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and there over a large territory. Of course, the conditions surrounding the first discovery made on a creek are the basis for fixing the size of a claim on that stream. The discoverer of a new field is allowed two claims, while others are permitted to take but one at a time. However, when a locater has worked out his assessment of a few days' work he is at liberty to take another. When a sufficient number of men arrive on a new creek to make it impracticable to work together in harmony without organization, they hold a meeting and elect one of their number as register or clerk, and thereafter a record is made of all locations and all transfers, for which a small fee is charged.
A CHICAGOAN'S OBSERVATIONS. Most enthusiastic about the Klondyke gold field and its possibilities is John W. Gates, president of the Illinois Steel Company, who arrived at Chicago from the northwest recently. He brought with him as souvenirs of his trip gold in the shape of a brick, bar, dust, and nuggets aggregating over $1,000 in value. The brick, which is of pure gold, is valued at $750, while the bar is estimated at $76. The dust, showing the gold as taken from the Klondyke region, will sell for $110, and the nuggets, all of which but one Mr. Gates has given to friends for scarf pins, are valued at from $10 to $15 apiece. The one he retained as an exhibition souvenir.
Mr. Gates has been in the northwest for the last month. He went out in his private car over the Northern Pacific road, and at Ashcroft left the road and traveled by stage to Barkerville, 300 miles north. From the latter town he rode on horseback over the mountains forty miles.
GOLD FROM THE RIVER'S BED.
In this country he saw mines from which $75,000,000 has been taken in the last thirty years, and he says the mines are not exhausted. He learned of the experiment that is being made in the Frazier river, in that locality, to use centrifugal pumps on bargesto pump up the earth along the bottom of the river and wash out the gold that has been deposited there for ages. The nozzles of these pumps, which are screened to prevent big bowlders from being taken in, are forced to the bottom of the river, and as the sand and water reach the top of the barge they are carefully screened, so that all the gold is secured. If the experiment proves a success, Mr. Gates says it will revolutionize placer mining and prove the greatest boon to the miners.
Mr. Gates, after leaving British Columbia, went by way of Vancouver to Seattle, and while there witnessed the arrival of the steamer Portland from Alaska, which brought down $1,250,000 in gold dust and nuggets. He bought the gold which he brought back to Chicago from different persons at Seattle.
AT THE KLONDYKE MINES.
Wonderful Richness of Deposits How to Fix a Klondyke Claim - What Capt. Higgins Knows Fred Price's Experience - An Authority-Fresh Confirmation-Along the Creeks-What Mr. Ogilvie Heard-Gold Storage—He Gives a Pointer— Two French Miners - What a Missouri Miner Tells-A Mild Winter in Alaska-On the Cost of Living-Kept Tab on the Buyers-The Klondyke Capital Great Things About Dawson City-It Is a Moral Town-Mines Not at Dawson-Gold by the Gallon-No Night in Klondyke-What to Take Along-Mr. Bowker Met a Man-Jealous California-Nugget Worth $16,000-Prospects at Klondyke A Summary by Californians-Big Luck for "Tenderfeet"-Gold in Frozen Soil-Views by a Hardy Mariner - From a Canadian Editor - A Sober Official View-The Toronto Globe Exults.
Wonderful tales are told of the great richness of the Klondyke placers. More than one man reports having obtained $1,000 from a single pan washing, while reports of yields of $500 and $600 to the pan are numerous. An ordinary pan of gravel will weigh twenty-five pounds and a yield of $1,000 worth of gold means sixty-two ounces, or nearly one-sixth of
the entire bulk in precious metal. The average is said to be $50 to the pan, and this is phenomenal when it is taken into consideration that the California pan washer was well pleased with a uniform product of $3 to a washing, and could make money with a yield running as low as 50 cents. With this kind of field to work in, it is small wonder that claim-holders gladly pay $15 a day for common labor, and are unable to get anything like a fair supply at that. It is only men who are "broke" that will work for wages.
HOW TO FIX A KLONDYKE CLAIM.
The same general rules for acquiring a title to a claim in the western states apply to Alaska and the Canadian northwest. The governments make no charge for the land, but the holder is required to do at least $100 worth of work on his claim every year for five years to get an absolute title to it. He has the privilege of doing the entire $500 worth of work at once if he chooses to do so, and on proof of it may get his patent. The Canadian government exacts $5 a year from prospectors as a license fee.
The man who locates a claim is allowed a full year before he puts up his location notice for working the first assessment, during which time his right is absolute and is also negotiable. A purchaser fulfilling the obligation entered into by the discoverer enjoys the same rights.
In Alaska and in the Klondyke the first miners in a district hold a meeting and fix the size of the claims, and also agree as to how much work shall constitute an assessment. The miners also elect a register, and his fee for recording or transferring is the only one incumbent upon the owner of a claim.
About the only tools considered absolutely necessary in the placers are a pick, shovel and gold pan. It is nearly always desirable, but not always possible, to have a sluice. This sometimes is very primitive. It may be only a gully bottomed with cobblestones, or plank troughing, with riffles or cleats at intervals across the bottom. In either case, the gold-bearing dirt or gravel is thrown in while water is running through the sluice. The current is supposed to carry. away the worthless rocks and dirt, allowing the gold to drop to the bottom. If the gold is in finely divided particles, the sluice is made tight and quicksilver is placed above the riffles, which envelops and holds the gold dust. No two mines are exactly alike, and the manner of working them has to be varied to suit the circumstances.
WHAT CAPT. HIGGINS KNOWS.
In a letter to a friend at San Diego, Cal., Capt. J. F. Higgins, of the steamer Excelsior, thus writes of Klondyke:
"The word Klondyke means Deer river. The stream is called Reindeer river on the charts. It empties into the Yukon. The geographical position of the junction is 76 degrees 10 minutes north latitude, 138 degrees 50 minutes west longitude. Bonanza creek dumps into Klondyke about two miles above the Yukon. Eldorado is a tributary of the Bonanza. There are numerous other creeks and tributaries, the main river being 300 miles long. The gold so far has been taken from Bonanza and Eldorado, both well named, for the richness of the placers is truly marvelous. Eldorado, thirty miles long, is staked the whole length, and as far as worked has paid.