The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Beach Sands
For more on the beach diggings, see the Mining Notes pages.

    THE PORT ORFORD GOLD QUEST.--A sort of resurrection of the Gold Bluff excitement has been apparent since the receipt of late accounts from Port Orford. A variety of reports brought by passengers on the Cecil have found currency, with different degrees of credence. Some specimens of gold found in Center St. in the town have been shown us by Capt. Tichenor. The dust obtained from the "tom" is very fine. He has also a large quantity obtained from the blankets at the foot of the machine, containing visible particles of gold, but so small as not to be separated by washing. A gentleman in town has a process for amalgamating the gold thus found, and has taken four dollars worth from a pound of sand. Capt. T. states that this new gold deposit reaches along the coast to the north of Port Orford, twenty-five miles, and twenty miles in a southerly direction to Cape Gregory, and expresses the opinion that nearly the whole extent will pay $5 a day to the man. In some sections the water is difficult to get, and pumps will be required to take it from the ocean. The original prospectors in these washings made $300 each per day from the claim they selected, which was the first choice of course, and others are not expected to do as well as that. Very rich diggings are found just north of Coquille River, 20 miles above Port Orford. It is here, as we understand the story, that the big lifts of $1000 each per day were taken out by five men, who must have been very foolish to let their good luck be known. The day before Capt. T. left, coarse gold was found near the back skirts of the town by a party of Indians. The tablelands at the mouth of Rogue River, 18 miles south of Port Orford, are also reported "rich diggings," paying one dollar to the pan. Capt. Smith accompanied Capt. Tichenor on the expedition to Cape Gregory, the road to which point is described as horrible beyond comparison.
    It seems upon inquiry into the matter that the reports which look so highly colored are substantiated by the testimony of witnesses, who cannot be discredited, although due allowances should be made for the enthusiasm of the occasion. No doubt the gold is found in most tempting exposure, commingled among the sands of the seashore. 1t may still be very difficult to bag, and while it is everyone's own business to look before he leaps, a word of advice and caution will not be despised by the newcomer, although it might appear superfluous to one who has passed through the "prospect" mill. For the information of such as desire to "see the elephant," or rather the "Gyascutus," it is proper to mention that the schooner Cecil sails for Port Orford on Monday, July 23rd. A large lot of provisions will probably find their way up, so that those that migrate can be sure of finding something pretty good to eat, which was not the case with the early explorers of the new field of enterprise, who had to put up with salt pork and hard bread, and very hard work they had to get enough of that.--Times and Transcript.
San Joaquin Republican, Stockton, California, July 23, 1853, page 2

    THE GOLD DISCOVERIES AT PORT ORFORD.--From information of a private nature which we have received, by a late arrival from Port Orford, we are led to believe that the stories of rich gold discoveries on the seashore at that place are by no means unfounded. We are positively assured that diggings have been commenced and carried on with the most satisfactory results in the sand of the beach at the foot of a bluff near Port Orford. Two men took out seventy-five dollars on the day before our information was posted. The gold is extremely fine, and mixed with platina. How far the diggings extend is not yet ascertained. It appears that several parties are endeavoring to keep down excitement on the subject in this city, in order to prevent goods being shipped until a large stock on hand, at last accounts, could be disposed of.

"Later from California," Albany Evening Journal, Albany, New York, August 24, 1853, page 2

The Port Orford Gold Diggings.
    For the accuracy of the annexed statements we cannot vouch, the name of the author not accompanying the communication. If the writer furnishes this information for no interested purposes, and it certainly has the appearance of truth, it will be valuable to persons who may have projected a trip to the mines in question.
    Messrs. Editors:--As statements in relation to the gold at Port Orford continue to appear in the papers, it may save those who cannot afford the expense of the price of passage there and back by describing things as they actually exist.
    The writer returned from the above port on the steamer Columbia, and having resided there about a month, has had a good opportunity of understanding the capabilities of the place.
    At the town of Port Orford there are only four or five available claims, and these are already taken up. Gold has been found at Hubbard's Creek, three-quarters of a mile distant. A company of six persons built a dam and turned the stream, but owing to the sandy nature of the soil they were unable to manage the water, and consequently have failed in taking out anything.
    The principal diggings are thirty-five miles beyond Port Orford, and six miles above the Coquille River. Seven sluices were at work at the time of my visit, and several more in preparation. Some of these sluices were yielding two hundred dollars a day per man; others as low as thirty or forty dollars. The whole were supplied by one stream of water. The claims on either side of this stream were richest, and of course worked at least expense. The gold diminishes in proportion to the distance from the stream, and the expense of working increases, owing to the necessity of making ditches or troughs to conduct water to the sluices. In this vicinity "the color of gold" has been found several miles along the beach, but there is great scarcity of water. About twenty miners are settled there. They pack their provisions up from Port Orford, on mules, at a cost of ten cents per pound, which, added to the high prices charged at Port Orford, makes living very expensive. A few hired laborers were receiving one hundred and fifty dollars per month, "and found." Cowan Bay is fifteen miles further north, and it would be an advantage to the miners if goods could be landed there instead of at P.O., thus saving twenty miles of land carriage.
    There are other diggings twenty miles below Port Orford, near the mouth of Rogue River. Until within two weeks there has been only one sluice at work there, belonging to a man named "French Joe." I retorted twenty ounces of gold for him, which he had "taken out" in nine days, a result so flattering as to cause several persons to go down, packing their provisions upon Indians, but they complain much of want of water, and were about to try the "Jenny Lind rocker," instead of sluices--with what success has not been heard.
    A party had also gone out to search for placer diggings. They returned the day the steamer Columbia left, and if they found anything, were very silent about it.
    Most of the miners who left San Francisco per Cecil and Thos. Hunt have been disappointed; some have returned. If any others intend going up, I should advise them to take their own provisions. The beach diggings will not be good for more than two months more, after which time the high tides prevent labor.
Yours respectfully,                W.W.W.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 1, 1853, page 3

    At Crescent City there is new excitement about the "beach diggings" from the mouth of Rogue River to Port Orford. Big strikes are reported--from $25 to $100 per day, all out of the black sand. Quicksilver, is, of course, in great demand.
"Mining Intelligence,"
Sacramento Daily Union, October 22, 1853, page 2

    I learn from men who have just arrived that gold is found all along the sea beach from [Crescent City] to the mouth of the Umpqua River, a distance of 175 miles via coast. There are now several hundred men engaged in washing the sands at various points. For the most part it won't pay by the present mode of working. At a few points men have made as high as one and two hundred dollars per day. They have to work when the tide is down in getting the sand. Where they can find a stiff clay under the sand it pays best. They find it sometimes astonishingly rich in the sand immediately next the clay. They have had on several occasions to run off and leave their long toms and other implements to save their lives when the strong winds suddenly roll out a tremendous surf, which thunders against the mighty walls of the perpendicular bluffs. These bluffs (like Gold Bluff) rise from above high tide mark, straight up almost, for several hundred feet. The richest deposits of which I have any authentic information are just north of the mouth of what the miners call Coquille River, about half way between the mouths of Rogue and Umpqua rivers. The new bay called Coos Bay is about eight or ten miles north of the mouth of Coquille .The old maps, you will perceive, do not locate these places as the miners do, though I find I am wandering off on a subject which will not be of interest to you. I will start in a short time for Fort Jones, where you will hear further from me.
"Letter from Crescent City," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, November 12, 1853, page 1

    The beach diggings between Crescent City and Port Orford are reported to be extensive and profitable. A number of prospectors have gone into new districts about Rogue River, and the reports of their discoveries are favorable, but we have no positive information.
"California Intelligence," Washington Sentinel, Washington, D.C., December 15, 1853, page 1

OF JAN. 22, 1854
    From a hundred and fifty to two hundred miners on the beach to the north and south of Rogue River are reported doing remarkably well since the rains. The sand piled up during the dry season pays at the rate of $1 to $1.50 per wheelbarrow. The gold is extremely fine and is saved with quicksilver, lying in the bottom of a long sluice, which is in general use. In this manner they make from $15 to $25 per day to the hand. Wages are $100 per month and found.
Del Norte Record, Crescent City, March 4, 1893, page 1

We have some interesting intelligence from these diggings, through a gentleman who arrived here last Sunday in the steamer Peytona, from up the coast. The Gold Beach diggings are situate at the mouth of the Rogue River, and extend on both sides about six miles along the coast. The gold is washed out from the sand on the beach, and is found in very fine particles. There are 300 men at present engaged in washing out the gold along the line of the beach, and all are doing most remarkably well. The average to the hand is not less than an ounce a day. The big strikes that have been made are truly astonishing at this period in the mining chronicles of California. Three or four men of Jordan's company had taken out from twenty to forty ounces apiece in one day. On one occasion, Capt. Riggen, just after a high surf had been blown upon the beach, scraped out eight pounds of gold in an hour. This is the account given us, although our readers will doubtless feel disposed to take the latter statement with many grains of allowance.
    The gold has been discovered principally in the sands of the beach. It is said, however, that a prospecting party had discovered rich diggings on the south fork of the Coquille River. Gold was found by them at various points, arguing an extensive distribution of the metal in that locality.
    The lands bordering on Gold Beach are described as most excellent for agriculture and grazing. Farming operations, however, had been limited, owing to the great yield in the diggings. Some three or four persons only had located claims and commenced farming.--Commercial Advertiser.
Sacramento Daily Union, February 25, 1854, page 1

    GOLD ON THE COAST.-- The following is from the San Francisco Evening News, and was furnished by James Johnson, Esq., who recently arrived from the mines mentioned:
    We learn from Mr. Johnson that the gold mines lying along the coast, commencing fifty miles north of Crescent City and extending north to the Coquille River, have been remarkably productive the past season. Near the Coquille, two miners cleared during a few months $40,000. At Rogue River, a party composed of Wm. Riggin, S. Z. Pierce and John Creen took from their claim in one week 328 ounces of dust. Another party, consisting of four persons, are said to clear $1,000 per week.
    The miners in all the mines described are doing remarkably well. Those who own claims and work them on their own account average from $10 to $16 per day. The richest diggings are said to be those near the Coquille River.
    The deposit of gold in the district of country described is quite different from that of any other section of this state. Unlike the deposit at Gold Bluff, which is found on the surface of the earth in a black sand between high and low water mark, these deposits lie in a layer of crushed quartz, upon a bedrock which is found quite near the surface in some places, and quite deep under the surface in others. Miners have worked in some places to the depth of 15 feet. Some claims are worked between high and low water mark, and others as far as forty feet into the sea.
    The gold is secured by a process of amalgamation.
    The greatest difficulty the miners have had to encounter was the scarcity of water. So far they have used the water conducted from the neighboring gulches. The quantity of this, however, has been limited, and no means have yet been adopted to raise the water of the sea and render it available, so the miners at many points have been very much inconvenienced.
Sacramento Daily Union, March 27, 1854, page 3

    THE GOLD DISCOVERIES AT PORT ORFORD.--We published on Wednesday a brief account of reported valuable discoveries in the neighborhood of Port Orford. A correspondent of the Alta, under date of May 31st, gives the following confirmation of the rumor:
    "It will be remembered that much excitement was created, during the last fall and winter, in relation to the "beach diggings" in this vicinity. Many came here with high anticipations of amassing sudden fortunes, but in few instances were these expectations realized. There are undeniably large deposits of gold all along the beach, extending from Rogue River to within fifteen miles of Cape Arago, but the great and only difficulty in collecting the gold has heretofore arisen from the scarcity of the water, there being, perhaps, on a beach four miles in extent not water sufficient to run more than six or eight machines. Within a short time, however, the experiment of using sea water has been tried with great success. This is done by the application of horse power to a common pump, raising the water into a reservoir, and distributing it along the beach as required. The mines at the Coquille and Rogue rivers are paying not less than ten dollars to the man, while in many instances "big strikes" are made of ten to fifteen ounces of pure gold. At Cape Blanco, which is eight miles north of Port Orford, three men have taken out of one claim over twenty-five thousand dollars since last November. After paying all expenses, they divided, a few days since, twenty-three thousand dollars. There are about one hundred men at work there at the present time, and all of them doing well.
Sacramento Daily Union, June 8, 1854, page 3

Geological Researches on the Coast.
    The length of the following communication would preclude its appearance, did it not contain a vast amount of interesting information in relation to the coast north of us, which will render it valuable as a matter of study and of reference. The communication is furnished by N. Scholfield, Esq., a surveyor and geologist of well-known ability and scientific attainments:
    On returning from a few months residence at the Umpqua River and its vicinity, in Oregon, during which time I have traveled from two to three hundred miles along the coast, and have also made some incursions in the interior, I propose to give our readers a sketch of some of the geological and mineralogical features of the portion of the coast visited by me, as well as some practical observations relative to the beach gold washings, which occur along the shore in occasional deposits throughout the whole distance.
    I left San Francisco in February last, on board the steamer McKim, bound for Coos Bay, but, encountering very rough weather, and experiencing severe gales, we were tossed about for eight or ten days, and considered ourselves fortunate in reaching Crescent City, about one hundred and fifty miles south of our destination. Here a few of us procured mules, and proceeded up the coast by an unfrequented trail, through a country which, till recently, had been totally uninhabited except by Indians, and these were now in a state of excited hostility on some portions of the route. Here, then, our journey begins. I need not trouble you with the incidents of our travel, some of which were fully sufficient in interest and excitement for our own amusement, but will pass to the visible portrait of this "terra incognita."
    Crescent City is situated on the southerly side of a low promontory extending from the great Coast Range; the extremity of this promontory forms Cape St. George, and consists of table land, elevated some fifty or sixty feet from the surface of the ocean. This table is underlaid by igneous unstratified rock, which appears mostly in boulders, as shown by the bluffs where they have become denuded by the disintegrating action of the sea, and by boulders composing a reef extending outward. On the north side, this promontory consists of low sands, and in the interior is a shallow laguna of considerable size. The southerly side, at the site of the town, consists of low timber land, scarcely elevated above the possible reach of running tides, or such as are always remembered in old countries by the "oldest inhabitant."
    Looking southerly, we see the mountain gorge, where the Klamath debouches to the ocean, some ten or fifteen miles distant, and the "gold bluff," of notable memory, some ten miles further, while Trinidad Head, about forty-five miles, appears dimly in the distance.
    Traveling north, after leaving the low promontory, we pass along narrow borders of table land, with swelling hills in the rear, and occasionally mountain spurs and ridges come down to the shore, rendering some of the passes extremely difficult. Several large streams occur, which can only be passed by ferrying or swimming; rocky boulders occur all along in the bluffs, and frequently extend a considerable distance to sea. The rock is of an igneous character, basaltic trap and conglomerate occurring with little variation. In the beds of the streams which we passed are great varieties of pebbles, including quartz, gneiss, and many other varieties. This characteristic holds, with little variation, to Port Orford, about thirty miles northwest from the mouth of Rogue River, or, as it is now called, Gold River, by authority of the Oregon Legislature.
    From Port Orford reaching some ten miles and including Cape Blanco is mostly table land, some portions of which has rather an undulating surface; continuing north some twelve miles are low sands extending some miles inland, but from thence to the Coquille River about three miles is a recurrence of the table land; this also continues with a little variation about ten or twelve miles further or near to Cape Gregory. This is a high bold cape with reefs of rocks; the rocks in this vicinity are mostly stratified sandstone. After passing the Cape we arrive at Coos River or Bay, passing which the geological features are suddenly changed; a sand beach, with low sand formation back, extends twenty miles to the Umpqua River and continues twenty miles further to the Siuslaw, extending also about eight miles further to the high promontory whose western verge forms Cape Perpetua. Here then for a distance of about fifty miles we have passed by a hard sandy beach; unbroken, save by the rivers above named, with not a solitary rock on the shore or visible in the sea for the whole distance. This sand formation extends inland, varying from one-fourth of a mile to three miles.
    At Cape Perpetua is a recurrence of the igneous unstratified and conglomerate rock, which continues to a point about three miles north of the Alsea River, being about twenty miles north of Cape Perpetua. At this place the sand formation recurs and extends about twenty miles, beyond which another mountain range comes down and terminates at the sea shore, forming "Cape Foul Weather." The above is a hasty panoramic glance of the appearance along the shore; looking inland, these characteristics become all merged in one general confusion of mountains, peaks and ridges, whose only system or symmetry consists in their total irregularity. This feature holds through a width of from fifty to seventy-five miles, when the country becomes more open and is variously carved and chiseled into mountains and valleys, here exposing the bright color of the precious ore to the delving of the hardy miner, and these spreading a green carpet, profusely studded with fragrant flowers, inviting the repose of the industrious husbandman and careful herdsman.
    Where is a fitter place than this for the development of man's noble destiny? Where the peaks of the mountain, by his side, like the spires of a church point heavenward, directing thither his nobler aspirations. Let him but ascend to the summit of one and he sees in unmistakable characters in the next the word Excelsior! Let him ascend this also and he sees repeated beyond and around him Excelsior! Excelsior! With this motto photographically impressed on his soul his destiny is certain.
    Recurring to the Pacific shore we find at various places along the beach deposits of gold, commingled with gravel and sand; this gold is mostly in fine scales, and always accompanied by black sand. The richest deposits yet discovered are those in the vicinity of Gold River, the Coquille, and Cape Blanco, at which places especially the former two, for miles in extent along the beach, which in some localities yield liberally to the persevering efforts of the miner.
    And beside these localities gold in small quantities and in fine particles, technically called "the color" exists all along on the shore, from Cape St. George to the Alsea River. I have found it at the Coos, the Umpqua, and the Siuslaw rivers, and in the vicinity of the Alsea. It is known to exist further south than the limits of my examination, and I have no doubt they extend further north.
    These deposits are found from one to three feet below the surface of the bench between the ebb and flow of the tides, and are covered at such depth with refuse sand and gravel. The gold thus deposited exists in a stratum of sand and gravel of an inch or so, to one or two feet in thickness, underlaid by a bed of blue clay or of hard gravel.
    Much speculation has existed among miners and others relative to the source of this gold, and the manner of its deposit; some have supposed it to have been carried out of the adjacent rivers in fine scales, with the sand, and thrown on the shore by the upheaving of the waves; others, that it is thrown up in like manner from the bed of the ocean, where they suppose there exists an inexhaustible supply; others still, suppose it to be deposited in some way by the washing of the bluff, for these deposits are in nearly all cases found opposite such bluffs, which are the termini of disintegrating table land; but they have not been able to show why it should exist in such quantity in deposit, when it is known that although gold is found to be extensively dispersed through the different strata of the bluff, yet the deposit in any given area is many times greater than all which exists in an equal area through all the different strata of the bluff from the surface downward.
    The explanation I offered and theory I advanced some months ago, in a communication more ample than this, embracing a greater variety of detail, and designed for publication elsewhere, is substantially as follows:
    It being admitted, as observation shows, that fine gold, though sparsely scattered, exists in most or all the strata composing the bluffs, which in nearly all cases exist opposite the deposits; I imagine that by the action of the waves at the foot of the bluff; at extreme high tides, the bank is undermined, and the crumbling portions deposit the heavier particles of gold at the base; and by the agitation caused by the rolling surf the sand and gravel on the surface become disturbed, and the heavier particles of gold and black sand settle to the lowest accessible points among the lighter sand and gravel of the beach thus disturbed, which is usually in contact, or nearly so with some stratum too unyielding or too low to be thus disturbed by the waves; and as this process proceeds continually, that deposited at one period near the base of the bluff will after a lapse of ages, by the recession of the bluff, be found at considerable distance therefrom; which, on account of the slope of the beach, although at first deposited at some depth, is now become exposed to the direct action of the surf, which action forces it up again to extreme high water line, where the agitation again causes it to become embedded as before, and hence as this action continues through a long succession of ages, or during the destruction of a large extent of land, we have deposited the gathered wealth of all the disintegrated land for unknown ages, laved and accumulated by the rolling action of the waves; and that which was once scattered as the winds is in this manner collected by Nature's mechanical laboratory for the use of man. How grateful ought the successful miner to be, to the power which has thus so diligently collected and kept in store for him this deposit.
    These deposits do in all cases, and, I imagine, can only exist consequent on the disintegration of a stratified formation; secondary, as composed to the primal range. For although it should be shown that gold exists among all the materials composing the hills and mountains; yet the accumulation could only be effected on a stratified bed of a sufficient consistence and uniformity, and at a suitable depression below the flow of the tide to receive and hold the current deposit and accumulations. These qualities cannot exist in an unstratified formation; for in such case, no uniform bed would be formed to receive and retain it, but the gold first deposited would become in a manner indefinitely commingled with the accompanying gravel; and if by continual agitation it should not at first be caused to descend too far, it would by the subsequent action--as it should be nearly exposed by the slope of the bank, become again so disturbed as to seek and acquire a lower station, and would so continue. Hence no accumulation could exist; and no more would exist in any given area on the beach than formerly existed in an equal area in the superior strata of the bluff. The stratum containing the gold deposit is usually found underlaid by a bed of blue clay, or gravel, or hard sand, which bed is always an original stratum and base of the bluff. The deposit seldom approaches nearer than eight or ten feet to the angle of the bluff; nor does it often continue fully to the line of ebb tide.
    The deposits in the vicinity of Gold River extend about two miles south and nearly eight miles north, with occasional interruptions by rocky bluffs intervening. The table bluff, on the south tide, is low, not exceeding ten or fifteen feet--the land being sandy for a mile or so back, and nearly destitute of soil; but that on the north side is from thirty to eighty feet high, and covered with a soil of rich vegetable mold two feet deep, underlaid by a substratum of clay. Below this is gravel and sand alternately, with occasional rocky boulders. On the beach are many large oval-shaped pebbles of gneiss, measuring from two to five inches across and from one to two inches thick, being originally deposited from the bluff. Some of the mining claims here yield rich returns. Evidence exists that a large extent of table land has here yielded to the encroachments of the sea; for extensive reefs of rocks, such as are exposed by the bluff, extend in some places many miles at sea.
    The deposits in the vicinity of the Coquille River are in many respects similar to those just described, and are of equal or greater richness. They commence about two miles south of the river, where the beach is considerably interrupted by rocks, and extends, with some few interruptions, for about twelve miles north. At a distance of five miles from the Coquille is Randolph City--a mining town of about one hundred houses. Here the bluff is about sixty feet high, and its stratification, observed by me, is as follows, viz:
1st Soil sandy loam   1 foot deep
2nd Clay and sand alternating 15 feet deep
3rd Sand and fine gravel, reddish and gray 15 feet deep
4th Sand with some gravel 12 feet deep
5th Peat, which could be divided in flakes like bark   2 feet deep
6th Sand, yellowish and bluish clay   2 feet deep
7th Hard indurated gravel, conglomerate with iron oxide   2 feet deep
    The peat bed or stratum No. 5 extends nearly a mile in the bluff, and in some places is three or four feet thick; and where the peat terminates it is replaced by blue clay, which is from four to eight feet thick.
    Here in the peat stratum, and in the blue clay are the remains of a forest, buried some fifty feet below the surface. These consist of the trunks and limbs of trees lying horizontally, the stumps and roots in their natural positions in the blue clay or peat, which was originally the soil on which they grew; large trees and stumps several feet in diameter, in a tolerable state of preservation, are numerous. On the beach are immense numbers of blocks of petrified wood, partly rounded by attrition. These I found, on examination, are the debris of the fourth and fifth strata in the bluff. A great variety of pebbles, including all the prismatic colors, and many of them translucent, are lying on the beach, also deposited from the bluff. The components of the bluff at Cape Blanco are mostly similar to those at Gold River, except that there is a stratum of sea shells high up in the bluff in some places. Some of the deposits here, though more limited, have yielded extremely well. The washings at Port Orford are of this formation.
    It is asked where was this fine gold derived, and how was it originally disposed in the bluff or table land where it is known to exist? We may ask, at the same time, how and when was this table land formed; what convulsions or what event caused whole forests, swamps, and hillocks to be buried at a depth of some fifty feet by alternating strata of gravel and sand? Was it at a certain period of the earth's history that these shores, that these mountains and hills were submerged, were lost in the ocean, and then by the hand of Omnipotence taken up and rinsed, as man would rinse a fleece, suffering the washings from a thousand hills to be gathered in horizontal strata, as planes in the valley? Was it by recurring surges of the great, the mighty deep that these shores, these hills, were submerged and reclaimed? Then, indeed, we may suppose the gold, as it may have had an anterior existence among the hills, should accompany the other disrupted integrals, and become a component of the table lands, and of the deposits thereby imposed.
    Our inquiry is no removed but one step further. How was it originally disposed among the hills? Did it originally exist in solution, or in combinations, as with quartz, distributing itself as other gross materials, and afterwards set free from its solvent or matrix? or was it thrown up by internal convulsions from the bowels of the earth, distributing itself in golden flakes, as snow on the hilltops and in the valleys? Each may answer according to his fancy, or may still remain in doubt.
    North of Cape Perpetua is a bluff and beach, similar in many of its features to that at Randolph. A forest is here, in like manner, buried some thirty feet beneath a superincumbent mass of gravel and sand; a stratum of peat, three or four feet thick is exposed in the bluff; black sand is abundant on the beach. Gold exists here, but it is extremely fine--scarcely more than microscopic. The accumulation has not taken place here as in other places referred to, either on account of its extreme fineness or the lack of a proper stratum for a bed. The gold, which was "prospected" by some experienced miners from the gold beach at Randolph, at my suggestion, is found more generally diffused in the sand, but is immensely finer. It was deemed to be impracticable to work the beach profitably at present; but with cheapened labor and improved machinery, it may be done. All the beach gold I have yet seen north of Cape Gregory is extremely fine like this above described. Let it not be supposed that because gold is so generally diffused along this part of the Pacific Coast that profitable washings exist on all places on the beach, or that their occurrence is only accidental. These only occur at such locations where a stratified formation has been disintegrated, and a suitable substratum for a bed exists, and a beach is formed thereon. I would as soon look for gold at the foot at the table bluff at Cape St. George, or that at Point Conception in the south, as at Cape Blanco, if a proper beach and suitable circumstances for its collection existed at those former places.
    I have only glanced at subjects of geological and mineralogical interest of which this portion of the coast is fruitful. Copious indications of coal exist through all this section; a vein has recently been struck about three miles south of Gold River. Large fields of it exist between the Coquille and Coos rivers. Indications are abundant on the Umpqua and Siuslaw rivers. Lead ore is reported to exist at the Alsea River. Having been employed by residents of Empire City and Coos Bay to make a reconnaissance of their coal fields with a view of connecting them with the city and bay by a railway, I found the distance of the outcropping of one of the principal veins to be about three miles from the city, and at an elevation of about 249 feet above the wharf at that place, and moreover a highly practical route for a railroad with a descending grade to the bay. The coal veins, which vary from two to ten feet in thickness, run horizontally through the bluff, and are miles in extent. Some veins of the coal are immediately on the bay, but those referred to above are considered the most pure and valuable.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 26, 1854, page 2

    Port Orford, the most southern port on the coast of Oregon, is situated thirty miles above the mouth of Rogue River, more lately named Gold River, and forty miles south of Coos Bay. The whole extent of the shore between these last named points is found to yield gold in the strata of sand two to three feet below the surface of the beach washed by the ocean in its ebb and flow. In front of the town several claims are located, and a large number have been taken up for a distance of forty or fifty miles, on the coast to the southward. The town of Port Orford is built upon a hill ascending from the shore, and contains about forty houses and three hundred people. Five or six officers and forty United States soldiers are stationed at the government post established at Port Orford. As a harbor Port Orford is at present as good as any on the coast above San Francisco, but does not possess the same facilities for being rendered secure that are found at Crescent City.--Times and Transcript.
"News from the Interior," The Pacific, San Francisco, September 1, 1854, page 2

OF OCT. 4, 1854
    On Gold Beach they are providing dirt for winter washings. At low tides gold-bearing sand can be taken from a considerable depth; this is removed onto the first bench of land, where it will lay until winter.
Del Norte Record, Crescent City, November 19, 1892, page 1

Rich Prospects of New Gold Diggings in Southern Oregon.
Beach and Interior Gold Deposits.
Port Orford, O.T., Jan. 12, 1857.
    I have received intelligence from California, making inquiry concerning the probability of other and more extensive diggings than those recently discovered on Sixes River, and known as "Summers' diggings." In compliance with this request I have made considerable inquiry, and from the knowledge that I have obtained from different persons, together with my own experience, I can but arrive at a favorable conclusion.
    The section of country known as Southern Oregon, or that portion bordering on the coast, has hitherto been only slightly prospected, although, so far, with favorable results. This portion of Oregon has always been infested with belligerent bands of Indians until quite recently, rendering it exceeding hazardous for prospecting companies to make a thorough examination of the country. In August last, immediately after the removal of the Indians, a small prospecting company was fitted out for the purpose of prospecting Sixes River, which resulted in the discovery of Summers' diggings. This company was absent only four weeks when they returned with the neat little prospect of thirty-eight hundred dollars, or thereabouts.
    Sixes River rises in a range of mountains situated between the Coquille and Rogue rivers, and from the same range some six or eight other streams also rise and flow in different directions, and in every one of which gold in greater or less quantities has been found for several years past, but on account of the troublesome disposition of the Indians, a satisfactory prospect could not be had. In Elk River, a stream that empties into the coast some six miles north of this place, and only six hours' walk, twenty-five cents to the pan was found some three years since, but the stream was never thoroughly prospected for the same reasons that I have above spoken of in relation to other streams. Yet it may be found on a thorough examination of all the other streams flowing from the immediate vicinity of Sixes River, that more of them will be found to pay well, and judging from what has been found on Sixes River, a sufficient inducement is here offered for miners to prospect, and prospect thoroughly all the streams throughout the whole region between the Coquille and Rogue rivers.
    It is a fact, well established, that gold abounds in considerable quantities along the beach from Coos Bay to the line of California, and it is a fact nonetheless apparent that this gold has during the process of time all been washed from the interior, by the streams emptying into the coast, and by the action of the surf upon the deposits thus brought to the sea, the gold is distributed along the beach. It is easy to discover also the unmistakable appearance of volcanic action along this same locality which has changed the delta of rivers several miles distant from the position that they once occupied, which accounts in my opinion for the many rich deposits that have been formed along the beach several miles distant from streams of any magnitude. It has been argued by some, and that too quite logically, that the beach gold originates in the stratum of soil along the coast. I differ only in this argument on the gold originating in the vicinity of the coast: I am strongly of the opinion that the entire stratum of earth along the beach, where gold is found, is nothing more nor less than the deposits of streams flowing into the coast, and the gold together with other matter has come from the interior.
    All the gold found along the beach is excessively fine, and easily susceptible of being removed almost any distance by a rapid current of water. The gold in the interior, however, is of a much coarser grade, and would naturally find a deposit, or resting place, near its original formation. It is natural then to suppose that the beach gold, together with that found along the streams in the interior, once occupied the same locality when Nature completed its work of formation, but by the action of the water upon the fine gold, it has been separated from the coarse and deposited along the beach, together with the alluvion matter. Consequently, I am led to believe that other, and, perhaps, more extensive placer diggings will be found on other streams in the vicinity of Sixes River, during the coming summer. For there are several streams rising in the same locality, and upon which gold has been found, that empty into Rogue River, and at the mouth of which the celebrated Gold Beach diggings are situated, which run along the beach some four or five miles, north and south, from the mouth of the river.
    P.S. Since writing the above I have learned by two gentlemen just in from the mines that the snow has fallen to the depth of four or five feet on the mountains between here and the mines. They also report finding one man and his horse both frozen to death. The man's name is Andrew Hurbert.
    The winter thus far has been uncommonly severe, and snow has fallen several feet deep at intervals during the winter, within a few miles of the coast, but in this immediate vicinity Nature presents the beautiful aspect of spring.
San Francisco Bulletin, February 4, 1857, page 1

    MINING AT GOLD BEACH.--From gentlemen who arrived on the 18th of April from Gold Beach, we learn that there are about a hundred miners at work there, and that without exception they are all doing well--say an average of $8 to $10 per day to the hand.--Crescent City Herald.
Sacramento Daily Union, May 2, 1859, page 1

    A correspondent at Ellensburg writes to the Jacksonville Sentinel: Do you know that in this neighborhood there are good diggings that pay $50 per day to the hand? At Randolph, at the mouth of the Coquille River, they have discovered the old ocean beach (old as Solomon, probably), some three hundred feet above the beach of the present day, and about three miles inland. At Randolph, the beach diggings of early days were very rich--$1,000 per day being made--no doubt fed by this older beach now found. At this place (the mouth of Rogue River), formerly known as "Gold Beach," beach mining continues to the present day, and in one locality part of an old ocean beach can be distinctly seen, with its shells, drift timber, black sand, etc. The latter was first worked about a year ago, providing good four dollar-a-day diggings, and this was the hint for finding the same at Randolph. It is most likely that the "streak" at Randolph is much older than the one at "Gold Beach,” as the latter is only about 80 feet above the present beach, and the sand is not so plentiful nor so rich, and it is probably the second beach. We look for rich discoveries next summer. In prospecting for that "streak" at Randolph, they intend boring, as it is covered with 30 feet of earth and thickly set with timber. A creek cut through and exposed it.
Stockton Independent, December 21, 1866, page 2

    A telegram from Jacksonville, Dec. 17th, says: The Red Beach diggings, near Randolph, have been found to be extensive. Some claims are paying one hundred dollars per day to the hand.

"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, December 29, 1866, page 407

    A correspondent at Ellensburg writes to the Jacksonville Sentinel: Do you know that in this neighborhood there are good diggings that pay $50 per day to the hand? At Randolph, at the mouth of the Coquille River, they have discovered the old ocean beach, some three hundred feet above the beach of the present day, and about three miles inland. At Randolph, the beach diggings of early days were very rich--$1,000 per day being made--no doubt fed by this older beach now found. It is most likely that the "streak" at Randolph is much older than the one at "Gold Beach," as the latter is only about 80 feet above the present beach, and the sand is not so plentiful nor so rich. We look for rich discoveries next summer. In prospecting for that "streak" at Randolph, they intend boring, as it is covered with 30 feet of earth and thickly set with timber. A creek cut through and exposed it.

"Oregon," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, January 5, 1867, page 7

    A search is being instituted along the beach in Coos County for black sand mines.
"Oregon Items," Sacramento Daily Union, April 22, 1875, page 4

Gathering Gold on the Seashore.
    The mining of gold on the ocean beach has always been one of the leading productive industries of Curry County. These mines have been found to pay from the Coquille south to some distance below the mouth of Rogue River, and a large number of these claims are still good property. Dennis Cunniff not long since sold some claims of this kind near Ellensburg for $2,000, and much higher figures have been offered for some of the other beach mines in that vicinity, says the Coast Mail. Among these may be mentioned the Ophir Beach mine, a deposit of black sand on and near the beach about five miles north of Rogue River, Ore. Will Huntley, the present owner, has constructed dikes, etc. that supply water all the year for working the beach below high water mark. It pays from $3 to $10 per day, and sometimes more, to the hand--owing to the freaks of Neptune in throwing up the sand. The bluff mine is twenty-five feet above tide and is an old beach in which there is a stratum of sand, from ten to twenty feet thick, that assays from $1 to $50 to the cubic yard. Experts who have examined [the] black sand pronounced this the richest they have seen in Oregon or California. There is from thirty to forty feet of gray sand above the lead, forming a bluff of seventy-five to 100 feet above tide. During the winter season Mr. Huntley runs one hydraulic under forty feet pressure, using fifty inches of water five or six months in the year, doing all the work himself, and realizing from $5 to an ounce a day. If some enterprising Yankee were to take hold of this mine and construct a ditch from Euchre Creek, a distance of ten miles, it would afford 200 inches of water all the year.--Portland (Oregon) Bee.
Union County Courier,
Elk Point, Dakota Territory, November 26, 1879, page 1

    For more than thirty years black sand mining has been carried on along the beach south of Coos Bay. The Lane mine was first worked sixteen years ago, and is now under the management of Mr. Bailey, to whom it is leased. The works represent an investment of $25,000, and employ sixteen men. The Eagle company spent $50,000 in building works, etc., and after conducting a failing business for some time sold out for $40, 000 to a California company, who spent $25,000 more and then abandoned the claim. First and last a good deal of gold was taken out of the Eagle, but the business never was profitable. Miners working by hand along the beach have always made good wages, and some few have picked up fortunes. "Big Mac" took $100,000 out of the sand in a few weeks, spent it in a few months, and is now keeping a hotel in Crescent City. The town of Randolph, which is marked on the maps, exists nowhere else. It was once a thriving mining camp, but the sands shifted, the mines failed and Randolph died--died as only a mining town can die.
"Southern Oregon Mines,"
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, January 28, 1882, page 59

Beach Mining.
    In 1853 gold was first discovered on the beach at the mouth of Rogue River, California, by a party of men who came up from Crescent City in a whaleboat.
Miners rushed in from Crescent City, Port Orford and Randolph, and in a short time the hitherto unknown shores were dotted with little villages of log cabins, where the miners congregated for safety, as the country was swarming with Indians who might have annihilated them were they less discreet. The mines extended along the beach for twelve miles on each side of Rogue River, and proved to be the most important beach mines ever found, and have well merited the name of "Gold Beach." No estimates, however, of the value of the precious metal extracted can be more than widely guessed at, but hundreds of thousands is the sum; nor is the beach yet "worked out;" but whenever it is sluiced by the ocean storms and tides it is still profitably worked--sometimes with results equal to the first, as if the gold were cast up from the sea. The primitive method of saving this gold, which is inconceivably finer than the beach sand, was by rough sluices and blankets, and drops in which were placed from fifty to one hundred pounds of quicksilver. But these were soon superceded by galvanized copper plates, the preparation and use of which were accidentally discovered by a miner at Cape Blanco. These copper plates by constant use became brittle and broken, and were thrown away by the wholesale for several years, when it was discovered that they were worth several dollars per pound for the gold that had "worked into them."
Daily Colonist, Victoria, B.C., April 27, 1882, page 6

Along the Coast from Gold Bluff to Gold Beach.

First Discoverers of the Precious Metal on the Ocean's Edge--
Hardships and Dangers of the Early Beach Miners.

(Written for the Sunday Oregonian.)
    Early in the year 1850 prospectors for gold and others in search of new localities for varied purposes were climbing the mountains, navigating the streams, and rambling through the wild and beautiful valleys of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Later in the year, and when the gold fields on the Klamath and its tributaries, the Salmon, Trinity and Scott rivers, and the hundreds of creeks and gulches tributary to these, were being discovered and developed, a search along the neighboring coast was begun on land and by sea for a suitable harbor at which to debark the supplies already needed by the miners and the immense quantities yet to be required in the near future. Humboldt Bay had been known for many years, and had sheltered a few vessels with supplies destined for the Klamath; but other harbors were sought for, and a convenient one was found not many miles above, and now known as Trinidad. This place soon became noted, and to it the people of the interior looked for all that they required; to it the wanderers on the coast above looked for a haven of rest and a store for food when nature enjoined them to halt and recruit. During the above-mentioned year a small schooner set sail from San Francisco to explore the Oregon coast in search of a harbor below the Columbia. Reaching the present harbor of Port Orford landing was effected, but possession was not held, for the natives were numerous and manifested extreme hostility to their unwelcome visitors. But later in the year a foothold was gained, which has continued
but the natives who frustrated the first advance are gone, and have left no mark behind but heaps of crumbling shells. Thus it was that in 1850 there had been no landing discovered on that long line of coast between Trinidad and Port Orford, and explorers on the coast of Southern Oregon repaired to the former place if an exit by sea was desired. In this year a company, principally Oregonians, went down the Klamath on a prospecting tour for gold and to explore the coast at its mouth for something new. It was customary in those days for exploring or prospecting companies to elect one of their number captain, and this company's leader was Eugene du Bertram, a Canadian Frenchman, and such were the most of his men. It was a well-known fact in early days that Frenchmen, when known to be such, were generally successful in their intercourse with all Indian tribes. These men were well received--after the gift of a few trinkets--by the lower Klamath Indians, and conveyed to the coast in canoes. They were out of civilized food, but subsisted quite well on such as the Indians had. They landed at the mouth of the river on the south bank, and set out for Trinidad, which was below. They followed the Indians' trail till they came to a high bluff under which it passed, at the edge of the surf. They sat down to rest on the hill above before they went down on the trail along the beach. While resting and scanning the ocean and the land, they thought that the sand on the beach under the high bluff looked like gold, but for it to be gold was impossible. But they descended to the beach and hurried on to the glittering expanse ahead, and sure enough it was gold. The beach, for several hundred yards, was a sheet of fine gold, but the layer was thin, of course; but no difference, they were rich; there was plenty of gold to make them all independent. But they were hungry, they had nothing that day to eat, and but little the day before. They hurried on to Trinidad, each sworn
from the outside world. They had taken some of the sand and dust along, and when they reached San Francisco, where they went to lay in supplies of food and other means to work their mines, they exhibited it to wealthy men who soon became interested in the matter and formed a company, laid in supplies and chartered a revenue cutter to go to the golden coast. They went up to the bluff but found no good place to land, so they lay off and on for a day or two, when six men determined to make the attempt to reach the beach. But the surf was so rough that their boat was capsized and all but one man drowned. That one was Bertram, the leader of the discoverers. He too would have shared the fate of his companions had not some Indians, who were living near the place, run in and pulled him out as a lucky wave washed his unconscious body near the shore. When those on the cutter saw that the men were drowned they sailed down to Trinidad and went up to the bluff on foot. When they got there they found Bertram, but no gold on the beach. They had not calculated on the action of the tide on the sand, and that the waves, nature's greatest separator, could obscure as well as unfold the glittering dust in the moving sand. The vessel and some of the company returned to San Francisco, while others of the men set out in search of better fields. But the apparition of the shining beach would not down, and subsequently searchers found the treasure again uncovered, and the fame of Gold Bluff was second to no place on the coast for a limited time. From that day the mines on the beach have been worked with varying success to the present time. Rising to an altitude of 400 feet, the bluff is composed of iron and common beach sand, in which fine gold in varying quantities is commingled. Under the bluff large redwood trees, stumps, bones and shells, besides stone implements of a prehistoric population, have been found. From below Trinidad in California to Randolph in Oregon iron sand in which there is much gold, and generally
has been found at an altitude of from 250 to 1200 feet above the present beach, and extending back to fifteen and twenty miles. These old deposits of iron sand vary from a few inches to as much as five feet in thickness, and are covered, at various depths, with common beach sand, upon which grow immense forests of large timber of different varieties. At Randolph, where this sand is found at an altitude of 250 feet above the ocean, it is covered with common beach sand sixty feet deep for three miles back into the heavy forest. Its highest altitude is between Trinidad and the Klamath, where it is 1200 feet, and here it extends furthest back into the inland forests of redwood, spruce, fir, and other sorts of timber. This pay belt extends only from Trinidad to Randolph, although some gold is found both above and below. In front of this belt, under the ocean waves, fine gold abounds, particularly at Crescent City, where, at a distance of ten miles out from the shore, numerous particles of gold were brought up from the bottom by means of a piece of tallow attached to a trawl. Along this gold belt, and even along the whole coast where the forests of timber grow on the depressions, the roots of trees and undergrowth run along on top of this iron and beach sand, just under the accumulations of alluvium, vegetable mold and undecayed leaves. The nourishment of these huge trees seems to be derived mainly from the atmosphere, which is always moist by reason of the superabundant rain and the general presence of heavy fog. Until the autumn of 1852 the place where Crescent City now stands was unknown, only so far as the passage along the beach of a few prospecting parties two years previously, the sojourn of a few days at a time of an occasional trapping and trading party many years before, and the lifelong residence, perhaps, of some of the crew of the ship Pelican, which was reported to have been lost in the neighborhood in the latter part of the last century. The rocky Point St. George had been located on the nautical charts, but the interior remained unexplored. The indifferent harbor of Crescent City was called
very likely for the reason above stated. When we come to speak of the Indians who inhabited the coast to the north of Point St. George, their tradition and physical aspect may lead to the supposition that white men had dwelt among them many years previous to the advent of the American settlers in the late autumn of 1852. The mines at Sailor Diggings, Althouse, Applegate and other places in the southern part of Oregon were yielding good returns for the labor expended upon them, and the question of cheaper supplies began to agitate the public mind. Before that time all their goods had been brought up the Klamath from Humboldt Bay and Trinidad, and from Shasta City by the way of Yreka and Scott Valley. The prices charged for packing were exorbitant, and but for the bountiful yield of the golden harvest the miners must have renounced their exciting toil. From Sailor Diggings to Pelican Bay was but forty miles, as the few men guessed who had traveled the route. A company was organized to inspect the place, and if all worked well to start a town. The company traversed the Coast Mountains, the dense forest of redwood, the low valley on the immediate coast, and pitched their tents on the sounding beach. A town site was at once staked out and given the name of Crescent City. The bay is in the form of a crescent, which aided the men in selecting a name. The majority of the proprietors remained, while a few went back to blaze a trail to Sailor Diggings, as that was the nearest camp. By the following spring a very fair trail had been made across the mountains to Illinois Valley. A ferry across Smith River had been constructed, whiskey shops along the trail at every spring or little stream were up and supplied with every needed thing to make the traveler forget his toilsome march, and a prosperous future for Crescent City was indisputably assured. The new location was enrolled among the list of trading posts, and early in the year the little crescent was filled with schooners at anchor, and the beach was lined with wholesale stores. The forest, but a few rods back from Water Street, resounded with the noise of ax and saw, while the busy rattle of the hammers on the rising houses kept time with the sounds of both. The
in a semi-nude state stalked among the hurrying men or peered into the well-filled stores. Pack trains came from the Oregon side, from the Klamath, above and below; and long before the first of June the mountains and hills, the gulches and creeks and the rivers were lined with men in search of gold. Up from the southern coast, down from the north, men and pack mules came in droves to swell the racket of the new coast town. "Frisco" sent up a supply of gamblers and others to fatten on the weaklings who came to the new emporium. A large and substantial Indian village was close to the town, near a point on the southern side; while a number of others of equal size were distributed along the coast to and on Point St. George, five miles above. The Indians of the Klamath and the coast below had felt the power of the white men, but those at and above Crescent City to the Columbia dreamed not of the horrors that the near future had in store for them; and those near town quite enjoyed the sights. In April of that year two miners from the Oregon side came down to Smith River on a prospecting tour on foot. At that time no part of Smith River had been explored by the whites, except a mile or so above and below the ferry on the southern fork. Indians were numerous along the stream and as wild as the bear on the hills and, like their kind on the Klamath, were willing to kill any white men who might chance to come in their way. It was known to many that these men went up the river to prospect, and their promised coming to Crescent City was anxiously looked for. But they did not come. A month passed and still no news of the absent men. About the middle of June the people of Crescent City became aware that there were many strange Indians at the village near the town engaged in gambling with those of the village. They had blankets, two revolvers, clothing and other articles which were soon recognized as having belonged to the two men who went up Smith River to prospect and whose coming had been anxiously awaited.
and clear and the Indians had their gambling ground at a spring near the village. Every available white man in the town armed himself, and the greater number of them went out to the gambling natives and killed nineteen, scattered the balance and burned the village. From that day the natives did not halt on their downward course till all the petty bands on Point St. George became extinct. Crescent City is but eighteen miles south of the 42nd degree of latitude, but at the time of settlement of the place none but an approximate idea could be formed of where the line struck the coast, and Chetco River, twenty-five miles north of the city, was, by common consent, the state line, until about August 1853 a United States vessel came up from San Francisco and established the line half a mile north of Winchuck River, four miles south of Chetco, which was accepted as the line by Curry County, Oregon and Del Norte County, California, until in 1869 a United States surveying party put the line three-quarters of a mile further south. In June 1853, a party of men from Crescent City made the first settlement in Curry County, Oregon, on the wide coast bend between Winchuck and Chetco rivers, a stretch of coast four miles long and from half a mile to one mile wide, back of which the hills rise to an altitude of about 1500 feet. Among these settlers were August Miller and wife, who settled on the west bank of the Chetco and built their house on the site of an ancient modding [midden], which is one of the most conspicuous and extensive on the Oregon coast, and will be particularly noticed in a future article. During the previous fall a part of French-Canadian half-bloods, while prospecting up the coast, discovered rich and extensive gold deposits at the mouth of Rogue River, which they succeeded in keeping secret until late the following spring, when a rush of American miners came upon them, pushing them out to wander on the coast above, where they struck new diggings, but not so extensive or rich, at the mouth of Sixes and Coquille rivers, and other places along the beach. At this time the
on this stretch of coast were Port Orford above and Crescent City below, and during the year 1853 there was much travel down the coast--from the doubtful things above to the surer things below; and it was not seldom that two or three men would set out from Port Orford down the coast along the difficult, secluded trail, among the treacherous savages, and never be heard of again. A notable instance of this kind occurred in the month of May of the above year. Three men, mounted and with one or two pack animals, started to come down to Crescent City. They succeeded in making their way safely through the many Indian villages along the trail till they had reached a deserted village halfway between Winchuck and Smith River, where they are supposed to have camped for the night. One of these men was the medium of a mercantile transaction between parties at Port Orford and at Crescent City, and his arrival at the latter place was anxiously awaited. Two months passed and he did not arrive. Other parties came down and reported that he had started down two months before in the company of two other men. They were undoubtedly murdered, and a watch was kept to discover some of their goods among the Indians. Early in July, Miller, who was then living at the mouth of the Chetco, observed many articles formerly belonging to white men in the possession of the Indians, and more particularly a number of shirts, two pairs of boots and a quantity of gold coin. When questioned about the goods they said that they had obtained them from a band of Henags who lived at the mouth of Smith River. But when accused of killing the men they said it was the Henags that did it. That was sufficient, and word was sent to Crescent City that the Indians at Smith River were the guilty ones. With little effort a company of men was organized, under the command of a Capt. McPhee, who was a noted pioneer backwoods warrior. A start was made from the city early in the morning for the country of the Henags, which reports located anywhere from the mouth of Smith River up to Chetco, eight miles above. At that time there were no roads or even Indian trails through the dark forests of redwood, but all ways of travel were along the beach or at the foothills,
passed through the more open timber from the open country north of the city to Smith River, five miles above its mouth. The company, numbering twenty-three men, armed for battle, slowly marched along the narrow, devious trail through the dark forest, some mounted, some on foot. Reaching the river at a wide ford the footmen were mounted behind and the crossing made with but one accident, in which a fractious horse dismounted its riders and lay down upon them in the water. Keeping close to the foothills, the company reached Winchuck River, four miles above Smith River, where a delay was made of a few hours. No Indians in sight. Back to Smith River after dark, and a bivouac in the "bull pine" grove half a mile back of the large village on the riverbank. At dawn an advance was made on the village, but it was deserted. On up the river a mile and a camp was sighted on an island one hundred yards from the mainland. Crawling up to the bank under cover of the thick mass of salal brush, a heavy volley was opened on the sleeping savages. At the first fire hundreds of Indians sprang out from their temporary shelter and sought their canoes on the opposite side of the island; some made off to a thicket of brush above. The rifles did not cease the rain of bullets upon the fleeing Indians. Rattling through the poles and mats of their huts, knocking up the sand in clouds among the swaying mass of savages, the white man's bullets for the first time--but it was not the last--began the work of death to the Indians of Smith River Valley. The large village near the mouth of the river was burned with all their accumulated supplies of food, and all else it contained. The village was a large one, built upon an elevated mound of ancient shell deposits. It was one of the most extensive towns on Point St. George, and a full description of it together with its surroundings and its inhabitants will be given in its turn, which may prove interesting to those who delight in antiquarian research. As before stated, a number of settlers in Curry County had staked off their claims in the valley, or wide open bench above tide water, between
rivers, built small log cabins and were occupying their time in hunting elk and deer on the low hills back of the valley, or sea otters that sported in large numbers in the breakers along the beach. With one exception, that of August Miller at the mouth of Chetco, these settlers were all young men and unmarried. To cultivate more than a small garden was not their aim, and improvements progressed slowly until the next year, when the rush to the Gold Beach mines at the mouth of Rogue River stimulated industries, brought married men with their families into the valley, and the small but fertile locality was quickly redeemed from its wild unproductiveness and became a prominent factor in supplying the mines along the beach with bread and meat. When Capt. McPhee and his company went up to the mouth of Smith River after the Indians, and on the return they passed through a large open valley north of the river and about fifteen miles from Crescent City, the soil appeared to be fertile, and small creeks in abundance came down out of the surrounding hills on the north and east. Tall fern covered the major part of the valley, and elk, in droves like domestic cattle, wandered at will over the beautiful place. The valley extended from the north bank of the river to its mouth, and on up the coast till it merged into the valley of Winchuck River. Some of the men of the company, with others, six in all, returned to the valley and took up their abode at the mouth of the river. The Indians seemed friendly, and everything went on well until three of the settlers, while passing by a deep sink in the valley, about two miles above the mouth of the river, discovered a peculiar stench arising from it. Investigating further, they descended to the bottom and found a subterranean passage leading towards the beach, 100 yards distant. The stench was almost intolerable, but their suspicions were aroused and they followed the passage and came upon the nude body of a white man lying on his face, about fifty feet from the entrance. A short piece of rope was tied around his neck, indicating that he had been
by a rope around his neck. Returning to the entrance they went to the beach, and found under the high bank the lower end of the passage. Going up it a short distance they found another body, which seemed to have been drawn in from the beach. The mystery surrounding the fate of the three men who started from Port Orford to Crescent City the previous May was now solved. Previous to the discovery of the bodies, and when the six men just mentioned took up their residence at the mouth of the river, a young Indian, of a sinister expression of countenance, and something of a swaggering deportment, came to their camp to make friends with the men, and expressing a wish to take up his quarters with them. He was treated kindly and remained at their camp a great portion of the time. He had an old Harper's Ferry rifle, on the stock of which was carved the name of Newton. He claimed to have got the gun from some Indian up the coast; but the name of one of the murdered men was believed to be Newton, and the Indian was accused of being connected with the murder. Immediately his demeanor changed from friendly to defiant, which sealed his doom. No doubt but those early pioneers entertained very crude ideas of the administration of justice, but in few instances were they guilty of actual wrong in the execution of the verdicts of their hasty backwoods courts. [Other than the three massacres upon innocent natives described in this article, of course.] The Indian was executed, and as soon as he was out of the way others of his tribe said that he was one of the guilty ones, and a standing terror to his neighbors. The Indians at the mouth of the river now made a clean breast of the murders, telling all the horrid particulars of the affair; how this young Smith River Indian, who had been killed, and another of the tribe, who was then absent, together with a lot more from Chetco, had crept up to the men while asleep and killed them with their long knives, but only after a very desperate struggle; then drew their bodies into the subterranean passage, and went up the coast with the goods to have
with the Chetcos and others. The dead men's horses they took up to Chetco and drowned them in the river. In later years, skeletons of white men were found at various points along the coast, indicating many murders by the savages.
    It was not till about July, 1853, that the news of the discovery of gold at the mouth of Rogue River, or, as it was subsequently called, Gold Beach, had spread sufficiently to induce a rush of miners and others to the place. From upper Rogue River and its tributaries, from the mines of Illinois Valley, from the Klamath, from Crescent City, swarms of men poured out towards the new discovery; and by the following fall the coast line from Coos Bay to Crescent City had been prospected; in some cases with good results. But Gold Beach had turned out many fortunes, and still the sands were prolific in gold. The sanguine miners worked like beavers at the water's edge and back to the bluff; men in the near forest felled the trees for use; vessels crossed the bar with goods for the busy throngs and succumbed to the angry waves and disappeared from view in the boiling sea. From elevated lands, from dark coverts of matted brush on the adjacent flats, the wild natives observed this shifting panorama of unwonted scenes with awe and curiosity. Days rolled on and the enchantment of the distant view passed away, and courting the fascinations of a near approach, they mingled with the whites and learned to glean the sparkling gold from the shifting sand. The great rush to Gold Beach stimulated the few who had taken up land near Crescent City and small fields were enclosed and the first crop planted in 1851. The large valley on Smith River was settled upon in the same year and many fields were planted. Adventurers built their cabins at every promising spot along the coast from Rogue River to Crescent City, and before the expiration of the year the white men and the Indians were disputing with marked earnestness for the possession of the country. Families from Oregon and California came to the valleys and took the place of
while the blithesome shouts of happy children inaugurated a new and better era in those fertile wilds along the coast. At Gold Beach the whites and natives lived in comparative peace from the first settlement of the place until just before the final subjugation of the tribes in June 1856; but down the coast, from Pistol River to Crescent City, many Indians were killed in the frequent collisions with the whites. A few small camps of Indians on the headwaters of Illinois River, living in the valley near Sailor Diggings, evinced a steady friendship for the whites, and did not join the belligerent tribes farther down the river, and in Applegate and Rogue River Valley, when they made the outbreak upon the settlers in [October] 1855 these friendly Indians served as a medium through which the hostile ones gathered information of the maneuvers of the whites, and for this reason their camps were raided, some of them killed, and the remainder driven away. Some of them probably joined the hostiles, but some went over the mountain and secreted themselves on the South Fork of Smith River. Shortly after, a pack train was en route from Crescent City to Illinois Valley, and camped on a creek near Smith River. Indians came upon them and killed two of the packers and robbed the train. A few weeks after a report was circulated in Crescent City that a lot of strange Indians were at an Indian village on the lagoon five miles from the city with many articles taken from the train or from some other white men, which they were putting up to gamble for with the lagoon Indians, who were on good terms with the whites. The matter was investigated by the leading citizens of the city, and the old chief of the lagoon Indians disclaimed all affinity with the strangers, and was willing to kill the guilty ones or turn them over to the whites. Other than good counsels prevailed at the city, and a company of men was organized and went out to a village on Smith River above the lagoon and lay
when, as the Indians began to stir out, they opened fire upon them. With the first reports of the rifles all the Indians within the houses came out to make their escape, but were shot down as they ran. Between forty and fifty of the men were killed, besides several women and children. Their village, the last one remaining on Point St. George and Smith River, was burned. Thus ended the last conflict of the people of Crescent City and the native tribes on Smith River and Point St. George. Many of the young men had gone over the mountains and joined the hostiles months before, and those who remained at home were suspicioned of being engaged in forwarding supplies, as chance offered opportunities, to those at open war on Rogue River. The scores of well-built villages on Point St. George and Smith River that the whites found when they entered the country in the autumn of 1852 were all burned to the ground within the space of three years, and the approximate 1200 natives had during the same time dwindled to less than 400. But few remain today, and of a type far removed from those of earlier days. In Chetco Valley a few dozen only are left to represent the hundreds that dwelt on the river but thirty years ago. Before the white men entered the country, and but for a short time after, the hills, mountains and valleys were covered with game, deer, bear and elk in great numbers. It was no uncommon thing to see bands of elk, often numbering as high as forty, quietly grazing among the tall fern or lying at ease in the sheltered spots of the valleys. Deer were so numerous and tame that the poorest hunters would be successful. Black bears were so numerous that the hunter learned to watch for them while hunting for gentler game. It was several years before beef supplanted the flesh of the elk in the markets, and not then till the valleys were fenced and the elk driven further back into the mountains. The dark depths of the heavy redwood forests were the chosen homes of the elk during the winter months, where they grazed on the succulent undergrowth and were sheltered by the intertwining tops of the towering trees. On the rocks at the mouths of the rivers, up the streams for a mile or two, sea lions basked in the sun and roared their songs of love; in the little coves along the shore they wallowed on the sandy beach or slept in peace on the driftwood under the bluffs. Whales sported in pairs, and often more, a mile or so off from the beach, flinging their huge tails high into the air and spouting long curving streams of water. It was no uncommon occurrence for one to strand on the beach to serve as a feast for the hungry natives. Sea otter rode the combing waves close to the shore and many were killed by the pioneer hunters, who reaped a fair harvest of gold for their valuable furs. But now all is changed, and compared to thirty years ago, the coast is a solitude as regards the old-time native inhabitants.
Sunday Oregonian, Portland, December 6, 1885, page 2

Black Sand.
    At various points along the Pacific Coast from Gray's Harbor, Washington, on the north, to Point New Year, thirty miles below San Francisco, on the south, there are found heavy deposits of a heavy black sand, of about the fineness of ordinary beach sand, which contain more or less of finely divided but rather pure gold particles. This is called black sand, from its color, which is usually black, and sometimes iron sand, from the fact that chemically it is mainly iron. The deposits are of two kinds--the old beach sands, meaning those which lie considerably above the present water level, and the new or late sands, which form part of the present beaches, and, like the other beach sands, are moved back and forth by the waves.
    The gold-bearing sands along the present beaches are usually black in color and are composed mostly of particles of magnetic iron; that is to say, of the magnetic oxide of iron, called magnetite. In chemical constitution the substance is considered to be a mixture of the protoxide and sesquioxide of iron, having seventy-two parts metallic iron to twenty-eight of oxygen. It is hard, sometimes scratching glass; its specific gravity is about five. It is strongly magnetic and is infusible. It is found in nature disseminated through granite, gneiss, mica slate, syenite, hornblende slate, chlorite slate and limestone, and at other times forms extensive beds of ore suitable for making the finest qualities of iron and steel. It is the same as lodestone or native magnet, excepting that the latter possesses polarity. It is maintained by some that the magnetic ore in the shape of black sand is even better adapted for steel-making than that which occurs in beds. But why this should be so is not explained. With the iron, which usually amounts to half or three-fourths of the whole bulk, there are other substances which may be regarded as impurities. They are first, and most useless and deleterious, titanic iron, called ilmenite, a substance possessing the same hardness, color and specific gravity as magnetite, but of no use in the arts, although it is rich in oxide of iron, and is prejudicial in smelting. Rounded quartz sand forms a varying proportion of the beds, sometimes nearly the whole and sometimes being entirely absent. The gem called zircon, a silicate of zirconium, also exists in the beach sands, and is not rare, though too small to be noticed except mineralogically. These, with other and rarer substances, make up the black sands, with the exception of the contained gold which is supposed to be always free or unencumbered.
    During the time that experimenters have been dealing with the problem, a large number of people have been making a living and some few getting rich by working the sands in the simplest and cheapest possible way; namely, by sluicing or rocking. It was in 1852 that the first work of the sort was done; it commenced that year on the California coast at Gold Bluff, near Crescent City, and in Oregon at the beaches at the mouth of the Rogue and Coquille rivers. Over a thousand miners were engaged in the industry at various points along the Pacific shore in the following years, the most being congregated near the points named, where the sand was richest. Work has been kept up at those localities, and intermittently at many others. No close estimates of the number of miners engaged therein have ever been made, nor of their earnings; but estimates for particular years have often been published. Probably the average number of miners employed steadily at this work would not vary much from 500, taking the years together. There has been a gradual decrease from 1856, when the number was greatest. In that year the coast of Curry and Coos counties was the scene of very active operations, and the former county contained then and for several subsequent years more people than it has at present. Large camps were built up at various points, and some of them remain populated at this day. Randolph, at the mouth of the Coquille, the center of the "high" or old beach mining industry, was the principal camp. Still, the resources of gold are not by any means exhausted, nor are they exhaustible if judged by their present appearances. There is hardly any diminution of riches noticed in the moving sands of the lower beaches, while the high deposits have hardly been touched. Explorations continually reveal more of the latter, and the ocean is continually providing more of the former.
    The product of the Pioneer mine in Coos County, Or., was $18,600 in one year.
    The most important "old beach" deposits occur about the mouth of the Coquille River, Coos County, where there are beds of many feet in thickness, overlaid usually with barren sand and other debris to a greater or less extent, the principal bed being buried under such a thickness that it would require extensive mining operations to obtain the gold which is known to be disseminated therein. For working a deposit of this kind a system of drift mining is recommended, wherein the overlying mass of gravel is supported temporarily by timbering, while the auriferous materials are sluiced out and the gold recovered. An open cut might be run to the sea, in which cut a long line of sluices with riffles should be stationed. Working a block of gravel here several feet in depth, although lying under from twenty to forty feet of worthless material, might be expeditiously and safely performed this way. These deposits have a sameness of description; they lie 30, 60, 100 and even 300 feet above the present beach, and are referable to various periods of elevation of the shore line, probably not, geographically, very ancient in any case.
    In Tillamook, Or., a new process has been introduced by which it is claimed that fully ninety percent of the gold can be saved. The body of black sand is almost unlimited, as it is found nearly everywhere on the ancient beach which extends inland along the Coquille River about two miles and has been traced north and south to a considerable distance. A complete successful process would be hailed with joy all along the coast.
    Since the above was in type, the following was noticed in the current number of a Del Norte Co., Cal., paper, published close to a large deposit of this sand, and is here appended as illustrative of hundreds of similar items that have been published in this paper in the last thirty-four years, exemplifying the fact that the industry is a permanently paying one, and that there has been little change in the successful methods of securing the gold:
    The black sand mine of E. Yates, a couple of miles below Crescent City, is running in full blast, and indications are that it is a bonanza. The machine used for saving the fine particles of gold is similar to the "Old Tom," in use for many years in mining along the beaches. In this machine twenty-five square feet of corrugated copper plates are used, the usual mercury being put on. After the sand that contains the gold passes over the plates, it passes over a blanket. Should the plates fail to catch all the gold, the blanket does it. Mr. Yates believes that almost every particle of gold is saved. In a run of fifty hours about $100 was saved. The indications are that the other portions of the property are richer than this, as it is among the driftwood that he is now getting his sand.

Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, September 1, 1894, page 130

    Gold is known to exist in sea and river sands of many parts of the world; and wandering miners, chiefly Chinese, on the North Pacific Slope of America, have contrived to make a precarious living by extracting it with the aid of primitive appliances; while in New Zealand companies have even succeeded in obtaining respectable returns by the use of powerful pumping and reducing apparatus. Recognizing that there are already quite sufficient concerns at work in New Zealand (which have moreover, scarcely fulfilled anticipations during the past year or two), the company promoter has for the present glued his eye upon the sands of California and Oregon, with the object of extracting gold therefrom, directly, if luck is good, and anyway indirectly, through the medium of fools, otherwise known as investors. Two companies have been formed quite recently to exploit the Fraser River--famed for salmon, king, silver and red, which last alone comes here--and several more have since been exploited, and will be heard of later, unless they are damned before birth by the kindly Providence which takes special care of fools and protects them (occasionally) against knaves. It is quite true that gold does exist in some of the sands of the Pacific Slope from San Francisco northward as far as Alaska; the trouble is that the quantity is very variable at best, and, at. worst, is not "pay dirt." It has not been reserved for the present generation to discover the metal. That was done forty years ago, when someone came across gold in what were supposed to be paying quantities among the sands of the coast near the Klamath River, at a point which from this fact came to be known as Gold Bluff. There were a number of Californian miners then idle, and they rushed to Gold Bluff only to go away cursing. The general results were unfavorable. The ordinary mode of washing and amalgamation was entirely inefficient for the purpose of saving the gold. At a later date more intelligent and less eager men searched the coast for similar deposits, and ascertained that the auriferous sands extended for a distance of over 200 miles, and reached from the 41st to the 44th parallel, with Trinidad Bay as the southern limit and the Umpqua River as the northern. Further investigations conducted within comparatively recent years have shown that they persist sporadically as far as Mount St. Elias, in latitude 60º north, where last year $19,000 worth of gold was recovered. Gold Bluff, the scene of the first rush, commences about twenty miles north of Trinidad Bay, and the golden sands stretch for another twenty miles. There is a company still working there, with, we understand, rather indifferent results. The sands are packed to the sluices on mules. Among the many other districts along the coast which have been tapped for their treasure, such as it is, are Rogue River (Oregon), Port Orford, and Whiskey Run, near Coos Bay. At this last place considerable mining has been done from time to time. The deposits were first worked by a wandering miner, who obtained gold of the value of $25,000 in two months by the ordinary mode of washing, which involves the loss of probably 75 percent of the gold passed through. Whiskey Run is still one of the best locations on all the coast. It is the place where the ancient ocean beach was discovered 190 ft. above the present sea level. As a general rule, in regard to beach sands, the gold is most plentiful a. short distance down the slope under the water, where the riffles are formed by the breaking of the waves as they near the shore. Most of the spasmodic work that has been done has been along the low-water line, where the sands are invariably the richest The waves, during heavy storms, seem to form new deposits along the beach, either by washing the sands up from the bed of the sea below the tides, or by concentrating the sands by their sluice-like action as the water advances and recedes on the sloping beach. Several processes of separation have been tried from time to time since it became apparent that nothing could be done in a large way with the primitive apparatus pathetically affected by the loafer-prospector. But no real success was secured until the adoption of the chlorination process. The great deterrent to work on sand-gold is the very uncertain nature of the ground. As we have said, the deposits have nowhere along the coast--either on the ocean beaches or on the banks of the rivers, which flow from the mountains of the inner land, and empty themselves into the Pacific--been shown to be so exceptionally rich as to warrant the investment of any money in limited companies designed to extract the yellow metal. Much fuss has been made of the earnings, as though all the sands were in equal degree auriferous. But they are not, and obviously the aggregate earnings of two or three hundred Chinamen would not go a very long way towards the payment of dividends on a capitalization of £150,000 or thereabouts. Some of the sands contain other minerals besides gold. A United States Geological Survey Expedition, which last year investigated the beaches of Oregon, found platinum, iridium, osmium, and other rare metals. The black sands up and down contain as much as 70 percent of the purest iron, and they might be more profitably worked for this metal than for the thin flakes of gold which occur in conjunction with it. But no machinery has yet been devised which will rescue for the use of man the rare metals referred to, and even in regard to gold the returns are seldom really satisfactory. Better results might follow by the general adoption of the methods in vogue on the Molyneux River and its two great feeders, the Kawaren and the Shotover, in New Zealand. There powerful suction dredgers are employed which put through an enormous quantity of sand and water in the course of a day. In this way, very good results have been secured on some of the claims taken up. It will be apparent that by the adoption of the Welman dredgers a small percentage of gold in the masses treated is sufficient to give profits. We gather that similar apparatus is to be used by the companies which propose to work the waters of the Pacific Slope of America. At present the best thing they have there is an amalgamator which treats 25 tons in a day. But even with dredgers of the most advanced type the business is exceedingly risky, and personally we should advise Englishmen to leave this source of wealth to Americans, who have a more immediate interest in it than we have.--Pall Mall Gazette.
Evening News,
Sydney, Australia, August 14, 1897, page 12

LOS ANGELES, Cal., December 14, '98.
    EDITOR MINING REVIEW:--The last issue of your paper contained an article about the treatment of auriferous black sand in Colorado, somewhere, by the Stephens process. What that process is I have no means of knowing. It may prove successful in inland mining, but whether it will be so on the ocean beaches between here and the Alaskan boundary is something that yet remains to be tested.
    If it is a success on ocean sands as it is on those taken from freshwater streams it will augment the gold product of California and Oregon as much as any new quartz discoveries that have been made in the past two years. Indeed, speaking from my own personal observation, I do not know of any kind of mining on this coast where the return for capital invested has been as poor as it has been in this very matter of ocean beach work. The first beach discoveries were made near the mouth of the Klamath River in the old county of that name (now abolished and parceled out between Del Norte and Siskiyou) in 1852. The great stress laid upon its value was the extreme cheapness with which it could be worked, but the unlucky men who left good diggings on the tributaries of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers for experimental work at Trinidad, Crescent City and Gold Bluff were only too glad to get away from the latter localities and strike out for the headwaters of the Rogue River in Jackson County, Oregon. It was by disappointed beach miners that the rich diggings on Althouse, Sailor Diggings, Kerbyville and Evans Creek were found in the early spring of 1853. At that time I rode the express for Colonel Jack Garnbill between Crescent City and Sailor Diggings and can speak understandingly of all the suffering and destitution I saw among the disappointed beach miners.
    The gold was rusty and no plan could be devised to save it. The iron in the gold, of course, was acted upon by the sea water and that rusted it so as to defy amalgamation with mercury. There was a man who lived down at the south side of the bar at Crescent City, with a squaw that they called Minnie. She always reminded me of Miss Consistency in search of her lost jewel. This man, whose name I have forgotten, took a sledge hammer and beat out a lot of Mexican dollars to the size of an ordinary saucer and then drilled holes in them through which he nailed them down to the bottom boards of his sluiceboxes. He also scarified them with the sharp point of a chisel so they would hold minute globules of quicksilver and in that way he used to get about six dollars per ton from black sands that would go as high as twelve or fourteen by the fire assay.
    Up around Coos Bay and Coquille River the deposits of black sand are very extensive, but, if any man is a dollar ahead for working them, I have never yet heard of it. The Lockhart mine, near Randolph, was an extensive one, but Lockhart's wife supported him and educated a large family by keeping boarders, while his partner, Moody, staved off starvation by getting elected sheriff. Adam Pershbaker, one of the best men that ever lived, blew in $20,000 of his own and about $30,000 for his rich brother, and all he ever got out of it was a bare living. Not far from them was the Lane mine, run by John Lane, an ex-Confederate colonel, and a son of Joe Lane, the hero of Buena Vista. John supposed that, as the salt water rusted the gold, the only way to save it was to remove the salt, so he went to the Risdon iron works, San Francisco, and had five great iron kettles cast, with a capacity of five tons each, in which the sand was to be boiled with fresh water. Before he got through with it the whole Lane family (and the woods were full of them) went "stone broke" on the proposition. In none of these cases did the sand show less than $12 per ton by fire assay, and from that to $16. They simply could not save the gold.
    Up at the mouth of the Alsea, in Lane County, the deposits were not as extensive as on the Coquille, but the test showed a greater fire assay value, still nobody ever got rich out of them. Bush Wilson, who was the county clerk of Benton County "ever since the woods were burnt," invented a machine in 1888 to work black sands with the aid of electricity. He sent a man down to Australia to get out patents for it in that country, and the man came home in the steerage about four months later. There was no beach mining in that country, and hence the treatment was of no real value there.
    I am not sanguine over the Stephens process even yet, after all its good results in Colorado. But if it will work the black sands on the Pacific Ocean beaches, which extend all the way from Santa Barbara to the mouth of the Skeena in British Columbia, we will see more money in circulation in the small towns of the Pacific Coast than has been seen during the last thirty years. Doubtful as I am of its ability to cope with the action of salt water, I am praying earnest for its success. It means millions to the three states of California, Oregon and Washington.
"Voices from the Pacific," Salida Mail, Salida, Colorado, December 23, 1898, page 1

Some More About Black Sand.
    Whether I do right or not to say more about this theme, I have to leave it to the judgment of the Editor. At the same time the friendly reader must not accept the quintessence of my writings as my own views; true, I have combined personal observations with the studies and expressions of many of the most prominent geologists, and thus I speak of the numbers, of the action of the world's forces generally called "Laws of Nature."
    Any opinion arising in the reader differently than I express, would it not be a most pleasant pastime of a half of an hour to write such for the Recorder, and in so doing become helpful to extend information to those who seek such. I, for one, should be thankful for it.
    Our journey has brought us to the mouth of Whiskey Run, six miles north of Bandon.
    In itself it is no scenic location nor any beauty to be discovered, however there is something most interesting in these with me. Thousands of people have passed there, have seen it, but to most of them it is a book closed, not worthy their notice.
    But a very short walk up the beach we find under the high bluff of sand a black muck, filled with decomposed logs; this, my friends, has been, God knows how long ago, the mouth of the Coquille River, emptying its waters at present as you find it.
    Do you doubt such? Then let us climb the bluff and follow the marks which here and there can be found substantiating foregone expression; for three miles we follow such, then at once the depression turns east, and shortly southward, and we can distinctly see where the Coquille used to flow; this location is at the beginning of the island above the present Randolph.
    We now take an outing and prospect and investigate the country lower down.
    One of the points to speak of is the rock at the beach below the lookout of the life saving station. At very heavy storms and high tides this is a locality where much more gold is thrown up in the sand than anywhere in the neighborhood.
    Old Mr. Lewis, the first settler in this locality where Bandon now stands, took advantage of this fact and upon a small sledge, drawn by his horse, he hauled this sand upon high ground and washed it out whenever he needed gold dust; money, then, was not in circulation here. It might pay someone to watch his chances, winter storms being more to an advantage than any other time.
    Further down we go. There are several creeks, in which neighborhood much gold has been mined in former years, and the same storms which covered up the beach at Whiskey Run also destroyed these mines.
    At the present time good paying sand is found back of Col. Rosa's sawmill on Mr. Little's place.
    After a pleasant march we arrived at Cape Blanco. Those who have not been there miss a rare opportunity and a point worthy to visit. Upon its furthest western point stands the lighthouse, much larger than the one in Bandon. Far out into the ocean are many rocks, towering above the seas. Close to it also is a wireless telegraph station; the officers in charge of either one of these places are extremely well pleased to show visitors those great aids for the navigators. Before the United States bought Alaska from the Russian government, Cape Blanco was the most western point of the United States.
    A short distance below we find that the bluffs are very high and perpendicular; a hundred feet or so west and parallel with those bluffs is a long reef; at many places, the waves which in storms break themselves against those rocky walls have washed deep caves into them, the tops overhanging the waters below, which are always surging and never calm, giving a good picture of the unbridled forces of God's great nature and reminding me of the Scylla and Charybdis in Italy of which the great German poet Schiller speaks in his poem "The Diver" when he says--and it rolls and beams and hisses as if the sea will bear another sea.
    From here we will branch off, leaving the beach to follow the Sixes River upstream. Not many miles and we come to the Madden mine; this no doubt is one of the richest gold deposits this side of Gold Beach; however, when we consider that this mine is one hundred and seventy feet above the present sea level we must be astounded when we consider that this black sand, too, has been washed there by the surf, such as is done at the present beach.
    You may doubt such, you have right to do so, however, what will you say when from there we go up into the mountains and find, seven hundred feet above the Madden mine, another heavy layer of black sand?
    To those who have doubted or explained that those mountains have been raised by volcanic eruptions, I only will answer--go and examine those deposits; if your explanation would be correct such deposits would not be as they are, on a perfect level, but rolling and broken up; but such is not the case.
    We must accept the unexpected facts that many millions of years ago the Pacific Ocean had its terminus eight hundred and seventy feet higher, as we find such now.
    Incredible! and still it was so! Go to other continents, for instance--the North Sea between England and Germany. Ages and ages ago the very ocean which washes the sands of Holland and Borussia bordering the East Sea, or Baltic, reached many hundreds of miles inland and ceded and had its beach there covering all this land now inhabited. In Saxony, the southern part of Germany, below Meissen at Hirshberg, was the beginning of the Atlantic Ocean.
    Geology has taught us and the proofs of such facts are written in all those different formations of the the crust of the earth, that once, many millions of years ago, the continent of North and South America was covered by water and nothing but the Appalachia Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada and Colorado and parts of the Cascades were visible above the level of such a vast expanse of water; the Andes were all of it reaching above the water in South America.

Bandon Recorder, March 4, 1911, page 1

Mount Butler.
    Slowly, very slowly, the process of cooling of as large a body as the earth is proceeding. Thousand years are but one day; with the cooling process is the shrinking of the body itself, gases, vapors, heat, steam, different elements when brought in contact produce fire, heat of enormous high degree, or explosive furies; all those active, or better, destructive powers enclosed in such cooled-off place cannot be prevented from causing eruptions, called earthquakes, raising portions of the crust, lowering other parts, opening veins in rock formations thus to allow more water to seek or rush into the molten interior and with it producing new outbreaks.
    Thousands of such volcanoes were active, but more and more the cooling process advanced and volcanoes, once very active, died off.
    One of those now-dead volcanoes was the Butler Mountain in the Sixes River district, Curry County.
    This mountain had changed this district many times; formations and stratifications, one after the other, was partly completed when now outbreaks leveled them, again filling up canyons in which tropical plants had flourished, and those bodies of decaying vegetation, hundreds of feet deep, become covered, forming extensive coal deposits such as we now find below Rusty Mountain on Coal Creek.
    It is said that the deposit there is mightier than any other known coal vein, over one hundred feet thick; however, this coal bed has been broken up so often and surface dirt mixed with the vegetable matter that it is of no commercial value at the present time.
    Not far away is Mount Avery; the northern part of this mountain shows the original formations, while the south side is composed of conglomerates, showing that enormous powers have crushed that first formations, moved them more than once to the height of two thousand eight hundred feet above the present sea level.
    Not less effects were produced on Salmon Mountain, Johnson Mountain as far as Iron Mountain. Mount Butler was active until one side, the east side of it, became so weak that it could not withstand the pressure of the interior; the wall caved and thousands of feet fell inward, filling up the crater with such an amount of debris that it choked the same and extinguished it.
    Three sides of the former crater are still to be found in existence; the east side now forms the west branch of Butler Creek, while way up a cone composed of rocks which filled the crater is still to be seen. The outflow of lava had been mostly towards the Elk River, but was covered by the top of Butler Mountain in its dying struggle and convulsions.
    With this description of four mountains, the Butler, Avery, Rusty and Salmon, I come back to the wonderfully large gold deposits of our rivers, the black sand and coarse gold deposits in those mountains.
    Miners found and still find gold of three different qualities, value and character.
    To explain such qualities the coarse gold is found on the Johnson Mountain side as well as on the South Sixes River; this gold has once been melted out of the mother vein, quartz, and is found in localities on these two rivers as well as in the streams; its nuggets are seldom larger than from three-quarters of an ounce to an ounce, but much is smaller down to large colors. Some is found in high bars on the Elk River; there it is in the shape of grains of wheat.
    Many times the bars on the South Sixes have been worked and much gold has been won; after a few years new deposits form again; this shows that the mountainsides contain rich reserves of this metal, which with the yearly winter rains is washed into the creeks and riverbeds.
    The color of this gold has a dark color; its value is eighteen dollars per ounce.
    It would lead too far were I to speak of the different successful miners, some of whom still work up there. In my next description I shall write of the other mountains. For this time enough.

Bandon Recorder, April 14, 1911, page 2

Rusty Mountain.
    We now will leave Butler Mountain and proceed to look for other fields of observation. Following the trail which passes upward, we cross the South Sixes River and come onto the Bear Pen flat; at the upper edge of this flat used to stand an old cabin, the bear pen; a little below, myself and three other men attempted to sink a prospect shaft with the intention of finding the old river bed; however, hard work without pay has cooled off many a prospector, so here, at the depth of twelve feet, the first of the company left us to go home and see Mother, then the second one and the third one gave up, and leaving me alone I was compelled to follow the rest.
    Some of these days some pushing parties may take it up and go deeper and will, without doubt of failure, find the old river bed, there to strike it rich. From Bear Pen we cross Huckleberry Flat; a once-tremendous mountain slide, which, at the time this happened, forced the river out of its original bed and washed a new channel there where it flows now.
    The next flat we reach, its name has passed my memory; there we climb some very steep hills; upon the top we find an old elk trail and follow such until we are at the eastern end of Rusty Mountain; here, too, stood an old board house; like Bear Pen, it was set afire.
    Years ago the Harrison boys and their father made their home here and did some successful mining. The gold found here is of an entire different character. It is a gold, which no doubt is forming even at the present time, found only in decomposed manganese and this only in veins of porphyry, such as have formed on the level; any other direction of such veins is bare.
    The color is very pale yellow, as much silver is alloyed with it. The value is only sixteen dollars an ounce, some of it of less value.
    A mountain slide which broke off from Rusty Mountain, filling up the ravines leading to Rusty Creek, no doubt has washed quantities of this metal into the creek and thence it worked its way clear to the ocean.
    Different parties in former years worked high bars with good results; now there are but pockets there and it is hard to say whether many are left. The Harrison boys were extremely good prospectors, and strong, willing and hard-working miners.
    From here Salmon Mountain is in sight and appears not far off; so it is, but the steepness of the mountains to climb down and the same difficulties from the middle fork of Sixes up to the top of Salmon is not a light march. In former years this was the home of many deer, but hunters have destroyed hundreds of them; not to use the meat, but only to slaughter, to destroy. Those brainless persons have succeeded remarkably well, not many being left.
    At one trip I made over this part there were eight deer which had died from wounds received by such men; not one had been found by the murderers of those innocent and graceful animals.
    The game warden at the time was a deaf and dumb man who could not hear a shot fired right behind him.
    At one time a number lodged overnight in an old shack; accidentally some blasting powder, which was hid alongside the chimney, exploded, knocked the roof off of the house, and threw the game warden upon the floor; after raising up he inquired--"What was that?"

Bandon Recorder, April 18, 1911, page 2

By Fred Lockley
    If you have ever traveled along the coast of Curry County you have undoubtedly noticed the large amount of black sand at Gold Beach. Gold Beach is well named. In the early days it was literally a beach of gold. Somewhere, back in the mountains of Curry County, there must be rich ledges of gold quartz, for along the streams, as well as along the beach, large amounts of coarse gold have been panned, rocked or sluiced out. That there is somewhere in the mountains a rich quartz ledge is proved by the rich specimens brought to Jacksonville in the early days from what is now known as the "Lost Soldier" ledge. Someday this ledge and others from which the placer deposits along the Curry County coast have come will be discovered.
    Some years ago, in talking of the early days of Curry County, one of Curry County's earliest settlers, Judge William Packwood, told me of the discovery of gold on the Curry County beach.
    "Gold was first discovered there," said Mr. Packwood, "at Battle Rock, near Port Orford. Early in the year, either in February or March, 1853, I saw an old man named Simmons putting in sluice boxes in the little stream that flows into the ocean near Battle Rock.
    "In the spring of 1850, while at Trinidad, Cal., I met a party prospecting up the coast toward the Oregon line. Whether they found any gold on the Oregon beach I do not know. Captain Tichenor, who founded. the town of Port Orford, told me there was gold in the sand in front of Port Orford, but he didn't know whether it existed in paying quantities. I believe Simmons was the first man who actually did beach mining. That summer Simmons, with several others, went to the mouth of Rogue River, where they struck it rich.
    "Early in June, 1853, Captain A. J. Smith, captain of C Troop, First United States Dragoons, of which I was a member, took a detail of men to look over the country between Port Orford and Coos Bay. They stopped at a stream later called Whiskey Run, to tighten their packs. One of the soldiers, Marion Dildine, lay down to take a drink of water. As he drank he saw in the bottom of the stream some black sand in which were particles of gold. Securing a tin cup from his saddle, he gathered a cup or black sand, panned it down, and found colors in the bottom of the cup. The men who were in the party agreed to keep the find secret so they could come back later when they were mustered out and take up claims.
    "Not long after the soldiers returned to Port Orford several miners arrived from California. Among these miners were McNamara, McKay, Judd and 'Doc' Hall. The evening they arrived one of the soldiers who had been with the party who had found the gold on Whiskey Run spent the evening with them. Drink loosened his tongue and he told them of the find they had made on Whiskey Run. Early next morning they struck out up the coast. McNamara, or 'Big McNamara,' as he was usually called, had flaming red hair. His face was very red and was covered with freckles. He was still drunk when they pulled out next morning. He was riding a small horse. He swayed from side to side, occasionally grabbing the horse's mane or the horn of the saddle to keep from falling. There were 10 other miners with McNamara.
    "They stopped at the first creek above the Coquille River. You will find this creek marked on the map as Packwood Creek. It was named after me. They staked 11 claims, taking 12 inches of water each, as they estimated there were just about 12 heads of water in the creek. They drew lots for the claims.
    "Shortly after they had made the drawing three half-breeds, Peter, Andrew and Joe, joined them. They wanted to locate on the stream. McNamara told them all the claims had been taken. He suggested that they stake out claims on some other stream. Peter was a very bright and intelligent half-breed. He said, 'That's all right. There may be good claims on this creek farther up, but we wouldn't have water enough to work them. We will go farther up the beach and stake claims on the next creek.' They went on up the beach two or three miles, prospected, and found very rich ground, so they located claims near the mouth of the stream. At that time a beach claim was 60 feet broad on the beach. You had the privilege of working as far out to sea as you could, and as far upstream as you wished.
    "McNamara, McKay, Judd and the others found their claims were paying only about $8 a day. When they discovered that Peter, Andrew and Joe, the half-breeds, had struck it rich, McNamara claimed they were partners, as he had advised them to go up the creek and take claims. They had left Crescent City together, which Mac said was an additional reason for their being partners. In any event, the 11 men held a miners' meeting, and in spite of the protest of the half-breeds, decided they were partners and should share equally in the rich claims. The miners' meeting also decided that Big Mac, Judd and McKay should have 120 feet of beach front. This ground included the rich ground that the half-breeds had located. Peter, Andrew and Joe had to give up their claims and take claims elsewhere. They took claims farther from the mouth of the river, which of course were not nearly so rich as their original claims. The three half-breeds could rock out from $250 to $300 a day, but the 120 feet taken by Big Mac and his party was the richest ground I have ever seen.
    "On October 8, 1853, I happened to meet Mac and Judd on their way back to Crescent City. I was doing packing at the time. They had 40 pounds of coarse gold dust apiece for their work, somewhere between $8000 and $10,000 apiece. Mac had seen so many men spend all they had made, in drink or gambling, so he decided then and there that he was through with mining and mine booze. He had made his cleanup in two or three months. He went on the water wagon and I don't believe he ever took another drink. He went to Crescent City, got married, built a hotel, and did well. I visited Mac in Crescent City later. He said he and McKay and Judd one day rocked out $2200 from the claim they had taken from the Indian boys. During the few months they worked this claim they took out $100,000 in gold dust. They thought they had worked the claim out and gave it to a man named George See, but he struck a second beach farther back and worked it for years, making a lot of money from it. I often met him at Crescent City when he came in to deposit his gold dust. McKay took his share of the money and went to Walla Walla, where he went into the stock business. Peter, Andrew and Joe made a lot of money, but the white men soon got it away from them. Andrew, while going from the mine at Sixes River to Port Orford, became confused during a snowstorm, wandered from the trail, and froze to death. His body was not found for some time afterward.
    "The news of the rich diggings on Packwood Creek and Whiskey Run brought hundreds of miners to the Curry County beaches. Within the next few years hundreds of thousands of dollars were rocked out of the beach between Port Orford and the mouth of Rogue River. I have an idea that some of these days they will discover gold farther back on some older beach line along the coast."
Oregon Journal, Portland, September 10, 1919, page 10

By Fred Lockley
    Miners and poker players have a saying, "A fool for luck." If you look up the discoveries of some of our richest mines you will come to the conclusion there must be some truth in the saying.
    William [H.] Packwood, one of the pioneers of Curry County, having come there in the early '50s and also a pioneer of Auburn, Florence and other mining camps in Eastern Oregon and Idaho, some years ago told me of the discovery of many of the rich mines of Southern and Eastern Oregon. He came to Curry County as a member of Troop C, First United States Dragoons. Upon receiving his discharge he ran a pack train for a while, raised stock, engaged in mining and represented Curry County in the state constitutional convention in 1857, of which he was the last surviving member.
    "In 1853, when the rich diggings were discovered on the beach in Curry County," said Mr. Packwood, "Martin Manly, a member of old Troop C, and Jimmy Gordon, another member of our old company, and myself took up claims on the beach above Whiskey Run, and also on the creek just below Randolph. This was the first creek above the Coquille River. A townsite was laid out at Randolph. A man named Soap had a very rich claim on the beach just opposite Randolph.
    "There were no sawmills in the country. We paid from $50 to $100 per 1000 for lumber to build our sluice boxes. The planks were whipsawed out from the Port Orford cedar. I packed my lumber from Port Orford, cutting it in five-foot lengths and taking it in on a pack horse. McNamara, who, with his partners, washed out over $100,000 of gold that season, made his sluice boxes by splitting logs and hewing out the lumber with a broadax.
    "Jimmy Gordon came from the old country. He was a college graduate--Oxford, I think. He was a younger son and had been sent out to America. Having no trade or occupation, he had enlisted in the army. Time after time he was made corporal or sergeant, but was reduced to the ranks for drinking. While he was with me, he straightened up and didn't touch liquor for two years. Having straightened up, he finally decided to go back to his home and people. We gave him his share of the gold dust and he started for the old country. He was going to San Francisco and thence by the Panama route to New York and on across to England. He got no farther than San Francisco. He died there. I never heard any particulars of his death.
    "Late that season, about November, my partner, Martin Manly, went to Port Orford to get supplies. He met there two young fellows from New England. The youngest was 17 and the other 19 years old. They had come out to make their fortune in the mines. The night they got there they spread their blankets under a tree close to where I was sleeping. They were full of excitement about reaching the mines. They talked nearly all night. I was greatly amused at what they were saying. I heard one of them say, 'The first thing we will do is to pay back the $500 we borrowed to buy our tickets to San Francisco.' The other one said, 'As soon as we get $10,000, we will go back home and go into business.' Next morning I showed them how to pan gold and told them all I could about the best places to prospect. They prospected on the beach for several days without success. They went back to Port Orford. Here they fell in with a Mexican who had a fair knowledge of mining and who seemed to take a liking to them. They also met Ben Wright, a well-known pioneer of Coos and Curry counties. Ben Wright and some half-breeds had located claims at Cape Blanco. They would rock out a barrel of black sand, dry it, and with bellows, blow the black sand away. This was a slow process. They became disgusted with their claims and traded them to Captain Tichenor's bull teamster. This teamster didn't care to quit a good job freighting, so he gave the claims to these two boys. There was a gulch just back of their claims. They threw a small dam across it, which retained enough water to work their claims. For a half a mile toward Elk River the beach was completely covered with driftwood.
    "A southwest storm set in, just as the time of full tide. The beach was swept clear of the logs and drift. It also swept the gray sand away, leaving a large deposit of black sand in sight. I passed them at work one day while on my way to Port Orford. They said that if they could wash out enough to make their expenses for the winter, next season they could get a good claim elsewhere. Each week they went into Port Orford and secured credit for a week's provisions. They were good pay, as the following week they would bring in enough gold dust to pay for the week's credit they had received. I used to feel sorry for them, as I remembered their talk about going home as soon as they had made $10,000.
    "One of my old soldier friends, George Abbott, turned up, so we went into partnership in the mercantile business. We put up a store at Johnson Creek to supply the miners with goods. My job was to run the store while George would go to Port Orford with pack horses to get the goods which came from San Francisco by steamer. He got back from one of his trips--this was in the summer of '54--I remember it was the twenty-first of June, because it was the longest day in the year. He said, 'Well, Bill, your Yankee boys who were mining on the beach at Cape Blanco have pulled out for home.' I said, 'Too bad they couldn't make it. Homesick and discouraged, I guess, so home looked pretty good to them.' 'Homesick nothing,' he said. 'I was in Port Orford when they weighed their gold dust. They cashed in for $21,000, sold their claim for $1000, so they had $11,000 apiece for their winter's work. They told me that when the tide had washed the logs and gray sand away, their claims turned out to be rich. They figured it would be a good scheme to let people think they were just about earning their grub. That's why they always got a week's credit for their supplies. They didn't want to have a stampede to their claims.'
    "When these two young Yankees cashed in their winter's work for $21,000 it resulted in a rush to the Cape Blanco beach. The miners worked the beach as far as Elk River."
Oregon Journal, Portland, September 11, 1919, page 12

By Fred Lockley
    Those who were living in Oregon in 1852 will remember the excitement caused by the discovery of the black sand mines in Curry County. There was a rush to the beach diggings and many men made their pile working a "long tom" or a rocker near the mouth of Rogue River. The name of Curry County's county seat, Gold Beach, is reminiscent of the days when beach mining was the principal industry of that section of the Oregon coastline. In one place a muleload of gold dust was rocked from a claim near the mouth of the Coquille River. More than $80,000 was taken from a plot of ground 20x20 feet. This was the richest pay streak on the entire beach, it was said. Soon the prospectors discovered rich claims on the bars of Sixes River, as well as on Johnson and Salmon creeks. The finding of coarse gold on Johnson Creek led to the belief that there must be a rich gold-bearing quartz ledge on the creek.
    The Rogue River Indian war of 1855-56 put a quietus on the mining in Curry County for some tine. Some time after the Indians had been subdued a man named Dunbar, while prospecting on the head of Johnson Creek, found a good-sized piece of quartz veined with gold. He put it on his pack horse and took it to Port Orford. From there he shipped it to the mint at San Francisco, which sent him $2700 as the value of his find. He went to San Francisco to get some action on his money and died there in poverty. The Dunbar ledge, from which the rich fragment came, has never been rediscovered. Later a miner found a rich pocket on Johnson Creek which yielded over $2000 in coarse gold and nuggets. From the day the original discovery of gold was made at what are known as the Randolph beach mines, north of the mouth of the Coquille, until today innumerable men have tried to perfect a process of saving the fine beach gold which is washed back and forth along the Curry County shore by the restless tides, but so far the fine gold dust has resisted every process of being saved. William Packwood, one of the earliest of the gold miners on the beach, has often told me of the great mineral riches that would be someday discovered in Curry County.
    In 1857 Jake Summers located very rich ground on the Sixes River not far below the mouth of the South Fork. Soon quite a settlement of miners' cabins, saloons and boarding houses and stores sprang up there. Men frequently rocked out as high as $50 to the man before the rich ground was exhausted. The gold occurs in a layer of black sand which is about 6 feet in thickness. North of the mouth of the Coquille the auriferous black sand extends inland at least two miles from the beach. The Sixes flows into the Pacific just to the northward of Cape Blanco. Mining has been carried on not only on the main Sixes, but also on the south and middle forks, the former proving rich in coarse gold. Someday someone is going to happen on the old river channel and make a cleanup of coarse gold and nuggets. Much of the gold found on the south fork of the Sixes is in the form of nuggets which range in size from a grain of wheat to a prune pit.
    Old-timers as well as later residents will remember Cyrus Madden, who came to Curry County in 1871. He was about 40 years of age at that time. In speaking of Madden's mining experiences in Curry County, a well-known resident of that section recently said: "Madden was not a hit-or-miss miner. He had studied geology and metallurgy and he made a careful survey of that district. On June 11, 1871, he located a claim which he called the Blanco black sand mine, but which was usually referred to as the Madden mine. His location was made under the old law of 1866, the first mining law enacted by Congress. Other persons located claims and Madden bought them out until he owned 320 acres. He mined the property intermittently. He would run until he had a stake, and would then shut down, go on a trip or a spree until the money was gone. His theory was that he could always go back to the mine and get more money as he wanted it. In the years between 1871 and 1910 he mined out about three acres and extracted in gold and platinum, so the old-timers and his relatives say, about $500,000. He lived out of it and he lived very extravagantly, gambling, dissipating and traveling, and he made extensive improvements on the property, including a ditch four feet wide and four feet deep, from Crystal Creek, a distance of four miles, and thereby brought water to the hilltop 100 feet above the mine. That gave a powerful pressure and an abundant supply of water for hydraulic mining.
    "His wife died in 1910. He awoke to the fact that hard living and the accumulating years had so overcome his mental and physical resources that he had no capital or means of working the mine. He clung to it as a fond mother to her baby. He refused a cash offer of $40,000. In 1915 he leased the property to Charles Lull of Grants Pass. Lull went into possession and was proceeding to work it on a big scale when Sam Montague showed up, entered and took forcible possession and made a location over Madden's on the ground that Madden had not done the annual labor required by the United States law for a number of years. Montague drove Lull off at the point of a gun and thereupon proceeded to mine. Meantime Madden, past 50 years of age, childless, friendless, and utterly helpless, was unable to defend his title or ownership. In the course of a year or two he died and Montague appropriated everything in sight--ditch, giants, 2000 feet of 16-inch steel pipe, tools, houses, mine, etc. Indignation reigned in Curry County, but that accomplished nothing. Finally, a will, made by Madden, turned up leaving all his property to a niece, Clara Gage Landrith, the daughter of W. W. Gage, who was sheriff of Coos County for 20 years. Mrs. Landrith turned the matter over to Clyde Gage, her brother, of Coquille. He employed W. T. Stoll, an attorney of Marshfield, who brought suit against Montague to recover the property. Montague had been in possession for five years and during that time he had done the annual labor required by the United States mining law which Madden was unable to do on account of his age and infirmity and who was forcibly prohibited by Montague. In fact, Lull had done about $2000 worth of work, and that had revived Madden's location and cured the forfeiture if any, and the failure to do the work thereafter being prohibited by a force was excused in law. Anyway, after a long, hard-fought trial, a judgment was entered for Mrs. Landrith and the costs of the litigation, amounting to about $800, taxed to Montague. The case was tried before Judge Belt, who is now on the supreme court. An execution was levied on everything Montague had and he was cleaned out as effectually as he attempted to clean Madden."
    Here is the only litigated case that I find a record of where the title was initiated under the law of 1866 and which depended entirely upon location and work. You will note that the title had not ripened into a fee-patent from the government. So they had to prove location in 1871, almost half a century before--stakes, monuments, location notices, annual labor. Some job, especially as the locator and most of the witnesses were dead. If you have not looked into and given it study, you will think it extravagant to assert that there is enough precious metal--gold and platinum--in the ground between Reedsport and Gold Beach to pay the national debt. But conservative, scientific men will tell you that it is a fact. Whether it can be saved at a profit is of course another question, but the values are there. From Reedsport to Gold Beach there is a blanket of black gold-bearing sand, averaging 400 feet in width and from 3 to 7 feet in depth. The values run from nothing per yard up to as high as $20. Some day the world is going to sit up and take notice of Coos and Curry counties' mineral riches.
Oregon Journal, Portland, February 3, 1925, page 10

    Black sand deposits containing placer platinum and gold, adjacent to Wedderburn and Gold Beach, Oregon, are soon to be processed now that a suitable recovery has been made by experimentation on the deposits. The four concentration units will be installed on Macleay Beach.

The Mining Journal, Phoenix, Arizona, November 30, 1931

Last revised December 30, 2023