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Statement of coal mined by the Rocky Mountain Coal and Iron Company,
at Evanston mines, Wyoming Territory, in the years 1869, 1870, 1871, and the first quarter of 1872. 1869 and 1870.
Tons. Mined from October 24 to December 31, 1869 Mined from January 1, 1870, to December 31, 1870 .......... 18, 187
Tons. Mined in January
8, 48170 Mined in February
7,5961 Mined in March
8,856 The Seminole mines.-At various times during the last year accounts reached me in regard to the discovery of gold and silver mines in the Seminole Mountains, situated about thirty miles north of Fort Steele. The best and most reliable account of this discovery and a description of the mines has been furnished by a letter of General Morrow, of Fort Steele, to Dr. Silas Reed, the surveyor-general of Wyoming Territory. It appears from this letter, that as early as 1869 silver mines were dis. covered in the Seminole Mountains by three miners, who were all subsequently killed by Indians. They were met on their return from their discovery by Lieutenant R. H. Young, with a detachment of soldiers, and gave him some specimens. These samples.gave by assay the extraordinarily high yield of $2,000 in silver per ton. In consequence of this a party was organized last June by General L. P. Bradley and Captain Thomas B. Deweese, to explore the Seminole Mountains for the silver mines from which the samples had been brought to the post. The mines were not found, but gold-bearing veins were discovered instead. General Morrow describes the Seminole Mountains and the gold-veins as follows:
The chain of mountains of which the Seminole Range is a section has its rise about the forty-first parallel of latitude, near North Park, in Colorado, and runs in a northerly direction to Fort Fetterman, where it bends suddenly to the west, and then trends a little north of west until it meets the Wind River Range near South Pass.
From North Park to Fort Fetterman, and thence to the point where the North Plattu Rirer breaks through, making a grand cañon, the range is known as the Black Hills
West of the Platte Cañon it takes the name of the Seminole Range, which it retains until it unites with the Sweetwater Mountains, a little east of the one hundred and eighth meridian line.
The mines are situated in the Seminole Mountains, about eight miles west of the Platte.
Geologically these mountains belong to the igneous or metamorphic period, as is shown by the character of their mineral-bearing rock, as contrasted with the succession of later strata reclining against their sides. The highest peak, Bradley's Mountain, is 9,500 feet high, as determined by an aneroid barometer; but the mean elevation of the range is thought to be something less than 8,000 feet. The average width of the range is about three miles.
he character of the mountain-rock indicates that it has come up from a great depth, being highly metamorphosed; but the slopes are not, as a rule, precipitous, and there is hardly any portion of the mountain, in the vicinity of the mines, which does not admit of roads being built without much labor or expense.
The mines, as before stated, are located eight miles west of the Platte, in a group or cluster of elevations, of which Bradley's Mountain is the highest by nearly a thousand feet. The principal deposits thus far found seem to be contined to a single elevation, known in the district as Gold Peak.
The country has been imperfectly prospected, and it may be that hereafter the deposits of gold and silver will be found to have a more extensive range than at present ascertained. Many claims, perhaps one hundred, have been located, but the true fissureveios do not exceed a dozen or fifteen.
The Ernest, the Mammoth, the Break of Day, the Jesse Murdock, the Slattery, the Edward Everett, and several other mines, have well-defined quartz-veins through which gold is disseminated in large proportions. On these and some other claiins the work of sinking shafts and running tunnels is being pushed forward rapidly. In all of the above-named locations free gold is found. It has been thought by some persons that the various fissure-veins in this district
spurs" from the Ernest lode. In this view I do not concur, for two reasons: first, because the strike of the several veins of fissures does not concur in direction ; secondly, because the vein-matter of the several veins is not by any means the same.
In some instances rich copper-colored quartz largely predominates; in others, the quartz'is deeply discolored by protoxide of iron. Again, in some of the veins the quartz is almost a pure white, while in others it is greatly decomposed. If anything may be inferred from the dip of the several fissures, this may also be urged against the theory of a single-fissure formation, for I observed that the dip varies in the several mines from almost a vertical to a slope of a few degrees. The dip is not the same in any two veins.
I regard it as quite certain that there are at least a dozen true fissure-veins in the district already developed; and that others will be found hereafter I have no reason to doubt.
I ought to add here that, as a rule, the ledges run parallel, or nearly so, with the axis of the mountain. A true fissure-vein has never been known to give out, though it may "pinch” or be "faulted;" and hence the only question, as it seems to me, in this district, is as to the qnality of the ores.
On this subject all that can be stated is, that numerous assays of the ores have been made in Omaha, Denver, and Salt Lake, and in every instance a very large percentage of gold is reported. In several instances the ores have gone as high as $100 to the ton, and in one instance an assay made at the office of D. Buel & Co., Salt Lake, showed $250 to the ton, as reported to the writer by Colonel Buel.
In many of the claims the vein-matter is decomposed quartz, with sulphurets of iron
The country-rock in the immediate vicinity of the veins is described by General Morrow as micaceous slate and gneiss.
The Sweetwater mines.—These mines bave been worked during the year as well as the limited capital here invested would permit. But lately an English company is reported to have bought a two-thirds interest in the Cariso lode, and the whole of the Wild Irishman. They are said to contemplate very extensive mining operations; and all the other mine-owners look forward, of course, with great interest to the developments to be made.
Surveyor-General Reed, who visited the Sweetwater gold mines in August, 1871, gives the following account of the mines and the work going on at that time:
One of the best lodes or mineral belts in the South Pass district commences within
a few hundreds yards of South Pass City, and bears off to the northeast. I will mention some of the priucipal mines upon it.
The Young America mine is the first one of note, only 300 or 400 yards north of the village, and is situated west of the Cariso Gulch, which was found so rich in placer gold. It is owned by an Ohio company, A. G. Sneath, superintendent. There are two shafts about 80 feet deep, where the vein is about 2 feet wide. The strike of the vein is north 86° east, the lode perpendicular. The ore is said to be worth $40 to $45 per ton of quartz, which is a whitish blue, and carries free gold. This company bad a fine mill of ten stamps and a 20 horse-power, which I saw in ruins from fire, in Hermit Gulch, half a mile distant. There is an engine, and good building over the shaft, for hoisting and pumping
The Cariso lode is situated upon the hill, east of the Cariso Gulch, about half a mile from South Pass City and a quarter of a mile from the mine just described. Some suppose it to be on the same lode as the Young America, but its striko is north 60° east. It was the first-discovered lode in the district, by H. S. Reedall, in 1867. The party was soon attacked by Indians, and three killed. In the winter following the mining was resumed, and from the croppings of the lode, which they crushed in a hand-mortar, $1,600 in frem gold was obtained, and they washed out $7,000 more from the debris in the gulch below the vein. The main shaft is about 210 feet deep, and worked by an engine. Their stamp-mill is on Willow Creek, and run by water-power.
The owner, Mr. Thomas Roberts, has worked the mine with considerable skill and industry, and has made it pay its way, even to the building of a stamp-mill and enginehouse, and placing an engine in it. He visited London this summer, by the invitation of some capitalists, who have purchased two-thirds interest, I am informed, for $100,000, and it will now be worked with that energy and skill which will probably result in greatly enhancing the reputation of this important mining district.
The vein-stone, which had been thrown away, and which was found to contain $70 per ton in gold, will now be made to impart its treasure. It holds about $15 per ton of free gold in mechanical combination, and the remaining $55 per ton is probably in the state of sulphuret or other chemical condition, and will have to be extracted by other methods.
The length of the lode is understood to be 3,000 feet, with the discovery shaft near the center; but some of this distance is yet owned by individual parties, in 200-feet claims, and thus there are other shafts than the one the engine is on. Several levels have been run out from the shaft. The dip of the lode is 750 southeast. The average width of ore-streak is 3 feet, between well-defined walls of hornblendic gueiss. The Field of the mine per month is about $5,000 or $6,000, the capacity of the water stampmill allowing only about this much. An analysis of the blue sulphuret of iron by Messrs. Jobnson & Son, London, gives 3 onnces and 18 pendyweights of fine gold to 2,000 pounds of rock.
The Wild Irishman is supposed to be on an extension of the Cariso lode, upon the crest of the same ridge, several hundred feet northeast. The main shaft is 78 feet deep. The vein is about the same width, and the quartz yields nearly the same per ton as the Cariso. It is owned by the London company before referred to, 1,000 feet on lode ; and I am just now
informed, while writing, that this is the company that purchased two-thirds of the Cariso mine from Mr. Roberts, and will now work both of these lodes with all the necessary energy and capital.
Mr. Rickard, the superintendent and part owner of both mines, I am informed, will enlarge his operations upon the most approved scale of mining, and will doubtless erect a steam stamp-mill in Hermit Gulch, near the mouth of the tunnel he is running to the Wild Irishman shaft, as the water-mill of the Cariso will not be able to crush half the mineral rock of both mines. They also own the Duncan lode, near by. The Buckeye Boy is 300 or 400 yards east of the Wild Irishman, at a point of hill on Hermit Gulch. A shaft is sunk, and some drifting done, the material from which indicates a fine vein when fully prospected, as it appeared to be in close proximity to the stratum of gray talcose slate before mentioned. Two industrious miners were the owners, and were at work upon it.
The Carrie Shields lode, situated three-fourths of a mile east of South Pass City, on the north side of Willow Croek, is owned by W. C. Ervin, of South Pass City, to the extent of 1,000 feet on the vein. The strike is northeast, shaft 90 feet, width of vein 2 to 6 feet. The ore yields from $15 to $37 per ton by ordinary stamp process.
I descended into the shaft and found the vein well defined, a good quality of quartz, and I procured some of the decomposed selvage of the vein, which I found quite rich in gold, as shown by washing. I also saw free gold in the quartz, and have no doubt it is a valuable mine. A short tunnel run in from the gulch would intersect the vein about 300 feet below the surface at shaft. The owner is not working the mine this season, and offers it to capitalists for $10,000.
There are numerous other discoveries of gold-veins in the vicinity of South Pass City, with shafts ranging from 20 to 50 feet deep; but as no work is being done on them
Dow, not much could be learned of their yield per ton. These are the Robert Emmett, Nellie Morgan, Golden Gate, Garden City, General Grant, Austin City, &c. Messrs. Thompson & Kimbrough have a prospect named the Tennessee, which, judging from the specimens shown me, promises well.
The Mary Ellen lode has yielded some very rich ore in the croppings, dip 450 north. The hanging-wall consists of slates, the foot-wall of syenite. Some of the ore is reported to have yielded as high as $104 per ton, owing, no doubt, to its contact with the syenite.
The Barnaba, owned by Foster & Co., shows a fair yield of ore, vein 4 to 6 feet wide. It is not worked this season.
Atlantic City, four miles northeast of South Pass City, is situated on Rock Creek, in the midst of valuable mines, and, like South Pass City, has not the population that its advantages and capacity warrant. The gulch diggings in its vicinity yield largely in gold, but the scarcity of water interferes greatly with their proper success. In the bed of Rock Creek, below the village, as high as $100 in gold per day, for each good hand, has been obtained. Upon the north fork of Smith's Gulch, not far from the village, new placer diggings were found this season, which they named Promise Gulch. I found thirty or forty miners at work in them, and they averaged an ounce a day ($18) to each man, with only the water of a small spring, which they used over time and again. Water has since been brought by race several miles, and they now predict that they will obtain $75,000 next season from this gulch.
Wolf Tone lode is situated a short distance above the town, the vein crossing under Rock Creek Branch. It was discovered by the gulch miners working in this creek for placer gold down to the bed-rock, and who there found the vein, which is 2 ferit wide, the quartz yielding $40 per ton. Messrs. John Folger, Hughes, and Brennan own 1,500 feet on the vein, which crosses the creek, and is expected to become a valuable mine.
The Buckeye State mine is situated on the ridge northwest of the village, one-half to three-quarters of a mile distant, and is owned by Dr. F. H. Harrison, Edward Lawn, John McCollum, James Forrest, John McTurk, and others, to the extent of 3,000 feet on the lode. It is a good paying mine, and worked with skill and economy, but not to the extent it might be with a larger mill accommodation. Most of the owners work in it themselves, and twenty to twenty-five men were employed at $4 each per day at the time of my visit to it. The main ore pump-shaft is 140 feet deep, and vertical, but cuts the lode at 80 feet in depth. There are only 90 feet of drifts on the lode, 50 feet west and 40 feet east. The width of vein is 21 to 7 feet, averaging about 4 feet; the strike of the lode north 400 east, dip 60° northwest. They have an engine of 20 horse-power, and 10-stamp mill. The quartz yields $30 per ton. The product, as now worked, is from $50,000 to $60,000 per annum.
The Soles and Perkins lode, owned by Messrs. Perkins, Menifee, Ralston, Taylor, and Logan, has the reputation of being a very good mine, but work is now suspended until an engine and pump can be procured. The shaft is 95 feet, on dip of vein ; strike of vein, east; vein, 3 to 4 feet wide. It requires capital to furnish engine for mine and stamp-mill.
The Oriental lode is on the south side of Rock Creek, nearly a mile west of Atlantic City, and owned by Major Horace Holt and Messrs. George B. Thompson, L. Steele, and Peter Haas to the extent of 1,000 feet on vein. The shaft is only 65 feet deep, in which I found the quartz, as well as tho selvage matter of the vein, quite rich in free gold. These men work the mine wholly themselves, and they have run in at the base of the hill a fine adit-level, 400 feet toward the vein, which they will intersect at a considerable depth below the shaft. This will doubtless make a valuable mine when fully opened, and the owners deserve great praise for the industry and perseverance they have already shown in developing it. Eleven tons of their quartz, lately crushed, yielded $22 per ton. They found other veins 3 to 4 feet wide along their tunnel
, with similar pyritous-gangue roek to that found in the Cariso, which is an excellent indication for the increase of the gold product. They also own a share with Messrs. Jones & Walker in the next 1,000 feet on the southwestern extension.
The Cariboo lode is situated on Rock Creek, above the Oriental, and is owned by Bliss & Co., of California, to the extent of 1,500 feet on the west end, and Cutler & Co., 1,100 feet on east end. The ledge is 3 feet wide, shaft 75 feet deep; rock yields $15 to $20 per ton. They have a 10-stamp water-mill, but are not working this season. The dip of the vein is 60°, and 50 tons of the ore are reported to have yielded $5,000.
The Eldorado mine, formerly owned by Dr. Barr, and now by Mr. Amoritty, of Atlantic, is reported to be a valuable lode; the vein is only 1 or 2 feet wide, but the ore quite rich. The shaft is 120 feet deep. This mine is not worked this season.
The Miner's Delight lode, (west end,) the richest, perhaps, of all the lodes in this mining district, is situated within the Shoshone reservation, near Hamilton village, four miles northeast of Atlantic, in Spring Gulch, on the north side of the dividing ridge between the Sweetwater and the valley of the Big Horn. The west end, 800 feet, is owned by Messrs. Lightburn, Holbrook, and others. There is a new 60 horse
power engine upon it, sufficient to pump and hoist, and another of 20 horse-power to run a 10-stamp mill which adjoins the engine-house. There are threo shafts. The engine-shaft, with three apartments, is vertical, and 150 feet deep. The next is 115 feet, and inclines, with the dip of the lode, about 600 to 700 southeast. The third shaft (whim-shaft) is 85 feet deep. The strike of the gneissic strata is north 40° east. Several drifts have been run on the vein, which averages 31 feet wide, and carries excellent ore from wall to wall. About 14 inches of it consist of white, transparent quartz, of five grain, (sometimes of milky and leaden hue,) showing free gold most of the time. The remainder of the lode consists of a selvage of decomposed quartz, next to the wall-rock, of dark, rusty color, and very rich in gold. The width of the orestreak in the southwest part of the vein varies from 6 inches to 5 feet. The gre, I learn, yields about $40 to the ton on an average.
The Miner's Delight, (east end,) is owned by parties in Tiffin, Ohio, to the extent of 800 feet. I found År. Robert H. Morrison, the manager, putting the shafts and levels in true mining order, timbering the shafts and drifts in the best and most approved manner, which, ou such a lode, is always the best economy. The whim-shaft is 85 feet deep, and two levels (of 30 and 40 feet) are run each way from the shaft, showing same quality of ore and width of vein as the west end lode. The walls of the lode are smooth and well defined. The lode bends north at its eastern end.
The Hartley lodē, owned by the Messrs. Hartley to the extent of 800 feet, is probably on the same vein as the Miner's Delight, which it adjoins on the southwest. The shaft is 100 feet deep, the vein 11 feet wide, and drifted upon 100 feet, and the quartz-rock is very rich. But the mine is flooded with water when the Miner's Delight pump does not keep it down, as had been the case the past summer, while the new engine of the Miner's Delight was being set up.
The Peabody lode is southwest of the Hartley, and on the same vein; and is owned by Manheim, Quinn, Frank, Young, Smith, and others, to the extent of 3,000 feet. One inclined shaft is 120 feet deep, the dip being about 45°, and the vein 3 to 4 feet wide. The ore is not as rich as the Hartley, but fair; yields $15 per tou.
Stamp-mills.-Twelve stamp-mills have been erected in this district, carrying about one hundred and sixty stamps, which was double the number required for the small working force and production of the mines. One or two valuable ones were burned, and two were erected on worthless, ge quartz-veins; and one of these is now being taken to the Utah mines.
Gulch-mining.--Gold has been found in nearly every gulch in this district, and some have proved almost as rich as the famous Dutch Flat diggings in California, though of far less extent, the ravines being narrow. But their large yield is the best evidence of the number of rich lodes in this district.
There are six or seven of these rich gulches, which are worked only a small portion of the year, for want of sufficient water, to wit, the Cariso, and Rock Creek, above and below Atlantic, and the Yankee, Meadow, Smith's Promise, and Spring Gulches. The Spring Gulch is just below Miner's Delight, and contains the débris of that rich lode. I found thirty to forty men working on it, with only the water pumped from the Miner's Delight engine-shaft. The largest nugget taken from it weighed six ounces. I saw many of an ounce or two in weight, and also saw a lump of gold-quartz, taken from the gravel, as large as a water-bucket, which looked as if it contained a pound or two of gold.
Promise Gulch was discovered this summer, and is a branch of Smith's. It heads up north against the southwest extension of the Miner's Delight lode, on the dividing ridge. It is on the road between Miner's Delight and Atlantic, and I have already made mention of it.
Amount of bullion extracted.-I found it impossible to obtain anything like correct statistics on this point. During the year ending July 1, 1869, the estimate was $155,000 in coin. The product has probably been that much for each of the last two years, and perhaps considerably more, as that is about what is taken from only three of the best mines. This looks like a small amount for so many lodes that yield so well; but it must be borne in mind that it is very little over a year since Indians murdered some of the best young men and miners, within the very center of this eight miles of mines, and killed several other citizens in the valley, not far north of the mines. Miners cannot work and at the same time watch and fight Indians. This state of affairs has prevented immigration to those mines, and large numbers have been induced to leave and go to the Utah mines within the last eighteen months, where the prospector can pursue his arduous calling, free from the constant apprehension that while he is stooping over his work the arrow of an ambushed savage may pierce his heart.
Fuel for mining purposes. The question of fuel will become a serious one at no distant period, when capital and experienced labor shall be brought to the energetio development of these mines. Most of the timber for the mines, and lumber for buildings, can be obtained twenty to thirty miles west, in the Wind River Mountains, where