Additions to Desert Fever


I assembled these additions in the early 1980s, a few years after writing Desert Fever. Some of this information has been incorporated into articles that I prepared for the San Bernardino County Museum Symposium. Larry Vredenburgh.

p. 28, paragraph 1

On August 25, 1902 the Oro Copia Mining and Milling Company was incorporated in Arizona for $3 million, the corporators were Charles Foreman, president: Richard Mercer, vice president; W.F. Winnie, secretary; G.L.A. Richter, superintendent and J.L. Johnston. This company was organized to work the old Fish Mine. By February 1903, $18,000 had already been spent on development work on the 11 claims of the Oro Copia Mine. They wasted no time in surveying a water line from Dos Palmas to the mine for the 40-ton mill and cyanide plant, which was installed by January, 1905 and expected to be in full operation on July 1, 1905.

Riverside County Articles of Incorporation no.371, Pacific Coast Miner February 28, 1903, Engineering and Mining Journal November 21, 28 1903; The Mining World January 23, February 27, 1904.

p. 63, paragraph 3

Joe Dandy Hill is peak 2849 (35 ° 18' 40”, -116 ° 18' 30” – NAD1927), Mineral Survey Monument 53 is located on the top. During the 1950s the Bluebell (Hardluck), Atkinson (Black Lead) and Little Mine mines were active here

U.S. Mineral Survey MS 2824; Wright, 1953, p. 54, 101

p. 64, Paragraph 2

Five Point Mountain was the most commonly used name for a mountain lying about six miles southwest of Silver Lake (not north of Riggs). The Five Point Mining District was organized prior to the organization of the Solo District (February 18, 1889). Besides the five mines listed in the text as being active in 1885, the district experienced activity between 1908 and 1914. The two most important operations at this time were at the Three States Mine and the property operated by the Amos Brothers and later by the Garrison Investment Company. Assays reported were equivalent to 23 oz. silver per ton, .6 oz. of gold and 3% copper. Between 1975 and 1980 the Freeport Exploration Corporation was exploring a breccia pipe in this district, mineralized with silver, molybdenum, copper and gold.

U.S. Mineral Surveys MS 2824, MS 3870, Barstow Printer , December 23, 1910, February 3, June 2, 1911, January 12, 26, February 9, 1912; The Mining World April 13, 1908, May 8, 1909, Cloudman, 1919, p. 791; Cloudman, March 25, 1914, (California Mining Bureau Field Report 144, unpublished)

p. 67. paragraph 1 and 3

The Crackerjack Bonanza mine was not located at Crackerjack, rather it was located northeast of Red Pass Lake on the north slope of Bonanza Mountain (Peak 3016 located at 35 ° 18' 40”, ll6 ° 18' 30” NAD1927 ).

Gold was discovered on the north slope of Bonanza Mountain in February 1906 by S.S. Worley and W.L. Snodderly. By June 1907 the Crackerjack Bonanza Gold Mining Company had acquired the property and has 400 tons of ore on the dump and 450 sacks of high grade ore ready to ship. The ore reportedly a assayed between $100 and $500 per ton.

This company located the Goodwater claim in the wash north of the mines and sunk a well. A boarding house and other buildings were constructed and finished by October 1907 and the place began to be known as Bonanza Camp. It was connected to Silver Lake and Crackerjack by auto stage service. Eventually a mill was constructed and concentrates were shipped to the refiners.

In December, 1907 shipments of ore were made to Salt Lake which ran $100 to $300 per ton. In March 45 tons of ore shipped to a mill at Victorville netted over $2,000. By April 1908 there was 400 feet of underground workings including an 100 foot deep two compartment shaft sunk on the boundary of the Arizona and Owl claims. The dump contained 3,000 tons of ore in July 1909 which assayed between $5 and $80 per ton. At this time the main shaft was down to 200 feet. F.L. Flourman, who was manager of the property, appears to have continued to direct operations until 1911 and perhaps as late as 1913. Eventually the main shaft was sunk to 250 feet.

In the late 1970s (1979 or 1980) Paul Ottell of the Chelsea Mining Company leased the property from the owner. They began a project in late 1980 to heap leach gold and silver from the waste dump, however an argument between those mining the property arose and financial backing pulled out before any gold was recovered.

U.S. Mineral Survey MS 4729, Redlands Citrograph , June 22, 1907, January 18, 1909; The Mining World , January 4, 18 April 13 May 8, 1908; Mining Science January 9, March 5, 19, April 9, 1908, The Mining Review, September 15, October 30, December 15, 1907; Mining and Scientific Press , July 3, 1909; The Barstow Printer, February 3, June 2, July 1, 1911, February 28, 1913, Ely, Marion, Goodwater Mine Project, San Bernardino County Environmental Report 80M-008, August 5, 1980; Interview: Dennis Mack at Baker with Larry Vredenburgh, October 1981.

p. 68, Paragraph 1

In addition to Harry Wallace's mine at Denning Spring, the Atlasta Mining Company worked the Desert King mine, comprised of two patented lode claims and the Ruby, a placer claim. This company worked these claims between January,'l9l2 and April, 1913 at which time a mill was installed.

U.S. Mineral Surveys MS 5200, MS5199; Barstow Printer , January 12, 1912, January 31, February 28, April 11, 1913.

p. 84, Paragraph 4

When Walter Orr, Sim Kleinfelter and their associates decided to dam up the subterranean waters of Sacramento Wash and pipe it to Needles, they stirred up a lot more dust than they expected. While sinking piles for their dam, Orr discovered gold. Quietly they staked about two miles of the wash but in late March, 1903 news leaked out, sending a flood of perhaps 1,000 persons to the place, which was described as “one wild scramble… to secure locations.” News traveled as far as San Francisco, where the Chronicle reported an Indian brought the news into Needles.

Work continued and in September, 1903 the Pacific Coast Miner reported that “bedrock was struck at twenty-nine feet, and the heavy flow of water at twelve… One bucket of gravel was said to have yielded six ounces of gold, some of which was in nuggets paying as high as $1.25 each. It was practically all coarse gold.”

Pacific Coast Miner May 9, September 5, 1903; San Francisco Chronicle April 6, 1903.

p. 92, paragraph 5

During revivals of mining activity at the Bonanza King mine during this century, two articles were published which give insight into the early history of this mine. On February 10, 1906 The Mining World gave this account:

In the Trojan mining district of the Providence Mountains are located the properties of the Bonanza King Development Company of Los Angeles. This property carries with it a history of the mining upon the desert years ago, for about 1990 a 10 stamp mill and amalgamation plant were shipped by rail from San Francisco to Mojave and form there to the mountains, costing in the aggregate over $50,000. After its completion and before its destruction by fire in 1885 it produced, according to shipments by Wells-Fargo Company, over 1,800,000 silver bullion. At that time the property was owned by Wilson Waddingham and Colonel Tom. Ewing. Afterward it was bought in at sheriff's sale by J.H. West of Needles, Cal., and by him sold to Philadelphia parties. In April, 1905, the Bonanza King Development Company was organized.

The article below, found in The Salt Lake Mining Review of November 30,1925, is most likely inaccurate. The four prospectors mentioned are probably none other than Osborne, Drew, Boyer and Hasson.

It is somewhat ancient history, but it is chronicled that the Bonanza King was discovered by four prospectors. Before much work had been performed in the development of this rich prospect Thomas Edwin (sic), mining scout for George Hearst of San Francisco, father of W.R. Hearst, owner of Hearst publications, attracted by the rich promise of the new discovery, asked if it was for sale, and at what price.

‘There are four of us,' was the reply, ‘and we want $50,000 each.' ‘It's a sale,' said Ewing, as quick as a flash and securing a piece of rough wrapping paper, he immediately drew a draft for the amount. It read: ‘George Hearst, San Francisco; pay to bearer $200,000. Within forty-eight hours the draft was paid though Wells Fargo.

The mine, according to the story, later produced millions in gold for Hearst, who finally sold it to an English syndicate for several millions more.

p. 109, paragraph 4

The Bullion mine located in the relatively undeveloped “Copoweep” district in 1879 was down seven hundred feet in high-grade ore. In the Spring of 1879 the Bullion mine ‘‘one of the most promising mines in Southern California was producing a load of five tons of ore every three days, which was hauled out by Jesse Taylor's teams. Things were going so well, in fact, James Boyd, the superintendent, decided to replace the Indian he was paying 75~ a day to drive a pack burro for wood and water. He advertised in the San Bernardino Weekly Times for a teen-age boy to do the same work for $30 per month plus board.

San Bernardino Weekly Times : March 8, June 14, October 18, 1879

p. 155, paragraph 3

The opal mines were discovered in 1902 by J.T. Reed and others of San Bernardino. The name of the mine was the Diamond Bell

Pacific Coast Miner : June 15, 1902, Bailey, 1902 p. 18

p. 155, paragraph 5

In 1880 Governor Waterman asked Newton Morrow to come to his silver mine near the Mojave River and work at the mill. Morrow moved his family from Tulare to Waterman, and probably occasionally prospected nearby with his sons. When the Waterman mill closed in 1887, Morrow drifted north and discovered copper ore. Eventually the Morrow Mining District was established. Copper City, located in the district was named by the Morrows. All water had to be hauled into this “city' of a few buildings.

Interview of Raymond Victor “Penny” Morrow, Oro Grande, Ca., September 21, 1980 by Larry Vredenburgh.

p. 156, paragraph 3

According to the Pacific Miner there was a substantial rush to Goldstone in May, 1910:

“Gold Stone is the name of a new camp, thirty-five miles north of Barstow, where some phenomenal ore has been found. Quite a stampede followed the discovery. Reports show that it is the richest locality in the Southwest. Development shows that lower workings show greater values than the surface indications. This has been demonstrated by Thomas B. Blackburn and associates, who are down 200 feet on one of the Old Betsie Claims, adjoining the claims of Henry Hart, where the first recent strike was made. The Old Betsie claims were first developed about January, 1909, by Mr. Blackburn, an engineer who has operated extensively in Utah and Colorado.”