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point of view to the rest of mankind, he increases the demand and values of other commodities, except silver
The entire product of gold and silver in the United States for the year 1875 was about eighty-one million dollars, and the yield for the present Cen- and gold, and a greater general prostennial year will reach in round num-perity is realized. bers one hundred millions.
The effect of this production upon other industries is greatly advantageous. Something is produced of current value to the world, and is a measure of the value of other commodities. The miner consumes that which he does not produce, and bearing the sole relation of a consumer in a business
If any part of our population are idle, or are producing that for which there is no demand, and our deposits of the precious metals are ample to give them employment at remunerative wages, would not it be wise to examine into the demands of this new field of industry and profit by the opportunity offered for employment.
THE SAN JUAN SILVER MINES.
No better evidence attests the thrift and enterprise of a people than the quick growth and rapid development of the mining interests of San Juan, in Southwestern Colorado.
Until September, 1872, the country known as San Juan was held by the Ute Indians, when it was by treaty released to the United States. It had up to that time been subject to the usual explorations of those resolute spirits that people our western mountains in search of the precious metals, but there was not much done by way of location and development of those wonderful deposits of silver, up to the spring of 1874, when work began with great vigor.
Perhaps 3,000 silver mines have
been located, and the work done thereon, as required by law, within the last two years, and the total number of mines located in all San Juan may be placed at 4,500, and yet but a small part of the country has been prospected. It would be safe to say, that seven or eight thousand mines will be located in San Juan within the next five years. What portion of this great number will prove to be paying mines it is difficult to estimate, yet the present indications are so flattering, that it is thought by many that one-fourth of the mines located will become paying property.
This certainly would be an extravagant estimate for any other country than the San Juan, but here be it re
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membered that no blind leads are prospected, mineral being found in nearly every instance at or near the surface.
An eminent author on mining remarks, that you find no two mining countries alike. Certainly no other country has furnished such quantities of rich paying silver ores at the surface. The average grade of the yield of last season is estimated at $220 per ton, while the average of ores treated
by Greene & Co., at Silverton, was $284, and their best run was about $800 per ton.
When it is remembered that the average of the Consolidated Virginia mine, in Nevada, for the year 1875, was $98 per ton, and that it had a bullion yield for that year of $16,731,654.43, some idea may be formed as to the possible yield of the San Juan mines in the future, from proper development.
THE ANIMAS DISTRICT.
This district, located in what was La Plata, but now San Juan County, is one of the oldest mining districts named, and lies along the Animas river and its tributaries.
Here a larger number of mines have been located and are being worked than in any other mining districts in that country. Its ores are principally argentiferous, galena and gray copper, and occasionally the black sulphurets of silver are found, and in a few mines chloride of silver. The Smelter run of the ores treated from mines in the Animas district, last season, varied between $150 and $2,000 per ton.
haps between one and two thousand leads already located and more being discovered daily, yet we might mention-which would be only a beginning of the list-the Highland Mary, Mountaineer, North Star, Tiger, Thacher, Chepauqua, Comstock, Pride of the West, Philadelphia, Susquehana, Pelican, Grey Eagle, Shenandoah, Bull of the Woods, Little Giant (gold), Prospector, McGregor, Aspen, Seymore, Letter G, Empire, Sultana, Hawkeye, Ajax, Mollie Darling, Silver Cord, Althea, Last of the Line, Boss Boy, Crystal and King Hiram Abiff (gold).
It is impossible to give a definite idea of the number of first-class pay- in the Animas district, while it is the ing leads in a district which has per-center of an extensive mining region, All Trains from the East, South and North make close connection with the Kansas Pacific Railway at Kansas City or Leavenworth.
it is also one of the most lovely parku in San Juan.
In the suu.mer season, when foliage and flowers are at their best, with those grand old mountains which border on the park lifting their heads almost erect from their base 13,000 feet above the sea level, and the long lines of shadow are nestling in the abrupt angles of the gulches and canons, the wild music of the water falls that leap from the mountain sides, enhances the scene, and it reminds us more of some fairy land of enchantment, than what must be at no distant day the greatest depot of mineral supply on the conti
The chief business of the country being mining, nearly everybody lives. on the mountains where their property is located.
Last season Silverton had two smelters in operation beside one small affair, built on the Mexican plan, which had a doubtful success. It also contained four or five supply stores, one drug store, four blacksmith shops, two saw-mills, one bakery, two butcher shops, one barber shop, a number of boarding houses, a weekly newspaper-the La Plata Miner-and perhaps half a dozen saloons.
This being the county seat of the county of San Juan, where all records of mining property within the county are kept, the town, at all times, pre
in Baker's Park, is one of the chief sents a lively appearance. towns west of Del Norte.
In 1874, there were perhaps half a dozen rude buildings in Silverton, but last season, as soon as saw-mills in the park were prepared to furnish lumber, a town sprung up like magic, about 200 houses being built during the spring and summer of 1875, and the town had gained a population of about one thousand in August last. It is safe to say that the population will be doubled during the present
But the importance of a mining country should not be estimated by the size of its towns.
The miners from the La Plata, Animas, Adams and Uncompahgre districts, buy the most of their supplies. at Silverton. R. C. Luesly keeps an extensive and complete assortment of everything the miner wants, both in provisions and the necessary tools for working the mines. His stock will vary between twenty and thirty thousand dollars. Greene & Co., who own the largest smelter at Silverton, also carry an immense stock. Several new firms are taking goods in this season, and there will be an abundance of everything in the supply line, at reasonable prices.
You should take a look at Denver and Colorado Springs before going into
THE EUREKA DISTRICT.
This district joins the Animas on the north and lies along the Animas river. The character of the ores does not differ materially from those in the Animas district, granite being the prevailing character of the rock formations in each.
Going into the Eureka district from Silverton, you pass through the town of Howardsville, at the confluence of the Cunningham Gulch stream with the Animas river. This is a town of about three hundred inhabitants Here as you advance farther up the river the width between the mountains begins to narrow, and by the time you reach the town of Eureka, which is about nine miles from Silverton, the mountains have crowded close upon you on either side, and you are in view of some grand mountain scenery. Just before you reach Eureka, on the left bank of the Animas, there is a mountain, which,
viewed in the twilight, presents the appearance of a huge cathedral, its pillars and dome marking magnificent heights and presenting a very imposing appearance, and, in this, Nature's Architect has furnished a model of the grand and sublime, which the art of man can never imitaté. From Eureka you reach Animas Fork, four miles distant up the Animas River, or you go into the Uncompahgre district by Eureka Gulch. Eureka has, perhaps, twenty rude buildings, and has a supply store and post office. No larger bodies of ore are found anywhere than in the Eureka district The McKinnie, Tidal Wave, Boomerang, Crispin, Sunnyside, Yellow Jacket, Golden Fleece, Venus, Emma Dean, American, North Pole, Jackson, Grand Central, Big Giant, Little Abbie, Belcher and Chieftain are among the principal mines.
THE UNCOMPAHGRE DISTRICT.
In traveling through San Juan, All along up everywhere you go, it is the common on either side, the mountains remark of those with whom you decked with ribbons of silver, and folmeet, that "there seerns to be no end lowing up to the head of Cement from to the number of rich mines." And Silverton, a distance of twelve miles, so it is; you find them everywhere. you reach the summit of the mounFor the Lowest Rates of Freight to Colorado apply to T. F. OAKES, General
Freight Agent, Kansas City.
tains, in the famous mines of the Un-on till it reaches the broad fertile valcompahgre district. But what a ride ley in the distance, where dwells the you have had in gaining these timid Ute. The summit of the Unheights! The trail lies close along compahgre mountains is the place of the margin of the creek, and it has a all places to view mountain scenery gradual elevation till you reach with-in its greatest variety and most imin two miles of the summit, where a pressive grandeur. zig-zag trail, which runs across the face of the mountain which fills up the canon at the head of at the head of Cement creek, brings you into the heart of the Uncompahgre mines.
The scenery here is grand in the extreme. Nature must have been in wild riot to have produced such a "wreck of matter" as is here found. If the ruins of ancient cities impress the beholder with wonder and amazement, what must be the emotions in viewing for the first time what one might imagine to be an exploded world, with its sharp, broken fragments piled in strange confusion fourteen thousand feet high.
The molten peaks are tinged with a red and sulphurous hue, which tells of a period at which the chemical properties of the earth are made to gild each crest with rare, enduring colors.
It presents a scene of abandoned nature, with garbs of living green, cast recklessly below into the parks and valleys, two miles away, that her charms might be made the subject of man's conquests to gain her golden
The eye lingers upon the scene, and marks the line of contrast where the spruce and fir fringe the foot hills, and the Uncompahgre river pours its glad song over cliff and through can
Summer and winter, spring and autumn, are viewed in one glance, and stand out in bold contrast, enhanced at times by those strange phenomena in nature, the mountain mirage and
SUNRISE ABOVE THE CLOUDS.
Were you to encamp upon one of those bold mountain ranges you might witness, on a misty morning, a scene that no pen can describe. The parks and passes below are filled with a dense fog that reaches half-way up the mountains. Along the surface of this foggy chasm, and farther up the mountain, rest light, airy, broken columns of clouds. The morning is breaking, and the sun is stealing over the summit from the east. He sends his rays aslant upwards at first, and you mark his golden line along his misty course. He soon reaches the upper tier of clouds, and when his rays play upon the bosom of the immense misty mass below, the crowning glory of this beautiful scene is before your eyes. The reflection and refraction of color from these vaporous masses have produced a scene of most wondrous beauty, the like of which can never be seen from below.
Nearly all the water courses in the northern portion of San Juan have their source within the limits of the
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