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The Sebastopol Company has a front of 1,000 feet, cut a tunnel 800 feet in very hard rock, found no pay, and stopped work in 1866, after spending $20,00M.
DAMASCUS.—Damascus, twelve miles northeast of Forrest Hill, on the same divide, but on its north side, has the same slate bed rock, and a similar bed of blue cement, though there is no overlying red gravel.
The Damascus Company has a claim 500 feet in front, and 3,000 long, running into the hill. The blue cement is four feet thick, lies immediately on a soft talcose slate-bed rock, soft enough to pick, and is covered by 600 feet of volcanic sand; at least it is supposed to be sand, though no careful examination has been made of it. The richest part of the cement is within 15 inches of the bottom, but the largest nuggets of gold are found in the bed rock. The gold is mostly coarse, in long narrow pieces, and those found in the bed rock, like those found at Forest Hill, are frequently quite black.
The claim is opened by a tunnel, 450 feet long, of which distance 200 feet were passed before the rim had been pierced.
The tunnel runs nearly south-southeast, about the middle of the claim, and apparently in the middle of what was the channel of the ancient stream. The present supply of cement is obtained northeast of the tunnel, and the breast is about 200 feet, extending nearly half way across the claim. A pillar 20 feet wide is left standing alongside of the tunnel to protect it. A rail track is kept along the face of the breast, and after 20 feet have been breasted out, the track is relaid for convenience of loading. The tunnel is eight feet below the bed of the channel, and the load in the breast car is dumped into the tunnel car.
There are many large quartz boulders, some of them weighing a ton each in the cement, and these are thrown back to support the proof, which never cracks. A post six feet high, with a cap 30 inches long, is set up in each square of 30 feet at the breast, but so far there has been no trouble with the roof.
There is a 10-stamp mill, driven by steam, but it runs only in day-time for lack of water to run longer. The company intend to make a ditch, so that the mill can run day and night. Twenty-five tons of cement are crushed every day, and the average yield so far has been $3 35 to a car load of 1,700 ponnds, or $3 94 per ton. The bed rock, of which 15 inches are dng up, is not crushed, but is simply washed in the sluice.
The stamps weigh 650 pounds each, make 70 to 80 blows per minute, and drop from 9 to 11 inches. When the shoes and dies are new the drop is 9 inches, and the number of blows 80, and when the drop is 11 inches the number of blows is 70.
Three inches of water are turned into each mortar, and three inches more are turned into the sluice below.
The cost of the mill, including the engine, was $12,000, and the expenses daily are the following, viz: a cord of wood, $3; an engineer, $4; a blacksmith, $3; a feeder, $3; six miners, $3 each. Five men breast out five tons per day to a man, and one carman takes out the cement. The engine is of forty-horse power. Two candles are burned per day to the breaster.
The mill was built before the mine was properly opened.
The bed rock does not swell. The bed rock is full of vertical quartz-veins: averaging a few inches in thickness, running south-southwest and north-northeast. These seams appear to form in places half of the bed rock; some of them are a foot thick, and some as thin as paper. The same quartz veins, but more strongly marked, are found in a second tunnel, which is 65 feet lower and 350 feet long.
MOUNTAIN GATE.—The Mountain Gate claim, adjoining the Damascus on the west, has 2,000 feet front, and the tunnel runs in 4,000 feet. The bed rock is 35 feet higher than in the Damascus, it swells, there is less quartz in the bed rock, and some of the gravel is softer; but otherwise there is much similarity in the two claims. The tunnel was started 40-feet below the top of the
rim rock, which was passed in 500 feet, and then the tunnel was extended 3,500 feet, running nearly level, and the company are now troubled so much by water that they have started another tunnel 65 feet deeper, and it is in 1,500 feet. The tunnel is about 200 feet from the Damascus line, and they have worked 200 feet on each side of the tunnel. They breast out on the same system as that used in the Damascus.
They have no mill, and when they come to cement too hard to wash, they usnally leave it behind and virtually throw it away. Some of it, however, is so rich that it pays to crush with a hand mortar. The softer cement is washed three or four times, at intervals of six or eight months. Three-fourths of the total yield is obtained at the first washing, and three-fourths of the further yield at the second. The sluice is 200 feet long.
There are 16 partners, all of whom work in the claim, and they seldom hire anybody. Rumor says the present yield is $12 per day to the man, though the work done is much less than the amount required from hired men. The claim has been worked for 12 years, and has produced altogether $370,000. They have enough water from their own claim to wash all their dirt.
The bed rock rises 150 feet near the western line of the Mountain Gate, and at the eastern line of the Damascus, so those two companies take the whole channel there.
Iowa Hill.–At Iowa Hill the blue cement lies on the bed rock, or lay before it was mined out, 12 or 18 feet deep. The cement was so soft that it could be picked out, and so hard that it could be washed once a year for seven years without being entirely disintegrated. Much of the cement was so rich that it was pounded up in a mortar weighing 250 pounds, and measuring 16 inches across the bowl. The pestle weighed 70 or $0 pounds, was attached to a spring pole, and was worked by two men, who could thus pound up two tons or two tons and a half in a day.
Over the blue cement was a layer of sand from one foot to four feet in thickness. Upon that rested a stratum of rich brownish gravel six or eight feet thick. Over this came 140 feet of poor brown gravel, with layers of sand in it, and usually there was a very rich stratum of gravel just over the sand. Above the brown gravel was loam 20 or 30 feet deep.
A few claims on this Blue lead were extremely profitable. The Jamison, the pioneer claim, yielded $500,000; the North Star, $400,000; the Sailor Union, $300,000; the lowa Hill, $250,000; and the Dutch, $250,000; but three dozen large tunnels were run and not one-third of them paid expenses. If the loss were balanced against the profit, the Iowa Hill district would not show much net gain.
The town stands on the summit of a ridge 200 feet high and a furlong wide, and the blue cement of the channel which passes under the town has all been drifted out, and the hydraulic pipe is now at work on both sides, so that the town site will itself be washed away in a few years.
The richest spot ever found in the neighborhood of Iowa Hill was in the brown gravel, from which two men took out $30,000 in one day.
East of Iowa Hill is Indian cañon, reputed to have been the richest cañon ever found in California.
WISCONSIN HILL.— Wisconsin. Hill is on the same divide with Iowa Hill, but is two miles distant in a southeast direction, and the two places are separated by a ravine. The channel is the same as at Iowa Hill, but not so rich.
"The Oriental cement mill at Wisconsin Hill was built in 1866 and has 20 staraps, but it does not pay, as the cement yields only 80 cents to the ton. Fortunately, the surface has been stripped, so the cement lies bare and can be obtained at little expense.
Roach Hill.–Roach Hill, one mile east of Iowa Hill, has had some good claims.
Monona Flat, half a mile east of Roach Hill, has also paid well in places. The channel at these two camps runs with the divide.
Pleasant Flat, a quarter of a mile further up, has a channel running across.
MORNING STAR.—Three hundred yards south of Iowa Hill, beyond Indian cañon, is Picayune divide, through which runs the Blue lead, on which is located the Morning Star claim, which has 1,200 feet front, and extends 4,000 feet to the middle of the ridge. The channel here appears to have been 150 or 200 feet wide. The Morning Star tunnel was commenced in 1856, and no pay of any note was obtained until 1865, by which time a distance of 1,800 feet had been run and $45,000 had been expended. After reaching the cement it was found that the tunnel was 30 feet too high, and now the dirt has to be hoisted and the water pumped by band to the level of the tunnel. The bed rock swells, and sometimes the track is raised six inches in a night. The cement varies in thickness from six inches to six feet, and yields $3 per ton. The mill has six stamps, goes by steam, and crushes 40 tons in 24 hours. From Jue to December, there is but half the needed supply of water, and the mill runs only in the day-time. Twenty-four men are employed.
BIRD FLAT AND LEBANOX.—Three-quarters of a mile above the Morning Star claim, on the Picayune divide, the Iowa Hill and Bird Flat Company have been running a tunnel since 1854, have gone in 1,100 feet, have spent $50,000, and have obtained no return as yet.
The Lebanon Company, at Prospect Hill, have a claim which adjoins the Morning Star on the back. They have been at work 13 years, spent $100,000,
and cut a tunnel 1,500 feet, and in 1866 they struck into pay and erected a 10-stamp mill, which is driven by a hurdy-gurdy wheel. This tunnel is not low enough.
GOLD RUN.-On the Railroad divide, between Bear river and the North fork of the American, the Blue lead appears at Dutch Flat, Gold Run, and Indiana Hill. The width of the lead here is nearly half a mile, and there are 200 or 300 feet of pay gravel, with no overlying barren stratum. Squires's cañon, which empties into Bear river, separates Dutch I'lat from Gold Run. The latter did not obtain a large supply of water until lately, and therefore its best claims have not been exhausted, and it is the most prosperous hydraulic camp in California. Nine thousand inches of water are used here, requiring a payment of $1,000 a day or more in gold. The gravel is peculiarly soft and there is great depth, so that high power is obtained, and more dirt is washed in proportion to the quantity of water used than in any other large hydraulic district.
GRAVEL AT GOLD RUN.—The bed of auriferous gravel at Gold Run is about 350 feet deep, of which only about 150 feet have been worked so far. The sluices are therefore 200 feet above the bed rock. A shaft was sunk 185 feet deep in Potato ravine to the bed rock, and the bottom of that ravine is below the level of most of the sluices. It is to be presumed that the bed rock in that shaft is no lower than elsewhere in the channel. Pay gravel was found all the way down, and it was soft until within six or eight feet of the bottom. This vast bed of gravel two miles long, half a mile wide, and 250 feet deep, cannot be washed away for many years.
OUTLET.--Although the cañon of the north fork of the American river is at least 2,500 feet deep, yet it is two miles distant from Gold Run, and the tailings must run into Cañon creek, which near the claims is only 150 or 175 feet below their levels. Several claims have been compelled to stop work because they no longer have any outlet.
An outlet must be obtained 200 feet deeper than Cañon creek, and it must be had without waiting for the gradual washing out of the Blue Lead channel froin the cañon of the north fork of the American river. That outlet will be through a tunnel about a mile long, and from this tunnel shafts will run up to the various claims. It will be very costly, but on the other hand it will yield an immense return.
FACILITIES FOR PIPING.—There is no prettier hydraulic washing than that at Gold Run. The gravel is very soft, it is deep, water is abundant with a ligh prossure, the claims are large, and there is no superincumbent layer of barren matter. In proportion to the amount of work done fewer men are einployed at Gold Run than at any other camp in the State. At Smartsville much time is spent in blasting; at La Porte, in puddling; at Dutch Flat, in attending to large boulders; but none here. Two men are sufficient here to do all the work in a claim that uses 300 inches of water. As an inch of water is equal to a supply of 145 pounds per minute, or 8,700 pounds per hour, or 102,900 pounds (51 tons) in 12 hours, so it follows that 300 inches supplies 15,000 tons in a day; and as the water carries off at least one-tenth-the ordinary calculation is one-fifth—of its bulk of earthy matter, it follows that two men wash 1,500 tons at Gold Run in 12 hours, or 750 tons each. It is a common saying at Dutch Flat that there three pipes are required to break down as much gravel as the water of one can wash away, but in Gold Run one pipe will break down as much as thiree can wash away. This is an exaggeration when stated as a general principle, though it has been true in some instances.
Cañon CREEK.-Cañon creek runs from Gold Run along the eastern border of the Blne Lead 3.1 miles down to Indiana Hill, where it empties into the north fork of the American river. This creek furnishes the outlet for many of the claims. The original bed of the creek was in general 350 feet below the surface of the lead, or “gravel range," as it is also called, but the bed has been in some places filled up as much as fifty feet with gravel.
WATER.—Piping was cominenced at Indiana Hill on a small scale in 1857, with 400 inches, supplied in the late winter and early spring by a ditch from Cañon creek. Four years later the Dutch Flat ditch brought to Gold Run 800 inches, which ran for six or seven months, and have since been doubled; and the Bear River ditch brought in 800 more; and in 1864 the South Yuba ditch brought in 2,500 inches. The demand for water has always exceeded the supply, and as the supply increased so did the amonnt of work and of production. Gold Run produced $150,000, in 1865; $300,000 in 1866; and the yield for 1867 is estimated at $500,000. The customary price for water is 123 cents per inch for 12 hours, and 20 cents for 24 hours.
SQUIRE's Cañon CLAIMS.—On the southern lode of Squire's cañon, in the Gold Run district, are the following claims, commencing at the east :
Frost & Co. began work in 1865, wash through an open cut, use 300 inches of water, and usually run in day-time only, though they have run night and day at times.
W. H. Kinder began work in 1866, uses 300 inches of water, washes throngh an open cut, and runs in day-time only.
Wentworth & Co. began work in 1866, use 300 inches of water night and day, and wash through an open cut.
A. Bell & Co. are running a bed rock tunnel, and have not commenced washing.
Wolcott & Co. began work in 1867, and the claim was sold in June for $3,500. They use 300 inches of water in daylight only, and wash through an open cut, but intend to cut a tunnel.
The Bailey claim, consisting of 21 claims, each 100 by 200 feet, has not been opened, and no work is being done.
Crader & Co. began in 1867, and use 175 inches day and night.
CAÑON CREEK CLAIM.—The claims which have their outlet into Cañon creek are the following, near the head of Squire's cañon :
The Rock Company opened their claim in 1866, and used 250 inches of water, running day and night. They are not piping now, but are preparing to lay a long pipe so as to have a heavy pressure for 1868.
Hughes & Co. opened their claim in 1866, but are not at work now.
A. S. Benton opened his claim in 1867, and uses 300 inches of water by daylight only.
The Harkness claim has been worked by sluice and pipe for 10 years, is now taking 650 inches of water day and night, and draining through an open cut.
Behind Harkness is the claim of Halsey & Co., 900 feet long by 500 wide, which cannot be worked until an outlet is obtained through the claim in front. A fourth interest was offered for sale in last February for $2,000, but no buyer appeared. It would have found ready sale if there had been an outlet.
Next to Harkness, on Cañon creek, is the claim of Goding & Co., who have worked off the top of their claim as low as they can go, and are now waiting for a deeper outlet.
The claim of Benton & Co., adjoining, is in a similar condition.
The Bay State claim was opened in 1857, and has been worked steadily since whenever water could be had. In 1866 it used 750 inches day and night; this year it used 350. The profit never has been large, though the gross yield has been $150,000, and the yield for 1866 $37,000.
The claim of A. Beel is in the same condition as that of Goding.
GOOSLING RAVINE CLAIMS.—Goosling & Co. have been at work since 1854. A ravine runs down through the middle of the claim, and they are piping on each side, using 300 inches day and night on one side, and 300 inches in daytime only on the other. Goosling ravine is in this claim.
Prindle & Co. opened their claim in. 1864, and used 275 inches of water day and night. Work has been closed for this season because the pipe has advanced to within 50 feet of a ditch, the proprietors of which have warned the claim owners that they will be held responsible for any damage to the ditch. Four ditches cross this claim. The outlet is through Goosling's ravine.
The Uncle Abe claim, behind Goosling, is irregular in shape, but is about 1,000 feet long by 850 feet wide. It was opened in 1867, and in April, May, and June, yielded $12,000. It was sold in May for $6,000. The consumption of water is 275 inches day and night.
LOWER CANON CREEK CLAIMS, -The claim of Winters & Co. has been worked three years, and is in the same condition as Goding's.
The Bay State No. 2 is unopened. An offer of $3,000 for the claim was refused.
The Hall claim was worked for two years, but is idle this season for want of an outlet
The claim of Taylor, Moore & Co. is about 1,000 feet square, was worked on a small scale from 1853 till 1865, and for the last two years has been piping on a large scale. It was sold this year for $11,000. The yield in “a run of 22 days," as a run of 11 days day and night is termed, is usually between $4,000 and $5,000.
The Church claim was opened in 1860, and the yield in 1866 was $27,000. Three-fifths of the claim were sold in 1865 for $7,000. Of water, 275 inches are used in the day-time only.
The Golden Gate claim began work in 1858, uses 300 inches of water in daytime only, pays well, and is the last claim that tails immediately into Cañon creek.
GOLD RUN CAÑON.—The Gold Run claim began work in 1859, uses 300 inches of water in the day-time only, has paid well, and tails into Golden Run cañon, which is on the southern side of the claim. An offer of $10,000 for the claim has been refused.
The Fitzpatrick claim, fronting on Gold Run cañon, has lately been sold for $2,100, and is now preparing to work with 300 inches of water.
On the south side of Gold Run cañon, and opposite to the Fitzpatrick claim, is the Sheldon claim, owned by the Dutch Flat Water Company. It lias been worked several years, but is idle now.