Topic: Mining

The Lost Silver Mine

By mid-May of 2011, my camp site on Lake Santeetlah had been attacked at night several times by small groups of local patriots carrying baseball bats.  Apparently, they wanted to drive the supposed sexual predator-crazy man with three dogs out of the county.  Then one night about 1:30 AM a long line of pickups was headed toward my campsite. There were far too many patriots coming for me to fight off. I threw my rifle and sleeping bag in the car, screaming at the dogs to jump in.  We took a loop road around the convoy just as they arrived at the campsite.  I drove south out of Graham County on Tallulah Road then turned left on US 19-74 in Topton.  I headed into the Nantahala Gorge where I knew there would be campsites and civilized human beings. There was fog that night in the gorge.  The visibility was almost as bad as on the Cherohala Skyway.   All the visible campsites were filled.  I turned onto a side road and pulled into a graveled space next to a noisy mountain stream.  We spent the night in the back of the Explorer. I was awakened the next morning by a woman standing near my Explorer.  She was amazingly polite considering that I had unknowingly pulled into a commercial campground without paying.  It was the Lost Mine Campground.  The woman was...

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Idaho Mines

Some of the first discovered veins, already mentioned in a previous chapter, retained their productiveness. The Gold Hill mine was sold in 1869, since which time to 1884 it produced $2,800,000. It was not until 1878 that the Banner district, north of Quartzburg, in Boise County, began to be really developed. The mines of War Eagle Mountain, in Owyhee County, continued productive. Oro Fino, the first discovery, yielded $2,756,128 in six years, without any considerable cost to its owners. The Elmore, later called the Bannack, in one month in 1868 yielded $500,000, the ore being crushed in a twenty-stamp mill. This mine, irregularly worked, a few months at a time, produced from 1868 to 1886 $2,000,000. The entire production of the Poorman previous to its suspension was $4,000,000. This mine yielded a large quantity of extraordinary rich chlorides. Some masses of horn-silver looked like solid lead tinted with crimson, and was sixty per cent pure silver. Its second and third class ores yielded $230 to the ton in the early period of its development, and the first grade as high as $4,000. A block of this ore weighing 500 pounds was sent to the world’s exposition at Paris in 1806, which obtained an award of a gold medal, and was regarded with much interest. But the Poorman, after various changes of management, owing to litigation, suffered a final blow...

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Idaho Lost Diggings Miners

Their names were: Michael Jordan A. J. Miner G. W. Chadwick Cyrus Iba William Phipps Joseph Dorsey Jerome Francisco John Moore J. R. Cain W. Churchill H. R. Wade A. J. Reynolds James Carroll William Duncan Dr A. F. Rudd F. Height W. L. Wade John Gannon M. Conner C. Ward H. W. Prindall D. P. Banes O. H. Purdy J. G. Boone W. T. Carson P. H. Gordon L. G. Gehr and 3 others. In the Silver City Owyhee Avalanche of Jan. 8, 1876, is a notice of the death of Alexander Eddington, an Englishman aged 60, a ‘pioneer of Owyhee,’ who may have been of third party. In Ballou’s Adventures, MS., Jordan’s name is given as J. P. Jordan. H. K. Wade, who was the first treasurer-elect of Owyhee co., died in 1863. William Duncan died in 1873 or 1874 in Nevada. J. R. Cain settled in Boise Valley. F. Height and G. Iba settled in Utah. O. H. Purdy remained in Owyhee County, and wrote an account of these matters on the twelfth anniversary of the discovery of the Owyhee mines, in Owyhee Silver City Avalanche, May 22, 1875. Peter McQueen, ‘one of the pioneers of the Owyhee mines,’ was killed Jan. 26, 1864, by the caving in of a tunnel on which he was working near Bannack City. ‘McQueen was formerly from Wellsville, Ohio, in...

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Miners of Silver Bow District and Gulches, Montana

The men who uncovered the riches of Silver Bow District were, after the original discoverers, W. R. Coggeswell Peter Slater Vernon & Co. C. Solomon M. Johnson Dennis Driscoll J. Baker Robert McMinn Thomas Flood W. R. Crawford Sherman & Co. Henry Rust M. Prettyman Lester Popple W. E. Harris J. La Clair L. Thayer George Popple A. M. Smith C. S. Warren James Beattie George McCausland Wolf & Cowan From the gulches opened by these men was taken, between 1864 and 1869, $l,894,300. Of the Gulches, which lay too high to be worked before the completion of the Pioneer and Rocker ditch in 1870, the discoverers were: W. E. Vernon John W. Baker Nelson Everest Charles S. Warren Michael Moran John Hanifin Benjamin Vener Eugene Boiteaux William Barry Thomas Smith H. H. Alstreadt Earl Gower John Barrick Levi Russell John Sheppard L. W. Burnett John M. Killop ‘Arkansaw’ H. H. Porter L. Griswold. Charles Rures Sidney Dinnon Vernon & Co. Thomas Burden H. J. Mattison Charles Noyes Gower& Co. Crane &...

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Idaho Mines and Mining

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 circumstance 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.”

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The Growth Of Quartz Mining Discoveries

Prospecting early indicated that the future mineral wealth of Idaho would depend upon quartz mining, and accordingly efforts were early made to develop that feature of Idaho’s principal industry. In the autumn of 1863 it was found that thirty-three claims of gold and silver quartz-mines had been made on the south Boise alone, ail of which promised well. The Ida Elmore, near the head of Bear creek, the first and most famous of the south Boise quartz mines in that year, was discovered in June. In an arastra it yielded two hundred and seventy dollars to the ton of rock; but at length it fell into the hands of speculators. The next several mines of this class were the Barker, East Barker, Ophir, Idaho, Independence, Southern Confederacy, Esmeralda, General Lane, Western Star, Golden Star, Mendocino, Abe Lincoln, Emmett and Hibernia. The Idaho assayed, thirty feet below the surface, one thou-sand seven hundred and forty-four dollars in gold and ninety-four dollars and eighty-six cents in silver; Golden Eagle, two thousand two hundred and forty dollars in gold and twenty-seven dollars in silver, from the croppings. At the Ida Elmore a town was laid out called Fredericksburg, and other towns were also laid out elsewhere, many of which remained towns only in the imagination. Rocky Bar, however, laid out in 1864, beautifully materialized, while Boise City, founded at the junction of...

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Idaho, the Gem of the Mountains, Origin of the Name

The Mountains have ever been the bulwarks of freedom. Valor is born there; virtue is cherished there, and these are the seeds of song and story. No land ever yet had a literature to endure that had not these for its theme, these off-springs of the pure, sweet atmosphere and sublime splendor of inspiring Mountains; and the more glorious the Mountains, the more glorious the song and story. What then may we not prophesy for Idaho when her torn and devastated placer fields all are terraced vineyards, as in Savoy, and the peace and rest of the old pastoral days of Greece shall possess her? Meanwhile it remains for us to dwell rather upon the vital present; to note the assurances offered in the fair new state of Idaho as this wonderful nineteenth century draws rapidly to its close. Here nature has been lavish to prodigality; here mountain and valley yield forth their treasures; and here are the homes of a progressive, enlightened and a loyal people who honor and receive honor from the whole noble sisterhood of states. The Gem of the Mountains may well challenge admiration, and it is hoped that the pages of this work may bear their part in perpetuating the dramatic story of the brave men and virtuous women who gathered about the cradle of the infant Idaho, and also tell the latter-day story...

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Owyhee County Its History, Towns, Industries

In 1862 the present county of Owyhee was a part of Boise County, which comprised all of the western portion of Washington Territory lying south of what was then called Idaho county, its area being nearly equal to that of Pennsylvania. When Idaho was created a territory by act of congress, March 3, 1863, Boise county became part and parcel of the territory of Idaho, and at the first session of the territorial legislature, held at Lewiston, Idaho, Owyhee County was created, December 31, 1863, out of all territory south of Snake River and west of the Rocky mountains. In 1864 Oneida County, and in 1879 Cassia County, were cut off of Owyhee County, reducing it to its present limits. Its northern boundary line is the Snake River. Cassia County on the east, state of Oregon on the west, and the state of Nevada forms its southern boundary. Its area is 8,130 square miles, being somewhat larger than the state of Massachusetts. Its name, “Owyhee,” is believed to have been borrowed from the Hawaiian language, and to have been given to the Owyhee River by two Kanakas in the employ of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Prior to the spring of 1863, Owyhee County was an unexplored country, inhabited only by bands of hostile Indians, while at that time the diggings of Boise basin and Oro Fino boasted of a...

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Internal Improvements

In 1892 twenty thousand dollars was voted by congress for the improvement of Snake river, and one hundred thousand dollars for the Boise public building. The river and harbor appropriation bill, passed by congress in April, 1896, carried twenty-five thousand dollars for the improvement of the Clearwater River, and five thousand dollars for the Kootenai between Bonner’s ferry and the British boundary. The appropriation for the Boise public building was increased from one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to two hundred thousand dollars and a building site was selected which cost seventeen thousand and five hundred dollars. Of the special land grants to the state by the national government, aggregating over six hundred thousand acres, only one-sixth remained to be settled in 1897. Assessed Valuation of Property The total assessed valuation of the state in 1894, exclusive of railroad property, was $22,942,910, which was about fifteen per cent, less than that of the preceding year. The railroad assessment was about eight million dollars. The assessment of the main lines of all railroads for this year was fixed at six thousand and five hundred dollars a mile, including rolling stock; branch lines at five thousand dollars a mile, and narrow-gauges at four thousand dollars a mile. The assessment on telegraph lines was at the rate of fifty dollars a mile for poles and the first wire, and twelve dollars and...

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Bear Lake County

Bear Lake County is the smallest in Idaho, yet one of the richest, and one of the very few counties comparatively free from public indebtedness. The natural wealth of the little domain is about as happily diversified as its residents could wish. It has mountains on either side rich in minerals, timber and building stone, which have recently been developed to a greater extent than during all the years of its settlement. The county was settled by Mormons in the year 1863, and for a number of years afterward their residence continued under circumstances of the most forbidding and discouraging nature. The county is perhaps the highest altitude that is cultivated successfully in the world, the altitude being about six thousand feet, and the early settlers, being unaccustomed to the frosts and the storms of these high altitudes and the different methods of raising crops by irrigation, were for several years compelled to haul their flour and other necessaries over the rugged mountains from Cache valley, Utah, a distance of seventy-five miles, the roads being mere trails, rocky, sidling, and without bridges over the wild, swift mountain streams. To settle such a county, none but the strongest and most determined could accomplish; so bleak and sterile was the country that the shade and fruit trees first planted refused to grow. All this is changed by the labor and perseverance...

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Various Subjects

Presbyterianism In Idaho The history of Presbyterianism in Idaho embraces three separate histories: that of the work among the Nez Perces, that of the work among the whites in the Panhandle, and that of the work in the southern section of the state. The work among the Nez Perces had its beginning in 1836, when Rev. Henry H. Spalding, the friend and companion of Marcus Whitman, established a mission station at Lapwai on the Clearwater, twelve miles above the present city of Lewiston. When the Whitman’s were massacred in 1847 Mr. Spalding and his wife were also marked as victims, and though they escaped with their lives they were shut out from work in that field until 1871. In that year Mr. Spalding was allowed to return and spent three busy years among the people from whom he had been separated for almost a quarter of a century. The seed sown with weeping so long before had not perished, and he was permitted to gather in his sheaves with rejoicing. During the last three years of his life he was permitted to baptize six hundred and ninety-four Indian converts. One year before he died two women of heroic spirit, educated, consecrated, and in every way fitted, came to his help. They were the Misses Susan and Kate McBeth, whose names are now household words in Presbyterian homes. Miss Susan...

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Discovery Of Gold in Idaho

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...

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The Tip-Top Mine

The Tip-Top Mine 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...

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Pierce City Gold Camp

Pierce City Gold 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 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 1890. 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...

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The Silver King Mining Company

The Silver King Mining 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...

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