Atlantis Arisen/Chapter 30
ABOUT GEOLOGY AND MINERALOGY IN WASHINGTON.
The history of the formation of the country north of the Columbia is given in about these words by Professor Condon:
"During the older geological period, when the Pacific Ocean covered all Washington west of the Blue, Bitter Root, and Coeur d'Alene Mountains, the Cascade Range, one hundred and fifty miles from the then ocean-beach, was being slowly lifted up from the bottom of the sea, until it formed a barrier excluding the ocean from East Washington, and changing the seashore to the west slope of the Cascades, where conditions favorable to coal-deposits existed, resulting in the laying down of a vast coal-field extending almost from the northern to the southern boundary of the State.
"After ages given to the draining and drying up of the inland sea and the deposition of rocks and soils east of the Cascades, the Coast Range was elevated in the same gradual manner, the ocean, however, not being excluded from the long north-andsouth depression between the two ranges. This is shown by the fresh-water sediment in the later rocks of the interior, while the sediments in the rocks west of the Cascades are marine. As in the former instance of upheaval, the conditions again favored the deposit of coal, but of an inferior quality, being lignites.
"The glacial period following the tertiary, grinding down the mountains and scooping out the valleys, gave the country its
most striking features. As these glaciers moved down the mountains, much higher then than now, ice-floes were formed in which were imbedded blocks of slate arid boulders of granite, and as these floes floated on the waters or melted on the earth where they were stranded, they deposited these fragments over the future State of Washington, to be found and utilized in our nineteenth century. When, the glacial period was passed the waters distributed their mud, gravel, and sand, forming those deep deposits found on the shores of Puget Sound, Gray's Harbor, and Shoalwater Bay. Then followed another period during which the waters were drained off and the country assumed its present general appearance."
From this history is deduced these facts in regard to minerals in Washington: The coal-bearing belt on the west slope of the Cascades belongs to the early cretaceous period, as do also the gold-bearing slates, limestones, and marbles of East Washington. But the sandstones, bearing marine shells of a later type, found abundantly in the hills bordering the Sound, the Chehalis and the Cowlitz Rivers, and the lignite coals of West Washington, belong to the tertiary period; while the high, light-colored bluffs on the Sound and the bays before referred to belong to the quaternary.
Of the various minerals belonging to the Northwest coast already enumerated in the mineralogy of Oregon, few have been to any extent developed in Washington, these few being coal, iron, gold, silver, limestone, and sandstone.
Coal was known to exist in the Cowlitz Yalley as early as 184.8, when a small quantity was sent to San Francisco to be tested, and declared worthless. Two years later it was discovered at Skookum Chuck, one of the forks of the Chehalis River. Meanwhile it had been heard of at Bellingham Bay, and on the Stillaguamish River about the same period. An analysis of croppings was made in 1851 for the Secretary of the Navy; and the Pacific Mail Company, whose coal cost them forty dollars per ton, employed agents to explore for this mineral on both sides of the Columbia.
The first coal-claim taken up was by William Pattle, an English subject, looking for spar timber on the coast of the Fuca
Sea, in October, 1852. He located a tract immediately south of the present town-site of Sehome. His associates, Morrison and Thomas, took each a claim, and a company was formed called the Puget Sound Coal-Mining Association, which worked the Bellingham Bay mines from 1860 to 1879, with an average annual yield of thirteen thousand tons. A coal discovery was also reported near Clallam Bay, on the Strait of Fuca, in 1867, which was never worked.
About this same period a vein of coal was partially opened on Black River, ten miles southeast of Seattle, by Hr. R. H. Bigelow, who sold it to a company, which failed to make it remunerative, on account of its remoteness from navigable waters, and other causes. Coal had also been found in Squak Valley, fourteen miles east of Seattle, and a few tons taken out an,d sold. All these discoveries and efforts failed, partly through want of knowledge and greatly through want of capital.
At length, in 1863, a coal claim was taken up eleven miles southeast of Seattle by Philip H. Lewis, whose example was followed by several others, and a company was formed. A road was opened to Seattle, and one hundred and fifty tons of coal were sold there for ten dollars a ton, and used on steamers. This drew attention to the mine, which was finally incorporated under the name of the Lake Washington Company, with a capital stock of five hundred thousand dollars, in 1870 it sold out to a new organization, styling itself the Seattle Coal Company. There was a tramway built from the mine to Lake Washington, a scow and small steamer, for towing, being placed on the lake. With this beginning the Seattle company was able to make a success of coal-mining.
The Renton Mine, next in importance and point of time to the Seattle Mine, was first worked about 1873, and has proved profitable. A number of locations were made on Cedar and Black Rivers, about Seattle, and on the Stillaguamish, Snohomish, and Skagit Rivers, all on the east side of the Sound.
The first actual prospecting for coal in the Puyallup Valley was in 1874, when some exploiting was done on Flett Creek, a tributary of South Prairie Creek, a branch of the Puyallup, by an association of three men. About the same time a surveyor found coal on the Northern Pacific Railroad land, half a mile
distant, which led to a thorough examination of the country for twenty-five square miles, and to the working of the mines at Wilkeson and Carbonado. Quite recently the coal-beds in the Skagit Valley have been opened and to a considerable extent developed. One vein in what is known as the Cumberland District is thirty feet in thickness, and another fourteen. The quality of the coal is said to be excellent, and the field very extensive. Its analysis gives fixed carbon 65.70, volatile matter 30.30, ash .038, sulphur .005. Its freedom from sulphur and low percentage of ash are remarkable, promising a coking coal of great density and purity. A third vein five and a half feet through at the surface and gaining thickness with depth is also being opened. This mine belongs to the Skagit Coal and Transportation Company, or Nelson Bennett and associates, who own about three thousand acres of coal-lands near Sedro, twenty-nine miles east of Fairhaven, with which it is connected by railroad.
The comparative values of the Seattle and Tacoma, or Green River and Puyallup coals, is given in the following table:
1 V.H. C.
Green River, Seam (?) .
" "" 33.
" "" (?) .
Green River, Seam 18.
" "" 9.
" "" 6.
Wilkinson Field, Wingate Seam .
" "Seam 123 ... .
None. (?) (b)
" "" 18 ... .
" "" 5 . . . .
" "" 1 . . .
Poor. (?) (b)
" "" 53 ... .
Black and friable.
Extensive deposits are known to exist in the Chehalis Valley, and, although geologists assign this to the tertiary period, I see no reason why these coals should not be as valuable as those on the coast, at Coos Bay or Bellingham. The cost of mining the
coals of Western Washington is light, averaging one dollar and ten cents per ton.
The only coal-mine on the east slope of the Cascades is at Eoslyn, on the line of the Northern Pacific Eailroad, to which company it belongs. This mine furnishes the locomotives of the road with steam fuel, and this coal is shipped to Montana, Dakota, and Minnesota to grade up the inferior coals mined in those States, while the Oregon Eailway and Navigation Company and Oregon Short Line are glad to use any surplus which may be had. A vein of anthracite is reported discovered on the Wenatchee Eiver, northeast of Eoslyn. The output of the various mines for two years is thus tabulated in the report of the governor of Washington for 1889.
Comparative Statement or Coal mined in First and Second Districts for Years ending September 30, 1888 and 1889.
Tacoma Coal and Coke Company.
Output first district.
Output second district.
The decrease in shipments in 1889 is accounted for by competition with British Columbia mines, and the decline of prices in the California markets. That this was not the true cause seems evident when it is known that during the autumn and winter of 1889-90 there was almost a coal famine in San Francisco, and that prices ruled high. It looks more like a combination among coal-miners to force prices up. The market in San Francisco is variable, owing to the fact that English vessels coming out in ballast to load with wheat and salmon carry coal instead of rock in the hold, and sell to dealers for a moderate price coal of a good quality. This is a kind of competition which cannot always be foreseen or provided for.
It is an interesting fact that the great Southern Pacific system of railroads is compelled to depend upon Washington for steam-making fuel. That corporation owns the Carbon Hill mines in the Wilkeson district, four in number, which furnish about eight hundred tons daily. A railroad has been constructed through the canon of Carbon River, with a descending grade, which carries the product of the mines to the bunkers at Tacoma, where it is loaded on a steamer carrying four thousand tons which makes thirty-five trips a year. Sailing-vessels carry the remainder of the output.
When this coal was used in its natural state it carried with it so mucli dirt and grit that the lives of the engineers on the Southern Pacific were rendered burdensome by the effort to keep up steam. A remedy was found in washing the coal, which is now being shipped perfectly clean, the saving in transportation more than paying the expense of washing, while the danger from sparks is very much lessened.
The other Wilkeson mines being worked belong to the Tacoma Coal and Coke Company, of which A. C. Smith is president; and the Wilkeson Coal and Coke Company, Hugh White, president. The Bucoda mines are on the head-waters of the Chehalis River, in Thurston County. They once formed the main supply of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and belong now to the Northwestern Coal and Transportation Company, of which Samuel Coulter is president. The superintendent says of them that the seam being worked is seven feet in thickness, with dark-blue sandstone roof, with the same rock one hundred
feet thick for a floor. Beneath this is another vein ten feet thick, resting on a floor of fire-clay six feet thick and of good quality. Under the fire-clay is a light-colored sandstone one hundred and sixty feet in thickness, overlying an eighteenfeet seam of very good coal. The Bucoda coal is a black lignite, preferred for domestic purposes. The three seams all pitch five degrees to the east, which makes it convenient to work.
The Northwestern Coal and Transportation Company shipped forty-two thousand six hundred and seventy-five tons during the year ending December 1, 1889, which is a third more than mentioned in the report of the governor quoted above. The coal-mines of West Washington employ over two thousand miners and other laborers, and no miners receive less than three dollars a day. This, too, is but the beginning of a very great industry, and the time will soon arrive when Washington will rival Pennsylvania in coal and iron production.
Iron follows naturally after coal, one being necessary to the other in manufactures. This northwest corner of the United States is fortunate in possessing them in conjunction. The ironores of Washington comprise bog-iron or limonite, hematite, and magnetic ore. Bog-ore is found underlying the flats bordering Puget Sound. Large beds of magnetic ore occur in the Cascade Mountains, at a height above the water-courses of from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred feet. The largest discovered deposit is on the Cle-elum River, in Kittitas County on the east side of the range, and about twenty-five miles north of the Northern Pacific Railroad. It is owned by the Moss Bay Company, an English corporation which designs manufacturing iron and steel on a large scale. Extensive deposits are also found on the Snoqualmie River, which are reached from Seattle by the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway. The ores from this section are what are termed typical steel-ores, of a superior quality. Analysis gives a greater per cent, of metallic iron than the average of Lake Superior or Iron Mountain, Missouri, ores, with more sulphur and less phosphorus than those, and with very little more silica than the former, and much less than the latter. The present difficulty in working the
Snoqualmie ore is the gangue-rock, and experiments are being made at eastern iron-works with good results.
In the Skagit Valley, near Cedro, is Iron Mountain, separated from Connor Mountain, in which are found coal deposits, only by a deep gorge. In this mountain are ten distinct veins varying in thickness from twelve to seventy-five feet, and in a favorable position for tunnelling. The ore occurs in pre-cretaceous crystalline rocks, in which limestone also occurs, and proof of its true bearing and great magnitude is found in the drift and ancient volcanic rock associated with it. The iron is of a rich black color, of strong polarity and even fracture, surpassing in purity and merit the Lake Superior ores occurring in the same geological formation. Some of the ledges contain a high percentage of manganese, which it is believed with proper treatment will make it valuable for the manufacture of steel. A practical working test of the ore in the Irondale smelting works resulted in obtaining sixty per cent, of pure iron.
The only iron-mine in Washington actually developed is in Chimacum Valley, two and a half miles from the Irondale furnace on Port Townsend Bay. The ore in this case lies in a blanket from ten to twenty inches in thickness immediately under the sod of the valley, is porous, but sufficiently solid to be dug in lumps. The analysis gives:
Metallic iron.41.83 percent.
Phosphorus. 0.751 "
Phosphorus in 100 parts iron. 1.795 "
In 1880 the Puget Sound Iron Company, Cyrus Walker, president, erected a furnace for smelting iron near Port Townsend, calling the place Irondale, and commenced work in January, 1881, the first iron made in Washington being turned out on the 23d of that month. The ore used was obtained from the dairy farm of William Bishop, at Chimacum, and from Texeda Island in the Fuca Sea. There is ore enough in the Chimacum Mine to keep a forty-ton furnace running for twenty years, but it requires mixing with another quality of ore. The Texeda Mine is a fissure vein, eighty feet wide, bearing sixty-two per cent, of metal of excellent quality and inexhaustible in quantity, although the ore requires to be desulphurized by roasting. It
costs about two dollars a ton delivered at the furnace. The Chimacum iron is soft, while the Texeda is hard, and by mixing the proper density is obtained. The charcoal used in smelting is made from the timber at hand, and the lime comes from San Juan and Orcas Islands at a dollar and a half a ton, the cheapness of all these materials adding greatly to the success of the manufacture. The pig-iron produced here is equal to the best in the United States.
' The Union Iron Works of San Francisco have their smelting works at Irondale, and it was here that the material was manufactured from which the United States cruiser "Charleston" was constructed. Thus Washington furnishes both coal and iron to the Golden State.
Magnetic iron-ore is found on San Juan island, but it contains so large a percentage of phosphorus as to be of little worth. There are also large beds of magnetic and red hematite ores of a high grade about twenty miles northeast of Vancouver, Clarke County.
In connection with iron, limestone may be named as of importance. The deposits which have been worked are found on San Juan Island and in other parts of the archipelago, where the supply is practically unlimited. It was first made in 1860 l> 3 ^ Augustus Hibbard and his partner N. C. Bailey, by whom he was killed in a quarrel eight years afterwards. The works were then closed until 1871, when Hibbard's heir appeared and claimed them, but died in 1873. In the mean time Bailey returned and took possession of his interest, but he also died, and James McCurdy, who held a mortgage on the property, came into possession. The capacity of the kilns previous to 1879 was twentysix thousand four hundred barrels per annum. In 1879 new works were opened in two places on the island by other parties. The lime-works on Orcas Island, opened in 1862, turned out forty barrels per diem. For many years these quarries supplied the Pacific Northwest with lime for building and other purposes. But it is now known that limestone and marble are to be found in the Skagit Yalley and in different parts of the Cascade Range in quantities sufficient not only for smelting the metals existing in these localities, but for commercial purposes. In 1878 the
Northern Pacific Railroad Company opened a quarry in the Puyallup Yalley, their works having a capacity of two hundred and seventy-five barrels. The production of lime in Washington in 1880 was sixty-five thousand barrels, worth eighty-four thousand five hundred dollars. Limestone is also abundant in the region of Fort Colville.
Copper is found in connection with gold and silver on both sides of the Cascade Mountains and in the mineral regions of Northeastern Washington. Recent discoveries have been reported as having been made in the Cascades of high-grade copper-ore, and late explorations in the Olympic Mountains reveal the existence of copper in this range. Valuable copper ledges are said to exist eight miles from Hood's Canal in Kitsap County. The Hump tulips River, which flows into Cray's Harbor, is said also to lead to a copper belt of great proportions, the deposit being found in a formation of slate and limestone quite accessible by railroad from the Chehalis Yalley. For the present a movement is on foot to cut a trail from the head of navigation on the Wishkah River to the vicinity of the indicated mines.
Among the specimens of minerals to be seen in the Skagit Yalley is a fine quality of asbestos from a mine opened at an altitude of two thousand feet. The same mineral has been found at Ellensburg, produced in the Sebastian mining district, thirty-eight miles north of that place. It is long-fibred and of superior quality, but has never been mined.
In the Yakima Yalley, lower down, is a mountain of pumice of a fine grain, which, as this volcanic product has also a commercial value, is of importance to the country.
Clays of several qualities, from that used in brick-making to tripoli and kaolin, are abundant in West Washington, although not of equally good quality. While there exist deposits of pottery-clay so uniform in texture as to be immediately convertible into dry-pressed bricks, or with a small hand press moulded into tiles, which on being burned become vitrified and of a deep red, the greater number require thorough treatment by the best processes known to ceramics in order to produce a ware equal to that manufactured in the East. There are good brick-making and fire clays at no great distance from Tacoma,
and also at Gray's Harbor, and porcelain clays in the Cowlitz Valley, never yet thoroughly tested, but abundant.
The lesson taught by the great fire of Chicago was that iron expands, cracks, twists, and gives way under heat and pressure; that granite will split and crumble if subjected to a great degree of heat and weight; that limestone will be burned into quicklime and slacked by water, or will blow out in masses, destroying a building; and that sandstone will become flaky and split off under the action of a general conflagration; but that brick made of a high-grade refractory clay, properly manufactured, will withstand the fiercest heat. Hence the value of buildingbrick produced from the refractory clays, which, mixed with those of a lower grade and burned until vitrified, can be made to withstand a heat that will melt and boil glass or steel.
The Puget Sound fire-clays vary in appearance, some of the best resembling slate and being of a blue-black color. When these are broken up and exposed to the rains of winter, they are resolved into a pasty mud, which on treatment becomes refractory. Other of the fire-clays are a bluish-gray in color, and look like stone when dry, but dissolve into paste when wet; and still others contain an excess of silica, and resemble laminated sandstone; while some are soft and oily to the touch, and of different degrees of color, from very light to very dark. As a foundation for future industries in Washington, this class of mineral substances is likely to prove of importance to the new State. An industry kindred to that of brick or pottery was carried on in 1868 by the firm of Knapp & Burrell, of Portland, on the north bank of the Columbia, at Knappton,—namely, the manufacture of cement from nodules of a yellowish limestone, found near the mouth of the river. The yield was thirtyfive barrels daily.
The precious metals are not yet at all developed in West Washington, although gold has been found in some of the streams, and alleged discoveries have been made in the Cascade and Olympic Ranges of quartz veins bearing gold and silver, both separately and in conjunction.
Gold-mining in East Washington was begun in the spring of 1855, when gold in placers was discovered near Fort Colville,
being followed by the usual migration of thousands to that locality, and the subsequent discovery of other placer diggings in the upper Columbia region, followed by the organization of the Territory of Idaho, which took away from Washington some of its most valuable mining-lands. The yield of the placer mines in the Colville and Okanogan districts was very considerable, but could not be accurately stated on account of the many routes by which gold was carried out of the country, and also because the express companies, who were the common carriers of treasure, had no means of knowing from what districts came the gold intrusted to their keeping. It is interesting merely as an indication of the value of the placers of Washington, Oregon, and the northwestern portion of Idaho in a half-dozen years, covering the period of profitable placer mining in the Northwest, to take such figures as Wells, Fargo & Co. were able to furnish, as follows: Shipped from Portland in 1864, $6,200,000; 1865, $5,800,000; 1866, $5,400,000; 1867, $4,000,000; 1868, $3,037,000; 1869, $2,559,000; 1870, $1,547,000. Add to these sums $419,657, shipped by Portland bankers in 1869, and we have $28,953,657 that can be accounted for. This partial statement does not include the first and best product of the Colville mines, or the output of the years 1862 and 1863, when the yields of the Oro Fino, Florence, and Salmon Fiver mines (then in Washington) were at the best.
Very little of the gold of Boise, Owjhee, or any part of Southern Idaho went to San Francisco via Portland; therefore the millions of which any account was taken were produced in East Oregon, Washington, and the Panhandle of Idaho, which Washington always claimed as belonging to her territory.
Quartz veins were discovered to some extent during the placer-mining excitement, but were disregarded. Ledges were known to exist in the Okanogan District, and discoveries were made on the eastern flank of the Cascades, on the Wenatchee Fiver. The development of quartz is, however, recent, for obvious reasons, capital and transportation being necessary to quartz-mining enterprises.
The counties in East Washington where gold- and silvermining are carried on are Kittitass, Okanogan, Douglas, and Stevens. The yield from the deep mines of Kittitass for the
year 1880 was twenty-two thousand and thirty-six dollars, and from placers one hundred and twenty thousand and nineteen dollars, and it had not increased in 1883, These mines are, in fact, undeveloped, the iron and coal of the Cascades being sought after rather than the precious metals. Silver-, lead-, and copper-ores exist, but it is not known what tonnage they will yield. The Wenatchee, Yakima, Lake Chelan, and Methow Eiver Districts, all lying just east of the Cascades, are promising, but imperfectly known. Silver is believed to exist in the Olympic Eange, singly and in connection with copper. This is, however, more presumptive than real knowledge, founded on croppings of an apparently good character gathered up .in recent explorations.
It is in the country lying immediately west of the Okinakane Eiver and Colville Indian Eeservation, in Okanogan Count}', and in that part of Stevens County lying east of the Indian Eeservation and the Columbia Eiver, that quartz-mining is being carried on with energy.
Euby District, in Okanogan County, is situated on Conconnully Creek (called Salmon Eiver on many maps), fifteen miles west of Okinakane Eiver. This creek rises in a high and rugged range, running southeast through deep canons to its junction with the Okinakane. In the spring it is a strong and turbulent stream, but diminishes with the dry season until it discharges but about twelve cubic feet per second.
This district is approached from the east by a stage-road either from Spokane Falls or Sprague, on the Northern Pacific, the two uniting seventy miles west of Spokane, and continuing west to the head of the Grand Coulee and Condon Ferry on the Columbia, thence to the Okinakane Eiver, which it crosses, and to Euby City, the whole distance from Spokane Falls being one hundred and fifty miles. The western approach is via Ellensburg, either across the country, one hundred and ninety-five miles, or by steamboat a part of the distance. A railroad will soon cross the country from Spokane Falls to Puget Sound, affording better facilities for travel to these mines.
Euby City is situated on Conconnully Creek, at an altitude of eighteen hundred feet, but surrounded by mountains rising
four thousand and six thousand feet above sea-level. It is the county-seat of Okanogan County, and the centre of the mining district.
The principal mines are on the south side of the creek, in a ridge rising abruptly from it to a height of two thousand five hundred feet. There is plenty of timber, but no water for mining purposes, and the ores must be conveyed over a very rough trail, or by a wire tramway to reduction works on the Conconnully, a method which is entirely practicable.
The country rock of Ruby district is granite, gneiss, mica, and hornblende schists, which have been uplifted to nearly vertical positions. The width of the zone of gneissoid granites and schists is about three miles, flanked on the southwest by a high granite range, and the mineral belt is confined to this zone—the silver-bearing lodes conforming substantially to the generally southeast-and-northwest course of the schistose rocks, with a dip varying from fifty degrees to the nearly vertical position, with frequent local variations.
One of the latter is the Arlington, which has a north-andsouth direction, and is situated in the southerly end of Ruby Mountain, about three hundred feet from the top, with a dip into the mountain of from sixty to eighty degrees below the horizontal. The lode is from three to nine feet wide, and has been traced for a distance of seven hundred feet. The ore assays one hundred and eighty-seven dollars in silver to the ton, or, taking all classes of ore together, eighty-six dollars and sixty-four cents, with merely a trace of gold. Professor Clayton, in a report on the Ruby district, to which I am indebted for figures, estimated that a block of ground three hundred feet long, sixty feet deep, and five in width, making ninety thousand cubic feet of quartz in the lode, would give about six thousand tons gross, and, assuming that half of that would assay eighty dollars per ton, the gross value would he two hundred and forty thousand dollars. Deducting ten per cent, loss in milling (twenty-four thousand dollars) and twenty dollars per ton for the cost of milling, mining, and transportation (sixty thousand dollars), there would remain one hundred and fifty thousand dollars net from this block of ground, which he considered a safe estimate. What the actual yield is has not been made
known, but it is the leading mine in the district, and reduction works have been erected, at a cost of three hundred thousand dollars, at Ruby City, for the extraction of silver from this and other ores in this locality, with other improvements involving a large amount of capital. A concentrator has also been erected at Conconnully, but these helps have only partially relieved the embarrassments of the miners. The cost of transporting ore to Ellensburg, the nearest railroad point by steamboat and wagon-road, is two and a half cents per pound, a prohibitory price for the carrying of any but the highest grade of ores. Nothing like a general development can take place until the excessive cost of transportation is removed.
The other mines in the Okanogan country of the same general character of the Arlington are the Fourth of July, Ruby, and First Thought, in the Ruby district. The Tuff Nut, Mammoth, Lone Star, Home Stake, and Minnehaha, in Salmon River (Conconnully) district, are not so purely silver-bearing, and several in the Galena district carry enough lead for smelting.
The greatest advancement yet made in mining in Washington has been in Stevens County. About fifty miles by rail north of Spokane Falls, in the vicinity of Chewelali, is a mining district producing silver and lead ore which is reducible by smelting. The general character of the country is lime, the walls encasing the minerals being porphyry. These mines were discovered in 1883-84, but were not worked until about 1887. The Eagle Mine ore assayed three hundred dollars in silver and forty per cent, in lead. This property, situated about three miles east of Chewelah, is owned by capitalists who are able to develop it. In the vicinity are numerous mineral locations. The Shamrock is a vein forty-one feet wide, assaying twenty-four dollars in silver and thirty-five cents in gold, and the Pansy is an extension of the same formation, which is in porphyry. The Alpend, one mile east of the Eagle, is a good property, and many others promise well.
On the west side of the valley, seven miles from Chewelah, is the Finley, a vein of gray copper and chlorides, assaying from thirty dollars to six hundred dollars per ton, and there are several well-defined veins of the same quality of ore in the vicinity.
The mineral region extends eighty miles north, but it is in the region of Colville that the greatest development has taken place in mining. This country abounds in lime-belts, which pass through it from northwest to southeast at intervals of from five to eight miles apart, varying in width from one thousand yards to three miles. The deposits of ore are extensive, many of them bearing the minerals necessary to their reduction. Granite and porphyry enclose some of the veins, slate and quartz others, and still others are found in limestone. Some of the ores are iron carbonates, carrying silver, gold, and lead in paying quantities. The Old Dominion Mines, however, contain ore in the form of a chloride and black sulphate in limestone walls.
The Old Dominion Mine is six miles east of the town of Colville, and is an eight-foot fissure vein, assaying one hundred and fifty ounces of silver, twenty-five per cent, galena, and seven dollars in gold to the ton. The Old Dominion was discovered in 1885. and produced in 1886 eighty thousand dollarsworth of silver. Two years later it was estimated that half a million had been taken out, and ore had been found which assayed fifteen thousand dollars to the ton. On the same mountain, and forming a group of chlorides, are the Ella, Rustler, Paris Belle, East Side, West Side, War Eagle, St. Helena, John Harris, and Portland. Until a recent period the ores were shipped to Omaha for reduction, and only the highest grade ores would pay the expenses of mining, transportation, and reduction; hence, districts less rich than the Old Dominion were left unworked.
The Young America, owned by the Young America Consolidated Company, is situated on the east side of the Columbia, in a lime bluff sixteen miles north of Colville, and is one of the largest, if not the largest, surface-showing mines in the State. It was discovered in 1885, and within six months had been considerably developed. The ledge averages five feet in thickness, and runs northeast and southwest, with a pitch to the east. In 1888 it had been tunnelled to a point one hundred and eighty feet from the surface, following a heavy body of ore all the way, and finding a solid deposit of eight feet of mineral. A working test made in San Francisco showed ninety ounces of silver and forty per cent, of lead to the ton. The ore is now shipped by
the Spokane and Northern Kailroad to Spokane, and reduced in the Mutual Smelting and Mining Company's works of that city. The mine is valued at over a million dollars.
The Bonanza, two miles east of the Young America, is in a formation similar to the Young America, which, while the ore is not so valuable, is so much larger as to make up for it. It is producing and shipping ore continuously.
The Little Dalles, thirty-eight miles north of Colville, is another region rich in minerals. The ores are galena and lead carbonate with silver. It was discovered in 1886, when the Silver Crown and Northern Light claims attracted much attention. They are true fissure veins located side by side, running east and west parallel with each other, and pitching towards each other. Practically, they are one ledge, as they must meet. The ore assays from eighty to three hundred ounces, and the ledges are eighteen inches in thickness.
The Silver Butte is an extension of the Silver Crown and Northern Light properties, with almost as good a showing of mineral; and the Amy, a short distance below Silver Crown, shares in the richness of the district.
Bruce Creek is another locality where some large ledges of galena are found; and on Clugston, five miles east of Bruce Creek and twelve miles north of Colville, there are some very fine ledges of galena, including the Uncle Sam and Tenderfoot, both of which are rich in lead, while carrying silver enough to defray expenses of transportation and reduction. Iron also abounds in the region of Bruce Creek.
The Daisy, in the Summit district, twenty-four miles south of Colville, was discovered in 1886, but not worked for a year or more. It was found to be a seven-foot vein of carbonates, worth one hundred and fifty-one dollars in silver and a few dollars in gold to the ton. In 1888 there were seventy thousand dollarsworth of ore in sight.
A smelter of twenty tons capacity was erected at Colville, to which all these mining districts are tributary, by the Mutual Smelting and Mining Company in 1888, which purchased ore or did custom work for the miners, but had not a sufficient capacity even at that time. The completion of railroad connection with Spokane Falls has solved many difficulties.
The Metaline district, on Clarke's Fork of the Columbia, was discovered late in 1886. It is situated on the west bank of the river (recentty called Pend d'Oreille River), about one hundred miles from Pend d'Orielle Lake, and near the northern boundary of the State. It belongs to the Kootenai group of mines, w T hich extend into Idaho, and is approached by the river from Sand Point on the lake and on the Northern Pacific Railroad.
The ores of this district are a low-grade galena, and lead the principal production, the average of that metal being from seventy-five to eighty-five per cent., with no refractory metal in the district. The ore is generally found in pockets in a limestone formation similar to the Frisco silver district of Southern Utah. The Bell O'May Mine and Diamond R. are of this description. The latter assayed six ounces of silver and eighty per cent, of lead on top, and at a depth of twenty-seven feet assayed seventy ounces of silver and fifty-eight per cent, of lead. The Oreole, owned in Spokane, is a vein mine, in lime rock containing gray copper and galena, the ore averaging one hundred ounces in silver. These mines are on the west side of the river, and within from one to two and a half miles of the town of Metaline.
A mile below the town, on the east side of the river, is Grand View Mine, on a bluff eight hundred feet above the stream. This ore assayed ten ounces of silver and seventy-five per cent, of lead, and showed a four-hundred foot square of galena on the surface. Near the Grand View is the Friday Mine, running high in lead and low in silver; and five miles above, on the same side, is a six-foot vein containing a twelve-inch streak of gray copper-ore running very high in silver.
Again, the Waters Mine, discovered in 1888, on Little Muddy Creek, on the west side of Clarke's Fork, is a well-defined vein in lime, containing two feet of galena assaying thirty ounces silver and seventy-five per cent, lead, and two feet of galena carbonates carrying ten ounces silver and forty-five per cent, lead.
Gold is found in placers on Sullivan Creek on the east side of Clarke's Fork a mile below Metaline. The diggings are from three to six feet deep on gray slate bedrock; the ground is spotted, and the gold is in heavy scales.
It has been remarked by intelligent prospectors that from the international boundary-line south to Spokane Falls there is a peculiar distribution of rocks on the surface, particularly from Calispel Lake in the Colville country west to Oso-Yoos Lake in the Okanogan country, between which points there is a stream of granite boulders about a mile in width. This stream is the same, no matter what the country rock may be; whether lime, slate, porphyry, or granite, these boulders are present on the surface, some weighing many tons, and others smaller, but distributed in a straight line on the mountains and in the valleys.
Some years ago some prospectors found a large piece of galena ore on a mountain near the town of Marcus. Certain that they had made a valuable discovery they sold the ore, and searched for the vein from which it had come until satisfied that there was none in the vicinity. The theory, of course, is that the granite and other boulders so out of place were dropped from icebergs that were breaking up as they floated over this country, then covered with water. Where the bergs were formed is a query still to be answered.
The Kootenai country in the Pan-Handle of Idaho is east of the Metaline district, and, although belonging to another Commonwealth, is tributary to Washington. It has long been known to be a mineral country, and was prospected for gold placers in the early mining furore following the Fraser River and Colville excitements of thirty or thirty-five years ago. The country is mountainous and picturesque, and contains several of the most beautiful lakes in the Northwest,—the Cceur d'Alene, Pend d'Oreille, Kanisku, and a part of the Kootenai. It has five hundred miles of navigable waters, and vast resources in timber and minerals.
The first mining done in the Kootenai country was in the Cceur d'Alene region, which is drained through the Spokane Kiver. The distance from Spokane Falls to the nearest point on the lake is twenty-five miles. The Cceur d'Alene River has two branches, on both of which placer gold-mining has been carried on for eight or ten years, but most largely on the South Fork. It was not until about 1883 that deep mining was undertaken, and previous to 1886 not much was accomplished. It is
now, however, a busy and prosperous mining region. The ores are argentiferous galena, with some gold in quartz. The veins aro true fissures, accessible, and very thick, and carry from forty to sixty per cent, of lead, five to fifty ounces of silver, and a few dollars in gold to the ton. The strike of the principal lode, which is three miles in length, is parallel to the river, at a distance from it of from two to six miles, and it is frequently cut at right angles by ravines, which afford facilities for mining.
There are no fluxes in the Coeur d'Alene country except that contained in the ore, and no great amount of fuel near the mines, which makes it more economical to carry the ores out for smelting than to bring in the fluxes,—a fact in favor of Spokane Falls as a centre for reduction works. Mills and concentrators on the ground reduce the expense of transporting the ores, which, however, with the supplies required by the camps, furnish a profitable business to the Coeur d'Alene Kailway and Navigation Company's lines, connecting with the Northern Pacific Railroad.
The Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mines, at the head of Milo Creek, were the first discoveries on the lode, and have been good producers. The ore as taken from the mine concentrates four tons into one, which has a gross value of one hundred dollars, and with the first concentrator, whose capacity was one hundred and twenty tons daily, returned three thousand dollars per day to the owners. The company employ one hundred and fifty men, and are well equipped for profitable mining.
The Stemwinder, just bejmnd these mines, on the main lode, is owned in Portland, and is a rich producer. The company has a concentrator at Milo. The Tyler, also owned in Portland, is a similar property, as well as the Emma—Last Chance, owned in Spokane.
The Sierra Nevada is a carbonate instead of galena, and yields a large amount of ore, giving returns of one hundred dollars per ton without concentrating. Specimens from, this mine of crystallized silver and lead, consequent on some disturbance of the formation, are beautiful and wonderful, fantastic in shape and rich in color.
Silver King, Crown Point, and Eureka are also good mines in
the vicinity of Wardner; and there are very many equally as good in other districts of the Coeur d'Alene country.
The first mine thoroughly developed in this region was the Tiger, owned in Spokane, and located on Canyon Creek, a feeder of the South Fork. In order to secure this development it was necessary to construct a railroad for several miles through a narrow defile of the mountains, and erect a concentrator of one hundred tons capacity. There is enough ore in sight to keep it running for years.
The Coeur d'Alene mines already wield a great influence in the development of the Northwest, which is destined to increase as they are developed. They make necessary railroads and reduction works, and encourage various industries, which without them would remain unattempted for many a decade.
Lightning Creek district, on the northeast side of Lake Pend d'Oreille, and five miles by a level road north of Clarke's Fork Station on the Northern Pacific, is in the Kootenai country, and was discovered in 1887. The veins have an east-and-west course in a hard black lime and quartzite. The Mayflower is highgrade galena, one foot in thickness, averaging one hundred and thirty-six ounces silver and twenty-five per cent. lead. The Wallace, of the same size, gives one hundred and nine ounces silver and forty per cent. lead. Lightning Creek is twenty-eight miles long, and falls into the lake. It affords good sport to the trout fisher.
West of Clarke's Fork Station, and little over a mile from Hope Station, are the Silver Chord and Lake Shore Mines, with a six-foot body of ore assaying at the start thirty ounces silver, with a good per cent, of lead. The formation is quartzite, syenite, and slate.
On the south side of the lake, nearly opposite Hope Station, is the Garfield Bay district, by water eighteen miles southeast from Sand Point, and six miles northeast by rail from Cocolalla Station on the Northern Pacific. Two miles back from the bay, on the side of a mountain, is the Mountain Queen. The vein is in trachyte and lime, and contains a hard whitish quartz spotted with galena, which assays thirty ounces silver and a. small percentage of lead. There are twenty or more locations in the
immediate vicinity, and all are owned in the Kootenai country and Spokane Falls, unless recently transferred.
On the south side of Lake Pend d'Oreille, where Gold Creek •comes in from the southeast, is a mountain of limestone, which is being burned and shipped by the hundreds of barrels every week. Gold in quartz is also found on Gold Creek.
Kanisku Lake, forty miles northwest of Sand Point, is thirty miles long by from three to seven miles wide, and has its outlet through Priest Eiver, a crooked and swift stream which empties into Clarke's Fork. Uorth of Kanisku three miles, and connected with it by a stream, is Lake Abercrombie, six miles long, north-and-south, and two wide. These lakes have high, steep hills surrounding them and coming close down to the water, except where the numerous streams feeding them find entrance. These streams have level meadow-land extending back for several miles, and where the meadows cease a fine cedar forest begins, some of the older timber measuring fifteen feet in diameter, with a grain so true that it can be split into boards fifty feet long. White pine, hemlock, and tamarack also are here in large growths, and game, large and small, is plentiful.
In 1888 a five-foot galena vein was discovered at the head of Abercrombie Lake, running northeast and southwest, in syenite and granite, with one foot of solid galena on the foot-wall, that averaged thirty ounces silver and seventy per cent. lead. The general formation of the country is a cross-grained, hard, white granite.
Kootenai or Flat Bow Lake and Kiver embrace a vast region. Together they form an elongated ox-bow, pointing north, and branching out until the points arc six hundred miles apart, the east point being the source of the Upper Kootenai Eiver, and the west point of the Lordeaux Eiver. The lake is on the west arm of the bow, its south end being connected with Sand Point by a level wagon-road. Its length is over one hundred miles, and its width of an average of three miles. It seems to have been formed like the Grand Coulee by some great convulsion of nature, as glacial action is nowhere apparent on the ad
jacent mountains, although living glaciers of great size are at the north end of the lake. The depth of this fissure is unknown, —assuming it to be a fissure,—but by carrying out the angles of the marginal mountains, which rise quite abruptly from the water to a height of four thousand feet, a depth of at least three thousand feet would be obtained. A sounding line of one thousand feet does not touch the bottom of its still, dark waters. The outlet is on the west side, about forty-five miles from the north end, which is in British Columbia. The waters of the outlet are deep and still for twenty-five miles. The mountains
one day's hunt.
wear their snowy helmets the year through at the upper end of the lake. Many streams fall into it, large and small, entering through deep gorges, or tumbling over mossy rocks among green depths of forest. There is no more impressive scenery in the Northwest than in the Kootenai country. The lake is stocked with fish, from immense sturgeon and char weighing up into the hundreds, to thirty-pound silver trout, and other
smaller pan fish; and the forest affords game in the caribou, a species of large deer.
Kootenai Lake mining district lies on both sides of the lake about fifteen miles north of the outlet. The Blue Bell Mine, on the east side, is on Galena Bay, and owned by the Kootenai Mining and Smelting Company, which has its office at Kootenai Station, on the Northern Pacific. It is a ten-foot vein of lowgrade galena in lime, extending north and south, assaying eight ounces in silver, with eighty per cent, of lead, and opened by a one-hundred-foot incline. The Blue Bell was discovered and to some extent developed previous to 1885, when, owing to a contest over rights, work was suspended until the present company acquired the property. The Kootenai Chief, an extension of the Blue Bell, is owned in San Francisco, but not at present worked. On the opposite side of the lake are numerous locations, among which are the Highland, owned in Spokane, a three-foot vein of clear galena, assaying, from forty to two hundred and eighty ounces silver and sixty per cent, lead, opened by a sixty-foot tunnel at a depth of one hundred and ten feet; the Jim Blaine, a narrow vein, owned in Butte City, Montana, which shipped to the Wicks Smelter three thousand five hundred pounds of gray carbonate ore that netted over two hundred and eighty-three ounces of silver, the vein being in a basin on top of a mountain, and difficult to reach or work. Out of a large number of claims, a dozen or more show a good grade of galena. There are hot springs among this group of mines, which continually deposit lime.
The Bonanza district is situated six miles south of the Kootenai Lake outlet, on Cottonwood Creek, which comes into the outlet from the south at a point twenty-two miles southeast and down from the main Kootenai Lake. The principal locations are at an altitude of five thousand four hundred feet, and two thousand seven hundred feet above the lake, cutting at right angles through a timbered ridge running northeast and southwest, which slopes uniformly down to the outlet. The district was discovered in 1886 by parties from Colville, and located the following year. There are three parallel veins, about six hundred feet apart, ranging from thirty to eighty feet in width, and running in an east-and-west direction, with a dip
of fbrty-five degrees to the south. The casing of the ore matter is a lime shale, the whole extending across the country formation at right angles, and lying bet ween a contact of granite and slate.
The veins carry ores known to mining men as copper-glance, antimonial silver, gray-copper, "black metal," or brittle silver, peacock-copper, and hard brown, gold-bearing quartz. It is claimed that no such conglomeration of ores was ever before found outside of Mexico, where similar deposits exist. The discovery was made by a party looking for placer claims at the head of the Little Salmon, which comes into the Columbia from the east a few miles north of the boundary-line of British Columbia. The whole summer was spent in cutting a one-hundred-mile pack-trail through the heavy timber of a country extremely rough in its configuration. The canon of the Salmon River has stretches of twenty or more miles where the high bluffs are perpendicular and faced with rock. The Bonanza Ridge lies between the head-waters of a branch of the Salmon and the Kootenai Lake outlet.
When the Colville party were, at the end of summer, making prospect holes on this ridge, they stumbled on their bonanza; but it being near the season of snow in the mountains, they were forced to relinquish the hope of securing any returns for their labors at that time, and concealing their treasure retraced their steps to wait for another summer. But the secret was not so well kept but that it was guessed, and, when they started in the following May for the land of promise, they were watched and pursued so closely as hardly to get to their destination before others were also on the ground. This is a part of the romance and excitement of mining. Many a lonely prospector while looking for his bonanza has laid his bones where other equally evasive fortune-hunters could not find them. But the bonanza found, then comes the struggle for possession, and the race is to the swift. The discoverers of this one, named Winslow Hall and William Oakes, with eleven others, organized the Kootenai Bonanza Mining Company, and made three locations, the Kootenai Bonanza, Silver King, and American Flag. The G-rizzly, Silver Queen, and Cariboo are extensions of the above named.
The richness of the Kootenai Bonanza district is extraordi
nary. In doing the opening work on the first two locations twelve hundred tons of ore were taken out, which averaged one hundred and fifty dollars to the ton, three hundred tons averaging two hundred dollars. Forty-six sacks of ore, from which forty-eight assays were made, averaged five hundred and twelve ounces of silver, ho assay being made for copper or gold. Several assays were made of "brittle silver/' which averaged eight thousand ounces of silver, and a chunk of brown quartz showing wire and leaf gold gave ninety-seven thousand dollars gold and three thousand dollars silver to the ton. The entire vein carries thirty per cent, copper.
While there is this Arabian Nights' glamour of incredible wealth about these discoveries, there is always the possibility that nature has exhausted herself in producing this specimen of her handiwork, and cannot repeat this profusion or long continue it in one place. The reputation of this district, however, has been well sustained and has increased the value of the lowgrade ores in the Kootenai Lake district, both districts being north of the boundary, in the British possessions, and low-grade ores being dutiable. But if the value of silver exceeds that of lead in ore, it can be shipped into the United States free of duty. By mixing the high and low grades the whole can be taken across the line free, and besides improve the ore for smelting.
The only outlet for this district is up the Kootenai Lake and River, one hundred and fifty-five miles, to Bonner's Ferry, thence south thirty miles by wagon-road to Kootenai Station or Sand Point, on the Northern Pacific, and thence sixty miles to Spokane Falls. The passage by water occupies forty-eight hours. It costs seven dollars per ton to transport the ore from Cottonwood Creek Landing to Kootenai Station. A railroad will soon be made to penetrate the Kootenai country, and reveal to the world a region well worth the attention of the business-man and the tourist.
It was the intention of the Ainsworth Company, which owned in the Blue Bell lead and had a grant from the colonial government, to have built a railroad out of the Kootenai country, but the policy of the Parliament proved so narrow, owing to the jealousy of their constituents towards railway connection with the United States, that the company was compelled to abandon the scheme. This ill treatment by the colonial authorities for several years retarded mining in this region. The Spokane and Northern Railroad will soon be completed to Little Dalles, whence a line of steamboats will carry passengers and freight to this and other districts in British Columbia. It was the design of the Spokane and Northern to have continued its road to Kootenai on the northeast, and through the Colville Indian .Reservation to the .Rock Creek mines of British Columbia on the northwest, and finally to the Pacific coast, but the Dominion Parliament refused to grant charters for either of these branch lines, much desired by the people north and south of the boundary, the Canadian Pacific being opposed. It will not be possible much longer to prevent American enterprise from accomplishing its designs, even against the will of this governmental monopoly, in British Columbia.