the beach as required. The mines at the Coquille and Rogue rivers are paying not less than ten dollars to the man, while in many instances "big strikes" are made of ten to fifteen ounces of pure gold. At Cape Blanco, which is eight miles north of Port Orford, three men have taken out of one claim over twenty-five thousand dollars since last November. After paying all expenses, they divided, a few days since, twenty-three thousand dollars. There are about one hundred men at work there at the present time, and all of them doing well.
"Within two days fifty persons have left here for Galice Creek, which is seventy-five miles from this place, and about thirty-five from Jacksonville. I have conversed with persons who have recently arrived from these mines, and they report the diggings very extensive, and paying from six to ten dollars to the man. These mines can be reached in three days from Port Orford."
Sacramento Daily Union, June 8, 1854, page 3
"Late and Interesting from Port Orford."
This is the caption of a letter from Port Orford to the San Francisco Sun, dated June 1st, and if one-half of it was true, there would be no other town between San Francisco and the mouth of the Columbia River. We extract the following paragraph to show how things may be exaggerated:
"Rich and extensive mines have been found on 'Galice Creek,' directly upon the trail which leads from this place to Jacksonville. There are now about six hundred men there, averaging from eight to ten dollars per day to the man, while some are making 'big strikes.' The distance from Port Orford to Galice Creek is about 75 miles, over a most excellent road. . . . The trail from Port Orford to Jacksonville is now completed--entire distance ninety-five miles. It is said to be the best trail on the coast leading to the interior."
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, June 30, 1854, page 2
GOLD IN THE CASCADE RANGE.--We are hearing confident opinions expressed of the existence of gold in the Cascade Range.
The Umpqua Gazette contains the following extract from a private letter on the prospect in the Cascade Mountains:
"I have just returned from a three weeks' exploration in the Cascade Mountains, and am happy to say that the result of our trip has developed the hidden treasure of gold buried in the mountains, which will beyond a doubt pay better than any mines of recent discovery. I start back tomorrow in company with the Hon. B. Simpson and others, with the necessary outfit to test the matter fully. It is the opinion of Mr. Simpson that those mines will pay double those of Coos Bay."
* * *
Rich Diggings on the Coquille--Great Excitement at Port Orford.The most important news by this arrival is the reported discovery of exceedingly rich diggings on the Coquille River.
The Democratic Standard extra says:
Miners are making from $20 to $150 per day. The character of the gold is much the same as the coarse gold of California, and is said to assay equally as well. One party of four men are said to have taken out some $6000 in the short space of two weeks. About $1000 of the gold from the new discovery was on exhibition at Port Orford when the Columbia was there.
These diggings are to be found on the South Fork of the Coquille River. The distance on the road now traveled is 50 miles from Orford, but a more direct trail will be made, reducing the distance to 30 miles. The diggings are to be found in the bed of the river, which will have to be flumed, and the greatest obstruction will be the heavy boulders, rocks &c.
Messrs. Leland & McComb, who have a regular messenger to these diggings on the arrival of every steamer, have favored us with the following letter, which we print as we get it, with fair notice that one or two of the irreverent expressions are to be charged solely to the account of the writer.
Port Orford, July 11th, '54.Messrs. Leland & McComb:--I got here several days since, and so far have not been able to get off. Harry is to pay here now, in consequence of the reported discovery of rich diggings about 45 miles east of this, on the waters of the Coquille River. Several had been in from there during last week, and brought quantities of gold, but nothing positive was heard until the day before yesterday, when Tichenor arrived. He went out with Dr. Allen. According to his account they are the best diggings in the world, and in consequence of his report almost everyone here left yesterday. The balance that can go will leave today, consequently the place will be almost deserted until newcomers arrive. Caldwell is here, and is off immediately. He was on his way to Coos Bay to qualify as a county commissioner, but the golden tale took him off. All the county officers in this section now have declined serving, consequently there will be no organization.
[unsigned]"Important from Oregon," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, July 15, 1854, page 2
GREAT EXCITEMENT AT PORT ORFORD.--The most important news by this arrival is the reported discovery of exceedingly rich diggings on the Coquille River. The Democratic Standard (extra) says:
"Miners are making from $20 to $150 per day. The character of the gold is much the same as the coarse gold of California, and is said to assay equally as well. One party of four men are said to have taken out some $6,000 in the short space of two weeks. About $1,000 of the gold from the new discovery was on exhibition at Port Orford when the Columbia was there.
"These diggings are to be found on the South Fork of the Coquille River. The distance on the road now traveled is 50 miles from Orford, but a more direct trail will be made, reducing the distance to 30 miles. The diggings are to be found in the bed of the river, which will have to be flumed, and the greatest obstruction will be the heavy boulders" &c.
Daily Union, Washington, D.C., August 9, 1854, page 3
NORTHERN MINES.--These, says the Mountain Herald, are attracting more attention than ever before. Miners come amongst us who are prepared to settle down and work a few years for a reasonable compensation, with the chances of a fortune. They find the diggings in Northern California and Southern Oregon ample for years of enterprise before they are stripped to a level with the present state of the southern mines, and new discoveries being made every day. This is now the best field for the enterprise of California--and they are commencing to find it out.
Business in Yreka shows a weekly increase. Other places of minor importance in Northern California are picking up with equal rapidity. Our town is now the finest-looking place north of Marysville.
Jacksonville, in Southern Oregon, is also looking up, and is destined to become a fine place of business. The new diggings in that vicinity, and the fine crops in Rogue River Valley, have had a fine influence on business in that quarter, which is beneficially felt by all.
Sacramento Daily Union, September 2, 1854, page 2
THE MINES.--The mining operations in Southern Oregon are almost entirely suspended for the want of sufficient water. It is said there has been less rain during the last winter and spring than ever before.
Oregonian, Portland, June 16, 1855, page 2
(CORRESPONDENCE OF THE HERALD.)
Mining Operations on Althouse Creek--Population, Etc.
ALTHOUSE CREEK, O.T., July 8, 1855.Messrs. Editors:--Having gathered of late a few items that may interest your readers relative to our mining prospects and the "4th's doings," I hazard the attempt of placing them together as material for publicity through your columns.
Mining operations for a few days past have been somewhat suspended in consequence of sports common upon the birthday of our independence, previous to which miners were generally doing a lucrative business, and had been for two months past. It is generally believed by old residents here that mining was never carried on with more tact and ability, nor with more success than at the present time. The water being low enables them to work the most difficult places in the bed of the stream, which usually pay the best and the most "human slugs" [sic].
The high banks, together with high points and several gulches which heretofore have been rejected, are now successfully worked, while almost every week we hear of other similar discoveries within our limits.
We have here a population of about 350 or 500 inhabitants, which were formerly from all parts of both the southern and northern mines, and all seem contented, and many are firmly resolved to take the "desperate chances"--while pursuing the miner's life--in this section of country.
"Deadwood Bar" at present seems to be paying the most regular and contains the most claims of any other bar upon the creek. I believe there are six companies upon this bar, and upon an average I may safely say they are making $10 per day to the hand. Many other places are paying much better, but as a general thing not so regular.
For next winter diggings the prospect is much more encouraging than it has been at any previous time and wages quite as high.
Crescent City Herald, July 25, 1855, page 1
(CORRESPONDENCE OF THE HERALD.)
ALTHOUSE CREEK, O.T., July 28, 1855.Messrs. Editors:--After reading the correspondence of "Gus" in your paper of the 25th ult., I write a few lines which you can use if you like. I have been at Althouse for nearly three years, and am as well posted in matters pertaining to Althouse mining as "Gus," and am well acquainted with every man on Deadwood Bar, and think that "Gus" has exaggerated one half in saying they are making ten dollars per day. As to "Gus" himself, I do not think he has made ten dollars in one day since the woods were burnt. There is no good derived in writing exaggerated accounts of miners doing well, and causing men who have three- or four-dollar diggings to leave them and come where there is no chance of getting a claim without paying more for it than it is worth. The number of men on this creek at this time does not exceed three hundred. Mining is carried on more systematically than ever done here before.
Crescent City Herald, August 8, 1855, page 2
THE MINES IN SOUTHERN OREGON.
Mining operations in Southern Oregon are almost entirely suspended for the want of sufficient water. It is said there has been less rain during the last winter and spring than ever before.
Daily Pioneer, St. Paul, Minnesota, August 4, 1855, page 2
(CORRESPONDENCE OF THE HERALD.)
The Exodus to the Colville Mines--Its Effects upon Present Prospects--
Mining on Althouse--Average Product, Half an Ounce to the Man--
The Sluice Rake--Crops &c.
ALTHOUSE CREEK, O.T., Aug. 5, 1855.Messrs. Editors:--There is considerable talk over the Fort Colville mines, and in some instances men have acted upon the newspaper reports and set out for $100 per day via the Willamette Valley. Others, amongst them some of our best miners, have left, as is supposed on private information received. A great many more intend to go if the news holds out a little longer, and it is most surprising to notice the changes which has taken place in public opinion as to the extent and value of our own diggings for next winter.
It appears that fashion or excitement rules opinion, because nothing is changed in reality, and still, even I myself think that our diggings will be limited next winter compared with what I thought on a previous occasion. Where I had calculated the gold would be found, on high points and underslides, parallel with which gold to the amount of what is termed the lead has never been found, will not in consequence of this excitement be prospected by those who knew the run of the diggings, and upon whose continued stay I had built my castle of "never give out," &c. So much for mining prophecies, when a little general news almost depopulates a thrifty place. In your own little journey of occurrences I have found accounts of mining operations where I was best posted exaggerated one-half, but then for the credit of our creek I would say that with the one-half it was doing well. Now if we are equally liberal towards these reports from Oregon and calculate the exaggeration as the news has passed from Tom, Dick and Harry to the editors it may not be so much after all. From information derived from two men who left the Willamette on the 1st inst., I am inclined to receive the big strike part of the news with great allowance, though $100 per day might be made on the exposed part of the bedrock on high bars with a butcher's knife, and yet the diggings not be so wonderfully rich. One of those gentlemen who has been in the mines since '48 told me that he knew a man who had found gold there in '49 on a creek called Goose, this side of Fort Hall, to the amount of 75 cents which he saw was got in three or four pans; more perhaps was prospected without finding anything, as his company were camped there two days. These mines then were known before and had they been as rich as represented they would not have been left over until now.
Miners are doing extremely well here at present, the production averaging one-half ounce per day at the last calculation, minimum $5, maximum $20; wages $70 to $80 per month and found and inquiry for bands [sic].
I believe that I am the first man here who has used an imported rake in ground sluicing and so far find it is a great advantage, but the article would be more suitable if heavier and stronger, with teeth as at present on one side and half as coarse again on the other, and sufficiently strong that one tooth would stand a stout man's pull. If the manufacturers in the eastern states would send such an article they would be more generally used.
The crops in the Illinois and Sucker valleys have turned out small, the streams not having afforded water sufficient for irrigation, and most farmers have come to the conclusion that nearly all the crops will have to be sown in the fall to make the business pay--volunteer production alongside of spring planting showing a great advantage.
Corresponding has become easy to most of the miners in this neighborhood, through the indefatigable zeal of Messrs. Galbraith and Stone who call at our cabins with, and for, letters which enables us to save much time and expense, compared with the old plan via Jacksonville and trading post.
Yours, respectfully, G. T.
Crescent City Herald, August 15, 1855, page 2
CROPS IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--The Jacksonville Sentinel says that since the rains, plows are moving all over the valley. There is time now, notwithstanding so many men have been drawn off to the wars, to put in a good crop of wheat. The rains are favorable for the mines, so far as the disturbed condition of our Indian relations will admit of their being worked. The increase of water is taking some miners back to their claims in favorable localities, and some are venturing into the more remote gulches where the exposure speaks more for their territory than judgment. Whatever may be the amount of water, the mines cannot be worked safely except in protected places, until the war closes, or the hostile Indians are driven from the country.
Sacramento Daily Union, December 19, 1855, page 2
MINING NEWS.--Mr. Hart, to whom we are obliged for a copy of the Jacksonville Sentinel, January 19th, informs us that on the week previous to his leaving, three men took out of a claim on Sucker Creek, known as "Old Man Nat's Claim," $1000 in one day. On a fork of Sucker Creek, called Greenhorn, new diggings have been struck. It is also rumored that "the lost cabin" has again been found by a party, who only await spring for active operations. At Sailor Diggings the dirt pays better than ever, and close to us, in the redwoods, some 40 miners are doing very well. All that is needed for a propitious season is security from the depredations of the Indians, and this we hope will be afforded by the military now in this country.
Crescent City Herald, February 6, 1856, page 2
JACKSONVILLE DIGGINGS.--The miners in the Jacksonville diggings and vicinity have been making good wages and have a prospect of doing well, if it ever rains again. Many of the miners, having stripped their claims to the wash dirt, are anxiously waiting for rain. Some six miles from Jacksonville, near the Willow Springs Ranch, Jim Jones and Smith, his partner, have struck good diggings and have been taking out the filthy lucre at the rate of from ten to twenty dollars per day. Mr. Jones informed us on yesterday that as they progressed the diggings have paid better than at first, and that he had no fears but that they would continue to pay as long as water lasted.
Table Rock Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 22, 1856, page 2
NEW DIGGINGS.--Considerable excitement has prevailed at Sterling and vicinity for the last three or four days, on account of rich gold diggings being discovered some five or six miles above Star Gulch, on Applegate. We are informed that some three men, while prospecting a few days ago, struck a rich prospect, taking out some hundred dollars in a few hours. Many of the miners at Sterling have taken their tools and struck out for the new diggings, regardless of the Indian difficulties. It is supposed that the new diggings are rich and extensive.
Table Rock Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 22, 1856, page 3
DIGGINGS AT STERLING.--Those having water to work their gold claims at Sterling are doing remarkably well. The claims at Sterling pay well when they can get water to work them. There is no diggings in Southern Oregon that will pay better than those at Sterling, when the water ditch company succeed in bringing the water from Applegate.
Table Rock Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 22, 1856, page 3
MINING NEWS.--Within the last ten days, the miners on the left-hand fork of Jackson Creek have been making new and rich discoveries. The deposits yield from one to two hundred dollars per day to the hand. We have heard men say that in some places a thousand dollars to the hand could be taken out. The new discoveries are on the flat, on the left-hand fork, and easily worked. At present the water is not very plenty.
STERLING MINES.--The prospectors at Sterling have made some good strikes in the flat where the town stands, and miners are sinking shafts and literally undermining the town. It is only from 15 to 20 feet to the bedrock and pays well. This new discovery will add much to the prosperity of the miners, as well as the whole country.
Table Rock Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 24, 1856, page 2
AN OREGON NUGGET.--We were shown a letter the other day from Mr. Cohen, written to his partner, Mr. Simonsfeld, of this city, from Althouse Creek, O.T., in which he states that a sixty-four-ounce nugget was taken out of a claim opposite their store on that creek a few days since. This is, we believe, the largest nugget ever found in Oregon. The company also took some four or five ounces out of their claim on the same day besides the lump. As that section of country is now secure from Indian depredations, we may expect to hear of some other handsome strikes being made this summer.
Crescent City Herald, June 4, 1856, page 2
MINING.--One day this week we visited the rich claims on the flat, on the left-hand fork of Jackson Creek. Clark, Overbeck & Co.--five men--took out over 10 ounces in the forenoon, and confidently expected to take out a pound in the afternoon. The claims of Miller, Pinkham & Co., B. Overbeck & Co., and Alcorn & Co. are all paying about as well as the first named. Three of the above companies have each taken out three pounds of gold dust in one day. Many other claims in that vicinity are paying well--from five dollars to an ounce to the hand.
"Later from Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, August 1, 1856, page 2
THE CHINESE IN THE MINES.--We are informed that from one to two thousand Chinamen are mining on a small creek on the Table Rock Reservation, some two or three miles from the Big Bar on Rogue River. Our informant says they are doing well, washing with the cradle in many places from eight to ten dollars a day to the hand.
There is good diggings on the creek or in the neighborhood. Several miners done well there as early as 1852, since which time little or nothing has been done at mining on the reserve.
JACKSON CREEK.--The miners on Jackson Creek and vicinity are doing well, many of them taking out from two to three ounces a day to the hand. Those who have sunk shafts and drifted on the bedrock, as a general thing, find gold in considerable quantities.
STERLING.--Where water can be had to wash with, at Sterling, the miners are doing very well. Many are drifting and stacking up the dirt until the water comes. As soon as it rains gold will be washed out in great abundance at Sterling. We have seen and conversed with some of the returned party who have been down Rogue River and in the vicinity of the coast. They report that on Galice Creek the miners are doing well, perhaps better than at any former period since the mines have been worked on that creek.
WHISKEY CREEK.--We understand this creek is all claimed, as also the gulches making into it, but our informant could not say how well they were doing. From the extent of the claims the natural inference would be that it paid well.
JOHN MULE CREEK.--The gold is coarse, and those having experience say that the prospects are good, yet the prospecting jury only prospected near the surface, and but temporarily.
MEADOWS.--Gold was found and justifies the party in saying that in some places it will pay ten dollars a day to the hand--generally found on the bars in the rivers--the gold heavy and of the best quality.
BIG BEND OF ROGUE RIVER.--The prospects good and coarse gold. The impression of those prospecting is that good diggings will be found in the vicinity of the Big Bend.
ILLINOIS.--At the mouth of Illinois River but slightly prospected. A few miles up the river the miners are doing well when they can work. Many good claims are laying without being worked on account of the Indians, as there are quite a number of hostile Indians in that neighborhood of Old John's band, who have not made peace.
"Later from Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, August 23, 1856, page 2 The Daily Democratic State Journal of Sacramento printed the same information on the same day, crediting the Table Rock Sentinel of August 16.
FROM THE MINES.--The news we receive from the mines is very encouraging. From Althouse, in particular, we hear favorable accounts. We learn from Mr. Heilner, just in from that creek, that "hill diggings," a new thing there, have been discovered, and that numbers of the miners have formed themselves into companies to work them. They have sunk several shafts, and the prospects turned out so rich that they have commenced tunneling in several places. The men composing these companies are all experienced miners, and are confident that they will realize at least from sixteen to twenty dollars per day to the hand. This is as we said a new feature in mining in that region; that it will pay richly there is no doubt, and there is plenty of room for thousands who can at the worst all be sure of six to ten dollars per day. From the best authority and the experiences of old miners who have lately come up from below onto Althouse, we are satisfied that the vicinity of that creek now presents a better location for the industrious miner than any other place in our state. The mines will not be even fully prospected for years. Come up here, you old Californians, and take a look 'round. You will see soon where all those who are "dead broke" make a fresh raise, and if you get into some of these tunnel companies, you will see big lumps turned out so often as to make it a mere everyday occurrence.
Crescent City Herald, November 12, 1856, page 2
Thousands of Chinamen are mining in Southern Oregon, extracting from the mines immense quantities of gold--in fact, literally skimming the mining districts of their wealth that would otherwise furnish employment and a reward for labor for many years. Is this right, that a foreign people shall be permitted to drain our country of its wealth, and that, too, by a race of beings that are incapable of becoming citizens, or of exercising the functions of our government?
The state of California has imposed a tax on "John," which is one of the causes that drives them to this district of country, as they are often heard to say "Taxes no good for John." It then becomes the duty of the representatives of the people from Southern Oregon to use their efforts to obtain the passage of such laws as will best protect the interests of the country.
A law authorizing the county courts to levy and collect a monthly tax from "John" would create a revenue that would in part repay for the large amount of gold they obtain from our mines, and that, too, without contributing one cent to the government.
The Legislature of Oregon is now in session, and it is proper that they should set upon the subject. We make the foregoing suggestion because duty and the best interests of the country require it.
Table Rock Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 6, 1856, page 2
From reliable sources we learn that the mines in the southern portion of the Territory are paying all this winter. In Jacksonville, Sterlingville, Illinois Valley, and throughout the entire mining region, there is being more gold taken out than at any time since the winter of '50. New diggings are being discovered on and in the vicinity of the Indian reservation that "pan out" rich, and as there are no Diggers in the mountains, miners do not run the risk, as they used to, when out prospecting, of having their scalps taken. The golden resources of a large scope of country on Rogue River and its tributaries will now be fully developed.
"Later from Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, December 30, 1856, page 3
SOUTHERN OREGON.--In the Table Rock Sentinel, of a recent date, we find the following, in regard to the mineral and other resources of Jackson County:
"We have taken some trouble to ascertain the number of persons mining on Jackson Creek and its branches, and from the best information we can obtain, there are about three hundred men. It is estimated that they will make, at least, an average of $3.33 per day to the hand, which will amount in the aggregate to $1,000 per day, $26,000 per month, and an annual yield of $312,000.
"The Sterling diggings will yield as much if not a greater amount of gold. Applegate, Rogue River and Evans Creek will yield as much as Sterling or Jackson Creek. Therefore we may safely calculate that, within the limits of Jackson County, there is annually produced from the mines alone about $1,000,000.
"Besides this, our agricultural population produce all the breadstuff and vegetables necessary for the support of the mining population of Jackson County, supply Josephine, and furnish a large amount to Siskiyou County, Cal. Beef and pork are now cheap and being extensively raised. Flour is retailing at three, potatoes at four, and beef at twelve and fifteen cents per pound. Industry is rewarded as abundantly as in any part of the world. All the great variety of merchandise necessary for a farming and mining community can be obtained at the stores of Maury & Davis, J. A. Brunner & Bro., John Anderson, Pat Ryan, J. P. Stearns, Fisher & Bro., Baker and others, Jacksonville, at prices in proportion to the transportation, as low as in any of the towns in the Territory.
Sacramento Daily Union, January 27, 1857, page 3
MINING NEWS.--We are indebted to Mann's Express for a copy of the Table Rock Sentinel. That paper estimates the amount of gold taken out within the limits of Jackson County annually at one million of dollars.
We have to record another "big strike" made within our immediate mining region. A lump of gold was taken out of Boling's fork [Bolan Creek] of Sucker Creek last week weighing twenty-four pounds. We could not learn the name of the lucky "hombre" who was so fortunate; it was Mc------ something.
The snow is nearly off the mountain, there not being over two feet in the deepest spots, and travel between here and Illinois Valley is again open.
Crescent City Herald, January 28, 1857, page 2
RICH MINING IN JACKSON COUNTY, O.T.--The Table Rock Sentinel estimates the amount of gold taken out within the limits of Jackson County annually at one million dollars. A "big strike" was made in that mining region. A lump of gold was taken out of Boling's fork of Sucker Creek last week weighing twenty-four pounds.
Huge Nuggets Plentiful.The account of rich mining "finds," given above, on the authority of the Crescent City Herald, dwindles into insignificance compared with the following story (to be taken, we think, with some allowance), sent here by the agent, at Crescent City, of Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Express. He says:
I lay before you an extract of a letter received this day by Mr. W. Smith of this city:
"O.T., SUCKER CREEK, Jan. 23, 1857."Dear Brother--Times are very dull here, but with great excitement. McDonald & Co. have taken out from their claim one lump of gold weighing one hundred pounds, one ditto from 25 to 26 pounds, one ditto 10 to 12 pounds, and upwards of 100 pounds in small pieces. They say that they have taken out upwards of $100,000. They have been on a spree for the last three days at our store.
"PETER B. SMITH."Mr. W. Smith, Crescent City."
The above is an extract copied by me. From personal acquaintance with the Messrs. Smith, I pronounce them persons in whom every reliance can be placed. This story, wonderful as it is, is, to some extent, corroborated by Messrs. Sam. Rice & Guthrie, residents of Sailor Diggings, who are well known in San Francisco, and who go there, this trip, per steamer Columbia. They state that Sheriff Hendershott, of Josephine County, told them that he saw (Sucker Creek is in Josephine) himself, in the possession of McDonald & Co., one piece of gold weighing about 12 pounds, and a camp kettle full of the same; and that they, McD. & Co., had told him, Hendershott, that they had, in their possession, the largest lumps ever taken out in California.
Sucker Creek is but 50 miles from here.
D. W. MCCOMB.San Francisco Bulletin, February 2, 1857, page 3
The Greatest Strike Ever Made on Pacific Coast!
A Lump of Gold Weighing 100 Pounds!!
ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS TAKEN OUT OF ONE CLAIM!!!
The news we have from the mines seems almost too fabulous to relate, but after carefully examining the reports from entirely different quarters we are convinced that enormous as they appear, they are true. In the neighborhood of one hundred thousand dollars has been taken out of one claim on Sucker Creek within sixty miles of this place. The following letter addressed to a well-known citizen of this place tells its own story.
SUCKER CREEK, January 22nd, 1857.Dear Brother:--Times are as dull as ever here, with a great excitement up the creek. McDonald & Co. have taken out a large amount of gold, one piece that weighs one hundred lbs. or more, one piece twenty-five or six lbs., one piece ten or twelve lbs., and upwards of one hundred lbs. in small pieces. They think that they have taken out about one hundred thousand dollars. They have been down here on a spree two or three days, and when they went back there was a number of men went up with them and they showed the gold to them. There has been a great many claims taken up there. I and Mr. Funda and the two blacksmiths has taken up the bench alongside their claim. Fields is building a house for a store up there. Funda and the blacksmith is building it for three hundred and twenty-five dollars. Money comes in slow. I send ---- ounces to you by J. G. Thompson and have ---- dollars on hand. Trade is dull, for we have nothing to sell. You must fetch out some goods as soon as there is a possible chance. Fetch a lot of crowbars and one pair of green goggles. I don't know of anything else that is not on your memorandum book. Charley is here with me. Funda went and brought him from Patrick's.
Yours with respect,Crescent City Herald, February 4, 1857, page 2
PETER B. SMITH.
RICH MINING IN JACKSON COUNTY, O.T.--The Table Rock Sentinel estimates the amount of gold taken out within the limits of Jackson County annually at one million of dollars. A "big strike" was made in that mining region. A lump of gold was taken out of Boling's fork of Sucker Creek last week weighing twenty-four pounds.
Weekly Columbian, Columbia, California, February 14, 1857, page 2
MINING IN OREGON.
Some astonishing reports have recently been received from the diggings on Sucker Flat, Oregon Territory, about fifty miles from Crescent City. The following is the report, which comes by letter from a resident at the mines to his brother at Crescent City:
"McDonald & Co. have taken out from their claim one lump of gold weighing one hundred pounds, one ditto from 25 to 26 pounds, one ditto 10 or 12 pounds, and upwards of 100 pounds in small pieces. They say that they have taken out upwards of $100,000. They have been on a spree for the last three days at our store."
The authenticity of the letter and veracity of the writer is vouched for by D. W. McComb, Wells, Fargo & Co.'s agent at Crescent City.
The Table Rock Sentinel of about the same date says:
We have taken some trouble to ascertain the number of persons mining on Jackson Creek and its branches, and from the best information we can obtain, there are about three hundred men. It is estimated that they will make, at least, an average of $3.33 per day to the hand, which will amount in the aggregate to $1000 per day, $26,000 per month, and an annual yield of $312,000.
The Sterling diggings will yield as much if not a greater amount of gold. Applegate, Rogue River and Evans Creek, will yield as much as Sterling or Jackson Creek. Therefore we may safely calculate that, within the limits of Jackson County, there is annually produced from the mines alone about $1,000,000.
Grass Valley Telegraph, Grass Valley, California, February 28, 1857, page 1
SOUTHERN OREGON MINES.--A correspondent of the Trinity Journal, writing from Jacksonville, O.T., February 20th, says:
"Hydraulics are now brought into requisition here for the first time. A few miners from your section of country, who came in here last fall, have done more to develop the richness of the mines in this vicinity than our miners have for the last two years. The mines on Jackson Creek are in great part worked by miners from Shasta and Weaverville, while Sterling, Applegate, Evans', Palmer and Galice creeks and their tributaries are well represented by men from those two noted mining localities.
"A few days since a party of miners from California arrived here for the purpose of prospecting the Jacksonville flat. They immediately went to work and sank a shaft in the street on the north side of the Robinson House, and found seven feet of paying dirt. On the bedrock it prospected from two to six bits to the pan. The party are now digging a tailrace to drain the entire flat. The town from Oregon Street to near Clugage's mound is staked off into mining claims."
Sacramento Daily Union, March 11, 1857, page 2
MINING NEWS.--We hear from parties lately in from Sailor Diggings that there are some two hundred men at work at that place, and all doing well, not one making less than four, and from that to ten dollars per day to the hand, that there is plenty of room and plenty of water for many more. We also have a report from there that some parties in what is known as Allen Gulch had taken out coarse gold--one piece weighing as high as seventy-five dollars. We believe this is very unusual for those diggings, all the gold heretofore obtained there being very fine, although very pure.
From Althouse and Sucker creeks we hear of rich pay where they are at work. We are promised an account of these creeks shorty, which will go into particulars.
We also have a report that a stage will soon be started to run from Jacksonville to the foot of the mountain in Illinois Valley, at the point where the trail from this place comes in.
Crescent City Herald, April 15, 1857, page 2
We are indebted to a gentleman conversant with some of the mining localities in our more immediate neighborhood for the following statements in relation to the mining going on on Sucker Creek. At the point known as the Old Town, or "Northcott's," the company who are working are taking out twelve dollars per day to the hand; there are some six or seven of them. Next above them, distant about a quarter of a mile, two companies are working--one on each side of the creek; those on one side making four to five dollars, and on the other, half an ounce per day to the hand. Then come the claims of Dickson & Co., paying four to five dollars to the hand, and the Daniels' claim which pays ten dollars per day, while opposite Daniels', on the other side of the creek, the yield comes up to twelve dollars. Next we find the claim of Hod Thomas, paying from ten to twenty dollars per day, and opposite to him, Pat Carroll & Co. are washing dirt which pays, eight feet from the bedrock, five dollars per day. Above these are the claims of Evans & Hawn, paying the former five to six, and the latter six to seven dollars to the hand per day. The Whitsett claim, which is between the last mentioned and the forks of Sucker, does still better, paying eight dollars to the hand. On the high bar above Evans & Hawn, a company are drifting into the bank, and doing well; they took seventy dollars from one crevice. Immediately at the forks, or just above, in drifting into the high bluffs, a company are getting, at a height of one hundred and fifty feet above the stream, prospects of from twelve to forty-six cents to the pan. On the opposite side (of the right-hand fork) two men are also drifting into the high bank and making twenty dollars per day each. Following the right-hand fork of Sucker (which is properly Boling's Creek), we find companies drifting and making ten dollars per day, and then we come to the very rich claim of McDonald & Co., now so well known, and from which almost fabulous yields are said to have been obtained. That the claim is still rich may be inferred from the fact that the week before last they took from it five hundred dollars. The claims next to the McDonald claim are held by Messrs. North & Co. and are paying richly, how much so, however, we do not know. They took among other gold week before last one piece weighing twenty-seven ounces. In this neighborhood, parties are also drifting into the high banks and bars, which prospect well.
On the left-hand fork of Sucker just above the forks, they were too late last fall in getting at work to test thoroughly the yield, and as yet the water is too high this season, but the ground prospects twenty-five cents to the pan, and will probably pay fully that. Five miles above the forks, parties have been making through the winter, whenever they could work, fifteen dollars per day to the hand. High upon this fork is supposed to be the very best part of Sucker and its tributaries, but as yet it has not been worked at all.
From the above statements of what men are doing on only one of the many streams in this section, it can be seen that no portion of the Pacific Coast offers more inducements to the industrious miner.
Althouse Creek, the [one] next to Sucker, although we have no particular accounts, we hear is paying richly. There is, probably, more unworked and more unprospected ground in the vicinity of these streams, covering a range of say fifty miles each way, than can be found elsewhere, and there is no reason it should not pay as well as that which has been worked. We learn that the same range or strata of gravel from which the rich yields at McDonald's have been obtained runs from there, in a northwesterly direction, to the extreme left-hand fork of Sucker, just crossing the heads of all the small streams running into that creek. This, as yet, has not been prospected, but undoubtedly is very rich.
Down the creek, for a distance of four miles below Northcott's (the place we first named), it is supposed the creek will pay fair wages all the way.
The town springing up at the forks of Sucker is flourishing and improving fast. It already boasts of stores, hotels, restaurants, saloons, the E.C.V., and C.&C., and bids fair to become a very large and prosperous place.
Crescent City Herald, May 6, 1857, page 2
The mines in the Rogue River country, O.T., are paying the miners a better average this season than at any previous period. At Jacksonville, some rich and extensive mines are being worked with good success. There are at present a great number of Chinese at work in the immediate vicinity of Applegate Creek, the waters of which a joint stock company is being organized to bring into the mines at and near Jacksonville. At Sterling miners average from $3 to $5 per day. The mines down Rogue River have but few persons at work in them, but they are reported as doing well. In Klamath and Del Norte counties the flattering reports given of the richness of the mines on Sucker Creek and Orleans Bar are verified by good authority.
In Siskiyou the mining claims on Deadwood are paying largely. On McAdams Creek, at Deadwood, a claim of fifteen yards out of which has been taken nearly one hundred thousand dollars sold for fifteen hundred. On Cherry Creek, near the same place, claims, as a general thing, pay well, both in the banks and in the bed of the stream. At Oro Fino, a few miles distant from Deadwood, the miners are represented as doing extremely well. There are a large number of miners at work in this locality, and the lowest average wages said to be made is $8 per day to the man. The district is well watered by the Oro Fino and Mugginsville ditches, the waters of which are used night and day. The mines on the South Fork of Scott River are also turning out well, and the newly discovered diggings on Coffee Creek, from what prospecting has been done, promise well.
Sacramento Daily Union, May 12, 1857, page 3
The Mines in Northern California.Throughout the upper counties of the state, mining operations, during the past winter, have been either wholly or partly suspended in consequence of the severity of the weather, which has been unprecedentedly cold in many localities. In Klamath and Siskiyou counties, the ditches were frozen for a number of weeks, and the earth so stiffened by frost as to resist the force of the pick and bar. But on the advent of spring and unlocking of the streams from the embrace of the ice king, mining operations were renewed with vigor, and have since been prosecuted with a success heretofore unparalleled. There are bordering upon the forty-second parallel numerous small tributaries of the Klamath and Smith's rivers, which are known to abound in gold, but have been hitherto scarcely prospected owing to their comparative inaccessibility, and their immediate proximity to tribes of hostile Indians. The few more adventurous spirits who penetrated these mountain fastnesses, and bearded the red man on his own hunting ground, were almost universally successful, and returned to the coast with well-filled purses, and enthusiastic in their praises of the loveliness of the climate and magnificence of the scenery in those inhospitable wilds.
The latest advices which have reached us from this section more than confirm the statements of the earlier diggers, and during the past few weeks new and rich discoveries of the precious metal have been made. On one of these streams, which rejoices in the euphonious apellation of "Sucker Creek," two or three companies are clearing from five to ten dollars per day to the hand; and on a contiguous tributary, known as Boling's Creek, there is a claim owned by McDonald & Co., from which was extracted five hundred dollars in a single week. Althouse Creek and other streams also paying wages which would be deemed enormous by many of the miners in the middle or southern counties.
The vast auriferous region comprising the new county of Del Norte, lower Oregon, and the upper portions of Klamath and Siskiyou counties, is but just beginning to be explored, and its mineral resources developed; but it is assuredly destined in time to be settled by an active and industrious population. To the hundreds of idlers, loafers and others, complaining of hard times, who are hanging about the streets of this city, we say: Leave for the north, either by sea or land, at the earliest moment. If you have no funds, work your passage, or hire out here at a dollar a day, if necessary, until you scrape together enough to land you at Crescent City. We have no sympathy for healthy, able-bodied men in this country, who can work, but won't work, for labor always will be remunerated in the mines, if not on the farm or in the counting room.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, May 13, 1857, page 2
MINING IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--In the Jacksonville Sentinel, of May 30th, we find the following news relative to the mines in that vicinity:
Lance & Co., who have been mining in Jacksonville, and been at great expense, and performed great laboring in tunneling so as to be able to work, we are informed, took out about two hundred dollars in two days, and could obtain about five dollars to the pan, when their drift caved in. They prospected a few pans of the drift dirt, which paid from one to two dollars to the pan.
We are told that the miners on Galice Creek and vicinity are doing well. One of the best evidences of their success is the village at the mouth of the creek, which affords two hotels, three stores, two butcher shops and several families, who appear to be permanently located. We believe there are between five and six hundred miners in that vicinity, and all appear to have plenty of money.
The mining news from Althouse Creek is very favorable, as is that also from Sutter Creek and Sailor Diggings.
Illinois and Briggs' Creek are paying well, say from eight to ten dollars per day, and a great number of miners are at work.
The mines on Applegate are paying well, and the miners are making new discoveries daily. The Sterling Diggings, as usual, continue to pay from ten to twenty dollars per day.
Sardine, Evans and Clear Creek mines are paying well, and afford labor for hundreds of miners.
We do not speak of any mines that are not within the limits of Oregon, and there are many diggings in Oregon that we have not been able to obtain any reliable news from. The lower Rogue River, Coquille, Six River and coast diggings, although rich and paying well, we do not often have an opportunity to hear from.
Sacramento Daily Union, June 10, 1857, page 4
A correspondent of the Oregonian, writing from Sterlingville, Southern Oregon, says he thinks the mines in that vicinity will pay better this summer than ever before. About one hundred miners are at work and all doing well.
"Additional Items of News from Oregon and Washington Territories," Sacramento Daily Union, June 13, 1857, page 2
Klamath County and Lower Oregon.By late arrivals from Indian Creek and the Klamath, we have good accounts from the mines in these sections. We understand that the miners on the Klamath, below Happy Camp, are doing well and making good wages. We were shown a lump of gold nearly pure, taken out by Mr. Haley, at Oak Flat, on this portion of the Klamath, weighing two hundred and fourteen dollars.
On Indian Creek, we learn, they are doing still better--an ounce per day to the hand being represented to us to be the average yield. Messrs. William Wood and Co. took out of their claim on this creek, a few days since, one piece weighing three hundred dollars.
The principal mines which immediately surround the valley, and furnish a ready and almost inexhaustible market for its produce, are Sailor Diggings, Canyon and Josephine creeks, the Illinois River, Bowlin, Sucker and Althouse creeks.
At Sailor Diggings, the water companies furnish profitable employment for about one hundred miners. Canyon and Josephine creeks, and the Illinois River, have about two hundred white persons engaged in mining upon them, averaging from $5 to $8 per diem; some few are doing much better; besides these, there are several hundred Chinese, who, though not very desirable citizens, are yet furnishing our new county with ample funds to erect all county buildings, and to meet all current expenses.
Upon Sucker and Bowlin creeks, there are about two hundred and fifty miners, and one hundred Chinese. The miners are generally doing well; amongst the fortunates, I may mention Thomas & Co., and Carroll & Co., of Cedar Bar, who are averaging about $12 a day, and Marshall & Co., and Evans & Co., of Bowlin Creek, about $16. Toward the head of Bowlin Creek, and near the rich claim of McDonald & Co., Hickey & Co. and Brown & Co. are doing remarkably well. The latter company took out, a short time since, a chunk worth $300. Upon this stream, several companies of Californians are engaged in tunneling the hills; they have generally met with fair success.
Upon Althouse, there are about four hundred miners, averaging near $6 or $8 a day. The claim of Mr. Sykes, and that of Smith & Co., are paying much better--from $10 to $15. There are several others near Browntown, that pay nearly as well, and also some few further up the creek. There are many tunnels upon this creek, some paying quite well. Old Californians think the appearance of this county quite favorable for that kind of mining.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, June 22, 1857, page 2
The Port Orford Mines--Movement of Indians in Southern Oregon.
(FROM AN OCCASIONAL CORRESPONDENT.)
Summer's Diggings, Curry Co., O.T.Editor Bulletin:--The excitement that was caused, last fall, in this vicinity and elsewhere, concerning the discovery of these mines, is now ripening into a profitable harvest for some, while it has been the ostensible means of attracting hundreds from other parts of the country, without the least shadow of compensation. Hundreds of miners have visited these mines who do not remain long enough to wash a pan of dirt, or rest their weary limbs, before they retrace their steps. A large number of this class of persons, immediately on their arrival, and without any experience in mining in this locality, pronounce this "no gold country" and immediately take their departure. The face of the country in this locality differs exceedingly from that in any mining region in California. Here we have an immense growth of vegetation all over the soil, consisting of fir, cedar, live oak, and, in fact, embracing almost the entire entire catalog of the vegetable kingdom. Miners, accordingly, coming from California, at once pronounce it to be "no gold country," because it differs in appearance from what they have been accustomed to in other diggings. There has scarcely been a company out prospecting in the vicinity of these mines but what has met with satisfactory results, while others, possessing, in their imagination, an eyesight sufficiently powerful to penetrate the huge masses of the earth's surface, and determine the exact quantity of gold contained therein, either by wish or wisdom arrive at the very satisfactory conclusion to leave.
June 10th, 1857.
The discovery of these mines has brought together a mixed multitude of professions, such as miners, farmers, lawyers, doctors, merchants and in fact it has made a clean sweep of all classes in Southern Oregon, and in the organization of our mining laws, our deliberations more tedious and difficult. The miners contended for the organization of such laws as would be consistent with mining laws in other mines. The farmers, honest in their views, are still a little foggy in their appreciation of mining laws. The lawyers, who are ever legal and wise in view of the future, and possessing the ability to sustain an argument in deliberations of this character, maintained a strong influence. The doctors, who seemed somewhat interested in the formation of laws by which we were to be governed while miners, were yet a little inclined to deviate from other factions, and exerted what may have been termed a medical influence where and when it could be done safely. While the shrewd trader (or merchant, as he prefers to be called), familiarly coinciding with all classes, conflicting as they seemed to be, still managed the matter with that degree of financial ability which was intended to secure "a share of public patronage," according to the advertising terms or solicitations of merchants in general.
During this state of affairs, no laws could be made that would meet with the approbation of all classes; consequently, dispute after dispute arose between miners, there being no remedy in such cases save only miners' meetings. It was perplexing in the extreme to be summoned to attend from one to four miners' meetings in one day to settle disputes arising from defective laws. So the illustrious character, Mr. John E. Cake, alias Grogan Tyee, issued a decree for a grand camp meeting for the permanent settlement of all future difficulties. This novel notice, however, had a very good effect--it gave place to another notice, which called the miners together for the revisal of all laws and such amendments as a little experience had plainly dictated. Under the new organization we have progressed finely, and without the perplexity of miners' meetings.
The raining season has now fairly commenced, and thus far with satisfactory results. In many cases, where the river has been flumed, the quantity of "wash or pay dirt," as it is usually called by the miners, has fallen far short of the expectation of the parties interested, yet possessing some exceedingly rich deposits. The extent of these mines is not yet precisely known, but we are of the opinion that we shall have good diggings here for a few years to come--the opinion of California miners to the contrary notwithstanding. The miners in Clear Water diggings, some eight miles distant from here, are doing exceedingly well, not unfrequently finding small slugs weighing from one to four ounces, and a heavy quality of gold, much more so than what we find in Summer's Diggings. The miners here, and also those at Clear Water, labor under a great disadvantage by there being no agency established here for the purpose of buying gold dust. Messrs. Wells, Fargo & Co. have an agent at Port Orford, but we have heard nothing of his buying dust, yet should he be prepared to do so, it would be still inconvenient for the miners to travel to that place, a distance of eighteen or twenty miles, for the purpose of exchanging dust for coin, while they would exchange thousands of dollars here instead of going to Port Orford for the same purpose.
A small party of Indian women passed down the coast a few days since, creating no little excitement in the minds of the few whites now residing along that vicinity. Advices have been received from the Indian Reserve, stating that nearly all the Indians from Southern Oregon had left their station on the reserve, and that settlers occupying the former locality of these Indians must be on their guard. These are the same Indians that Col. Buchanan so thoroughly conquered (?) last year without a single engagement on his part, and with one exception some little skirmishes by small detachments of U.S. troops, under the command of other officers of subordinate rank, while the Col. claimed all the honor that by rights belonged to the Oregon mounted volunteers and a few of the regulars--especially those under command of Capt. Smith, who came near sacrificing his own life, with that of his whole command, at the Big Bend on Rogue River, during the late war. But by the assistance of another company of U.S. troops, the ropes which the Indians had suspended on the trees in the vicinity of the engagement were finally used as halters for horses instead of Capt. Smith and his command. What the result will be of the Indians returning to their former homes is hard to predict, but judging from the popular feelings of the citizens, we cannot guarantee to that unfortunate race a permanent safety. Still, should the Indians return peaceable and avoid all acts of a belligerent character, and no ways at all molest the whites in their various avocations, they may be permitted to drag out a miserable existence, until government makes provisions for them. FRANK.
San Francisco Bulletin, June 27, 1857, page 2
THE GOLD MINES IN SOUTHERN OREGON.
Through a gentleman of our acquaintance, who arrived here on Saturday last, we learn that the newly discovered gold mines on the Sixes River are being extensively worked, and with great success. Claims pay in many places as high as $100 and $150 per day to the hand, and as soon as their flumes are completed, it is thought that very rich diggings will be opened in the bed of the river. Miners are now engaged in prospecting on the Elk River, which is separated from the Sixes only by a dividing ridge, and thus far with promise of an abundant success. There is no doubt that the deposit of gold is as extensive in that region as it was formerly in our own placer diggings.
Tri-Weekly Commercial, Wilmington, Delaware, July 2, 1857, page 2
The Oregon Gold Mines.
CARSON'S CREEK, Calaveras Co., Cal.,Mr. EDITOR:--As I came through your village a few weeks since, I promised to send you an account of my trip to the "celebrated Oregon gold mines," but have neglected doing so, owing to my having been engaged in prospecting around this section of country, which, I hope, is a sufficient excuse.
August 24th, 1857.
As soon as I arrived in Stockton from Murphy's I placed myself in the "Western Hotel"; next day took the boat for San Francisco--arriving there, took the Columbia steamer for Oregon. Before I arrived at Crescent City, I found there were three families on the boat--two for Washington Territory, and the other for Althouse Creek.
As my funds were rather on the decline, I advised these parties to land at Crescent City, knowing that we could fit ourselves out at this place. We stayed over one day to recruit. The next day we prepared ourselves for the march to the mines--we started for Redwoods. The first river we came to was "Smith's," which we crossed. One and a half miles from the ferry we found a party putting in a water wheel, and on my return found that they had abandoned the claim as "no good." There were at this time fourteen persons in the party, and we had made up our minds to prospect from Smith's River. On our trip from the first wheel on this river, we came to where there had once been a store, and around that vicinity it had been thoroughly prospected. Two miles and a half from this old store there were a party of Frenchmen on the opposite bank prospecting and building their cabins. I passed several deserted miner's cabins on this side of the river. After leaving this place we came to the forks of Smith's River, which we had to cross again, and camped overnight; we had to pay $1 a meal, $1 for hay for our horse, $1 for barley and bad beef. We immediately started for "Sailor's Diggings." From here until I arrived at "Cold Springs," I cannot say that I saw any mineral land. From Cold Springs, according to my judgment, I advised, as we were all strangers to each other, that we should prospect from there; but they were anxious to reach Althouse Creek and Sailor's Diggings--both of which places have proven to be humbugs by my own labor; however, on Althouse Creek there are two claims, abreast of Mr. Cohen's trading post, belonging to the brothers Ireland, that are paying small wages. From here I went to "Sucker Creek," which is nine miles from Althouse Creek. This camp is now being rebuilt, having been burnt down a short time previously by the Indians. I made up my mind to go among the miners and find out how things stood. I found on the left fork of "Sucker Creek" that parties had flumed the stream, and were California miners; I therefore thought that I could place more dependence on their say; after cleaning up the length of eleven sluices, they took out the enormous sum of $18. They paid 12½ cents for lumber, $3 for a shovel, $2.50 for a pick, 75 cents for a pick handle, and $10 a week for board. The Oregonians take every advantage they can of the California miner; they give exaggerated accounts of every creek and stream. From "Sucker Creek" I went to "Happy Camp"; I found the miners there anything else but happy, and were leaving as fast as they could. From thence I made my way to "Rogue River"; the trail I took brought me to "Scott's Bar"; I found from the miners here that a party of Californians had gone up to the headwaters of Rogue River; from there I went to "Scott's River," and to "Illinois River," and landed opposite Deer Creek. On Deer Creek Flat parties had run a deep cut and struck a blue clay that will pay $4 per day if it can be pulverized. As that place did not pay them for working, they went to the right of the flat and opened a race through the middle of the flat.
The miners on Illinois River do not wash out oftener than once a month, as the gold is so very fine; they use both the patent riffles and false bottoms, and have their sluices set very steep. The valley from Deer Creek to the lower end of Illinois Valley has not been prospected; but, from there up to the head, it is thickly settled.
I will now state the most economical way of going to the mines from Crescent City. It has heretofore been a rule among California miners to hire animals from the livery stables in Crescent City to go to Althouse Creek, which will cost them $15 or $20. As all Oregonians are looking out for Californians, my advice is that as soon as they arrive, to form themselves into parties of three or four persons, and purchase an animal for about $40--buy their provisions and tools, and as soon as they strike Smith's River, commence prospecting from there to Sailor's Diggings. Before they strike Cold Springs they will find a gold-bearing country, more so than above, as the country above is more thickly timbered. From Cold Springs to Sailor's Diggings is a very mountainous couutry, and miners do not examine the gulches until they reach that place. They find also when they get there that it is all monopolized by the water company. Prospectors can have water from the company to prospect with, but when they find the claim pays, they deprive them of water, and consequently they are compelled to sacrifice their claims and tools, and the next thing is they are strapped and must hire out among the farmers for $30 or $40 a month. When we got back to Crescent City, the fare to San Francisco was $20 in the steerage. There were 20 passengers from Luck's Hotel and 10 from the What Cheer House; these passengers offered $10 apiece for their passage, and were refused. They had to go and work on the road for $50 a month, and were not sure of getting that sum. I have had to work Sundays as well as weekdays to enable me to make money sufficient to get back home.
From my own experience. I would advise no one to go to the Oregon gold mines. Californians going to Oregon know nothing about what difficulties they have to encounter. If they are bound to "Caldwell's Diggings," in Washington Territory, as soon as they strike Portland they go from there to the Dalles 150 miles distant; they must pay $5 to cross the river in a boat, and must furnish themselves with a pack and saddle animal. From thence they go to the Cascades, 350 miles, you pay $5 more for your privilege to cross the Cascades. From the Cascades to Caldwell's Diggings is 420 miles; 30 miles north of Caldwell's Diggings they have discovered some new mines, but the Indians are very troublesome.
I have written these few lines to deter others from taking the same foolish step that I did. I have paid for my experience, and hope that all who may think of going will take warning from me and stay at home.
Yours, respectfully, P.K.
San Andreas Independent, San Andreas, California, August 29, 1857, page 2
The miners in the interior are reported to be doing very well generally, and particularly on Althouse. There are said to be from three to four hundred miners on that stream, almost all of whom are meeting with decided success. Sucker Creek is reported to have a mining population of about four hundred, three-fourths of whom are Chinese. The other creeks in that vicinity, Canyon, Josephine and Illinois are, as usual, paying good wages.
"Crescent City," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 2, 1857, page 1
LETTER FROM LOWER OREGON--No. 2.
SIXES RIVER GOLD DIGGINGS--MOUNTAIN CLIMBING--GROUSE SHOOTING--THE NEWPORT COAL MINE AT COOS BAY, ETC.
Newport Coal Mine, Coos Bay,I closed my last letter, if my memory serves me right, in the midst of an Oregon forest, among the abundance of its fruits and its denizens. I stated in that that the messenger by whom I proposed to forward it to Port Orford was just leaving, therefore the cause of my abrupt ending. I go back then to the Sixes River gold diggings, to take up the thread of my former letter, and to give you some idea of mining &c. in Oregon. This mining locality is situated on the Sixes River, so called, and with the exception of the general features of the country round about, it reminded me of the river diggings in California in the ancient days of '49, '50 and '51. To judge, however, from the complaints of miners and others, with whom I conversed, I should say that the average earnings of individuals were light, but I am satisfied from my own observation, and from my experience (limited to be sure) in mining in California, years ago, that the miners there have not gone to work as they should in order to fairly develop the gold. The whole operations, at present, are confined to the riverbed, the water having been taken out by a flume connecting for a mile or more in extent and the claim pumped by means of undershot water wheels. The banks cannot be worked except after the 15th of October, according to a mining law of the place, and those who have claims there remain idle until that time. The extent of an individual claim is one hundred feet front on the river, running back two hundred feet. I submit, therefore, to old experienced miners in California, the question of how fairly digging can be developed when claims are so large as these, and consequently can be worked by but a few individuals. And I am of the opinion that five hundred California miners turned loose into this mountain cañon would rattle out the gold that now lies hidden in its bowels in a manner truly astonishing to those who are now working there under discouraging circumstances. I do not pretend to say that it is a locality for "big strikes," but I am confident the gold is there in a sufficient abundance to pay well, if industriously and properly sought after.
O.T., August 24, 1857.
The policy pursued by the first occupants of these mines has succeeded, as might well have been expected, in driving away very many who came here in the early opening of the excitement to take up and work claims. And I believe that that line of policy is peculiar to Oregonians.
The immense extent of the mining claims, to which I have already referred, placed the possession of the whole country, up and down the river, in the hands of a few individuals, who could not in one season, by any possibility, begin to develop the extent of its richness had they labored with might and main for every day, which, with a majority of those whom I have met, I should consider to be a moral impossibility. Consequently, very many were obliged to leave these selfish individuals, so like the "dog in the manger," to the full enjoyment of their possessions. And now these miners are, many of them, leaving, considering that their claims are worked out. In too many instances, the game of "poker" has worked them down financially to such an extent that the rich lead of the Alisons would not enable them to keep up a continuation of their mode of life in "these diggings." When and where they will find another clime more congenial to their tastes in life is a problem I am unable to solve.
But that there is a fine field here for systematic mining there cannot be a doubt in the mind of any man who has ever visited the mining regions of California. The hydraulic process will undoubtedly be introduced in another season, provided men of enterprise and experience are permitted to locate here, and then will gold digging in Southern Oregon be shown to be of the very first importance.
Four miles up the mountain! Did you ever go four miles up a mountain, with a heavy rifle on your shoulder, and all the etceteras? It is no doubt well calculated to develop the pectorals, but I cannot say I admire it.
But this mountain climbing has its charms as well as drawbacks, and it well behooves everyone to make the most of them. The scenery is grandly beautiful, and the lover of shooting need not weary of the road for a lack of game. The pinnated grouse inhabits these mountains in abundance, and, so far, I have done my part in smiting them hip and thigh, and regaling my inner man upon their savory properties. Our party has feasted upon grouse, elk and deer, since leaving Port Orford, until it has ceased to be a rarity.
Two days' ride through the forests and along the sea beach hath brought me to the spot of my present writing. And here, in these wilds, to see what American enterprise has developed, is well calculated to be a source of pride to every lover of the American character. The Newport coal mine, so called, is situated about six miles above Empire City, on Coos Bay, and is already in a stage of development that places the character of the coal, and the quantity that lies buried in these mountains, beyond doubt or question. The main drift of the mine is driven in already about four hundred feet, with large side drifts or chambers starting out on either side, at regular intervals, to enable the mine to be worked to advantage. The discoverers of this mine, Messrs. Rogers, Flanagan & Co., have built an immense house for a receptacle for the coal, capable of holding nearly 2,000 tons, at the mouth of the mine, and have also constructed a railroad, nearly a mile in length, to navigable water. The houses about the mine, the railway and other improvements, nestled down in this mountain gorge, with the lofty pines rising on either side up the steep declivities, give the whole scene an air of picturesqueness and beauty that one could scarcely expect to find in a new region like this. At present, coal mining is suspended here, owing to the depressed condition of the market in San Francisco. About a mile below this place is the coal claim of Messrs. Northrup & Simonds, where the proprietors are at present engaged in sinking a shaft in the expectation of striking a new deposit. Without doubt, in these mountains there is coal enough to supply the wants of the American Pacific Coast for ages to come. As I journey on, I shall, from time to time, let you hear of my meanderings, and the country by the wayside. Meantime, I am,
Yours, in the pine woods,Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 14, 1857, page 1
LETTER FROM SUCKER CREEK.
[FROM AN OCCASIONAL CORRESPONDENT.]
AN "OREGON MIST"--RIVER MINING AT AN END--HILL DIGGINGS--THE ELECTION.
SUCKER CREEK, O.T., Nov. 5th, 1857.For the last forty-eight hours, we have been enjoying the refreshing influences of a regular "Oregon mist." The streams have already risen enough to drive the miners from their beds, and by morning, should the rain continue, there will be lumber enough afloat here to construct a mammoth raft, for at the present moment many of the smaller flumes are bursting beneath their lead of water.
The miners in this vicinity have been doing as well during the past summer as ever before. The diggings formerly worked here were shallow, and consequently did not last long. When these shallow claims were worked over, it was generally presumed that the mines in this district were worked out, for no one suspected that the hills here would pay as in California. Through the persevering energy and industry of some of our pioneer miners, however, it has been shown that they will; and thus is opened now a new and extensive field, which bids fair to yield a rich harvest.
Never, until this season, has anything been found in the hills here that would encourage the enterprise of tunneling; but during the past summer, they have been thoroughly prospected, and found to contain enough hidden treasure sufficient to give a rich remuneration to the laborer.
There are several companies now doing well in the hills around here; among whom I might name Furnace & Waldron, Drake & Wilkins, Fallen & Co., Ball & Co., Wilson & Co. The last named made an average of over nine dollars per day to the hand last week.
North, Desmond & Co. took out a piece of gold last week which weighed 14¾ ounces; also about $250 in small gold. This claim adjoins that in which McDonald found the eighty-five-ounce chunk last winter. The claim of Dr. R. S. Barr is now paying an average of $12 to the hand. David Dagget took out over 18 ounces in his claim, week before last, and about the same last week--working four men.
There is but little interest manifested in the coming election by the mining class. They seem indifferent as to the result, though a great majority are favorable to the adoption of the free state clause, and will vote it, if, indeed, they vote at all. It still rains incessantly.
SIMON.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, November 22, 1857, page 1
We are indebted to Mr. J. K. Applegate, who arrived here this week from Josephine County, Southern Oregon, for many interesting items of news concerning that region of country, the publication of which we are obliged to defer until another time. Mr. A. informs us that the miners in the vicinity of Rogue River--what are of them--some 150 in number, are making better average wages than at any time heretofore. New diggings have been discovered on Galice Creek, about fifty miles westerly from Jacksonville, at which $6 per day is taken out with all ease.
Pioneer and Democrat, Olympia, Washington, November 27, 1857, page 3
CRESCENT CITY MINES.--All the mining companies at Sucker's Creek, Southern Oregon, are said to be realizing good wages. A larger return is expected this winter from these diggings than in any previous winter.
Sacramento Daily Union, December 7, 1857, page 3
The Extent of the Gold Region.Recent discoveries in Oregon and on our extreme eastern and southern borders show a most wonderful extent of gold-bearing lands on this "Pacific Slope." We have lands broad enough to keep in employment such a vast population as a visionary writer once predicted would be enumerated in "an independent Pacific Empire." Gold lies in every foot of mountain land from Northern Mexico to Southern Oregon, and the "whole, boundless" extent of it is ours. The vast waste of western bottom lands is no more a land of promise to the husbandman than is this almost interminable gold field to the hardy pioneer. In extent it is unparalleled, and in wealth inexhaustible. Banks may break and suspend, great mercantile communities may totter and be panic-stricken, but still, steadily, never failing, always proving the laborer worthy his hire will the gulches and hills and mountainsides of this great domain yield up the prime germ of a wide world's wealth, gold, gold in its native purity. Let the thousands of men and women on the Atlantic side, thrown out upon the world with nothing to do, by reason of the late calamities, turn their faces hitherward. Work will certainly bring bread and all the necessaries of life here, and work can surely be obtained. Energy and industry will here ensure thrift and comfort, for the mines never "suspend," never issue one cent that can be discounted, and always "pay."
While upon this subject, contemplating the alleviation of existing wants among our Eastern friends, the question arises, how are they to come here. When the last mail steamer left New York, there were hundreds standing upon the wharves entreating for chances to come; not as charity passengers, but as men and women forced to leave their homes, and expend their last dollars in leaving a land cursed with paper currency and banking systems, for a land of gold. How are these people to come? The steamships lack steam, and indeed are unfit to bring them, and moreover charge too exorbitantly to be a means of travel for such a stream of emigration. The plains are blockaded by the Mormons and the natural impediments of winter; the Nicaragua route is abandoned, and the long dreary voyage around the Horn, though the cheapest, is too formidable ever to become popular. We need that surplus eastern population to work our great fields of gold, and they sadly need opportunities to exercise their natural inclinations to useful industry. We repeat the question, hoping it may be seriously considered and wisely answered by the press and the people. How are these people to get here?
Oroville Daily Butte Record, December 11, 1857, page 2
MINING IN OREGON.--The Jacksonville Sentinel, of Jan. 9th, remarks of the mining prospects in its vicinity as follows:
"Mining operations have been about suspended by the cold weather for two or three weeks past. We think there are now in this county and Josephine as many miners as at any time since '52-3, and if they could have sufficient water the yield of gold would, no doubt, be as great as that of any former season. A few companies in this vicinity have water, and are doing remarkably well. It is to be hoped that we may soon have enough rain to give all our miners work."
Sacramento Daily Union, January 19, 1858, page 4
The Gold Mines of Southern Oregon.
Several years ago, considerable excitement was created here by the reported discoveries of gold upon the sea beach in some portions of Southern Oregon. Many believed that the surges of the Pacific broke upon golden sands in fact, as well as name, and the fabulous tales that were spread abroad tended to set a tide of adventurers toward that region that, for the time being, really eclipsed the tide of immigration that was then pouring into this state from the Atlantic border and from other countries. It is unnecessary to say more than that they went there; they found the sands of the coast rich in the precious dust, indeed, but its extreme fineness fairly baffled all their attempts to obtain it, and they soon returned to this city, or sought other mining districts. True, a few remained there, some of whom were content to earn small wages by their daily labor, and others, content to indulge the natural bent of their dispositions by giving themselves up to the abandon and recklessness of life in the forest wilds of Oregon.
From that period up to the present time, gold mining has been carried on in that section without any system, or without any great degree of industry, on the part of the majority of those who had been engaged there in that occupation. And yet it may be set down as a fixed fact, that the placer diggings of many portions of Southern Oregon are not one whit inferior to those of California as they existed here seven years ago. We make this assertion not from any speculative notions which we may possess, but from actual knowledge of the country, obtained by personal observation in traveling through it, and sojourning here and there upon several occasions.
The Indian troubles have, to a great degree, tended to prevent any extensive mining operations being carried on, but had it not been for the selfish and narrow-minded policy pursued by those who are there, the country would long ago have acquired a sufficiently large population of hardy, industrious miners to have kept these tribes in complete subjection. The Rogue River country, it is well known, is rich with gold, and a very large amount had been produced there, prior to the breaking out of the Indian war. The region of country through which this river runs is of precisely a similar character to that of one of our mining sections, and the bars, gulches and banks are quite as rich in gold deposits as those of any of our own rivers. And yet, at the present moment, there is little or no mining carried on upon this stream.
Passing on above Port Orford, we come to the river Sixes, upon which mining has been carried on only during the season just closed. A visit to this locality during the past summer, while the water in the river was at its lowest stage, and the miners were busy in working the bed of the stream, enables us to speak of it with a degree of certainty that might not be the case did we obtain our information solely upon hearsay.
The mining laws adopted here permitted each man to claim one hundred feet front on the river, from the middle of the stream to an indefinite distance back into the bowels of the mountains. The consequence was, but comparatively few persons were enabled to obtain claims upon which to work, and a majority of those being made up of men not particularly noted for energy or industry, the place was scarcely grubbed over, and although some large amounts of gold were taken out during the season, the whole of these mining operations were carried on in a way and manner illy calculated to develop the riches of that region. So far as our observation extended, the gold seemed to be distributed with more evenness than is usually the case in California, and it was apparent that better average wages could be made by men who would exhibit an ordinary amount of industry than was the case in the placer diggings of California. Whether the same policy will be kept up during the ensuing summer or not is more than we know, but one thing is patent, that if a few hundred experienced California miners were turned loose in among those mountain fastnesses, it would not be long before those mines would take equal rank with those of any part of this state.
Beach mining has never yet been carried on successfully, except in some few localities, and yet the sands of the coast from Gold Bluffs, below Rogue River, to Cape Arago, the southern head to the entrance of Coos Bay, are positively rich with the precious metal. The fineness of this dust has so far baffled the mechanical genius of everyone who has attempted to work the sands, and it awaits the marvelous powers of some great mind to develop the method by which it will yield itself up to man. That that time will come, no man can doubt who is aware of the extraordinary richness of these sands, and it may well be looked upon as an epoch in the golden history of his wonderful land, for it will then become a separate and distinct source of wealth, second to no branch of mining now carried on in this state.
But until the people of Southern Oregon display more industry and energy of character--until they shake off the habits that a frontier life has fixed upon them, little is to be expected in the way of a development of the mineral resources of that section of the Pacific coast.
A Cayuse horse, a long rifle, a supply of whiskey and tobacco make up the requirements of most Oregonians, and with these, turn one of them out into the innermost recesses of those grand old forests and he has found his Eden, and previous to the removal of the Indians to the Umpqua Reservation, most of them provided themselves with an Eve from the circle of tattooed forest maids. Thus they have acquired habits of life that have robbed them of their energy of character, and although they are kind, hospitable and brave, as the late Indian wars have proven, they are not the class of men required to make good miners, and to develop the resources of a country.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, January 25, 1858, page 1
DITCH ENTERPRISE IN OREGON.--From the Oregon Sentinel, of the 23rd ult., we learn that a mass meeting of the citizens of Rogue River Valley is to be held at Jacksonville, on the 6th inst., for the purpose of making an energetic move towards bringing the waters of Applegate to the Sterling and Jacksonville mines. The Sentinel thinks there is no other question of so great importance to the whole population of Jackson County as that of procuring a supply of water to miners throughout the year. It has long been well known that the mines near Jacksonville and Sterling are rich and extensive, but the absence of water has prevented their being worked except a short portion of the year. If the proposed enterprise succeeds, it will open a new era of prosperity for Jackson County.--Yreka Union.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, February 4, 1858, page 3
The Water Ditch.
We published the proceedings of a meeting of the citizens of Sterling two or three weeks since upon the subject of holding a MASS MEETING at this place today to devise ways and means to bring water to the Sterling and Jacksonville mines. This is an enterprise in the success of which all are interested. That it is practicable to bring the water into these mines all admit, but the cost of doing it is yet unknown. Jackson County, Southern Oregon, has only been settled about six years, during which time the people have been involved in two Indian wars, embracing at least one-third of the whole period of time since the white settlements commenced. Notwithstanding, the industrious population have zealously continued to improve their farms, erect comfortable buildings, and increase in wealth. Jackson is one of the first counties on the Pacific Slope in point of soil and capacity for agricultural pursuits, having within its limits inexhaustible gold mines which only require to be supplied with water to yield their millions annually, employing thousands of persons who would otherwise be driven to operate in other sections, and affording a market for all that the farmers can produce, and that, too, without expense of transportation. Then, is it not equally, if not more, [in] the interest of the farmers of Jackson County to enlist in the enterprise of supplying the mines with water, instead of leaving the matter alone for the miners and a few others who may feel disposed to lend their aid.
Let us inquire: suppose the effort to organize and raise capital to supply the mines with water at the present time fails, is it problematical the products of the farmer will command any price at all? We think not. Who is it that will consume your flour? Not the miner, for he cannot get water to work. Who, then, is to consume your surplus? You cannot send it to foreign markets to compete with those having easy and less expensive transportation. And suppose you do not produce a surplus, where is your money to come from with which to obtain the necessary articles for family use which are not and cannot be produced in this country. Located as we are in the finest and richest mining region in the world, it would be absurd to retard the progress of the country for another generation by allowing that "masterly inactivity," which has ruined less intelligent and enterprising communities than ours, to prevail here.
Turn out, assist, contribute, and keep doing, until the water is furnished to work all the mines, and our word for it, Jackson will be the most populous and wealthy county in the state of Oregon.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 6, 1858, page 2
THAT DITCH.--As was generally anticipated, that water ditch was not constructed on Saturday last. There was quite a number of farmers and miners in town, but no action was taken; considerable talking about the practicability of supplying the mines with water; some thought it would be much cheaper if it would rain and furnish the mines with water; others were of opinion that Butte Creek could be turned into the mines with less expense than Applegate; finally, nothing was done!
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 13, 1858, page 2
MINING IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--In the vicinity of Jacksonville, the miners are represented to be doing well. The water in that locality it was thought would hold out until June.
Sacramento Daily Union, March 16, 1858, page 3
MINING AT JACKSONVILLE (O.T.)--The Sentinel of March 27th gives the following particulars of mining in its vicinity:
"We learn that Robinson, Ward & Co. took out of their claim on Jackson Creek, on Thursday last, a chunk weighing six ounces and six dollars. This is the claim formerly worked by Kenyon & Co., now of the 'Metropolitan,' Yreka. The claims generally continue to pay very well. From Sterling, we hear that those who have water are doing as well as usual. Some of the parties there are reaping a rich harvest with their picks and shovels, and so long as the water lasts there can be no doubt of their success. We also learn that in the gulches on the right-hand side of the road leading from this place to Rogue River, where water can be obtained, large prospects are found, and in some of them the diggings bid fair to be much more extensive than was at first apprehended."
Sacramento Daily Union, April 13, 1858, page 1
THE CRESCENT CITY MINES.--The same paper [Crescent City Herald, April 21] says that the Bowlin and Sucker Creek gold mines are paying well. It adds:
"The average wages made by those at work there are ten dollars per day to the hand. This is in the banks, where nearly all the work is being done at present. North & Co. took out last week a piece weighing one hundred and sixty dollars. Bull & Ward have taken out of their claim in one day by their own labor as high as ten ounces. Numbers are prospecting in the vicinity of the well-known McDonald claim, and all striking good diggings."
San Francisco Bulletin, April 23, 1858, page 3
The mines on Jackson Creek still continue to yield a fair compensation to the industrious miner. During the past week we have conversed with several of the miners from Jackson Creek, and all say that their claims are paying well.
Sterling diggings, as usual, pay well when there is water, and the miners are busily engaged while the water lasts in washing out the "filthy lucre," and it is our wish that they be furnished with pockets full of the "stuff."
From all the mining districts there is good report. Jackass, Poormans Creek, Applegate, Evans Creek and particularly the diggings lately discovered west of the Willow Spring ranch.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 24, 1858, page 2
Rich Gold Discoveries in Southern Oregon!
The Crescent City Herald of the 28th of April has the following:
More Big Strikes--One-Thousand-Dollar Lump--Four Hundred Dollars per Day to the Hand!Alta California, San Francisco, May 3, 1858, page 1
We have always believed that the vast extent of mining country reaching from Illinois Valley to Rogue River, and embracing Althouse, Sucker, Cañon and other creeks was the richest mining region now on the Pacific, and every new account of them confirms our opinion. That a man can strike ten dollars a day there almost anywhere we little doubt, and that at any moment he may strike a fortune, our correspondence from there shows. We would call the special attention of those smitten with the Fraser River fever to the following:
Althouse Creek, April 20, 1858.Editor Herald: To keep up my correspondence with you, I inform you again of our best health and prosperity.
Bosarth, Chapman & Potter, a well-known mining company here, took out last week a nugget of gold weighing fifty-seven ounces and a half. The piece is considered one of the prettiest ones that have ever been taken out in California and Oregon. Besides the nugget, they took out eleven ounces, weighing in all sixty-eight ounces and a half ($1164.50), which I consider pretty good wages for three men per day.
Evans' hill claim is also paying from fifty to seventy-five dollars per day to the hand, and there are a good many other ones doing first rate.
Next Monday, the 26th April, there will be a meeting held to elect officers for our new Althouse Fire Company.
This is about all for today, next week more.
TREASURE FROM THE NORTH.--The steamer Pike, which arrived at Sacramento on May 7th, from Red Bluffs, Tehama County, brought down, says the Visitor, about 150 lbs. of gold dusts, of an aggregate value of $255,000. It is the product of the mines of Shasta, Trinity and other northern counties, and some of the Southern Oregon diggings. About 50 lbs. of the treasure were in the hands of passengers, and the balance was transmitted by Wells, Fargo & Co. This yield may be taken as an indication that the northern mines have not yet been entirely worked out.
San Francisco Bulletin, May 8, 1858, page 3
MORE BIG STRIKES--ONE-THOUSAND-DOLLAR LUMP--FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS PER DAY TO THE HAND--We have always believed that the vast extent of mining country reaching from Illinois Valley to Rogue River, and embracing Althouse, Sucker, Canon and other creeks was the richest mining region now on the Pacific, and every new account of them confirms our opinion. That a man can strike ten dollars a day there almost anywhere we little doubt, and that at any moment he may strike a fortune our correspondence from there shows. We would call the especial attention of those smitten with the Fraser River fever to the following:--Crescent City Herald.
Althouse Creek, April 20, 1858.Editor Herald: To keep up my correspondence with you, I inform you again of our best health and prosperity.
Bosarth, Chapman & Potter, a well-known mining company here, took out last week a nugget of gold weighing fifty-seven ounces and a half. The piece is considered one of the prettiest ones that have ever been taken out in California and Oregon. Besides the nugget, they took out eleven ounces, weighing in all sixty-eight ounces and a half ($1164.50) which we consider pretty good wages for three men per day.
Evans' hill claim is also paying from fifty to seventy-five dollars per day to the hand, and there are a good many other ones doing first rate.
Next Monday, the 26th April, there will be a meeting held to elect officers for our new Althouse Fire Company.
This is about all for today, next week more.
Yours, H.A.S.Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Honolulu, June 3, 1858, page 2
FROM THE NORTHERN COAST.THE FRASER FEVER.--The Fraser fever is still raging with the utmost intensity. Our town presents alternately an empty or crowded appearance as boats have just left, or are just due, to take away the numbers that flock in from the interior to take passage here. The saloons present a good deal of the appearance of "fifty" , being filled with miners playing billiards, cards, etc. Trinidad, we hear, has but six inhabitants left, and numbers are here from Humboldt, from which bay two vessels are reported to have sailed with passengers for the North. Late arrivals in town say that Kerbyville has "gone in," that Jacksonville has thinned off rapidly, and that miners are fast leaving the different creeks and diggings from here to the Klamath.
We add some further intelligence received by the Santa Cruz. We find the following in the Crescent City Herald, of July 14th:
FROM SUCKER CREEK.--There appears to be some diggings left on the creek fully equal to those that Tom told Dick he heard Harry took out on Fraser River. The hill diggings are those we speak of, and in one claim of those, on the 3rd instant, two men took out one hundred dollars.
MINING AT ALTHOUSE.--Mr. Ottenheimer showed us a small chunk he brought down lately which was taken out at Althouse Creek. It was nearly round, and almost entirely pure, and weighed fifty-eight and a half ounces. The man who took it out has taken out of his claim, in fourteen days, lately, twenty-eight hundred dollars, and he is going to Fraser. What's the use of talking? All parties on Althouse are doing well, making from eight to twenty dollars a day, which we would call very fair wages, but they are all going to Fraser.
Sacramento Daily Union, July 28, 1858, page 1
We heard yesterday that very rich gold prospects have been found on Wards Creek, a tributary of Rogue River, which empties into that stream on the north side, between Sardine and Evans creeks. The bed of the creek prospects from three to twenty-five cents to the pan, and it is thought the banks will pay well. There is a sluice head of water in the creek. Three or four hundred yards of the bed is already claimed, and it is said the stream will afford room for two or three hundred miners. One man says he can make $8 a day with a rocker.
"Jacksonville," Sacramento Daily Union, August 5, 1858, page 3
MINES NEAR JACKSONVILLE, O.T.--The Jacksonville Sentinel, of Dec. 4th, says:
"We are informed that a large number of miners have taken claims at Willow Springs, about six miles from town, and are preparing to work during the winter. These mines have been worked but little since 1852. The diggings are good, but water has been scarce for the past few years. The prospect for water is favorable this winter."
Sacramento Daily Union, December 13, 1858, page 2
From Southern Oregon.
The miners on Walker River have sent a petition to Indian superintendent Henley praying for the appointment of an Indian agent there. The Walker River country is in California, we believe, or at least a portion of it is.
The reports from the mines near Crescent City state that all the miners who have water are making large wages. Most of the parties there, however, are busy at present in preparing for winter. A good deal of building is going on, some eight or ten houses going up, and Uptonville will probably become a permanent place.
The last day's work in the Morgan claim yielded four men three hundred dollars.
The Herald notices the departure of a gentleman from that place for San Francisco, with one hundred and two pounds of gold dust from the Crescent City mines.
MORE RICH DIGGINGS.--The Crescent City Herald quotes from a letter published in the Jacksonville Sentinel, dated Canyonville, November 4th, by which it appears that very rich gold diggings have been discovered about twenty-five miles east of that place, north of the South Umpqua, on a small creek called by the miners "Coffee Creek." The writer says:
"Coffee Creek empties into the South Umpqua, about twenty miles above this place, and from its mouth up for a distance of about five or six miles gold is found along the edge of the water and in the crevices of the bedrock.
"There is no longer any doubt about the diggings being rich and extensive; the streams all head near the great quartz mountain, and the one now being prospected and worked is precisely similar to North Humbug, in Siskiyou County, Cal. Great preparations are being made; those having claims are building and preparing for winter.
"There is, at this time, about seventy-five miners, all told, and all agree to the fact of the diggings being rich and extensive."
Daily Republican, St. Louis, Missouri, December 23, 1858, page 2
THE GOLD MINES OF OREGON.
Canyonville, Nov. 4, 1858.You will no doubt have learned something of the rich gold diggings that have been recently discovered about 25 miles east of this place, north of the South Umpqua, on a small creek called by the miners "Coffee Creek." I will give you, as far as I know, a description of the mines. Coffee Creek empties into the South Umpqua, about twenty miles above this place, and from its mouth up for a distance of about five or six miles gold is found along the edge of the water and in the crevices of the bedrock. The first claim that has paid well is at the mouth of a small stream coming from the east. The claim is owned by Danforth, Cranmer & Co., and prospects from 10 cents to $1 to the pan, from two to four feet pay "dirt"; one large lump of gold has been taken out of this claim and weighs about $106. The second claim on the gulch or creek is owned by the Texas Company, and prospects from 10 cents to $1 to the pan, about five feet pay "dirt." Claim No. 3, owned by Mitchel & Brown, prospects about the same as Texas claim. Claim No. 4, owned by Hibbart & Co., prospects from ten cents to $2 to the pan; several specimens have been found in this claim, the largest weighing nine dollars. Claim No. 5, Russel & Co., prospects from 10 cents to $1 to the pan, and about four feet pay "dirt." The next claim above Russel's is Pierce's, and prospects about like those below. There is no longer any doubt about the diggings being rich and extensive; the streams all head near the great quartz mountain, and the one now being prospected and worked is precisely similar to North Humbug, in Siskiyou County, California. Great preparations are being made; those having claims are building and preparing for winter. There are, at this time, about seventy-five miners, all told, and all agree to the fact of the diggings being rich and extensive. This is no humbug, no Fraser excitement, no Indians to fight nor mountains to climb. Miners anywhere in Southern Oregon can test the matter in a week, at an expense of less than ten dollars. No steamboat monopoly, no town excitement, but the real, genuine gold itself, and only a continuation of the lead found at Yreka, Jacksonville and so on north. Supplies of all kinds are produced in the neighborhood, or are to be obtained at moderate prices. It is certainly an inducement to the miners to try the prospect. T.
Washington Union, Washington, D.C., January 1, 1859, page 2
MINING IN JACKSONVILLE, O.T.--Accounts of mining from this locality are very favorable. It will be recollected that Jacksonville is not far from the northern border of our state. The Sentinel, of a recent date, says:
On New Year's Day, Ord & Alcorn's company took out with a pan, in a few hours, $270, at the mouth of Missouri Gulch. One company took out, on Farmer's Flat, one day last week, over $300. Other companies are taking out good pay. Last week, Davis Evans took out, on the north side of Rogue River, a short distance below Bethel's Ferry, some very fine specimens, among which was one piece worth $110, and the others of smaller value.
Sacramento Daily Union, January 20, 1859, page 1
Mining News.The mines on Rogue River, Evans, Jackson, Jackass and Poor Man's creeks are paying well. At no former time has the prospect of obtaining gold been more flattering than at present. While it has been almost continuously raining in the valley it has been snowing on the hills and mountains, which will afford water for mining purposes till late in the season, and come on so regular from the melting of the snow as to afford the necessary water, and not stop work by having too much.
STERLING.--These mines, we are informed, are paying well. In fact, the news from all mining localities is good. It is to be hoped that the company who are concerned in the Sterling and Jacksonville Water Ditch may successfully complete their undertaking, which, when done, will afford work for thousands of hands and produce millions of gold annually. Every mile of the ditch from Sterling to Jackson is rich in gold, and only requires the water to work it out.
APPLEGATE.--Col. Keeler visited our office one day this week and informed us that the mines on Applegate were paying well, that at no former time has the prospect of washing out gold been so good as at the present. In many places where the Chinamen have ground sluiced the "dirt," they are panning out from $10 to $16 a day. The mines on Applegate are just beginning to pay well. Messrs. Keeler & Fowler, to whom the charters for water ditches were granted at the late session of the Legislative Assembly, have so far completed their ditches as to afford water to all the mining localities on Applegate which are now being worked below where they tap the river.
COFFEE CREEK AND CANYONVILLE DIGGINGS.--Our information from these diggings is good; some fifty men are at work on Coffee Creek, and making lots of the filthy lucre. These diggings bid fair to rival those of Jacksonville; they were only discovered late last fall and have, when worked, paid well. On account of the great quantity of snow in the mountains, prospecting has been confined to the low country, and but limited; yet we are almost certain that good and extensive diggings will be found in the spring. The Canyonville diggings pay regular and fine wages.
WILLOW SPRINGS MINES.--These diggings have been worked in 1852, and in many places paid well, but at no former time have they paid as they have done the present winter. It is truly astonishing to see the great amount of work that has been done at these diggings, for all of which the miners have received good pay.
SAILOR DIGGINGS.--Reports are flattering; in fact, many say that it reminds them of the days of '49 and '50 to go to Sailor Diggings. The town has improved to be almost a city; business good; everything lively, and has the appearance of goaheadativeness, all from the success of the honest and industrious miners; these diggings pay well.
ALTHOUSE AND SUCKER CREEKS continue to afford employment for a great many miners; in fact, as many if not more than at any former period, and all appear to be doing well.
GALICE CREEK AND FROM ROGUE RIVER.--Our information from these diggings is good; the miners are doing well, and will without doubt be able to continue to do well until late in the season.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 19, 1859, page 2
MINING NEWS.--From all our mining localities the news are flattering. The industrious miner has never had better opportunities than the present season to be richly rewarded for his labor. The supply of water and the prospect of its continuance warrants the belief that the mines will be more thoroughly worked than any former year since their discovery. The price of provisions, though comparatively high, are still more regular than heretofore. The severe winter which has made beef tough and poor is about passing off. When the roads become passable, the price of bacon will fall below 30 cents per lb., and butter will be obtained at fairer prices. Our country is still safe, unless winter shall continue three or four months longer.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 26, 1859, page 2
The reports from all mining districts are good. Recent news from Williams Creek places that among the very best of diggings. We are told that our old friend J. Layton is taking out about one ounce per day to the hand, and extensive preparations are being made to make this locality pay well. At this place, they have perhaps an advantage over all other gold diggings, that is they can get water at all times at comparatively small expense.
Sterling, as usual, continues to pay well, and those who have remained upon their claims will now reap their harvest, for the prospect of water is better than since the diggings were discovered.
Jackass Creek, Poor Mans Creek and Applegate still continue to pay well.
Willow Springs diggings are paying better than heretofore. In fact, these diggings, whenever water can be had, will pay better as a general thing than any in the country.
Evans Creek and Rogue River pay good wages.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, March 12, 1859, page 2
The Mining Region of Del Norte and Adjacent Country.
The Crescent City Herald considers that there is an immense mining region in Northern California and Southern Oregon which hitherto has been comparatively neglected, not being even explored or prospected. It makes some observations on the subject, which we give here for the benefit of the restless and speculative miner, who may wish to try fortune in the north:
"During the years 1851, 1852 and 1853, nearly every miner had a mania for prospecting. Parties were seen constantly traveling in every direction in search of new diggings. The entire coast ranges, from the Siskiyou Mountains to the waters of the Umpqua River, were traversed and partially prospected by these parties. It was the result of their perseverance that Jacksonville, Sterling and the numerous diggings throughout Jackson County were discovered, also those of Althouse Creek, Sucker Creek, Galice Creek and Sailor Diggings, as also the diggings at the mouth of Rogue River and at Randolph. These parties found gold to exist in nearly all the streams that empty along the coast between Klamath and Rogue rivers. There were, however, causes which rendered it impracticable for miners to work at many of those places. By a survey of the geography of this country, one will perceive at a glance that all those places of easy access in 1851 and 1852 were worked, and have to this day continued to pay well. All of those diggings alluded to, except those at the mouth of Rogue River and at Randolph, are contiguous to valleys which form a series of valleys connecting with those which extend southward from the mouth of the Columbia River, while the streams of Chetco and North Fork of Smith River, heading on the opposite side of the ridge from Illinois River, Josephine Cañon and Galice creeks have not been worked, although to the partial prospector they are not superior in richness, and may, when fully developed, prove superior.
"Gold was known to exist on the South Fork of Smith River as early as 1852, but provisions were scarce and high [and] the country was very mountainous, which made it very difficult to get to and fro, and the Indians were numerous and supposed to be hostile. But it is said 'where there is a will there is a way,' and so it has proved in this instance, for through the perseverance and energy of the enterprising men at Uptonville, those mines that have been lying in a dormant state so long are now being opened, and have proved not only rich in spots, but extensively rich.
"A party of prospectors, consisting of Bob Williams, Lawson and others, in 1852 found an excellent prospect on one of the head branches of the Chetco, but they also found the Indians numerous and warlike. The same year gold was also found on a stream on the opposite side of the ridge from the head of Cañon Creek, supposed to be the head branch of the North Fork of Smith River, but it was also abandoned for the same reason, that it was considered unsafe for a small party to work there. An excellent prospect was also found by Mr. Reynolds and Yank, about one and a half miles below the wagon road bridge on [the] North Fork of [the] same stream (Smith River). The gold was coarse, and there certainly must be more nearby. The causes that prevented the pioneer prospectors from working those mines are all removed--provisions are plenty and cheap, and the Indians are all gone.
"But it appears that the enterprising spirit which so distinguished the early California miner in prospecting and opening new mines is certainly not imitated by those that succeed them, and they it seems have relapsed into an opposite extreme, for very little prospecting has been done since 1853. Miners nowadays have too great a disposition to huddle together in great masses about the old mining localities, and almost every newcomer, instead of getting his own pick and pan and prospecting for himself, wants to work for wages. The consequences are the country is soon flooded with applicants for labor, and wages become low. The spring is now at hand, and we advise all those who have not got good mining claims to start out. We have evidence upon evidence that gold exists in all the branches of Smith River, Winchuck, Chetco and Pistol rivers, and that upon those streams thousands will get their labor well rewarded there can be no doubt."
San Francisco Bulletin, March 29, 1859, page 1
JACKSONVILLE, O.T.--Mining in this vicinity appears to be quite successful. The Sentinel, of March 12th, says:
The reports from all mining districts are good. Recent news from Williams' Creek places that among the very best of diggings. We are told that our old friend, J. Layton, is taking out about one ounce per day to the hand, and extensive preparations are being made to make this locality pay well.
Sterling, as usual, continues to pay well, and also Jackass Creek, Poor Man Creek and Applegate.
Willow Spring diggings are paying better than heretofore. In fact these diggings whenever water can be had will pay better as a general thing than any in the country.
Evans Creek and Rogue River pay good wages.
Sacramento Daily Union, March 31, 1859, page 2
JACKSONVILLE, OREGON.--In the Sentinel, of March 26th, we notice the annexed mining intelligence:
The miners generally on all the streams in this vicinity have finished sluicing and are busily engaged in washing out the gold. The results, as far as we are informed, are most satisfactory--exceeding their expectations. On Jackson Creek the miners, with few exceptions, have finished sluicing and are busily engaged cleaning up and are realizing large amounts of he dust.
We received yesterday evening a rich specimen of quartz rock, taken out of the mining claim of Davis Evans, on Rogue River. Specks of gold are visible all over the surface, with an occasional lump of twenty-five or fifty cents in value.
Sacramento Daily Union, April 8, 1859, page 4
DOUGLAS COUNTY GOLD MINES.--The Portland Advocate describes a sample of gold from the Douglas County mines. It was unusually coarse, and said to be worth $13 an ounce. A correspondent of the Sentinel (Jacksonville, South Oregon?) writing from Coffee Creek, Douglas County, says of these diggings:
"Gold prospects are good. We picked up a fourteen-dollar slug the other day. They are ground sluicing in Danforth & Co.'s claims; they pay rich, yielding not less than fifty dollars a day to the hand. They are making preparations to work the main creek, and all think it will pay well. There is another town starting about one and a half miles below Eureka. The new town is to be called Greenville. Things are flourishing in these parts. There are about thirty miners' cabins on the creek, and several more going up.
San Francisco Bulletin, April 18, 1859, page 1
JACKSONVILLE, OREGON.--We notice the following in the Sentinel, of June 18th:
The miners in the different mining localities where water is to be obtained are doing well. Thomas, Gregory & Co. are and have been for a long time making good wages, say from eight to ten dollars per day to the hand. Their claims are on the flat adjoining the town. The Sterling, Applegate, Williams Creek and Willow Springs diggings continue to pay good wages.
Sacramento Daily Union, June 29, 1859, page 2
But the most important mining news is from the new Williams Creek diggings. They are about twenty miles this side of Jacksonville, and consist of a large extent of flats and gulches, three or four miles in length, and reported to be similar to Yreka flats. The country, however, like that in the neighborhood of Coloma, contains a good deal of granite. These diggings are without water, but a ditch is in progress of construction, eight miles in length, which will bring in the waters of Williams Creek, which is capable of affording an ample supply. The diggings are mostly surface, and are said to pay even better than they prospect, which is saying a good deal. Parties who remained there last winter working what little water they could get from the gulches are reported to have averaged an ounce per day to the man. The ditch is expected to be completed in two or three weeks, when we shall soon know how the mines will turn out. If they do half as well as they are expected there will be a great rush there, and a large mining town will arise. Quite a town is springing up already, called Williamsburg, some twenty buildings being either finished or in process of erection; in fact, building is going on as fast as lumber can be obtained. This place is about three miles from the direct stage road to Jacksonville, with a good natural road to it.--Crescent City Herald.
Alta California, San Francisco, July 24, 1859, page 1
THE CRESCENT CITY MINES.--The Crescent City Herald, of July 20th, says of the mines in the neighborhood, in Southern Oregon:
The accounts from Althouse are very encouraging. The entire creek is paying well, and the lower end of it below Brownstown particularly so. W. Evans is working eight men in his hill claim, and averaging half an ounce per day to the man. At Hydraulic Bar, Been, McCullough & Co. are averaging $7. At Democratic Gulch they are sinking shafts and opening new tunnels with rich prospects. The lower creek is being drained this season where it has never been worked before, and the prospects are universally rich. Among the best claims there, we hear those of Kearny & Co. and John Mahoney & Co. mentioned. There are from 800 to 400 white men and 100 Chinamen on the creek. Sucker Creek is also reported as paying well, but there are but few white men at work--say 40--and about 150 Celestials.
But the most important mining news is from the new Williams Creek diggings. They are about twenty miles this side of Jacksonville, and consist of a large extent of flats and gulches three or four miles in length, and reported to be similar to the Yreka flats. The country, however, like that in the neighborhood of Coloma, contains a good deal of granite. These diggings are without water, but a ditch is in progress of construction eight miles in length, which will bring in the water of Williams Creek, which is capable of affording an ample supply. The diggings are mostly surface, and are said to pay even better than they prospect, which is saying a good deal. Parties who remained there last winter working what little water they could get from the gulches are reported to have averaged an ounce per day to the man. The ditch is expected to be completed in two or three weeks, when we shall soon know how the mines will turn out. If they do half as well as they are expected, there will be a great rush there, and a large mining town will arise. Quite a town is springing up already, called Williamsburg, some twenty buildings being either finished or in process of erection; in fact, building is going on as fast as lumber can be obtained. This place is about three miles from the direct stage road to Jacksonville, with a good natural road to it. From all we can gather, this place bids fair to be an important one. Merchants from Crescent City and Jacksonville are already taking stocks there with the expectation of a large trade. The diggings are very extensive, affording ample room for thousands.
Sacramento Daily Union, July 27, 1859, page 1
MINING IN JACKSONVILLE, OREGON.--The Sentinel, of Sept. 3rd, says:
Many of the mining claims that are now worked pay from $8 to $20 per day to the hand, and we heard of one man who washed one pan of "dirt" yielding $14, and that a Spaniard owned a claim on the gulch immediately below Layton's claim that prospected one dollar to the pan. There is no longer a question of doubt about the Williamsburg diggings.
Sacramento Daily Union, September 14, 1859, page 4
GOLD FROM SOUTHERN OREGON.--Mr. R. H. Smith, late postmaster at Port Orford, yesterday exhibited to us, says the S.F. Times, a box of beautiful gold specimens and other curiosities from Southern Oregon, consisting of vials of gold from Pistol River, a small stream discharging into the ocean nine miles below Rogue River, and numerous specimens from Rogue River, Lobster Creek, Galice Creek, Port Orford beach, Randolph Creek, Sixes River, Coquille (seventy miles above its mouth), a variety of rubies found on the above beach, and also some beautiful specimens of platinum. These illustrate the quality of gold found in that part of the country, and are valuable for that reason--the Port Orford gold seldom finding its way here. There are also some fine specimens of amalgam from Cape Blanco, one of the most westerly places in the United States. Some of this assays at the rate of $13.40 the ounce.
Weekly California Express, Marysville, California, October 29, 1859, page 1
FROM SOUTHERN OREGON.--We find the annexed intelligence in the Jacksonville Sentinel, of October 15th:
We were shown at Maury & Davis' the other day several very rich specimens of quartz gold taken from the diggings at Williams' Creek. Some of this gold has assayed as high as 947 thousands--being far richer than the gold found in California, save in rare localities. The pieces were taken out by Mexicans. There were besides a few specimens of placer gold, of exceeding richness, and of most curious forms, the product of the diggings near town.
Weekly California Express, Marysville, California, October 29, 1859, page 3
Southern Oregon as a Mining Country.
A correspondent of the Echo du Pacifique, writing from Jacksonville, Southern Oregon, gives some interesting information, which we translate as follows:
"When the Fraser River excitement arose, we all hoped here that there would be a great increase in the population of Oregon, and that we should finally see our mines developed--mines which, as compared with those of California, are scarcely prospected. Our hopes proved delusive; a multitude of miners passed through here, but they cast a disdainful look on our mines, and went back to the diggings which they had abandoned for Fraser. To tell the truth, our mines do not offer any grand prizes; it is probably more easy to find here than in California a claim paying two or three dollars per day--but there are few spots where great fortunes can be made, and two or three dollars per day was a small consolation to the extravagant wants of those who went to Fraser. Nevertheless, some stopped, and among them a number of Frenchmen. More than thirty French miners were present several days ago at a burial of a compatriot.
"The miners are making little now at Jacksonville and vicinity for the want of water, which will not come for several months yet. Meantime the miners are preparing their flumes and cutting away the trees and brush which would be in the way of the sluices.
"There is an excitement just now about Williams Creek, where a town has been laid out and styled Williamsburg. The ditch company has made a reservoir, and thus doubled its supply of water, and the miners are doing very well. Next winter it will be the most lively place in Southern Oregon, but its prosperity will probably be brief, for it is said that the gold is found only in shallow gulches or small flats.
"New diggings have been found on Applegate Creek, thirty or thirty-five miles from here, and some Germans are doing well there.
"Little is to be said of our agriculture. The harvest has been a poor one, owing to the coldness of last spring. The wheat crop is poorer than in 1858, but it bears a double price now. Potatoes, cabbage, onions etc. are worth six cents a pound, and we look forward to the winter not without anxiety. The time has passed when Oregon sent the surplus of her grain and vegetables to California, and now we should be glad to receive some supplies from the South."
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, October 31, 1859, page 1
Personal Experience in Quartz Mining.
The Jacksonville (S.O.) Sentinel, commenting upon a recent quartz mania that appears to have broken out about Yreka, supplies the following result of personal experience to the common stock of information on quartz mining in the state. It may be found useful to dabblers in quartz elsewhere:
"We have bought some experience in quartz, and paid rather liberally for it too. But it was when this species of mining was in its infancy in California, and wiser and more scientific heads than ours showed conclusively in theory that to engage in it was but another name for coining money, where the precious metal was furnished free of cost. Stern, uncompromising practice, however, developed that the coining operation was simply reversed. It was no more than furnishing to others the money already coined without any other return than that costliest of all human lessons--experience. Since then we have paid more attention to quartz and its queer freaks, and as attention was about all we could pay, we received at least the benefit of better knowledge of everything pertaining to it as compensation for the time bestowed. Therefore, we now profess to know something about our subject, and without going into a lengthy dissertation, will give the result of experience upon a leading characteristic of gold quartz.
"An almost infallible rule to be observed in quartz veins is to quickly abandon those leads which 'crop out' most abundantly, as the gold is rarely, if ever, found to reach much below the surface earth in them. It is not the richest veins which reveal to the eye the most gold and a continuous yield of the shining metal. The most lucrative quartz mines in California are those which prospected poorly at first, and in which 'the color' was not visible to the eye in any of the surface rock. To test the quartz fairly it is necessary to get out tons of it first, and then submit pieces taken here and there along the depth of the shaft to skillful assay. If the gold is found more plentiful with increasing depth, there is little risk in going to the expense of adequate machinery to work the mine. But if the yield diminishes from the top until a few feet down, that vein will only result profitably by doing with it as Brigham Young did with the troops--letting it 'severely alone.' Those who chance to own a good-paying vein, and are too pinched in circumstances to afford the outlay for a steam engine, etc., can manage very well with the ordinary Mexican arrastra until their earnings enable them to purchase more costly and powerful machinery, provided their claim promises sufficiently exhaustless to warrant such application and expenditure. But it is quite invariably a suicidal and ruinous enterprise to become involved in a debt for these appliances at the outset, with nothing more substantial than a 'good sight' to provide for after payment
"We offer these remarks at this time because recently there has been a good deal of gold-bearing quartz picked up about our own county, and some in Josephine (Southern Oregon), and already parties are out prospecting for leads. The specimens exhibited are of what we might call a healthy richness; that is, they are not profuse with great flakes and veins of gold, but rather indicate that the best is yet to come from far below. Where these are found there are undoubtedly extensive leads of surpassing and exhaustless yield, nor can they long remain undiscovered, with the energetic efforts that are being daily made to find them. From what we have seen of the region, we are profoundly convinced that there is an abundance of handsomely paying gold quartz to be found in it, and this is sufficiently evident from the discoveries recently made."
San Francisco Bulletin, November 3, 1859, page 1
Mining in Southern Oregon.
From the Jacksonville Sentinel of 19th November, we take the following notices of the condition of gold mining in Southern Oregon:
The miners having claims on Jackson, Poor Man's and other creeks adjacent are already industriously preparing for the winter's toil, when water shall be supplied them. Very little can be done before the latter part of next month, but from that time until early or midsummer, a handsome yield will doubtless be obtained.
Upon Applegate, the miners are steadily employed, and make good average wages. The ditches of Fowler & Keeler were somewhat augmented by the recent rains, and continue to afford a fair supply of water. There is plenty room there for newcomers.
At Williamsburg there is no cessation of labor, nor any decrease of the good wages realized. Each of the companies engaged there are getting on handsomely, and when the new ditch is better supplied a very considerable increase of both labor and pay will be had. Maury & Davis will quickly commence the construction of a reservoir at the lower diggings, which will enable the miners in that vicinity to work steadily at their claims hereafter. A company are engaged in making a ditch leading from a small stream in the hills opposite the placers at Williamsburg to some newly prospected diggings across from Williams Creek, which, it is thought, will pay.
At Whiskey Creek there are about 60 men employed, all doing handsomely. It is conjectured that the claims already taken will not be worked out before three years, and there is still an extensive tract open to occupation. Maury & Davis' ditch will yield a fair supply to these good diggings during the coming years.
It is estimated that in and about Williamsburg, within an area of four to five miles, there are now full 500 men employed. With increased facilities afforded by a supply of water, full as many thousands can find lucrative reward for their labor.
Rich prospects have been struck in the hills back of Wells' mills, about thirty miles from Jacksonville. The gulch is some fifteen miles in length, and gold has been found all the way along it, as well as in several of the lateral gulches terminating in the main one.
In short, from every locality there comes promise of a successful season, and there is every reason to believe that the yield of the mines will greatly exceed that of any former year.
From a gentleman who recently came from Hardy Elliff's at Galesburg, we learn that new gold diggings have been recently discovered about six miles from there, in one of the mountain ravines. The diggings were, of course, but indifferently prospected, yet as high as $7.50 had been taken to the pan, while again scarcely the "color" was obtainable. The belief was that the new placers would yield an average of from $6 to $8 per day. One person had already disposed of a claim for $200 cash. There were some 20 to 30 miners employed. Quite a number of neighboring residents, fully provided with mining implements, were on their way to the new diggings.
San Francisco Bulletin, December 3, 1859, page 1
THE MINES IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--During the week we have strolled a long way up Jackson Creek to visit the miners engaged along it, and to ascertain how they were progressing. The rains have been too infrequent and light to furnish anything like a fair amount of water, yet enough is afforded to enable a few hours sluicing and washing every day. There are a goodly number to work, when ample water will be had. Occasionally even nowadays a good strike is made, which pays handsomely for their weary toil. At one claim we visited, the owners had washed out $60 to one pan of dirt, and other washings paid richly. Of course this is an extraordinary yield, but the average is very remunerative, and the diggings generally promise more than good wages.--Jacksonville Sentinel.
Alta California, San Francisco, December 17, 1859, page 1
MINING IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--Recently, new and extensive placers have been discovered in the vicinity of Gasburg (Southern Oregon) which prospect quite equal to the richest gold mines in the country. The whole neighborhood is thrown into considerable excitement with the good news of these discoveries, and already an unusual number of persons from more remote localities has gathered there, to engage in mining operations. The rush has been so great, and the prospects so flattering, that the whole stock of mining implements [that] was in the hands of the Gasburg merchants was bought up by the eager operators, and a heavy additional draft was made upon houses in Jacksonville.
The existence of gold placers about Gasburg has been known for the past two or three years, but they were not deemed sufficiently extensive to warrant the outlay of the amount of capital to bring in the necessary supply of water to successfully work them. The recent developments have entirely dissipated this belief, and already enough to known to assure parties, willing and ready to engage in such an enterprise, that the construction of a good ditch will prove a lucrative investment. Hitherto, we learn, that there were difficulties which prevented the building of a ditch. Farmers and mill owners in that section, whose lands and whose mills are supplied from Applegate Creek [Anderson Creek?], and who possess prior right to the water, feared that diversion of the stream by the miners would almost entirely exclude them from the benefit of it, and therefore interposed objection. But it is now satisfactorily ascertained that besides the quantity needed for both of these classes of citizens, enough and plenty can be furnished to facilitate mining operations, and consequently objections formerly maintained have been withdrawn. Steps are being taken to bring in a ditch of suitable capacity. Should this be true, and the work fairly prosecuted, these mines can be readily worked almost throughout every month in the year.--Jacksonville Sentinel.
San Francisco Bulletin, December 17, 1859, page 1
NEW DIGGINGS IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--Rich and apparently extensive diggings have been discovered on a stream called Galls Creek, in the vicinity of Jacksonville. The editor of the Sentinel has been shown five dollars' worth of dust which had been taken from two pans of dirt. Many other claims prospected equally as well.
Sacramento Daily Union, December 29, 1859, page 2
MINING IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--From the Jacksonville Sentinel of 17th December, and the Roseburg Express of the 15th (both of Southern Oregon), we learn that the miners in their respective districts are doing pretty well. Continued dry weather was a serious drawback to the placer mines about Williamsburg. At Gasburg about fifty men were working, who averaged good wages. At Coffee Creek the mines had been well prospected during the winter, and were discovered to be more extensive and much richer than was at first supposed. At Gall's Creek, several claims had yielded the best prospects said to be seen in Oregon. The stream is as large as Jackson Creek.
San Francisco Bulletin, December 30, 1859 supplement, page 2
From the South.
JACKSONVILLE, Jan. 5th, 1860.ED. ARGUS: As I have been a careful and constant reader of the Argus for several months past, and seeing no correspondence from the "Sunny South," I take upon myself the responsibility of dropping a few items of truth and note, which are fully worth the perusal of your many readers.
The most glaring thing that presents itself to my notice is the rich discoveries of quartz mines in this vicinity within the last three months, which are, no doubt, the richest quartz specimens ever discovered on the coast, and I might with truth say the most surprisingly and extensively rich ever discovered on the globe. Of these discoveries, I will mention first one on the left-hand fork of Jackson Creek, near Farmer's Flat, which was discovered by Chas. Hicks, near two months since, and has proven so far as worked to be vastly rich. Said Hicks has taken out about $3,000 by the slow process of a hand mortar, since he made the first discovery, and is now going down on the lead. He finds it to be good-paying quartz as he gets down, but not so good as it was on the surface.
There is an excitement in our midst at this time of a great quartz discovery on Rogue River, near a place known as Big Bar, one mile above Col. T'Vault's farm, the news of which spreads like fire to dry grass. Every man who could possibly leave his business has gone to see and get few specimens. Today the news came into town that they had found it much richer than ever.
By the way, I will say that I have been down on a prospecting tour in that vicinity, and just returned yesterday. I was in company with four brother miners. We visited the above-mentioned quartz lead, and found it to be fully as good as represented, and one of the most singular places ever discovered since man came into existence. It is situated near the summit of a very
high mountain, which runs up similar in shape to a poorly put-up haycock. They find a good many pieces of quartz, promiscuously scattered along the side of a small gulch, which are exceedingly rich. They dig the surface of the earth to the depth of from two to four feet and find loose quartz in abundance, which is extensively impregnated with gold. I saw them take out on last Thursday two pieces, one weighing 40 pounds and the other 30. Those who took them out valued the two at $2,000. I examined them closely and put them at the lowest notch which I thought was $1,500. There are several more concerned as owners in the lead--one an emigrant, who luckily got a share by discovery, sold out yesterday to Col. Ross for $5,000. He owned a fifth interest. I took my pick and shovel and delved into the hillside as if I were going to make my "pile" in a short time, but the others had staked off their claims a little too large, though I found $6 to $7 in small specimens. There is a town growing up very rapidly at the foot of the hill. One tavern, two groceries, and one store now up and doing a good business. The town will go by the name of Gold Hill. [The writer is either misinformed or this is a different town than today's Gold Hill, which is on the other side of the Rogue River than the hill it's named after.] Three coaches run from Jacksonville here every day. The above statement is as near the truth as I can gather from observation.
There has been but very little rain and snow here this winter. The miners who own placer mines are hard up for "grub money." Merchants looking very straight down their noses. Farmers plowing and sowing their grain all winter. The weather is airy, warm and pleasant--politics, dormant.
Bowen, who killed a Chinaman, is to be hung on the 10th inst., unless reprieved.
There is a great deal of bad whiskey in this part of the country, and I am sure most of it is being drunk. Old T. thinks more, for a man of his age, than anyone I ever saw. There is no doubt but that the whiskey that is drunk in this country during one winter would, if properly conducted in a water ditch, make a good ground sluice-head for a considerable length of time.
As I am a hard-laboring miner, and am not versed in letter writing, I will close. You can use this as you think proper.
A MINER.Oregon Argus, Oregon City, February 18, 1860, page 2
LETTER FROM SOUTHERN OREGON.
The New Gold Discoveries.
Jacksonville, Southern Oregon,
February 14, 1860.Our usually quiet community was recently thrown on its beam ends by a tremendous quartz furore; mortars and pestles discourse discordant, but yet sweet, financial considered, music from early morn till 10 o'clock at night, prospecting quartz and washing specimens.
The Quartz Era.Some five weeks ago, Mr. Charles Hicks, while prospecting at the head of Posey Gulch, on the south fork of Jackson Creek, some two miles back of town, found a quartz lead which prospected very well, and, by the way, the fact may be noted that then and there dawned the quartz era in Southern Oregon.
Mr. Hicks' prospect induced him to pitch into the lead with commendable energy, followed by magical results, thick and fraught to the last degree with the lever that rotates and agitates the human family, niggers included--glittering gold. Hicks brought down some specimens, and exhibited them to the boys, when the excitement became somewhat intense, and the lead being nearby, the entire town turned out to have a sight. Charles did the honors, much to the credit of the Cherokee Nation, of which he is a member, from one of the first families. It is estimated that he paid out some $500 worth of specimens, on application to his bank of quartz. One of Charley's friends wished to take the pick and dig some in the vein; C. told him to go in; he did so, and at every stroke of the pick he would unearth and increase the metallic currency of the world at the modest rate of $500; when, much excited, he called to the crowd, "No use for the mint, boys; here it is with the eagles already on 'em."
Hicks has already hammered out several thousand dollars with a mortar and pestle. His brother, a partner in the claim, sold out his interest for $5,00 a few days after finding it. The company is now Hicks & Taylor, who own 100 yards on the lead. They have put up an arrastra, and so soon as they get a face on the lead will test its richness and extent before sending for machinery. The effect of this discovery has been electric. Every quartz lead on Hicks' Mountain, whether positive or negative, was staked off. Hicks' lead was traced out some distance, and prospected well. Ten miles south of here, a lead has been found that will pay fifteen cents to the pound; another, twenty miles south, at Williamsburg, that will pay over twenty cents; also, one at the Willow Springs, six miles north of town, said to prospect thirty cents; and still another, at Blackwell Diggings, two miles further north, called the Moran lead, which is very rich, prospecting in the flat where it crops out one dollar to the pound; the two latter claims are supposed to be on the Hicks lead.
More Quartz.One discovery leads to another; developments thicken around us. Quartz has seized the entire public, no time to study politics, or even to read the President's Message. In passing notes, and on reflection, since the Hicks discovery, several men have recollected picking up pieces of quartz with gold in them plain to be seen while riding over the hills and mountains. Among the number was Jimmy Hay, who, while hunting cattle some time ago, on a mountain two miles below old Fort Lane, on Rogue River, dismounted from his mule to fix his saddle, when, by the merest chance he picked up a piece of quartz, mounted his mule and started, whistling, down the mountain after the cattle; on looking at the piece of quartz he found, to his surprise, it contained gold, visible to the eye, almost in the dark. But, strange to say, he went on, never thinking, perhaps, of a quartz lead. But since the Hicks discovery, Mr. Hay, Mr. George Ish and the Emigrant started out to find the place; after hunting some three days, they found the gulch on the east side of the mountain next [to] the river, with fragments of quartz scattered along on the surface, which they followed up the mountain, occasionally picking up a specimen, until they arrived nearly at the summit, where the lead crops out; here they dug up a few quartz boulders, broke them up, and then sat down amazed, ready to believe the hard yarns of Munchausen, or the fictions of Arabia. That evening, Jan. 13th, Jimmy Hay and Mr. Geo. Ish came to town, informed two of their discovery, then went to the Clerk's office and recorded five claims--three hundred yards on the lead; they then reported to the public their discovery of a mountain of gold, with a little quartz mixed with it, and proceeded to show specimens to substantiate the report.
On the Rush.In the autumn of 1848, being on the wing for St. Louis, when, as will happen in the voyage of life, we had to wait for the boat--not the wagon--at Hannibal, a pork and tobacco depot on the Mississippi River, in a corner of the state of Missouri. Now, most everybody knows how nervous people suffer while waiting for a boat--we suffered ourselves to make a tour of the Whole Hog Exchange while puffing rolled samples from the tobacco marts, merely to kill time; we soon voted the boat slow; we adjourned to the hotel for a consultation with spirits concerning the health of the boat's boilers, etc. We found a crowd--heard a buzz--somebody said gold, and we, of course, being mortal, became interested. Then we heard California--rich gold mines, and so on--and became excited--we concluded to mix with that crowd; saw some specimens; forgot the boat, she was too slow. We have been mixing with similar crowds ever since. That evening we commenced rushing westward for California--rushed to Gold Lake, Gold Bluff, Gold Beach, Australia, Peru, Colville, Fraser River, etc., but the most simultaneous get-up-and-bundle-out-to-diggings we ever saw was the rush to Gold Hill the other day. At midnight every stable in town was empty; everything that had wheels had a full freight. Saturday morning, Jan. 14th, Gold Hill looked like an overgrown camp meeting; horses were hitched to trees all round the glittering garden of gold. Like turkeys picking up corn did they pick up rocks loaded with gold.
Gold Hillis a very respectable mountain, sitting off by itself to the northwards of the Blackwell Hills, to which it is related by a low divide; Rogue River, from the east, strikes this divide, makes a bend to the north of Gold Hill, washing three-fourths of its base. The Blackwell Hills are an isolated bunch, left by accident, in the middle of Rogue River Valley. The lead, running nearly north and south, splits these hills, striking the golden peak about three hundred yards east of the summit; here it crops out, and in the course of ages debris quartz rolled down the hill in a gulch at [a] right angle from the ledge; here the crowd picked up about $5,000 worth of specimens, the result of the first day's work. Next day, Sunday, the census of the county could have been taken without much trouble, as everybody was at Gold Hill; the result was about the same; the surface dirt was dug up somewhat like a potato patch just harvested, and boulders of quartz found containing from $10 to $142 each of virgin ore. The crowd have been working on the public potato patch ever since, but specimens are growing scarce.
But the Leadfrom the way it opens is said to be the richest one in the world. Where it cropped out, the company have picked up about three tons of quartz that will average $10 per pound. Two of the discoverers, Jimmy Hay, and the Emigrants sold out within a week after finding it. Jimmy got $4,000 for his interest; the other got $5,000. This company now consists of Mr. Geo. Ish, Thomas Cavanaugh, Jack Long, John Ross & Co., one-fifth, and McLaughlin, Williams & Co. one -fifth. The company have organized, electing Mr. John Ross president, Mr. Geo. Ish secretary and Messrs. Maury & Davis, merchants of this place, treasurers. They have put up an arrastra, and next week will be grinding out gold. Quite a number of claims have been recorded on this, the Ish Lead, but it will take some time to uncover and trace them out.
There is now no doubt of the immense value of our quartz resources, but it will take a year or two to develop them. A gentleman explains the richness of the Ish lead thus: That this country is out of the range of volcanoes, earthquakes, lightning, subterranean fires &c., and hence not burned up so much as California and other portions of the world; so that the gold in the Ish Lead quartz had been permitted to grow free from heat ever since the world was made. He may be right. From the discoveries being made from day to day, there will probably be a heavy demand on your city for quartz machinery this summer.
Washington Monument.Mr. R. F. Maury, of this place, has forwarded to your city lapidaries a quartz specimen from the Ish Lead, Gold Hill, to be cut and lettered with the words: "Jackson Company [sic], Oregon," on the face of it, which is to be sent to the Washington Monument Association. [If created at all, the stone was apparently never installed in the monument.]
Sharesof one-fifth in the Ish Company could not be bought for $20,000 today, as they have no disposition to sell so long as they have $4,000 or $5,000 in sight. They have sunk down on the ledge some five feet, and it grows richer. How long it will continue to pay thus nobody knows, but it is to be hoped they may take out millions.
Rain.Up to this time we have been unfortunate enough to be blessed with the most delightful summer weather; the creeks are nearly dry; mining, per consequence, is a dry business. We have no ditches in the country. Under this pressure the discovery of rich quartz was an opportune windfall--a godsend.
New Diggings.Last Sunday new diggings were discovered on Wagner Creek, fifteen miles southeast of this place, causing quite an excitement. Seven miles of the creek is now staked off. It is to be hoped they prove good.
The best diggings that have been found lately, with plenty of water to work them, are on the upper branches of Applegate River, near the Siskiyou Mountain, thirty miles south of here. Twenty-five miles of one branch will pay good wages. Some of the claims are now averaging $50 per day. There is a rush commencing up that way.
The Mails.We have none up this way at present, as our mail contractor dried up for want of funds. Other parties are, however, about to take the route who have bottom enough to stand the press.
If Congress will not organize and pass the appropriation bills, we can form a little government of our own here on the Pacific, do our own legislation, manufacture our own goods, and dig up our own gold. The great American Republic has got negro wool in its eyes, and is fast going the same road that old Rome traveled, which led to the seaport called Decay, but any port in a storm. We hope, however, she will keep her wings spread on the sea of Progress, and anchor in the harbor of Eternal Empire, and send along her mails.
May she long flutter.
ON THE WING.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, February 26, 1860, page 1
News from Jacksonville, Oregon, says seventy-five thousand dollars worth of rock was taken out on the fifth Saturday from the Ish claim.
On Jackass Creek, a party of Frenchmen and Chinamen quarreled about a mining ditch. A fight ensued with shovels, picks, bars, rocks etc., which resulted in two of the Frenchmen being badly wounded--one is likely to die; also, two Chinamen badly hurt. On Monday a party of Frenchmen repaired to the scene and demolished their cabins, tents etc.
"By the Northern Telegraph Line," Sacramento Daily Union, March 7, 1860, page 2
THE JACKSONVILLE QUARTZ MINES.--Mr. Strickland, Shasta agent of the California Stage Company, informs us that the company of Ish & Co. recently crushed 1600 pounds, and obtained therefrom 477 ounces and seven dollars--worth over $8,000. The gold was assayed by Greathouse & Co., of Yreka. We were shown four bars of this gold by Mr. S., which were each worth over two thousand dollars.
Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, March 10, 1860, page 3
It appears that the richest quartz leads found are near Jacksonville, Oregon. A company at that place have produced from 350 pounds of quartz 440 ounces of gold, worth $16 per ounce, or $7,000! and that they crushed it all in one day with a single arrastra, driven by a mule; that two men took out from the lode in one day quartz valued at $50,000; that it pays $10 to the pound, etc. That beats Washoe.
Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, March 10, 1860, page 4
The Ish Claim.Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, March 17, 1860, page 2
This quartz claim, located near Jacksonville, Oregon, is perhaps the richest ever discovered on the coast. The Sacramento Standard is informed that--
This remarkable claim was discovered in January last by an hostler in the employ of the California Stage Company, near Jacksonville. He literally stumbled upon it, while hunting for some horses belonging to his employers. Its location is not more than a quarter of a mile from the trail via Yreka to Fraser River, and thousands who went upon a fruitless voyage to that frozen region passed within that short distance of this undiscovered wealth. The discoverer had the claim recorded in the name of himself and another, and the Ish company, consisting of five men, purchased it for $4,000. The first day's work of an arrastra brought about $6,000, and that of the second day between $7,000 and $8,000. The yield has been so enormous thus far that the owners believe the quartz already exposed by them to contain half a million of gold. Whether this unparalleled richness is to continue to any extent, or is only the result of a single deposit, time, of course, alone can show.
There is a circumstance connected with the discovery of the claim which is interesting. The hostler found exceedingly rich quartz above the ground. He would not, perhaps, have paid any attention to it if gold had not been plainly visible in it. Near the place, and it was not a place favorable for camping, was a tree, bearing upon it some initials, and the figures 1854. It is more than probable that some adventurer had found the treasure and had marked the lead by right of discovery. The Indians, who were at that time exceedingly hostile in that locality, must have made him one of their victims, for in no other way can we explain the fact that he never made a motion toward availing himself of the unbounded wealth thus accidentally opened to his gaze.
THE ISH CLAIM.--We learn from a gentleman just from Jacksonville, and who has visited this extraordinarily rich quartz lead, that it still continues to pay fabulous amounts. He is of the opinion that it is of incalculable richness.
Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, March 24, 1860, page 3
LETTER FROM JACKSONVILLE.
(FROM AN OCCASIONAL CORRESPONDENT.
JACKSONVILLE, OREGON, April 5.
The El Dorado of Southern Oregon.I arrived here two or three days ago, and am most pleased with the country generally. Rogue River Valley, in which this town is situated, is one of the most beautiful valleys I ever saw. The climate is remarkably mild, fruit trees being in full blossom--and there is an air of thrift which I have witnessed nowhere since leaving the Atlantic States. The lands are well fenced, many with fine broad fences, such as we see in the East, and the houses are invariably fine large two-story dwellings, and all painted white. This town is bound to become an important point. New quartz discoveries are being made daily in the mountains, at the base of which it is situated.
The Ish, or Gold Hill, claim continues to turn out an astonishing amount of wealth. The company employ but a few men, working eight hours per day. They are waiting for machinery from San Francisco. The claim is situated twelve miles from town. They have two arrastras, and have ground about ten tons of rock, which has yielded $75,000.
On the 2nd and 3rd inst. they took out two tons of rock which, it is estimated, will yield $15,000 per ton--many say $40,000 per ton.
The Hicks lode, two and a half miles from town, pays $50 to $80 per ton.
The Blue lode, two and a half miles from town, is about five feet wide, and prospects same as the Hicks.
There are also some dozen other lodes, which are not thoroughly prospected, but, as far as heard from, yield from $30 to $70 per ton.
The Blackwell lode has been prospected, and traced for a long distance, and yields from $40 to $60 per ton.
This place presents an excellent field for capitalists, far better than any in California. The people are rather slow, and lack the enterprise we see exhibited in California towns.
A telegraph company is about being organized, and the prospect is that, within four months, we will be in telegraphic communication with San Francisco.
Daily Alta California, April 13, 1860, page 4
FLUMING ON ROGUE RIVER.--Two companies comprising some twenty-five men are now actively engaged in turning Rogue River from its natural course at Long Bar and Big Bar, for the purpose of working the bed of the stream. A canal is being cut along the Gold Hill side, and those engaged in digging it have found very good prospects. An embankment will be built up against the stream, forcing the water into the canal, and the work is being pushed forward with much energy. They intend erecting two dams across the river, at a distance of about one mile apart. It is quite an extensive undertaking, and will keep the companies hard at it all summer, and probably may not be able this season to operate largely in the river bed; however, the work has been commenced at a more favorable season than might be afforded for years to come, as the recently dry winter has rendered the body of water much lighter than usual.--Jacksonville Sentinel.
San Francisco Bulletin, April 27, 1860, page 2
RIVER MINING.--Two companies, comprising some twenty-five men, says the Marysville Express, are now actively engaged in turning Rogue River from its natural course, at Long Bar and Big Bar, for the purpose of working the bed of the stream.
Sacramento Daily Union, April 30, 1860, page 3
MINING ENTERPRISE ON ROGUE RIVER.--Some mining operations are now going on at Big Bar and Big Bend, Rogue River, which the Jacksonville Sentinel notices at length. The stream is being turned from its natural channel in two places, for the purpose of affording the companies engaged in the work mining facilities in the bed and along the banks of the river. There are two companies employed in this enterprise, one headed by N. Pickle, the other by D. F. Fisher and V. S. Ralls. The first is a stock company of thirty shares, fifteen of which are represented by laboring owners, and the remaining fifteen by persons who furnish capital. The shares are rated at $250 each, cash, as required in the prosecution of the work. Anderson & Glenn own several shares in the enterprise, and the balance are held by good, reliable persons. The other company consists of eight working partners, among whom are Fisher, Ralls, Maltby, Bledsoe and Bruce. It is confidently believed that these enterprises will pay handsomely, if not extravagantly. Several have, ever since '51-2, mined some little along the river banks in the vicinity of Big Bar--some with very indifferent mining appliances--and all of them made good, some of them first-rate, wages.
San Francisco Bulletin, May 22, 1860, page 3
The Sentinel says: R. S. Jewett, of the Twenty Mile House on Rogue River, has left with us some mineral ore specimens, the precise nature of which we cannot divine, and will readily submit them for the examination of skilled mineralogists. Mr. Jewett also left a piece of gold quartz taken from a newly discovered spot, which promises quite flatteringly. . . . The Sentinel reports new discoveries of marble, and also of mineral ores.
"Domestic Items," Oregon Statesman, Salem, June 19, 1860, page 2
QUARTZ MILL.--A few weeks ago we mentioned that parties from Yreka were going to erect a quartz mill on the forks of Jackson Creek. During the early part of the week the machinery arrived here, and the proprietors are now busily engaged in erecting the necessary framework to put the machinery in. It is the intention of the company to commence crushing in about two weeks. From the well-known richness of the quartz on the creek, it would not surprise us much to hear of extraordinary large yields from the mill.--Sentinel.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 17, 1860, page 1
MINING IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--We extract from the Jacksonville Sentinel, of August 25th, the annexed mining news:
The quartz lodes on Applegate are developing very richly. On Tuesday we were shown ninety-seven ounces of gold, the product of twenty-two tons of quartz rock crushed in an arrastra, taken from the claim owned in part by W. W. Fowler, of Applegate.
The Gold Hill Company have again suspended operations for awhile at the hill. The lode will, meantime, be further prospected. The company have now out between five and six hundred tons of quartz rock, and will not resume operations at the hill until most of this is crushed. The steam mill is kept busy night and day.
The Blackwell lode is worked steadily. The main shaft is sunk to a good depth, and the rock taken from it promises to pay fairly.
The Jackson Creek Company's mill is nearly ready for crushing. The quartz on hand promises to pay handsomely, and the lode seems exhaustless.
The great damming operations at Big Bar are progressing. On Wednesday a slight accident occurred at the upper works, which will delay the completion of the enterprise another week, probably.
Sacramento Union, August 31, 1860, page 3
In Southern Oregon, in the vicinity of Jacksonville, a number of very rich quartz leads were discovered in the early part of the year. The reports as to the richness of the Ish claim for many months equaled anything ever said of our best California leads. Accounts within the last month, however, represent that the lead was lost, and operations were no longer very profitable. Other claims in the vicinity were still being worked with great success.
"Annual Review of the Mining Interests of California," The Mining Magazine, April 1861, page 137
INTERIOR MINES.--The Jacksonville Sentinel of the 13th says: "We have special reports from Williamsburg, Applegate, Table Rock and Gasburg diggings. At each district the miners are steadily employed, with water plenty, and the average wages obtained. Mr. A. Savage, of Table Rock mines, has shown us a thirty-five-dollar piece of gold and quartz taken from his claim last week. General reports from all other mining localities are favorable. One company at the Pleasant Creek diggings had realized ten dollars a day to the hand from a new cut recently made, although right adjoining. A little while ago, the earth scarcely paid for washing.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, May 11, 1861, page 3
It is stated that the celebrated Applegate quartz lead, near Jacksonville, Oregon, has run out. In April one of the members of the company took out $20,000, which had been obtained from the mine within a short time.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 1, 1861, page 5
The editor of the Crescent City Herald has recently been in Southern Oregon and says that the principal topic of interest at present in Jackson and Josephine is the quartz leads, more of which are being discovered every day about Jackson, Applegate, Galice, Althouse, and other creeks, and many of which prospect to pay very richly. In many of the localities where both quartz and placer mining could be carried on the scarcity of water is a great drawback, and ditches will before long be from necessity brought in to obviate it. . . . A rich quartz lead has been discovered on Squaw Creek in Jackson County, Oregon, which yielded as far as prospected $2,000 per ton. . . . The report that the celebrated Applegate quartz lead, near Jacksonville, Oregon had run out is false, for the Sentinel says that the company have cleaned up three hundred and two ounces of pure gold from a run of their arrastras for three weeks.
"Oregon and Washington," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 8, 1861, page 5
Southern Oregon.The product of the mines of Southern Oregon appears at present to be sensibly interfered with from various causes, the principal of which is no doubt the scarcity of water, and the departures to the Nez Perces mines, the first beyond question producing the second. While we have in this and Josephine counties, as well as in Umpqua, extensive placer mines already known to be paying diggings, as well as a large area of country in the gold range unexplored, we must say that from the scarcity of water, they are comparatively profitless during the summer months; though there is [an] abundance of water on Applegate and its tributaries, Rogue River and its tributaries, for the working of which the present is the most favorable season of the year to give profitable employment to twice the number of men now engaged in mining in Jackson County. In Josephine, as a general thing, they are better supplied with water. At Sailor Diggings, Althouse, Cañon Creek and Williams Creek, steady and economical men have already met with fair success. Galice Creek and lower Rogue River also give good returns to all who follow mining strictly. At the last named place Wolf & Bros.' ditch, most of the water from which they use in their own mining operations, is yielding a good return for labor and investment. In Jackson County, though there is but little water available, aside from the living streams of Rogue River, Applegate and their tributaries, at Buncom, from the waters of upper Applegate, the ditches of Proctor & Co., Gallagher & Co., Spicer & Co., and W. W. Fowler, on the main Applegate, there is a good supply of water at cheap rates, with an abundance of fair digging, from which any man working attentively and with economy will get a fair reward for his labor. The Gasburg mines are nearly idle at present, from want of water, though they have paid handsomely, some claims extravagantly, when they had the water to work them. From our own knowledge of the mines of Southern Oregon, anyone, without the help of a combination of labor or capital, can obtain better return for his labor here than in any section of country on the Coast, while for capitalists it offers great inducements in the construction of ditches and the development of our quartz lodes, some of which, aside from the Applegate Lode of Fowler & Co., which has always paid rich, are prospecting well. Months, and even years, of perseverance and economy are now required to accumulate what was sometimes acquired in a week, in mining in early times. One remove frequently consumes the proceeds of a year's successful mining.
While we would be glad to hear of good mines from one extent of the coast to the other, we would caution all who are thinking of making a change of location, that while they are making wages, they had better stick to it, or even add something to their exertions in prospecting and developing the resources of their immediate neighborhood, especially where known, as this is, to be a good mining district, than follow the usual summer excitements--for experience proves that in nine cases out of ten all such experiments are time and expenses out.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 27, 1861, page 2
Mining in Southern Oregon.
The Jacksonville (Southern Oregon) Sentinel of the 27th July remarks: The product of the mines of Southern Oregon appears at present to be sensibly interfered with from various causes, the principal of which is no doubt the scarcity of water, and the departures to the Nez Perce mines, the first beyond question producing the second. While we have in this and Josephine counties, as well as in Umpqua, extensive placer mines already known to be paying diggings, as well as a large area of country in the gold range unexplored, we must say that from the scarcity of water they are comparatively profitless during the summer months; though there is [an] abundance of water on Applegate and its tributaries, Rogue River and its tributaries, for the working of which the present is the most favorable season of the year to give profitable employment to twice the number of men now engaged in mining in Jackson County. In Josephine, as a general thing, they are better supplied with water. At Sailor Diggings, Althouse, Cañon Creek and Williams Creek, industrious men have already met with fair success. Galice Creek and lower Rogue River also give good returns to all who follow mining strictly. At the last-named place Witt & Bros.' ditch, most of the water from which they use in their own mining operations, is yielding a good return for labor and investment. In Jackson County, though there is but little water available, aside from the living streams of Rogue River, Applegate and their tributaries, at Buncom, from the waters of upper Applegate, the ditches of Proctor & Co., Gallagher & Co., Spicer & Co. and W. W. Fowler, on the main Applegate, there is a good supply of water at cheap rates, with an abundance of fair diggings, from which any man working attentively and with economy will get a fair reward for his labor. The Gasburg mines are nearly idle at present, from want of water, though they have paid handsomely, some claims extravagantly, when they had the water to work them.
From our own knowledge of the mines of Southern Oregon, anyone without the help of a combination of labor or capital can obtain better return for his labor here than in any section of country on the coasts, while for capitalists it offers great inducements in the construction of ditches and the development of our quartz lodes, some of which, aside from the Applegate Lode of Fowler & Co., which has always paid rich, are prospecting well. Months and even years of perseverance and economy are now required to accumulate what was sometimes acquired in a week in mining in early times. One remove frequently consumes the proceeds of a year's successful mining.
While we would be glad to hear of good mines from one extent of the coast to the other, we would caution all who are thinking of making a change of location, that while they are making wages they had better stick to it, or even add something to their exertions in prospecting and developing the resources of their immediate neighborhood, especially where known, as this is, to be a good mining district, than follow the usual summer excitements--for experience proves that in nine cases out of ten, all such experiments are time and expenses out.
San Francisco Bulletin, August 7, 1861, page 3
The Jacksonville Sentinel of July 27th gives us the following information: The produce of the mines of Southern Oregon appears at present to be sensibly interfered with from various causes, the principal of which is no doubt the scarcity of water, and the departure to the Nez Perces mines, the first beyond question producing the second. While we have in this and Josephine counties, as well as in Umpqua, extensive placer mines already known to be paying diggings, as well as a large area of country in the gold range unexplored, we must say that from the scarcity of water, they are comparatively profitless during the summer months; though there is abundance of water in Applegate and its tributaries, Rogue River and its tributaries, for the working of which the present is the most favorable season of the year to give profitable employment to twice the number of men now engaged in mining in Jackson County. In Josephine, as a general thing, they are better supplied with water. At Sailor Diggings, Althouse, Cañon Creek and Williams Creek, industrious men have already met with fair success. Galice Creek and lower Rogue River also give good returns to all who follow mining strictly. At the last named place, Witt & Bros.' ditch most of the water from which they use in their own mining operations yielding a good return for labor and investment. In Jackson County, though there is but little water available, aside from the living streams of Rogue River, Applegate and their tributaries, at Buncom, from the waters of upper Applegate, the ditches of Proctor & Co., Gallagher & Co., Spicer & Co. and W. W. Fowler, on the main Applegate, there is a good supply of water at cheap rates, with an abundance of fair diggings from which any man working attentively, and with economy, will get a fair reward for his labor. The Gasburg mines are nearly idle at present, from want of water, though they have paid handsomely; some claims extravagantly, when they had water to work them.
From our own knowledge of the mines of Southern Oregon, anyone without the help of a combination of labor or capital, can obtain better return for his labor here than in any section of country on the coasts, while for capitalists it offers great inducements in the construction of ditches and the development of our quartz lodes, some of which, aside from the Applegate lode of Fowler & Co., which has always paid rich, are prospecting well. Months and even years of perseverance and economy are now required to accumulate what was sometimes acquired in a week in mining in early times. One remove frequently consumes the proceeds of a year's successful mining. While we would be glad to hear of good mines from one extent of the coast to the other, we would caution all who are thinking of making a change of location, that while they are making wages they had better stick to it, or even add something to their exertions in prospecting and developing the resources of their immediate neighborhood, especially where known, as this is, to be a good mining district, than follow the usual summer excitements--for experience proves that in nine cases of ten, all such experiments are time and expenses out.
Report says that the long talked-of gold mines on Meek's Cutoff, found by the immigrants in 1845, have been rediscovered. The story goes that the mines are in the vicinity of the Three Sisters, six or eight days' travel east from Salem, Oregon, and are very rich.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 10, 1861, page 5
MINING DITCH.--We learn, says the Jacksonville Sentinel, that parties residing here will commence in a few days the construction of a ditch, five miles in length, through which the waters of Galice Creek, in Josephine County, can be used for mining the rich hill diggings in that locality.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 31, 1861, page 8
MINING ON ROGUE RIVER.--We learn from a gentleman living on Rogue River that the company mining below Evansville on the opposite bank have been averaging $80 per day to the hand for the last four weeks. They were all summer getting in their wing dam, at an immense cost of labor and money, and are now reaping their reward. Should the river remain as it is at present, for a few weeks longer, there is no doubt but that they will take out quite a handsome sum.
RICH DIGGINGS.--O. H. Bradley and Jackson Sears have struck new diggings near Willow Springs, which prospect three dollars to the pan. We hope the diggings are extensive.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 2, 1861, page 3
THE MINES.--From every district in our county we hear that the miners are as busy as bees; gulches that have not yet been worked since '52 are now being worked successfully. All the gulches of the Blackwell district, Willow Springs, Patty's Diggings, Galls Creek, Foots Creek, the gulches running into Evans Creek, Pleasant Creek, and the gulches and creeks putting into Rogue River for a distance of twenty miles are all being extensively worked. A large number of miners has been added to this portion of our mining community by the immigration from California, on their way north, who finding themselves in the vicinity of good diggings and plenty of water concluded to remain this winter and take a fresh start next spring. In the neighborhood of Jacksonville the miners are all ground sluicing; very little damage was done to the claims on Jackson Creek by the flood. The miners at Gasburg are nearly all ready to commence operations; the hydraulic claim of Davenport & Co. is in full blast and doing good work. From the districts south and west we have not been able to get any information.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 7, 1861, page 3
The Jacksonville Gazette says: On Sunday last Mr. Avery and his partner, who owns a claim near Armstrong Gulch, on Jackson Creek, dug out a solid lump of gold, weighing a trifle over two pounds and a half, and in his very next pan of dirt got out six ounces more of the same precious stuff. We saw the large nugget yesterday, and found it all it had been represented.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, January 4, 1862, page 5
HILL MINING.--As we intimated, last week, a mining company has been formed at this place to thoroughly prospect the hills around Jacksonville. The following are the officers of said company: President, Wm. Hoffman; secretary, M. A. Elder; treasurer, James T. Glenn. Messrs. Wm. A. Johnson, Thomas Ord and George P. Funk were elected executive committee. W. C. Hitchcock was appointed superintendent. Any information on the subject can be obtained from the officers.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 2, 1862, page 3
An experienced and successful miner belonging to the Joint Stock Mining Company recently formed in this town hands us the following communication for publication. We insert it with pleasure:
MR. EDITOR: By proceedings of the J.S. Mining Company, you will be informed that they believe in the existence of "hill channels" in this vicinity, similar to those so well known throughout California. I think that a critical examination of the surrounding hills will fully establish the truth of the proposition. Being one of the first, in 1852, when hill mining was in its infancy, to examine this subject, allow me, through the medium of your paper, to give to the miners of Jackson County my experience in finding and working these peculiar mines. Throughout California you will find the hills covered with smooth rock, showing that, in some indefinitely past time, large bodies of water must have acted upon them. The question arises, was it the water of rivers or of the ocean which has produced this effect? Accident discovered to me, in 1852, while mining near Iowa Hill, that the different hill mines there discovered were all on a level--hence I came to the conclusion that those channels, running through the hills of California, were made by the ocean. I prospected to this theory, and was successful. Probably the best illustration of my theory on this subject would be to imagine that the ocean had receded from Gold Beach and Port Orford, and let them high and dry. The same indications would present themselves, a thousand years from this time, along those places, as now exist in our hills, and the bars and channels thus exposed would all be on a level, or nearly so.
The Joint Stock Mining Company have started in a laudable undertaking, and should they succeed in finding rich deposits in Union Hill (That's the kind of hill that generally pays.--Ed. Sentinel), it will give impetus to prospecting, direct the attention of capitalists to our beautiful valley, and the waters of Klamath or Applegate will soon be brought in, in well-constructed ditches and flumes, to supply the hardy miners on both sides of the Siskiyou Mountains, and towns and villages will spring up, as if by magic, where at present there is no vestige of civilization.
Yours,All right, go ahead; we want to see that magic worked out.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 2, 1862, page 3
MORE COAL.--Another coal discovery is reported in Oregon, about eight miles from Jacksonville, on Stuart's Creek. The coal is said to be found there in great quantities.
"Mining Notabilia," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, December 20, 1862, page 5
What strange feelings come over us as we look upon some of the many mining camps of the early days of gold hunting, located here and there over a vast expanse of country, which have for years gradually decreased in population, until in time they became entirely deserted, as the miners refused to yield their former prolific abundance of auriferous particles to the adventurous miner's sturdy stroke and unabated demands. Feelings of gloominess creep over us as we pass among the worked-out, deserted ravines, creeks and gulches, where the rocks lie heaped on the banks, removed from their ancient resting place and original deposit. The earth washed away to other parts exposes the now ghastly skeletons of once-beautiful, meandering streams that coursed their way down the mountainsides, through evergreen groves of towering furze and lofty pines--through the valleys to the larger streams below. As we pass along, we look in through the half-open doors of empty cabins, and sigh as we think of the many probably disappointed hopes indulged by those who here inhabited; hopes that at best are uncertain and, as miners well know, too often disappointed.
In those crumbling, decaying cabins how many castles have been built in the air on the hopes of fortune, so soon to be wrecked in the billowy ocean of attending disappointment! Upon the earthen floor lie scattered about remaining fragments of the pioneer's scanty household and kitchen furniture. The door swings gently to and fro on its wooden hinges, in complaisant submission to the winds--creaks and moans as if singing to the loneliness of the scene a dirge to its long-gone occupant's departed hopes. By the wall, in the corner, stands the rough, cobwebbed bunk, whereon the miner often dreamed of home and friends far away in the old Atlantic States, or in some distant, foreign land, perchance, of one more dear--a fair one for whom he was then enduring the toils and privations of a miner's life.
Surrounded by many trying hardships, the savage, warlike aborigines, fierce, wild beasts, that nightly roam at large in search of prey--tramping and hunting over high mountains to more easily worked placers--are feeble attempts at enumeration of the many dangers and difficulties of early days in the mines, encountered by the adventurous, noble spirits who forsook the society of endearing friends, and amid sad parting tears of loved ones, set their faces to the westward. Alas! how few has fortune allowed to return to console and make happy the anxious loved ones at home. Struggling against Fate, how many a noble son and brother, the pride and hope of a happy family far away, has succumbed to overtasked energies, the ravages of disease, or by accident or the hand of violence, been hurried to the "bourne from whence no traveler returns"! They now slumber in unknown and unmarked graves, in the forest, on the hillside, on the plain, or by the cabin, where soon shall rest your
NON EST MINER.Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, October 31, 1863, page 7
Oregon--Letter to Professor Whitney.We have been permitted to copy a letter of Mr. Wm. M. Gabb, assistant geologist of this state, to Prof. J. D. Whitney, from which it appears that our sister state has some very rich quartz veins. We trust that Oregon will ere long take some steps towards securing a geological survey. Such a work would do much toward developing the resources of that state. Mr. Gabb has gone north with a detachment of U.S. troops, under Col. Drew, to the Owyhee River, in the eastern boundary of Oregon. His letter is dated at Jacksonville, June 1st, 1864, and reads as follows:
Dear Professor: I have just returned from a visit to a quartz claim on Applegate Creek, southwest of this place. It is called the Fowler or Steamboat ledge, and has been worked for the last three or four years.
The vein consists of one or two principal portions running in a general parallel direction with numerous small strings and feeders. These are all evidently parts of the same system and seem to have their origin from the same source. The general strike is, as might be expected, a little north of N.W. and S.E., and the dip is nearly uniform throughout. I felt a particular curiosity to see it, from the fact that I was told that the vein dipped to both sides of the hill; that there was a slide, together with a lot of other nonsense. The origin of the idea was the outcrop winds around the end of the hill, so that it is higher in the end than in the sides. A plain surface cut through the hill would be nearly parallel with every string of quartz I saw in any of the tunnels or on the outcrop.
The quartz is pockety. Some of it being said to have paid as high as $2,500 per ton, and most, if not all, having paid working expenses. Upwards of a hundred thousand dollars is said to have been taken out since the opening of the claim.
The claim is not being worked at present on account of some litigation, a party having jumped a portion of it, and are now holding it on some legal quibble, despite the self-evident fact that they are within the limits of the original location, and undoubtedly on the outcrop of the principal vein.
There are other quartz veins in the vicinity, but I have not yet had time to visit them. Some are reported to be very rich, but most of them are like the usual run--pay a small profit and are very uncertain.
Very truly,Prof. J. D. Whitney,
Wm. M. Gabb.
State Geologist, California.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 13, 1864, page 98
At Jacksonville, Oregon, the floods have been greater than ever before known, exceeding that of 1861 and '62. Bridges built fifteen feet higher than the flood of that season were washed away.
"The Rain Fall," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, December 24, 1864, page 408
(Written for the Mining and Scientific Press.)We read, some time ago, in the Oregon Sentinel, an article upon the Josephine County copper mines. We give below an extract from this article, as an introduction to what we have to say about these mines:
A Copper Mining District in Oregon.
"The future of Josephine County seems to depend, in a great measure, upon the success of the copper mining operations which are now being carried on. That they will realize the highest anticipations of their proprietors but few in this vicinity seem to doubt.
"A small piece of pure copper was found in a sluice, here in Sailor Diggings, as early as '56. Copper was also found, about that time, on the Illinois River, near where the Fall Creek vein is now being worked. But there was too much gold in the country then for people to care anything about copper.
"The first indications of what seemed to be a vein of copper ore were discovered by a man named Heawes, in 1859, on a hill two miles west of Waldo, in the immediate vicinity of the now celebrated Queen of Bronze lead. This mine has been for the last year in the possession and under the management of Dr. d'Heirry, a French gentleman, from San Rafael, Cal., to whom, more than anyone else, our country is indebted for the development of its copper mines. In regard to the richness and inexhaustibility of this mine, there can be no question: and I presume there can be none in regard to the opportunities afforded to make it immense profit. Dr. d'Heirry intends to erect furnaces and other works, in the vicinity of the mine. For this purpose there are vast quantities of the best wood for fuel, as near the mine as it can well stand. A short ditch from the Illinois River--only a half mile distant--will give water to run all necessary machinery. In fact, the location of the mine cannot be surpassed, and if skill and perseverance will make it 'pay,' the Doctor is the man to do it."
We have before heard a good deal about these Josephine County copper mines, and especially about that known as the "Queen of Bronze." Your valuable paper, the . Alta, and others, had informed us, last year, of the marvelous prospect of this lead. What we read excited our curiosity, and we took advantage of the last fine days of the past autumn to visit this new mining region. We have nothing to regret in this little excursion, which made us acquainted with a very interesting country, where your readers, and especially those who are occupied in mines, will probably be glad to accompany us. We will take a glance at the country we passed over.
Most of your readers doubtless remember the excitement caused, some years ago., by the discovery of a rich quartz ledge at Gold Hill, near Jacksonville (Oregon). This mine was nothing but an immense pocket, but we all know the wonderful quantity of gold found in it during a few months. Since that time, Jacksonville and its neighborhood has fallen again into comparative oblivion, which, however, is unjust and not merited, for the placers from this place to Sailors' Diggings, and all the surrounding streams and gulches, are paying still, and would pay much better if they were worked on a larger scale. Besides, where the Gold Hill quartz mine glittered, some time ago, there are still some quartz mines worthy of the attention of the public.
Several auriferous veins are being worked near Jacksonville, and are paying well and regularly. At Slate Creek, halfway from Jacksonville to the Queen of Bronze, they are working some magnificent gold-bearing quartz. At Althouse, seven miles from the copper leads, there is a very remarkable quartz vein, which pays very largely and with remarkable regularity. All these mines are worked with arrastras, on account of want of capital, which here, as in California, we believe, is very vagrant. It prefers long and hazardous journeys, and hunting for wild and problematical mines, to a quiet and secure settlement nearby. We know that all we may say on this subject will effect no change in this respect. Capital will continue to go so far that one day it will not be found again, and the mines of Southern Oregon, so near the San Francisco market, will be obliged to clear their way by their own means. They can do it; the mule arrastra will pay for an hydraulic one, and the latter for stamps and amalgamators. So much the better; it will be more in conformity with common sense. These mines will be self-made; they will have so much the more merits, and their owners the more profit. In other respects this country has been very little prospected, in view of the extensiveness of its mines, and contains, we are convinced, considerable undeveloped wealth.
The route from Jacksonville to Waldo is very picturesque. Cut through immense forests of oaks and pines, it generally follows along the course of the streams through the mountains. One always finds there a freshness in the air, and a balsamic perfume emanating from the resinous trees, which makes respiration delightful. In such an atmosphere it seems impossible to die.
The soil is rich, and deep enough in all the wooded parts, to be cultivated with advantage, but the glades, or openings in the timber, are covered with schists and gravel. However, all this rich country of the Illinois and Rogue River Valley is to some extent condemned to sterility, the population being insufficient to consume its superabundant productions, and there are no means of cheap transportation for exports.
But let us resume the route to the copper mines: Sixty miles bring us from Jacksonville to Waldo. The latter is a small town situated on the road from Jacksonville to Crescent City, and distant sixty miles from the harbor of the latter place. Two miles from Waldo is the Queen of Bronze copper mine, which is reached by a fine level road, leading out from the main road at Waldo.
THE COPPER MINES OF THE PACIFIC COAST.Before proceeding further, it may be proper to give a short topographical and geological sketch of the copper mines of the Pacific Coast. We all know that the Sierra Nevada, a western branch of the Andes, stop not far from the northern boundary of California, or, to speak more plainly, is divided into several branches which run through Oregon and Idaho and there take different names. The Siskiyou Mountains are the most western branch of this great division. Now the Queen of Bronze, being situated on a spur of this range (Siskiyou), is therefore on the most western slope of the great range of mountains running from Patagonia to Bering Straits.
It is well known that a vast copper region seems to run from south to north on or near the western slope of this great range, sometimes sinking to an immense depth, and again being completely lost to appearances, always, however, reappearing at some distance with the same, or nearly, the same geological characteristics, and giving nearly the same ores.
Several formations of copper veins seem to exist in this immense extent of land, thus, in Chile and in Peru we find a first line of copper mines, the most western, between the Cordilleras of the coast and the Andes, yielding pure copper pyrites, viz: copper pyrites free from gold, silver, antimony, arsenic, &c. This first region is found among the diorites, porphyries, sienites and other eruptive rocks. Further to the east, and consequently nearer to the Andes, are found the copper ores containing silver, and contaminated by arsenic and antimony.
We find again these deposits of copper in New Granada and Mexico, in about the same condition and in the same formations, or in the same metamorphic rocks passing from one to the other. Geological and topographical conditions about the same appear to be found in California, Nevada and Oregon. There, wherever copper ore exists, we find two deposits, one of ores containing silver, arsenic and antimony, and one of pure copper pyrites.
If now we follow this line of pure copper pyrites, always on the western slope of the great range of mountains, from Mexico, for instance, running N. or N.N.W. we find it at Soledad thirty miles east of Los Angeles, when it runs through the counties of Mariposa, Calaveras, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada, Yuba, Butte, Shasta and Siskiyou. Twenty-five miles west of Yreka it enters Oregon, where it follows a northern spur of the Siskiyou Mountains, and is seen at the Queen of Bronze, whence it continues its course to Fall Creek. Eighteen miles N.N.W. from the Queen of Bronze, and between Fall Creek and Rogue River, a distance of fourteen miles, it is found twice in very fine outcroppings.
The preceding observations appear to have much force. They have been suggested by Dr. d'Heirry, to whom we should give all the honor of originating the idea. This mineralogist has exhibited to us the result of much labor and minute researches in some charts, pricked with explanations and annotations, which are to be published. They appear to throw a new light on the connection of the metallic ledges of the great chains of the mountains of the American continent. What we have just said of the great deposits of copper of the western slope of these mountains, is shown on these charts with a truth which leaves little room for controversy. It must be understood, however, that we do not expect to prove that there will necessarily be found mines of copper on all the lines above marked out.
(Concluded next week.)Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, January 14, 1865, page 19
(Written for the Mining and Scientific Press.)
A Copper Mining District in Oregon.
THE MINES OF JOSEPHINE COUNTY.Let us speak now of the mines of Josephine County: The greater part of the uplifting of this country belongs to the transition period between the liasic and oolitic formations--immense strata of trappean rocks prevailing. It would be difficult to give a name to these rocks which are passing one into the other; however, on the surface there seems to prevail a species of greenstone, cut by layers of schistose serpentine, which calcareous substances have greatly altered. The copper is found among eruptive rocks, such as the schistose and basaltoid diorites, passing sometimes into sienites, amphiboles, talcose schists and very often into aphanites. These igneous rocks are sometimes varied by quartz and by white fluorspars, especially near the vein of copper. Not far from the copper deposits are found granites, porphyries and sandstone. We find there also argillous schists and crystallized limestone. The vein runs N.N.W. upon a spur of the Siskiyou, whose axis it follows at the height of about 600 feet above the valley of the Illinois, so that this mine can be worked entirely by tunnels.
THE QUEEN OF BRONZE.This vein is indicated by beautiful and numerous gossans strongly impregnated with carbonate of copper. Several small preliminary prospectings were opened on the line of gossans, and all disclosed the presence of the vein. Afterwards there was opened the first shaft in the vein itself. It is forty feet deep. The lode was struck at twenty feet, where is found the top of the vein about six feet thick, well enclosed in its walls, and capped with gossans. Lower down is a considerable quantity of red and black oxides, blue and green carbonates of copper, especially erubescites, containing thirty to sixty percent, of copper. Blocks of erubescite are found so large that it is necessary to break them by blasting.
Four hundred yards from there is the point where the vein has been attacked in earnest. At first, a large trench was opened, which, at four feet below the surface, beautifully exposed the top of the vein, fourteen feet thick and formed of copper pyrites.
A shaft has then been sunk into the vein between its walls. The descent was perpendicular up to thirty feet, there the vein took an inclination of forty-five degrees for twenty feet more, and then plunged anew.
In these different phases, the lodes of copper pyrites kept always parallel to one another, and at an inclination of forty-five degrees, so that at the point where the vein plunges definitely the metallic lead is in its natural position, and has kept it to the depth of ninety-three feet, to which point the work had reached at the time of our visit. Dr. d'Heirry regards this slight perturbation as the result of a pressure of hard rocks. We are not of this opinion. The vein, being evidently of igneous origin, and not finding, at the time of the uprising of the matters in fusion, sufficient resting place along the declivity of the mountain, spread over the half-opened rocks, and was covered up again, afterwards, by the falling debris of the upper part. The reasons which induce us to adopt this opinion would be too long to develop at present.
The vein is enclosed by eruptive rocks and is separated from them by schistose chlorite, more or less metamorphosed, and of a variable thickness. The veinstone of the copper pyrites is double; it is formed in one part of quartz and fluorspar, which mix readily in a small quantity with the ore, and in the other part, it is formed of a schist, generally soft, which derives its black color from the amphibole. The veinstone of the oxides is argillous and ferruginous.
The thickness of the vein is from fifteen to twenty-five feet, and the lead of solid copper pyrites varies in thickness from six to eight feet. Little ore is mixed with the veinstone.
We noticed near the shafts about 400 tons of No. 1 ore, while there was not six tons of No. 2. The copper pyrites yield upon the top of the vein 15½ percent at 30 feet deep, 18 percent and 20 to 22 percent at the point to which the works have come.
This ore is perfectly free from all detrimental substances, such as antimony, arsenic &c. The following is an analysis which we have taken from the book of the laboratory of Dr. d'Heirry.
PROPOSED REDUCTION WORKS.We will say nothing of the projects of Dr. d'Heirry relative to the reduction works, as this part of his labors will not commence until spring; but the explanations which he has given to us, in this respect, and what we have seen on the spot, leave no doubt as to success. Thus, for example, there is enough ore extracted to reimburse the cost of reduction works capable of producing twenty-five to twenty-seven tons of copper a month, and the ore in sight in the mine would suffice, according to our estimate, for eight or ten years of work for the furnaces.
As to the reduction of copper ore, it is no more a question here than in Germany, England or Boston. Let us remember that it is not the country which is an obstacle to the reduction of ores, but the men. We must have knowledge, that is all, and we must have sufficient forethought to ascertain, before commencing costly works, if the cost of transportation, the cost of suitable fuel and of labor, and the richness of the ore give grounds for expecting sufficient profits. It is for want of all these little things, so elementary, and so necessary at the same time, that several experiments have failed. Thus the disappointed have announced, vehemently, the impossibility of reducing copper ores in California, attributing their failure to circumstances and the country, while it is really attributable only to their own imprudence. A good copper mine and works of reduction would yield immense profits beyond doubt, provided everything was under favorable conditions.
Now, it seems to us that the Queen of Bronze is under those conditions. In fact, the purity of ores and the consequent facility of their reduction; the abundance of these ores; the facility of taking out by the tunnels; the inexhaustible quantity and low price of the fuel; a magnificent water power, for the blast and crushing; all combined at the same point seem to contribute to economical working and to success. Moreover, Dr. d'Heirry, being a skillful chemist and tried metallurgist, is the very man to make the most of such advantages, and to carry such an enterprise to a favorable conclusion.
A MINING ENGINEER.Jacksonville, Nov. 29th, 1864.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, January 21, 1865, page 34
ILLINOIS VALLEY.Crossing a low divide, we entered Illinois Valley. This valley, with its alternate skirts of timber and prairie, its numerous little coves at the base of the rugged, heavy timbered mountains which surround it, coupled with the history of Indian massacres and Indian depredations, would furnish an endless fund of fiction for the novelist. This land, as a general thing, does not seem to be so rich as that in Jackson County. We should judge, however, that the facilities for irrigation are much better.
KERBYVILLE.We arrived at Kerbyville at five o'clock. We were glad enough, too, to vacate our seat in the stage for one more comfortable in the bar room of the Sawyer Hotel. This place, although quite small, has, for the most part, very substantial and permanent buildings. It contains two or three stores, two hotels, two livery stables, and one large billiard saloon. There is also a large flouring mill hard by, in full sight of the town.
ALTHOUSE.On Tuesday morning we hired a horse and went out to visit these famous diggings. Falling in by the way with Mr. Wm. M. Evans, we placed ourselves under his guidance to Browntown, the metropolis of Althouse diggings. Althouse Creek is a deep mountain gorge, with not enough room all along its banks for a road. This creek has been one of the richest creeks in the northern mines (O.S.*), but unless the hill diggings and quartz prove to be rich, which we have no doubt will be the case, Althouse will be turned over to the Chinamen.
For the last five or six miles before arriving at Browntown, we traveled over a substantial wagon road, which has been cut around the sides of the mountains at great expense.
BROWNTOWN.On arriving at the brow of the mountain, looking almost under our feet, we got the first sight of Browntown, its site being the only location on the creek large and level enough to build a city on. It is built on a small bar, covering, perhaps, one or two acres of tolerably level land. Browntown, however, has fallen into decay, presenting at present a dilapidated and ancient appearance. It contains two stores and a hotel.
DEMOCRAT TUNNEL.On Wednesday morning, although extremely cold, Mr. Evans kindly agreed to accompany us to the various places of mining interest in the vicinity of Althouse. Our first visit was to the Democrat Tunnel, which affords a fine specimen of the enterprise and energy of our miners. This tunnel was commenced some two years ago by four experienced miners, who, by their own labor alone, have bored through the mountain some 1,200 hundred feet, and have struck the bar on the other side, 35 feet below bedrock. The object of this tunnel is to drain a portion of Althouse Creek, which has hitherto not been worked for the want of drainage. The valley being 100 feet lower than the bed of the creek, and separated from it by a low ridge of mountains, which run parallel with and between the valley and creek, this gives this company some 75 feet fall from the mouth of their tunnel to the valley. These gentlemen have just completed their flume, turned the water through the tunnel and commenced the operation of cutting across the flat in search of the channel. The creek thus drained is known to be rich, but all previous attempts to work it have proved unsuccessful.
HEILNER MINE.We next paid a visit to the mill and mine belonging to S. A. Heilner, Esquire, located near Democrat Gulch. This lode is situated on the mountain, about one and a half miles from the mill, having an excellent wagon road constructed between the two points. Several tunnels have been run into this lode at different depths, finding the vein rich at every point struck. Mr. Heilner has lately run a new tunnel of 850 feet into the mountain, from the terminus of which he is running a perpendicular shaft to connect with one which was sunk on the vein above. This shaft is already raised 70 feet, and yet lacks some 15 feet of being to the bottom of the one above. At the suggestion of Mr. Heilner, we, in company with our friend Evans, each bearing a candle in his hand, commenced the ascent of the shaft, not knowing the magnitude of the undertaking, but supposing that a few feet would bring us to the top. Our ascent was by means of a ladder on the side of the shaft. Water came down like a torrent of rain; a strong drift of wind met us, which was caused by an air pipe that was constructed the entire length of the tunnel and up the side of the shaft. By means of water and wind our candles were extinguished before we had proceeded ten feet, and we were left in the most profound darkness, not knowing how far we had to go before reaching the top. Believing, however, that everything must have an end, we pushed on step by step, our grasp growing firmer as it caught each successive round of the ladder. Ominous thoughts passed through our minds for the safety of our friend, Evans--whom we could hear just behind us--should the ladder give way and precipitate us on his head. But at length a light gleamed from above, and looking up we saw Mr. Heilner holding a candle for us. Right glad were we to put our feet on the little bench used by the workmen, on the side of the shaft, which was barely large enough to hold four of us; we were compelled to take lodging there. Taking a few breaths, we cast a longing glance down the frightful hole, which we were enabled to see by means of a candle set at the bottom. But the worst was yet to come--we must go down. By a desperate effort we let ourselves over the side and commenced our exit, and were soon safely at the bottom, feeling satisfied with our adventure and fully determined not to try it again. Taking a seat in the tunnel car, Mr. Evans and myself were whirled out at breakneck speed to the mouth of the tunnel.
From the tunnel from which they are at present taking quartz, a shaft has been sunk down on the lode sixty feet, finding the quartz rich all the way. From the various openings into this mine, a vast amount of rich ore is already in sight. Notwithstanding the great amount of money spent by Mr. Heilner on this mine, there is no doubt that he will soon realize a handsome profit. He intends next summer to erect machinery of the most improved style.
A singular phenomenon appears in the tunnel from which they are taking quartz at the present time. It is a crack or fissure in the rock, crossing the vein at almost perpendicular angles. It averages about ten inches in width. The surface of its sides, being parallel, show that the rock was originally connected, and by some means separated. From all appearances it is very extensive. The water in it rises and falls with the water in the shaft which has been sunk on the vein. No doubt this opening is one of those reservoirs which supply intermittent springs, by filling up in the winter and drying out in the early part of the summer.
SAILOR DIGGINGS.Waldo is the largest town in Josephine County. Here, as elsewhere in the county, complaints of dull times are heard. Great hopes are entertained that the coming summer will prove a new era in the affairs of Josephine County, from the wonderful deposits of copper which have been discovered there. Waldo, especially, will be benefited by the copper mines, the Queen of Bronze vein being located in its immediate vicinity, on which extensive works will be constructed next summer.
Before leaving Sailor Diggings, we visited Mr. Weston's expensive hydraulic apparatus on Allen's Gulch. This is the most powerful hydraulic in Oregon, the water being forced through an inch and a quarter pipe, under a pressure of 240 feet. The water is conducted down the mountain through an iron pipe, connected at the lower end with a pipe of three or four thicknesses of ducking, and this closely wrapped with half-inch rope. The power of such a pressure is truly surprising--two men easily doing the work of 20 by any other process.
MINING INTEREST ON JOSEPHINE.Although times appear dull at present, there is a bright future for its mining interest. During the coming summer there will be a large amount of capital expended on the Queen of Bronze copper mine. This, in connection with the money expended on the Heilner mine, will give a new impulse to all kinds of business.
There are many rich gold-bearing lodes known in the country, which are awaiting the attention of capitalists.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, February 15, 1865, page 1 *Oregon State?
The Jacksonville Sentinel says: A few days ago, Sam and John Taylor commenced to prospect a bar on Applegate, a short distance below the Fowler quartz ledge, by cutting a race from the creek. They cut through the rimrock, and in so doing took out about fifteen ounces of coarse gold, varying from the size of a wheat grain to an ounce in weight. They only worked four days.
"Amador," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, February 3, 1866, page 70
The Jacksonville Times says that a quartz lead has been discovered in Lightning Gulch, Josephine Co., from which $5,400 was taken out in two hours. The contents of one pan was $2,000. The name of the discoverer is Malachi.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 2, 1866, page 343
We learn, says the Jacksonville Reporter, that the new quartz mill of the Occidental company, on Jackson Creek, will be employed on or about the 20th of September, when they will commence crushing rock from the Davenport lead.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, September 22, 1866, page 183
QUARTZ STATUTE OF THE STATE OF OREGON.SECTION 1. That any person, or company of persons, establishing a claim on any quartz lead containing gold, silver, copper, tin, or lead, or a claim on a vein of cinnabar, for the purpose of mining the same, shall be allowed to have, hold, and possess the land or vein, with all its dips, spurs, and angles, for the distance of three hundred feet in length and seventy-five feet in width on each side of such lead or vein.
SEC. 2. To establish a valid claim the discoverer or person wishing to establish a claim shall post a notice on the lead or vein, with name or names attached, which shall protect the claim or claims for thirty days; and before the expiration of said thirty days he or they shall cause the claim or claims to be recorded as hereinafter provided, and describing, as near as may be, the claim or claims, and their location; but continuous working of said claim or claims shall obviate the necessity of such record. If any claim shall not be worked for twelve consecutive months it shall be forfeited and considered liable to location by any person or persons, unless the owner or owners be absent on account of sickness, or in the service of their country in time of war.
SEC. 3. Any person may hold one claim by location, as hereinafter provided, upon each lead or vein, and as many by purchase as the local laws of the miners in the district where such claims are located may allow; and the discoverer of any new lead or vein, not previously located upon, shall be allowed one additional claim for the discovery thereof. Nothing in this section shall be so construed as to allow any person not the discoverer to locate more than one claim upon any one lead or vein.
SEC. 4. Every person, or company of persons, after establishing such claim or claims, shall, within one year after recording or taking such claim or claims, work or cause to be worked to the amount of fifty dollars for each and every claim, and for each successive year shall do the same amount of work, under penalty of forfeiture of said claim or claims: Provided, That any incorporate company owning claims on any lead or vein may be allowed to work upon any one claim the whole amount required as above for all the claims they may own on such lead or vein.
SEC. 5. It shall be the duty of the county clerk of any county, upon the receipt of a notice of a miners' meeting organizing a miners' district in said county, with a description of the boundaries thereof, to record the same in a book to be kept in his office as other county records, to be called a "book of record of mining claims"; and, upon the petition of parties interested, he may appoint a deputy for such district, who shall reside in said district or its vicinity, and shall record all mining claims and water rights in the order in which they are presented for record; and shall transmit a copy of such record at the end of each month to the county clerk, who shall record the same in the above-mentioned book of record, for which he shall receive one dollar for each and every claim. It shall further be the duty of said county clerk to furnish a copy of this law to his said deputy, who shall keep the same in his office, open at all reasonable times for the inspection of all persons interested therein.
SEC. 6. Miners shall be empowered to make local laws in relation to the possession of water rights, the possession and working of placer claims, and the survey and sale of town lots in mining camps, subject to the laws of the United States.
SEC. 7. That ditches used for mining purposes, and mining flumes permanently affixed to the soil, be and they are hereby declared real estate for all intents and purposes whatever.
SEC. 8. That all laws relative to the sale and transfer of real estate, and the application of the liens of mechanics and laborers therein, be and they are hereby made applicable to said ditches and flumes: Provided, That all interests in mining claims known as placer or surface diggings may be granted, sold, and conveyed by bill of sale and delivery of possession, as in cases of the sale of personal property: Provided further, That the bills of sale or conveyances executed on the sale of any placer or surface mining claim shall be recorded within thirty days after the date of such sale, in the office of the county clerk of the county in which such sale is made, in a book to be kept by the county clerk for that purpose, to be called the record of conveyances of mining claims.
SEC. 9. Mortgages of interests in placer or surface mining claims shall be executed, acknowledged, recorded, and foreclosed as mortgages of chattels.
SEC. 10. The county clerk shall be entitled to a fee of one dollar each for every conveyance or mortgage recorded under the provisions of this act.
J. Ross Browne, "Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, Transmitting a Report Upon the Mineral Resources of the States and Territories West of the Rocky Mountains," Ex. Doc. No, 29, 39th Congress, 2nd Session, 1867, pages 247-248
Jacksonville news of January 4th, is to the effect that gold has been again struck in the celebrated Ish or Gold Hill lead, and the prospects are very flattering.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, January 12, 1867, page 23
From the Jacksonville Sentinel of March 16th: Late reports from Eastern Oregon give information that rich gold mines have been discovered some 70 or 80 miles south of Auburn, Baker County. It is said that as high as $50 a day to the hand has been obtained. This is confirming the long talked-of report of rich gold mines being discovered by the immigrant who came to Oregon on the "Meek Cutoff," in 1848.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, April 6, 1867, page 215
NEW MINES IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--We obtain the following from the Southern Oregon Press, published at Jacksonville:
The reports from the new gold regions recently discovered in the northern part of this county continue of the most flattering character. That our readers may be better "posted" in the matter, we will briefly state how the discovery was made. It seems that a German, named Wines, who lived for a short time last summer with Mr. B. W. Griffin, near this place, started in, last fall, to prospect on Jumpoff Joe Creek. He commenced operations higher up the creek than work had ever been done before, and was rewarded for his enterprise by finding that the higher up he went the better the prospects were, till, having struck diggings that would warrant working, without wasting any more time, he commenced operations with a rocker, and the result was so satisfactory that he determined to stick to it. He built a cabin, came to town and laid in a stock of provisions, and after informing Mr. Griffin's family and other acquaintances of his success, started back. Little attention was paid to the reports he made until recently, when it was found out that he had quite a "good thing." A week or two ago several miners from the neighborhood and Mr. Sexton went up and located claims above and below that of Mr. Wines. It seems that Mr. Sexton sank a small hole on his, immediately below that of Mr. Wines, and out of this hole he panned a piece weighing $13, besides several dollars in fine gold. Mr. Wines is said to have rocked out some twenty-six ounces during the winter, only a very small cut on his claim having been worked. The location of these mines is about twelve miles above where the stage road crosses Jumpoff Joe Creek. The formation is a sort of marshy basin, or bar in the creek, the extent of which is not accurately known, but is variously estimated at from four to seven miles long. Claims have been located for about a mile along the basin, despite the great depth of snow covering the ground from three to six feet--in all of which large prospects have been had--fully sufficient, it is reported, to warrant the assumption that they will prove good "ounce diggings." If this is so, and the region should prove as extensive as some think it to be, it will throw Idaho and Montana in the shade, and prove a source of incalculable wealth in this portion of the state. Gold has long been known to exist in this belt of mountains, but the "pay streak" seems to have been lost until this recent discovery; although fabulous stories of immensely rich diggings having been discovered and lost in these mountains have been traditionary among our old settlers. These recent discoveries will probably give increased impetus to prospecting in this region during the coming summer, and we hope the expectations of the prospectors may be fully realized.
Oregonian, Portland, April 8, 1867, page 2
The Jacksonville Sentinel says the tunneling in Gold Hill is still progressing, with good prospects of success. The ledge has been struck again, and the miners are running a shaft from the tunnel to the surface--a distance of 120 ft.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, April 20, 1867, page 247
The Jacksonville Sentinel says of the newly discovered mines in Southern Oregon; the district is in the mountains north of Rogue River near the headwaters of Jumpoff Joe. The locality very much resembles Boise Basin--in miniature. Prospecting, thus far, has been limited to the creek and a few gulches, on account of the snow. It is stated, by persons who have visited the district, that diggings that will pay from $3 to $15 per day to the hand have already been discovered.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, April 27, 1867, page 263
From the Jacksonville Press: The excitement with regard to the new diggings on Jumpoff Joe continues unabated, and persons returning from there bring with them evidences of their richness in the shape of the genuine ore.
From the Sentinel: Crandall & Co., owners of the copper ledge on Fall Creek, are now building a furnace for smelting purposes. The ore contains copper, gold and silver.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, May 4, 1867, page 279
The Jacksonville Sentinel says that tunneling in Gold Hill is still progressing, with good prospects of success. The ledge has been struck again, and the miners are running a shaft from the tunnel to the surface, a distance of 120 ft.
The Sentinel recently saw, at Mr. Beekman's banking house, a specimen of gold weighing $510, which was obtained in the mines in that vicinity.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, May 18, 1867, page 311
A piece of quartz has been found in Jackson County which weighs 140 oz. It is expected to yield 100 oz. of gold.
The Jacksonville Press says that $6 or $7 diggings have been discovered at the head of Jack's Creek. The diggings are some two miles in extent. Other diggings have been struck near the head of Applegate. The discoverers were Chinamen, one Celestial having picked up a piece of gold weighing 14 oz.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 8, 1867, page 359
The Jacksonville Press says that Cohn's quartz mill on Illinois River, Josephine Co., has been completed, and has gone to work. We may expect some startling reports from this quarter soon.
The Ensign says that there is a mountain of cinnabar near Canyonville, Southern Oregon. Several pieces have lately been taken from it, heavy and full of quicksilver.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 15, 1867, page 375
From the Jacksonville Press, June 8th: The news from Wines' camp, on Jumpoff Joe, is in every respect gratifying. Mr. Wines and partner, after a run of a day and a half, cleaned up $80. Their claim averages $12 per day to the hand.
Sentinel, June 8th: Rich diggings have been struck on the left-hand fork of Jackass Creek, some distance higher up than heretofore. About 20 claims have been staked off. The yield is large and for the most part coarse gold. New diggings are being struck almost every week.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 22, 1867, page 391
Jacksonville Sentinel, June 22nd: Stephen Gale found a diamond while panning out a few days since. It has been examined in the dark, and pronounced a genuine brilliant.
Jacksonville Press, June 18th: The news from Wines Camp on Jumpoff Joe is in every respect gratifying. All the companies, thus far, who have cleaned up have made good wages, notwithstanding the extra labor and embarrassments encountered in opening the claims. Mr. Wines and a partner, after a run of one day and a half, cleaned up $80; their claim averages $12 a day to the hand. Many of the other claims when placed in as good condition for working will, no doubt, pay fully as well.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 29, 1867, page 407
From the Sentinel of July 13th: There are continued good mining prospects in Jackson County. More diggings have been struck in the vicinity of Pleasant Creek. A continuation of an old channel has apparently been found, richer than ever. The gold obtained is coarse and heavy, being worth $16.50 in this market. Pleasant Creek, heretofore, has been considered one of the best mining camps in the country, and if this new discovery proves to be as rich as it is now thought, it will firmly establish its reputation for rich diggings.
Another lump of gold has been picked up in Jackson County, which is large enough to awaken some of the buried recollections of '49ers. It weighs 146 oz.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 3, 1867, page 71
The Jacksonville Press says: The Malachi ledge, on Cañon Creek, opposite Kerbyville, is turning out gloriously. Mr. Malachi hauled 3,600 lbs. of what he considered the poorest rock, to Cohn's mill, for crushing, from which he realized eight oz., and $10. He said before testing it that if that rock paid, "he was all right," as he had an abundance of rock of a much better quality.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 17, 1867, page 103
MARBLE IN OREGON.--Mr. Gillette, correspondent of the Oregonian, writing from Ashland to that paper, says a Mr. Russell is manufacturing marble slabs from marble quarries in that vicinity. It is beautiful, and of peculiar formation, so that when polished it gleams like diamonds, like a mass of crystals cemented together.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 24, 1867, page 126
Jacksonville Sentinel, Sept 7th: D. C. Cohn has arrived from San Francisco, and is going to start the Enterprise quartz mill and push work forward with renewed energy. He intends to work the rock by a new process, and thinks he can make it pay $250 to the ton.
Prospectors in the neighborhood of Diamond Peak, in the Cascade Mountains, have discovered several quartz ledges in what seems to be a parallel range, at least they found three leads near together, and running parallel to each other. The rock is rich, with some kind of metal, and it is thought to be silver, as it stands all the tests to which the prospectors were able to submit it The specimen which we have shows metal, though what it is we cannot say.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, September 21, 1867, page 183
Jacksonville Sentinel, Sept. 3rd: Mr. Mosher, of Roseburg, was in town the other day with some rich specimens of silver-bearing quartz, taken from a ledge on Coast Fork, within a few miles of the Bohemia mine. We understand that one of the discoverers has taken a quantity of the rock to San Francisco to have it assayed.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, September 28, 1867, page 199
Jacksonville Sentinel, Sept. 21st: The company in possession of the Alta copper mine, situated at the Low Divide, on the Crescent City road, have shipped about 700 tons of copper during the present summer. The ore is transported to smelting works in Massachusetts, near Boston, but it is the intention of the company to erect works in Smith River Valley, California--to which place they will have a road completed from the mine this fall, at a cost of about $13,000.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, October 5, 1867, page 215
Jacksonville Sentinel, Sept 28th: Last week, Mr. Oliver brought from a ledge on Grave Creek a load of quartz rock--about 1,500 lbs.--to the mill on Jackson Creek. Col. Drew crushed it this week, and obtained $14.87, very fine gold. At this rate it will pay nearly $20 per ton. No gold is visible in the rock. We understand it is the intention to test the ledge further, and if sufficient encouragement is met with, a mill will be erected on the ledge.
Parties are leaving town nearly every day for the mining district, between the North Umpqua and Willamette rivers. It is credibly reported that average specimens assay $180 to the ton.
Col. Butterfield, who is sinking on a bed of cement near Waldo, is sanguine that the cement will pay for crushing, and has ordered machinery for that purpose. A few boulders and some gravel has been struck in the bottom of the tunnel, but the cement still continues.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, October 12, 1867, page 231
Jacksonville Sentinel, Sept. 28th: Mr. Devins has discovered a large bed of superior chalk, on Lost River, about 100 miles from this place.
Yreka Union, Oct 5th: Quartz has been taken from a ledge on Grave Creek, Jackson County, Oregon, which yields about $20 to the ton. If further tests will warrant it, a mill will be erected on it.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, October 19, 1867, page 247
Jacksonville Sentinel, October 26th: The Crandall copper mine has been prospected this summer, and found to be rich in both gold and copper.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, November 9, 1867, page 295
Jacksonville Sentinel, Nov. 16th: Times in the Sterlingville mining camp are as prosperous as ever. Spaulding and Johnson are driving their tunnel into the boulder channel, and expect to strike pay in a few weeks. There is work for 100 men in this channel, at good wages, if the waters of Applegate Creek are ever brought to work it.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, November 30, 1867, page 343
Jacksonville Sentinel, Dec. 7th: Colonel Drew, with two others, are still driving their tunnel on Jackson Creek. The Colonel has overhauled his mill and is putting in the latest improved condensing or saving apparatus.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, December 21, 1867, page 391
Jacksonville Sentinel, Jan. 11th: This week we had occasion to take a trip up Jackson Creek, where we found everybody and everything snowed in. At the Occidental quartz mill the snow was about one foot deep, and up the creek about half a mile further, the snow is said to be two ft. deep. Col. Drew has got the Occidental quartz mill about ready for running again. He has put about $1,200 worth of improvements on the mill. Some entirely new pieces of machinery have been added, and it is the belief of the owners of the mill that they can save all the gold. A contract for crushing 100 tons of quartz has been closed and the mill will proceed to work as soon as the quartz is delivered.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, January 25, 1868, page 55
OREGON LAUREL FOR SHIP BUILDING.--The Bulletin gives a letter recently received from George M. Scudder, Ellensburg, Oregon, in reference to Oregon timber for ship building. We quote the portion which speaks of laurel: "Some four or five years ago I had got out at this place (Rogue River), for the navy yard at Mare Island, several thousand feet of laurel--or as it is universally called in Oregon, 'myrtle.' Most of this would average twenty or more inches squared, in thickness, and was in length from about eighteen to thirty feet; and could have been got out longer, but that the schooner (Florence Walton) was not of sufficient capacity; some of the sticks were good crooks, but mostly straight. Several pieces squared twenty-two inches; one, I think, about thirty-two--at least, such can be had. In loading, one of the timbers slipped out of the slings, and being nearly as heavy as lead, sunk to the bottom, and there remained for three years, when ultimately a heavy freshet threw it out upon the river bank. Having been in salt water, worms made an attempt on it, but succeeded only with a slight strip of the sap[wood], the main portion evidently resisting their attacks.
"But this is the point I wish to call to your attention. If opportunity occurs I intend sending a part of this to San Francisco. The timber thus seasoned is very solid; my men made a maul from it and daily use it, which is as solid as bone. Laurel or myrtle timber grows plentifully on Rogue River, on the Coquille, Coos Bay, Umpqua, etc. Growing on river bottoms mostly, considerable of it has been cut off and burned 'to clear the land.' It is a pity that this, the most valuable timber for ship-building, in my opinion, on this coast, should not be better known. It should be cut--this is a great point--from November to March or thereabouts, and if afterwards 'docked,' would fully equal any 'live oak'; in fact, if, as I think, it will resist the worm, why should it not be superior to any other timber?"
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, February 22, 1868, page 127
Jacksonville Sentinel, Feb. 15th: Mr. C. Nye called upon us this week, and reports that the mining interests on Foots Creek are all frozen up. The same may be said of all the mining camps in the country.
A road is being made from the Occidental quartz mill to the Holman lead. It is the intention to proceed as fast as the rock can be transported to the mill to commence crushing. The mill has been carefully repaired, and the defective parts made new, so that it is almost certain that all the gold can be saved.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, February 29, 1868, page 135
Jacksonville Sentinel, Feb. 22nd: Last week a miner on Coyote Creek, between here and Canyonville, found a nugget of gold in his claim, weighing a little over 16
oz., and worth $273.50.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, March 14, 1868, page 167
Jacksonville Sentinel, Feb. 29th: Mr. Alex. Watts informs us that Mr. S. Messenger and himself have just completed a prospecting arrastra on Horsehead Gulch, a tributary of Williams Creek, in Josephine County. They are intending to crush several tons of rock from the old Horsehead ledge.
The late rains have given the miners a fair start; all the large ditches are full and the boys are busy making the most of the probably short season before them.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, March 21, 1868, page 183
Jacksonville Sentinel, March 7th: We are informed that the claims of McDaniel & Therman, at Sterlingville, is averaging $20 per day to the hand, without any prospect of giving out as yet.
The claim of Johnson & Co. is paying an ounce per day to the hand. Messrs. Kleinhammer and Mentz are taking out good pay--about $10 per day to each man, and the well-known claim of Saltmarsh & Co. is panning out as usual.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, March 28, 1868, page 199
Jacksonville Sentinel, April 22nd: The Occidental quartz mill has been running the past week, and as soon as the "cleanup" from the run just made is completed, the mill will be set in motion again. The amount of quartz crushed last week was 94 tons, from the Timber Gulch ledge. The mill is driven by a 30-horsepower engine. The crushing and reducing machinery consists of two high mortar batteries, five stamps each, two Rittinger boxes, two Hungerford's improved concentrators, and one seven-foot amalgamating tub, arranged similar to an arrastra.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, May 9, 1868, page 305
Jacksonville Sentinel, May 2nd: The work lately done by the Occidental was an experiment. It has proved satisfactory, leaving a good profit, after paying expenses of quarrying and crushing, and the mill will resume work as soon as sufficient rock can be got out to commence on.
Messrs. F. and T. Newland, Fox and Patty, are running a tunnel into the hill facing Allen Gulch, Josephine County. They have prospected the hill and find a deep channel near the summit, and have found also that all the gulches that have cut this channel have been rich, while those which have not cut it have never paid. The tunnel at present is in 190 ft., and they expect to have to run 25 ft. further before striking the channel. Two shifts of hands are being worked, so that the labor ceases not by day or night.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, May 16, 1868, page 321
Jacksonville Sentinel, 23rd: We were at the Occidental mill this week, and found everybody busy. Col. Drew has been running night and day for 13 days. The quartz being crushed now is from [the] Timber Gulch lead, and has the appearance of being very rich. The last run paid $10 to the ton. The mill is in splendid running order.
A vein of decomposed quartz running across Kanaka Flat has been struck. From present indications the lead will pay fully as well as the Timber Gulch lead. The vein of quartz is between three and four ft.
At Sterling the claims are still panning out well. We hear of a number of claims paying an ounce a day to the hand.
We learn that new diggings have been struck between Rogue River and Galice Creek that prospect well.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 6, 1868, page 369
Jacksonville Reveille, May 30th: Milling for the Timber Gulch ledge was suspended for a time last Monday, after a run of 206 tons, it having been ascertained that the quartz could be worked more profitably by assorting it. Meanwhile the mill has been kept running on rock from other ledges. Three tons from Ives' mine in Sterling yielded $50 per ton. Twenty tons from the Rising Star yielded $9 per ton. This ledge is on the South Fork of Jackson Creek, three miles from town. We understand that work will be resumed at once. The mill is now at work on ore from the Blue ledge above Kanaka Flat.
Messrs. Brown, Parsons and Brooks are reopening the old mine on Richardson ledge with the view of testing it by mill process. Neuber and Boushey will soon commence prospecting in the Bauer ledge. The Howard and Payne ledge on Brush Creek is now open, but means are wanting to enable the owners to give it a practical test.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 13, 1868, page 385
Jacksonville Sentinel, June 13th: Mr. H. Helms recently showed us a gold specimen from the Timber Gulch lead worth $19.50. The specimen is a peculiar-looking piece, about two inches long and three-eighths of an inch thick. It has the appearance of being drawn out like wire and in that shape embedded in quartz. When it was found the quartz fell off from the gold and left it exposed in one solid piece.
Mr. L. Ziegler, in his claim on Jackson Creek, is taking rich pay from what has heretofore been considered bedrock, obtaining therefrom as high as an ounce of gold from one pan of dirt.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, July 4, 1868, page 7
Jacksonville Sentinel, June 20th: Muller, of the firm of Muller & Brentano, has purchased the Ballou lead; consideration not given.
The last run of rock crushed at the Occidental, from the Ballou lead, yielded $11.50 per ton. There is plenty of rock in sight, and the indications are that it will increase in richness.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, July 11, 1868, page 23
(From our Traveling Correspondent.)Owing to a scarcity of water, very little placer mining is being done this season. It appears that this region was visited with less snow and rain, during the past winter, than any portion of country either north or south. At Sterlingville, however, there are a few claims doing a very fine business, for a short season. Their ground is good, and plenty of it; what they need is capital to bring in water. In Jacksonville, quartz appears to be all the rage. Col. Drew, superintendent of the Occidental mill, has demonstrated, beyond question, that good paying gold-bearing quartz exists in plenty in that vicinity. This gentlemen has a fine 10-stamp mill of Miners' Foundry construction, situated on Jackson Creek, about three miles from this city. The mill is located at the base of a high mountain, containing a series of ledges, varying in width from three to fifteen feet, and presenting as fine variety and character of ores as any in the State of California. Col. D. has introduced the "Rittinger boxes" (described in the Press some time since), in his process of working. This application is cheap, easily applied, and works to his entire satisfaction. For particulars, as to the construction and working of said boxes, the readers of the Press are referred to an account given of them in the issues of Jan. 5th and 19th, 1867. That this district abounds in ledges, many of which will eventually prove to be first class, the writer has not the slightest doubt; and as to cheapness of working, a more favorable location could not be had on the Pacific Coast, possessing an abundance of timber and water sufficient for all milling purposes. Wood is now being delivered on the ground at two dollars per cord, and labor is only two dollars per day, or forty-five per month, including board. These rates are cheaper than at any other point; to account for it, the reader has only to be made aware that this district borders upon one of the finest valleys, and most extensive agricultural districts west of the Rocky Mountains.
Mining in Jackson County, Oregon.
B.Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, July 18, 1868, page 34
Jacksonville Sentinel, July 18th: The Occidental mill is crushing quartz from the Johnson & Elder lead. A cleanup will be made sometime next week. Everything looks flattering so far for a rich run.
Col. Drew commenced work on the Holman lead on Wednesday morning last. Four miners are employed in taking out quartz.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, July 25, 1868, page 55
Eugene Journal: Some prospectors in Jackson County sunk several prospect holes on Coyote Creek, and found a prospect sufficient to warrant them in the belief that their claims would pay from $8 to $10 per day to the hand, when worked properly.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 1, 1868, page 71
Jacksonville Sentinel, August 1st: M. H. Chapin exhibited to us this week a nugget of gold taken from his claim on Pleasant Creek, which weighed 10¼ ounces. This is the second piece he has taken out this season. The first found weighed a dollar more than this piece.
The tunnel which Messrs. Fox, Patty & Co. had run into the hill channel at Waldo, in Josephine County, crushed the timbering and caved in lately. Where it broke the ground was over 100 feet deep, and the opening at the top is about 50 feet across.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 8, 1868, page 71
Portland Oregonian, July 25th: A very rich streak of pay quartz was struck in Timber Gulch, Jackson County, last week. The rock was sacked at the lead and thus taken to the mill to prevent loss.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 15, 1868, page 103
Jacksonville Sentinel, August 8th: Funck & Cummins are having rock drawn from their lead, on the left-hand fork of Jackson Creek, to the Occidental mill, which commenced crushing yesterday.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 22, 1868, page 118
Jacksonville Sentinel, Aug. 29th: Dillon and Bowden started on a prospecting expedition to the headwaters of Evans Creek, on Thursday. They are after the "lost cabin."
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, September 12, 1868, page 167
Jacksonville Sentinel, Sept. 19th: Last Sunday a miner named Wm. Harriott found a chunk of gold on Applegate Creek, near Steamboat City that weighs 41 oz., and is worth about $680. This piece is on exhibition at the banking house of C. C. Beekman. Another weighing 69 ounces was taken out on Saturday.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, October 3, 1868, page 215
The Jacksonville Sentinel says: Important discoveries of ores are being found in various localities of Coos and Curry counties. Quite an excitement is now agitating the people of these counties, in consequence of the discovery of a rich gold-bearing quartz ledge at Salmon Gulch, northeast of Port Orford. A rival company, supposed to be in the interest of San Francisco capitalists, are pretending to claim the ledge as a spur from an unknown and imaginary one of theirs, which will probably lead to litigation. Some silver and copper ores have been found in various localities of Curry County, which will ultimately prove a fine field for the miner and the mineralogist.
The Yreka Journal says the Goose Lake country is fast settling up, and good prospects for gold mining are reported about the headwaters of Sprague River.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, November 28, 1868, page 343
Jacksonville Sentinel, Dec. 12th: The Enterprise quartz mill in Josephine County, lately sold by the sheriff, has been purchased by G. Karewski for the sum of $870.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, December 26, 1868, page 407
Portland Oregonian, Dec. 19th: L. W. Felton, who has just returned from a trip through Southern Oregon, showed us yesterday a specimen of almost pure copper, obtained from a creek in the Bohemia district. He represents that a company has a large lode near where this specimen was found, which is believed to be almost pure copper.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, January 9, 1869, page 23
Platinum--as near as can be judged without making an assay--in heavy, whitish steel-gray, ductile, scaly particles, intermixed with a garnet-like sand; from placer mines in Southern Oregon--presented by Dr. Frey, of Sacramento--who, it may be remarked in this connection, has one of the most complete mineralogical cabinets in the state, having lately added thereto by the purchase of many lithological and paleontological specimens. Platinum occurs usually in grains, but occasionally in irregular lumps, and is as heavy as gold. It is quite valuable--next to gold--on account of its uses in chemistry, being infusible and not attacked by any of the pure acids. Where it can be obtained plentifully, it is well worth saving. It has been found in veins along with gold. Iridium and osmium, similar metals, are usually found with platinum; in California they are found in many places along the foothills, with the gold, but most plentifully on the lower Klamath.
"Contributions for Out Cabinet," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, January 16, 1869, page 33
A Southern Oregon paper reports that the miners in Josephine County are all busy. Water is plenty, much rain having fallen there, and the streams are generally much swollen.
A Jacksonville paper learns that rich diggings have been struck on Picken's Creek, about eight miles from the Junction House, in Josephine County.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, February 6, 1869, page 87
Jacksonville Sentinel, Feb. 13th: Duffy & Co., at Pickett's camp in Josephine County, are taking out an ounce per day to the hand. Water plenty and ground unlimited.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, March 6, 1869, page 151
The Jacksonville Sentinel of March 6th says that mining in that section during the past winter has been a complete failure on account of the scarcity of water, and urges not only the miners, but the farmers, to unite and contribute a small sum each to be expended in bringing the waters of Applegate Creek to the Sterling mines. The editor says that the enterprise can be completed at a cost of less than $60,000, and that the ground thus provided with a sufficiency of water cannot be worked out in the next 40 years.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, March 20, 1869, page 183
Jacksonville Sentinel, April 10th: Dillon & Bowden, who own nine-tenths of the Occidental ledge, have sunk on it about 70 feet, and at that depth it has widened to about two feet. It was almost impossible to break a piece of the rock last taken out and not find gold in it; we saw specimens that were nearly half gold.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, April 24, 1869, page 263
QUARTZ IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--The Jacksonville News says: Owing to the failure of our placer mines this season, from want of water, miners are beginning
to turn their attention to quartz.
The Timber Gulch lead is furnishing the most flattering prospects, simply because its owners are applying the true test--that of going down on the lead.
Gold Hill--unprecedentedly rich as it was--was never sunk on to a depth exceeding 50 feet. The proprietors now offer one half the lead to any person that will put a shaft down 200 feet.
The Fowler lead, at Steamboat City, has paid big dividends, and would so again if properly worked. The Davenport, Hicks and Blackwell, ditto.
Jacksonville Sentinel, May 1st: Dillon & Bowden are now down on their lead about 75 feet and still find rich prospects. They will make the rock taken from the
shaft pay all expenses.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, May 15, 1869, page 319
DILLON & BOWDEN.--Jacksonville Sentinel, May 22nd: Work is still going on in the shaft. They are now down on the lead about 90 feet, and the rock prospects well. They will commence crushing about the middle of next month.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 5, 1869, page 359
GOOD CLEANUP.--Jacksonville Sentinel, July 3rd: Messrs. Dillon & Bowden cleaned up last week, after crushing 70 tons of quartz. The result is not made public, but the proprietors are in good spirits, and say that they got more than a good working prospect. They will push work again vigorously.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, July 17, 1869, page 39
RICH STRIKE.--Jacksonville Sentinel, July 10th: The owners of the Malachi quartz ledge on Lightning Gulch, in Josephine County, have struck rich pay.
MINING AT STEAMBOAT CITY.--We learn that the ditch of Sturgis, Titus & Co. , is finished. There is 200 inches of water in it, taken from the right-hand fork of Applegate Creek. The ditch is 5½ miles long. The claims comprise 800 yards of the gulch below Steamboat ledge, and are probably the richest in the county. On main Applegate, Harriott's river claim is paying well, pieces weighing from ten to fifteen dollars being frequently found. Epperson & Herbold are getting good prospects. A Chinese company are putting in a wing dam below.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, July 24, 1869, page 55
RAIN.--Jacksonville Sentinel, Nov. 20: For several days past the much-hoped-for rain has been coming down. We hear the Chinamen are buzzing around lively in their mining operations, and white miners in a few days more will have plenty of water.
"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, December 4, 1869, page 359
QUARTZ.--Jacksonville Sentinel, 11th: We are informed that a rich gold-bearing ledge has been discovered on the divide at the head of Indian Creek, Josephine County.
"Oregon," Scientific Press, San Francisco, June 8, 1870, page 413
QUARTZ.--Jacksonville Sentinel, June 25th: We are informed that Sam. Bowden cleaned up, after crushing about 80 tons of quartz, on Jackson Creek, $2,500.
"Oregon," Scientific Press, San Francisco, July 2, 1870, page 5
STEAMBOAT DIGGINGS.--Jacksonville Sentinel, Sept. 3rd: Al. Sturgis exhibited to us several large nuggets, and over $800 of amalgam gold. They have been to work at their claims for nearly two years, but have struck it at last.
"Oregon," Scientific Press, San Francisco, September 10, 1870, page 189
Last revised October 15, 2021