The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Our Streets Are Paved with Gold

And so are Jacksonville's back yards.

    John Orth picked a piece of gold weighing about a dollar out of one of the walls of his brick building, where it was doubtless inadvertently placed by the bricklayer, being mixed with the mortar. Who knows but what some of our brick buildings are built with gold!
"Local Brevities,"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 30, 1876, page 3

    Smith and Courtney are still boring into the bowels of the earth under our city. They have taken out as high as thirty dollars to the hand per diem, and have not struck the main lead yet.
"Jacksonville Items," Ashland Tidings, May 24, 1878, page 3

Golden Nuggets.
    Robt. A. Miller publishes the following in the last number of the Hesperian:
    While everyone is going wild over the "prospects" of Coeur d'Alene, let me give you a few interesting bits of history that may serve to modify somewhat the present excitement. In Jacksonville, in Southern Oregon, after a hard rain it is no unusual thing to be able to pick up gold in the streets, and it is a fact known to every resident that the gravel bed upon which the town is situated is unusually rich. As an example, one party, a few winters since, by tunneling under his house "cleaned up" the neat sum of four thousand dollars. It is often said half in earnest, half in jest, that some of the old brick buildings made from the clay taken from Rich Gulch have more gold fused into the bricks than was ever inside the buildings. It is a fact, also, that there are numerous "diggins" in Southern Oregon that are immensely rich, but the scarcity of water, the lack of sufficient "dump" and many minor causes made it impossible to work the claims to advantage. The simple fact of the matter is that it would take more money to develop the claims than they are worth. As regards large specimens, it was no unusual thing to get $500 to $800 nuggets from Jackson Creek in an early day, and it is also a remarkable fact that those who found these nuggets are still hunting for more. They are not rich, those miners, but by long experience they are able by hard scratching to make a living. No, reader, I don't get the mining fever very easy, because I've lived in the mines and know that "all that glitters is not gold."
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 2, 1884, page 2

    The Mail says that J. S. Howard and Sam Rosenthal each staked off a mining claim on C Street, Medford, pay dirt having been taken off the bedrock to which the new well on the corner was sunk. It is rumored the dirt was salted, however.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 30, 1890, page 3

    Last July Ted Howard dug a well on his lot on North E Street. Nothing remarkable about this fact, but as last week when working about the gravel which was taken from this well he picked up a piece of metal which closely resembles gold, there is, indeed, something remarkable connected with it. The piece of metal which he found has been tested by acid and is to all appearances solid gold. Experts have also examined it and are of the opinion that it is nothing more or less than gold. Its value, if gold, is something over $29. Another question, as yet unsettled, is as to whether it is a nugget or a relic. There are dents in it as of hammer marks, but some are positive these were caused by its coming in contact with heavy rocks. In the gravel near this piece Mr. Howard found a small nugget containing about fifty cents of gold. Both of these it is thought were dug up about six or eight feet from the surface. This fact would seem to strengthen the theory advanced by several that many parts of this valley would prove rich placer fields. A later report says Mr. Howard has sold the above relic or nugget for $60. And still another report says that where it was found is the identical point where, several years ago, a counterfeiter was killed, and this metal was a part of his stock in trade. If this story spreads out very much more it will savor of fish quite aplenty.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, October 6, 1893, page 3
What's known about the counterfeiter's death:
    Deputy U.S. Marshal Burns has brought down from Douglas County and lodged in the city jail Mrs. Mary E. Baker, charged with the manufacture of counterfeit coin.
"Home News," The New Northwest, Portland, April 6, 1877, page 3
Arrest of Counterfeiters.
    On last Tuesday evening Marshal Helms arrested two strangers, one for passing counterfeit coin and the other for being an accomplice. They were lodged in jail, and the next day Sheriff Manning was called upon by an immigrant whose name was Atkinson who gave him a lump of what he supposed to be spurious silver bullion. He said that the two comrades of one of the men in jail had given it to him to come to town and sell, and stated that he could take the officer to where he was again to meet them. So the sheriff, accompanied by F. Grob, got in the wagon and were driven to the place agreed upon for the meeting. They found their men and warned them to surrender, but instead of doing so they took to the brush before the officers had a chance of preventing them. Search was made for them all that day, but the officers only succeeded in getting their horses. They found a carpet sack the next day hid in a fence corner, which contained bogus trade dollars, half dollars and British Columbia coin, and three Indians were stationed to watch the sack that night, as it was thought the fellows would return to get it. Sure enough, towards morning they cautiously approached where the Indians were lying concealed, first throwing rocks ahead of them. Supposing the way was clear, the counterfeiters approached nearer, when the Indians arose and ordered them to give up, but instead of doing that they both fired at the Indians, who returned their fire and succeeded in shooting one of the men, the ball striking him above the eye and passing through his skull, killing him instantly. The other one managed to effect his escape, however. From an entry in a memorandum book found on the person of the man who was killed, his name was discovered to be Henry W. Moore, from either Whitefield or Lancaster, Coos County, New Hampshire. He had on his person at the time of his death considerable counterfeit coin, and a revolver was grasped in his hand. On Friday his body was brought to town and a coroner's inquest was held. After all evidence was taken the jury brought in a verdict that the deceased had come to his death from a wound inflicted by a gun in the hands of one of the sheriff's posse. It was evident that he was familiar with this portion of the country and had lived within the past few years on Puget Sound. It was then ascertained that one of the men confined in jail was guilty of no offense, but was an immigrant, who had fallen in with these counterfeiters, not knowing their character, and consequently he was released. The officers kept up watch for the only one of the gang then remaining at large, but had no definite knowledge of his whereabouts until Sunday. Saturday night he stole a fine horse and saddle from Capt. B. B. Griffin and rode down through the open valley. The farmers turned out in pursuit, U.S. Deputy Marshal J. H. Hyzer had out a squad of men after him, while Sheriff Manning and posse were hot on the track. The counterfeiter left his horse and took to the woods just the other side of McKenzie's mill. Watch was kept for him all day Sunday and also that night. Monday the officers were still vigilant in their efforts to arrest him, and on Monday evening at about five o'clock he was arrested by some citizens. He had gone into Orson Gilbert's barn to get some sleep and was discovered by some parties who were proceeding to arrest him, when he heard them coming and went out and gave himself up. He was brought to town Monday night and was quite communicative. This gang was a set of lawless, desperate fellows, and it is a matter of congratulation that it has been so effectually broken up.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 11, 1877, page 3
[Yreka Journal, April 11th.]
    Last week a gang of counterfeiters passed through this place on their way from below, but only made short stops in Siskiyou, no doubt owing to the suspicious manner in which they were watched. They proceeded to Oregon, and the day after they left here our Sheriff received word from below in reference to their being counterfeiters, which information he telegraphed to the Sheriff of Jackson County, Oregon, who immediately took steps to capture the bogus coin manufacturers. The Jacksonville Times of last Saturday tells the rest of the story as follows: On Wednesday last Sheriff Manning received information that some other members of the gang of counterfeiters now infesting this section were camped in Phipps' pasture, about five miles from town. These fellows had wrung in on an immigrant from California, who was coming to town from Ashland, and got him to haul down some of their chattels. When they arrived at the pasture of Matthew Phipps they took out their goods, but gave the immigrant some bullion to change in town, agreeing to meet him at a certain place on his return. The man had traveled with them from Cole's and informed Sheriff Manning of the facts, and that officer made arrangements with his informant to go back with him, and, in company with Fred. Grob, secreted himself in the bed of the wagon, ready for operations. On arriving at the place appointed for the meeting, the scoundrels were on hand as agreed, but, instead of surrendering when requested, they took to their heels. Manning and Grob each fired at them, but to no purpose, and they made good their escape in the brush. That night watch was kept near the place where their horses were staked, but they did not come in sight. Next day Sheriff Manning, J. P. McDaniel, the immigrant and others renewed the search with no success; however, they found a valise containing some of their spurious coin in a corner of a fence. In the night three Indians, armed with needle guns, were concealed near the place where the valise was discovered. Some time had elapsed, when the fellows were heard coming. They first threw rocks into the brush to see whether anyone was there, and then stealthily crawled to the place where they had left their metal. When in close proximity, the Indians suddenly jumped up and demanded their surrender, but were greeted with a volley of balls from the pistols of those fellows, who fired as they ran. The redskins returned the fire and succeeded in bringing one down, but the other made good his escape. Word was sent to town, and Sheriff Manning, accompanied by several others, repaired to the scene. Upon examination, it was found that the ball had entered a little above the eye, ranging upward and tearing the top of the head nearly off. Death must have been almost instantaneous. Such was the velocity with which he fell that he tore quite a hole in the ground. Two purses containing trade dollars and halves of the bogus metal were found on his person. Also three or four small pictures of himself and a memorandum book, from which it seems that his name was Henry W. Moore. The body was brought to town, and an inquest will be held tomorrow. Several other articles were also secured. They evidently made the coin themselves, as some in an unfinished state was found. A trunk belonging to them is at the express office, having come down from Ashland. At the time of going to press Sheriff Manning and a posse were out hunting the other man.
Sacramento Daily Union, April 14, 1877, page 8
    ALL CAPTURED.--The last member of the band of counterfeiters who came into this valley a couple of weeks ago has been captured. After a week's dodging about through the brush between Phoenix and Jacksonville, hunger and cold drove him into the barn of Orson Gilbert and he was captured by a party who were apprised of his hiding place. He gives his name as Chas. Tamer and is most likely the leader of the band. He is a man of about twenty-five years of age and rather good-looking were it not for the hangdog expression which is the sure result of crime. Thus have three young sharps, who came to Oregon to ply their vocation, come to grief. One is under the sod, and two are in irons awaiting trial, with a certainty that they will draw a long term in the state's prison. The people of Oregon have reason to congratulate themselves upon the capture of these public marauders.
Ashland Tidings, April 14, 1877, page 3
    DIDN'T LIKE THEIR LOOKS.--One day last week while Deputy Sheriff Seybert and Mr. Thos. Gianini were watching the road over the mountain, south of here, for the fugitive counterfeiters, an old gentleman came along, on foot, ahead of his wagons and was stopped by one of the watchers. The old gentleman related the adventure when he arrived at this place by saying that he was not much frightened at first, but when he came close to the men and got a good look at them, he was near giving all up for lost. "My dear sir," exclaimed he, "I thought they were the worst-looking fellows I ever saw, and I just expected to be required to give up my last dollar." Considering the fact that Tom and Seybert rather pride themselves upon their good looks, this is decidedly rough.
Ashland Tidings, April 14, 1877, page 3
    PORTLAND, April 17th--U.S. Deputy Marshal Burns arrived here yesterday from Southern Oregon, having in custody three men, W. H. Cooper, Wm. Hicks and Enoch Baker, charged with the manufacture and circulation of counterfeit coin. A trunk was found in their possession which contains a large quantity of spurious money, bogus metal and all necessary instruments for making coin. The parties under arrest came from Red Bluff, Cal., and have been carrying on their nefarious avocation in Jackson County for some time. Today the counterfeiters had a preliminary hearing before the U.S. Commissioner, and were held to await the action of the grand jury.
"Coast Dispatches: Oregon News," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, April 18, 1877, page 1
    THE COUNTERFEITERS.--The Oregonian, April 17th, says: Last Saturday afternoon Deputy United States Marshal Burns arrived here, having in custody three of the persons who have been arrested in Southern Oregon charged with the manufacture and circulation of counterfeit coin. The names of the parties under arrest are Wm. Hicks, Enoch Baker and W. H. Cooper. Hicks and Baker came from Jacksonville, and Cooper from Coos Bay. The parties belong to two gangs of counterfeiters. Baker was with the man Moore, who was killed in Jackson County a few days ago. He made his escape at the time, but was subsequently arrested. At the time Moore was killed a large trunk was obtained filled with a number of articles which furnish an abundance of the most convincing proof that the owners of the same were engaged in the manufacture of spurious coin. In the trunk was found a quantity of the base metals of which the counterfeit coin was made, some specimens of the coin partly finished, a small sack filled with the spurious coinage--trade dollars and 50-cent pieces--acids in bottles, chemicals, etc.--in short every necessary appliance for carrying on the mint business on a limited scale. A pair of iron knuckles and a false pair of whiskers were also found among the contents. These parties came, a few weeks since, from Red Bluff, California, and have been carrying on their unlawful avocation in Southern Oregon. Hicks and Baker are comparatively young men. Today the accused will have a preliminary hearing before United States Commissioner Wilcox.
Willamette Farmer, Salem, April 20, 1877, page 1
Jacksonville Cemetery records give Moore's details as: H. W. Moore, date of death April 6, 1877. A 24-year-old house painter named Henry W. Moore is listed in the 1870 Census for Concord, New Hampshire.
SENTENCED.--The counterfeiters, Hicks and Baker, who were arrested in this county a short time ago, pled guilty to the charge against them, and were sentenced to seven years each in the penitentiary.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 1, 1877, page 3
    The two counterfeiters, Hicks and Baker, [who] were arrested in this county in 1877 and convicted by the U.S. District Court, have escaped from the penitentiary. Warden Miller offers a reward of one hundred dollars each for their arrest. It is thought they will come here to recover the dies which were, no doubt, cached somewhere in this neighborhood.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 7, 1879, page 3
    A reward of $200 is offered for the arrest of Wm. Hicks and Enoch Baker, who escaped on the night of May 6th from the Oregon Penitentiary.
"News Items," The New Northwest, Portland, May 15, 1879, page 2

    Baker and Hicks, the escaped convicts, have been captured in Marion County and returned to the penitentiary..
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 28, 1879, page 2
   We have seen many collections of curiosities in Oregon--many cabinets--but the last we looked upon is Wintjen & Helms' [saloon] in the town of Jacksonville. . . .  In it we found . . . a piece of the skull of the counterfeiter Moore who was strangely killed, a half inch in thickness. . . .
"Study for the Geologist," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 25, 1879, page 4

How John Made a Fortune.
John Hardin is a barber, and a miner as well. It was related to us this week that John made a little fortune when engaged in barbering. He being a miner knew that there was gold in the whiskers of nearly every man he shaved, as all were miners, and by saving the lather and panning out the gold he made a snug little sum. But this sum was lost, the boys tell, in experimenting in trying to make a cow give gin by feeding her on juniper berries. John is said to be now at work on an invention by which he proposes to confine a hen in a machine of the milkshake order and make her lay scrambled eggs.
Medford Mail, April 6, 1894, page 3

The S.P. Company Using Gravel for Ballast
That Goes a Dollar to the Pan.

    It has been known for some time the Southern Pacific was using gravel for ballast from the gravel pit this side of Gold Hill that contained more or less gold, but it remained for W. J. King of Medford to demonstrate its true value. Thursday Mr. King secured a bucket full of gravel from the train as it passed through town and taking a common metal wash pan proceeded to pan out the gold; his efforts were rewarded by his securing $2.50 worth of gold dust. The gold is of a high value and demonstrates the fact that but few railroads ever can afford to ballast their track with gravel that is worth $100 a ton.
Medford Enquirer, July 19, 1902, page 3

Some of the Rock Used for Paving the Streets Contains Gold.
    Paving the streets with gold-bearing rock! Now, what do you know about that? But that is just what is being done in Medford right now.
    Of course it isn't $100 rock or anything like that, but there is gold in it, just the same.
    A few days ago some of the employees of the paving company "panned" some of the fine rock which is used for the pavement, and in every pan they found several colors--three or four to the pan.

Medford Mail,
November 27, 1908, page 3

Gold Is Being Used to Pave City's Streets
   "Do you know," said T. Cameron of Jacksonville, "that the newly paved streets of Medford will be partly of gold? It is a fact, though. The sand being used by the Clark-Henery Company comes from the cyanide plant of the Opp Mine and carries values amounting to an average of $1 to the ton. It is impossible to get the full percentage of gold by any process; 90 percent is the best that has ever been accomplished. Based on a $10 valuation per ton, the sand now being used in mixing the cement for street paving has gold to the amount of $1 in each ton. So that Medford will have golden streets, partially at least."
Medford Mail Tribune,
July 21, 1910, page 2

Make "Sidewalks of Gold."
    JACKSONVILLE, Ore., Aug. 8.--It is often said that the ground Jacksonville is built on is more valuable than the town itself. To bear out this seeming paradox, Jacksonville is laying golden sidewalks. Not so it can be noticed, of course, but the gold is there just the same. The sand used in mixing the cement is composed of tailings from the Opp mine and runs about $1 to the ton in free gold.
Tacoma Times, August 8, 1910, page 1

In Two Oregon Cities They Have Thirty Thousand Dollars' Worth
of Real Gold in Sand.
    Of course, nothing like this will ever happen in Quincy, but in two Oregon cities some of the streets are paved with gold. The reader who is inclined to disbelieve this statement must not jump at the conclusion that nothing but gold is used on the streets, but just the same there is $30,000 worth of pure gold buried in the sand used in the pavements of the city mentioned. The current issue of the Municipal Journal and Engineer, received in Quincy yesterday, is authority for the statement, which reads as follows:
    Oregon has two cities whose streets are paved with gold, and neither lays claim to being the New Jerusalem, either. Medford and Jacksonville are the towns with the expensive pavements. Sand used in the cement sidewalks of Jacksonville is taken from the tailings of the ore produce [sic], and not all the gold was extracted from them. The tailings were piled up before the construction of a cyanide plant, and not all the gold was extracted from it. The tailings will run $1 to the ton in free gold. The same material was used in paving the Medford streets. It is estimated that Medford pavements have more than $30,000 contained in them, exclusive of the cost of these improvements to the municipality.
The Quincy Daily Journal, Quincy, Illinois, September 3, 1910, page 9

Some Gold in the Material--Opp Plant Running Night and Day--
Stamp Mill Soon to Resume.
    The Opp mine, near Jacksonville, has been running its cyanide plant night and day for some time. It has worked over a lot of tailings, which will be shipped to Medford over the Barnum railway and used in lieu of crushed rock for street paving next spring. Last summer these tailings were brought hither and used in the paving, and as stated at the time they contain a certain amount of gold. Thus the paving material for next summer will still contain gold.
    The Opp's twenty-stamp mill has been shut down for a time but will start up again after the holidays.
Medford Sun, December 27, 1910, page 1

Tailings from Quarts at 50 Cents a Ton Has Been Considered a Worthless Waste
    Medford's streets are paved with gold. The words are not the title of a popular song, neither were they lisped in husky accents by one in a state of intoxication. It is a fact.
    Five cars of the ground quartz taken out of Opp Mine while it is in operation are hauled to Medford nearly every day in the week, and the fine sandy material is used by the Clark-Henry Construction Company in making the municipal thoroughfares. After the quicksilver and cyanide processes have been applied to the quartz there still remains enough substance in the tailings to pave the streets of Medford.
    This sand from the Opp Mine has been piling up ever since the mine has been in operation and had been considered a worthless waste until the paving company, investigating paving materials, happened upon this rock and immediately secured a contract for some of it. This portion of Medford's pavement is purchased for 50 cents a ton.
Medford Sun, June 27, 1911, page 6

Discovery Stirs Medford--Local Resident Pans Out Dirt and Gravel in Front Yard

    The mining fever is not confined to professional mining men by any means.
    Throughout the city individuals in all ways of life are responding to the mining talk which is in the air.
    Last night a well-known resident of Medford, who resides on Ross Court, became so imbued with the spirit of prospecting and the conviction that the yellow metal was in and about the dirt in his vicinity that he went out in the front yard, scooped up a pile of gravel and soil in a stew pan, and panned it out in the kitchen sink.
    Although there was no appreciable deposit of the precious metal to be discovered after the operation, the prominent citizen aforesaid declares that he believes that if there were more cellars dug in this city there would be less need of tramping out in the hills for gold.
    There is foundation for such a statement in the experience of Henry L. S. Kniffin, vice president of the Western Bonding and Investment Company of Ashland, who has struck a gold mine in the basement of his home and intends to have the property thoroughly prospected.
    This discovery, which is stirring our neighboring town, is thus described by the Ashland Tidings:
    Henry L. S. Kniffin, vice-president of the Western Bonding and Investment Company, has struck a gold mine in his cellar.
    The strike was made under unusual circumstances. Mr. Kniffin has in his employ as caretaker an old California miner. A few days ago the latter was digging a hole in the cellar of Mr. Kniffin's home, preparatory to putting in an additional pillar. After having gone down a couple of feet he looked closely at the soil, which is of decomposed granite, and detected strong traces of gold. He called Mr. Kniffin and announced that there was rich gold-bearing dirt in the cellar.
    Mr. Kniffin was at first inclined to doubt whether the dirt had much or any gold, but he was prevailed upon to take a pan of it down to the office, where there are facilities for panning dirt out. He was assisted by O. L. Young, an old mining man, and when the dirt was washed away a substantial quantity of gold remained.
    It was roughly estimated that the dirt will pan out $8 or more to the ton, which is declared to be exceptionally good. Mr. Kniffin owns twelve acres at the west end of Sheridan Street, and he is so encouraged by the way the sample panned out that he is having his property thoroughly prospected. He isn't sure yet that he has a fortune, because it is considered necessary to do hydraulic mining on a considerable scale to make a placer mine pay, even at $8 to the ton. However, Mr. Kniffin doesn't like the idea of having gold on his farm and not being able to convert it into double eagles. He thinks it's worth trying at any rate and is awaiting the results of further prospecting with intense interest.
Medford Sun, May 31, 1911, page 3

Precious Metal to Be Seen in Clay Used in Central Point Kilns.

    CENTRAL POINT, Ore., July 15.--(To the Editor)--For the information of those who do not know, I am addressing these few lines. Central Point, Or., derived its name in days of yore from the fact that it is located near the center of Rogue River Valley. Today it is the center regarding territory and population, but like Rip Van Winkle, only Rip slept 20 years and Central Point slept twice twenty. But at last she has awakened and shaken the dirt from her old duds and things are coming in a run.
    The Southern Oregon Clay Products Company has started up its brick factory and is running out brick by the thousands. I am informed the present run of brick is not to go on the market, but is for the purpose of improving the company's property in the way of buildings and the making of kilns for baking their finer and rarer products, such as crockery, insulators, chinaware, toys of all kinds, statues and many things too numerous to mention. Their machine started up today and performed without a single hitch.
    The best part of the enterprise is we have the clay right here in this valley, and one peculiar thing in this business is the quality of clay. The dirt is being hauled from the old "Willow Springs" placer mines, where millions of dollars in gold were taken out away back in the '50s. In looking in the dirt going up the elevators gold is plainly to be seen in such quantities as to make me think it a shame to waste the precious metal that way. We have often heard of the "gold brick" fraud, but this time the gold is there to show for itself.
    The building where the machinery is installed is very substantial, on a concrete foundation and several stories high. I am informed an elevator will be in operation in a short time, and no doubt your correspondent will have charge of the same.
    One more thing I would like to impress on the people's minds is this: In going to Crater Lake you don't have to go to Medford to start. From Central Point to Crater Lake is 80 miles and from Medford it is the same distance, and the five miles from here to Medford is saved. The Medford papers will tell you most any old thing. The fact is us old-timers would rather be hanged in Central Point than die a natural death in Medford.
Oregonian, Portland, July 17, 1923, page 10


    Wednesday morning where men were digging on California Street, preparing for the paving, a gold nugget was unearthed which is valued at $14.75. It looked big to the Post force, being the first we ever saw that had just been "picked."
    W. A. Bishop, who was watching the men at work, was the lucky finder. And this only proves again that "every cloud has a silver lining," for if Mr. Bishop had not met with an accident a few days before which made it impossible for him to be at work in his transfer business, he would not have been loafing and therefore would not have been there to spy that shining nugget. This was almost like getting accident insurance. We hope more may be found.
    The most important news in Jacksonville is that the road builders have reached town, and when the Post reaches its readers the work of paving through town will be well begun.
Jacksonville Post, July 25, 1924, page 1

    Some years ago while at Jacksonville I fell into conversation with a widow who had a cabin near Rich Gulch. She had a fine garden, flanked with a rather extensive gravel bar, a memento of the days when the stream was lined with rockers, long toms or sluice boxes.

    "Yes, I pretty well live off my garden and my chickens," she said. "After a heavy rain my chicken money brings in quite a bit extra." "What has a heavy rain to do with bringing in extra money from your chickens?" I asked. She went into the house and brought out a small bottle and, taking out the cork, said, "Hold out your hand and I will show you." She poured a dozen or more small gold nuggets into my hand and said, "My chickens range up and down the stream here and, after a heavy rain, they see these nuggets gleaming dully in the cracks of the bedrock, where the miners removed the gravel in the old days, and pick them up. I never sell my chickens alive. I sell the eggs or I sell my chickens dressed, for I frequently get from their crops anywhere from a quarter's to as high as several dollars' worth of nuggets. The nuggets you have in your hand there are worth about $5. I got those from the crops of the last few chickens I killed."
Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man," Oregon Journal, Portland, August 30, 1924, page 4

    Joe Langell, for 27 years a miner in these parts, is sinking a shaft for gold on a vacant lot on California Street, Jacksonville, and Tuesday afternoon panned out between $8 and $10 of the yellow metal at one washing. It was the opinion of the 14 spectators that Langell had hit pay dirt. Previous pannings netted from 25 cents to $3.
    The shaft is about 30 feet deep, and the methods of extracting the gold are with hoist and an old-fashioned rocker. Two helpers and Langell do the work.
    Langell started the shaft a couple of years ago, and was rained out last winter. The last month he renewed activity and has plenty of vocal assistance. He was persuaded by friends to keep digging. He did, and a few $8 pans are expected.
    The $8 pan yesterday afternoon never ruffled the serenity of the county seat. It started a lot of stories about $60 pans in the late '70s.

Medford Mail Tribune, September 16, 1925, page 7

    Gold worth more than $20 was the result of one panning at Jacksonville yesterday, where gold mining operations are being carried on on Main Street by individuals directly west of the United States Hotel. This panning is said to be the record for the "mine" so far this season.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 29, 1925, page 3

    JACKSONVILLE, May 29.--John Renault and W. T. Bray are prospecting on the property on West California Street which is owned by Mr. Renault and occupied by Mr. Bray. The gentlemen have joined the list of citizens who are looking for a "lucky strike." Justice J. L. Roe has not reported a very big find on his mine yet, although miners report good prospects. W. R. Kirkpatrick is also prospecting on his property on California Street.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 28, 1926, page B3

    MEDFORD, Ore., Dec. 2.--A gold bridge is being built over the Rogue River at Gold Hill. The pier foundations will rest on gold quartz. Every hole dug recently showed "color," and every workman on the job is carrying around a few grains of gold in his pocket. A big gold yield is expected from gravel and crushed rock taken from the riverbed for the concrete pouring.
The Bee, Danville, Virginia, December 3, 1926, page 10

Rock Quarried in Quest of Gold to Be Employed on Roads.

    JACKSONVILLE, Or., June 23.--(Special.)--Jacksonville, made famous in the early days of the region for the great wealth of gold which was recovered by the pioneer miners in its vicinity, is soon to become a road material center of Oregon. This industry is making use of the dumps of the old-time quartz mines in its hills, which continue to be the center of the gold mining industry in this region. Those dumps already quarried are rich in limestone, argillaceous rocks. The hard rock siliceous diorite, crushed, becomes cemented, compacted and smooth-surfaced in hard-surfaced road building.
    Gene Childers and C. C. Clark of Medford, and R S. Griffin of San Francisco, associated with California investors, have taken the Opp mine over at Jacksonville. They soon will be operating this famous old-time mine and propose to make the millions of tons of this rock on these dumps a big-paying byproduct of the mine and market it for highway building, ballasting railroad beds, surfacing airports and many other uses in this part of the state.  This supply of waste rock from the mine will be quarried and increased daily in the further development of the mine. With the sale of this waste as a byproduct, mine development will be cut to a minimum cost.
Oregonian, Portland, June 24, 1928, page 58

    JACKSONVILLE, Ore., Feb. 7.--(Special.)--A. R. McIntosh and Frank Taylor have struck splendid pay dirt in their gold mine on the A. R. McIntosh property on 3rd Street. This is high-grade gold and running about $60 per yard. The mine is located at the junction of Daisy and Rich Gulch creeks.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 7, 1931, page 3

Mayor Starts Revival in His Own Back Yard and Others Follow Suit--
No Boom Is Anticipated, but Pans Show Yellow.
(By R. Clay Chappell)
    Jacksonville bids fair to become known to posterity as the "Holy City" if present indications mean anything. Verily it seems that every able-bodied man in town is digging a hole or is preparing to dig one. Those not thus occupied either haven't any holes to dig or just "ain't" human. Even the usual salutation on the street is "Well! How's your hole?"
    But the possibility that the town may soon resemble a big Swiss cheese isn't so strange after all. These men are digging for gold! Gleaming, glimmering, glistening gold!!
    It all came about when the mayor [A. R. McIntosh], perhaps as relaxation from arduous official duties, decided to sink a shaft in his back lot.
    Two comrades joined him and the work began. The dirt flew, as with steaming brows and straining brawn they delved into old Mother Earth. Gradually the hole deepened, and, at last, they struck the solid rock.
    It is upon bedrock, or close to it, that placer gold is usually found. So hurriedly they filled their bucket full of dirt and scrambled to the surface to test their luck.
    The miner removes most of the waste material from the dirt by rocking it. The residue is dumped into his pan, and under water he kneads the turgid mess to break up all remaining lumps of dirt and clay. Then with a motion of the pan, which only experience can teach, he quickly washes away the worthless dross while the gold, if any, settles and is left behind.
    'Twas thus our heroes did. Perhaps they lacked the technique of an old sourdough, but gradually the mud and dirt and rock were washed away and the heavier black sand appeared. Then, as they watched with bated breath, it too was gone--Eureka! A string of yellow nuggets lay gleaming in the pan!
    Since that eventful day, "each low-descending sun sees, by the mayor's crew, some mighty digging done." And each day, too, they dump more precious dust into their buckskin pouch.
    "How much?" What does it matter? The lure of gold is like the lure of woman. The kick is in the chase.
    Anyway the lust for gold is in the very air--and the inhabitants are popping in and out of holes like groundhogs on a sunny day.
    But wait! Hold everything! No stampedes, please, at least until we add a word or two.
    There is, without doubt, much gold beneath old Jacksonville. But visions of rich channels yet undiscovered are but idle dreams.
    The miners who rushed into the new gold camp in early days came mostly from other placer fields and knew their stuff. They gleaned the rich deposits of historic Rich Gulch and Jackson Creek, and when those channels dwindled they searched for more. The town is undermined with many tunnels, a fact not generally known.
    Not long ago a prospector found a maze of drifts and crosscuts near Rich Gulch. Even the owner of the place, who had lived there since 1862, was unaware of their existence.
    Strangely, these latter tunnels, three-quarters of a century old, seem almost as if dug but yesterday. Although untimbered, they have caved in but little. One may walk through them and see upon their walls, clear and distinct, the marks made so many years ago.
    No, these pioneer miners left no large deposits of pay dirt rich enough to work by drifts.
    But the bedrock is broken and uneven, and in the many crevices and on the rims there is yet gold.
    Old miners, who ought to know, agree that if the townsite could be worked by hydraulic methods, it would yield a rich reward.
    So, after all, there is a gleam of hope for those who are so busy digging holes. A few, if Lady Luck is by their side, may win a modest stake; many will find few colors in their pans, or more; and others still, perchance, will drop--kerplunk!--into some old and long-forgotten drift.
    But it's a great and fascinating game, and all its devotees will get some good exercise, at least.
    And now, excuse the writer, please. He must crawl back into his hole and dig.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 15, 1931, page 7

    JACKSONVILLE, Ore., March 6.--(Special.)--A. R. McIntosh, who is mining on his property on South Third Street, found a gold nugget valued at better than $11 this week. Mr. McIntosh is sinking a new shaft at his mine.
    Six shafts have been sunk the past week within the city limits.
    Mr. Cook and son have been quite successful with their mining on the Dunford property south of town. Medford Mail Tribune, March 6, 1931, page 7

    Recalling the gold rush days of 70 years ago, Jacksonville is humming with mining activity becoming so apparent that a group of women were busily panning gold this morning along the banks of Jackson Creek near a shaft recently sunk by James Cantrall. While they were finding no large nuggets, they panned sufficient colors to make the work interesting.
    Many Jacksonville residents have dug holes and wells in their back yards, and quite a number are making good wages washing out gold, it is said. One man is said to be averaging $12 per day and has only a small equipment.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 26, 1931, page 4

    Among those still mining in Jacksonville is Tom Carrier, who is sinking a shaft on his place.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 29, 1931, page 6

Lots in Jacksonville Hold Mineral Prospect Is Revealed
    The most striking feature of last night's short and otherwise dull city council meeting was the decision of that body to sell for $50 a possible gold mine in Jacksonville, which the city of Medford owns, in the shape of one of the several small lots on Oregon Street in the old county seat town that make up a part of the old terminal of the Medford-Jacksonville railroad.
    These lots have been deemed practically valueless by the city fathers, but it seems that because placer mining in any part of Jacksonville has been the fashion for a year or two, the city may get more for them than was thought.
    Hence when Councilman George Porter last night read a communication he had received from George N. Campbell, 815 East J Street, Grants Pass, offering to purchase the designated lot at $50 cash, and as chairman of the council's land appraisal committee wanted to know what the council's wishes were in the matter, that body at first informally exclaimed gleefully: "Sell it to him for $50."
Miners Make Offer.
    Then City Treasurer Gus Samuels related that some time ago several men had come to him and offered to buy from the city these lots at $5 down and $5 a month, and his curiosity aroused at the sudden demand for the lots, he concluded they wanted to mine the lots.
    Thinking that the city council in the past had decided not to sell them, he mistakenly told them the lots were not for sale. Mr. Samuels' statement put a different light on the matter.
    It was thought that if it was known that the city council would sell the lots for cash, all might be sold at a better price, or at least for $50, as the Grants Pass man had offered.
    It was voted to leave the matter in the hands of the council land appraisal committee with power to act; only that such lots must be sold for cash, and no installment paying plan should be considered.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 18, 1931, page 5

Will Ascertain Objections to Unemployed Seeking Gold in Neighbor City Before Granting Right to Dig
    The city council appraisal committee, composed of Councilmen George Porter, C. C. Furnas and J. O. Grey, will meet at 5 o'clock this afternoon to reach a definite decision on granting the right to placer mine on city-owned land near Jacksonville. The committee viewed the scene and consulted with Jacksonville officials this morning. City Engineer Scheffel said he expected the right would be granted.
Mining Discussed
    The question of letting its lots in Jacksonville be placer mined by unemployed under direction of G. I. Maxwell was introduced by Mr. Maxwell, with the plan endorsed by Dr. J. F. Reddy, and after these men had well explained the plan, to which the county has turned over its sixteen lots owned in Jacksonville for the novel employment relief project, and it looked as if the councilmen would unanimously grant the request, a monkey wrench was thrown into the smooth going thus far when Mayor E. M. Wilson, who was also inclined to favor, stated that the city officials of Jacksonville had made the request that the Medford council do nothing in the way of allowing its lots to be placer mined by unemployed until the Jacksonville officials had been consulted.
    It was not known what the Jacksonville city government had against the plan, or if such were in any way valid and justified, but both Maxwell and Reddy declared that there could be nothing valid in the intimated objections--that Jacksonville had permitted placer mining in that city for a long time past without objection--and intimated that perhaps petty jealousies might be at the bottom of the asked-for delay.
Would Buy Lot
    The discussion was further complicated by the fact that a young man, Jas. R. Lillie, who stated that he was out of employment and had borrowed the money for the venture, and with whom three other men were banded, had made a tenure of $50 for one of the three Medford-owned lots, the price put upon the lots some time ago when the city sold one of four it then owned, and a request was made that the council sanction the sale. Lillie and companions had raised $150 to equip for the placer mining of the lot.
    Mr. Maxwell said at first it would not be fair for the city to sell the lot to Lillie, who sought to purchase only after the Maxwell plan for having the unemployed given permission to placer mine on county- and city-owned property in Jacksonville. He declared that the sale of the lot to Lillie might spoil the whole scheme of relieving many local unemployed, and that if the proposed plan worked out well there were a number of other creeks with gold-bearing ground alongside to which the plan might be extended and thus give remunerative relief to several hundred unemployed men. He was confident that the placer mining plan at Jacksonville would at least earn unemployed men working on it good wages.
    The three Medford-owned lots were especially desirable as part of the unemployment relief plan as they were directly in the wash of Jackson Creek and therefore might bring forth gold in pay quantity.
Maxwell Confident
    It was explained by Mr. Maxwell that the plan was to have all the placer mining proceeds of the various unemployed men in the different locations pooled together and divided equally among them. So confident was he that the plan would be successful that in his objections to one lot being sold to Lillie he declared that he would agree to lease or purchase the three lots at $50 each, for use of the unemployed, which after being worked by the latter for the gold in them he would turn back to the city free of charge.
    A motion was finally put to vote that the city turn over the three lots to be placer mined by the unemployed under supervision by Mr. Maxwell with clauses inserted protecting the city from any accident or other liability in connection with the project. This was lost by a tie vote, 8 to 3, Councilman F. M. Kershaw and C. C. Darby not being present, W. W. Allen, J. O. Grey and C. C. Furnas voting no, as although they favored the plan in general they did not want to vote for it until the Jacksonville city officials had had a chance to be heard. C. A. Meeker, D. R. Territt and G. W. Porter voted yes.
Motion Is Lost
    Mayor Wilson, declaring that as a matter of courtesy he felt that the Jacksonville city government ought to be heard, to learn whether they had any valid objection, broke the tie vote and declared the motion lost.
    Then immediately a new motion prevailed unanimously that the matter be placed in the hands of the council's land appraisal committee, Messrs. Porter, Grey and Allen, with power to act, after they had called on the Jacksonville city officials and learned what valid objections, if any, the latter had.
    This committee will call on the Jacksonville city officials this morning, and if no valid objections are entertained by the city government of the neighboring city will grant the turning over of the two remaining city-owned lots for the placer mining unemployment relief plan.
    In the meantime at last night's session Mr. Maxwell had withdrawn his objections to the sale of a lot to Lillie, and even volunteered as an experienced mining man to help Lillie and his companions get started right in their mining venture. The council then voted to sell the lot to Lillie.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 20, 1932, page 1

    Start Mining--Al Bliton and Keith Baughman started mining in Jacksonville yesterday.
"Local and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, February 3, 1932, page 5

    JACKSONVILLE, June 2.--(Spl.)--A report of "back-yard mining" in Jacksonville is made by Mrs. J. A. Roche, who visited the Kenny place this week where Whitney and Shouler are carrying on mining operations.
    On Monday the cleanup amounted to two and a half ounces, one nugget being worth $7.81, she reported. The average daily cleanup is said to be about two ounces.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 2, 1932, page 9

By Fred Lockley
    A few years ago, when newspaper men wrote up Jacksonville, Or., they dwelt on its historic past. But Jacksonville has turned its back on the past and is courageously facing today and the problems of today. Though it lost the county seat to Medford, and though it is off the line of the railway, its citizens are pointing with pride to the fact that, in spite of the depression, there is mighty little call from the citizens of Jacksonville upon the community chest.
    When I visited Jacksonville recently I found that the men who could not get a job at their regular occupation were making jobs for themselves. All over Jacksonville you will find shafts sunk on vacant lots and in back lots and men heaving away at the windlass, bringing up dirt to be rocked or put through the sluicebox. I stopped to pass the time of day with Fred A. Haight, at 4th and California streets.
    "We ran a tunnel under the back porch here," he said. "It is about 12 feet to bedrock. Out of this little dab of ground, 10 by 20 feet, I have washed out $35, some of the nuggets running from 10 cents to as high as $2."
    Mrs. Haight, seeing my interest in the matter, brought out a small bottle of coarse gold dust and put into my hand two small nuggets, one weighing $1.37, the other $1.57, both of which had come out of her back yard.
    I next went to a lot that had been offered for sale at $600 with no takers. A shaft was sunk to bedrock, and $1500 in gold was taken out without any real injury to the lot, for the shaft can be filled in again, and the lot is as good as ever.
    I dropped in to see Fred Hoesly. He said:
    "I came to Oregon 37 years ago. At first I worked on the railroad, but for the past 25 years I have lived here in Jacksonville. I bought a half-acre here on which is a small house. I have leased the mining rights on my lot and I am present twice a day when they make the cleanup, to get my percentage of the gold recovered."
    "I bought the old Taylor hotel property about two months ago," said Charles H. Christner. "This old building is well built, but it is too large for  a residence, and there is no demand for a hotel here; so I got it at a very low price. I have mined in Arizona and also in Old Mexico, and, to tell you the truth, when I bought this old place I didn't buy it with any intention of running a hotel. As you can see by the dump of gravel in the yard, I am mining on this lot. I am down 24 feet, to bedrock. We are tunneling along bedrock and striking some pretty good pay dirt. So far, I have taken out about $800. I understand that the lot across the street from me has yielded over $2000. This mining on the lots here is like eating your cake and still having it, for after you have tunneled all under the lot you can fill up your shaft and sell your lot for as much as you paid for it. Some of these days some lucky miner is going to strike some old unworked channel of a former creek bed and strike it rich. Of course, millions of dollars were taken from the vicinity of Jacksonville in the old days, but for years every time a well has been dug in Jacksonville you could pan colors out of the dirt that came from bedrock; so there's a lot of gold unrecovered within the city limits of this old mining camp."
    When I visited G. W. Godward, one of the merchants of Jacksonville, he showed me a number of good-sized nuggets.
    "I don't know how much gold is recovered in the back yards of Jacksonville," he said. "I suppose some is taken to Medford and sold to the banks. I buy about $4000 worth of gold dust a month. I pay $17 an ounce for it. Anywhere from 40 to 60 men keep busy sinking shafts and digging tunnels in the city limits of Jacksonville. Usually the owner of the lot receives about 20 percent of the gold recovered. Four thousand dollars a month doesn't seem like a great deal of money, and yet, if the taxpayers had to dig up $4000 a month toward supporting the men who are out of work it would look like a lot of money. Probably the men who are working don't make over $2 or $3 a day, but that's a whole lot better than depending on the community chest."
Oregon Journal, Portland, September 27, 1933, page 8

Profits Made Now in Jacksonville Mining
    MONMOUTH, March 10.--O. C. Christensen and V. V. Caldwell, faculty members of the Oregon Normal School, recently visited Jacksonville in the course of a trip to Ashland.
    They reported to the Lions Club this week some interesting details about Jacksonville, where they visited the three museums in which a collection of relics relating to primitive mining, Indian strife of early days and other historical events. At present, they report, Jacksonville residents are reworking their property, which often is but a city lot or two, for gold nuggets, and recovery of from $2 to $5 per day is not uncommon.
Statesman Journal, Salem, March 11, 1934, page 12

    Takes to Mining--Hugh Bieberstein of Central Point has joined the mining throng at Jacksonville, it was reported here today, and is bringing gold from a backyard mine in the pioneer town.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 28, 1934, page 5

    Paul, George and Dan Pearce are working in a mine in Jacksonville.
"Forest Creek," Medford Mail Tribune, July 8, 1934, page 3

    Ed Pence of Jacksonville, who formerly resided in Trail, has had a nugget weighing over two ounces on exhibit in Jacksonville. The nugget was mined by Mr. Pence on his own lot at his home in that small town. Mr. Pence has been taking out a large amount of gold at his place, according to reports.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 19, 1934, page 5

$13 Nugget Taken from J'ville Mine
    JACKSONVILLE, Dec. 6.--(Spl.)--Ed Pence and Walter Whitney recently took a thirteen-dollar nugget out of their mine. Several months ago they took out a fifty-eight-dollar nugget from the same mine, the largest nugget ever found in any mine in Jacksonville.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 6, 1934, page 1

Wet Weather Cause of Queer Pranks at Jacksonville
    MEDFORD, Jan. 25.--(Special)--Jacksonville is literally "falling all over itself," according to reports reaching here from the historic mining center of early Oregon.
    No serious damage is reported yet from backyard mine cave-ins, but quite a number are settling. The largest cave-in is in the old Chris Ulrich mine near California Street, where there is a hole about 20 feet square. The mine was in operation 40 years ago and was intact until the present, wet weather.
    Oscar Knutzen, miner, is recovering from injuries sustained several days ago in a cave-in near the pioneer Catholic church. He was operating the mine with Lee Chatman on lease.
    Some side streets are settling.
    Buildings reported leaning are in place, with no serious damage resulting. Dozens of mines continue operation, with good pay dirt reported by most. One mine is located in a garage building, under shelter.
    The Taylor mine adjoins the location of the pioneer Democratic Times building, just torn down to make way for more operations. The Times was Southern Oregon's earliest newspaper. [The Table Rock Sentinel was Southern Oregon's earliest newspaper.]
    If wet weather continues, miners say, more cave-ins may result. A network of tunnels and rooms has been dug in the last few years, but most are well timbered.
    The city's main street is unaffected by cave-ins.
    Tunnels are said to be 20 feet and deeper underground, following an old stream channel cut thousands of years ago. Gold lingers along the channel.
Oregonian, Portland, January 26, 1935, page 6

    Residents of Jacksonville face a serious situation resulting from the system of shallow mines that honeycomb the layer of gravel "pay dirt" six feet below the surface of some 35 properties within this town. Four cave-ins, caused by heavy precipitation during the last several weeks, have endangered miners and equipment, and one five-foot-deep drop 30 feet in diameter caused a sag in California, or Main, Street that has diverted traffic. No cave-ins were reported Saturday, but residents said more might occur at any time.
    This largest cave-in is on the Dave Dorn property, abandoned when the slide came. The street has been fenced off around the sag and precautions taken in other places where streets have been undermined. As yet the city council has been unable to prevent miners from digging under the streets by a ruling from the state supreme court. The highway department is also without authority to bring to a stop further excavations which endanger traffic.
    Other properties on which cave-ins have occurred are the Johnson property near the old Catholic church where buildings are said to have been thrown at precarious angles as the ground settled, and the Dave Dorn property. At the outset several days ago of the series of cave-ins, Oscar Knutson was seriously injured when caught by a slide he was trying to prevent with timbers.
    Although conditions were said to be "stable" Saturday, mines have seen little activity during the last several days, except in places where filling in or timbering work has been carried on. The surface dirt, soaked by the heaviest rains and snows Jacksonville has seen in several years, gives way in the slides as the gravel walls of untimbered mines crumble.
    Many of the old passageways were dug as early as 1880, according to mining men of the historic town, while most of the untimbered ones have been excavated in the recent "backyard" mining revival.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 27, 1935, page 12

    MEDFORD, Jan. 26.--(Special)--As the result of backyard mines causing the streets to settle, the Jacksonville city government is contemplating damage action against property owners held responsible for tunneling under the city streets.
    Caution signs were placed today around one or two places on Main Street that were starting to settle. It is feared tunnels underneath may develop holes. Several spots are sagging on Fourth Street and caution is being taken in traveling over it, Mayor Wesley Hartman said.
    The Dave Dorn residence on East Main Street and his woodshed suffered most from a tunnel cave-in. Thirty-two truckloads of dirt were used to bring his house to a normal position from a dangerous angle. A corner of the Johnson dwelling sank badly. One light pole was a victim of a cave-in.
    The city council in an attempt to stop street tunneling learned from the state highway commission that property owners possessed ground halfway across the street.
Oregonian, Portland, January 27, 1935, page 1

"Backyard" Mines at Standstill in Jacksonville Area

    Medford, Jan. 28.--Activity in Jacksonville's "backyard" mines remained at a standstill Sunday with the probability that more drifts would cave in at any time. No new trouble was reported over the weekend, but since four tunnels gave way the latter part of last week, due to heavy precipitation, little work has been carried on except a few cautious attempts to timber the crumbling earth. 
    A sag in the main and only paved street of the historic town remained unchanged and traffic was being diverted around it. Scores of tunnels, some dug as early as 1880, honeycomb the "pay gravel" under 35 properties in the town and have been caving in occasionally for years, according to the miners. One entire street has been settling gradually since 1880, neighbors said, when a tunnel nearly three blocks long was believed to have been dug 30 feet beneath by Chinese laborers.
    Many of the backyard diggings yield from three to five ounces of gold a day, enough to surpass the value of the property with a few months' labor.
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 28, 1935, page 4

    Over $75,000 in gold passed through the hands of G. W Godward, owner of the Godward mercantile store in Jacksonville, in 1934, all mined from the "backyard" mines of the historic old city. The golden stream is still flowing, as evidenced by the fact that over $500 of the metal was cashed at the little store yesterday.
    The biggest day of the bunch was last year, when on one day over $1200 was brought in by various miners. Last Monday one man turned in $400, and another Friday cashed $131 worth of the yellow stuff.
    One of the greatest contributors to the store is the mine on Jacksonville's main thoroughfare, California Street, owned by A. C. Van Galder and J. C. Green. Averaging about $30 a yard, the mine has been worked steadily since the 10th of December, 1933. But it was Friday that the mine really paid off. When the day's work was over, and the cleanup was made, it was found that the day's "take" was $189. That was $2 better than the previous record of $187, set last year. The miners, employing three men besides working themselves, are now digging in rich pay dirt, which averages close to $150 a yard.
    According to Van Galder, most of the city proper had never been worked before the revival of the mining boom about three years ago. According to the stories related by a few of the "oldtimers," the city had been honeycombed from end to end, but this story Van Galder denies, and his record "take," believed to be the largest ever taken from one of the small mines, seems to back up his statement.
    Over 1,000 feet of tunnel has been driven on the property of the two men, over a solid half-block, and they estimate that only between one-fourth or one-fifth of the property has been worked. The two do not use the haphazard system of "drifting," but work systematically, moving every yard of "gravel"--that strata bearing the gold which lies two feet deep above bedrock. There is another layer of "gravel" about 12 feet above the base rock, but this is more difficult to work, and is not so rich, although it carries some gold.
    All of the tunnels in the mine are timbered, six feet high, and tracks are laid to accommodate a tram to facilitate moving of the dirt. An ingenious homemade hoist has been devised by Van Galder, operated by electricity, and employing old auto transmissions to lift the big bucket filled with dirt.
    Besides the mine that he is working now, Van Galder reports that he also has other mining interests, both in the city and above the town on Jackson Creek. He sees a great future in the gold mining business in Jacksonville, despite the frequent reports that the country has been "worked to death."
    The prospects for much more gold do not look so bright to Godward, the store owner, however, for he does not expect to even approach the $75,000 record set last year. In 1922, he said, the total amount of gold passing through his scale was less than $1,000. In 1933 it leaped up to $37,000, and last year reached the high for many years. He has been buying gold in the little city for 13 years, however, and when he says that 1935 will not touch the banner year, his word should carry some weight, it is generally conceded.
    Asked if it weren't dangerous to keep so much gold, and cash to pay the miners, on hand, Mr. Godward smiled and said that the men were paid by check when their gold added to more than a few dollars, and that the gold was sent to the mint every day, and was heavily guarded while in transit.

Medford Mail Tribune, March 17, 1935, page 10

Jacksonville Miner Hurt in Shaft Fall
    David Dorn of Jacksonville, miner, was treated at the Sacred Heart Hospital for a fractured ankle sustained Wednesday afternoon in a mining accident at Jacksonville. Hospital attendants reported the accident occurred when an ore bucket on which Dorn was descending a shaft in one of the "back-yard" mines broke, giving him a fall of about 16 feet.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 5, 1935, page 5

    Motion pictures of front yard gold mining in Jacksonville were to be taken this afternoon for Universal Newsreel by P. E. Emery, staff cameraman of Portland. Mr. Emery has been taking news and feature pictures in Southern Oregon the past week.
    Mr. Emery was to be shown around Jacksonville by G. W. Godward. He was accompanied by A. H. Banwell, manager of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.
    After filming the mining scenes Mr. Emery was to go to the Clyde Briggs ranch to photograph 12 baby lambs that are being raised on bottles. Each of the tiny animals has a bottle and nipple of its own, and Mr. Emery planned to get pictures of them in the act of feeding.
    Mr. Emery planned to go tomorrow to Crater Lake National Park to get pictures of the big new plow shooting out snow from the rim road and of CCC men sawing off slabs of hard snow from the roofs of buildings.
    Some of the scenes Mr. Emery is taking will appear in the regular weekly Universal Newsreel, while others will appear in a monthly feature called "Stranger Than Fiction," the latter showing oddities.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 20, 1936, page 3  The lamb and snowplow footage survives at the National Archives; the mining film apparently does not.

Find $20 Nugget in Jacksonville Mine
    Jacksonville, Nov. 25.--(Spl.)--A gold nugget worth $20.15 was found last week by the Ravenor brothers while mining here in town.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 26, 1939, page 10

    Jacksonville, Feb. 3.--(Spl.)--"Backyard mining," which had died out to some extent here, has recently taken on new life. Will Jones, Muriel Jones and Arthur Johnson washed out approximately $100 in a cleanup January 31. Included in the find was a two and one-half ounce nugget, said to be one of the largest recovered here in many years. A nugget found in 1925 by Ed Pence and Walter Whitney had held the previous modern-day record.
    Operations on the Jones place have been under way all winter, with recovery of a few pennyweight in gold each day.

Medford Mail Tribune, February 4, 1940, page 3

'Backyard' Mine Yields Nugget

    JACKSONVILLE, Feb. 15.--Mining in their back yard here, Will Jones, Muriel Jones and Arthur Johnson recently washed out a gold nugget weighing 2½ ounces and worth approximately $87. The nugget was the largest reported found here in several years. Other small pieces recovered in the same day's cleanup brought the total to approximately $100.
    "Dooryard" mining has nearly disappeared here in late years. The Jones-Johnson diggings are bringing forth several pennyweights in gold daily, however.
Oregon Journal, Portland, February 15, 1940, page 6

Gold in Backyard; Town Is 'Haywire'
    Just step into the garden and pluck a gold nugget instead of a posy.
    Residents of Jacksonville, Oregon have pulled up rose bushes and heaved petunias into the ash can in an excited backyard gold rush.
    Hardly a home in the city, that mushroomed with the 1856 [sic] dash to the Southern Oregon gold fields, has escaped the scars of the Depression-born diggings.
    Citizens stripped off their lawns, moved buildings, even undermined streets, trying to get a shovel into pay dirt. Many families have won bacon and beans and avoided the relief office.
    Since the backyard rush began about eight years ago, gardens and vacant lots have yielded an estimated $500,000 to $700,000 worth of metal. One amateur took out $25,000 and another $20,000 in six years. Two more reported producing $15,000 apiece in two and a half years. A tunnel under a downtown street gave up a $169 nugget, the largest found in three years.
Las Vegas Review-Journal, November 26, 1940, page 6

Last revised February 14, 2024