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Henry T Williams.

Pacific tourist : Adams and Bishop's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean : a complete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific railroads online

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passengers get an excellent meal in a neat
house, kept by Mr. Clark, the most genial
and accommodating landlord on the road.
The table is usually well supplied with fruits,
fish and game.

Elko is the county-seat of Elko County the
north-eastern county of the State. It has a pop-
ulation of about 1,200, and is destined to become
one of the important commercial and educa-
tional centers of the State. It has a large brick
court-house and jail, one church, an excellent
public school, and is the seat of the State Uni-
versity. This institution has 40 acres of ground
on a bench of land overlooking the city, in plain
sight of the cars on the right, just before reach-
ing the town. Its buildings have thus far cost
.about $30,000, and it was first opened in 1875.
The money paid for freights consigned to this
place and the mining districts which are tribu-
tary to it, in 1875 amounted to nearly $ 400,000,
and the first year the railroad was completed
ran up to over $1,000,000. The town has nu-
merous retail stores and two or three wholesale
establishments, with a bank, a flouring mill,
brewery, hotels, etc. Water taken from the
Humboldt River some 17 miles distant, and
brought here in pipes, supplies the city. It has
three large freight depots, for the accommo-
dation of its railroad business, and is the loca-
tion of the United States Land office for the
Elko Land District. The city is rapidly im-
proving, brick and wooden structures taking
the place of the canvas houses that were formerly
prevalent. Altogether it has a bright and
promising future. Indians, mostly the Sho-

12



shones, of all sixes and of both sexes, hover
around the town and beg from the trains of
cars. They still bedaub themselves' with paint,
and strut around with feathers in their hats in
true Indian style.

Elko is destined to become famous as a water-
ing place. About one and a half miles north of
the river, and west of the town, are a group of
mineral springs that are already attracting the
attention "of invalids. There are six springs in
this group, three hot, and three cold. The hot
springs show 185 Fahrenheit, and one of them,
called the " Chicken Soup Spring," has water
which, with a little salt and pepper for season-
ing, tastes very much like chicken broth. We
regret that no analysis of the waters of these
springs has been made, which we could furnish
to our readers. Tourists in search of wonderful
curiosities will not fail to visit these springs and
observe the craters of those which are now ex-
tinct. The sediment or incrustations formed by
the water into some kind of porous rock, accu-
mulated around the apertures until at length
they were raised-, in one instance, about three
feet above the surface of the. ground, with a hol-
low basin, at least one foot in diameter on the
top. Other extinct springs are not as high as
this one, but show the same formation and have
the same peculiarities. Of the hot flowing
springs said to be white sulphur two are quite
large, and one of them is said to contain a large
solution of iron. A bathing-house has been
erected .1 short distance away, to which the wa-
ter is conducted, and in which there are private
bathing-rooms supplied with both hot and cold
water from the springs. There is also a large
swimming bath near by, with dressing-rooms ad-
joining. A large hotel is to be erected the pres-
ent year for the accommodation of guests. There
is a public conveyance running between (he city
and the springs for the accommodation of vis-
itors. In the absence of an analysis of the
waters we will simply state that they are claimed
to be a certain cure for rheumatism and all dis-
eases of the blood ; to have a remarkable effect
in paralytic cases ; to have a good effect on con-
sumptives, when the disease is not too far ad-
vanced ; to cure fevers of all kinds, and the
leaded cases of miners who become poisoned
with the lead disease, by working among antimo-
nial ores. The uniform temperature of the
hot springs has been further utilized in hatching
chickens, and the experiment, if carried to per-
fection, will beat all the setting hens in the coun-
try. Poultry breeders will make a note of this
fact. A competent physician who is a good
judge of temperaments and diseases should be
located at the springs, and additional facilities
for the accommodation of invalids will make it a
place of great resort.

The following mining districts are tributary to
Elko, and will in the future, far more than in



178



the past, contribute to its growth and prosperity :
Lone Mountain, 30 miles distant; Tnscarora, 50
miles; Grand Junction, 55 miles; Cornucopia,
70 miles ; Aurora, 80 miles ; Bull Run, lately
changed to Centennial, 80 miles ; Cope, 100
miles : Island Mountain placer diggings and
quartz mines, 75 miles; Bruno, 80 miles; Hicks,
110 miles; Mardis, 100 miles. Nearly all the
business done in these mining districts is trans-
acted through Elko, and adds not a little to its
bustling activity. These districts are north of
the town, and located mostly in the ranges of
mountains that border or lie between the forks
of the Owyhee River, a stream that flows into
the Snake River of Idaho. Lieutenant Wheeler,
in his report of the United States Exploring Ex-
pedition, which made a partial survey of the
lauds and features of Nevada, describes this
mineral belt as about 160 miles long, and as one
of the richest in the country. It has been but
partially prospected, however, and we believe the
envelopments which are now in progress and
which are hereafter to be made, will astonish the
nation as to the unparalleled richness of the
minas of Nevada. Up to the spring of 1876,
greater developments had been made in the
mines in Tuscarora and Cornucopia Districts
than in most of the others. Tuscarora is the
principal town in the mining district of the
sani3 nams. It has about 500 inhabitants, and by
Saptamber of the present year is anticipated to
hava 1,500. The principal mines of this district
are Young America, Young America North,
Young Ani3rica South, Lida, De Frees, Star,
Grand Deposit, Syracuse and others. The most
work thus far done, is on the Young America,
Young Amarica South, and De Frees. On the
first namad of these three there is an inclined
shaft of 193 feat, and carries free ore from sur-
faoe to end of development. In sinking, levels
h ive baen run to full extent of the ground, 800
feat, and the ledge is from 20 inches to five feet
wide.

It is easily worked, no explosions being re-
quired, and the ora is said to average from $80 to
$103 psr ton in gold and silver, without assorting.

The develop:n;nt on the Da Frees Mine is as
follows : A tunnel has been run from side of
hill and ledga struck, about 40 feet from the sur-
face ; an incline shaft has been sunk from level
of this tunnel to a depth of 95 feet, showing fine
ore all the distance, the extreme bottom showing
the bast ore. This ore has averaged from $90
to $150 par ton, in gold and silver. Steam
hoisting works have been erected on the Young
America, and a twenty-stamp mill will soon be
finished, for the reduction of the ores from this
mina. A twenty-stamp mill will soon be finished
for the Da Frees Mine, and it is expected that
tlrs.se mills will do some custom work for the
mines being developed in the vicinity. Other
mines in the district are said to be very prom-



ising. The mines in the Tuscarora and Cornu-
copia Districts are in a porphyry formation,
with free milling ore ; those in the Bull Run or
Centennial District are in porphyry and lime,
and the ores have to be roasted before they are
milled.

Cornucopia District is about 25 miles north of
Tuscarora District, and contains a population of
500. Its mines are upon the same range of
mountains as the Tuscarora. The principal
mines in this district are the Leopard ; the Pan-
ther, the Tiger, the Hussey, and the Consoli-
dated Cornucopia. Principal developments are
on the Leopard and Hussey. The former has
been largely opened, and has been running a
twenty-stamp mill for the past year or more,
producing about $1,000,000. The ore is said to
average about $ 150 per ton, all silver.

The Centennial District has a population of
about 200. Its principal mine is the Blue
Jacket, which supplies a twenty-stamp mill with
ore. A Buckner furnace for roasting is also
used in connection with the mill. The ore is
said to average $70 per ton, and the vein is
very large, frequently 20 feet between the walls.
Other districts are said to contain promising
mines, but miners and those interested in mines,
are always so full of hope always expecting to
strike something rich and nearly always hav-
ing a good thing in the "prospects" already
found, that it is extremely difficult to determine,
in a short investigation, which is the most prom-
ising district, or where are the best undeveloped
mines. In a developed mine the daily product
of bullion will show what it is worth.

Elko has a daily stage route north, which car-
ries the mail and express and supplies the fol-
lowing places : Taylors. Tuscarora, Independence
Valley, Grand Junction, Cornucopia, Bull Run
and Cope. These places are generally north and
north-west of Elko. At Cope, the route ends.
There is a weekly mail, stage and express line
to the Island Mountain District, 75 miles due
north. This is a placer gold field, discovered
in 1873, and it is estimated that 8100,000 in gold-
dust, were taken out in 1875. Three miles north
of the Island Mountain District, is the Wyoming
District, where valuable silver mines are said to
have been discovered. The chief lode is known
as the Mardis, which is owned by a Chicago
company. A stamp mill is now being erected
there. The mineral belt before alluded to, be-
gins at the north end of the Goose Creek Range,
and runs south-west about 160 miles. It is
about 60 miles wide. Tuscarora is also some-
what noted as a placer field, while Aurora, a
new district west of Cornucopia, is said to be
very promising. It is 10 miles from the last
named place to Aurora.

In the vicinity of the mining districts spoken
of, there are rich agricultural valleys where all
kinds of grain, but corn, are extensively raised,



179




MOUNTAIN SCENE IN THE RUBY RANGE.

and vegetables and melons grow to a great size
and excellence. There are, also, vast stock
ranges all of which are tributary to Elko.

South from Elko there is a semi-weekly stage,
mail and express route to Bullion City, the town
of the Railroad Mining District. This town has
about 150 people, and is distant 25 miles from
Elko. The ores of this district are smelting
ores, and the town has two large furnaces for
the reduction of this ore. The principal mines



180



are owned by the Empire Company of New
York.

There is also a weekly stage line into the
South Fork and Huntiiigton Valleys two rich
agricultural valleys, which are thickly settled
with farmers and stockmeji. In addition to the
two valleys last named, there are the Star,
Pleasant and Mound Valleys, all rich agricultural
districts, and all tributary to Elko. Elko has
0113 daily and two weekly papers which are well
supported. The Post is a weekly, Republican
in politics, and the Independent, daily and weekly,
is Democratic in politics though party ties do
not seem to be drawn very tightly, and men, re-
gardless of their personal political affiliations,
frequently receive the support of all parties.

We will now take leave of this city, and, re-
freshed with food and rest, renew our journey
westward. The valley of the Humboldt con-
tinues to widen as we leave Elko for a few miles,
and if it is winter or cool mornings of spring or
autumn, we will see the steam rising in clouds
from the Hot Springs across the river near the
wagon bridge, on our left. The pasture and
meadow lands, with occasional houses are soon
passed, and we arrive at

Moleen,, 594 miles from San Francisco, with
an elevation of 4,982 feet. It is simply a side
track station, with no settlements around it, and
trains seldom stop. The same general appear-
ance of the valley and low ranges on either side
continue to this place. Occasionally as we have
glanced to the left, the high peaks of the Ruby
Range have lifted themselves into view, overtop-
ping the nearer and lower range that borders the
river on the south.

Passing Moleen, the valley begins to nar-
row, and the river gorges through the Five Mile
Canon. Close to the bluffs we roll along and
suddenly, Jilmost over our heads, the beating
storms of ages have washed out the softer and
more porous parts of the ledges, leaving turrets
and peaks, towers and domes standing along in
irregular order. AVe could not learn that this
peculiar formation had any local name ; they are
known in this vicinity as the " Moleen Rocks,"
and with this name we must be satisfied. The
road curves to conform to the line of the earth
now one way and now another. The scenery here
is not grand and sublime, but just enough
peculiar to be interesting. The towering ledges
in this canon or, in the one below, are not a
thousand or fifteen hundred feet high, for accu-
rate measurements have placed them at about
800 feet. This canon is soon passed and the
valley opens out again. We soon cross Susan's
Creek, and then Maggie's Creek, then Mary's
Creek, and we are at

Carl in, 585 miles from San Francisco, at
an elevation of 4,897 feet. It is a railroad town,
the terminus of a freight division of the road
and the location of the roundhouse, machine,



car and repair shops of the Humboldt Division
of the Central Pacific Railroad. It is the head-
quarters of Mr. G. W. Coddington, the Division
Superintendent. The division extends from
Toano to Winnemucca, and this place is about
half way between them. The town has no busi-
ness outside of the railroad shops and employes,
and numbers about 200 people. The round-
house has 16 stalls for engines, and the repair
shop, six pits. It is in Elko County. The old
emigrant road divided just before reaching Car-
lin, one branch going south of the river, and the
range of mountains bordering the same, and the
other going north of the hills on the north side of
the river. These two roads came together below,
near Gravelly Ford. In the vicinity of Carlin
the four little creeks come in from the north.
In the order in which they are crossed, they are
called Susie, Maggie, Mary and Amelia. " Tra-
dition says in regard to these names, that an
emigrant was crossing the plains with his family
at an early day, and that in this family were
four daughters in the order given, and that as
the party came to these streams, they gave the
name of each one of the daughters to them
a very appropriate thing to do, and their names
have been perpetuated in history. Just east
of Moleen Station, the tourist looking off to the
left, will notice the break or gorge through the
low hills, on the south side of the river. Through
this gorge the South Fork of the Humboldt
comes in. This stream rises in the Ruby Range
of Mountains and flows in a general westerly
direction, uniting with the main river at this
point. We will here state that nearly all the
people in the vicinity, call the range of mount-
ains last alluded to " Ruby," and we have fol-
lowed the custom ; but Lieutenant Wheeler's Map
speaks of it as the Humboldt Range, and accord-
ing to the custom of the people along this valley,
nearly every range of mountains in sight, from
one side of the State to the other, is called " Hum-
boldt Range," or " Humboldt Mountains." As
to the fertility of these and other valleys in this
part of the State, it all depends upon irrigation.
A sage brush plain indicates good soil, but water
must be obtained to raise a crop. An effort has
been made to make Carlin the shipping point to
the mining districts on the north, but without
much success thus far. The iron horses are
changed here, and with a fresh steed we pass
down the valley. It is quite wide here, but will
soon narrow as we enter the Twelve Mile Canon.
Like the former, the road winds around the base
of the bluffs and almost under the ledges, with
the river sometimes almost under us. The
peaks and ledges seem to have no local name,
but some of them are very singular. In one
place, soon after entering the canon, the ledges
on the right side of the track seem to stand up
on edge, and broken into very irregular, seir.ited
lines, the teeth of the ledge being uneven as to




SCENES IN THE HUMBOLDT DESERT.

1. -The Sink of the Huuibolclt. 2. Mountain Scone near Deeth. 3. Group of Plate Indians. 4. HuniboUt Kiver.
5. Great Ainerican Desert, East of Elko. 6. Wadsworth.



182



length. The height of the bluffs and of the
palisades below, is about the same as in the
former canon 800 feet. In some places the pal-
isades are hollowed out like caves or open
arches, and the debris that has crumbled and
fallen from their summits during the ages,
obscures their full form and height from view.

Twelve Mile Canon, in the Palisades, was
graded in six weeks by the Central Pacific
Railroad Company, one cut herein containing
6,600 cubic yards. Five Mile Canon just east-
ward, was graded in three weeks, with a force of
5,000 to (5,000 men.

With the perpendicular walls rising on each
side of us, we glide around the curves, and in
the midst of these reddish lines of towering
rocks, arrive at

P<ili<itle, 576 miles from San Francisco,
with an elevation of 4,841 feet. Jt is the initial
point of the Eureka & Palisade Railroad, is a
growing little place, between the wall rocks of the
river, and has a population of from 150 to 200
souls, it has one or two hotels or lodging-houses,
stores, saloons, two large freight depots, and the
machine and repair shops of the Eureka &
Palisade Railroad. This road is a three feet
gauge, and we shall speak of it more fully here-
after. A new station-house, ticket and telegraph
office has been constructed here, the finest on
the road to be occupied and used by both the
Central Pacific and Eureka & Palisade Roads.

The town is located about half the distance
down the canon, and the rocky, perpendicular
walls give it a picturesque appearance. The
lower half of the canon is not as wild and rug-
ged, however, as the upper half. All freight,
which is mostly base bullion, that is shipped
from Eureka and other points on this branch
road, has to be transferred here, and the traveler
may sometimes be surprised, in passing, at the
immense piles of bullion which may here be seen
on the platform of the railroad companies. On
a hill to the right is a wooden reservoir supplied
by springs, from which the water used in town
is taken. The canon above was not used for the
purposes of travel before the passage of the Cen-
tral Pacific Road not even a horseman ventur-
ing through it.

Shoshone Indian Villar/e. Just below
the town is what Fenimore Cooper would doubt-
less call an Indian Village, but it requires a great
stretch of the imagination on the part of the prac-
tical American, or live Yankee, now-a-days, to see
it. A dozen or so tents, discolored with smoke
and besmeared with dirt and grease, revealing
from six to ten squalid beings covered with ver-
min, filth and rags, is not calculated to create a
pleasing impression, or awaken imaginary flights
to any great extent. Between Ogden and Battle
Mountain, the Indians now seen on the line of the
road are mostly Shoshones. Their reservation
proper, for this part of the country, is at Carlin,



but very few of them are on it. For some reason,
best known to themselves, they prefer to look
out for themselves rather than receive the small
annual amount appropriated by the government
for their maintenance. They are all inveterate
gamblers, and a group of squaws will sit on the
ground for hours, around a blanket stretched out,
and throw sticks. There are usually five of
these fiat sticks, from four to six inches in
length, one side of which is colored slightly.
Each one has a rock, a piece of coal, or some
other hard substance by her side, and slightly
inclined toward the blanket. She will then
gather the sticks in her hand and throw them
upon this rock so that they will bound on to the
blanket, and the point of the game seems to be,
which side of the sticks, the colored or plain,
comes up "in falling. It seems to be a perfect
game of chance, and the one who throws so that
the sticks all fall colored side up, seems to have
some advantage in the game. There is said to
be some impiovement in their methods of living
during the last fifteen years ; some of them have
been employed on ranches, and some of the
squaws are employed in doing the plainest kinds
of housework ; the children and younger mem-
bers of the tribe are most all becoming acquainted
with the English language, and all, so far as they
are able, are gradually adopting the civilized
customs of dress, etc., though they invariably,
thus far, paint their faces.

Leaving Palisade, the traveler will notice the
railroad bridge, a short distance out, on which
the narrow gauge crosses the river on its way
south as it enters Pine Valley. We soon enter
gorges in the canon, and on the left side of the
river a high bluff rises. After passing this, and
looking back about half way up the side, a
column is seen jutting out in front of the bluff,
and crowned with what appears like a finger.
We have called it " Finger Rock." The chan-
nel of the river has been turned from its bed by
a heavy embankment a work rendered neces-
sary to avoid a short curve, and on we go over a
very crooked piece of road for nearly six miles,
when we cross the river and the valley again
opens. We have now passed through the Twelve
Mile Canon, and soon arrive at

Cluro, a way-station 565 miles from San
Francisco, with an elevation of 4,785 feet.
Trains do not stop unless signaled. The valley
becomes wider, the hills more sloping and less
high as they border the valley, but away to the
left are the higher peaks of the Corte/ Mount-
ains. We now enter an open basin, and on the
right we see the old emigrant road making up
the hill from Gravelly Ford. One branch of
this road, leading to "the same ford, we also
cross, but the old roadway, plainly visible from
the cars, up the hill on the north side of the river,
marks the locality of the ford itself. The river
here spreads over a -wide, gravelly bed, and is



183



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184



always shallow so that it is easily crossed. The
emigrants, in the days of ox and mule trains,
took advantage of this crossing to send letters,
either one way or the other, by outward bound or
returning trains. They would split a willow
sprout by the side of the road and put their let-
ters in it, which would be taken out by some one
in the first train and carried to the nearest post-
office on the route.

In 1858, it is said, that an Indian massacre
took place hare, in which 18 emigrants were
killed ; and other skirmishes with the gentle
red men, were frequently in order. The old emi-
grant road is fairly lined with the graves of emi-
grants, who perished on their way to the land of



finally come to believe it themselves ; and this
may account for the many wonderful stories that
have been palmed off on some book-makers, and
by them, in turn, hashed up for the traveling
public. Travelers can always hear all they
choose, but it is well to be a little cautious about
believing all they hear.

The Maiden's Grave. There is hardly an
old resident on this coast, but who has some in-
cident to relate in reference to Gravelly Ford. It
was not only an excellent crossing place, but it
was also a fine camping place, where both man
and beast could recruit after the weary days on
the dreary plains. There were wide bottom-
lands that offered excellent grazing for stock,




ENT1CKIXG IUIMBOLDT CANON.



gold, or in returning from the same. There are,
also, many of the Shoshones and Piutes now
living, who have been made cripples in these
battles and skirmishes with th emigrants.
They will talk about them with their acquaint-
ances, and say " heap of white men killed
there," but can seldom be induced to say how
many Indians were slain in the sam^ conflict.
Indeed, parties representing each side of the
contending forces have become well acquainted,
and now frequently meet each other on friendly
terms. There is a disposition, also, among these
old plainsman "to spin yarns," equal to any old
navigator that ever lived, and one has to In'- ex-
tremely cautious as to what he believes. These



Online LibraryHenry T WilliamsPacific tourist : Adams and Bishop's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean : a complete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific railroads → online text (page 30 of 62)