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VARYING DISTRIBUTION 367
The southern gold region, below El Dorado, as I have said before, is marked by a less regular distribu
set out by sea in Dec. 1849, and found the bay after much search. Pac. News, Apr. 26, 1850, etc. Disappointment in the course of the Trinity tended to disperse the gold-seekers, and to promote the opening of other districts, swelled by the inpouring mass from the Sacramento Valley. Crossing from the Trinity, prospectors, led by Rufus Johnson, found in June 1850 rich bars on Salmon River, especially at the forks and up the north branch. Thence they crossed to the Klamath and followed it up to Shasta River, where Gov. Lane had just been making a fairly successful test in July-August. Inexperience with the ground and with mine indications stamped most efforts in this section during the year, and Yreka Flat and other rich places were then declared worthless. Nevertheless several precious spots were found, such as Scott Bar, from which Scott was driven by Indians, in August, although others followed and sustained themselves. Pac. News, Aug. 22, 1850, has contradictory reports, with best yield at 10-15 cents per pan, but later accounts—Id., Oct. 18, Nov. 1, Sac. Transcript, Oct. 14, Nov. 10, 1850, Cal Courier, July 1, 1850, and AUa Cal, June 7, 1850, etc.—gave such glowing accounts that a rush set in during the winter. The smallest average was an ounce, while many took out $100 daily. Early in Feb. 1851 a thousand miners passed through Sacramento for the north. Sac. Transcript, Feb. 14, 28, 1851; Pub. Balance, Jan. 25, 1851; Cal Courier, etc. The chief allurement was Yreka flat with its coarse gold, opened in the spring of 1851, which lured 2,000 men within a few weeks to build Yreka, first called Thompson Dry Diggings, then Shasta Butte City. Frogtown, or Hawkinsville, near by, became the centre for Long, Rich, Canal, and Rocky gulches. Humbug Creek, 10 miles below, belied its name by a profuse yield, which in 1853 occupied 1,000 men, and gave rise to Freetown, which died in 1854, Riderville which revived in 1859 as Flugtown, Mowry Flat, or Frenchtown. McBride Gulch was well known, and beyond Joe Lane Bar, near the mouth of Yreka Creek, Greenhorn Creek gave many a fortune after 1850. Still more renowned was Cottonwood, on the creek of that name, later Henly, with a number of tributary channels, gulches, and flats. Southward, below Shasta River, were Hamburg and Oak bars of 1S50, and Virginia. On Scott River, famed for its coarse gold and nuggets, Scott Bar long sustained itself, closely rivalled by Junction, Slapjack, Lytte, Poorman, French, and Johnson bars. Near the latter rose in 1854 Simon ville. The three-year-old Deadwood on McAdam's Creek then received a decided advance, but declined after 1858. Hardscrabble and Oro Fino were minor neighbors. Mugginsville, or Quartz Valley, experienced a quartz excitement in 1852, which later bore fruit in two mills. Rough and Ready unfolded into Etna, and Thompson Creek added its quota. Below Scott River rose a number of bars, as Mead, China, Masonic, and Fort Goff. Gen. Lane gives his experiences here in 1850-1. Karr., MS., 108-12; also, Ant/umy's Rem. Siskiyou, MS., 6-14; Siskiyou Affairs, MS., 10; Yreka Union, June 5, 1869, etc.; Ashland Tidings, Aug. 9, 1878. Barry, Up and Down, 125-30, mentions some rich throves; Hearn's Cal Sketches, MS., 3. Steele refers to the Yreka discovery in Or. Jour. Council, 1857-8, ap. 42-3; Placer Times, Nov. 15, 1851, etc.
At first, miners on Scott River were restricted to pan and knife working, and the usual pickings returned nothing less than pieces varying from $2.50 to $900. Sac. Transcript, Jan. 13, Feb. 1, 14, 28, 1851. Some accounts are contradictory, yet the yield continued large, with new developments reported every now and then till 1855, at Pinery, which were the last important diggings of Siskiyou, says Yreka Union, June 5, 1369, although the old points widely sustained themselves, aided by quartz and a little hydraulic work. Indian Creek was famed in 1855-6. S. F. Bulletin, Mar. 3, 1856. Poverty Gulch gave $4 per bucket, etc. Sac. Union, Nov. 10, 1854; June 15, July 19, 1855; AUa Cal, 1851-6, passim; Hist. Siskiyou Co., 29, 59, 210 et seq. Quartz leads were found on Humbug Creek and in Scott Valley as early as 1851, and
tion of placer deposits, which occur chiefly in patches and pockets in coarse form, rendering the search more
several companies formed in 1852, Siskiyou Affairs, MS., 22--3; but high prices and wages, and difficulty of introducing machinery, added here to the general obstacles in this branch in early days, and it received a long-enduring check, till 1802, when Humbug rose into prominence. The first ditch, the gross 2J miles, was constructed in 1852 from Rancheria Creek in Cottonwood, and several others were added by 1856, notably the Shasta River caial, 80 miles, completed in the spring of 1856, at a cost of §200,000. Sac. Union, Dec. 14, 1854; Feb. 2, Apr. 14, May 11, July 6, 1855; Alia Cal, Feb. 5, July 19, 1856; S. F Bulletin, Feb. 11, 1856. Below, on the Klamath, were several bars and creeks of note, which added to the wealth of Del Norte county, as Indian Creek, and the adjoining well-sustained Happy Camp, with subsequent hydraulic works. Wood and Wingate were among the main river bars below. Elk Creek yielded well, and around Crescent City sprang up a flourishing district, with Bald Hills, which gave rise to the ephemeral Vallardville, and to more enduring hydraulic claims, and with the Smith River mines, notably Myrtle Creek, which paid from $5 to $25 per day. Van Dyke's Shit., MS., 8; Sac. Transcript, Jan. 14, 1851. There were also French Hill, Hayue Flat, and Big Flat, the latter with extensive gravel beds. Bledsoe's Del Korte, 10, 21, 39 et sen.; Crescent City Herald, Nov. 29, 1854; Hist. Humboldt Co., 121, etc.; Sac. Union, Dec. 14, 1854; June 15, 1855; and references above. Klamath county shared also in the gold tribute of Klamath River, and Orleans Bar, which became the county seat in 1856, dates since 1850 as her first placer field. Her largest yield came, however, from the Salmon River fork, with Gullion Bar, Negro Flat, Bestville, and Sawyer Bar as leading places. On Frost Bar, a large party made from $2,000 to $6,000 each within two months. Sac. Transcript, Oct. 14, Nov. 14, 1850; Feb. 1, 14, 28, 1851. Early in 1851, about 1,000 persons left Trinidad for that river, paying from $1 to $225 a pound for packing food. Two men had come down from Salmon River with $90,000, the result of three weeks' work. The stream continued to yield well, and in 1855 the miners were making from $6 to $50 per day between Bestville and Sawyer. At Sawyer it was proposed to exclude Chinese. Alia Cal., Apr. 2, Aug. 7, 1854; Apr. 21, May 25, 1855; July 26, 1857; S. F. Bulletin, Mar. 11, 1857; Aug. 4, 1856; Sac. Union, Feb. 15, Apr. 2, May 10, Aug. 17-18, 1855. Humboldt county could show little of mineral resources beyond her share in the scanty Gold Bluff production. The interior of Trinity county absorbed the main sources from this coast region by occupying the headwaters of Trinity River. Reading's Bar of 1848—which worked in 1849-51, revived in 1852—had been followed in quick succession by a series of diggings, as Evans', dating since 1849, with the fir3t log cabin, and with a ditch in 1851. In 1850 the number of camps multiplied, including Red, Whetstone, Slate, Pike County, and other bars. Steiner flat, or ville, lasted many years. In 1851 rose Trinity Center, long prosperous, Eastman, Bolt, and Deadwood diggings, Arkansas Dam, twice dammed in 1854 at a cost of $45,000. Point, Polka, and Poverty bars, and Miners, or Diggers, ville followed, the latter on Stewart Fork, where in 1855 rose Ridgeville, or Golden City, with 700 inhab. in 1856, though it soon declined. One of the most prosperous places was Weaverville of 1850, which became the county seat in 1851, and claimed at one time 4,000 inhabitants. It lay on Weaver Creek, which was prospected in 1S49. Cafjon Creek had two prominent camps in Mill Town and Canon City, the latter dating since 1851, and having in 1855 fully 400 inhabitants. It revived in 1858. Below Cooper, Big Bar, with first female settler, Mrs Walton, and Manzanita, were among the bars opened in 1849, followed in 1850 and later by Big Flat, which counted 250 persons in 1855, Vance Bar, North Fork, important in 1852, and Taylor Flat. On the lower Trinity were Cedar Flat and Burnt Ranch. The Sac. Transcript, Apr. 26, Oct. 14, 1850, Feb, 14, June 15, 1851, reports that one man CALAVERAS AND TUOLUMNE. 371
precarious, but also more fascinating by the larger rewards for the fortunate miner. This applies likewise to gravel beds. Quartz on the other hand presents itself in more defined outline. An auriferous belt of earth and rock extends along the foot of the Sierra Nevada, from Sacramento county where it lies, only six to eight miles in width, upon the eastern border, through Amador and Calaveras, gradually expanding till in Tuolumne it reaches a width of 25 miles. In Mariposa it again tapers, dropping away in the districts southward. The western edge contains the productive veta madre, with its line of representative quartz mines, which in Mariposa splits into two branches.32 Its eastern line is bordered by a heavy limestone belt, met in Amador by the granite formation from the north, and covered by volcanic masses.33
This county received its share of alluvial wealth from the Cosumnes and Mokelumne twin rivers; and although ranking rather as a halting-place for the migration to and from the southern field, a series of bars and camps sprang up, which were especially numerous along the tributaries of the latter stream. Most prominent was Dry Creek, with the branch creeks, Sutter and Jackson, the latter with the county seat. On the headwaters lay Volcano, famed for its rich
made $11,000 in eleven days; on Campbell Creek miners averaged $10 a day. Placer Times, Feb. 2, Apr. 22, May 3, 22, 27, 1850, adds that Bowles' party averaged $50 daily per man in 184'.). Below Big Canon, a man took out'2J lbs a day for sometime. Big Bar had 600 miners in the spring of 1850, average $25 to $50 each daily. One man had 200 lbs of gold, but few had great success. Diarrhoea, etc., frightened away many. Par. New*, Apr. 27, May 2, 9, 18-23, Aug. 22, 24, Sept. 7, 1850; Col. Courier, Sept. 28, 185.1; Polynesian, vii. 34; Van Dyke's Stat., MS., 3; 8. F. Picayune, Doc. 18, 1850. By 1854 Cation Creek Water Co. and two other parties were doing n liming on a large scale, and others followed the example elsewhere. Ridgoville occupied 1,000 men in 1855. At Oregon Gulch three men made $300 per day for some time. Sac. Union, Nov. 28, 1854, Apr. 19, June 7, 2(i, 1855. West Weaver paid $10 to $30 to the hand. S. F. Bulletin, Feb. 2, 1S56. The yield for the year to 2,600 miners was $2,500,000. Alta Cat, Oct. 26, 1850; Barstoiv's Stat., MS., 4-5, and above general references.
51 At Volcano a recent formation of quartz veins is revealed in the gravel.
33 In Calaveras the limestone has been worked, near Murphy's, for placer gold. It has also here and in Amador imbedded quartz veins, with a little cinnabar.