Silverado in the News
The first mining days in Silverado Canyon attracted plenty of newspaper coverage. Here are some of the better stories.
You can read more about the history of Silverado here.
The Silver Mines.
(Anaheim Gazette, February 9, 1878)
Mr. J.W. Clark and party, who have been prospecting in the Santiago hills for the past week, have returned. They have located several silver ledges, which they believe to be extremely rich. Mr. Pullen took some of the rock to Los Angeles, and it assayed by fire test $40 to the ton. Messrs. Thistlewaite, Dunlap & Co. are now preparing to ship ten tons of ore to San Francisco. There is no road to their mine, and they are now making a trail so that pack animals can reach it.
Medura [sic] Canyon, where the mines are situated, is ten miles above the coal mines and twenty-five miles from Anaheim. There are now from fifteen to twenty men at work prospecting, and as there seems to be no reasonable doubt that further developments will give increased confidence in the district and attract quite a population, Mr. [P.A.] Clark has taken time by the forelock and surveyed off a town site. For that purpose he purchased the bee ranch of Mr. Alvord. The embryo town is called Silverado.
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Up the Madera to Silverado
(Anaheim Gazette, June 22, 1878)
Eds. Gazette: – Perhaps most of your readers have heard of the new silver mines recently discovered in the mountains east of Anaheim, but few of them, except those who have been there, have any very definite information about these mines. With the design of seeing for myself and obtaining something reliable in regard to these mines, one day last week I started out on a tour of discovery and exploration.
The Route to the Mines
Striking out eastwardly from Anaheim, and crossing the waterless Santa Ana, you skirt the edge of the foot hills, with the grain fields and the orange groves of Orange spread out below you. Leaving the valley behind, you enter the Santiago Canyon, and are soon whirling along beneath the shade of gigantic live oaks, festooned with grape vines. Passing through clumps of forest trees scattered, at intervals, for two or three miles up the canyon, you again emerge into an open, treeless valley, where herds of fat cattle crop the succulent grasses. On past the Black Star Coal Mines, in whose black treasures lie the promise of many a new industry – many a new enterprise yet unknown to Southern California. Still ascending the canyon, now beneath the shade of wide branching oaks and again in hot sunshine, you pass numerous bee ranches where the busy bee “improves each shining hour” by filling the many little square boxes, that serve for hives, with golden honey. Some ten miles up we reach the junction of the Madera with the Santiago Canyon. Turning to the left, we follow up the Madera. The scenery grows wilder and more picturesque; bold bluffs of gray granite tower up above you two or three hundred feet high; huge fragments of rock, that the disintegrating storms and winds have loosened and rolled down from the mountains, lie scattered promiscuously in the narrow canyon. The road now winds along the edge of the bluffs, now plunges down into the bed of the creek, crossing and re-crossing it no less than thirty-seven times. This mountain streamlet deserves more than a passing notice. The poet who could enthuse over the sandy washes and drearily monotonous scenery of the Santa Ana or the San Gabriel must be blest with a super-abundant supply of the divine afflatus; but this mountain rivulet, rippling musically over the smooth pebbles, plunging down tiny cataracts, frothing and fretting itself into foam against huge boulders that have tumbled into its channel, is beautiful and picturesque enough to drive a bull whacker to perpetrate poetry. Up and down, but chiefly up, for thirty miles we have followed the devious windings of the mountain road. When the mountains close in upon the narrow valley and pinch it out of existence, there we come to a stop for we are in
the future Metropolis of the Santa Rosa Mining District. Silverado boasts of four houses. Before the largest of these we pull up our tired horses, and are greeted by our friend, P.A. Clark, Recorder, Assayer, stock-broker, and landlord of the Clark House. Mr. Clark is proficient and efficient in all, a host in himself as well as in his house. Silverado, according to surveys and measurements made by Deputy United States Surveyor Freeman, is twenty-two hundred feet above the level of the ocean. The surrounding mountains tower above the narrow valley from one thousand to fifteen hundred feet, and for some distance up the sides are covered with white sage. The blossoms of this plant make the very best bee feed. Nearly every eligible location in the different canyons is preempted for apiaries, or, in California parlance, bee ranches. The hum of millions of bees as they rise from their hives, on a clear sunshiny morning, and spread out on either side of the narrow canyon, sounds like the mutterings of a distant storm. The scenery in these mountains is wild and romantic, and it well replays a lover of nature to visit them. After years of the tame and monotonous scenery of our valleys it is exhilarating and refreshing in the extreme to see clear sparkling streams flowing over pebbly channels, tall forest trees, rocky dells and jutting of rock cut and carved into fantastic shapes by the winds and storms of centuries. To soften the wild and rugged scenery, a profusion of wild flowers, unknown to our valleys, border rippling streamlets and climb the sides of the mountains, pleasing the eye with their variegated colors and delighting the senses with their aroma. Tired after our long ride we seek the shelter of Mr. Clark’s hospitable roof and take lodgings for the night….
Anaheim, June 20th, 1878.
[James Guinn was teaching school in Anaheim at that time; he was later a well-known Southern California historian and a mainstay of the Historical Society of Southern California.]
The Silver Mines of Santa Rosa
(Anaheim Gazette, June 29, 1878)
Eds. Gazette: – The first discovery of silver, in the present Santa Rosa Mining District, was made by H.C. Purcell and G.F. Slankard, Aug. 5th, 1877. The district was organized Aug. 12th, 1877, by H.C. Purcell, Henry Cassida, Thomas Smith and G.F. Slankard. At a miner’s meeting, Feb. 9th, 1878m the district was reorganized, the boundaries extended, the laws revised, and P.A. Clark elected recorder. The western boundary takes in the Black Star Coal Mine. The eastern is the county line which here follows the crest of the Santa Ana mountains. Silverado is about five miles in an air line west of the San Bernardino county line. The mountain in which lies the principal lodes is just under the western shadow of the highest peak that we see in looking at the range lying south-eastwardly from Anaheim. In an air line it is probably twenty miles distant from our town.
The first lode discovered,
was the Southern Belle. The first location was made by Messrs. Purcell, Cassida, Smith and Slankard, the organizers of the district. The first extension on this lode was located by the Keystone Co.; the second by the Kimball Co. The next discovery was
The Gray Black [sic] Lode.
The first location of 1500 feet is now owned by Messrs. Purcell, Slankard, A.E. Taylor, A.L. Gilbert and M.E. Taylor. The last two gentlemen named are the proprietors of the Fairview Store, at the Depot. Work is being pushed forward upon this ledge by old California miners. The rock shows increasing richness the further they penetrate on the ledge. Two assays of the rock have been made; the first showed $100.12 silver to the ton, the second $94. This location is in Pine Canyon, a side canyon entering the Madera a short distance west of Silverado. The first extension on this lode is the Blue Light, owned by Messrs. Harvey and Thistlewaite, of Anaheim, and Messrs. Dunlap and Flannigan of Los Angeles.
Harvey & Company’s mine is located near the summit of Galena mountain, and is at least a thousand feet above the valley of the Madera. A number of assays have been made of the ore from this mine. The assays ranged from $289 to $350 per ton. Harvey & Co. are pushing work vigorously on their mine. They have made a trail from the Madera up the mountain to their mine, and have
a train of twenty donkeys
packing ore down the mountains. It is a novel and amusing sight to see these long eared little fellows, each with two sacks of ore of a hundred pounds each lashed to a pack saddle on his back, picking their way down the mountain. The trail is narrow and steep; in many places a misstep would send the donkey and his load whirling over and over down the almost perpendicular side of the mountain into the narrow gulch hundreds of feet below. The donkey is as sure footed as a squirrel, and whatever may be his faults and failings, tumbling down mountains is not one of them. Harvey & Co. have about one hundred tons of ore sacked and ready for shipment.
The second extension south of this lode, The Gray Back is owned by Dunlap & Co., the third south, by Flannigan & Co., and the fourth extension south, The Elith [sic], owned by Wenger & Granet.
The extensions north on this lode are as follows: first, The Mountain View, Sears Company; second, The Sunday Bell, Angle Company; third, The Orion, Orion Harvey, owner; fourth, Providencia, Ramirez Co.; fifth, Confidencia, Ramirez Co. Work has been commenced on
The Ophir Lode
and a tunnel driven about twenty-five feet. Indications are good. An assay of surface rock from this lode gave $57 per ton silver. The first location on this lode is held by the Fairview Co.; the first extension north by the Alpha Co.; first south by the Warwick Co.; the second south by the [illegible] Company.
First location Pullen Co.; first extension, north, Emma Co.; second, north, Guinn Co. Surface rock from this lode assayed $40 per ton.
The Southern Slope Lode.
Clark & Co. hold the first location. One assay from croppings gave $25 per ton.
The first extension south on this is the Loring, named after our fellow townsman, Loring W. Kirby, who is interested in several locations in the district. The first extension north is The Gold Hill; second The Excelsior.
Bear Gulch Lode:
The first location on this is held by the Cross Co.; the second by the Ursa Major Co.
The Sunny Slope Lode
lies on the southwest slope of Galena mountain – the mountain in which all the above named lode have been discovered. These lodes are all reached via Pine Canyon, or Bear Gulch, a branch of Pine Canyon. The Southern Belle, The Eureka and The Mammoth are reached by way of the Madera Canyon. Of these the Southern Belle assayed $70 per ton. The Continental, an extension of the Eureka, assayed $50 gold. One assay from the Silver Belle gave $500 gold and $10 silver. Mr. P.A. Clark has made in all fifteen assays of rock taken from different mines. The lowest assay made by him gave $25 to the ton. Mr. Clark has gone to considerable expense in fitting up an assay office and procuring the necessary apparatus.
Near the head of Bear Gulch we find J.C. Hill and E.A. Pullen, of Anaheim, very comfortably located. The have a canvas tent pitched under the shade of a tall maple, and a mountain stream of clear cold water flowing in from of their ten. They have a number of claims and are sure they have struck it rich. The Woodruff brothers, formerly of Anaheim, have abandoned merchandising and taken to the pick and shovel in search of fortune. The Anaheim people outnumber all others in the mines. Mr. Clark,
has recorded sixty locations, two mills sites, eight deeds of mining property and ten transfers of mining interests. The area embraced in the District contains a population of about one hundred. The inhabitants are agitating the question of petitioning for a postoffice; and before the next election they will ask for a voting precinct.
In my communications I have given facts obtained by careful observation and from reliable sources. It would be premature to express any decided opinion now about these mines. The work of developing them as but fairly commenced. So far as this work has progressed every indication gives promise of this being a rich mining district.
Anaheim, June 25th, 1878.
A Trip to the Santiago Mountains
The New Mining District
(from the Santa Ana Herald)
(Los Angeles Evening Express, July 30, 1878)
We were routed out of bed at 3 o’clock last Monday morning by the cry of “All aboard for Silverado!” and, taking a seat in Mr. Lake’s wagon soon left Santa Ana far behind us. The morning was cold and foggy, and we were very glad indeed when, on reaching the foothills at the Santiago canon, Old Sol showed his smiling face from over the hill-tops. In the canon were a number of hunters and campers from Anaheim and Santa Ana. We passed several fine bee ranches on the route and were informed that although the honey crop would not be as large as formerly, there would be a very large yield.
Arriving at Silverado we found the town or camp situated in the canon being about 3000 feet, and containing a population of about 100. The place, we are informed, is a true representation of an oldtime California mining camp, the only difference being that a few of the miners are camping here with their families. Mr. P.A. Clark, of Anaheim, has an assay office here, and is also Recorder of the district. Mr. Clark was the first to take any interest in the new discovery, and so sanguine was he that the mines would prove important that he surveyed out a town, calling it Silverado. He has a cozy little office neatly fitted up and furnished in good shape. We are indebted to him for information in regard to the mines. Mr. Clark is interested in several mines in the district, which promise well. Among the improvements made and in contemplation, we notice that Mr. Cash Harvey has opened a feed yard and blacksmith shop, and a new eating and lodging house will soon be opened by Mr. C.G. Gellette [sic]; a meat market will soon be opened by Mr. Tighe, and a stock of goods will soon be put in by a Mr. Pierce, of Fountain Valley. Town lots in the “business” part of the town are selling at $50 each, and those further up or down the canon at $25. There is no doubt but what Silverado is destined to soon become a flourishing town.
After taking a general view of the town we commenced the ascent to the Blue Light Mining Co.’s mine, owned by Messrs. Harvey, Thistlewaite, Dunlap and Jackson. Arriving at the mine we found Mt. Thistlewaite and a number of workmen busily at work taking out the ore. They have on the dump at least eighty tons of assorted ore, and have taken out altogether about 150 tons, averaging $200 to the ton. They have ten burros engaged in packing the rock from the mine to a place near their bee ranch in the canon below – about three miles distant – where it is assorted and shipped to San Francisco. Mr. Thistlewaite informed us that they could take out the ore faster than one hundred burros could pack it away. Last week we mentioned that the suit of Taylor & Co., vs. the Blue Light Mining Co. had been dec1ded against the latter Company, which may probably lead our readers to believe that the Blue Light Mining Co.’s title to the mine had been shaken. Not so. The question of title has never been thrown into court. There is no doubt that they will get possession of what they claim, and what rightfully belong to them.
There are probably about 120 locations made. On the Gray Back lode the first extension north is the Mountain View claim (the original discovery claim) owned by Messrs. Sears & Lake. They feel very jubilant in regard to the future prospects of their mine, and have a well defined ledge the croppings of which assay from $13 to $100. They claim to have struck a vein which will assay $500 to the ton.
On the Gray Back lode there are a number of claims, the second extension north, and adjoining Sears & Lake, is the Southern Belle, owned by Cassidy, Slankard, Smith, and Taylor & Co. The croppings assay from $5 to $100. The first extension north is the Fairview, owned by E.A. Pullen and others. The second extension north is the Alpha Co. The work done has been on the line between the two, having cut in about four feet, at a depth of twenty feet from the ravine. The ledge is well defined, showing an abundance of a medium grade of free milling ore. There are a number of other locations on the Ophir lode, all considered valuable.
West of the Ophir is the Galena lode. The first extension north is owned by E.A. Pullen, P.A. Clark and others. Second, the Emma Company; third owned by Huntington & Company. There was quite an excitement in Silverado caused by the owners of the Southern Slope mine striking a vein assaying $4,233.90 to the ton. Adjoining is the Mooreland, owned by J.G. Kimble, of Santa Ana, and C.M. Woodruff, of Anaheim. Among the other claims on this lode is the Thanksgiving, owned by Lynch & Nimo [sic]. At all points where openings have been made ore of a good quality has been found. The Silver Belt lode assays $400 to $500 gold. New discoveries are being made daily.
It would be pretty hard to say who was the first to discover silver in those hills, but we know of several who, two and three years ago, found “croppings” on what is now the Blue Light mine. Mr. Kell, of Westminster, while hunting in those mountains discovered the ledge on which the most important mines are located, but let the matter drop until the recent silver excitement broke out, and on repairing to the place where he had made the discovery, found himself too late. Up to a few days ago the question of silver being found in paying quantities was hooted at by most persons; but a few who had more faith in the mines went quietly to work, and with what result everybody knows. There is no mistake about it, the silver is there, and in immense quantities, as the doubting can assure themselves by visiting the mines. Old miners from the silver mines of Nevada pronounce them as rich as those of that State, excepting none.
On our way home we saw two or three of the most beautiful homes without exception that we have seen in Southern California. We allude to the farms of P. Bowers, James Huntington and a Mr. Frazier, which we passed just at dusk. They are situated at Orange and are each surrounded with orange and English walnut orchards. We were informed that there were other places a long our route home just as beautiful, but by this time it was quite dark, and consequently didn’t get to see them.
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$20,000 TO THE TON
SOME FACTS ABOUT THE SILVER MINES
What John Smith saw at Silverado – What is being done at the various Mines – Discovery of a Tin Mine.
(Anaheim Gazette, August 17, 1878)
Thursday, August 8.
Editor Gazette: – I improved an excellent opportunity of visiting the new mining region to-day, and find myself this evening, after a hot ride up the canyon, enjoying the hospitality of Mr. P.A. Clark, District Recorder. It is evening now. We have just taken a miners’ supper and are smoking cigars around the lantern that constitutes the gasworks of Silverado. Of course I can say nothing yet of the mines from personal observation, but will improve this evening by a compilation of such information as is to be obtained from the Recorder’s books and the camp generally. The locations now recorded number 129, and many others are made, not recorded, and are added to daily. Prospecting to some extent is being made in most of them, and on half a dozen or more ore is being taken out as follows:
The Blue Light mine (Dunlap & Co.), a little over a mile from town, on the Grayback lode, has taken out 150 to 200 tons, which will assay, from careful working tests, made in San Francisco, $100 a ton. It can be delivered in San Francisco at $5.50 a ton, from the dump. The most of it is here yet, awaiting shipment.
The Southern Slope (Huntington & Co.) is just commencing to take out ore. The first extracted assayed $4,233.90 silver per ton, and it grows richer as they go down. They make a shipment on the 19th. Their first class ore they calculate will got $15,000 to $20,000 a ton. It is worth $600 a sack, or 125 to 150 pounds.
Next in importance is the Southern Belle (Henry Cassiday and others). They have several tons of ore on the dump and are finding it in new places, prospecting the ledge around. Working tests on this ore have given over $50 a ton.
The Mammoth shows some fine looking ore, though it has not taken out much. It is the second claim located.
The Grayback mine, on the Grayback lode, (owned by Taylor & Co.) has just opened up a body of ore near the surface. It looks rich, though I hear of no assays. The Mountain View (Sears & Lake) are taking out a good, low grade, free milling ore. The Alpha and Fairview companies (Ophir lode) are taking out low grade milling ore. The Marion, (Cash Harvey & Co.) are getting out some very rich galena ore. The Mooreland (1st extension south of Southern Slope) owned by Woodruff, Evarts & Co. has run a tunnel in 20 feet and has good prospects. Mr. Huntington says the prospects are better than he had to start on. The Thanksgiving, a continuation of the Southern Slope, has a fine surface prospect. Several tons of very rich ore have been taken out. Work is being prosecuted on the Emma and others, with encouraging prospects.
A tin mine, named the George Washington, has been located by Henry S. Knapp, P.A. Clark and others. It is 200 to 300 feet wide and is a continuation of the same ledge as the famous Temescal mine. The quality of ore is not yet tested; but if found to be of an average quality, or even below that, it will prove to be the greatest discovery of tin in the world.
Friday, August 9.
The necessity of a speedy return precludes the possibility of visiting more than one mine – the Southern Slope. It is near camp, and reached by an excellent trail. It takes its name from the southern exposure of the hill on which it is located. We found the two Huntington Brothers, with an assistant, busily at work. They have started an incline, got it down a few feet and were rigging a car to haul up ore. Several tons of it are piled alongside the trail, ready for shipment. Your correspondent is no expert, but the ore is what every body calls very rich, and I have no doubt Messrs. H. have a fortune in their mine; I hope so. They are well liked and it is the universal verdict of the camp that they deserve their good luck.
It is estimated that about a hundred men are engaged in and about the camp. Great confidence is felt in the mines and that by men who ought to know. Mr. Huntington, for instance, has had 17 years experience; others doubtless equally as great. In fact a large proportion are old miners. Silverado contains 8 or 10 tens and shanties. It has a store, hotel, saloon, blacksmith shop or shops, a bakery, butcher shop, etc. Most of the people are camped without either house or tent. There are several families, differing from most mining camps in having a good proportion of women in its population. There are also a dozen to twenty schoolable children, and a private school, preliminary to a public one, is in the near prospect. A post office is applied for, and will doubtless soon be established, with supply from Anaheim or Santa Ana. The roads are good up to within 3 miles, whence they are narrow, crooked, hilly and rocky, and badly need improvement. This latter want is rapidly being supplied by the people of Silverado, who show a commendable public spirit in these matters. Silverado will soon have all the modern improvements.
[“John Smith” was the standard pen name for the Gazette’s Silverado correspondent (or perhaps, correspondents).]
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(Anaheim Gazette, August 24, 1878)
Silverado, August 18.
Editor Gazette. – Since I was here eight days ago, no change has been made in the general appearance of the camp.
Taylor & Co. have been taking out ore for a week past from the ground in dispute between them and Harvey and Thistlewaite. This they have hauled to Anaheim for shipment to San Francisco.
Thistlewaite and Harvey continue to bring down ore at about the same rate as heretofore. They have twenty tons in San Francisco now, a sale of which is expected to-day, and the result will doubtless be known before this is printed. They have also a large quantity here.
Huntington & Co. continue to take out the same quantity of rich ore, a shipment of which is to be made next week.
Lake & Sears (Mountain View) are taking out fine milling ore. The first assay was $10, the second $14, the third $21, the fourth $23, and the fifth $84. This indicates the increase of richness as they go in…..
The Santa Ana stage still comes up, tri-weekly. The Anaheim stage of Louis Wartenberg also commenced running Friday, inaugurating its enterprise with a free trip and bringing a free keg of larger which was speedily emptied on its arrival here. The town looks dull to-day, from the exodus of a large number who went below to spend Sunday, also because of the many gone to Shrewsbury Canyon. A miners’ meeting is to be held here Wednesday, for purposes which will be developed at the time, and the Santa Ana band is expected to enliven the occasion. A number of Silveradans go down to-morrow, to attend the [school] corner stone ceremonies at Anaheim on Monday.
Monday, August 19.
Editor Gazette. – News begins to come in small pieces. What you get after this you must take in disjointed scraps as I can catch them.
Mr. Jas. Huntington goes to San Francisco Friday with a lot of ore.
Clarence Woodruff is working on the Mooreland, with, he says, first-rate prospects. He has a tunnel in 20 feet. Clarence also paints signs where required, as witness several evidences of his skill, and acts as Deputy Recorder of the District….
Mr. Byrd, of Santa Ana, informs me that he is working under contract the “Alabama” claim, owned by Barker, Whitehead and Maynard. The outside appearances are the same as the Huntington, of which it is an extension….
Many mill sites have been and are being located in this and other canyons roundabout. Some facetiously say that whether it will be a whisky mill or otherwise that they put up demands on circumstances.
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Various Paragraphs about the Silver Mines.
(Anaheim Gazette, August 31, 1878)
Silverado, August 21.
Editor Gazette. – Captain Rugar has leased from Mr. Maynard his interest (¼) in the California Consolidated No. 2 Company, American Union Lode, Shrewsbury Canyon, for the period of one year.
A Refractory Bull.
An aggravating experience was had by the Huntington Company Monday in getting down a lot of ore from their mines for shipment with Mr. H. to San Francisco. Their trail is not wide enough for buros [sic] so they conceived the plan of sliding it straight down the mountain in a rawhide. Accordingly one was brought up from the valley on purpose – a bull skin with the hair on – that was deemed long enough and strong enough to carry a big load safely to the bottom. Mr. Bowers, the President of [the] company, bossed the job. He practiced with it first at Silverado, staking it down at one side and getting on it endeavored to roll it up. It slipped with him and threw him. When it was taken up to the mine they put five sacks of their choice ore on it, tied it up well and started it down the slide on which is dumped the refuse dirt. It went first-rate to the bottom of this (some 400 feet) sliding evenly and smoothly down the loose dirt with its load, but when it struck rough ground beyond it became perfectly wild, bounding and jumping in the air, smashing against boulders and clearing rods in a leap until it burst open and threw out the sacks, which were torn to pieces and their contents of precious ore scattered promiscuously down the mountain side. They gathered it up, as well as they could, but still lost about two sacks, worth two or three hundred dollars. Mr. James Huntington left for San Francisco Tuesday with two or three tons of ore.
The name of the Grizzly mine has been changed to ‘Maggie,’ in honor of Mrs. Maggie Gillett.
This mine owned by Bryon, Emma and [illegible] [Clark?], J.C. Hill, S.W. Gilbert and Charles Morgan is situated in Pine Canyon and Bear Gulch. It comprises two ledges, the Galena (in which is the Huntington mine) and the other and entirely distinct veins lately struck by Mr. Hill. Prospecting has been done in five places all of which strike ledges and prove that the ledges run entirely through the claim. The prospects open finely and show that the mine has an abundance of good paying ore.
Company in the Mountain lode, north of the Emma, consists of P.A. and Charlie Clark, Jno. C. Hill, S.W. Gilbert and W.E. Taylor. Prospecting has just begun, and goes on finely.
Mine, on the Ophir lode, is owned by E.A. Pullen, J.W. Clark, Fannie Clark, W.E. Taylor and James E. Freeman. It was discovered by Mr. Pullen in January last. It has a 40 foot tunnel; the ledge is struck and well defined, 6 feet wide, and assays $40 gold, $650 silver. A heavy body of water is flowing out of it.
Company are on the Galena lode owned by E.A. Pullen, P.A. Clark, W.E. Taylor, Edward Evey, James E. Freeman and N. Bolen. It was discovered by Mr. Pullen in January. The ledge has been struck in three places well defined, and any quantity of ore could be taken out for a mill – a remark which will apply to dozens of other claims in the district.
first southern extension of the Galena and Ophir, both of which run through it. Owned by E.A. Pullen, J.C. Hill and Cash Harvey. Has given evidence of being a good mine. Messrs. Hill and Pullen have a beautiful camp in Bear Gulch, three-quarters of a mile from town, which is accounted the model camp of the district. It has a good spring of water and all the modern conveniences. Your correspondent thankfully acknowledges a courteous invitation to call, and as Mr. Pullen has a high reputation as a cook, will avail himself of it at his earliest convenience.
Silverado, Monday, August 26.
Editor Gazette. – The work of the last ten days has done much in determining the extent of the mineral deposits in Santa Rosa Mining District. The most prominent ledges have been traced northerly four or five miles from Silverado; and claims taken up in Ladd’s Canyon show good surface prospects, similar to the croppings in the vicinity of this place. Southerly, in Shrewsbury Canyon, and in Trabuco Canyon, some seven or eight miles from Silverado, the main ledges have been located continuously from the old claims located here last winter and spring. The extent of the mineral district is surprising to the most sanguine.
The great rush to Shrewsbury Canyon and vicinity has continued during the week. Among the verifiable rich finds is one by Mr. John Azbill of Fountain Valley and Mr. Joel Parker of Orange….
The Florentine Co., Blue Light Co., and Southern Slope are bringing down ore and hauling to Anaheim and Santa Ana for shipment. Lake & Sears have a large quantity of fine ore corded up at their mine ready for shipment.
The exodus to Ladd’s and Shrewsbury Canyons, and the heavy fog that has covered the mountains during the last few days, have detracted somewhat from the usual life and activity of town.
A miners’ meeting was held on last Wednesday evening, at which speeches were made by Messrs. Lynill, Carter and others. It being of an informal character, no business was transacted except for the appointment of a committee for purpose of calling a special meeting. The committee has issued the following call:
In accordance with Article 3 of the District Laws of Santa Rosa Mining District, we the undersigned do hereby call a special meeting of the mine-owners of Santa Rosa Mining District, to be held on Saturday, Sept. 14, 1878, at two o’clock P.M. in the town of Silverado; the object of said meeting being to amend the district laws of said mining district, and other minor matters. Signed, J. Oefinger. W.E. Taylor, P.A. Clark, R.B. Simpson, H.S. Knapp, H.S. Thistlewaite.
Miss Emma Clark opened a select school this morning with a good attendance of scholars.
The call for town lots is on the increase, several being sold last week for different business purposes.
A new hotel, a second feed stable and another saloon are among the prospective additions to the business community….
Business at the Recorder’s and assay office has been active and lively.
A pleasure party of young ladies and their escorts from Santa Ana met with a slight accident yesterday by the breakage of their carriage; results, a scare, but no lives lost.
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BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF SILVERADO.
Hurried Trip to the New Mines – A Mushroom Camp – A Romantic Trail – The Emma, Ophir and Blue Light Mines – The Cry is Still They Come.
(Los Angeles Herald, Sept. 3, 1878)
Saturday last, in company with the Messrs. D.M. Adams and T.W. Stackpole, we started out on a hurried trip of inspection of the new Silverado mining district, in the Southern portion of Los Angeles county. We took the cars of the Santa Ana branch of the Southern Pacific Railway at 4:08, San Francisco time, reaching Santa Ana at about 6:30 p.m., Los Angeles time. We stopped overnight at the Santa Ana hotel, leaving about 5:30 a.m., by one of Squires’ teams, for the mountains.
Our course lay through Orange and thence by a bee line to the mouth of the Santiago Cañon. About two hours and a half from leaving Santa Ana we pulled up in front of the Cañon Hotel which, to our surprise, we found was kept by our old San Diego friend Keith. He gave us a delicious breakfast, and we started out on our ascent of the Cañon like men refreshed by new wine – or excellent coffee, which is the same thing, and the latter expression was only not used by the inventor of the phrase because that aromatic and exhilarating beverage, which cheers but not inebriates, was unknown in his time.
We might dwell upon the highly romantic and picturesque aspects of the ride through the groves of the valley which is skirted by the Lomas de Santiago. To the esthetic eye there is much to entertain and delight in the sylvan beauty of this spot. About six miles from Keith’s hostelry we passed the Santiago coal mines. They laid to our left, and our programme was too full to admit of a visit to them. They are about seventeen miles from the railway track and the road leading to them is a superb natural highway. At the end of a brisk drive of twenty-six miles from Santa Ana – making sixty-four miles from Los Angeles – we struck the little valley in which most of the habitués of the new mining camp have their homes.
Silverado lies near the head of the Santiago cañon and at the foot of the mountains which, we suppose, ought to be called Santa Rosa. It should be borne in mind that Silverado is the town at which the bulk of the miners are congregated and not the district covered by the mines themselves. The district is called the Santa Rosa. The mountain on which the Blue Light and other noted mines are located has no name. It should properly, also, be called the Santa Rosa. It is a little south of east of the town of Santa Ana, and is overshadowed by the highest peak of the Temescal range, which, with its famous hotsprings, is only a few miles off. The cañon narrows towards Silverado, and great mountains spring to a height of fifteen hundred and two thousand feet, and perhaps more, from the level of the town. A hill two thousand feet high, when you are standing brash at its base, and prepared to mount to its summit, is a formidable one – is a veritable mountain, for that matter.
We were surprised at the progress the town has made. It would not be fair to estimate its population at less than one hundred and fifty people. We put up our team at the Gillett hotel. A little further on we found the gigantic recorder, Clark, a sort of infant Hercules who pulls down the scales at three hundred and twenty-five pounds, and who walks up to the Blue Light mine three times a day, without even starting the perspiration. Opposite Mr. Clark’s was the store of Mr. Pierce, a hospitable and enterprising merchant. There were at least three saloons in which excellent bottled beer was kept on call, and we need hardly say, considering the gentlemen who were with us, that the supply, though abundant for ordinary occasions, incontinently ran short. It is a bright, promising town, has a number of astonishingly pretty babies and children, and our best wishes go with it. We shall be glad to see it rival Virginia City in numbers and wealth.
A TURKISH BATH AL FRESCO.
We forgot to mention that our party of three encountered, on the way to Santa Ana, Deputy United States Marshal J.D. Dunlap, the proprietor of the Blue Light mine. We were favored with his invaluable company for the rest of the trip. With Dunlap as a guide, we started out to mount the trail which led to the top of the mountain, his mine being located near its apex. We were informed that we had to overcome an attitude [sic] of about twelve hundred feet to the mile; and, after doing the whole journey, we are of the opinion that twelve hundred feet is a figment of somebody’s imagination. We think it was easily twelve thousand feet to the mile. Fourteen of Hughes’s Russian baths would have been required to produce the amount of perspiration which our party had achieved in reaching the hospitable tent and delicious spring of Mr. E.A. Pullen, just half way up the difficult ascent. Having reached this point, and partaken of the cool waters, of more than Castalian purity and inspiration, our further progress was for a long time impeded by the obstinacy with which our friend Stackpole clung to the endeared spot. We finally had to build a fire under him to induce him to imitate the hero of Longfellow’s Excelsior, and more onward and upward. It was indeed a weariness to the flesh, but perseverance at last brought up to the Emma mine, a claim which has been only opened thus far a few feet. The lode – if lode it shall prove to be – was something over a foot in width when first struck, and it widened out in a short span, to a width of at least three feet. Too little work has been done on this claim, as yet, to afford even a hint as to its possibilities. It belongs to Mr. Hill and several other gentlemen.
THE BLUE LIGHT.
A toilsome progress, under the rays of a vertical sun, at length brought us to the Blue Light mine, originally uncovered by Messrs. Harvey and Thistlewaite and now the property of J.D. Dunlap. It is almost on the apex of the mountain, and a superb expanse of mountain and valley is commended from its dump. We should have remarked in passing, that in ascending the trail, on the other side of the cañon, one comes often in view of the Huntington mine, which we had not time to visit, but which is said to have yielded ore, some of which has assayed as high as $4,200.
Long before we reached Silverado we passed Mr. Dunlap’s corral of burros, at which point are his several lower stations for shipping ore. To this point his crushed rock is carried on the backs of jackasses. These interesting animals were purchased at Elizabeth Lake. They are a cordial and hospitable race; and, as our party passed, tendered us a serenade not so melodious as the overture of Don Giovanni, but infinitely more enjoyable than the Chinese music which celebrated the funeral of the late Lee Pai. At this point we found about seventy tons of ore in sacks, which had been brought there by the diminutive but hardy burros, to whom the difficult trail was nothing. All this ore has been taken out of a single pocket of Mr. Dunlap’s claim. That gentleman has fourteen men at working pushing through a tunnel, which has already attained a depth of fifteen feet. The calculation is that, at a depth of sixty feet, the ledge will be struck. The ore so far taken out has resulted in very satisfactory bullion returns, running, as we learn from hearsay, Mr. Dunlap not being communicative on the subject, from $40 to $245 per ton – nearly all the ore going the latter figure.
It is perhaps time to remark here that, although we profess to be neither a mining sharp nor a geologist, the general mass of the mountain, towards its base, is sandstone. Higher up, towards the venter of the mountain, limestone and modifications of limestone, in the shape of crystallizations and marble, are to be observed. Towards the mine we noticed a conglomerate of rock, evidently of igneous origin. The mineral belt itself appeared to us to be quartzite – not a favorable sigh, but still the Comstock lode itself is said to violate all mining traditions. The miners assert the existence of porphyry and quartz, but we confess that we failed to see either in our hurried trip.
There is no question of the fact that if, when the Blue Light tunnel is driven in to a depth of sixty feet, our friend Dunlap should strike a ledge, considering the richness of the pockets so far discovered, and the special richness of the Blue Light, he will have a bonanza of huge proportions. We heartily hope he may strike it. He has put pluck and money into his venture and he deserves success. So do the hundreds of others who are putting their faith to the hazard in the attempt to develop a mining region in Los Angeles county.
Slightly above the Emma mine is the Ophir, belonging to Mr. E.A. Pullen. It is somewhat curious that, while the Dunlap mine, on one side of the cañon, and the Huntington on the other, are both silver mines, Mr. Pullen’s is a gold mine. It is opened to a considerable distance, and the assays show forty dollars in gold to six and half in silver to the ton. Considering the nearness of these mines to transportation, if they prove permanent they will be very valuable.
For ten or fifteen miles, in every direction from Silverado, claims have been taken up. Shrewsbury cañon has been extensively prospected, and promising claims like the “Thanksgiving” are being developed. Hundreds of prospectors are scattered through the mountains, looking out for some coigne of vantage. We heartily hope the district will rival anything elsewhere recorded of California, and we hope, heartily, that the hundred and fifty inhabitants of Silverado will some day be fifteen thousand. Before we dismiss the camp, we should state that it lies considerably east, and about six hundred miles south, of Austin, Nevada, and that a huge silver mine is therefore quite a possibility. The class who should go to Silverado are persons of means, some mining knowledge and self-reliance. All others, for the present, will make a mistake in going.
* * *
A DAY AT SILVERADO
WHAT IS BEING DONE AT THE MINES
The Prospects still encouraging – The Great want of the District
Various interesting Notes regarding the Mines
(Anaheim Semi-Weekly Gazette, September 18, 1878)
The drive from Anaheim to Silverado is not by any means a long or unpleasant one. The distance is only twenty-five miles, and the road, with the exception of a few miles, is what may be called good. For nearly all the way a cool wind sweeps down the canyon; and during the last week, when the thermometer in Anaheim climbed to the dizzy height of 104°, Mr. Taylor, the driver of the stage from Anaheim to Silverado, tells us that he experienced no unusual heat.
The stage which leaves Anaheim at 7 o’clock every morning arrives at Silverado at noon – just in time to be greeted by the noisy clamor of the dinner bell.
Our visit to the mines was rather ill-timed. We arrived on Saturday, and during the afternoon the miners held the meeting noted elsewhere. On Sunday the various claims were deserted, the miners being at their devotions.
The Florentine Mine
was the only one we thoroughly examined, thanks to the courtesy of Messrs. W.E. and A.C. Taylor, the principal owners. As our readers know, the ownership of the Florentine is in dispute, being claimed by Harvey & Thistlewaite and others. The title will be passed upon by the District Court in a few days. Notwithstanding the dispute, the Florentine Company have worked energetically to develop the mine. They have had five men at work for some time, and the tunneling done at various places on the claim will aggregate about one hundred and fifty feet. They made several small tunnels on top of the hill to ascertain the dip of their ledge, and having done so they are now tunneling into the side of the hill at a distance from the top of 150 feet. This tunnel is now in forty-five feet, and it is estimated that before striking the ledge they are seeking for, about thirty feet more of tunnel will be required. The ledge once found, they will take out ore sufficiently rich to ship to San Francisco for milling. The company sent a carload of ore to that city some time ago, and the returns, judging from the energy with which work has since been prosecuted, must have been very satisfactory. The paying vein is from twelve to fourteen inches wide. Assays of rock from this mine run all the way from $100 to $200 to the ton, and unless the knowledge of mining experts is at fault the ledge will be found to extend all through their claim. The Taylor Brothers themselves possess a mining experience which enables them to judge of the extent and prospects of their mine, and they would not spend money in the way they are doing were they not confident that a bonanza would eventually reward their exertions. A patent to the mine will be applied for next week.
on which is located the Florentine, Harvey & Thistlewaite, Dunlap & Flanigan and other mines of known richness, abounds in mineral. There are croppings on every foot of it; it is streaked with little seams of mineral. Even a novice can scarcely fail to comprehend the vast amount of mineral which lies in this huge mountain.
A great quantity of rock is on the dump of the Dunlap mine, and the quality is very rich. There is about two feet of water in the tunnel. The presence of water is said to be indicative of the permanence and richness of the ore vein.
For the reasons stated at the beginning of this article, we did not visit the other mines of the Blue Light Company. We have however arranged with our Silverado correspondent to give us a weekly letter, with information in regard to the work being done at the various mines, character of the ore, etc.
The Ophir mine, owned by Pullen & Hill, is doubtless very valuable. It and the adjacent Emma mine differ from the others in being
An assay of Ophir ore, made by Thomas Price of San Francisco, gives $40 gold and $6.50 silver to the ton. The Ophir is tunneled about thirty feet. The gold-bearing vein in the Emma is from 13 to 15 inches wide. Messrs. Hill & Pullen have a very pleasantly situated camp, and the presence of Mrs. Hill and Mrs. McDermott gave it quite a homelike appearance. Mrs. Hill has been in the mountains for a couple of weeks, and finds it so invigorating and agreeable that her stay will be prolonged indefinitely. Mr. McDermott and wife went up on Saturday and returned on Sunday.
The Taylor Bros. also own the Southern Belle mine, and are very sanguine of the prospect. They have two men constantly at work developing it; in fact 800 pounds of ore were brought down on Monday to the arastra, and we may receive some information as to its richness in a few days. The Lake and Sears mine is conceded to be one of the best in the district, and is being vigorously worked. The Huntington mine is also a promising one. They are now at work on an incline and have attained a depth of forty feet. The silver vein varies in thickness, but is always rich.
The Great Want
of the district is a mill, and unless one is speedily erected there will be an exodus of miners. On the other hand, the capitalist could hardly be expected to invest his money in a mill until the mines are better developed, and the sooner the Silveradoans recognize this fact the better it will be for them. There are probably a hundred locators who, having made a few feet of hole – just sufficient to show a vein of silver ore – are now sitting down, awaiting the building of a mill before they take any ore out. These people should remember that before capitalists can be induced to invest in a mill they must be fully satisfied that there is sufficient ore to keep it at work. A great many of the miners recognize this fact, and the great necessity of a mill is impelling them to develop their claims as far as their pecuniary condition will permit. Unfortunately, the financial condition of the mass is scarcely equal to developing a silver mine.
is composed in the main of farmers from the various parts of the country. One meets familiar faces at every turn. Anaheim, Westminster, Santa Ana, Orange, Tustin, Newport, Downey and other towns in the county are largely represented, and when early winter rains give warning that the soil is once more ready for the plow, there will be a very general temporary abandonment of the various claims, unless, indeed, a mill is by that time established, and the ore is found to be as rich as is now supposed.
There is undoubtedly plenty of ore that will yield from $40 to $50 per ton, but it don’t pay to ship rock to San Francisco unless it yields at least $75 per ton. It has been suggested that a concentrator, such as is used at the Silver King mine in Arizona, would be a great benefit to the district. The concentrator reduces eight tons of rock to about one ton. This would permit the shipment of low grade ore until a mill is established. The cost of a concentrator is about $1,500. This sum could probably be raised among the miners in Silverado, and a joint stock company formed, if some one would take the lead.
The Town of Silverado
is as unlike a mining camp as could well be imagined. The presence of women and children has a depressing effect on the forty-niners, of whom there are not a few in camp. One of them was sitting in front of a saloon on Sunday, entertaining a small audience with reminiscences of his mining experience in early days. “We didn’t have any of them ar things about,” said he, pointing the finger of scorn at a group of women and children, “we could git drunker’n a biled owl, an’ rip an’ tear around quite promiscus, but when a feller comes to this here town he’s got to keep his face clean an’ take his pizen like a sneak, ’count of them ar wimmin.” Another cause of grievance to that ilk is the quality of the whiskey. Through a mistaken notion of the requirements of the camp, the saloon keepers all have a very good quality of liquor. This does not suit the Argonaut; indeed, it is one of his pet grievances that he cannot get the bug-juice of pioneer days – the kind, he explains, that used to knock a man half way round the block.
Mr. Tony Faber, of Los Angeles, opened a saloon on Saturday. There are now five in the camp. In fact, business houses of every kind are in excess of requirements of the place. For obvious reasons, money is not a whit more plentiful than in other places in the county, and for equally obvious reasons the business in a mining camp should be done on a cash basis.
Up to last Saturday evening two hundred and eighty locations had been made in the Santa Rosa District. On the Recorder’s books the names of about three hundred and twenty mine owners are recorded.
Shrewsbury Canyon is now the objective point of nearly all prospectors. It is said that the number of people in that Canyon actually exceeds those in Silverado. Huge stories float over the intervening mountains into Silverado of the rich strikes being daily made. The locations in Shrewsbury’s are said to be three feet deep, and more is being piled on every day.
A new district, to embrace Shrewsbury and part of Ladd Canyon, will be organized in a day or two. It will be called Trabuco District.
Some of the incorporators of the Blue Light mine are men of wealth and enterprise, and it is confidently asserted that they will put up a quartz mill within three months. It may be here remarked that a recent statement that the principal place of business of this corporation would be in San Francisco is a mistake. Los Angeles will be the headquarters of this corporation.
Unless one is thoroughly acquainted with the country, mountain traveling is beset with difficulties and danger. Four young men came into Silverado on Saturday night with clothes “all tattered and torn,” and in a state of great physical exhaustion. They had started from Temescal in the morning, but, losing their reckoning, had wandered about the hills all day without food or water, until by a lucky accident they found the trail to Silverado. Geo. Hawkins and I.H. Gilman had a similar experience. They were on horseback, but suddenly came upon a precipitous bluff, which barred their further advance. They had to retrace their way back and make a fresh start in another direction.
Not only is great physical labor required to visit the various mines, but a resident of the valley labors under the disadvantage of being oppressed by the mountain air. The higher up one goes the greater is the oppressions – a feeling is experienced similar to what would be felt if a great weight should be laid on one’s breast. But the discomforts and labor involved in a climb bear a sweet recompense in the easy and rapid descent, half a dozen yards at a stride – or slide.
The miners at work on the American Union, in Shrewsbury Canyon, were visited by a grizzly two nights in succession last week. His presence was made known to them by a very unpleasant smell, said to be characteristic of grizzlies. It was too dark to see him, but they smelt and heard him. A big fire was built; each man picked out his tree, to be ready for any emergency, but the fire prevented his grizzlyship from making a charge. In the morning his tracks were found but a few feet distant.
Among the new discoveries, of which information was brought to camp on Saturday, were the following: Charles Cuningham brought in some very rich ore from Shrewsbury Canyon. He says there are hundreds of tons lying on top of the ground. Martin Benson, formerly of Anaheim, made a rich discovery between Silverado and Shrewsbury. He had been at work on the American Union, and while on his way from the mine to the camp, sat down on a convenient rock to rest and refresh himself. He picked up a small piece of rock at his feet, found it to be rich in silver, and further investigation showed that he had accidentally stumbled upon a very rich body of ore.
Messrs. L. Halberstadt, John Oefinger, and J.J. Hill, of Anaheim, are the owners of two very promising mines, the Nora and Isabella. The latter is being thoroughly prospected by Halberstadt and Oefinger, and it give us pleasure to record that the prospect of its being a rich mine is very flattering. Mr. Oefinger is an experienced miner, and he is very sanguine of the future of the mine. We are under many obligations to Messrs. Halberstadt and Oefinger for courtesies shown us during our stay.
Stevens & Whitehead made a location in Silver canyon recently, but as it was found that their location conflicted with another made by Huntington and others, the conflicting claims were united and they are now known as the Consolidated Black Lode. The ore is said to be as rich as any that has yet been shown in the district.
Messrs. Simpson & Lascelle entered into a contract some time ago to run a tunnel thirty feet, the consideration being a one-half interest in the mine. The rock was very soft and loose, and the tunnel had to be well timbered as the work progressed. They had about finished the thirty feet when through some negligence they did not timber the last foot of excavation. In the night the water broke into the mine, washed away the supports, and totally destroyed the tunnel. The only pleasant feature about the affair is that the disaster occurred in the night, when none of the men were at work. Otherwise there might have been loss of life.
J. Charleston, of Los Angeles, has entered into a contract with the Virginia Company, on the Thanksgiving Lode, to run a tunnel 40 feet, for a one-third interest in the mine. Stewart & Co. have contracted with the Silver Star Company to sink a shaft on the Mayflower mine until paying ore is reached. For this they will receive a one-third interest in the mine. Many contracts similar to the above are being made every day.
On returning from a hunting expedition the other evening, the popular Deputy Recorder, H.S. Knapp (may his tribe increase), retired to rest. As he was about dozing off into a sleep he felt something crawling on his leg. He nervously grasped the unpleasant thing and threw it from him. Procuring a light he looked in the direction in which he had thrown it, but discovered nothing. Some time during the night, his room-mate, Recorder Clark, arose to take a drink of water from a glass which he filled the evening before, and had put on a shelf near the bed. By the dim light he saw a dark object in the water, and upon examination it was found to be a tarantula – the same which Mr. Knapp had repudiated a short time previous. Mrs. Clark, not being fond of “tarantula juice,” quenched his thirst from another glass.
A stage line from Los Angeles to Silverado is the latest. The proprietor answers to the suggestive name of Walker. The distance is fifty miles, the fare is $3, and it is proposed to run the stage three times a week. One station is at Hindesville and the other at Keith’s near the picnic grounds. Few people nowadays care to travel such a distance by stage, even to save a dollar or two. Nearly all the travel to the mines is by way of Anaheim. The stage which leaves Anaheim every morning seldom has less than three or four passengers.
It was our fortune to stop at the Gillett House, where we found every comfort and convenience. Mr. Gillett is an experienced hotel keeper, and his wife is an amiable lady, and has a knack of fixing up appetizing dishes for her guests. We liked her bread so well that we prevailed upon her to tell us how she made it. She gave us a recipe for making yeast, which we will publish one of these days for the benefit of our lady readers.
The Silverado Mines.
(San Francisco Mining and Scientific Press, November 2, 1878)
Editors Press:—As Santa Rosa mining district is attracting no little attention from the mining public, perhaps a brief sketch of its history and progress may interest your readers.
Santa Rosa district is situated in the southeast corner of Los Angeles county, adjoining the westerly line of San Bernardino county.
The first discovery was made in August, 1877, by Messrs. Purcell and Slankard. District was organized the same month. The first location was the Southern Belle lode; next the Mammoth lode, and soon after the Grayback lode, which at this date is one of the most promising lodes in the district. The locations on this lode are the Grayback (the discovery claim); first extension north, Mountain View company’s claim, now owned by Messrs. Lake & Sears, of Santa Ana; the first extension south, the Blue Light mine; the second extension south, the Dunlap mine ; the third extension south, the Flanagan mine. The three last named are owned by the Blue Light M. Co., recently incorporated under that name, with principal place of business at Los Angeles. Up to January, 1878, little or no attention was paid to those discoveries by people of this section, save some little prospecting by the discoverers of these claims. In January, 1878, a disinterested party sent ores to San Francisco for assay from the Blue Light location—four samples in all, which assayed in silver respectively as follows: $9, $18, $23 and $100 per ton. This furnished an inducement to the parties to prospect and trace out their ledge, which led to the discovery of a fine body of galena ore at the top of the mountain (the previous assays being from the canyon), which gave $145 per ton silver, with from 20% to 60% lead. Other assays following these gave as high as $350 per ton silver. These assays, when made public, attracted some of the farmers (many of whom are old miners) from die valleys to prospect, and there has been more or less prospecting going on all summer, with favorable results. At this time it is well demonstrated that we have a mineral belt of from 5 to 6 miles in width by 20 miles in length—traced continuously at this date for this distance.
South of Santa Rosa district the Santiago district has been recently organized. Still to the south of this is the Trabuca district—the former embracing that section of country known as Shrewsberry [sic] canyon, the latter that of Trabuca canyon and the Santa Rosa district, embracing that of Maderia canyon, Ladd canyon and a part of Shrewsberry canyon. The first discoveries were made in Maderia [sic] canyon, where the town of Silverado is situated. Silverado is a veritable mining town—having already two stores, two meat markets, five saloons, two blacksmith shops, two feed stables, two hotels, one restaurant, and two bakeries, besides other business establishments.
There are a number of families that have already taken up their residence here, and more are coming. We are in daily communication with Santa Ana and Anaheim by stages; also a direct line from Los Angeles every other day.
There are some half-dozen different lodes already discovered and traced out, besides others that are claimed to exist which have not been traced any distance. Among the prominent lodes of Santa Rosa district are the Bear Gulch, Galena, Ophir, Grayback, Silver Belt, Faustina and the Pocohontas [sic], all of which show ore at openings made on the various locations. In Shrewsberry canyon, the greater portion of which is embraced in Santiago district, the prominent lodes are the Young America, Betty, American Union, Great Fall and Mint. These are continuations of the lodes passing through the Santa Rosa district. Still south the continuations are traced into Trabuca district. Some of the prominent locations in that district are the Emma, Bavaria and Vulture, all of which show an abundance of galena ore, assaying in silver from $75 to $200 per ton. In the Santa Rosa district west of the silver-bearing belt a vein of tin ore has been discovered; the outcrop is about 40 feet wide and has been traced for two miles. The Geo. Washington company on this lode have had several tests which show from 20% to 30% tin. Still west of this at the base of the mountain, about five miles west of Silverado the formation changes from slate and limestone to slate and sandstone. In this latter formation is the coal belt in which is situated the Santa Clara and Black Star coal mines. The Santa Clara company have a 3-foot vein. At present they are not at work. The Black Star company have expended some $12,000 on their mine, and are now producing an excellent quality of coal, which finds a ready market with consumers of southern California. The mine is now on a paying basis. This company has recently let a contract to bore 200 feet to prospect for other veins below the present ones. I hear of other discoveries of coal to the south in the same range that are very promising; also of discoveries of mineral in the belt some 30 miles south of present discoveries. Taking all things into consideration, there is no doubt of the mineral wealth of this section of southern California, and all that is needed now is capital to develop. I am sorry to say that capital does not seem inclined to lend a helping hand. Were these prospects on the other side of some desert or within the limits of the desert we would have an abundance of capital seeking us. One thing we are gratified with, our district is standing on its own merits, which is probably the best for all interested. ‘Cap.’
Silverado, Oct. 21st, 1878.
* * *
The New Mining Camp of Southern California.
A Lucky Hunter’s Rich Find in the Dark Canyon. The Land of Silver and Gold – Brooklynites Among the First on the Ground – The Leadville of the Pacific Coast.
(Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January, 11, 1880)
[Correspondence of the Eagle.]
Anaheim, Los Angeles County, Cal.,}
December 24, 1879}
Through the medium of the Brooklyn Eagle, once an employer of mine, now a pleasant and instructive companion in my present home in the heart of the Coast Range of Southern California, I am induced to give my old friends of Long Island, also the readers of the Eagle generally, a brief description of the new mining camp, Silverado, and its surroundings, commencing with my earliest recollections, and leading up to the present condition of the camp.
Having on account of impaired health exchanged dear Brooklyn for this land of the angels – Los Angeles County, California – I very soon found myself transformed from a stenographer to an apiarist, a keeper of those little bees which are said to “improve each shining hour,” located in a wild, obscure canon back in the Coast Range, in the above county, about fifteen miles east of the town of Santa Ana, a terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad, away from all civilization, but surrounded by the richest bee pasturage of the world, from whence comes the famous sage honey, which, in the opinion of Queen Victoria, is the finest nectar in the world.
Situated this, as it were, in the background of the world, myself and a few other bee men lived from fifteen to eighteen months an uneventful, peaceful, though exceedingly monotonous life, with no companions about us save our bees, the birds of the air, the silent hills and the wild animals that roamed thereon – bears, lions, wildcats, deer and such – and little did we dream or think that a rich mineral belt, displaying upon its surface the outcroppings of valuable ore, lay almost adjoining our claims or ranches, only four miles further in the interior. Our thoughts were contemplating only the wonderful industry of our bees, the sweet richness and variety of our flowers, and our more than charming climate, so peculiarly adapted to apiculture, as well as to persons of weak lungs. Not in the slightest degree were we aware that other riches than the delicious nectar we were seeking were about to declare a dwelling place in these hills; that the Goddess of Fate had appointed the day when this seclusion of ours must give way to the inflow of great animation and life which characterizes the incoming of hundreds of prospectors after treasures; that these wild mountains, which have stood for ages untrodden by the foot of man, should soon resound with the clinking of many hammers as they sought out the precious
gold and silver bearing quartz;
nor that the very ground upon which for so many years the bears have rolled and played was to be the site of a hopeful mining camp and the centre of rich mines. But the world is full of surprises. It all came about one day quite naturally and with the usual startling result.
Henry Cassidy, a sure hand at the rife, whose triumphs in deer shooting, especially, are well known in this community, together with two or three friends started out on a deer hunt, and while scouting around, Cassidy, who had become separated from his companions, suddenly ran upon a quantity of “float” (detached quartz), which, upon examination, was found to be filled with rich galena. He gathered a handkerchief full of the pieces, tied them to his belt and proceeded on with his hunt until time to return to the spot selected for camping. Upon joining his companions in the evening, and as they sat around the camp fire with pipes in their mouths, he displayed his specimens of ore, which were really very fine ones, and ventured the belief that a rich galena ledge must lie very near to where he had picked up the float, and suggested that they spend the next day in prospecting for it. One of them, Tom Smith, said he would go, but the others, incredulous as to there being a ledge there, preferred to hunt for deer. The next day, therefore, Cassidy and Smith sallied forth for the search. A short time brought them to the float again, and then slowly and cautiously, scanning closely every bluff and rocky ledge within their range, they sought for the galena ledge. They had not proceeded many yards up a wild, broken gulch, which branches from what is known hereabouts as the Dark Canon, before Cassidy’s keen eye discovered the glittering galena peeping from beneath a projecting bluff of rocks. It is doubtful which shone the brighter, the metal or the eyes of the two friends as they gazed upon it. The ledge, boldly sticking out from the rocks adjoining, appeared to be about two and one-half feet in thickness, and freighted with galena. A claim was at once taken up and styled the Southern Bell Mine. This was the first substantial discovery, and caused considerable excitement among the little band of hunters.
During the following two or three days these men did considerable quiet prospecting, resulting in the finding of the Mammoth Mine, an excellent silver bearing quartz, laying about a mile west of the Southern Bell Mine; also, a very doubtful seam of bluish quartz, running across Pine Gulch, to which one of the men, without locating it, humorously applied the name Grayback, by reason of his having found a few of these pests, or things resembling them, on his clothing, after he came in from the discovery. They were probably a kind of wood louse.* I mention this incident only to show the origin of the name which was subsequently given to what it at present
the most prominent ledge in Silverado,
in point of richness, magnitude and length – Grayback Ledge.
A mining district was now formally organized by these men, after which, full of bright visions and expectations that soon a flourishing mining camp would follow their discoveries, they returned to their homes, taking with them samples of the ore to be tested. A few days after this, and before the news of Cassidy’s discoveries had fairly got abroad, two friends, Harry Thistlewaite and Thomas Harvey, having seen some of the ores from the Southern Bell and Mammoth claims, slipped quietly off into the hills on a prospecting tour. Climbing up a deep and rocky ravine styled Pine Gulch, following the lead of pieces of galena float which they had picked out of the dirt, these men suddenly stood face to face with massive outcroppings of a galena ledge, glittering with its bright metal. They immediately took up a claim under the name of the Blue Light Mine, calling the ledge the Grayback Ledge, as suggested by the incident related above. Tracing this ledge southward from their claim the next day, these two fortunate discoverers ran across another outcropping of the ledge, even larger in proportion than the one in Pine Gulch. Rusty and decomposed, there is stood, high up on a bluff of porphyry, tons upon tons, folding themselves in each others arms. A mere poke of a stick or the stroke of a hammer showed the ledge to be literally filled with galena. Another claim was here taken up and styled the Dunlap Mine, Grayback Ledge. Still further southward, on the same line, there men found the ledge sticking out again, rich and massive as before. To this claim the name of the Flannigan Mine was given. Still other extensions southward of this ledge were taken up in behalf of friends.
The news of these discoveries quickly found its way into the adjoining towns, Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana and others, resulting in bringing from these centres a considerable number of prospectors. This was about the latter part of 1877 and the fore part of 1878. But the ball had, in reality, only just commenced to roll, as at that time much doubt and skepticism prevailed touching the existence of mines in these hills. Indeed, for the most part, little attention was at first paid to the rumors and stories that came in, but not for a great while did this indifference last. As day followed day, bringing in reports of new discoveries, coupled with assayers’ returns – ranging from $9 to $350, silver and gold, the people began seriously to open their eyes, and more than ever to consider the probability of
a new and rich silver field
lying almost at their very doors. Great interest now sprang up on every side, and a full tide of prospectors soon set in for the new El Dorado. From now on, covering months, the road through Santiago Canon, hitherto almost unknown, except by the beemen who resided in the hills, presented a truly animated scene, as wagon load after wagon load, men on horseback and men on foot, wended their way toward the mines. On the 9th of February a new district was reorganized under the name of the Santa Rosa Mining District (the former organization referred to being an imperfect one), new laws were made, etc., and the name Silverado given to the coming town. Each day the interest and excitement deepened under the new discoveries that were being constantly made; and for a time it really seemed as if the spirit of 1849 had been revived. Phoenixlike the recorder’s office rose up with P.A. Clark, a leading spirit in the reorganization of the town, installed as recorder. The Assayer’s office quickly followed with H.S. Knapp, a Brooklyn boy, as assayer. And so on, day after day, during the following weeks, in rapid succession, as if moved by some magical power, one building after another sprung into being – stores, dwellings, boarding houses and the inevitable saloons – wiping out as with a single wave of the hand the wild seclusion of the canon, while the surrounding hills, gulches and ravines became, in the meantime, animated with bustling treasure seekers. Everything was on tiptoe, great activity prevailed, and expectations of the near approach of future greatness, both for the town and the owners of the claims ran at high tide, continuing thus into the forepart of the year just past, when, money giving out, provisions running low and the much talked of mills being as far off as at first, one after another of the prospectors (mostly poor men) were obliged to withdraw themselves to seek some more present remunerative employment; not, however, until they had first worked out the assessments on their claims required by law to hold them. This, of course, turned the formerly active, busy town into a very quiet one, and to-day Silverado, the centre of valuable mines, useless, however, in their present undeveloped state, is quietly waiting for the incoming of capitalists to open up their treasures. The recorder’s books show hundreds of claims, but, as a matter of fact, many of them are worthless, showing no mineral bearing ledges at all, having been recorded by persons inexperienced in prospecting during the height of the excitement, when even gravel stones appeared to them to carry free gold or native silver. This
indiscriminate recording of claims
is characteristic of every new mining camp where a large share of the prospectors have no knowledge of true quartz. But a large percentage of the claims recorded in Silverado, and others not yet taken up, show excellent prospects, judging partly from the assays made; these ranging from a “trace” to over $4,000 per ton, and nearly all the assays have been made from croppings only. What is needed in the Silverado mines to show the world their true value, is development, and there can be no development without capital. Among the prominent mines of Silverado are the Blue Light Mine, Dunlap Mine, Flannagan [sic] Mine, Phoenix, Mountain View – all from the Grayback Ledge, from whence assays have been made, ranging from $100 to $4,000 per ton; the Southern Ball Mine, Emma Mine, Glittering King, Southern Slope, Santiago Gold and Silver Mining Company, Silver Prize and others. On most of these mine tunnels have been run in, but still they need capital to open them up. Capital is the one need. In many places throughout the mineral belt there are claims showing excellent veins of mineral, but very few of the prospectors have the money with which to sink shafts or run tunnels to the distance necessary for profitable results. It would be well if some of our capitalists should turn their attention to Silverado. I believe they could now buy many valuable prospects at more nominal figures from poor men who desire funds to develop other claims. But a moderate portion of the mineral belt has been prospected, and a little capital expended in this direction I believe would pay well. It is understood that a few men of capital have already formed a company and expect to begin operations here during next Spring or Summer. Active steps, I hear, are now being taken to complete the preliminaries. The faculties for carrying on mining cheaply here are very good. There is plenty of timber and water, all the agricultural products are right at our door, and can be purchased cheaply; abundance of labor may be had for $1.50 per day; coal is found in large quantities and of excellent quality, about six miles west of Silverado, thus affording plenty of fuel, and so on, in almost every respect the faculties for cheap mining in Silverado are much better than they are in the more distant interior districts.
I venture the assertion that within a year or so Silverado will be as well known as Leadville, Col. [s] B.S.
[Brainard Smith had a bee ranch in Ladd Canyon during the boom days, but had written for the Eagle in years past. His articles come after the boom had burst and were basically advertisements for one of the mining companies hoping to sell stock back east.]
[* Civil War soldiers called lice “graybacks,” but in the Santa Ana, one wonders if Smith didn’t mean another blood-sucking insect – ticks.]
* * *
Description of the New Silver Field on the Pacific Coast
Location of the Mining Camp – How to Reach It, and Some of the Scenes to be Found Along the Route – How the Claims in its Vicinity are Panning Out – An El Dorado for Fortune Seekers.
(Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 24, 1880)
[Correspondence of the Eagle]
Silverado, Los Angeles County, Cal.,}
February 10, 1880.}
My former letter, descriptive of the new silver field of the Pacific Coast, Silverado, presented to the readers of the Eagle January 11, has, as a matter of fact, gone the rounds, by reason of the wide reaching arms of the Eagle, and numerous inquiries have been pouring in, calling for further particulars respecting the new camp. In that letter I narrated simply the story of how the discovery of silver in this district came to be made by a lucky hunter while scouting for deer, described the excitement and interest which followed this and subsequent discoveries, resulting in the organization of the camp of Silverado, and how, money giving out, bacon and beans running low, and the much talked of mills being as far off as at first, one after another of the prospectors (mostly poor men) were obliged to withdraw in order to seek more present remunerative employment, finally leaving the camp, the centre of undeveloped yet valuable mines, quietly waiting for the incoming of capitalists to open up its treasures.
My inquiring friends, in widely separated regions, now ask me to more particularly locate or point out the situation of Silverado for the benefit of distant strangers who may wish to visit the place, and to give the magnitude of the mineral belt and the character of its ores, and to state how much time and money it will take to reach the camp from San Francisco. Take a map of California and follow down the coast to Wilmington, near the southern part of the State. If the map be a correct one a line drawn due east from Wilmington will pierce the Sierra De Santa Ana mountains (a little north west of Temascal [sic] Tin mines) rising from 2,000 to about 6,000 feet above the sea level, where, in a deep, secluded canon, lies Silverado. The distance from these mountains to Wilmington is about thirty-three miles. In my former letter I said that Silverado was in the heart of the Coast Range. I have since been informed that the Sierra De Santa Ana Mountains are a continuation of the Sierra Nevada range. The camp may be directly reached from San Francisco by purchasing a ticket to Santa Ana, and employing either the Southern Pacific Railroad or the coast steamer, one to two days being required by rail, according to whether the visitor takes first or second class trains, and about two days by steamer. The fare by rail is about $27 (gold) for first class, $12.50 for second class; by steamer, $15. The cars will probably be more convenient. At Santa Ana the visitor will find a stage running to the mines twice a week, Mondays and Fridays, leaving at 11 a.m. and returning the following day, leaving the mines at 6 a.m. The distance from Santa Ana to the mines is nearly twenty miles, and the time occupied in making it is about five hours. The road through the mountains is a very good one, remarkably free from the joltings one usually gets going over a mountain road. A word or two respecting
the drive from Santa Ana to the mines.
Particularly at this season of the year, when the rains have loosened up the hard baked soil and bidden it to bring forth in all their glory its numerous flowers and rich grasses, both on the hill sides and in the valleys, as if to form a beautiful harmony with the wide stretching beds of waving grain on every side and the many orange orchards that line the way, some of which heavily ladened with their delicious fruit, a ride between these points will prove to be exceedingly delightful and exhilarating to the stranger who has not been accustomed to pass through such scenes. As he rolls along over a finely beaten road facing toward Santiago Canyon, with the sky perfectly cloudless and the genial warmth of the sun giving him much comfort, numerous flowers of delicate and various hues, rich grasses of different kinds, broad acres of waving barley and great stretches of orange trees make up the immediate scene. Beyond this, off to the right, lie the green, undulating foothills, and further on rises ridge after ridge of rugged and darker hued mountains, while still further back tower lofty summits clad in the beautiful snow. The road will lead the stranger through, perhaps, the finest orange grove in this section, belonging to Mr. J.P. Bowers, and as I know this gentleman to be a generous hearted, whole souled man, I do not hesitate to say that a modest hint will induce him to dump a basket full of the golden fruit into your wagon, which will prove a delicious refreshment to you after you have left the valley far behind and are winding up the canon. Four miles from Mr. Bowers’ place, the road enters the canon, passing about one mile into it through a magnificent grove of great live oaks, thence through two or three groves of towering sycamore trees, thence over an even valley of about three miles in length, where the track is of such a park like character that the horses are willing of their own accord to make splendid time. Less attractive, perhaps a trifle monotonous, will be the next four or five miles until, passing through a narrow and rocky defile, an abrupt turning in the road brings the rider into Canon La Madiera [sic], otherwise known as the Dark Canon, near the head of which lies Silverado, where the scenery becomes wild, romantic and picturesque. One hour’s drive up this canon brings you to the camp, and as you look down upon it from the top of the last descent, it will very likely strike you as being a very quiet, homey place, with its single crooked street (Main street), and its irregularly placed houses, stores, saloons, &c. And, indeed, it is a homey camp, and I have yet to learn that it ever presumed to be anything else. Silverado does not pride herself upon her personal or outward attractiveness, but she does point her finger with great pride and satisfaction to the outlying mines. And, as a matter of fact, it is
a quiet camp
compared with other mining centres where capitalists are in full operation; yet a brief look around will disclose considerable work going on among the more fortunate claim holders, beside the operations which are now being forward by a company of capitalists who have recently come here. The great bulk of prospectors who left last year, the less fortunate ones and those who went away disgusted, are still holding off, but rest assured they are keeping an eye open for the first signs of a mill being erected, when a general rush will once again set in. Let me note briefly the work now going on. At the Phoenix Mine, the Santa Rosa Mining and Milling Company, composed of New York and Brooklyn men, and incorporated under the Laws of New York, have lately commenced work on an incline, and are showing up fine ore. Their operations are being watched with great interest. At the Silver Prize Mine Messrs. J.H. and T.T. Hill have been steadily pushing in a tunnel on their claim, and it was reported yesterday that they had just struck a six feet ledge of argentiferous galena. At the Southern Slope mine in addition to sinking an incline about 100 feet on a spur, the holders of the claim have run in a tunnel on a lower level to the distance of 115 feet. This mine claims a ledge 10 feet, and the object of the tunnel is to cut the ledge at about 200 feet below the surface croppings. From the ledge croppings and from the spur on which the incline is sunk, and from spurs out by the tunnel assays have ranged on this claim from $12 to $4,000, the high assays coming from the spurs.
Several “prospect holes” are being dug on claims which promise to make good mines. On account of litigation there is no work now going on at the Dunlap Mine, but I was shown what is estimated to be from 70 to 100 tons of fine looking ore piled up at the mouth of the mine waiting for a mill. I was talking the other day with a smelter from Leadville, Mr. Bliss, who had spent several days around Silverado, and in answer to my question as to how he liked the surface locations here he replied: “They are as good as I have seen anywhere, and better than the surface indications at Leadville.” It is quite likely that Mr. Bliss will be induced to erect a mill here soon, if one may judge from the rumors afloat.
The principal ores found here are the sulpurets, carbonates and chlorides. There are several free gold quartz ledges here, assaying from $4 to $15, but they are held for the most part by poor men who have been able to do little more than work out their assessments required by law. The extent of the mineral belt is supposed to be from four to six miles in width, and probably thirty miles in length, good ore being found all the way as far north as San Gabriel, and as far south as Foster’s ranch in San Diego County – ore remarkably similar to that discovered around Silverado. With reference to this immediate vicinity, I know that it has been only moderately prospected, and I believe this is true of the entire belt, and I am of the opinion that when capitalists come in here, erect mills and take hold of these mines with the same energy and determination which characterize other men of money in other mining districts, astonishing disclosures will be made and a great mining industry will rise up, second to none of late years. Having lived here for four years and become familiar with every range, canon and gulch for miles around, and having carefully noted the character of the silver deposits and gold indications in this region as far as present developments permit, I cannot think otherwise than that the district is heavy with hidden wealth, but it must be developed by men of capital.
* * *
A Mining Camp on the Pacific Coast.
Looking Down the Slope of a Mountain 4,000 Feet Above the Sea – A Matchless Western Picture … Rich Diggings in a California Ore Bed.
(Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 20, 1881)
[Correspondence of the Eagle.]
Silverado, Los Angeles Co., Cal.}
February 2, 1881.}
In resemblance it is much like a dreamy, Indian Summer day. The sky is almost perfectly clear and the atmosphere just smoky enough to cause the rays of the sun – genial rays indeed – to light up both landscape and vegetation with a tender brightness. The place of outlook is a moderately flat and lichen covered rock lying on the summit of Mustang Mountain, one of the Sierra De Santa Ana Mountains, with an altitude of about 4,000 feet above the level of the great Pacific and rising within the confines of [the] Santa Rosa Mining District, Los Angeles County, California. The ascent to this outlook, every step toward which gave a corresponding elevation to the spirits, was on the present occasion accomplished by a narrow, zigzag trail over projecting ledges and through thick underbrush winding upward from the wild and romantic canon designated in this district as the Dark Canon, a canon whose trend through these hills is easterly and westerly, and through which winds the road to Silverado, the new and rich mining camp of the Pacific Coast. Though it is not, strictly speaking, a perfect day for clean cut sketches of scenery, nevertheless the scenes stretching far away on either side from my observatory are, as the eye rests upon them, well defined and full of those qualities of magnitude, impressiveness and beauty which are so well calculated to excite deep admiration and exhilaration, even to an effervescing degree. There are no sharp angles anywhere, on either side, to mar the line of beauty which gracefully curves from rock ribbed hills and snowy summits on the distant right to the sunlit waves of the Pacific on the left, winding and interlacing between these two limits over a fertile and flowery robed valley – a nymph of the sea, reclining against rolling foothills, her dimpled feet toying with the blue waters, around whose brow circles a wreath of legendary and historical gems – the lower portion of Los Angeles Valley and all of the Santa Ana Valley…. The Angel City – Los Angeles – just dimly discerned far off to the right, but which we know to be a city in stately pride of brick and stone, is equally inspiring as the reed and twig Indian village, Yang-na, which it displaced. And the happy songs of an energetic, industrious people, as they rise throughout the length and breadth of the valley are as thrilling as the old time pensive quietness which is said once to have reigned here. We do indeed lament the loss of the leafy forest of oaks, and sycamores and willows which tradition declares to have existed throughout this valley in the primitive days, when the aborigines were the lords of the soil; we do mourn the lordly rivers of that time, but we are better pleased with the great railroad and its iron horse, the network of irrigating ditches and the fertile farms watered by them, the thousands of fragrant semi tropical fruit orchards, the stretches of vineyards with their wine vaults, the gardens, the towns and their fringing groves, which stand instead thereof…. The picturesque towns of Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange, Westminster, Tustin City and Garden Grove….
From a point immediately north of Mustang Mountain, and thence circling to a point east by south, ranges the mineral stained and silver bearing hills of [the] Santa Rosa mining district. They are literally painted with yellow and red and the various colors which tell of decomposing minerals, and these hues blending with the dark green foliage and the lighter green grasses on either side form a striking picture. The Grayback belt is the most conspicuous for bright colors, being so distinctly marked out as to be easily traced by the eye for miles. Its direction is northeast and southwest. Directly east, and seemingly right at our feet, where the Dark Canon has widened into a charming little valley, lies the chief camp of this district, Silverado, whose description has already appeared in the Eagle. About one mile to the westward is a black hole in the side of a hill – the entrance to one of the tunnels of the Santa Clara coal mine, and three miles beyond is situated the Black Star Coal Mine…..
Silverado is not yet a producing camp – in a bullion sense – but she has brought forth some new and important discoveries during the past few months of such character as to insure the erection of smelting works in the near future, quite probably before the close of 1881. Indeed, in view of the silver deposits now disclosed here, it would be quite as easy for a last year’s chicken to put itself back into the egg as for Silverado to remain any great length of time without silver mill or smelter. These late strikes comprise, in brief, a seven foot vein of high grade ore opened up by Messrs. Thomas Harvey and Harry Thistlewaite, on the Blue Light Claim; a five foot ledge, recently cut on the Glittering King, whose average assay is $109.96, silver; a ledge on the Princess Claim, approximating five feet in width and carrying ore which ranges between $100 and $200 per ton; a two foot ledge of rich galena on the Woodruff Claim, and two ledges of almost solid galena, recently cut by a tunnel on the Dunlap Claim, the ore ranging from $60 to $1,000 per ton. These strikes have all been made along the line of the Grayback Ledge, and in every case the ledges are well defined and are considered, without a doubt, to be permanent fissure veins. The most important of these discoveries is the one made on the Dunlap Claim, which is nothing less than a genuine prize. The discovery was made by Mr. H.W. Lake, while superintending the driving in of a tunnel on the claim in question, a short time back. The design of the tunnel was to cut the Grayback Ledge, about 200 feet below the original diggings. About ninety-five feet in the workmen began to cut into galena, and before the day closed has passed through a ledge three feet in thickness
literally packed with the metal.
This find was a complete surprise all around. Calculations had been made to cut the Grayback in a distance of two hundred feet, and when the tunnel was started nothing was known of any intervening vein. The assays of ore from this vein have uniformly ranged high. I have not the actual figures. A short incline on this ledge showed an increase in its width. Work then was resumed on the tunnel in accordance with the original design, and after passing in two hundred and twelve feet, just twelve feet beyond the point at which Mr. Lake had calculated to strike the ledge, the men once more began cutting into galena and continued doing so until finally a ledge measuring nine feet and ten inches was the result. It is almost a solid body of galena, the assays made from it ranging, as I have already mentioned, from sixty dollars to one thousand dollars per ton. The excitement and satisfaction produced by this showing, among the owners of the claim and the miners generally may easily be imagined. A result of these late discoveries may be seen in the fact that three new companies have been organized, one to operate the Flannigan mine – next from the Dunlap; one to work the Dunlap, and one to work the Blue Light, the claim showing the seven foot ledge cut by Harvey and Thistlewaite. The showing of ore on the Flannigan claim was described in a former letter. The work of taking out ore on the Dunlap claim has already commenced, under the direction of the Dunlap Mining Company. Many rumors are afloat as to the actual time of the coming reduction works, but as they are considerably tangled I have consigned them to the waste basket, so to speak. I am assured, however, by one of the owners of the Dunlap claim, that Mr. Day, a Colorado smelter, will be looking in here in a few days with an eye to business. On all of the earlier promising strikes, fully described in former letters, developments have steadily been pushed forward in proportion to the means at hand, and in almost every case the outlay has returned flattering results – a tendency on the part of the ledges to increase in width and richness. In short, Silverado, though no actually producing bullion, promises by reason of her later and earlier discoveries to do so in the near future. Her mines not foot up a goodly number. Following are some of the names: Santiago Gold and Silver Mining Company, Mint Mine, Princess Mine, Pearson’s Folly, Flannigan, Dunlap, Blue Light, Phenix [sic], S and S., Mountain View, Glittering King, Woodruff, Alleghany, American, Southern Bell – all on the Greenback [Grayback] line; Emma Mine, Southern Slope, Silver Prize, Mammoth, Mount Hope, Dexter, St. Julian, Queen and others – outlying mines. As the developments progress I shall endeavor to keep my Brooklyn friends posted.