The Sweetwater Mines
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    Oct 2016
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    Researching Treasure Stories Author

    The Sweetwater Mines

    Cheyenne, Wyoming
    March 11, 1868

    The Sweetwater Mines of the 7th has some news in it which we lay before our readers, about the Sweetwater country. Having had brought to our notice many erroneous and, in some instances, highly romantic accounts of the first discoveries of gold in the Sweetwater country that are now going the rounds of the press, we think it advisable to lay before our readers a condensed and reliable history of the first discoveries and the subsequent excitement in relation to them.
    Ever since 1849, when the first overland emigration to California set in, rumors have from time to time reached the ear of the mining public of a remarkable rich mineral belt lying somewhere in the Wind River range of mountains, to the east of what is known as South Pass, on the old emigrant overland route. Trappers, Indians, and others, have at different times since the period above indicated, brought into the settlements specimens of gold and gold-bearing quartz, which they stated were picked up in the section of country watered by the Sweetwater and its tributaries.
    Small parties of prospectors have occasionally ventured a trip into that region to hunt up the locality of the new Eldorado; but in almost every instance, they were driven out by the Indians before fully determining the truth or falsity of the rumors. Some few went in that never came out, having had their hair raised by 鉄herman痴 pets and induced by them to take up a quiet residence there.
    In 1864, some parties went in and commenced mining on Willow Creek, near what is now South Pass City, but were, like those who had preceded them, driven out by the Indians, leaving behind them evidences of their work in the shape of some cabins and small prospect holes.
    In June, 1867, a party consisting of Redett, Harris B. Hubbell, Joshua Terry, and a few others, went in and discovered the now far-famed Carisa Ledge, situated about one half mile northeast of Willow Creek and 15 miles northeast of Pacific Springs on the South Pass emigrant road. These gentlemen hastily threw up a log cabin, lining it on the outside with turf, as a protection against Indians, and commenced pounding out the gold in their rock, using a wooden hand mortar for the purpose. In one week痴 time, they had, by this rude process, got together over $1,100 in dust, besides as much more in rich specimens. They then sent two of their party into Salt Lake City, a distance of 255 miles, to purchase provisions and tell their friends of their good fortune.
    Arriving in the city in the latter part of June, their tales, backed up by the sight of so much 登re, caused a great excitement and rush of people to the new mines─we say people, not miners, for the simple reason that nine-tenths of all that started for the mines at that time knew nothing at all about mines or mining. Some of them undoubtedly supposed, like the early emigrants to California, that all that was required was a shovel to 都hovel up the shining dust and realize a fortune in a day or two.
    As an illustration, the writer of this article, on his way to the mines on the 25th of July last, met a party of 22 men at the crossing of the Big Sandy, who had been to and were then returning from the mines, hugely disgusted, pronouncing the country a 塗umbug. On inquiry, we learned that most of them were Utah farmers, and knew as much about gold mining as a pig does of Greek, perhaps not as much. Their stay at the mines, as we learned afterward, had averaged about twenty-four hours.
    On the 22nd of July, the miners still in camp were attacked by a roving band of 150 Sioux and Cheyennes, who were on the warpath, driving off twenty-two head of stock, and killing three men─one of the victims, Corrinth Lawrence, was 鍍aken in near camp; and the other two, Tony Scholl and Orson Taylor, about eight miles from camp on the road coming in. The miners deemed it prudent to leave the country; most of them being poorly armed, or not armed at all. The Indians followed the retreating whites a distance of seventy miles, burning two telegraphic stations on the route, and cutting the wires.
    Five or six days after, a party of twelve men left Robinson痴 Ferry, on Green River, under direction of Joshua Terry, and returned to their cabin on Willow Creek, which they proceeded to fortify, determined to stay at all hazards. From the time of their return until the present, no hostile Indians have been seen in the country. By the middle of August last, nearly two hundred miners had got back into the mining region, and their numbers have been constantly increasing up to date, so that now it is estimated that there are from seven hundred to one thousand men in the mines and valleys adjacent.
    No expressman from the mining camps had, up to the time of going to press got in, owing probably to the severe storm that has raged for the past day or two. We are currently without any later intelligence from the mines.



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