Read CHAPTER V of Klondyke Nuggets, free online book, by Joseph Ladue, on ReadCentral.com.

MINERS’ LUCK.

The reports already received of the finds of gold seem beyond belief but the greater part of them are actual facts, and the following came under my personal observation:

Alexander McDonald, on Claim N, Eldorado, on the Klondyke, started drifting on his claim with four men.  The men agreed to work the claim on shares, the agreement being that they should work on shares by each receiving half of what they could get out.  The five together took out $95,000.00 in twenty-eight days.  The ground dug up was found to measure but 40 square feet.  This was an exceptional find.  The men are of course working the claim and had 460 square feet on the claim still to work out when I left for the East.

People in the East or elsewhere can hardly realize what a small space a mining claim is in this vast and comparatively unexplored territory.

William Leggatt on Claim N, Eldorado, together with William Gates and a miner named Shoots, purchased their claim from a miner named Stewart, and his partner, for the sum of $45,000.00.  They did not have money to make the payment in cash but made a first payment of $2,000.00 with the agreement to pay the balance of the purchase price, $43,000.00, prior to July 1st, 1897.  They sunk a shaft and commenced taking out $1,000.00 per day.

They worked the pay dirt until about May 15, 1897, when they found that they had taken out $62,000.00, and the space of the claim worked was only twenty-four square feet.

A young man who went to the Klondyke recently writes that he is taking out $1,800.00 a day from his claim.

It is stated on good authority that one claim yielded $90,000 in 45 feet up and down the stream.  Clarence Berry bought out his two partners, paying one $35,000 and the other $60,000, and has taken up $140,000 from the winter dump alone.  Peter Wiborg has purchased more ground.  He purchased his partner’s interest in a claim, paying $42,000.  A man by the name of Wall has all he thinks he wants, and is coming out.  He sold his interests for $50,000.  Nearly all the gold is found in the creek bed on the bed rock, but there are a few good bench diggings.

Perhaps the most interesting reading in the Mining Record is the letters written by men in the Klondyke to friends in Juneau.  Here is one from “Casey” Moran: 

Dawson, March 20, 1897.

Friend George:  Don’t pay any attention to what any one says, but come in at your earliest opportunity.  My God! it is appalling to hear the truth, but nevertheless the world has never produced its equal before.  Well, come.  That’s all.  Your friend,

Casey.”

Burt Shuler, writing from Klondyke under date of June 5, says: 

“We have been here but a short time and we all have money.  Provisions are much higher than they were two years ago and clothing is clean out of sight.  One of the A.C.  Co.’s boats was lost in the spring, and there will be a shortage of provisions again this fall.  There is nothing that a man could eat or wear that he cannot get a good price for.  First-class rubber boots are worth from an ounce of gold to $25 a pair.  The price of flour has been raised from $4 to $6, as it was being freighted from Forty Mile.  Big money can be made by bringing a small outfit over the trail this fall.  Wages have been $15 per day all winter, though a reduction to $10 was attempted, but the miners quit work....  Here is a creek that is eighteen miles long, and, as far as is known, without a miss.  There are not enough men in the country to-day to work the claims.  Several other creeks show equal promise, but very little work has been done on the latter.  I have seen gold dust until it seems almost as cheap as sawdust.  If you are coming in, come prepared to stay two years at least; bring plenty of clothing and good rubber boots.”

Thus far little attempt to mine quartz has been made in the interior of Alaska and the Northwest, although many quartz croppings have been seen.  It would cost too much to take in the machinery and to build a plant until transportation facilities are better.  In time, however, quartz mining operations will commence, for the placer mines were washed down from the mother veins somewhere.  If the washings have made the richest placers in the world, what must the mother veins be?  One dares hardly to imagine.

This is a brief description of the gold region in the Northwest.

For further and more detailed information on Routes and Distances, Transportations, Mining Laws, How to Stake a Claim, Where to Register Your Claim, Modes of Placer Mining and Quartz Mining, Return of Gold from the Diggings, Mortality, Cost of Living, etc., I refer the reader to my book on this subject entitled “Klondyke Facts,” a work of about 224 pages.  It is published in paper covers at 50 cents a copy with maps and illustrations, and is sent postpaid by the publishers on receipt of 50 cents.