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The Elk Mountain Pilot.
VOL 1. IRWIN AsitWas,asitls And as It Will Be. --- ♦ ♦ « ■ ■ - * Ruby Camp. ITS MINES, ITS MINERAL AND ITS MANAGEMENT. OUR FUTURE Silver and Coal Mining Promises to Surpass All Other Camps THE CAMP. This camp, the great central point of the now world renowned Ruby mining district, is situated in the Elk Mountains, thirty miles a little north of west from Gunnison City, ninety miles from Poncha Springs, (the pres ent terminus of the Denver and Rio Grande R. R.,) and about s'x.y miles from Forest City, the prsent objective point of the Denver and South Park R. R. These roads are rapidly pushing their way into this, the greatest miner al region of Colorado, and early in February next we are authoritatively as sured that the Denver and R.io Grande R. R. will reach Gunnison City; from which point it will be immedi ately pushed to this camp. The sur vey has been made for this extension for some months, and the contract for furnishing the ties already let. The Denver and South park road will be rapidly built from Forest City, and to this camp, which teems with both high and low grade ores, shall be given the great boon of quick and cheap transportation. Placed thus within easy reach of the great reduction works and capitalists of the outside world, our hardy, en ergetic and courageous prospectors will reap that reward for their labors which their untiring perseverance so justly merits. Both of the aforesaid railroad com panies being largely interested in the immense deposits of anthracite coal lying immediately to the south, which we are using extensively, and the bi tuminous coal to the east of us, from which the lowa Smelting company is drawing its supplies of fuel and coke ing material, insures us their rapid completion, and having a broad and inexhaustable field from which to draw their supplies,the coal famines now existing in Colorado Springs, Denver and other parts of the state, will be forever unknown. IRWIN. Our town is located in a narrow valley, which in mining phraseology is termed a gulch, the upper or west ern portion of it being a basin, and through its entire length, two and a half miles, there bubbles, foams, leaps and rushes the purest stream of ciystal water to be found in Colorado. On either side of this gulch and basin, upon which rest their bases, rise great hills covered with dense for- j ests of spruce and balsam; while at a distance rise the scarred and seamed sides of towering peaks whose rocky treeless tops pierce the clouds. A fourth of a mile to the north west and at an elevation of two hundred feet above and yet within the limits of the town, and at an devtion of 10,700 feet above the level of the sea, lies the dear, placid, and beautiful expanse of water known as Lake Bren nand. This body of water covers an area of sixty acres and is surrounded by a dense forest of tall spruce trees which grow to the edge of the lake, whose calm bosom presents the per fect synonym of peace. Located so far above the level of our town its po sition readily indicates the use to which it can be put, and the question of our future supply of water is settled ere it is discussed. This lake contains no fish, the supposition being that they cannot get up over the falls of Anthracjte Creek, of which this lake is the head. OFFICERS. Our present City Officers are J. C. Brown, Mayor; John McCormick, Clerk and Recorder and Police Magis trate ; J. M. McCormick, City Mar shal ; L. L. Harding, Treasurer; Willet Rose, Thos. Collins, N. G. Shurtleff, and L. L. Harding, Trus tees. Our Precinct Officers are, John McCormick, John W. Dollison, C. A. Pierson and W. R. Whittlesey, Jus tices ; and D. J. McCormick, Thos. Allison, U. M. Curtis and J. E. ('ar son, Constables. This Precinct cast the largest vote of any in Gunnison county. PRICE OF LIVING. Many of our single men who own or rent cabins, board themselves, which makes their cost of living $3.50 per week and upwards. Of course they do their own cooking. This style of living obtains very generally in our camp, lawyers, dociors, mer chants, mechanics, miners and labor ers generally adopting this plan. Our camp is abundantly supplied with all kinds of provisions, every grocery store being filled up with every variety of eatables, while minbrs, supplies, clothing, boots and shoes, hardware and every other class of merchandise is on hand in superabun dant quantities. Prices are very low considering the cost of transportation and impress the casual observer with the idea that out merchantsare running their stores more for the sake of doing business than to make profits. The price of living here, when the enormous cost of transportation istaken into consideration is extremely mod erate, our hotels only charging two dollars per day for transient board and lodging, and ten to eleven dollars by the week, and they give the very best fare that the market affords. Our restaurants set first class meals tor from fifty to seventy five cents,and furnish day board at seven to eight dollars per week. HEALTH. The pure atmosphere incident to the great altitude of our town is con ducive to its extreme healthfulness. It is with a feeling of pride that we refer to its sanitary condition, which recommends itself to the tourist, in search of health. Only two deaths from natural causes have occured here since the organization of the town. The first was a man named Michael Roach, who died at the Elk Mountain Hotel on the 2nd day of last October, of pneumonia, caused by carelessness and exposure, while recovering from an attack of mountain fever. The other was that of Mrs. Richard Rounds who died on the 12th of the present month from premature labor. A mining camp is supposed to be the rendezvous of thives, murderers, and every species of outcast generally, a resort so to speak, of the purleus of society, but it is with a feeling of no small pleasure, that in scanning our criminal docket we find recorded there but one death as the result of violence, that of Cicero Virgil, a mi ner and prospector, from Memphis, Kansas, who was stabbed to death by Larry Brennan on the night of the 12th of last September. James A. Riggs, a youth of nine teen years of age, fell from a cliff 600 ft. high, in Peeler basin, and was instant ly killed. This accident occured on the nth of July, and makes a total mor tality of four, occuring from all causes in and near this camp since its organ ization. We do not include the mur mwiN, (RUBY CAMP,) GUNNISON COUNTY, COLORADO, THURSDAY, DEC. 30, 1860. derot the Edgley boys in our list of mortality, as it occured on the Ute Reservation, outside the limits of this mining district. BUILDINGS. By actual count we find that Irwin can boast of 529 houses, many of them being large and commodious stores two stories high, fitted up with elegant plate glass fronts, while their interiors are furnished in the most tasteful manner. It seems as though the glass front styles obtain more extensively in Irwin than any other. Most conspicuous among the store houses of Irwin stands that of Harding Bro’s, our leading 'hardware firm, it being the largest and tallest in town. Many of our residences are also two stories in height and fitted up with that luxurious comfort, the memory of which makes so many of us sigh for a return to the old home in far off “America.” But in the wake of prosperity follows comfort and luxury and ere many months shall have passed our camp will be universally possessed of it all. Indeed, the change which has been wrought in our camp within a few short months, has been so miraculous that fiad Aladdin hovered over us and rubbed his magic lamp, the metaphor phoses could scarcely have been greater. From a few mud-covered log huts and flapping tents we grow into a thriving city. Although seven mills have been plying their saws both night and day, like poor little Oliver, we still are cry ing for more- —lumber and shingles. Our artizans are equal to those of any town of our size any where, of which their handiwork bears ample 1 ' proof. SNOW. The beie noir of those who have de sired to Jive in Irwin, has been the depth of snow. Individuals have tax ed their inventive genius in compos ing stories of the snow fall that would put those of the illustrious Baron Munchausen completely in the shade. As a consequence, when the first few flakes began to fall in October, those transient settlers, who like army fol lowers stay close around the camp till the fight begins, commenced to pre pare “ for to light out,” and ere the snow was yet a few inches deep the stampede had begun. Many like “ the King of France, with forty thousand men,” rushed down to Gunnison and then ran back again. And many others, like the survivors of the first battle of Bull Run, are running bully yitt. That there was no necessity for such a “ scare ” everybody now knows. The fall of snow last winter was un precedented in the history of this country. The memory of the oldest trappers in this section fails in afford ing any comparison to it. The snow last winter at this time of year was seven feet deep around the postoffice, which is situated near the bottom of our gulch, and of course much of it was drift,steps had then to be cut down through to the postoffice door, but to-day there is not more than six or eight inches of snow before the door, and the average depth of snow throughout our country is not more than three feet. roads. Last winter we had no roads on which to travel in and out of camp. Now two splendidly built toll roads, one to Gunnison City via Crested Butte, over which the mail is daily carried, and the other down Ohio j Creek, the most direct route to Gun- J nison City, is being daily traveler by 1 wagons heavily loaded with freight I coming in and ore going out, by hacks carrying passengers to and fro and by j travelers on horseback and afoot, j This road will be kept open by sub- j scription, if the ordinary travel upon j it fails to keep the snow packed down, j as a fund for that purpose has already j been subscribed by our citi-1 zens, and a contract let to respon- j sible and capable parties to do the work. Last winter when the camp; had no other means or communication j with the outside world, except by snow shoe trail, and all provisions to sustain it were brought in on the backs of men, there were quite a num ber >f citizens who remained here and worked their claims. There also re mained several ladies, Mis. Spencer, and Mrs. George Thompson. Except durmg the time when the snow flakes filled the air, the weather has been beautiful, many ol the days rivalling in balmy splendor the love liest of spring. No excuse now exists to prevent the working of our mines, save the disinclination of the owners. CLIMATE. With the exception of the snow, and that is no serious drawback when one becomes accustomed to it, our climate is even and pleasant. Walled in by high mountains covered with a heavy growth of spruce and balsam trees, the fierce winds which sweep down upon the towns in the valley, have no terrors for us ; for, although, like the streams, they have their rise in the mountains and broaden and strengthen as they leave them. So dry is our atmosphere and so gradual the approach of winter that those of our citizens who were reared beneath the shadows of orange groves and in whose nostrils even yet lingers the fragrance of the magnolia and the oleander, feel but little inconvenience in the change, and participate with delight in the exciting and exhiliar ating pastime of coasting down our steep hill sides on Norwegian snow shoes. We verily believe that every man, woman and child in Irwin has a nair of snow shoes, and we have been told that Zach Sable has just finished modelling some for the dogs, but we do not publish it as being reliable in formation. RELIGIOUS. Our religious denominations are represented by the Presbyterians, Catholics, Methodists and Baptists. The Catholics have the ascendency in point of numbers, their membership being over two hundred. At present they have neither a church nor a church organization, although part of the altar parapharr alia has been in town for some time, and the building committee have on hand consider able with which they intend to erect a suitable building in the spring. The Presbyterians have a thorough ly organized church and hold service every Sabbath morning and evening, and Sunday School in the atternoon. At present their meetings are held in a large new building on Ninth street, recently erected for use as a store. The treasurer, Mr. Edward Copley, has now on hand a building fund with which it is intended to erect a hand some house of worship at an early day. The Rev. Chas. M. Shepherd is the present pastor of this church, and Dr. E. C. Reid, Edward Copley and Walter Graves, trustees. SOCIETIES In this connection we deem it quite pertinent to mention the Ladies Aid Society, which, although it consists of members of all the religious denomi nations, is practically controlled by the members of the Presbyterian church, and in fact we believe con stitutes no small factor of its popular ity. Indeed, if we are correctly in formed the society was originally or ganized for the purpose of lending its aid to defray the expenses incident to the church meetings. Mrs. Walter Graves, the secretary of the society, by the request of our reporter, has written the following account of its history: In the latter part of September there was organized among the ladies of Ir win an aid society. Though at the \ time it was thought possibly little more than a promotion of sociability among the ladies would be accomp- ’ lished, that was not all, for immedi-: ately after the organization a supper was given which enabled the society j to start with SBO in the treasury. Visiting the sick is included.in the creed, and in fact helping and doing good whenever opportunity affords. Thanks to the generous patronage of; kind people of Irwin, far from the least of whom we are pleased to men tion the Pilot, the society his more than sustained itself financially, and : has by social entertainments and oth erwise added to the above sum not, far from |ioo during the months of j November and December, which has been expended in defraying the rent for church building used by the Presbyterian church and assisting the Sabbath School. The officers of the society are —Mrs. E. P. Stevens, pres dent; Mrs. E. C. Reid, vice presi dent ; Mis. W. H. Graves, secretary, and Mrs. J. L. Lacey, treasurer. As a promoter of sociability the so ciety has been a magnificent success and the high social status of its mem bers inthe states from which they came, both north and south, answers fully in the affirmative, the question so often asked of the Pilot, is Irwin a place to which a man can bring his family. The refining and christian izing effects of a good moral society are soon made apparent in any mining camp, and we congratulate the ladies upon its influence here. The Methodist and Baptist denom inations, although not so strongly represented as the two first mention ed, have occasional meetings. We have but one benevolent society, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which has a membership of forty five, of which Terrence Connolly is Presi dent ; L. C. Cull, Vice President; Felix Berry, Financial Secretary; Timothy Decy, Recording Secretary ; John McCormick, Treasurer; and J. M. McCormick, County Delegate. Our Military is represented by a company of sixty members, called the Ruby Scouts, of which U. M. Curtis, the Ute Interpreter, is Captain. POST office. Our Post Office does the largest business of any in the county, Gun nison City not excepted, and yet the government makes no allowance to our P. M. for either rent, clerk hire, fuel or other expenses. One thousand five hundred letters were sent from this office in one week in December, and that when our population had largely emigrated to Gunnison City. Eight hundred and fourteen dollars and ninety sever cents was the gross receipts for stamps sold for quarter ending September 30th, out oi which the government reaped a net income 5614,11. Three thousand five hundred different persons received mail at this office, and the average daily receipt of let ters has been as high as 1,500, per day, for weeks in succession. financial. Our financial matters are attended to by the Bank of Irwin, a medium of exchange and deposit, of which Mr. S. S. Metzler is the manager. Of its capacity to furnish money for any of the ordinary purposes of exchange, or discounting short paper, there ad mits of no dcu'ut; but to provide the means to properly develope the re sources of our camp we need no less than from 53.000,000 to $5,000,000 cash capital and that invested where it will do the most good. THE WHY. We do not exaggerate one iota when we say that there are hundreds of mines in our immediate vicinity j that would rapidly enrich their own . ers if they had the capital to put them ;in a working condition. Many capi talists not familiar with practical mining would naturally ask the ques tion, “ How is it, if you have such a large number of rich mines, that the mineral will not pay for the develop ment?” The answer to this is very simple; many, in fact almost all of those who take the field as prospectors are poor men. Outside of their mi ning tools and a short supply of pro visions, thfey have nothing. When their supply of provisions fails they are compelled to hunt a job and work until they can raise sufficient money to buy more provisions, whfcn they go on prospecting as before, or if they have found mineral, a greater or less amount of developing is necessary to be done ere one cent of re/enue is obtained. If the owner is a poor man he must be continually stopping to earn a “grub stake” before he can go on with his | work. He cannot work his min£ alone after he has acquired a certain depth or distance, but has the addi tional ppense of hiring help to assist him. If he is lucky in obtaining a steady job at good wages, in two or three months he may earn money enough to enable him to continue his development, bet the average miner is not so lucky—he may get a job one week, and then lie idle a week, and if there is a surplus of labor around the camp he may be[ a week' in getting anything to do,and so he is obliged to ask some merchant to give him credit for the food he eats, for a few days,utu til he can find something to do. In a camp like this, where the sea sons have been supposed to be so short, and when the most of our mines have been discovered'within the past few months, any intelligent man will now comprehend why it is that the aver age prospector desires to sell his prop erty unless it proves a perfect bonan za from the grass down to China. Except in the immediate vicinity of this camp there are no wagon [roads from any of the mines, and all the ore that comes to this camp from any distance has to be 4 brought in on the backs of pack animals, which general ly bring 2oo[pounds to the pack. This is slow business, but unless the mine owner can raise the money to build a road he has to keep packing his ore or wait for the capitalist. Only three months ago all the ore from the For est Queen, situated about two hun dred yards Jrom the, centre of the camp, was packed down to the wagon road on burros. Now suppose that the Forest Queen had been situated five miles away, (as many of our claims are) and was taking out but ten tons of ore per day, a small quantity for any good working mine, it would take one hundred jackasses to[ pack the ore of a single mine' to the wagon road. Quite a number of our. miners ship their ore to Denver, or they pack it in and sell .it to our sampling works, which ships to Den ver. It must be* rich ore indeed which pays such transportation. COAL. Of our coal deposits we will simply say thaQbcginning two miles or less to the south and southwest of our camp, and extending an unlimited distance, lies the inexhaustible de posit of anthracite coal. Two mines are now open on this deposit and coal is being taken out to supply fuel for our cam]). The bituminous deposit lies to the east of our camp a few miles and ex tends a little south of east. From this deposit coke of a very superior quali ty is made at Crested Butte. It is not burned in ovens as at El Moro, but coked in the open air as charcoal is burned—the coal when piled up be ing covered with fine coal instead of dirt. The coke when burned forms a solid mass and is broken up for use. The following analysis of this coal was made by Malvern W. lies, Ph. D. chemist of the Grant smelting works atLeadville: Specific gravity, 1.273; One cubic foot weighs 79.25 lbs. It contains—Volatile matter 24.30 per cent., coke, 75.70 per cent.; moisture, 1.10 per cent.; gas, 20.20 per cent.; fixed carbon, 62.60 per cent.; ash, 3.10. OUR W'AXT. The great want of our camp is a sufficient number of reduction works. Here is a business opportunity pre sented to those capitalists of the east, whose hoarded millions lie unused m the bank vaults, or if used draw but a paltry interest, one which for the pres ent has no parallel, and one which will not be likely to occur soon again. sampling works. We have one of the most conve niently arranged sampling works in Colorado, capable of crushing a large amount of ore per day, and a twenty STAMP MILL built by the best manufactory in the United States, but these works are not sufficient. In fact they will not be able to do but a tithe of the busi ness of our camp when spring opens. We want more works, and those capi talists who have the sagacity to see what an enormous outcome this kind of an investment will produce, will reap their reward. (f'wtlmcH <m frcrlk ftp ) NO. 29.