Mining History Articles and Documents
|Get regular updates on the WMH Facebook page|
Watch for Site Bulletins Here Soon!
Tourists will naturally desire to visit some of the towns, where they can observe closely the various operations connected with gold-mining, which is such an important industry of California. This can be done by leaving the main line of railroad at any station in the mining-region and going a little way into the country. Indeed, on the main line of the Central Pacific are several towns, where almost the only occupation of the people is gold-digging.
In the early days of lode gold mining, stamp mills were used for crushing the ore. Where there was free gold in the ore, a silver-plated copper plate was placed so that the discharge through the screen from the mortar, with the addition of water, flowed down over this plate which was coated with quicksilver, allowing the free gold to become amalgamated and retained on the plate. The man who operated such a mill was called an amalgamator.
When the Berkley mine broke out afire the other day in Butte, Montana, sending five hundred men to the surface and suspending operations for a month in one of the biggest producers of the greatest mining camp on earth -- the camp that gives to the world's market one-fourth of its copper production -- the sight of the flames and smoke didn't cause as much as a ripple of excitement on the surface of the busy population at the foot of the hill, for Butte is accustomed to a mine fire that is perpetual and which burns with intense heat in the ground under her very business district.
The very activity of Butte is sometimes wearisome. It never ceases. By day and night the tall chimneys at the mills are pouring forth there smoke sand flame; the stress at all hours of thr day and night are filled with moving throngs.
The territory of Montana is in itself an empire. It was given Territorial rights in 1864, and since then has increases rapidly both in wealth and population. Fabulously rich in mines, already having an annual output of nearly $26,000,000, it is famous for it's vast areas of grazing land and becoming widely known as an agricultural country.
Page 1 of 1 pages