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of one hundred and twenty-five voters. Several smaller settlements and ranches have been established in the little valleys farther down the mountain, where good soil and grass invite the agricultural pursuits for which the neighboring mines have created a market.
The discoveries of silver veins have been made within an area two or three miles square, lying north and west of Middle Boulder Creek, and between that stream and the Range proper. The district is almost entirely covered with a heavy growth of pine.
About a quarter of a mile above the town, and nearly up to the timber line, on the sloping mountain side, is situated the Caribco lode, which has given reputation to this district. The country rock is granite, rendered friable near the surface by the effects of frost. The lode strikes nearly east and west, and has been worked for a horizontal distance of 560 feet. Reports of conflicting and rival "extensions" lead me to believe that the outcrop has not been continuously traced beyond the limits of actual development. During the first 50 feet of sinking, it seemed very questionable whether the mine were a true vein. The crevice pitched to the north at a high angle, presenting no defined walls and often following the strata of the country rock, which was greatly broken, requiring constant timbering. At a depth of about 40 feet the crevice seemed to turn downward, nearly or quite perpendicularly, cutting clearly and definitely across the strata, thus establishing the mine as a true vein. The walls are solid, the south one being well defined and exposed in the underground workings, while the north one is still nearly covered with second and third class ore. The ore vein averages 5 feet, the vein of first-class ore averaging, from the commencement till November, about 23 feet.
Later developments (up to January, 1871) indicate that, at the point referred to, the crevice splits, one part pitching south, and the other keeping the previous dip of the vein. In the main shaft-now 140 feet deep-the south crevice has been followed, and has gradually widened till, at about 125 feet from the surface, it is nearly 15 feet between walls. From that point to the bottom of the shaft it gradually narrows to about 5 feet, and shipping ore, which disappeared some twenty feet above, is coming in again. At a depth of 50 feet a horizontal drift, commencing at the main shaft, runs each way, and is, in the aggregate, 260 feet long, connecting with other shafts. From this drift the ore has been backstoped to the surface. At a distance of 100 feet east of the east end of the drift is a shaft, which, at a depth of about 50 feet, struck a fine body of ore, while 200 feet west of the west end of the drift is another shaft 45 feet deep, also revealing a fine vein of ore, making the total distance for which the veins have been opened 560 feet.
The east shaft alluded to is supposed to be on the north branch of the vein. At a depth of 71 feet it shows a vein of first-class ore, 10 or 12 inches wide. A cross-cut is being run from the main shaft, at the second level, 95 or 100 feet below the surface, to cut the north crevice, with the intention of drifting and stoping upon it. This second level, now 180 feet long, shows a vein of first-class ore nearly its whole length, in some places very narrow, but again opening out to 10 or 12 inches in width. The first work was done on this mine in 1869, when about 26 tons, containing, by assay, $3,217 in silver, were sold to Professor Hill, at Black Hawk. During 1870, about 425 tons of shipping ore were extracted, worth $73,772, or about $173 per ton. This ore was from the 24 feet of the vein above mentioned as first-class, but from it had been selected three tons of ore yielding an average assay of $5,000 per ton. Were this added to that sold, the average would be upward of $200 per
ton. The lower-grade ores, occupying an average of 3 feet of the vein, have been repeatedly assayed, yielding an average of $60 per ton. The first-class ores are carefully selected, the best laid aside for experimental treatment, and the balance hauled eighteen miles and sold to Professor Hill, while the lower grades are either left standing in the mine or thrown aside to await the erection of works. The average yield of the ore thus far taken out was greatly reduced by the broken character of walls and vein near the surface, which caused the ores to be greatly mixed and prevented assorting. Along the north wall of the vein is a soft gouge, often containing a good deal of hornblende, but this also assays ninety ounces. The gangue is quartzitic.
This mine was sold early in the autumn for $125,000, and the purchasers are rapidly reimbursing themselves. It will be seen that operations are thus far principally confined to its best ores. Estimating the aver age width of ore above the second level at 2 feet, there are 34,440 cubic feet of ground containing low-grade ore standing in the mine and ready for back-stoping. Between this level and the bottom of the shaft, a depth of forty feet, 32,795 cubic feet are standing, which can be now stoped underhand, but will require another level for back-stoping. This total of 67,235 cubic feet, at the usual estimate of 11 cubic feet of solid vein to the ton, amounts to over 6,000 tons. There are, moreover, some 500 tons of low-grade ore upon the dump, and an unknown quantity is said to be scattered in the dumps of earlier workings, since it is only recently that this ore has been separated at all from the waste-rock.
It will not pay to haul such ore (assaying $60 or less) to Black Hawk for smelting; but it is expected that mills to be erected in the district will treat it at a profit.
Near the Caribou is the Pride of the West, a vein about 4 feet in width. This mine is not being worked, but shows some very fine looking ore, carrying considerable green carbonate of copper.
The Staten Island is another, which has been opened to the depth of 50 feet, producing specimens of fine ore. Near by is a vein of polar magnetic iron ore or lodestone. The ore has strong magnetic power, picking up as many as three shingle nails in a string.
The Idaho lode, half a mile or more from the Caribou, has a shaft 41 feet by 10, and 30 feet deep. From this shaft have been sold to Professor Hill the following lots:
The ore vein is 5 feet in width. The ore sold is claimed to be an average of 3 feet of the vein. The remaining two feet assay 110 ounces, or $143 coin.
The Boulder County lode is considered one of the most valuable. As it appeared in August, 1870, it presented a 23-foot crevice, one side of which is rich in gold, and the other still richer in silver. As a greater depth was reached on this lode, the gold seemed gradually to be running out, and the silver increasing in quantity. In much of the ore gold was found associated with large flakes of silver. Specimens had frequently been taken from the mine on which brittle and wire silver are visible
in large quantities, with a smaller sprinkling of gold. The nature of the ore was changing, as the work of sinking progressed, from galena to brittle silver and sulphurets. The highest assay yet obtained from this lode is $12,000 per ton. No ore had yet been treated, for want of a wagon-road from the mine. The road was completed, however, in August, and it was contemplated to send ore at once to the California works below Black Hawk. The lode is situated on Boulder County or Pugh Mountain. (really an extension of Conger or Caribou Mountains.) It is over a mile from Boulder Creek, and three-fourths of a mile below the Caribou, by the new road.
Lower down the mountain, by the roadside, is the Trojan, supposed to be an extension of the Boulder County. It has a shaft 54 feet deep. The vein walls are well-defined and show very plainly throughout. There are 22 inches of ore, carrying sulphide of copper, zinc, lead, and silver, together with a quartzite gangue. This ore contains about $90 per ton in gold and silver, and, after extraction, is piled up to await works nearer the mine. By the side of this ore vein is a crevice 10 inches wide of decomposed material or dirt, which is sold to Hill, at Black Hawk, at from $96 to $126 per ton, currency. The ore vein has never failed since mining was first commenced upon it. The Trojan dips almost vertically, and has been struck at intervals on the surface for 2,000 feet of horizontal
The Jo. Thatcher, Grand Island, Sovereign People, Carter, Monitor, Conger, Comstock, Lily of the West, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Eva, are lodes concerning which the general opinion is favorable. They are said to be from 2 to 5 feet wide between walls; and most of them will be actively developed this year.
This county is principally noted at the present time for its rich and extensive placer deposits. Commencing at the headwaters of Swan River, extending around to the head of the Blue, and down the latter stream for at least twenty miles, there is almost a continuous placer, carrying gold in profitable quantities. The ground varies in richness, paying from $3 to $30 per day per hand. Less than $5 per day per hand will probably not pay expenses where labor has to be hired. The report of the United States assistant marshal to the Census Bureau mentions but four claims in Summit County as worked during the year ending June 1, 1870, and gives less than $9,000 as the aggregate product, being about $7 per day per hand. The extreme imperfection of this return may perhaps result from the attempt to obtain information at so unfortunate a period as the 1st of June, when the season has scarcely opened, and the miners cannot be found. I am indebted to Wm. P. Pollock, esq., county clerk and recorder, for trustworthy information concerning the operations of 1870, and to Mr. R. J. Burns, of Austin, Nevada, for valuable notes of a personal visit to the county.
Montezuma and Breckenridge are the principal mining towns, the former being the headquarters of quartz and the latter of placer mining. The most productive gulches near Breckenridge are Illinois, Iowa, French, Gold Run, Galena and Georgia, and Buffalo and Delaware flats. Mr. Pollock says that Georgia Gulch alone produced about $3,000,000 from its discovery in 1859 to the close of 1862.
The placer mining season is very brief, lasting but little over five months in the year, yet several claims have each yielded $10,000 per season for several seasons past, and as high as ninety ounces, or $1,575,
has been obtained from one week's run of forty-nine days' work. Several gold nuggets were taken out during last season; one from Georgia Gulch, weighing nine ounces three pennyweights and nine grains; one from Galena Gulch, weighing eight ounces and a half, and one from Lincoln City, weighing nine ounces and a half. The amount of bullion taken out the past season, exclusive of silver, is estimated by the recorder at $350,000. The Georgetown Miner, at the close of the season, said it was nearly or quite $500,000.
The county contains one hundred miles of excellently constructed ditches, many of them having several thousand inches capacity, for conveying the water to work the claims, and declarations are on file for the construction of forty miles more next season.
Two hundred and eighty thousand feet linear measure of placer ground has been preempted since the 1st of May, 1870. The greater part of this new ground prospects very well, and gives abundant indications of a large yield with proper management. The claims which have been successfully worked in past seasons, as well as those recently developed, still contain sufficient gold to occupy the miners for years, and, as there is an immense quantity of ground yet unclaimed, and known to contain mineral wealth in quantities, which will repay active and economical working, there is no doubt that Summit County will continue to produce annually increasing amounts of gold.
There are on the county records over four thousand lodes recorded; but very few of them have been sufficiently developed to show their real value, as the owners of most of them are working their placer mines. The majority of the lodes now under exploitation are situated at Montezuma and St. John's, in Snake River mining district.
Montezuma is reached by stage from Denver or Idaho, or by a direct road from Georgetown across the range. The latter road, crossing near Gray's Peak, is one of great natural beauty. It passes through some of the finest scenery of the Rocky Mountains. Beyond the range, it traverses fine timber, and a series of small parks, abounding in cool mountain springs and luxuriant grass. In one of these parks, through which flows the South Fork of the Snake, Montezuma is situated, while Breckenridge is about twenty miles southwest. The road connecting the two places is noted for its lovely meadow scenery and (more prosaically) its excellent pasturage. The Saratoga Ranch, half way between, has a mineral spring-a common occurrence in the parks of Colorado.
The leading mine is, at Montezuma, the Comstock, owned by the Boston Silver Mining Association, Colonel W. L. Candler, superintendent. It is situated on the southwestern face of Glacier Mountain, nearly 12,000 feet above sea-level. Mr. Burns describes his visit to the mine as follows:
Following up the toilsome trail, we reached and entered the lower tunnel of the mine. This tunnel is 150 feet long, from which a level extends 425 feet. We saw masses of ore ready for the hands of the stopers along nearly the entire length of this level. A shaft or winze 70 feet deep connects this level with the lower one, which is 200 feet long, in which we examined the same massive vein loaded with ore. Ascending to the level again, we climbed into a "stope," and observed a large body of ground in which the miners had been busy extracting the abundant ore. A winze of 70 feet also connects the lower and upper tunnels, and in the works of the latter the ore occurred in wide strata. The vein of the Comstock stands nearly perpendicular, and varies in size. At one point it spread out to 8 feet, and at another it contracted to a few feet; but it preserved a general width of 4 to 5 feet. At the point of greatest width there was a stratum of compact ore 2 feet thick upon the head-wall; the same upon the foot-wall; while ore was disseminated through the intervening mass of feldspathic gangue. In the different works disclosing the vein the solid ore ranged from 4 inches to 2 feet thick, and I should judge it fairly averaged 18 inches. The galena was massive, and formed perhaps one-third of the ore. Zinc-blende, and iron, and copper pyrites occur also
abundantly; and in the deepest works silver glance and brittle silver are not uncommon. Handsome crystals of heavy spar are of frequent occurrence. Tests of the value of the different kinds of ore ranged from $40 to $400 per ton. All the work in the mine the spacious clean-cut tunnels and levels, and the well-timbered winzes and stopes-indicated the most skillful management. Captain Ware informed us that it was part of his project to open the mine by a tunnel 450 feet below the present lowest tunnel, which will be 550 feet long, and will cut the vein nearly 700 feet from the surface. If this plan is carried out it will open avenues to bodies of ore that will require years to extract. The amount of ore ready for reduction and piled at the mouth of the tunnel, in the ore-house near by, and at the mill, was estimated at 3,000 tons. And if occasion should require it, Captain Ware told us he could easily set fifty men to stoping ore.
The ore will be delivered from the mine to the mill over a tramway about 2,200 feet long. This tramway, which was building under the direction of Captain Ware, will connect with the present lowest tunnel, and ultimately with the projected deep tunnel. Not only ore, but the miners and all supplies for the mines, will be carried over the tramway. It will be capable of discharging 100 tons of ore from the mine to the mill daily.
The reduction works of the company are of a very inferior character, unworthy of the splendid mine, and wholly inadequate to the treatment of the ore. They consist of a crusher and rollers, a small concentrator, and a reverberatory and a cupola furnace.
According to later reports, the mine has about 1,000 feet of stopingground, and can work seventy-five miners underground. Sixty tons of ore can be raised to the surface daily, and delivered at the mill by the tramway at a cost of about $3 75 per ton for mining and 20 cents for transportation. The company has reduced during the summer 50 tons of ore, at a reduction cost of about $22 per ton. The average yield was $100 per ton. The imperfect apparatus was capable of treating only the galena ores-about one-fifth of the vein material; the remainder, containing from 30 to 40 ounces of silver per ton, being thrown aside. It is proposed to construct a new mill, combining amalgamation with smelting, so that all the ores can be reduced.
The Chenango Company owns the Favre, Chloride, Coley, and G. T. Clark-all highly-esteemed lodes. The mine is in Glacier Mountain, about a quarter of a mile farther down the cañon than the Comstock. A tunnel, about 460 feet long in December last, had cut through two veins, assaying about fifty ounces of silver per ton. A short distance below the mine the company has a mill, which is idle, and reported to be of no value.
The Sukey lode, belonging to the Sukey Silver Mining Company, Hon. J. T. Lynch, superintendent, is opened by two tunnels, one 260 feet, and the other (150 feet above) 96 feet long. One hundred and eighty feet above the upper tunnel is the discovery shaft, 40 feet deep. The vein is from 4 to 6 feet in width, with an ore-streak of 20 inches to 3 feet. The ore exhibits very rich specimens, but the great bulk of it is of a low grade, the average point being between $35 and $40 per ton. The capacity of the Sukey for the production of this grade of ore is very great. The company owns a small mill, 30 by 80 feet in size, and containing five stamps, one roasting-furnace, and two Blatchley pans for amalgamation. It is run by water-power. Seventy tons, reduced during the summer, averaged 60 ounces of silver per ton, the cost of reduction $22 to $24 per ton. It is proposed to increase the capacity of the mill to fifteen tons per day, which will reduce the cost to $15 per ton. The St. Lawrence Silver Mining Company owns the Silver Wing and Napoleon lodes, on the north face of Glacier Mountain, a few hundred feet above the South Fork of the Snake. The former is tunneled 30 feet, showing a vein 4 feet wide between walls, with an ore-streak varying from 10 to 20 inches, and carrying by average assay 35 ounces of silver per ton. The Napoleon is tunneled 65 feet, with a crevice similar