Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

deeper as it passes on, until nearly double that depth. Jutting over the cañon is a rock 200 feet high, on the top of which is an eagle's nest, which covers the whole top. Messrs. Hauser, Stickney, and Lieutenant Doane succeeded in reaching the bottom, bat it was a dangerous journey. Two and a half miles below the falls, on the right, a little rivalet, as if to show its temerity, dashes from the top of the cañon, and is broken into a million fragments in its daring attempt.

After spending one day at the falls we inoved up the river. Above the falls there is but little current, comparatively, for several miles, and the country opens into a wide, open, treeless plain. About eight miles from the falls, and in this plain, we found three hills, or rather mountains, thrown up by volcanic agency, and consisting of scoria and a large admixture of brimstone. These hills are several hundred feet high, and evidently are now resting over what was once the crater of a volcano. A third of the way up on the side of one of these hills is a large sulphuric spring, 20 feet by 12, filled with boiling water, and this water is thrown up from 3 to 5 feet. The basin of this spring is pure solid brimstone, as clear and bright as any brimstone of commerco. Quite a stream flows from the spring, and sulphur is found incrusting nearly everything. Near the base of the hills is a place containing about half an acro, but covered with springs of nearly every description-yellow, green, blue, and pink. Flowing from the base of the hill is a very strong spring of alum-water; not only alum in solution, but crystalized. This place we called Crater Hill, and as we passed over, the dull sound coming from our horses' feet as they struck proved to us that it was not far through the crnst. All over the hill wero small fissures, giving out sulphurous vapors. The amount of brimstono in these hills is beyond belief.

Passing over the plain, we camped on the river-bank, near a series of mud-springs. Three of the largest were about 10 feet over the top, and had built up 10 or 12 feet high. In the bottom of the crater thus formed thick mud was boiling and bubbling, sputtering and splashing, as we have often seen in a pot of hasty-pudding wlien nearly cooked. Near these we found a cave under the side of the mountain, from which was running a stream of clear but very hot water. At regular intervals the steam was puffing out. For some time we had been hearing a noise as of distant artillery, and soon we found the cause. Sone distance above the level of the river we found the crater of a mud-volcano, 40 feet over at its mouth. It grew smaller until at the depth of 30 feet, when it again enlarged. At intervals a volume of mud and steam was thrown up with tremendous power and noise. It was impossible to stand near, and one of tho party, Mr. Hedges, paid for his temerity in venturing too close by being thrown backward down the hill. A short time before our visit mud had been thrown two or threo hundred feet high, as shown by the trees in the vicinity. Not far from this wo found our first geyser. When discovered it was throwing water 30 or 40 feet high. The crater was funnel-shaped, and 75 by 35 feet at its mouth. We stayed and watched it one day. Without warning it suddenly ceased to spout, and the water commenced sinking until it had gone down 30 feet or more. It then gradually commenced rising again, and three times during the day threw up water 30 or 40 feet.

The next day we recrossed the river and succeeded in reaching the lake, and campod on the lower end. The fishing, which had been good all the way up the river, provod remarkably so in the lake. Trout from two to four pounds were to be had for the taking. Flies proved useless, as the fish had not been educated up to that point. Remaining over Sunday, we took up the line of march around the south side of the lake, which took us through a dense growth of pine, filled with fallen timber. The third day's march was over a mountain, and but little progress was made, the train going into camp about 2 o'clock. Mr. Everts failed to come into camp, but this occasioned no uneasiness, as we had all expected to reach the lake and believed he had pushed on to the lake, as he had once before done, and was awaiting our arrival. Moving on five miles, we struck an arm of the lake, but found no trace of him. A party was sent down the shore, and two other parties to climb the adjacent mountains, to search for him, and to build fires on them to attract his attention. Next morning, no news being heard of him, a council was held and the camp moved to the main lake, and search comvienced vigorously, but without avail. The fourth night a snow-storm commenced and continued for two days, rendering the search during that time impossible. The situation of the party was becoming precarious; away from the settlements, no trail, without a guide, and snow covering the ground. Another council was held, and it was determined that it was best to move toward the settlements. Mr. Gilletto volunteered to stay and prolong the search, and two soldiers were left with him. Mr. Gillette is one of the best mountain-men of the party, and there is hope that he may bring some tidings of the missing man. On the south end of the laku is a very beautiful collection of hot springs and wells; in many the water is so clear that you can see down tifty or a hundred feet. The lake is 8,000 feet above the level of the sca, a beautiful sheet of water, with numerous islands and bays, and will in time bo a great summer resort; for its various inlets, surrounded by the finest mountain scenery, cannot fail to be very popular to the seeker of pleasure, while its high elevation and numerous medicinal springs will attract the invalid. Its size is about twenty-two by fifteen miles.

a

Leaving the lake, we moved nearly west, over several high ranges, and camped in the snow amid the mountains. Next day, about noon, we struck the Fire Hole River, and camped in Burnt Hole Valley. This is the most remarkable valley we found. Hot springs are almost innumerable. Geysers were spouting in such size and number as to startlo all, and are beyond description. Enormous columns of hot water and steam were thrown into the air with a velocity and noise truly amazing. We classitied and named some of them according to size:

No. 1. The Giant, 7 by 10 feet, throwing a solid column of water from 80 to 120 feet high.
No. 2. The Giantess, 20 by 30, throwing a solid column and jets fronı 150 to 200 feet high.
No. 3. Old Faithful, 7 by 8, irregular in shape, a solid column each hour, 75 feet high.
No. 4. Bee Hive, 24' by 15 inches, stream measured 219 feet.
No. 5. Fan Tail, irregular shape, throwing a double stream 60 feet high.

No. 6 is a beautiful arched spray, called by us the Grotto, with several apertores, through which, when quiet, one can easily pass, but when in action each making so many vents for the water and steam.

Upon going into camp we observed a small hot spring that had apparently built itself up about three feet. The water was warm but resting very quietly, avd we camped within 200 yards of it. While we were eating breakfast this spring, without any warning, threw, as if it were the nozzle of an enormous steam-engine, a stream of water into thie air 219 feet, and continued doing so for some time, thereby enabling us to measure it, and then as suddenly subsided.

Surrounded by these lot springs is a beautiful cold spring of tolerably fair rater. Here we found a beautiful spring or well. Raised around it was a border of pure white, carved as if by the hand of a master-workman, the water pure. Looking down into it, one can see the sides white and clear as alabaster, and carved in every conceivable shape, down, down, until the eye tires in penetrating:

Standing and looking down into the steam and vapor of the crater of the Giantess, with the sun upon our back, the shadow is surrounded by a beautiful rainbow; and, by getting the proper angle, the rainbow, surrounding only the head, gives that halo so many painters have vainly tried to give in paintings of the Savior. Standing near the fountain when in motion, and the sun shining, the scene is grandly magnificent; each of the broken atoms of water shining like so many brilliants, while myriads of rainbows are dancing attendance. No wonder, then, that our usually staid and sobor companions threw up their hats and shouted with ecstacy at the sight.

We bid farewell to the geysers, little dreaming there were more beyond. Five miles below Burnt Hole we found the “Lake of Fire and Brimstone.” In the valley we found a lako measuring 450 yards in diameter, gently overflowing, that had built itself up by a deposit of white sub-strata at least 50 feet above the plain. This body of water was steaming hot. Below this was a similar spring, but of smaller dimensions, while between the iwo, and apparently having uo connection with either, wis a spring of enormous volume flowing into the Madison, and is undoubtedly the spring about which Bridger was laughed at so much when be reported that it heated the Madison for two miles below. For some distance down the river we found hot springs and evidences of volcanic action. Our passage down the river was a little rough, but generally very pleasant, and on the evening of the 22d we reached the first ranch on the Madison, where we found a paper dated September 1st, the latest news from the inside

ext day we sent to Virginia for papers, and soon found that the world had been moving.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

40

7,390

53,000

List of ditches in Montana in the fall of 1869_Continued.

Name.

Location.

13

Pioneer.

do ...do ...do ..do ..do ...do ...do ...do ..do

do Blackfoot

do

[ocr errors]

3

...do

..do

do French Gulch.

DEER LODGE COUXTY. Rock Creek Tom Stuart Pioneer Keystone. Prouse Pike's Peak No. 1. Pikes Peak No.2. Caruthers Enterpriso Last kaob Dutchman Tiger Ohio S:20wshoe Pryor Johnson California Bear Creek America Huose Creek Mill Creek Minnesota Liefstraight German Guich Highland Blacktail Humphrey & Allison Noreg. Surer Bow and Rocker. Dirile Creek No. 1 Diriile Crock No. 2 Chia Ditches, 2.. Oru Fico Eight Alilo Stonerad Washington. Dalton Benderson Georgctown Oro Fino Cariboo California

...do

[ocr errors]

do

4

1,500 $60,000

100 1,000 700 10,000 700 10, 000 430 13, 000 400 7,000 300

3,000 300 5,000 450 5, 000 200 2,500 300 5, 000 C00 10,000 600 30, 000 300 4, 000 200 1,500 200 3,000 600 20,000 300 6, 000 200 2, 300 150 2,000 700 3, 500 500 40,000 300 2, 000 300 8,000 500 10,000 500 6,000 800 40,000

500 4,000 1,000 10,000

400 40,000 300 5, 000 400 7,000 500 10,000 500 12, 000 500 12, 000 500 40,000 300 3,00C 500

5,000 30 3,000 300 10,000 200 2, 500 20) 5,000 250 3, 000 200

2,500 300

6, 000 200 2,000 200 3,000 230 3,000

25

23 15

ఆటిటులో

6 8 12 12 3

4 3 3

McLellan. Standifer liners Prairie Bar. Uncle Ben

6 3 3 6

[blocks in formation]

Owners.

Kohn & Co
Pioneer Company
Pemberton & Co.
Colonel Thurston
Rock Creek Company
Kohn & Co

do
George Caruthers.
Pemberton & Co..

.do
Meagher Company
Pemberton & Co.
Pounds & Green
Keily & Co.
Pryor & Johnson
Johnson & Co.
Thornton & Preston
Domingo & Co.
Wearo & Co
Lebeau & Co.
P. Golden & Co
Harris & Co

do
Mill Creek
German Bar

....do

Stono & Co

...do
Highland
Blacktail.
Butte

do
Rocker.
Silver Bow.

Shoup
II nmphrey & Allison
John Noyes
Vanderberg & Co.
L. A. Barvard & Co

do
Chinese
Morely & Co.
Bob Linder & Co.

....do

...do

..do

Kelly & Co
P. Dalton & Co.

Jameson & Co
J. Allport.

do Jackson & Co.

Lincoln

do
Washington

.do
Henderson
Georgetown
Cariboo.

.do
Jefferson

.do
McLellan
Standifer
Elk Creek
Prairio
Uncle Ben

Wilson & Co.

Frederickson & Co.

Truett & Atchison.

Last Chance

....do

...do

..do

Pierson & Spiers..

Ralls & Co.

do
Nelson..

do
Quartz Gulch.
Greenhorn
Piegan.
Trinity
Gravelly Rango.
Park.

Piegan M. Co..
Behm & Co
E. M. Dumply.
J.S. Hutchinson
Milay & Co.
French Bar Ditch Co
Taylor, Thompson & Co.
Sundry

French Bar

do Sundry

......do

...do

....do

...do
Bald Mountain.
Horso Prairie.
Bannack.

Yearian Bros

6, 200

106, 000

CHAPTER VI.

UTAH.

[ocr errors]

The past year witnessed a sudden and extensive development of mining in this Territory. As long ago as 1863 General P. Edward Connor, in command of the California volunteers, discovered veins of argentiferous lead and other silver ores in Little Cottonwood Cañon, southeast of Salt Lake City, and near Stockton, forty miles southwest'; and gold placers of moderate ricbness were opened in Brigham Cañon.

The opposition of the Mormon authorities, the cost of transportation, and the difficulty experienced in the treatment of the “ base-metal” ores, caused the earlier mining enterprises of Utah to languish and fail. In 1863 and 1869, I found no inines in productive operation excepting the placers of Brigham Cañon, which were worked on a small scale, and are said to have yielded during the past three years between $600,000 and $1,000,000. In 1869, however, a few parties were preparing to take advantage of the facilities offered by the railroad; and experiments of a metallurgical character were in progress-at Salt Lake City. It was the development of the Emma mine which gave the needed impetus to enterprises of this kind; and the summer of 1870 effected a great change in the condition and prospects of Utah mines. The opposition of the Mormon authorities has apparently been withdrawn. Indeed, one shrewdly given me by Mr. Brigham Young, three years ago, for discouraging the attempts of his people to engage in mining, has now ceased to exist. During the infancy of the Mormon settlements, he said, and while the very existence of the community depended upon agriculture, he professed to dread the diversion of industry from the great work of reclaiming the desert soil. He might well have quoted the case of Captain John Smith and the colony at Jamestown, Virginia, as an instance of the folly of such a course; only, in that case, after the colonists had wasted the season in digging gold dust, neglecting meanwhile to plant their crops, and had sent their ship-load of shining treasure to England, they had nothing to comfort them in their famine but the tidings that their precious cargo was not gold at all, but glittering mica, (and possibly pyrites ;) whereas the mineral resources of Utah are not a vain dream. But agriculture was to the Mormods not only the means of supporting life; it was a source of great commercial profit. Far into the mining districts of other Territories went the Mormon trading-trains, carrying grain and vegetables; while the endless procession of immigrants across the continent paid tribute on the way to the farmers of Salt Lake. A third reason for dislike to mining on the part of the religious authorities may have been the fear of contact with outnumbering Gentiles.

The completion of railway connections with the East and West has totally changed the situation. The Mormons are no longer commer. cially isolated; they have lost their control of interior traffic; the market close at hand of a mining population is welcome to them in a business point of view; their agriculture and their population are too well established to be in danger from the new industry; they can no longer help themselves if they would; and, finally, they bave to a considerable extent caught the prevailing fever, and are locating and prospecting ledges with truly Gentile zeal. Mr. Young is said to be encouraging

66

the movement; and the party in his church hostile to him is vigorously engaged in furthering all mining enterprises.

I intend to present in my report for next year the results of a careful reconnaissance of these new and productive districts; and I shall content myself at present with brief general observations. I am under obligations to Messrs. Eli B. Kelsey, Ellsworth Daggett, and others for interesting information on several points.

The following account of different districts was furnished in December, 1870, by Mr. Kelsey:

The minerals consist mostly of the base metals, of which lead is the chief, carrying silver, and in some cases gold, in quantities varying from a few ounces to one hundred and fifty ounces of the foriner inetal to the ton. Valuable discoveries have been made of chlorides and“ horn-silver” of surprising richness, varying in actual assay value from $500 to $27,000 per ton. Assays have been had from the ore taken from the Silveropolis mine in East Canyon, owned and worked by Messrs. Walker Brothers and others, of $20,000 per ton. Shipments of a number of car-loads of ore have been made from this mine that yielded a net return of $6,666 per car-load of ten tons.

Ore has been taken from the Shamrock inine in East Cañon, that assayed as high as $27,000 per ton. This mine is owned and worked by Mr. William M. Fliess, Mr. William C. Rodgers, merchants of New York City, Mr. W. 8. Godbe, of Salt Lake City, and others. Shipments have been made from this mine which have given returns of from $1,800 to $5,600 per ton. I speak of these two mines as an evidence that, although nine-tenths of the mineral veins yet prospected in Utah show the base metals, lead and copper, we are not without the richer ores.

History of the mining-camps.—The mineral developments in Utah are still in their infancy, and but few miping-camps have as yet been established. The following districts are fully organized and in a very prosperous condition :

The "Mountain Lake” district, of which Little Cottonwood Cañon forms the chief feature, lies southeast of Salt Lake City, and distant about twenty-five miles from the terminus of the Utah Central Railroad. The first fully developed mine in Utah, the “Emma," is in this casion. In fact, the results attained in the development of this mine gave an impetus to mining in Utah that surpasses all other efforts made in that direction put together. At a depth of 127 feet the prospectors of this mine struck a lake of mineral of vast extent, which now yields a clear profit on shipments made to Swansea, in Wales, of near $120 per ton. Many thousands of tons of ore (by measurement) are in sight in this mine, undoubtedly of equal richness to that now being shipped. There are many mineral lodes now being worked in Little Cottonwood and the adjacent cañons-Big Cotton wood and American Fork-which yield oro equal to, and in some cases far exceeding in value, the ore taken from the Emma mine, but in quantity the Emma bas no equal in Utah. The Union Mining Company, of which General Maxwell is president, W. S. God be vice-president, and H. W. Lawrence treasurer, own a large number of valuable ledges in Little Cottonwood, which they are opening rapidly and very effectually. Mr. John Cummins, of Salt Lake City, is owner of several valuable mines in the same locality. West Mountain mining district, of which Bingham Cañon and its tributaries form the chief feature, is situated about twenty-five miles southwest of Salt Lake City, on the eastern slope of the Oquirrh range of mountains. Bingham Cañon has been noted for some years as the only locality in Utah Territory where placer-mining has prospered. Over $600,000 worth of gold dust has been sold to the bankers and merchants of Salt Lake City from this camp within the last three years. When the sums carried away and otherwise disposed of by the miners are taken into account in making up an estimate, the sum-total of the yield in gold dust from Bingham Cañon placer for the last three years will not tall far short of $1,000,000.

Messrs. Taylor & Woodman have entered into contracts with the owners of near three miles of the gulch-claims of this cañon, to put on the necessary, engines and pumps for the prospecting and working the bed-rock of the main gulch, which lies from 80 to 100 feet below the surface. The best-informed parties think that the gulch bed-rock of Bingham Cañon will prove equally as rich as the famed “Alder Gulch” of Montana. Messrs. Taylor & Woodman bave imported and have now on the ground a twenty-horse engine and the necessary pumping apparatus for exploring the mysteries of Bingbam Cañon Gulch.

Messrs. Heaton, Campbell & Co. are now working the bed-rock of this gulch, near the mouth of Carr Fork, which they have reached, after two years' labor and the expenditure of $15,000, by a long drain-tunnel. They inform mo that they are averaging $12 per day to the hand, notwithstanding the imperfect manner in which they are at present obliged to work their ground. They have not, as yet, run any side-drifts, and at present raise all their dirt by a windlass worked by two men. When we tako

« PreviousContinue »