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The Saratoga sun. (Saratoga, Carbon County, Wyo.) 1891-current, July 14, 1891, Image 1

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VOL. 1. NO. 1
Pleaty of Good Ground on Both Sides
of Um Platte Valley that will
Pay to Work.
Hills Foil of Coarse Gold and Carbon
ates a with an Abundance of
' Water to Wash it Out.
[From Daily Sos. July <L
FOR two months a force of men
has been engaged in prospect
. ing placer ground on North
Brush creek about two miles from
Ryan's old saw mill on the Cedar
and eighteen miles south-east from
Saratoga. The work is jiart of an
elalxirate system for opening up
680 acres of rich ground belonging
to Captain J. H. Mullison, John
W. Beall, and ex-Congressman S.,
W. Downey. Enough has already
been done so that application has
been made for United States int
ents on four full claims and a frac
tional one.
This field of Operation was the
scene of sluicing and panning as
far back as 1870. Prospectors
have worked in the neighboring
gulches and’ draws tributary to
Brush creek for several seasons
since then. Most of them either
quit work or abandoned their claim
because they thought the pay dirt,
which prospected well, was not
deep enough to justify them in
staying by it. But during the
past few days discoveries have been
made which not only demonstrate
the richness of the Brush creek
placers, but explain why prospect- !
ors in the past failed to make big
wages. The trouble seems to have '
been that they got discouraged
just at the time when they ought
to have gained confidence in the
Apparently they were, deceived '
by the presence of a strata of a
coarse, drab-oolored substance re
sembling cement. This they mis
took for bed*eock. Some called it
talc, and so far as I can learn
nearly everyone who worked thjre
for granted that wherever '
Trt^te ;
reached- '
Old-timers will no doubt be snr
trised to find out that instead of
eing bed rock this peculiar layer, '
which varies in thickness, is really
a lime formation underlying the
second wash. Below that is 1
another deposit of gravel, richer
than the first and generously
sprinkled with coarse gold. It is
found to a considerable depth and
underlying it is a bed rock of
limestonf. - t
Jim Cusick, who is well known j
hereabouts as a prospector, made t
a number of locations in a big |
gulch which now bears his name, t
that heads in the divide between |
the Cedar and Brush creek a short; <
way beyond the old mill. That. j
was several years ago and Cusick ! (
and different partners continued;
operations there for several sue- j J
cessive seasons. Jirfi was first in-'
duced to try his luck there by! *
stumbling over a set of old sluice j f
boxes on the edge of a little stream 1 ,
along which w’ere evidences that ]
somebody had been working. The 1
boxes, which Captain Mullison ,
claims he used on the other side .
of Brush creek twenty-one years j
ago, could not have seen service ,
for a long time, as some of them ]
were in a decayed state.
Ditches were dug and trenches
cut preparatory to ground sluicing '
the gulch near its mouth where
the best prospects were found. ,
Some gold was washed out but not
in large enough quantities to meet
Cusick's expectations. He was de
ceived just as.hiq predecessors had
been by the layer of lime referred
to. Like them, he thought any
gold there might be must of ne
cessity lie above that strata..
having sufficient papital to carry
on hydraulicking and the gravel
in the gulch being four feet or less
on top of the lime, Cusick came
to the conclusion that he was wast
ing time in washing it.
didn’t look in the right place.
It did not occur to him or any
of the men who worked with him
to try to trace the origin of the
gold which was found in greater
quantities the nearer Brush creek
tney went. They supposed it ;
must have come from up the
gulch and contented themselves
with following it down to the
creek. That was another mistake
which was made. If they had
cross-cut the gulch they might
have enjoyed better luck. Jim,
Hopkins, who prospected in that.
neighborhood several years ago, |
came near striking the gravel de-'
Srait on the hill above the gulch.l
e sank a few feet but abandoned I
it after doing a little work.
Mullison alone of all the mon
who have prospected there seems
to have struck the gravel. He
ought to know that country well,
f'T years ago he hunted there for
the old tie-camp. But in pros
» peering that section he workiul on
a theory which the people through
the Valley have come to regard as j
one of his fads. Mullison’s idea
is that in prehistoric times a
’ mighty river flowed high above
the present course of the Platte
and alon" the ridge on the eastern
range. To his own satisfaction,
at least, he traced the course of
this stream in a north-easterly and
south-westerly direction as far up
( as Rock creek and found indica
-1 tiorfs of it over in Colorado be
• yond North Park. Owing to some
1 convulsion of nature, he thinks.
1 the bed of this stream sank and
mountains and hills of gravel were
1 punched up.
1 Whether or not Mullison’s geo
-1 logical theory will hold water, it
; has already proven a convenient
guide to him in the location of
, valuable placer ground. His
■ search for diggings in the Brush I
: creek country was high up and
along the backlxme of the hills
where few prospectors, so far as
there is any rec<4kd, have done
more than stick a pick deep
enough to get a pan of dirt. There
he found a senqp of depressions
which may or may be due to
natural causes. They look like
sink-holes. But others besides
Mullison share the belief that
these are in reality relics of an
cient shafts. One of these places
was chosen as the site for a pros
pect shaft on a claim called the
Fair God. Tom Castle, an old
miner who now has a horse ranch
near Cheyenne; Jim Cusick and
-'-Jesse Ammerman have been sink-
■ ingTliere uiia'ore downTo' “JdJJtJll
lof fifty-three feet. Their work isT
a model of its kind, for the shaft
is timbered in excellent style and
good judgment has been dis
played throughout.
Going down on the gravel to a
depth of fifteen feet a red clay was
«truclr. Leaving that to one side 1
the shaft was continued on through
the gravel which prosprcts all the 1
way and coarse pieces of gold are 1
found in it. 1
A curious thing in connection 1
with this work is that chunks of *
charcoal were dug out on one side '
of th&ahaft.., Jl3w tliin nliould be '
embeddedso deef/ in flic I
ground haw given rise to much '
speculation. Those who think ’
the present shaft is on the site of 1
earlier works or near them imagine 1
that the charred remains of tim- 1
bering have been found. 1
Pieces of lime have been dug 1
out, similar in appearance to the 1
strata that holds the second wash.
From this it is reasoned that the
same conditions will be found on
the hill above the gulch as have d
been show’n along the course of li
the little stream that trickles t:
through it. In that event it would o
not be surprising if the limestone p
bed rock was struck in the Fair o
God at a depth of ninety to one a
hundred feet. That is about the h
elevation of the hill above the
place where the lime occurs in the f
gulch. With so deep a deposit of c
gravel overlying the limestone,
something rich can reasonably be o
supposed to be found on the bed s
rock. If these hopes should not a
be realized it does not signify that; s
the work has been fruitless. In i a
so large an area of gravel, which 11
prospects well, gold in pay-rm* s
quantities can be washed out by i:
water from a big ditch that has al- v
ready bet n surveyed. I c
This ditch will be taken out of s
Brush creek, which has a fall of; I
fully 1,000 feet to the mile. It will I '
be brought around the hill, a dis-, c
tance of three-quarters of a mile, i
and carry a tremendous pressure ' c
of water. Work on the ditch will' s
not begin, however, until bed rock ' a
has been struck in the shaft. Then '
a cross-cut will be run to
the width of the gravel bed.
Should the present favorable in
dications* obtain there is no ques- |
tion but what active operations 1
will be carried on. Both as to 5
quantity and fall, which will be' *
upwards of four hundred feet, the i '
water supply presents exceptional |
advantages for work of this char-1 :
acter. Once the water is turned ]
on it will not take long to wash
down the hill. With proper ap-! 1
pliances and the ordinary safe- < ‘
guards used the quantity of gold i 1
taken out by this means ought to 1
i make the enterprise a profitable 1
one. ■ j
Greater importance attaches to
j this scheme than the bare clean
up—be it ever so great. It has •
, been the experience in many lo- <
' calities, where placers were worked
I udder less encouraging prospects,
' that ledges have been exposed
; whose richness eclipsed that of the
i alluvial deposits. That such re-1
| suits may be attained from open
ing up the Fair God ground may
t be sei down as among the probab
!' ilities of the present plans.
Devoted to the Interests of the Upper Platte Valley and Wyoming.
, There is a point on the Cusick
• gulch stream from which good
■ prospects can be obtained from
I every pin of dirt washed out.
1 Above that no such prospects are
• | secured while good success attends
. all panning in the direction to
-1 wards Brush creek. It is apparent
■ to anyone, who takes the trouble
to follow the course of the snow
water stream, which in the spring
time drains the Fair God hill, that
this empties into the gulch at the
upper limit of the good washings.
For lack of anything better to
guide one it is safe to assume that
the gold came from the Fair God’s
ground or even higher up. I
looked in vain for evidences that
its origin could have been farther
up Cusick gulch and found none.
Everything tends to show that
at some period an immense volume
of water poured down the hillside.
The time may have been in the
remote jiast or else the erosion was
jof recent years, and sufficient to
tiring down the gold. However
that may be, there is indisputable
proof that the precious metal
which appears below the lime
strata has not traveled far from the
original place of deposit. It is
coarse, ledge gold and the particles
have not been carried far enough
to round off the edges.
Below the layer of lime, not only
is gold found in greater quantities
but also coarse pieces of gray cop
per anil galena and truces of car
bonates. The pay streak, which
hitherto has been narrow and shal
low whenever found in the middle
of the gulch, is a gray stuff, of fine
grain. Chunks of rock resembling
I this in every way save that it is
TmWfe Im rd er, can be picked out of
the water-waT*eL4h« •
near its mouth. Some of the
pieces are larger than a man's fist.
When ground up. colors can be
]>ani>ed from this rock. There
must lie ledges of this somewhere
in the hills above the gulch.
If there is any room for doubt
that the track traversed by this
mineral was along the bed of the
wet-weather water course over the
Fair God, the choice must be made
between that and a big draw which
heads higher up the hill. This
empties into Cusick guloh near
the place where these fich’ dejxis
its first occur. There is a low di
vide between the old water course
anil the draw. On the line of the
latter, and not more than half a
mile nearer the main range than
the Fair God, is another series of
depressions. The only difference,
outwardly, between these holes
and those first named is one of
size. Those in the big draw are
Two of them are each forty feet
in diameter and nearly or quite as
deep. The one nearer the divide
has the appearance of having been
the serene of a big water spout, or
of being scooped out by a down
pour from a cloud burst. The
other, separated from the first by
a thin embankment of earth, may
have resulted from human agency.
When I visited it this week it was
full of debris and boulders. To
clear it would be a laborious task.
But I was struck by the position
of two upright timbers, broken off
short close to the surface, which ,
appeared to have been driven for
some special purpose. They stand (
about two feet apart and right at
the mouth of a subterranean pas
sage of some sort. Perhaps that
is the outlet which waters have
worn when dammed up in this pe
culiar reservoir. Earlier in the
season when the snow water
plunged down the steep slope a
visitor found the basin nearly full
of water. A big stream emptied
into the reservoir but had no per
ceptible effect in raising the water
stored therein. Certain it is that
an outlet was found near the spot
where the uprights appear.
The position of the posts would
be about what one would expect to
find in old workings where a drift
was run. In such operations
stulls and caps are used where
timbering is required.
The snow fall is great at that al
titude and the dense forest holds
it till late in the season. When it
begins to melt, the water rushes
along with a force sufficient to tear
out or cover over any works with
in a season or two after abandon
i ment. An example of what hap-
I ]jens under such conditions is to
! be seen in Cusick gulch not far
i from Brush creek. Twenty years
I or so ago when Mullison was min
ing there, he dug a shaft eighteen
feet deep. Ail that remains to j
mark the spot where this work was '
done is a depression not more
than four or five feet down at tin*
lowest point. It would pass for a
sink hole and closely resembles
the others w’hich have been de
i scribed.
i If these are relics of old work
ings there is no record as to who
operated there. Abundant evi
dence exists that at some time
If you foUow the example of those who have made homes in the Upper Platte Valley. Big crops
of aU kinds are annually raised on the fertile lands of the basin which embraces 1,000,000 acres—
all capable of cultivation. There is plenty of water for irrigating purposes. It is a veritable garden
amid mines. Already promising mining camps have been started. Vast areas of country have
never been prospected. The great Gold Hill camp can only be reached byway of Saratoga. Here
in the only town in the Valley is published a live newspaper, The
Saratoga Sun.
It is devoted to the interests of the Platte Valley and country adjacent to it.
Reliable information regarding the development of the mineral resources will be found in every
issue of THE SUN. These reports are based on personal observation and treated from a practical
mining standpoint.
It will be the earnest endeavor of the editor to give all the news concerning events of
interest in the valley and to record the progress made towards the development of this rich’
and promising section of the country.
“>■ isjndependent in everything and has nothing to boom for
Sportsmen will be mteresteAn the stories of the exploits of the devotees of rod and gun
who this w - Hi J w w
nowhere be equalled. Maps apd other guides to places where rare sport is assured will be
published from time to time. ' l .
If you desire to know anything about this “new” country, read THE SUN, and if you don't
see what you want, ask for it. It is a paper for the people. Anybody can have it by paying
Three Dollars a year in advance. Address
GEORGE F. GANIS, Editor and Proprietor,
SARATOGA, Carbon County, - W Y OMING.
placers were worked on a large
scale in that neighborhood. Near
Brush creek are relics of these old
workings which are well pre
served. They have been seen by
prospectors but not until the pres
ent season has any move been
made to explore the old tunnels
and shafts.
Much depends on the develop
ment work now being pushed by
the Mullison company. If they
fail to find any leads, either before
or after the Fair God hill is
washed down, search will be stim
ulated for the mother lead from
whence the gold found in the
gravel is presumed to have had its
origin. The same is true as re
gards gray copper and galena. It
would be wortg while to trace that
up to find out where it came from.
The fact that a systematic search
for gold has been made in the
Brush creek country in times past
certainly demonstrates the possi
bilities for placer work now. With
plenty of water a man ought to
make good wages. This season is
a most favorable one so far as the
water supply is concerned.
But it must not be imagined
that because the Brush creek
region has been described at such
length that good gold diggings are
restricted to that locality. Any
where for twenty miles or more
along hills on the east range the
same formation exists. It can be
traced from the Kid or Saddle
’ Back mountain just south of Elk
| mountain in a southwesterly di-
I rection to Marble mountain just
behind Gold Hill. There it ends
A break occurs, and the course
can be marked out again on the
west side of the valley along the
Grand Encampment creek
twenty miles of Saratoga. Float
similar to that found on the
range can be traced up the En
i campment canon. There is a
stretch of country more than a
mile long and covering a broad
area where the lime formation
plainly shows. It is called cement
in that locality and has been used
for building purposes and for fill
ing the chinks in log houses, prov
ing a good substitute for the lime
of commerce. Up to the present
no effort has been made to dis
cover the nature of the deposits
undemeatg the lime. Should pay
dirt be found below the strata
the Encampment country will pre
sent exceptionally good advan- ;
tages for sluicing as the creek runs
full of water. (
Other deposits of lime have been ,
found on this side of the Conti- ]
nental divide and nearer Saratoga. [
On Cow creek and between there j
and the Encampment the lime ap- j
pears. Recently a lead in a lime
formation was found between Jack <
creek and the north fork of Spring ;
creek. <
Either on the east qr west range ■
are plenty of places where pros- <
pec tors can locate placer claims
and be handy to water. Good
roads make the country on both
sides of the valley accessible by
wagon as far as the first range of
gills. Elk and deer trail lead up
the slopes and it is no trick at all
to pack in supplies and establish
a camp from which trips can be
taken on foot or on horseback in
any direction.
All Tips Are the Same.
Ex-Fish Commissioner Miller
has received a letter from Captain
U. D. Thomas at Gold Hill. Mr.
Thomas gives Mr. Miller a quiet
pointer that the camp is all that
has l>een claimed for it and that it
j will boom sooner or later. Mr.
. Th < mas is a mining expert from
l Cleveland, O. He was sent to look
b over the ground by parties at
t Cleveland. He waited some time
- in order to bo able to get into Gold
i HilL —Cheyenne Sun.
Wyoming’s County Debts.
From a recent bulletin issued by ! 1
the census bureau it appears that,
the total indebtedness of all the
counties in the State aggregates';
51,083,79, of which $022,000 is
bonded and $461,791 is in Heating I
debts, making a per capita debt j
on the basis of 60,705 population |
of $17.85. Laramie county has
8400,000 bonded debt for aid given
to the Cheyenne and Northern
railroad and which in a large
measure is paid back by the taxes
against the railroad. With
the exception of the newly
organized counties of Natrona and
Weston, Laramie was the only
county in the State in 1890 that
had no outstanding indebtedness.
The outstanding indebtedness of
the other counties is distributed as
Albany, 892,035; Carbon, $126,-
917; Converse, $90,000; Crook,
$73,000; Fremont, $60,500; John
son, $71,134; Sheridan, $26,000;
Sweetwater, $34,204; Uinta, sllO.-
000. Several of the counties have
recently bonded their indebted
Lander will have a Catholic con
Cheyenne made 100 arrests in
Mormons are flocking into the
State from Utah.
Men in the Cheyenne shops are
working five hours overtime.
Newcastle’s assessed valuation
for tax purposes foot up $300,500.
An electric street car line will
begin running in Cheyenne this
United States geological survey
l ors are at work in Sheridan
The Rock Springs coal miners
turn out an average of 3,000 car
; loads a day.
I Only two public drinking fount
ains to thirty-seven saloons is the
ratio in Cheyenne.
Vegetable gardens around
| Lander are suffering from the rav
ages of the cut worm.
The assessment roll of Laramie
county, including Cheyenne, shows
an aggregate of $5,337,500.
Treasurer Delos Babcock, of
Johnson county, skipped out leav
ing SI,OOO worth of debts behind.
Flowing water at a depth of 458
feet was struck in air artesian well
on the University grounds at Lar
Numbers of the Mexican house
finch, a pretty little warbler, have
made their appearance in Chey
It is estimated that 400,000
sheep will be. driven across the
State this year from Oregon bound
for Nebraska.
Edward T. David has been com
missioned a trustee of the State
University in' place of President
A. A. Johnson.
J. D. Corey was awarded the
contract for building the hall of
the German Tumors in Cheyenne.
The price was $9,970 for the build
ing complete.
While drilling a well at Siding
No. 5, fifteen miles south of Edge
mont, some men employed by the
B. *£• M. Railroad struck natural
gas at a depth of 190 feet.
l Charles Nelson, for several years
. foreman of the Tuslinger outfit
. north of Cheyenne, seized a band
of horses for back pay amounting
' to $2,200. The herd was replev
ined by a deputy United States
- marshal. Nelson took the animals
i when he heard they were about to
be sold.

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