Idaho is essentially a mining territory. It was her mines that first stimulated immigration to within her borders, and it is to the results of the mines that her present prosperity is due in a great measure. Now that mining has been reduced to a legitimate occupation, there is less reckless speculation, perhaps, than of old, but more solid, substantial business. The days of stock gambling in mining properties are about over. Science, aided by practical experience, has taught the best methods of treating ores. Capitalists no longer purchase prospects for fabulous prices on the strength of picked specimens or the vicinity of rich claims. It is a fortunate circum-stance for Idaho that mining has been for the most part a steady, productive industry, yielding rich returns to the patient and intelligent prospector, and that it has not been necessary to rely on fictitious "booms."
As in the case of mining countries generally, the placer mines first attracted attention. The placers of Boise basin, Salmon River, and other localities had yielded rich returns. But it is within a comparatively recent period that quartz mining has become as general as at present in southern and central Idaho. Even now in well known mining regions there are many miles as yet unexplored.
The minerals of Idaho are gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, plumbago, quicksilver, coal, and others. There are also mountains of sulphur, productive salt springs, quarries of the finest marble and building stone, large deposits of mica, and various varieties of semi-precious stones. Her precious-metal belt is three hundred and fifty miles long, and from ten to one hundred and fifty miles wide.
Discovery Of Gold
It is reported that gold was discovered by a French Canadian in Pend d'Oreille river, in 1852. Two years later General Lander found gold while exploring the route for a military road from the Columbia to Fort Bridger. The earliest discoveries of which we have any authentic record, however, were probably made by members of the party with that veteran pioneer and path-finder, Captain John Mullan, the originator of the now famous Mullan road from Fort Benton to Walla Walla, a distance of six hundred and twenty-four miles. In a letter dated Washington, D. C, June 4, 1884, to Mr. A. F. Parker, of Eagle City, he says:
I am not at all surprised at the discovery of numerous rich gold deposits in your mountains, because both on the waters of the St. Joseph and the Coeur d'Alene, when there many years ago, I frequently noticed vast masses of quartz strewing the ground, particularly on the St. Joseph river, and wide veins of quartz projecting at numerous points along the line of my road along the Coeur d'Alene, all of which indicated the presence of gold. Nay, more: I now recall quite vividly the fact that one of my herders and hunters, a man by the name of Moise, coming into camp one day with a handful of coarse gold, which he said he found on the waters of the north fork of the Coeur d'Alene while out hunting for our expedition. This was in 1858 or 1859. The members of my expedition were composed very largely of old miners from California, and having had more or less experience in noticing the indication of mineral de-posits, their universal verdict was that the entire country, from Coeur d'Alene lake on toward and including the east slope of the Rocky mountains, was one vast gold-bearing country, and I was always nervous as to the possible discovery of gold along the of my road; and I am now frank to say that I did nothing to encourage its discovery at that time, for I feared that any rich discovery would lead to a general stampede of my men from my expedition, and thus destroy the probable consummation of my work during the time within which I desired to complete the same. I then regarded it as of the first importance to myself and to the public to open a base line from the plains of the Spokane on the west to the plains of the Missouri on the east, from which other lines could be subsequently opened, and by means of which the correct geography of the country could be delineated. My object at that time was to ascertain whether there was a practicable railroad line through the valleys, and if there existed any practicable pass in the main range
Mines And Mining
of the Rocky mountains through which, in connection with the proper approaches thereto, we could carry a wagon road, to be followed by a railroad line, and I did not hesitate to make all other considerations secondary or subordinate thereto, believing then, and knowing now, that if a railroad line was projected and completed through the valleys and the passes of the Rocky mountains, between the forty-fifth and forty-eighth parallels of latitude, all other developments would naturally and necessarily soon follow.
A romantic tale is told of the discoveries which led to the Oro Fino excitement in i860. Tradition relates that a Nez Perce Indian, in i860, informed Captain E. D. Pierce that while himself and two companions were camping at night among the defiles of his native mountains, an apparition in the shape of a brilliant star suddenly burst forth from among the cliffs. They believed it to be the eye of the Great Spirit, and when daylight had given them sufficient courage they sought the spot and found a glittering ball that looked like glass, embodied in the solid rock. The Indians believed it to be "great medicine," but could not get it from its resting place. With his ardent imagination fired by such a tale, Captain Pierce organized a company, and with the hope of finding the "eye of their Manitou," explored the mountains in the country of the Nez Perces.
He was accompanied by W. F. Bassett, Thomas Walters, Jonathan Smith, and John and James Dodge. The Indians distrusted them, however, and refused to permit them to make further search. They would doubtless have had to leave the country had not a Nez Perce squaw come to their relief and piloted them through to the north fork of the Clearwater and the Palouse country, cutting a trail for days through the small cedars, reaching a mountain meadow, where they stopped to rest. While there Bassett went to a stream and tried the soil for gold, finding about three cents in his first panful of dirt. This is said to be the discovery that resulted in the afterwards famous Oro Fino mines. After taking out about eighty dollars, they returned to Walla Walla. Sergeant J. C. Smith, of that place, thereupon fitted out a party and started for the mines, reaching there in November, i860. In the following March Smith made his way out on snow-shoes, taking with him eight hundred dollars in gold-dust. This dust was shipped to Portland, where it caused a blaze of excitement.
During 1861 and 1862 the rush continued. Steamers arrived at Portland from San Francisco and Victoria loaded down with freight and passengers for the new gold-fields. New mining regions were constantly discovered. In the spring of 1861 Pierce City was founded and named in honor of Captain Pierce. The Elk City mines were discovered early in 1861 by parties from Oro Fino. Florence was discovered in the fol-lowing autumn. In August, 1862, James Warren and others located claims in what was thereafter known as Warren's Diggings. These last named are all on the tributaries of the Salmon river. Warren's never caused the rush and excitement that attended the discovery of Florence. The latter, it is claimed, was found by a greenhorn, one of a party of seven hunters. The recklessness characteristic of new mining camps found full play here. Thirty men were killed in the first year; shooting and cutting were every-day matters. Prices were abnormal.
The Walla Walla Statesman, in chronicling the event, gives the following description of the discovery of the Salmon river mines in 1861: "S. F. Ledyard arrived last evening from the Salmon river mines, and from him it is learned that some six hundred miners would winter there; that some two hundred had gone to the south side of the river, where two streams head that empty into the Salmon, some thirty miles southeast of the present mining camp. Coarse gold is found, and as high as one hundred dollars per day to the man has been taken out. The big mining claim of the old locality belongs to Mr. Weiser, of Oregon, from where two thousand six hundred and eighty dollars were taken on the 20th, with rockers. On the 21st three thousand three hundred and sixty dollars were taken out with the same machines. Other claims were paying from two to five pounds per day. Flour has fallen to fifty cents per pound, and beef at from fifteen to twenty-five cents is to be found in abundance. Most of the mines are supplied till the first of June. Mr. Ledyard met between Slate creek and Walla Walla, en route to the mines, three hundred and ninety-four packs and two hundred and fifty head of beef cattle." The same journal on December 13, 1861, gives
Mines And Mining
the following- account of the new diggings: "The tide of immigration to Salmon river flows steadily onward. During the week past not less than two hundred and twenty-five pack-animals, heavily laden with provisions, have left this city (Walla Walla) for the mines. If the mines arc one-half so rich as they are said to be, we may safely calculate that many of these trains will return as heavily laden with gold-dust as they are now with provisions. The late news from Salmon river seems to have given the gold fever to everybody in this immediate neighborhood. A number of persons from Florence City have arrived in this place during the week, and all bring the most extravagant reports as to the richness of the mines. A report in relation to a rich strike made by Air. Bridges, of Oregon City, seems to come well authenticated. The first day he worked on his claim, near Baboon Gulch, he took fifty-seven ounces: the second day he took one hundred and fifty-seven ounces: third day, two hundred and fourteen ounces; and the fourth day, two hundred ounces in two hours. One gentleman informs us that diggings have been found on the bars of the Salmon river which yield from twenty-five cents to two dollars and fifty cents to the pan, and that on claims in the Salmon river diggings have been found where "ounces' won't describe them and where they say the gulches are 'full of gold.' The discoverer of Baboon Gulch arrived in this city yesterday, bringing with him sixty pounds of gold-dust: and Mr. Jacob Weiser is on his way in with a mule loaded with gold-dust."
Such glowing descriptions nearly forty years ago had their inevitable effects, while the more substantial argument was adduced in the fact that $1,750,000 in gold dust was exported from this region that year. According to Mr. Elliott, during April, 1862, three thousand persons left Portland, by steamer, for the mines, and by the last of May it was estimated that between twenty and twenty-five thousand persons had reached or were on their way to and near the mines east of the Cascade mountains. The yield accounted for, of gold, in 1862, in this region of country, reached seven million dollars, and several millions in addition to this were shipped through avenues not reported.
"Such," says the chronicler, "were the results following in a few short months upon the trail pioneered by E. D. Pierce, W. F. Bassett, and their little party of prospectors whom the Indians had driven out of the country, but to return to it again and again, first led by a squaw, then through the assistance of T. C. Smith, when pursued as trespassers by a company of United States cavalry. Enough has been given to show the reader the influence that awoke eastern Washington, Oregon, and Idaho from their sleep through the centuries, to a new era of activity and usefulness."
It was a strange throng that came pouring over the mountains of north Idaho in the days of 1862. On foot, horseback, or by any other means that could be obtained, they pushed their way over swollen rivers, rugged mountains, and Indian-infested valleys. Lewiston, Lapwai, Oro Fino, Pierce City, Elk City, Florence, these were the magic names that fired the imaginations and stimulated the ardor of these dauntless pioneers.
One of the effects of the Florence excitement was the discovery of Boise basin, in Boise County. A party of men left Florence in the fall of 1 86 1, and in the following summer passed over into central Idaho. They came by the way of Oregon, crossing the Snake River by the mouth of the Boise. They followed up Boise River to the site of Boise city. Under instructions from an Indian whom they there encountered, they struck out for the mountains north of Boise River, and subsequently camped near where Centerville now stands. While prospecting on the creek, one of the party named Grimes was killed by Indians. The creek, which has become famous in the history of Idaho placer mining, has ever since been called Grimes creek. After the death of Grimes, his companions left the country for Walla Walla. Another party returned to the basin in October 1862. A stockade was built, and the place was styled "Fort Hog'em," a name which locally survives to this day. A writer in the Idaho World gives the following account of the discovery of Boise basin:
A party of thirty-eight men, known as Turner's party, left Auburn. Oregon, in the spring of 1862, for Sinker creek, in Owyhee County. It was reported that emigrants, in fishing along this creek, used gold nuggets, picked up on the creek, for sinkers hence the name.
Mines And Mining
Joseph Branstetter of this place, was with Turner's party. Failing to find gold on Sinker creek, Branstetter and seven others left the party and met Captain Grimes' party of eight men, between Sinker creek and Owyhee River. Grimes' party and Branstetter and three others of his party. Colonel Dave Fogus one of the number, making twelve 'men all told, concluded to strike up into the mountains of this section. They crossed Snake River, eight miles above the Owyhee river, in skiffs made of willows. Snake river was then at high-water mark. The party struck Grimes creek near Black's ranch and followed up said creek, along which they first discovered gold, near where the town of Boston stood two or three miles below Centerville. They obtained good prospects there about a bit to the pan. The party proceeded up to Grimes Pass, near the head of Grimes creek. One day, while all of the party were in camp, a shot was fired a short distance from the camp, the bullet passing over the men's heads. A few moments after a second shot was fired, the bullet cutting the hair over one of Mr. Branstetter's ears. Grimes, a Portuguese named Phillip, Mose Splann, and Wilson, Grimes' partner, then struck out from camp on the hunt of the Indian that did the shooting. Grimes got on the track of the Indian, on the hill above camp, and was following the tracks with his shot-gun in his hands when the fatal shot was fired. Splann was about fifty yards to Grimes' left, and the Portuguese a short distance behind. Grimes was within thirty steps of an Indian and about a hundred and fifty yards from the camp when he was shot. The Indian made his escape. Grimes was shot near the heart, and lived only long enough to tell Wilson to tell his wife, who was in Portland, how he came to his death. Grimes frequently made the remark that he would never reach home that he was to be killed by Indians. The day before he was killed he remarked, while gazing at the picture of his only child, a daughter of a few years of age, that he would never see her again, that he had only a short time to live. Grimes' remains were buried at Grimes Pass, where he was killed. Grimes was a young man, twenty-seven or twenty-eight years of age. The party consisted of four Portuguese and three other men, in addition to those mentioned, the names of two of whom Mr. Branstetter never knew, and the names of the others he has forgotten. Grimes was killed in August,= 1862. A short time after his death the party left for Auburn, Oregon, and returned in October of the same year. That fall Branstetter and A. Saunders rocked out from fifty to seventy-five dollars a day near Pioneerville, and packed the dirt one hundred yards in sacks. A. D. Saunders and Marion More returned with the party in October. The party numbered ninety-three men. Jeff Standifer's party arrived from Florence about a week after the party of ninety-three got in from Auburn. W. B. Noble of this place was with the Standifer party. The above was related to us by Mr. Branstetter. He was the youngest man in Grimes' party; was twenty years of age when they reached Boise Basin.
The mines on Granite creek were discovered about the 1st of December by the party, who also located the site of Placerville, which contained about six cabins, partly completed on the 14th day of that month.
Boise basin soon became known as the greatest placer country outside of California. By the 1st of January 1863, over three thousand men had made their way into it. Centerville, Pioneerville, Placerville, Granite Creek, Idaho City (originally known as Bannock), sprung into existence, and by September of that year there were probably two thousand five hundred men scattered through the basin. Several million dollars had been taken out by the close of the season that year. In July 1864, over two thousand five hundred claims had been recorded in Banner district; in Centerville over two thousand, and in Placerville over four thousand five hundred.
Idaho City, or Bannock, became the metropolis of the basin, and at one time could boast of a population, transient and permanent, estimated as high as from seven thousand to ten thousand. On the i8th of May, 1865, the town was completely destroyed by a disastrous fire, property to the extent of one and a quarter million of dollars lost, and seven thousand people left homeless and shelterless. The town was rebuilt during the same season, however, and though three times destroyed by fire, for many years retained its prestige as the leading mining town of Idaho.
The first ferry across Snake River was established in 1862. A number of persons from Placerville, twenty-seven in all, in the spring of 1863, visited what is now Owyhee County. They discovered Reynolds creek, which was named in honor of one of their party. On the following day the men reached a stream, where they camped, panned the gravel, and obtained a hundred colors. The place was named Discovery Bar. Happy Camp, near the site of Ruby City, was discovered soon after. The creek was named after the leader of the expedition, and the district was called Carson, after another member of the party. In July the first quartz lead was discovered by R. H. Wade, and named Whisky Gulch. In the following month the placers in the French district were discovered, and also the Oro Fino quartz ledge. The celebrated Poorman mine was not discovered until October
Mines And Mining
1865. The mines of middle and south Boise, in Alturas county, including Atlanta, Yuba, and Rocky Bar, were discovered in 1864.
Such in brief is the history of the mineral discoveries in Idaho prior to 1870. By that time the rush, the fever, the excitement attendant upon new discoveries, had quieted down. Many of those who had come into the territory, carried along by the wave of excitement, left with the ebbing tide. The placer mines had been worked, though by no means exhausted. The rush had subsided and a reaction had set in. According to statistics, the yield of 1869 was less than that of any year before or since. Those who remained in Idaho, however, continued to prosper.
Dispersed over Idaho's immense territory, greater than that of New York, New Jersey. Massachusetts, and New Hampshire combined, there were in 1870, exclusive of tribal Indians, less than fifteen thousand inhabitants, including about four thousand Chinamen. Her settlements were scattered, frequently a hundred miles or more apart. Situated far from the ordinary lines of through travel, only the most daring and hardy adventurers sought her mountain solitudes. The only means of communication were by tedious journeys by stage or team, or more frequently on horseback, over rough mountain trails, where natural obstacles were only enhanced by the oft-recurring presence of prowling bands of Indians, who so long resented the intrusion of the whites. The nearest railroad at this time was the Central Pacific, through Utah and Nevada.
None of these drawbacks, however, could deter the pioneer and prospector. Great as these obstacles were, they shrank into insignificance when confronted by the spirit of the gold-seekers. The discoveries of the past were regarded as but an earnest of the future. It was known that far up among her mountain fastnesses were other store-houses of precious metals that needed only enterprise and capital to develop their hidden treasures. From the remote and secluded mountains of "Far Idaho," as from an almost unknown and unseen source, the golden streams continued flowing. For years the placers of Boise basin and Salmon River, and the ledges of Owyhee, Rocky Bar, and Atlanta, continued yielding their riches, thus constantly adding to the national wealth.
No discoveries of new fields, and no stampedes of any importance, occurred, however, for several years. In the meantime the great work of prospecting the rugged mountains still went on. Far up among the snow-capped hills of northeastern Idaho was an unknown region, still described on some maps as "unexplored country." Along the tributaries of the upper Salmon, in the neighbor-hood of Yankee Fork, Kinnikinnick and Bayhorse creeks, in what is now Custer County, prior to 1877, solitary prospectors had located a few claims, and placers had been worked to advantage. Occasional visitors from that far-off land had exhibited among the mining men of Salt Lake City specimens of gold and silver ore, whose assay value could be expressed only in four figures. The Charles Dickens had been located in 1875. A thousand dollars had been crushed out in small hand-mortars in a day. During the first month, two men pounded out about twelve thousand dollars. A few tons of ore were then sacked and shipped to Salt Lake City and to Swansea. The net results were fifteen thousand dollars, the highest grade sampling three thou-sand seven hundred dollars per ton. A lot of twenty-three tons netted over seventeen thousand dollars. In 1878 a two-bed arastra, with pan and settler, was built at a cost of nineteen thou-sand four hundred dollars, and started up late in August. By the first of November, by crushing two tons of quartz per day, the arastra had produced bullion to the amount of thirty-two thou-sand dollars. A well known writer, speaking of the General Custer mine in the same district, says:
It is the only instance on record where a ledge so immense in wealth and size was already opened and developed when the eyes of the prospector first looked upon it. Ore bodies are usually found beneath the surface, and miners consider themselves fortunate if, after long searching by shafts and tunnels, they strike a vein that insures them reasonable dividends over and above the cost of development. The Custer required no outlay of money to make it a paying mine. Its face was good for millions. Nature, in one of her philanthropic moods, did the prospecting and development. The outer wall of this great treasure-vault, through the wear and tear of ages, crumbled and slipped from the ore body for a distance of several hundred feet, leaving many thousands of tons of the very choicest
Mines And Mining
rock lying against the mountain side, to be broken down at little expense.
The Montana mine on Mount Estes has been pronounced by mining men to be the richest vein of quartz ever discovered, taking the whole vein matter from wall to wall. Some of the ledge matter was so rich that it has been worked in a mortar at the mine. A lot of two hundred and fifty pounds yielded one thousand eight hundred dollars.
The completion of the Utah and Northern to Blackfoot, early in the spring of 1879, brought the Bay-horse district within one hundred and fifty miles, and the Yankee Fork within one hundred and ninety miles, of railroad communication. In the spring and summer of 1879 people rushed in by the hundreds, and Challis, Custer City, Bonanza, Clayton, Crystal City and became prosperous mining camps. The Sawtooth and Wood river sections in Alturas county now began to attract attention, but were not thoroughly prospected till the following year. To these districts incidental reference is made on other pages of this volume.
One of the most remarkable mining excitements in history was the great Coeur d'Alene stampede of 1884. Gold had been discovered in that country in former years, but no developments had ever been made, owing to the remoteness of the locality. In 1883 a man named Pritchard discovered and located the "Widow's Claim," which proved of more than average richness. Further discoveries were made, which were rapidly noised abroad. From the heart of the Coeur d'Alene mountains, though distant only forty miles from the Northern Pacific, came the most exaggerated accounts. The whole region was subjected to an artificial "boom," at a most inopportune time. In February of 1884, over the snows came trudging an eager multitude, who would harken neither to the voice of reason nor the warnings of experience. The mails were flooded with fantastic descriptions of this latest El Dorado. Newspaper correspondents from all over the land came flocking hither, and contributed to give further publicity to a region already overadvertised. Circulars were sent broadcast all over the land, giving the most glowing accounts of nuggets of fabulous wealth that could be had almost for the seeking. It was declared that old prospectors and miners, con-versant with the history of the banner districts of California, Montana, and Colorado, would stand amazed at the new fields so unequaled in richness and extent; that twenty-five dollars to forty dollars per man per day were being panned out in the gulches; that the fields being practically in-exhaustible, rendered impossible any overcrowding of the district; that wherever the bed-rock had been uncovered, beautiful rich dust was being "scooped up" by the lucky owners; that no machinery or capital was required ; that limitless quartz ledges were being struck "fairly glistening with free gold." The result was that in a few weeks, early in the spring of 1884, the forest land at the junction of Eagle and Pritchard creeks became metamorphosed into a city of five thou-sand restless inhabitants, all waiting for the snow to disappear. The effect of overadvertising soon became manifest in the reaction that took place after the summer had fairly set in. A hasty exodus followed, and hundreds left on foot, "packing their blankets" and cursing the country. The region was even more misrepreiented by the unsuccessful adventurers, who, in spite of incontestable facts, declared there "was no gold in the country." Many of the claims got into litigation, which retarded their development. The July term of court at Eagle City settled the disputed titles, when the work of development was fairly begun, and since which time the region has been keeping up a steady output. Business has settled down to a legitimate basis, and the country is being systematically opened up.
Major N. H. Camp, an early superintendent of the United States assay office at Boise, furnished the following description of the Snake river gold-fields, and the record, though written a number of years ago, is well worthy of perpetuation in this work:
It is popularly supposed that the occupation of a gold-miner is most favorably adapted to the development of those qualities called for by a bold and ad-venturous life, uncheered by the amenities of social civilization, untrammeled by its laws and, intercourse between its members, unlubricated by the presence of (air woman. What wonder, then, that gold-seeking should be the chief interest of this lonely region! The character of its banks forbids the construction of towns, while the lack of navigation facilities prevents this
Mines And Mining
great water-way from ministering to the transportation needs of the neighboring stock-farms, sage prairies, or the supplying of the isolated mining camps. It is in such localities that gold delights to reward the pains taken by the lonesome prospector, and here does he find, not only the coveted treasure, but in such quantities as will reward his patient search at a minimum of expense. The only drawback is the extremely small size of the particles of gold; coarse gold is unknown on Snake river, but from Eagle Rock, in Oneida county, to the mouth of the river, gold can be found of such exactly similar metallurgical conditions, both as to fineness in grade (shape of grains being scale-like in form) and fineness in character of grains, that it might have come from either end of the river. On the afifluents of this river gold is also found; but even within half a mile of its mouth, "Boise" gold sinks to an assay fineness of from 720 to 780, while that from the river under review will assay over 900 and even 990. The shape of the grains is noticeably a feature of Snake River gold, being so flat and scale-like that the precious metal is often seen floating on the surface of the water! while gold from any of the feeder streams assumes more the character of shot gold, is coarser, and much more easily harnessed to the service of man. Its extremely small size is also a distinguishing mark of this gold. The writer has seen a gold-pan full of the gold-bearing sands, which, in the hands of an experienced prospector, soon showed its bottom as if gilt by a practiced workman. Out of curiosity, an attempt was made to count the "colors," but when the sum of fourteen hundred was reached, the business was given up in disgust there were so many left to count!
Nor has nature herself been niggardly in furnishing facilities to man for mining these rich deposits. From many a fissure in the canyon walls along the banks of this wonderful river fall "springs" some of which are the size of young rivers as they are called. Issuing ' from one to two hundred feet above the level of the river, they only require to be conducted to the gravel bars to assume the duties of washing out gold. At other points rivers fall into the Snake, along whose banks it is only necessary to dig the necessary ditches, to convert the streams into the obedient and useful servants of mankind. In many cases, however, these ditches have to be blasted out of the lava rock, and the dams across the smaller streams are costly and tedious structures, making the enterprise, when completed, as dear to the heart as something attained only at great cost of time, labor and capital, as in one instance where a miner for two years contented himself with the privations and solitude of his cabin, mining in a small way, but devoting all his savings and leisure to the construction of a ditch, despite the sneers and ridicule of his neighbors. The ditch was completed in the spring of 1884, and now he harvests three thousand dollars per month in virgin gold.
Where springs gush from the canyon walls in sufficient volume to wash gravel for gold, the expense of a moderately profitable mining outfit, comprising say four hundred yards of ditching, seventy-twp feet of fluming, thirty-six feet of sluice boxes, twelve feet of grizzlies (sheets of perforated iron), two amalgamating plates, a concentrating tank three by six, and twenty-four feet of burlap tables ought to be not less than $550 to $600; add the cost of one month's subsistence. $40, for two men, and the services of a laborer, and about the cost of a small mining establishment on this river is told. This outfit ought to pay for itself in three months, and yield a moderate profit twelve to fifteen per cent, per annum in excess of working expenses. "High bars" there are too, prospecting rich, but until some inexpensive method is discovered of raising, and utilizing for mining purposes, the water of Snake river, these spots must remain closed to the avarice of man. A patent motor has been devised for raising water by using the force of the river current, but experiment has failed to demonstrate its economy, or to bring its price within the means of the moderately wealthy.
But it is not only the production of fruits, and the golden results of placer mining, that the broadway of Idaho relies on to attract to her borders those energies necessary in the development of a hitherto terra uncognita. In the range of mountains through which our river cuts her way, forming here the western boundary of Washington county, are rich deposits of copper and silver, assays of which show from twenty-six to sixty-eight per cent, of copper, and from nine to one hundred and sixty-three ounces of silver per ton. This region is now brought into communication with the rest of the United States by the railroad system rendered available by the meeting of the Oregon Short Line and the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company's lines. The Wood river country has proved an immense silver success; but it is predicted that the copper region of western Idaho will largely exceed it in bringing material prosperity to those of limited means coming in to work the bowels of the earth for the riches to be extracted therefrom. To such, Idaho must look in large measure for the permanence of her prosperity, and it is with a view of attracting their attention to our territory that this is written.
In view of the developments which later years have brought forth, this retrospect is doubly interesting.
The Mining Fields Of Idaho
The following excellent monograph by W. C. Austin was issued in pamphlet form early in the present year (1899) by authority of C. J. Bassett, state commissioner of immigration, labor and statistics, and as a valuable contribution to the history of the great mining industry of Idaho is held to be worthy of reproduction in this work:
There is no other country on God's green earth that has encompassed within her borders such vast and varied mineral wealth as Idaho. The position that
Mines And Mining
Idaho occupies in the western mineral world is like a wagon wheel, of which Idaho is the hub, while her great mineral belts, radiating out from her mountain fastnesses, penetrating her sister states and enriching them, represent the spokes. Place yourself before a map and trace out several of these great mineral belts. Be-ginning in the southern part of California, the belt runs through Eldorado, Mariposa and Calaveras counties, thence to Bodie across into Nevada in a northeasterly course, giving birth to the great Comstock lode and other camps, through by Winnemucca, and in Idaho makes its grand entry at Silver City and De Lamar, in Owyhee county; thence on in through Rocky Bar and Atlanta, Custer and Bonanza; thence on to central Idaho, at Gibbonsville. Here the opposite spoke to the great mineral wheel comes in and penetrates the Rocky mountains on into Montana, where it makes its debut at Butte.
The northern belt or zone was first discovered in northern California; gave life to such camps as Weaverville, Scotts, and Yreka; thence on through into Oregon, via Canyon City, Granite, Old Auburn, Baker City and Sparta. It crosses with a grand flourish into Idaho at the Seven Devils; thence on into Warrens, Florence, Buffalo Hump, Dixie and Elk City, where it loses itself to appear in its opposite spoke in the Missoula country in Montana. The belts penetrating Utah can be easily traced through Cassia County, Idaho, northward to the interior of Idaho.
The great northwestern belt begins in British Columbia, runs down through Washington, from the Trail Creek country, beginning at Rossland, thence on through the Great Republic camp and on into Idaho, and here it gives to the world the great Coeur d'Alene country, with such mines as the Bunker Hill, Sullivan and Gem. As these great mineral zones draw nearer to the hub the intervening country becomes more and more mineralized, until, when Idaho is reached, bands of mineral reach out from one zone to another, playing "hide and seek" in the rock-ribbed mountains that stand like grim sentinels guarding the treasure within. The whole country becomes a network of veins. There is not a hill or mountain from east to west, north or south, in the whole state, but what is mineral-bearing. There is no other country in the United States that is so little prospected, unknown and unexplored as Idaho. No other country in the world can compare with it in richness. Its grand and beautiful scenery, the poverty of language makes it impossible to describe. Words cannot paint it. The poet is unborn who is capable of singing the sweet song of Idaho.
From Boise City northward is one unbroken line of forest, valley, stream and lake, and mountain upon mountain, some craggy, grim and terrible, walled and turreted, raising sheer walls of granite, white and glistening in the sun, thousands of feet in the air; here and there great domes, minarets and towers grand, majestic, awful. You feel, as you gaze for the first time upon God's grand cathedral, as if you stood in His very presence; and as you catch the smile of the beautiful valley, with its limpid l4ke and peaceful river nestling in security at its feet, you can appreciate the words of Joaquin Miller, the poet of the Sierras, when he says:
"Tis not the place of mirthfulness. But meditation deep, and prayer; And kneeling on the salted sod. Where man must own his littleness. And know the mightiness of God."
'Tis the ideal country for the prospector. Wherever he may go, water, timber and grass everywhere. Every stream alive with salmon and trout of every species; while bear, deer, elk, moose and sheep are plentiful. Is he interested in some particular formation, say, in porphyry and granite, slate or lime, or any of the sub-families of these formations? If it is not in this particular mountain he has it in the next. There is not a mineral known to the mineralogist, nor a gem to the lapidary, that is not found within her borders. Does he want new fields to explore? There are belts of country a' hundred miles square, that have never known the step of a white man. The whole western slope of the Bitter Root range, the headwaters of the Clearwater, is an unexplored field; and yet, it is known to be rich in gold and other precious metals; for every mountain stream is laden with golden sand that has its birth in their rocky fastnesses. Stories of fabulous finds in the early days, on the outskirts of these unexplored fields, of lost diggings, mountains of rich quartz, will be told by old, gray, grizzled miners who were in their prime in the rush and excitement of Pierce City, Florence, Warrens and the Idaho basin. The stories told will be like a chapter from the Arabian Nights; but. wild as you may imagine them to be, upon investigation you will find them to be essentially true. For years some of the Indians of the Nez Perce reservation would steal away and go to the mountains, bringing back gold by the sack-full. One of them had a short time ago in the bank at Moscow, thirty thousand dollars in nuggets of gold. The gold was obtained by picking it up from off the surface of the ground, as they knew nothing about panning. The secret of these diggings will one of these days belong to some hardy prospector.
The Buffalo Hump, six months ago, was known only as a landmark. Today it marks the center of probably the greatest and richest mining camp ever discovered. Yet hundreds of prospectors have walked and camped right on the great mother lode of the district. Big ledges? Yes; but they never examined them, for they said they were so big they could not carry any value. But how about the hundreds of smaller ones that have been found there? Six months ago two prospectors happened to camp there. Near a large reef of rock, one evening, one of them happened to pick up a piece of the rock and found ore. It was rich beyond his wildest dreaming. Think of it! a vein from forty to sixty feet wide, cropping out
Mines And Mining
for three miles, all carrying good value, and some of the ore running into the thousands of dollars per ton! And thus the great mine was found.
Hundreds of other mines were found and located. The camp is not six months old, and the deepest prospect hole not forty feet deep; yet the original discovery sold for $550,000, then for $650,000. Over $2,500,000 have already been negotiated for property in this camp. This belt was followed south to where the Salmon river cut it, and here a new camp, called Mallack, was formed during the winter. The veins here are from ten to fifty feet wide, and run from five dollars to one hundred dollars per ton; $250,000 has been refused for one group of claims. Twenty thousand people will go into the country during the coming year.
Thunder ^fountain is another new camp, struck last year, lying about seventy miles east from Warrens. The mountain is a soft porphyry and the whole mass, for three hundred feet wide, will pay to mill. The discoverers, the Caswell boys, sluiced and rocked out $3,500 in a month after their find. Last fall copper ledges were found about twenty-five miles from Thunder Mountain, great veins, from ten to twenty feet wide, running up one side of the mountain and down the other and carrying values of copper of from twenty-five to sixty per cent, and from eight to thirty-five dollars gold per ton.
The greatest copper mines not worked in the world lie in Washington County, in what is known as the Seven Devils. The Peacock shows an outcrop of over two hundred feet in width in one place, and gave an average sample of nineteen per cent, copper and eight dollars gold, while contracts have been let to smelters, agreeing to furnish ore by the thousand tons to go not less than twenty-five per cent. Lots of the ore shipped run above fifty per cent, copper. The White Monument, Hecla, Bodie, Standard, South Peacock and other mines in the district show up vast bodies of ore. Two railroads are now being built into the district; one from Weiser City, on the Oregon Short Line, which will not only open up the great copper mines that show up for a distance of forty miles north and south, and fifteen miles east and west, but also a rich agricultural country. The whole length the route will be through a country of ever changing beauty, up the Weiser river, around one jutting spur of the mountain, whirled in an instant from one beautiful valley to another, rich in fruits and grain that no other country can equal, while great forests of pine, fir and hemlock cover the mountains.
The other line of railroad begins at Huntington and follows down the Snake River on the Oregon side-, and crosses into Idaho below Mineral, and thence on into the Seven Devils. Work is being pushed rapidly. The Devils was a name given by the Hudson's Bay Company to seven high mountain peaks nine thousand feet above Box canyon on Snake River. The west slope of these hills along Snake River is very steep and precipitous and only accessible in two or three places. The district also has running parallel with it, at a distance of about eight miles, a gold belt that is proving of wonderful richness. Colorado capital is investing heavily in the gold district.
Over in old Owyhee County they say but little, but the shipments of ore speak for them. Carloads have been shipped of raw ore running as high as eighty-seven thousand dollars to the carload, from the Trade Dollar mine. This was acknowledged by the smelters in Colorado to be the richest carload of ore ever shipped from any mine. The mines of Florida Mountain and War Eagle, at Silver City, have yielded upwards of fifty million dollars. Eight miles west from Silver City is situated the De Lamar mines which made Captain De Lamar rise from a miner to be the Monte Cristo of the west. Ten years ago he went there poor. In five years he was worth five million dollars, and he is now estimated to be worth ten million dollars. Such is fortune in Idaho.
Boise basin, of which Idaho City is the center, is by careful investigation supposed to have yielded from her placers, a strip of country fifteen miles wide by twenty-five in length, over two hundred and fifty mil-lion dollars, while her quartz veins have yielded ten million dollars. Now great attention is being paid to her quartz veins, which have furnished the placer gold. The yield of some of her quartz veins has been wonderful. The Ebenezer yielded upward of $300,000 in seventy-five feet of ground; the Gambrinus $325,000; Sub Rosa $260,000, etc. This is an old camp, yet new ledges are found every day. The country is not half prospected, nor the hundredth part developed.
The mines of Elmore county, at Rocky Bar and Atlanta, have produced, according to the records of Wells, Fargo & Company's express, of bullion hauled by them alone, $58,800,000; the Monarch lode. $4,000,000; the Elmore, $5,000,000, and the Vishnue. $1,500,000.
In the Custer country the Charles Dickens has a record of four million dollars before a stick of timber was put in the mine or a candle burned. The Montana, in Estes Mountains, paid one thousand dollars a foot while simply a common prospect shaft, and yielded in going five hundred feet $380,000. The Custer has a record of seven million five hundred thousand dollars. The Lucky Boy has fifteen feet of twenty-five dollar free-gold ore, and has paid hundreds of thousands. The De Lamar mine was sold to an English company for $2,500,000 after Captain De-Lamar had taken out several millions. Since that time she has paid in dividends to the English shareholders the amount of the purchase price, and been running on velvet for two years. So the yield must be from this one mine about ten million dollars.
The Wood river country was always supposed to be a lead and silver country, and has produced mil-lions of dollars' worth. The Minnie Moore has a record of $6,500,000, but since silver was demonetized attention has been paid to gold mining, and now a gold belt has been found in fact, two of them that
Mines And Mining
may prove to be more valuable than her silver mines in the palmy days. The Camas No. I and 2 show great bodies of ore and the Croesus, at or near Hailey, has ore that is running from one hundred to two thousand dollars per ton in gold, and has just been sold to a big company.
Up the Boise River from Boise city, in the last two years, the bars of gravel have all been located. The old timers have ridden over them day after day, but they were found to be rich in gold by some tenderfoot, and big companies are formed to work them. The Twin Springs Company, of which Mr. Ander-son is superintendent, have expended two hundred thousand dollars in opening their ground, and last fall struck an old river channel upon the side of the mountain that out-rivals Klondike, going as high as twenty-five dollars per yard. Other companies, one of which Major F. R. Reed is managing, will be in successful operation in the spring.
The Sheep Mountain country contains without doubt the largest and richest silver mines in the west. The Bull Dog mine shows an unbroken vein thirty feet wide for six thousand feet in length and runs from twenty to five hundred ounces silver, and gold from two dollars and fifty cents to eighty dollars per ton. Ore shipped from J. Earley's Birdie ledge all went from three hundred and seventy-five to three thousand ounces silver, and from twenty to eighty dollars gold. This is an unprospected country. Lack of roads and transportation has been the greatest drawback to the mining industry. There is not a mine in Idaho but has had to pay its own way for all roads, machinery and everything for the successful operation of the mine from the start.
The Snake River valley, cold and uninviting as it may look, is lined with a ribbon of gold. Hundreds of miners are working the bars along its banks. They cannot save all the gold, but, then, they save enough to make it a good thing. Some men, by the most primitive methods of working, are making from ten dollars to fifty dollars per day, others good wages, while some of the big companies who have capital to put in reqilisite plants, are making fortunes. I know one company that banked to their credit for September 1898, nine thousand dollars' worth of gold.
One of these days the great kaolin and kaolinite beds will be worked, which extend for miles along the banks. There are fine beds of gypsum and fire clays, magnesium, lime and lithographic stone every-where, and the opal mines of Opaline produce opals that are equal to those found in any country, and -in quantity. They took the prize at the World's Fair. Opals weighing three hundred and seventy-five carets, irridescent, such as would make a Hungarian opal blush with envy, have been found, while in Long Valley a sapphire was found that weighed upwards of one thousand carets. It was perfect, without a flaw, and the largest in the world.
Every mining camp will see the greatest activity the coming season. The great mines of the Coeur d'Alene in 1898, produced in galena 112.500 tons averaging sixty per cent, lead and about thirty-five ounces silver per ton, making 67.500 tons of lead and 3,937,500 ounces of silver. The Bunker Hill, Sullivan and Gem mines, all have records to their credit of producing upwards of ten million dollars each. Can it be beat?
Pierce City, or Oro Fino, was one of the early camps of Idaho, and yielded upwards of thirty trillion dollars in placer gold. In the last few years quartz prospectors have gone back to the old deserted camps and opened up some wonderful quartz veins. A number of companies have been organized, and mills and machinery put in; three new mills having been built in the past year. The district is fast making a name for itself and will soon take a front seat as a producer. Elk City is another of the old placer camps that gave to the world in its placer days twenty million dollars of gold. Great veins of quartz have been found in her hills, veins of ore from ten to forty feet in width, and milling upwards of twenty dollars per ton free on an average. Two years ago these mines were prospects, but they have been prospected by shaft and tunnel for hundreds of feet, and the great ore bodies improve with depth, and modern gold mills of twenty stamps were erected last year. There is no question as to the future of this district, and it is scarcely prospected. In sight of the little camp are whole mountain ranges that have never had a prospecting pick stuck in them.
The Dixie district is another new camp opened up in the last year. It lies south from Elk City, and is on the head waters of the south fork of the Clear-water. The ores are of high value, and ledges carrying every character of ore are found, lead, iron, cop-per, zinc, antimony, gold and silver. The great Buffalo Hump district lies in the center of a triangle, with Florence, Elk City and Dixie at the three corners of the angle.
Florence was probably the richest camp ever discovered, according to its size. The first pan of dirt in the discovery yielded eight hundred dollars. Last year prospecting for quartz was prosecuted extensively, and five new mills built. The yield per ton of her quartz is wonderful. In the early days this camp yielded thirty-eight million dollars gold from her placers. Warrens, the sister camp to Florence, is also a scene of great activity. In the last few years three new mills have been built. The ore is very rich, some of it milling (from the Riebolt mine) two thousand dollars per ton. This camp in the early days produced upwards of twenty-five million dollars.
In most of our sister states the big mines are in the hands of big capitalists and close corporations, while the prospects and anything that has a chance to make a mine are in the hands of middlemen who load the property so heavy that capital has to take uneven chances, while here capital has every show. What the country needs more than anything is prospecting and developing capital. There is not a district in the state but where will be found plenty of
Mines And Mining
good prospects, which have promise and merit, be-longing to poor men who have no money to prose-cute work on them, or the means or ability to call the attention of capital to "what they have got.
Idaho is the least prospected of any state in the west. It has scarcely been run over, let alone being prospected. Take any of the old-settled camps, for instance, and the minute you get outside of the im-mediate camp a prospect hole is a curiosity. Only the veins cropping out bold and plain are looked at, and even not one in a hundred then. Just think of the great mother vein in Buffalo Hump, standing out of the ground for twenty-five feet in height in places, and a well beaten trail crossing it half-a-dozen times, over which hundreds of prospectors have ridden seeking fortunes, when if they had only gotten off their horses and broken one piece of the ore they would have had the great bonanza. And there it lay un-claimed, with the trail running over it for thirty-five years.
Within site of Boise. Idaho's capital, ledges have been discovered in the last year or so that milled free gold from eighty to one hundred and twenty dollars per ton. Let the prospector go where he will, to the right of him, to the left of him, to the front of him. behind him there is but little choice, for it is everywhere. There are hundreds of camps and districts not mentioned like Pine Grove, Bonaparte, Cassia, Neal, Black Hornet, Willow Creek, Banner, Mineral, Flint and hundreds of others.
The future of Idaho reads like an open book. It is plain as the open day and he who runs may read. Already the gigantic discoveries made in the last year are astounding the world with the story of their wealth. The dawning season marks a new era in the history of Idaho. She will march on steadily and will soon forge ahead and take the lead as the greatest gold, silver, lead and copper producing country in the world. It is here in the treasure vaults of her hills. The magic wand of capital and labor shall soon touch it. Cities, towns and hamlets, connected with bands of steel, shall find shelter in the lap of her mountains. The silent canyons shall give echo back of a thousand stamps, and her hills shall be lit in a hundred places by night by the glow of her smelters.
The Coeur d'Alene Mining District
This article, as well as that following, concerning the lead belt of the district, is contributed by F. R. Culbertson, under date of July 9. 1898:
The Coeur d'Alene mineral belt of northern Idaho, in area about twenty miles square, first came into prominence as a gold-placer camp in the summer and fall of 1883. Placer gold was first discovered on Pritchard creek, near Eagle City, now a deserted camp in Shoshone County. Fabulous reports of the richness and extent of this gold soon spread and attracted the attention of the outside world. In the spring of 1884 there was quite a stampede into the Coeur d'Alene district, being somewhat similar to the present excitement over Klondike. Prospectors for the Coeur d'Alenes from the west outfitted at Spokane and proceeded thence by rail to Rathdrum, by stage to Coeur d'Alene city and from this point on by the old Mullan road (built by the government as a military road) to Evolution, about twenty miles above the Mission; and from this point on by trail to Eagle City. Prospectors from the east left the main line of the Northern Pacific at Herron and Trout Creek and continued from there by trail into the mines. The stories told by the old prospectors of the difficulties of get-ting into the country over these trails remind one of the description and accounts of the Skaguay trail.
In the spring of 1884 Eagle City had grown to be a town of two thousand people and became a full-fledged mining camp with all the accessories, including dance halls, gambling houses, restaurants, etc., where the prospector paid from one to two dollars for a meal consisting of bacon and beans, and one dollar for a bed, which meant the privilege of furnishing your own blankets, which were laid on the floor, the landlord furnishing the tent. It was during the year 1884 that the town of Murray, about five miles up the creek from Eagle City, was laid out, and this new camp soon superseded Eagle and for several years was the main town of the Coeur d'Alenes. It was during this year that the town of Thompson Falls, on the Northern Pacific Railroad, was laid out, and a trail from there to Murray was built, this being the shorter distance from the railroad, and it was the main outfitting point for the prospectors from this time on. A wagon road was built out from Thompson Falls a distance of fifteen miles to what was known as the Mountain House; a stage line was run to this point; and from there to Murray, a distance of fifteen miles further, a trail was built and the traveler either footed it or took a cayuse (Indian pony, so called from tribe of that name). It was also during this year, 1884. that Captain I. B. San-born, C. B. King and John Monohan built the steamer Coeur d'Alene to ply between Coeur d'Alene City and the Old Mission, a distance of sixty miles. Nelson Bennett put on a stage line between Spokane and Coeur d'Alene City, and considerable travel and freight were brought in by this route. During this same year from four to five thousand people had come into camp and had prospected Pritchard creek from mouth to source, including the tributaries, and considerable placer gold was taken out up to this time. Prospectors in this year began to branch out and look for new fields. Several prospectors found their way over to Canyon creek during this year and Canyon creek, near the town of Burke, was first located, for an extent of several miles, with placer locations, and considerable work was done but no gold found in paying quantities.
In September 1884, John Carton and Amedos Seymour, while looking for placers on Canyon creek.
Mines And Mining
discovered some float, which they followed up and, discovering the source, located the Tiger quartz lode. The next day the Poorman quartz lode was discovered by Scott McDonald. These two claims, both on the same ledge, were the first quartz discoveries found in the lead belt of the Coeur d'Alenes. Other quartz discoveries soon followed on Canyon creek, the Ore-Or-No-Go, Diamond Hitch, Black Bear, Badger, Frisco, Gem and others of less importance soon fol-lowing. Very little work of any consequence was done on any of these properties during the year 1884, except on the Tiger, which was bonded in the month of October to John M. Burke and by him to S. S. Glidden, at that time in Thompson Falls, Montana, Mr. Glidden being engaged in the wholesale grocery business in St. Paul and having a branch wholesale house in Thompson Falls. To Mr. S. S. Glidden, now president of the Old National Bank of Spokane, as much, if not more, credit is due as to any other single individual for the development of the quartz interests of the Coeur d'Alenes. Mr. Glidden took hold of the Tiger mine in October, 1884, and has been connected with it up to the recent date, now being president of the Consolidated Tiger & Poor-man Mining Company, one of the principal mining companies in this district and one of the largest producers. Development work on the Tiger was carried on during the winter of 1884. In the spring of 18S5 Mr. Glidden closed out his grocery business at St. Paul and Thompson Falls and devoted his entire time and energies to the development of the Tiger mine. Trails were built by him to connect with the Thompson Falls and Murray roads, also to connect at Placer Center, now Wallace, with the old Mullan wagon road. During the summer and fall of 1885 development work was carried on at the Tiger, and the value of the property sufficiently determined to take up the bond for thirty-five thousand dollars, this being the price the property was originally bonded for.
In the fall of 1885 the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines were discovered at Wardner. The surface showings at the discovery were so much larger than any-thing that had been found up to that time that quite an excitement was created at that place, and numerous other valuable quartz properties were located. Also during the early part of this year the Hunter, Morning, Evening, and other quartz properties were discovered at Mullan. The Bunker Hill and Sullivan property was leased by the original locators to Jim Wardner, after whom the town was named. Through him some Helena parties were interested in the deal and a contract entered into with the locators for concentrating fifty thousand tons of ore at five dollars per ton, which at this date would be considered a very extravagant price to pay. These locations all coming to the front, and with a boat running between the Mission and Coeur d'Alene City, Mr. Glidden turned his attention to interesting par-ties in the building of a railroad up the South Fork from Spokane to Burke. A company was organized for this purpose, and of this Mr. Glidden was one of the first promoters. The first company organized fell through, and afterward D. C. Corbin became interested in the project and organized the Coeur d'Alene Railway & Navigation Company, buying out the boat and building a narrow-gauge railroad from Mission to Wardner. About this time the Washington & Idaho, now the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, commenced building from Pendleton to Spokane, with a branch from Tekoa into the Coeur d'Alenes. Neither of the roads at that time would entertain the idea of building up Canyon creek, and Mr. Glidden organized the Canyon Creek Railroad Company and built a nar-row-gauge railroad from Burke to Wallace, to meet the other two roads which were heading for that point. This road was built by Mr. Glidden and afterward sold by him to D. C. Corbin, of the Coeur d'Alene Railway & Navigation Company, who later disposed of the same to the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, who had started to build into the country from the main line of their road at De Smet, about six miles west of Missoula. The Northern Pacific also built a branch from Hauser Junction to Coeur d'Alene City, making a rail, river and lake route from Burke to Hauser Junction. The Washington & Idaho reached Wallace a short time afterward, giving the camp two transcontinental railroads, and reducing the freight rates on ore shipment routes.
The first concentrator in the district was placed on the Bunker Hill & Sullivan mine, at Wardner, and was built by A. M. Esler, in the interests of Helena parties having the fifty-thousand-ton contract, and it was of one-hundred-tons capacity. Before the expiration of this contract this property was sold to Sim Read, of Portland, who paid the different parties interested in the property at that time about six hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, which was considered at that time a very extravagant price for the property. Two-thirds of this money found its way to Spokane and helped to build up the town. The title to the property was in litigation at the time of the sale and numerous interests had to be bought out to perfect the title. The principal parties interested at that time, and the amounts that they were sup-posed to have received for their interests, were: Noah S. Kellogg, $100,000: Goetz & Bear,' now of Spokane, $150,000; Cooper & Peck, $75,000; Phil O'Rourke, $75,000; Con Sullivan, $50,000. The Helena parties interested in the lease were paid fifty thousand dollars and the cost of their concentrating plant, to cancel the lease; the different lawyers interested in the litigation received about one hundred thousand dollars out of the deal, and the balance went to other parties, who had smaller interests. Sim Read worked the property for several years, afterward selling out to the present company, who are California parties and members of the Standard Oil Company. This property is now under the management of F. W. Bradley, with head office at San Francisco, California, and F. Burbidge as resident manager at Wardner. The com-
Mines And Mining
pany have been gradually absorbing all the adjacent claims, and now have control of something like forty or fifty locations adjoining and connecting, and, with the exception of the Last Chance Mining Company's property, they have about all the desirable mining property in Wardner. As a whole, it is probably the greatest lead property in the world, exceeding that of Broken Hills mine in Australia, which has always been heretofore considered the greatest lead producer.
The company have extensive improvements and are now operating a seven-hundred-ton concentrating plant, producing about three thousand tons of shipping ore per month. The property could probably produce double this quantity of shipping ore by enlarging their concentrating plant, without making any serious in-roads on their ore reserves. They give employment to about four hundred men and are now constructing a tunnel two miles in length from their mill at Kellogg to their mine at Wardner which will cut their ledge at seven hundred and fifty feet vertical depth below their lowest workings and. with the incline of the ledge, will give them about one thousand five hundred feet of stoping ground. This tunnel will be used for drain purposes and bringing ore from the mine to the mill; it will require about fifteen months for completion, and when completed will give them a large amount of ore which can be taken out without any pumping, and no doubt at that time the capacity of the mill will be enlarged.
The Last Chance Company has several valuable claims at Wardner. They are operating a one-hundred-and-fifty-ton concentrator and producing seven hundred and fifty to nine hundred tons of concentrates per month. Plans have been drawn for enlarging the mill and the property can easily be made to produce double the present quantity of ore that is now being taken out. Unfortunately, for several years the property has been handicapped with more or less litigation, which has had the effect of retarding the development to that extent which the property would war-rant. There are other valuable properties in Ward-ner, but at present none are being worked to any great extent.
Between Wardner and Wallace on the South Fork there are several promising prospects, from which considerable ore has been shipped, the principal value of the ore being silver; and with an increase in the price of silver considerable work would be done on them.
From Wallace, which is now the main town of the Coeur d'Alenes diverge Placer creek. Nine Mile creek Canyon creek, and the continuation of the South Fork above Mullan. There are quite a number of prospects on Placer creek, but no extensive development work has been done. On Nine Mile are situated the Custer and Granite mines, both of which properties have concentrating plants and have been heavy producers, but neither of which are being at present operated. Development work is being carried on in both properties with good showings and fair prospects of resuming milling operations. Numerous other properties are situated on this creek, and considerable development work is now being done. Sunset Peak, on which are situated some of the largest surface-showings in the camp, is reached from this canyon, and with a railroad up the canyon from Wallace, the roadbed of which has already been graded, the Nine Mile properties would be brought to the front in a short time.
At Mullan, seven miles up the South Fork from Wallace, are situated the Hunter, Morning, Evening. You Like, and numerous other properties. The Hun-ter Mining Company had the misfortune to lose their mill by fire this summer and at the present the property is not being operated. Report is that they expect to rebuild this winter and arrangements and plans are now made for new concentrating plant. The mine is a valuable one and produces a high-grade ore. The Morning Mining Company, situated at this point, is operated by Larson & Greenough, who are working the Morning, Evening and You Like mines. They have a six-hundred-ton concentrating plant in operation, a narrow-gauge railroad and are producing about two hundred and fifty thousand tons of concentrates per month, giving employment to about two hundred and fifty men.
Canyon creek is and has always been the heaviest producer in the Coeur d'Alenes. At the mouth of the creek is situated the Standard mill, the ore from the Standard mine five miles up the creek being brought down by the railroad to the mill, concentrating about four hundred and twenty-five tons per day, and producing about two thousand two hundred tons of concentrates per month. The ore from this property produces the highest grade of concentrates in the camp and as a dividend-payer has probably exceeded that of any other company in the district. The Formosa mine and mill is the next property up the creek, being situated about a mile below Gem. The company have erected during the present year a seventy-five-ton mill, which has only recently been completed and very little ore has yet been taken from this property. The Granite mill comes next and at present is not being operated. The Gem mill belonging to the Milwaukee Mining Company comes next and is now being run on ore from the Mammoth mine. The Mammoth vein is on the same ledge as the Standard and this property also produces high-grade concentrates. The Gem mine has been a valuable producer and dividend-payer, but at present only the upper workings are being worked by leasers, the lower part of the mine being allowed to fill with water during the low prices prevailing for lead and silver last year. The mill having been leased to the Mammoth Company, it is not likely that any extensive mining operations will be resumed until the expiration of this lease. The Frisco mine and mill, about a mile above the Gem, are being worked very extensively. The company has expended a large amount of money in improvements and development work since January 1st
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of this year. The mill started up in July and is now shipping from one thousand eight hundred to two thousand tons per month and giving employment to about two hundred men. The product from this property is considerably above the average, running high in silver. The controlling interest has recently changed hands and is now in the possession of the London Exploration Company, of England. Joseph McDonald is the resident manager for the company. The Black Bear mine and mill, about a quarter of a mile above the Frisco, were operated in early days, but for several years have lain idle, the company, composed of eastern parties, becoming more or less involved in financial difficulties during the panic of 1893. The Standard mine is the next property and adjacent to it is the Mammoth. The ore from the Standard is taken to the mouth of Canyon creek and milled, and that from the Mammoth to the Gem Mill at Gem. The Standard mine at this point gives employment to about one hundred and seventy-five men and at their mill about twenty-five more, Emerson Gee being the manager of the mill and mine, and Richard Wilson the manager of the Mammoth. The Mammoth Company give employment at the mine and mill to about one hundred and twenty-five.
The Tiger & Poorman, at Burke, being the oldest location in the Coeur d'Alenes. more work has been done on this property than any other; both mines have been steady producers since January, 1887. The Tiger concentrator was completed in January, 1887, and during the same month the narrow-gauge railroad from Burke to Wallace was also completed. The Tiger mill was the second concentrator in the Coeur d'Alenes being originally built for a one-hundred-ton mill. The Poorman concentrator was the third mill built in the Coeur d'Alenes and was finished during the fall of 1887, the concentrator being a three-hundred-ton plant. Prior to October 1895, both the Tiger and Poorman were operated as separate companies and both were fully equipped with mills, hoists, surface buildings, etc. Patrick Clark was the operator of the Poor-man Company up to the time of the consolidation in October 1895. The two companies consolidated their interests, extensive improvements were made for the economic working of the two properties as one, and at about the time of the completion of these improvements, in March. 1896 a fire occurred, completely destroying both mills and all surface improvements, excepting the Tiger hoist, of the two properties. The mines at the time of the fire had reached a depth of one thousand feet, and, owing to the destruction of their boiler plant, the mines were allowed to fill with water. Considerable doubt was expressed at the time as to what the consequence might be in allowing the mines to fill with water, and fears were entertained that the ground might cave after being pumped out. Rebuilding of the plant was commenced immediately after the fire and a five-hundred-ton concentrator with the latest improved machinery and appliances for the economical handling of ore was completed and started up in February of this year. Pumping out the mines was started in August and the mine was unwatered by the middle of January, with no bad results showing on account of its having been allowed to fill. The property is now producing from one thousand eight hundred to two thousand tons of concentrates per month and giving employment to one hundred and sixty men. The property is well equipped with the heaviest mining machinery in the Coeur d'Alenes and is so arranged that all the machinery can be operated by either water or steam power, the company having a water power amply sufficient for all purposes during a portion of the year. The company are also operating an electric plant of about one hundred and seventy-five horse-power capacity which at the time of its completion, some seven or eight years ago, was the largest electric plant in the United States. Both mines are worked from one shaft, which at the present time is down to their one thousand three hundred station, being one thousand one hundred feet vertically below the bed of the creek. The lowest workings show an improvement both in quality and quantity of ore as depth is increased. From all indications shown in the lowest workings, there is no reason why it is not safe to say that the ore will go down to that point where the cost of handling the water will stop further operations. With improved pumping machinery, water and electric power, this point should not be reached until after the three-thousand-foot mark has been passed. The depth of the Tiger & Poorman augurs well for the future of the Coeur d'Alenes and the mines of this section, insuring a long life ahead as a mining camp.
While we read a great deal about the rich mines of Rossland, Cripple Creek, Creede and other camps, there are but few camps in the west that compare to the Coeur d'Alenes as steady producers, and with little or no notoriety they have gone forward and kept steadily at work for the past eight years, excepting a period of six-months shut-down during the strike of 1892, and with lead down as low as two dollars and fifty cents and silver as low as fifty-one cents. At the present time the shipments from the Coeur d'Alenes will show a tonnage of thirteen thousand tons per month, which tonnage is made up as follows:
Tons per month.
Bunker Hill & Sullivan……. 3.000
Tiger & Poorman……..1,800
Helena & Frisco……..1,800
Other smaller properties including prospects……..350
Making a total of 13,000
The output has averaged fifty-five per cent lead and thirty ounces of silver, which at present prices show a valuation of over seven hundred and fifty thousand
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dollars per month or nearly ten million dollars per year added to the wealth of the world by the lead and silver shipments from the Coeur d'Alenes, to say nothing about the gold from the north side, of which there is considerable quantity, furnishing steady employment to over two thousand men at the best wages in the west. What other mining camp outside of Butte can beat this record?
The total lead production of the United States for the year 1896 amounted to 174,692 tons, of which 135.332 tons were desilverized lead. 33,428 were soft lead from the Missouri and Kansas districts, and 5,932 tons were hard or antimonial lead. In addition to the domestic production there were 80,159 tons imported in all forms, chiefly as base bullion, from Mexico and Canada. This year's production will probably show an increase, and the Coeur d'Alenes will produce nearly one-half of the entire production. It is to this camp that American Smelters now have to look for their largest supply of lead ore.
The Lead Belt Of The Coeur d'Alenes
Lead was first discovered in the Coeur d'Alene mining district, in northern Idaho, on Canyon creek in the fall of 1884, the discovery at that time being the Tiger mine, situated at the town of Burke. During same year a few other locations were made on Canyon creek, a few at Mullan, and in the fall of 1885 the Bunker Hill & Sullivan mines were discovered at Wardner.
At the time these discoveries were made the country was inaccessible, with no railroads, wagon roads or trails, and the only way of getting in was by foot; ten to fifteen miles' travel per day was about all the distance a prospector could cover, owing to the heavy underbrush and timber at that time. The prospector of that day who has not kept posted with the progress of the Coeur d'Alenes would hardly be able to recognize the country at this time. The camp at present may be divided into four districts, viz.: Canyon Creek, Wardner, Mullan and Nine Mile, and standing in the importance of output in the order named. The veins in the Canyon creek district are true fissure veins and as such are likely to go to great depth, some of them having already reached a depth of one thousand feet to one thousand two hundred feet, with no signs of any decrease in quality or quantity of ore. The ore shutes in all the mines on Canyon creek are well defined, regular in width and length and lying between two walls that require but very little prospecting outside the walls or ore-bearing bodies. The slues are much longer than usually found in other camps with like character of ore. The pay streaks vary from two to thirty feet in width and the ore is comparatively clean, requiring no sorting of waste, that is, everything between the walls being milled. This district lies between the Mullan and Nine Mile districts, and being in the center the ore bodies are larger and richer. In the Wardner district the veins
are not so regular and defined. The ore bodies lie between the two walls, which are from 200 feet to 300 feet apart: between these walls the vein is filled with ledge matter, the ore bodies or pay ore being bunchy in character and somewhat irregular as to position, requiring a large amount of prospecting work and considerable sorting of the waste from the ore when found. It would be called more of a mineral zone than a fissure vein. The ore bodies when found are large, being anywhere from two to one hundred feet in width, but the shutes are usually short in length. The Mullan district more fully resembles the Canyon creek veins, but the ore bodies do not carry as high values in silver. The Nine Mile is also similar to Canyon creek with the exception that the shutes are not as regular or defined and the ore bodies not so long or wide.
Generally speaking, as to the formation of the camp, the country rock is slate with more or less quartzite and is said to resemble closely the formation of the Hartz mountains in Germany, in which district the lead mines have been worked for the last century to a depth of over three thousand feet. The general character of the ore is an argentiferous galena, and on an average it carries about one-half an ounce of silver to one per cent, of lead. The output of the camp for the last ten years has been steadily increasing, and in 1897 the Coeur d'Alene lead district produced nearly forty per cent, of the entire lead product of the United Slates. It is on this district that the smelters rely principally for their supply of lead ores.
From official figures I append the following lead statistics for the past four years; showing the United States production and consumption of lead, together with average prices for same:
PIG-LEAD STATISTICS. 1894 TO 1897.
Tons produced. Deslvd product U. S. ore
Total U. S. production
Used from imported ores and bullion.
Imported foreign pig
Decrease or increase in stocks
Stocks, Dec. 31st
Yearly average price of "Common" at N. Y.
Tons of 2.000 lbs. throughout.
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From the above statistics for the year 1897, the total United States production shows 196,295 tons, of which amount the Coeur d'Alene lead belt produced 69,600 tons of metallic lead, having shipped during the year 1897, 116,000 tons of concentrates which will average sixty per cent, lead and thirty ounces silver to the ton, this output for the year 1897 being made up from the three districts Canyon Creek, Wardner and Mullan, as follows: Canyon Creek. 54.565 tons; Ward-ner, 36.715 tons; Mullan, 23,660 tons; and furnished by the following mines:
CC Tiger & Poorman Mining Co. (9 mos.) .….16,740
a r Mammoth Mining Co….. 4.360
n e Standard Mining Co….. 22,075
y e Helena & Frisco Mining Co. (5 mos.)….. 10,750
o k Milwaukee Mining Co….. 600
n Formosa Mining Co…..40
Wardner ( Bunker Hill & Sullivan Mining Co....29,600
Wardner Last Chance Mining Co….. 7,1 15
Mullan: Morning Mining Co….. 23,660
From sundry other smaller claims (estimated)….1,060
Of this 116,000 of concentrates shipped, the lead contents will average for the district sixty per cent, lead, producing 69.600 tons desilverized lead, containing 3,480,000 ounces silver, being an average of thirty ounces to the ton of concentrates shipped. The aver-age price for lead for 1897 was three dollars and thirty-eight cents per one hundred pounds, and the average price of silver per ounce for 1897 was fifty-nine cents, showing a gross value of lead, $4,704,960 and a gross value of silver. $2,053,200 making a total of $6,758,160.
Statistics so far this year (1898) show a general falling off in the lead production of the United States of about twenty per cent., while British Columbia shows a reduction of about thirty per cent. This falling off of the production and the natural advance in all the products on account of the war have had the effect to advance the price of lead, and prices to-day are about one-half a cent higher than at the beginning of the year, with probabilities of a still further advance. Should the war continue long, Spanish production, which cuts quite a figure, must be considerably de-creased; and this and the numerous sums of money to be spent on the navies of the world for the next few years must create a large demand for all materials. The construction of the larger guns for the navy requires more lead than is demanded for the use of the guns afterward, in actual warfare. the guns using iron and steel for the projectiles, while in the construction of the guns there is an average of from thirty to sixty tons of lead used per gun for counter-weights on the disappearing gun carriages. This shortage of production from other sources, the probable increase for the use of lead in gun construction and electrical machinery, would indicate higher prices for the material and better times for the Coeur d'Alenes.
That the Coeur d'Alene district is getting ready to take advantage of these prices is evidenced by the general activity throughout the entire district, new prospects being opened up and getting into the hands of capital able to work them, and all of the older mines preparing for a larger output. Nine Mile district will be a producer in a short time. The Black Cloud Company have recently erected a one-hundred-ton concentrator, which will be ready for operation August 1st. The Custer mine is also being worked again; considerable work has been done on the Tamarack & Chesapeake properties, also on the Cowan and Blue Grouse, as well as numerous other properties on Nine Mile, all of which make a good showing. There is every reason to expect that Nine Mile next year will show quite a tonnage. That the permanency of the camp is assured is fully evidenced by the workings of the older mines. The first mines discovered in the camp are all working today and turning out more ore than ever before in their history.
The Tiger & Poorman, the first location in the belt, has been a steady producer since 1887; the Tiger shaft is down to the one thousand four hundred level a perpendicular distance of one thousand two hundred feet. The lower workings of this property are better today than they were nearer the surface. The Helena & Frisco, in the same canyon, is down a depth of one thousand feet vertically, with same conditions. From these two properties, which are the deepest in the camp, it is safe to say that deep mining in the Coeur d'Alenes is only in its infancy and with a long future in store.
All the producing mines have concentrators of their own, which for extensive and close work cannot be excelled anywhere in the United States. All of them are equipped with both water and steam power, and for six months in the year are able to run by water power, effecting considerable saving in operating expenses. All are equipped with machine shops, enabling the mines to do most of their repair work about the mines and mills. Nowhere do you find the business of mining conducted on better business principles than in the Coeur d'Alenes. The ore is here, the veins are permanent, and while it requires considerable money to open up the properties as well as large outlays for machinery to handle the ore, after this is done it simply becomes a business proposition to get out the ore as cheaply as possible. Every advantage is used for the economical working of the ore with as little handling of same as possible, from the time the ore is taken from the mine until loaded on the cars in the shape of concentrates.
Air drills are used almost altogether for the breaking of the ore in the mines, all the mines being equipped with the best compressing plants that money can buy, and some of the plants having capacities of forty to sixty drills, and very few less than twenty drill plants. Heavy mining machinery of all kinds is used, there being two 20x60 direct-acting hoists now working in the camp, situated on the Tiger & Poor-man and Helena & Frisco properties. These hoists are built to go to a depth of two thousand five hundred feet and handle from six hundred to seven hun-
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dred tons of ore per day besides handling the waste and necessary mining supplies, and requiring from five hundred to six hundred horse power to operate them. Pumps of a capacity of one thousand gallons per minute, hoisting one thousand feet in one lift, are to be found in these mines. Some idea of the size of these pumps and the amount of power required to operate same, may be formed when it is considered that few cities of twenty thousand population have larger water-works for supplying the city than these same pumps, which are used only for keeping some of the mines dry. From one thousand to one thousand five hundred horse power is not uncommon for the amount of power required to operate the machinery of some of the mines of the district: and to furnish this power, water, electricity and steam are generally used. Water power costs nothing outside the development of the power, which first cost of installation does not generally exceed that of first cost of steam plant for same amount of power; but expenses of operation are only nominal after flumes and water wheels are in place. With steam, the cost of furnishing power is quite an item, with some companies requiring an expenditure of from thirty-five to fifty thousand dollars per year. This will be remedied within a few years by the installation of large electrical plants which will be operated by water power and which will distribute the power for the different mines interested, from five hundred to one thousand horse power each. Such an enterprise will be a paying investment and can not long be delayed, there being several sufficient water powers within forty to fifty miles of the camp. When this is installed it will materially add to the life of the mines and the permanency of the district, cheapening the cost of power and allowing low-grade properties to be worked at a profit.
The shipping facilities of the camp cannot be ex-celled in any mining camp in the west. There are two transcontinental railroads running to the mill doors of nearly all the producing mines of the camp. The ore is delivered direct from the mill to the cars with-out any team-hauling and the only improvement in this line would be a reduction in railroad freights, which the camp is entitled to, not only on account of the magnitude of the tonnage furnished, but more especially on account of excessive freight charges in comparison with rates given other camps. Present freight rates, which will average twelve dollars per ton to Denver and Colorado points, should be reduced at least one-third. Smelter rates should also be reduced. Without the lead ores of the Coeur d'Alenes, more than one-half the smelters now in operation would be compelled to close down, and without our lead ores the dry ores of Colorado and Utah could not be worked.
The present condition of the Coeur d'Alenes is one of prosperity. We are furnishing steady employment to fully two thousand men in the working of the mines and mills at the best wages in the west. Fully three thousand more men derive their living indirectly from the mines and mills, and depend upon their prosperity. This, with the women and children, will give a population of eight to ten thousand living immediately in the vicinity of the camp and all more or less interested in the working of the mines in this district. The pay roll of the camp for wages paid out each month will amount to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, or three million dollars per annum. The railroad companies are paid for outgoing and incoming freights not less than one million five hundred thousand dollars per annum, and the smelters, for the treatment of the ore, nearly a million more annually.
Where can you find a more prosperous condition of affairs? Were it not for the few agitators who infest the camp, and who not only commit lawless acts them-selves (which are a disgrace to the community and an outrage upon the liberties of law-abiding citizens) but draw others into them who are opposed to such things, but dare not assert their opinions concerning same, for fear of incurring the enmity of organized labor, we would have one of the best and most prosperous camps in the west.
The Miners' Union and the Knights of Labor practically control the work of the camp outside of the Wardner district, which is a non-union camp, the other camps being union camps and paying the union scale of wages which is three dollars and fifty cents per day for underground men and three dollars per day for all men above ground. These two organizations are a power in the district and could do and do accomplish a great deal of good in relieving the suffering of their fellow workmen in case of sickness and accidents, by paying them weekly allowances and looking after their sick, and in case of death by giving them a decent burial and paying all funeral expenses. For their efforts in this direction, as well as to secure a good rate of wages, no reasonable person can object to their union; and were it not for the agitator who makes himself conspicuous under the guise of working for the cause of labor, but in reality working against the laboring man's interest by stirring up strife and discord between laborer and employer, the country would be better off and more prosperous. By the co-operation of the better class of members of the Miners' Union and the Knights of Labor, which element is largely in the majority in both orders, with the law-abiding element of the business community, working together m harmony, the restoration of law and order could easily be brought about and a stop put to the many outrages that have been a disgrace to this section of the country and that have prevented outside capital from seeking investment in the Coeur d'Alenes, forcing capital to British Columbia and other points where the opportunities for profitable investments are not half so good or sure as in the lead belt of the Coeur d'Alenes. The unions for their own interests, as well as in the interest of organized labor at large, should lend their assistance to put a stop to some of the occurrences which have taken place in the camp and for which the unions as a body have
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been blamed, while as organizations they have had nothing to do with the same, but have allowed a few of their members to commit these acts and to cover them under the plea that it had been done for the cause of labor, thereby using the unions as a cloak to cover their acts. That the better element in both organizations of the camp do not approve and countenance these outrages, the writer is satisfied from a personal acquaintance with a large number of its members.
Labor Troubles In The Coeur d'Alene District
The following account of the recent labor troubles in the Coeur d'Alene mining district is contributed by H. H. Smith, of the Cincinnati Post, who, as a reporter of the Scripps-McRae League, was present on the scene and made careful investigation of the matter:
The blowing up of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mill at Wardner on April 29, 1899. entailing a financial loss of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and the murder of two men was the culminating act of violence in the ten-years war between labor and capital that has waged in the Coeur d'Alenes. In the active prosecution of that warfare many lives have been sacrificed, hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of property have been blown to pieces with dynamite, and the development of the richest and most extensive silver-lead mines in the United States has been retarded to a degree that leaves the country practically in its infancy, when under natural conditions it would now be employing thousands of men. More regrettable is the fact that as this is written things are still in a condition of disorder, and no one can foretell what the end will be.
Troubles between the mine managers and their employees commenced almost with the opening up of the new country, but it was not until 1891 that the first serious dispute arose. In that year the employees of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Company struck to enforce their demand that they be allowed to pay their hospital dues of one dollar a month to a hospital of their own selection, and they gained their point. The mine-owners then organized an association of their own with which to combat the miners' unions of Gem, Wardner, Mullan and Burke, and their relations with their men became badly strained.
In 1892 all of the principal mines closed down, and in a short time the mine-owners commenced to import men and work them under the protection of hired detectives and special officers. Wages were not reduced, but the union men claimed that was to follow. The mine-owners bought rifles and ammunition for their new employees and the men who guarded them, and the union men also armed themselves for the approaching conflict. On Monday, July 11, a pitched battle ensued and six men were killed, in addition to the blowing up of the Frisco mill. It has always been a disputed point as to which side was the direct cause of the battle. The union men insist that all of the trouble was created by the imported Pinkerton Hill and Sullivan agency detectives and that they commenced the bloody struggle by firing on and killing a union man. On the other hand, the mine-owners allege that the unionists were responsible for the whole affair. At any rate, some one fired the first shot, and before a truce was patched up three men on each side were dead. The unionists lost Ed Cummins and two miners named Carlson and Hennessy. Their opponents' death list was made up of Ivory Bean, John Stanlik and McDonald.
A penstock, which was afterward known as "the long gun of the Coeur d'Alenes" six hundred and forty feet long, through which water was fed to the turbines, ran down the side of the mountain to the 'Frisco mill. The union men ran three or four hundred pounds of dynamite down the penstock and exploded it and the mill was blown to pieces. Mc-Donald, one of the guards, was killed. The Gem and Bunker Hill and Sullivan mills then surrendered, and it was agreed that all of the nonunion men should be sent out of the country and that the companies would employ union men at three dollars and a half a day for all underground labor.
Things then quieted down for a time, but trouble broke out at intervals. John Kneebone, who had deserted the union for the mine-owners, was murdered on July 3, 1894, and F. D. Whitney, a foreman at the 'Frisco concentrator, was assassinated on December 23, 1897.
These crimes, with others, were laid at the door of the unions, but the unionists always protested their entire innocence, and passed resolutions denouncing some of the outrages. The agreement entered into after the trouble of 1892 was lived up to by all of the companies except the Bunker Hill & Sullivan, which soon reduced wages to three dollars a day for shovelers and car men and three dollars and a half for miners. In 1894 it had some more trouble with its men and again reduced wages to two dollars and a half and three dollars a day. The Bunker Hill & Sullivan is the only dry mine in the Coeur d'Alenes and the company claimed it was paying as good wages as the others, everything considered. Its management was very antagonistic to the unions, and the dislike was mutual. The unions declared it a "scab" mine and let it go at that, attempting no violence.
Early in 1899 however, an attempt was made to unionize the mine, and the old fire broke out again. On May 26th the company raised wages to three dollars for shovelers and three dollars and a half for miners, but refused to recognize the union. Three days later its mill was blown up. The rioters seized a Northern Pacific train at Burke and ran it to Ward-ner, picking up delegations from Gem, Mullan and Wallace. A stop was made at the 'Frisco magazine and eighty fifty-pound boxes of dynamite were taken. By the time the train reached Wardner it had over a
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thousand men on board. Many of them were masked and carried rifles. They evidently anticipated and were prepared for a fight, but they met with no opposition, as all of the mill employees had heard of the approach of the train and fled over the hills. James Cheyne, one of the mill men, was shot and mortally wounded as he was running away, and Jack Smith, one of the rioters, was killed by his companions, presumably by mistake. The eighty boxes of dynamite were scattered around the mill and it was blown to fragments. The rioters then returned home, and in an hour everything was quiet again.
Governor Steunenberg called for federal troops, and several hundred were sent in under command of Brigadier General H. C. Merriam. Martial law was declared in Shoshone County, and Bartlett Sinclair, state auditor, was placed in charge as the governor's representative. He caused wholesale arrests, and at one time nearly one thousand men were in custody. Those who were considered to have had no part in the rioting were released as rapidly as possible, but on September 1st there were still about one hundred men confined in a stockade known as the "bull pen," while many others were out on bond. Paul Corcoran, financial secretary of the Burke Miners' Union, was the first one of the alleged rioters to be tried. He was convicted and sentenced to seventeen years in the penitentiary. Many other cases are to be tried in September 1899 the time of this writing. Corcoran's attorneys alleged gross irregularities in his trial and a motion was made for a rehearing.
The sheriff and commissioners of Shoshone county were removed from office when martial law was declared, as it was claimed they sympathized with the rioters, and the county attorney was suspended for the same reason. Other officers were named in their places. The miners' unions were declared to be criminal bodies, and the governor's representative issued an order that none should be employed in or around the mines without a permit from him. Governor Steunenberg declared that troubles in the Coeur d'Alenes must stop and the miners' unions be wiped out, and that to that end martial law would' continue until his term of office expires on January 1, 1901. The sub-committee on mining of the industrial commission visited Wallace and investigated the trouble, but could secure no conclusive testimony that the unions were responsible for it, though members of the unions might have been involved in it. All of the union men who were examined swore that the blowing up of the mill, or any other deed of violence, was never discussed or thought of by the unions, and was deplored by them. They said the mill was blown up by outside hotheads and not by members of the unions. Some of the mine-owners expressed the belief that very few of the rioters were union men, and even that they did not know that property was to be destroyed when they joined the mob that went to Wardner. There is no doubt that all of the leading spirits in the mob, who are declared to have never been members of any union were out of the country long before the soldiers arrived, and there seems to be little likelihood of their ever being apprehended or punished.
The Standard Group Of Mineral Claims
The Standard group of claims consists of the following patented lode claims: Standard, Ban-ner, Snow Line, Sancho, Sandwich, Youngstown, Sullivan Fraction, Banner Fraction, Parallel, Little Chap, Mammoth Fraction, a portion of the Mammoth, and Tariff, also the Columbia, Crown Point and Tom Reed, all located in the Coeur d'Alene silver-lead mineral belt, Lalande mining district, Shoshone county, Idaho, one mile from Burke, also the Union Mill-site located at Wallace, Idaho, together with water rights and flumes from which is developed about three hundred horse-power. The Standard claim was located May 7, 1885, by Timothy McCarthy, Timothy Hynes. Frank Hanson and John H. Simmons.
All the claims in the Standard group are patented, the patents having issued direct to the Standard Mining Company, with the exception of the Mammoth, Tariff and Mammoth Fraction. These claims are patented, but the patent issued direct to the original owners and was afterward transferred to the Standard Mining Company. The Standard Mining Company is a corporation of Idaho. Its capital stock is five hundred thousand dollars, divided into five hundred thou-sand shares of the par value of one dollar each. The officers of the company are as follows: Amasa B. Campbell, president; John A. Finch, vice-president and treasurer; W. E. Finch, secretary. The stock is held principally by the Finch & Campbell Syndicate of Youngstown, Ohio, Chicago and Milwaukee.
The property was purchased by the Standard Company in the spring of 1891, when the development work was commenced. The first ore was struck in the fall of 1892, and since that time it has been a steady shipper and dividend-payer. The property has been worked through four tunnels. The lower, or Campbell tunnel, as it is called, is two thousand nine hundred and fifty feet long, and is nine hundred feet below the upper tunnel. In all there arc probably over ten thousand feet of tunnel. At the end of this long tunnel is the chamber for the hoisting en-
Mines And Mining
gine. The chamber is one hundred feet long, fifty feet wide and thirty-six feet high. Here they have a twenty by sixty first-motion hoisting engine, built by Fraser & Chalmers, capable of hoisting two thousand five hundred feet. The shaft is down two hundred feet from the Campbell tunnel, and a drift has been run to strike the vein, where it is found they have an ore chute over six hundred feet long and from fifteen to forty feet wide, lint little stoping has been done from this level up.
The ore is silver-lead, and the average assay of the entire vein is ten to fifteen per cent lead and twelve to fifteen ounces silver. This ore is transported from the mine, one mile below Burke, Idaho, to the concentrator, which is located at Wallace, a distance of six miles. Here the ore is concentrated into a shipping product. It requires about five and eight-tenths tons of crude ore to make one ton of concentrates, or ship-ping product. The capacity of the mill is six hundred tons of crude ore in twenty-four hours. The average assay of concentrates is fifty-eight to sixty per cent lead and about fifty-eight to sixty ounces of silver to the ton.
Up to May 1, 1899, the Standard shipped 68,295 tons of concentrates, the net value of which (after paying freight charges to the smelter and treatment on the ore, which averaged about twenty-two dollars per ton), was $3,416,248.87. The company has paid in dividends the sum of $1,775,000.00, or $3.55 per share. The original cost of the property was $33,804.80. The amount expended for improvements and equipment to date is $280,000.00, all of which was taken out of the mine in addition to the amount paid in dividends. The property is under the management of Finch & Campbell of Spokane, Washington, their representative being H. R, Allen, of Wallace, Idaho.
The Standard is one of the best equipped mines in the world, and it was developed from the grass roots by and under the supervision of Archie McCallum, who is at present in charge of the mine.
The Hecla Group
The Hecla mine is located at Burke, Shoshone County (Lalande mining district). The original claims comprising the Hecla group were the Hecla and Katie May lode claims, located by James Toner on May 5, 1885. The property was purchased by the Hecla Mining Company, a corporation of Idaho, the principal stockholders being A. B. Campbell, John A. Finch, Patrick Clark, Simon Haley and a party of Milwaukee gentlemen. Up to January i, 1898, the Hecla shipped thirteen thousand dollars' worth of lead-silver ore while the development work was progressing. This ore was taken out partly by the company and partly by leasers. During the spring and summer of 1898 the Hecla Mining Company of Washington was organized, with a capital of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, one million shares of the par value of twenty-five cents each, the officers being: A. B. Campbell, president; John A. Finch, vice-president; and H. R. Allen, secretary and treasurer The new company purchased the Hecla and Katie May claims from the old Hecla company, and also purchased the Or-No-Go fraction lode from James Doherty, M. Maher and John Stack.
A bond was taken on the Orphan Boy, Orphan Girl, Leadville, Denver, Climax and Sylvanite, from John H. Van Dorn, which was subsequently taken up by the company. Later on the company purchased the Muscatine and Burlington claims from J. H. Van Dorn, John Frank and Ed Ehrenberg, and also the Muscatine Fraction and Croesus from H. R. Allen.
In all, the Hecla group now comprises fifteen lode claims and a mill-site, the total area being about two hundred and fifty acres. The development work consists of a sixteen hundred-foot tunnel run in at a depth from the sur-face of about nine hundred feet, and a four-hundred-foot tunnel which is one hundred and seventy-five feet above the long tunnel. In the lower tunnel they have an ore chute about three hundred and seventy-five feet long, averaging three feet wide. They still have five hundred feet to drive before getting under the immense cropping which show on the surface.
The Hecla is still a prospect, but it is more than paying its own way. It is being worked by a force of twenty men. The ore is milled at the Standard mill at Wallace, being transported over the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company's road, a distance of seven miles. The average grade of the ore is fifty-eight per cent lead and forty ounces silver. The property is under the
Mines And Mining
management of Messrs. Finch & Campbell, of Spokane, Washington, their representative in this district being Air. H. R. Allen, of Wallace, Idaho.
The Philadelphia & Idaho Mining & Smelting Company
The above named company was organized in 1882 by Colonel Green and Philadelphia parties, who built two stock plants and a large smelter plant at Muldoon, Blaine county, this state, and operated them for several years, in Muldoon. The ores in the vicinity of Ketchum, Idaho, were of a higher grade, and were attracting more attention than those they were then mining, and certain Philadelphia gentlemen had become interested in them, and they induced the Philadelphia Mining & Smelting Company to come to Ketchum. A small test was made with a little tester, and in the course of less than a week a profit of ten thousand dollars was made! They then joined with the other Philadelphia people and organized the Philadelphia & Idaho Company.
The Philadelphia Company that had first begun the work had acquired the North Star mine, the West Fork group, the Ervin and the Ten Brook on Boyle mountains, the Silver Star, Salamander, New York Boy and the Muldoon. The buildings at the North Star and Silver Star mines were, on the reorganization, remodeled and enlarged; power was obtained from two water wheels. The flume, coming out from Warm Springs creek about two miles above the smelter and just below the geyser hot springs, was easily kept open during the coldest weather, which was an exceptional advantage, and enabled the company to continue their work uninterruptedly throughout the year. The operations for a time were so promising that the proprietors overdid the work of providing facilities, especially by the erection of a mill at the Silver Star mine, at a cost of seventy-six thousand dollars. It was not only badly located but proved ill adapted to the ore, of which there was a large quantity on hand. This ore, which is still there, is a galena, very much mixed with silver, copper and iron, carrying gold in a true fissure vein. The silver and lead might be made to pay. The heavy-grade ores, of which there were large quantities mined have averaged two to three hundred ounces of silver to the ton in quartz. A great deal of galena, which yielded sixty per cent, lead and eighty ounces of silver, was shipped to the smelters as first-class ore; but the mill was built to treat only the more common kind, which contained twenty-two per cent, lead, as many ounces of silver, with copper sulphide, carrying gold to the amount of ten to fifteen dollars and mixed with zinc, spar, quartz, and lime.
The running of the mill, which was located upon the hill side, was unsuccessful and the institution was shut down and sold; and since that time little has been done with it, except that it has been leased to miners who work in a small way.
The most prominent property, the North Star, has been a continuous producer ever since 1881. Although much extravagant outlay was incurred, the operation was successful. The ore is not of a grade so high as most of the ore on Wood river, running sixty per cent, lead and seventy-five to eighty ounces of silver; but many of the bodies have been large and continuous for a considerable distance, being large enough to yield over one hundred thousand dollars each. There have also been considerable bodies of ore running on the average eighteen per cent, lead, twenty-two to twenty-four ounces of silver, ten per cent, zinc, in arsenical iron and quartz, with spar and lime. These bodies have been milled at the North Star works, making a fairly good grade of concentrates.
In 1892, when the clean galena could not be obtained in sufficiently large quantities to run the smelters, the general managers endeavored to run, in the winter of 1892-3, on the bodies of low-grade ore from the North Star mine; and. owing chiefly to the presence of zinc, which ran at times as high as seventeen per cent., the work was unsuccessful: the smelters were closed and have not since been opened. The work at the North Star has been continued by leasing.
At the Silver Star they now have fourteen claims, and at the North Star there are also large bodies of arsenical-iron pyrite, which carry gold from ten to twenty dollars to the ton. The mine is on the east fork of Wood River, seven miles from Gimlet station. The Silver Star is thirty miles from the town of Ketchum. At the town of
Mines And Mining
Ketchum the company have a large and substantially built smelter and all the appliances and structures, one of the best plants in the county, and the works are located in a delightful situation. The boarding house and buildings for the offices of the company are first-class and afford a delightful residence and resort in the summer. Wood river is so near the residence that its gurgling current can be heard there.
The Red Cloud Group Of Mines
This group of mines is situated on Deer creek, a tributary of Wood river, about twelve miles in a northwesterly direction from the town of Hailey, in Mineral Hill mining district, Blaine county, and is owned by Lyttleton Price, of Hailey, and Pittsburg parties. These mines were discovered by Orin Porter, E. H. Porter and James L. Mason, in 1880. The present owners purchased them in 1889, organized what was known as the Red Cloud Mining Company, and worked these properties for several years, paying in dividends ten thousand dollars per month, approximating in the total two hundred thousand dollars.
In 1897 large quantities of water were struck and a deep tunnel was run on the property for the purpose of draining the mines and exploring them at greater depth. About this time the company put in a water-power plant, air-compressor, and also every other mechanical adjunct necessary to modern mining; but, after they had ex-tended their deep tunnel to a distance of six thou-sand feet and made connection with the upper workings, five hundred and sixty feet higher, they found that the country was broken and faulted and that, together with the very low price of silver and lead then prevailing, discouraged the owners and they accordingly discontinued operations, although the mine was considered by experts to be one of the most valuable in the state. The deep tunnel opens and drains the country to a depth of fourteen hundred feet.
United States patents have been granted for these mines, comprising sixteen claims. The Red Cloud Mining Company has gone out of existence, the property being now owned as above stated. Nothing has been done for a number of years on this property until within a few months since, when operations were resumed under lease by Lyttleton Price, Thomas Kennelly and G. L. Havens, who now have a fine ore body developed and are extracting and shipping ore, and from present indications this group of mines now promises to be one of the most valuable proper-ties in the state of Idaho.
The Poorman Mine
On War Eagle Mountain, a mile and a half southeast of Silver City, are a group of about twenty mines, in one of the richest belts in that section of the state, a belt which has afforded material to render Silver City famous throughout the civilized world. The Poorman mine has a production record of three million dollars, and other properties of the group as Bell Pick, Oso, Illinois Central, Jackson and Silver Cord have all been good producers.
The Poorman mine was discovered in 1865, and between July 9 and October i, 1866, there was shipped from it the enormous sum of $606,692. The ore consists of chloride, sulphide of silver and a considerable proportion of copper. At a depth of one hundred feet five hundred pounds of ruby silver were taken out in one solid piece. This piece of ore was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exposition of 1867. The Poorman mine is said to have been the richest body of ore for its size ever discovered. The mine is equipped with a ten-stamp mill, erected in 1895, and for the transportation of ore from the mine to the mill there is a wire-cable tramway of the Hallidie system one mile long. In 1888 the property was purchased by a syndicate of London, England, which is incorporated as the Poorman Gold Mines, limited. John B. Bryson. a resident of London, is the president of the company, and R. H. Britt, a resident here, is the manager. This company contemplates a deeper cut into the earth and a larger development, and great results are expected.
The Black Jack Mine. This famous mine, situated on Florida mountain three miles southwest of Silver City and one and a half miles from Dewey, was discovered in the early '60s, being the first mine found in this mountain. The company was first incorporated as the Black Jack Mining Company, and was listed on the San Francisco Stock Board. This
Mines And Mining
company is said to have taken out one million and six hundred thousand dollars worth of the precious metals: but, owing to the failure of the Bank of California, in 1875, all work in this vicinity was stopped, including operations in connection with the Black Jack mine. This property was then sold for debt and finally came into the possession of William H. Dewey. During the period of his ownership of the mine it was worked principally by lessees, who opened no new ground, and the production was very light.
In 1889 the present owners, the Idaho & Pittsburg Mining & Milling Company, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, came into possession of the property, by purchase. They were incorporated in 1890, under the laws of Kentucky, with a nominal capital of two and a half million dollars, divided into two hundred and fifty thousand shares, of ten dollars each. They immediately began extensive work, building a ten-stamp mill and all the necessary structures and starting a tunnel to tap the ledge five hundred and seventy feet below the deepest of the old workings. This tunnel reached the ledge in 1891, after passing through over nine hundred feet of country rock, and at last found the ledge barren! Drifting south, however, on the ledge, a pay chute was located. This was cut in 1892, and from that time on the enterprise has been on a permanent producing basis, with the exception of only one month, during the panic of 1893.
In 1894 a tunnel was started three hundred feet below the tunnel above referred to, and was completed in 1895, cutting the ledge after going through two thousand and one hundred feet of country rock. Connections were made with the upper levels, and from that time on all the ore for the mill has been taken out from the lower tunnel and hauled directly to the top of the ten-stamp mill, where it is discharged into the ore bin. In 1896 a shaft was started to work below the lower tunnel, which is now (1898) down two hundred and thirty-five feet; it is equipped with a cage. The power is furnished by an air-compressor at the mill, twenty-six hundred feet distant. The lowest level of the mine approximates fourteen hundred feet below the top of the mountain, and the mine is opened up by levels about a hundred feet apart. The twelve-hundred-foot level connects with the Blaine tunnel of the Trade Dollar Company, so that it is possible to go from the Black Jack mill to the Trade Dollar by an underground route, the distance being seven thousand and five hundred feet, two thou-sand feet of which being a cross-cut and the remainder a drift on the ledge.
The mill is a Frazier & Chalmers ten-stamp combination, equipped with frew vanners. There are four six-foot vanners, over which the pulp passes before going to the pans. In the latter the material is treated by regular amalgamation, eight pans and four settlers being required. The engine is a C. & G. Cooper Corliss single cylinder structure of a hundred-horse power. Two seventy-five-horse-power boilers generate the steam required for the plant. An Ingersoll-Sar-gent air-compressor, located in the mill, furnishes the power for the underground hoist previously referred to.
The ore occurs in a medium-hard quartz; the silver in the form of an argentite carries about two-thirds of the values, and gold one-third. Gold assays can be obtained from picked specimens that will run enormously rich, as high as a thousand ounces ; but the average value of the ore is between thirty and forty ounces of silver and ten dollars in gold to the ton.
Eighty men are employed at the mine and twelve at the mill. The mine and mill are run continuously, with two shifts of men, every day and night in the year excepting two days at Christmas, two at the Fourth of July and one Labor Day. About seventy per cent, of the values are obtained by concentration and about twenty per cent, in bullion, making a total of ninety per cent, saving. The concentrates are shipped to Denver for final treatment. The officers of the company are John Irwin, Jr., president; Edward Bindley, vice-president; James McKay, treasurer; and Lloyd L. Little, secretary, residing at Pittsburg. The local officers are Frederic Irwin, superintendent; J. B. Mattenson, mine foreman; James Ingals, mill foreman; and Bert Haug, assayer and accountant. The company are the owners of the following mines: Black Jack, Empire State. Phillips, Sullivan, Belfast and Independence, all of which arc patented; while the unpatented claims arc the Virginia. Bay State, Industry, Economy and Sunflower.
Mines And Mining
The Ontario Group Of Mines
These mines, which are now owned by ^Michael Carey, state senator, are located on Warm Spring creek, twelve miles west of Ketchum, in Blaine county, Idaho. They yield galena ore silver and lead and the veins extend east and west, dipping toward the south, and average from three to three and a half feet in width. The ore has an average yield of forty per cent, lead, eighty ounces of silver and three dollars in gold to the ton. These mines are worked by tunnels, which thus afford drainage and permit the ore to be run out on tracks. They were first discovered by John Boyle in 1880, were purchased by the Warm Springs Consolidated Company, and, as stated, are now the property of Senator Carey. The group consists of the following mines: Ontario, Hub No. 2, Niagara, Hathaway, Sunday, Gopher, Kalemet Fraction, Log Cabin, Michigan Fraction and the North Star. Half a million of dollars have been taken from the Ontario. The Star has been a good producer, also the Sunday, and the others have not as yet been worked so extensively. There is a good concentrating mill, costing twenty thousand dollars, on the property, and quite a number of tunnels have been made, the longest being three hundred feet. All the mines in this vicinity produce rich ore, and there is no doubt but that the Ontario will yield to its owner valuable ores for many years to come.
The Alturas Senator Mining Company
The mines of this company are situated at Galena, Blaine County, Idaho, comprising ten claims, the most promising of which are the Senate and Gladwater. At one time these mines were yielding well, but, because of the decline in silver, operations were discontinued and the smelter dismantled. Some development is contemplated in this year, 1899. The company is composed of wealthy men in New York. Lewis Edwards, the president, and Dr. Barron, the president of the Carpenter Steel Works of New York, are the principal factors.
The Ashland Group Mining Company have four silver-lead claims at Muldoon and two silver-lead claims on Boyle mountain. Nothing has been done with these claims for the past twelve years.
The Cansada-Ledlie Company own two claims, the Cansada and the Ledlie, on Trail creek about six miles from Ketchum. George Yount, of Ketchum, and a Philadelphia party are conducting some development work on the Cansada un-der the management of Knox Taylor.
The Silver King Mining Company
This company was organized under the laws of New Jersey, by Philadelphia parties, with Henry Tevis as president. They have two groups of mines. The Davitt, a silver-lead property, is located on Deer creek, a tributary of Wood River. The ore occurs in a granite formation. A large and continuous seam has produced a great deal of silver and lead. It was operated with a shaft; but a snow-slide ruined the hoist and operations were abandoned.
The company also owns the Silver King, a group of four claims located four miles above Sawtooth on the Salmon river, in a granite formation and quartz, being very rich in silver, with sulphur, antimony, a sulphide of iron and zinc. Gold has been found in the iron to the amount of twenty-four dollars. The silver Values have been very high, averaging at times three hundred ounces, with sometimes as high as fifteen hundred ounces, and many shipments running to four, five and even six hundred ounces.
Major Hyndman had a lease of the property for three years and paid the company in one of the years ten thousand dollars on a fifteen per cent, royalty; but little other work has been done on it. At length he acquired an interest in the enterprise and finally became half-owner, and was leasing the property in 1892 when the saw-dust covering of the boiler at the hoist caught fire and the hoist was burned; and the apparatus has not since been repaired, and after Major Hyndman's death disagreements with his widow have prevented work. The improvements of the property consist of mill, rolls and two frew runners.
Pierce City Gold Camp
This camp is now attracting considerable attention from capitalists. Ohio parties have purchased an interest in the Golden Gate Mining Company's property, and are now carrying on work there. The Milling & Mining Company also have a five-stamp mill on their property three
Mines And Mining
miles from Pierce City, have begun the milling of ore, and good results have been obtained. Some sixty thousand dollars in gold has been extracted by a three-stamp mill owned by the Dunn Brothers on adjoining property. The character of the ore in this camp is mostly free milling gold quartz. The Chapman group of gold-quartz claims on the Oro Grande creek, fifteen miles northeast of Pierce City will be worked in 189Q. The showing is one hundred thousand tons of ore in sight, free milling, with assays, from seven dollars and forty-five cents to fifty-six dollars per ton. A contemporary publication in an article headed "The Free Milling Gold Belt of Idaho." gives the following: "The Western Mining World's correspondents in Idaho exhibit a well founded enthusiasm over the mineral outlook in that state. In writing from Pierce City one gentleman refers to the fact that mining men seeking investment have a natural preference for free-milling propositions, the great advantage being that the ore requires no shipment from the mine, but is milled on the ground by stamp mills. An-other advantage is that the machinery required is not ponderous and can be transported to the mine by wagon or pack train, and a mill can be erected at a cost of from two to five thousand dollars that will turn out from eight to fifteen tons of ore per day at an expense of from four to five dollars per ton. Then again, after the ore is extracted and put on the dump, four men are sufficient to operate a stamp mill with an expense including labor, fuel and repairs not exceeding twenty-five dollars per day to mill twelve tons. The expense of taking ore from the mine might be estimated at two dollars, and the milling two dollars per ton. As no shipment of ore is required, free-milling camps are free from the exactions and high tariffs of transportation companies. The fact that Pierce City is a free-milling gold-quartz camp perhaps has more to do with the rapid growth now in progress than any other one thing.
"The Idaho free-milling gold belt embraces thousands of square miles of territory lying in Shoshone county and running southeasterly to Pierce City, between the forks of Clearwater river and including the headwaters of the Oro Fino, Oro Grande, French, Lo-Lo and Mussel Shell creeks, and continuing on to Dixie, Elk City, Florence and Warrens, comprising the southeastern slope of the Bitter Root mountain. The streams above mentioned empty into the Clearwater, Salmon and Snake rivers. Cither minerals than gold are found in the territory, and some gold quartz has been found that is not free â- milling, but the main feature of the important properties so far developed has been free-milling gold. This vast mineral district is largely tributary to Spokane, and mining men of that city are becoming interested in some of the best proper-ties, and are sending forward machinery and supplies to aid in rapid development."
Quartz mining in this locality can be carried on twelve months in the year, and the large tract of agricultural land in the Nez Perces reservation now being cultivated makes living as cheap in Pierce City as in almost any farming community. Fairly good wagon roads from Lewiston and Kendrick are traveled daily with freight, camp supplies, stage and express. The distance is eighty miles from Lewiston and sixty-five miles from Kendrick. Steamboats from Lewiston make trips in the spring within twenty-five miles of Golden Gate, and merchandise for Pierce City is landed at the mouth of Oro Fino creek, forty miles away. The government is now working a force of men, improving the navigation as far up as Chamois, which will probably make it navigable for steamers six months in the year. Work on the free-milling gold-quartz mines of French, Oro Fino, Rhodes and Mussel Shell creeks is being pushed, and some new developments are reported. The Klondyke has widened into a twelve-foot vein of solid ore. The manager of the Gold Bar reports sixty feet depth in shaft No. I, with a twenty-eight-inch vein of ore that assays one hundred and twelve dollars and twenty-seven cents a ton. It is proposed to go down seventy-five feet and then run in a tunnel, tapping the main body of ore at a depth of one hundred and fifty feet. The Golden Gate will go down two hundred feet on one ore vein of three feet in width and a parallel vein of eighteen inches. The veins are seven feet apart. These properties are attracting a great deal of attention and the investment of capital in the operation of the mines will make this one of the richest mining districts of the country, and will thereby contribute to the growth and material advancement of the state.
Mines And Mining
The Tip-Top Mine
This is a gold property. It is situated twelve miles west of Hailey, Blaine county, in the center of what is known as the gold belt. The mine is thoroughly developed by an inclined shaft three hundred feet in depth, passing through three levels, from which project several wings. The ore is obtained to the extent of five hundred feet, with an average width of the tunnel from five to six feet. The ore consists of gold in iron and copper pyrites. The value of the gold is one ounce to the ton. A twenty-stamp mill is in process of construction at the mine, which will probably be completed and running before the publication of this volume. A four-inch water pipe two miles in length supplies the mill with water, which has to be raised nine hundred feet. The ore is treated by running it from the battery over copper-silver plates, where one-half is amalgamated. The remaining gold is concentrated by twelve frew runners and other concentrating machinery, which work can be effected with the result of a high percentage.
The outlay in developing the mine to its present stage and in erecting the mill is about one hundred thousand dollars. The plant is owned by John O. Packard, of Salt Lake City, and H. E. Miller, of Bellevue, a thoroughly practical mining expert. The work is under the direct superintendency of Captain James A. Lusk, a prominent mining man from Utah. Mr. Miller came to Wood river in 1881 and has assisted in the development of various mines, among which may be mentioned the Minnie Moore, which eventually proved to be the largest producer of all the mines in the Wood river country, yielding nearly as much as any four of the best mines in that section of the state. The amount of ore, consisting of galena carrying ninety ounces of silver, which has been shipped from this mine, is estimated at three or four million dollars, shipping value.
In 1883 this mine was purchased by an English company, who for a time afterward continued its operation; but at present no work is being done. They paid half a million dollars for the plant. It has an inclined shaft nine hundred feet in extent, with levels of one hundred feet each. Professor Blake, a distinguished metallurgist, said that this mine contained the largest body of galena ore he had ever seen in America. The ore is clear galena, carrying one hundred and twelve ounces of silver. For a length of three hundred feet the tunnel has an average width of eighteen feet.