Located in the ruining
district known as Cracker Creek, lies the Columbia mine, one of the
oldest properties in Baker county. Prospected first by the Cable
Brothers, in the early eighties, it has passed through a succession
of development stages until today it stands among the first
properties of the country. Surrounded by all the necessary elements
for successful mining ore, water and
timber, the question of its future success seems one of magnitude
The property, which now consists of nine quartz and
five placer claims, is owned and operated by a corporation known as the
Columbia Gold Mining Co., of which Mr. Frank S. Baillie is managing
director. This corporation since its
organization two years ago, has
systematically developed and operated the property, making it one of
the most steady producers of concentrates and bullion which exists
today in Baker County.
The mine, under the direction of Mr. R. J. Eckman, has
been opened and developed by three tunnels and a shaft, giving a
depth of six hundred and fifty feet on the ledge at the present
time. There are now over three thousand feet of tunnels and cross
cuts, together with a double compartment shaft two hundred and
twenty feet deep. This shaft is completely equipped with a hoisting
plant and ore is now being raised from the lowest level. The ledge
varies in width from seventy-fire feet near the surface, to
forty-four feet at the lowest level. The walls which stand at about
80 degrees form a true contact vein--quartzite on the foot wall and
slate on the hanging. The intermediate portion of the ledge is low
grade: butt for an average width of six feet on the foot and four
feet on the hanging a high grade ore is encountered. With depth the
free gold which exists in such a large percentage gradually
disappears, and the sulphurets become heavier and more easily
concentrated. Enormous bodies of ore are blocked out for future
working and the entire work of past development has been planned
with a view to future extensive working, which the ore bodies
warrant. The mine is splendidly equipped for economical working,
having trams, cars and blacksmith repair shop, together with it
complete saw mill, where all the lumber needed on the property is
manufactured. Owing to the complete equipment at hand the deep snows
of winter do not hinder work in the slightest still with large
storage bins for ore, continuous operations exist during the entire
The mill, which was built in the year of 1896, is under
the direction of Mr. F. H. Nettleton. This mill consists of a test
stamp battery, amalgamating plates, two Johnson concentrators, four
Frue vanners, besides a canvass table plant. The mill is arranged
for the automatic handling of the ore after it leaves the rock
breaker. After the tailings leave the vanners they are run over
canvass tables, where a second concentrate is made, after which the
tailings leave the mill and are banked. Water power is utilized to
run the mill for four months of the year, the remainder of the
season steam is used to aid one water, which decreases to about
15-horse power, with the present development, in the dry season. A
complete electric light plant of 210 light capacity is installed,
lighting mill, shaft house, mine and houses. The mill has a
secondary rock crusher which is used to crush and prepare for
shipment high grade ore. The mill is soon to be replaced with one of
greater capacity and different character.
The assay department is under the direction of Mr. A.
C. Redding, where daily assays are made from mine and mill samples.
Careful cheeks are kept upon mine and mill work, and the results are
carefully prepared each day for the various departments.
Under the present scheme of working forty men are
employed constantly at mill and mine. The location is unsurpassed
for health, being beautifully located in one of the canyons of Fruit
Creek; warm In winter and cool In summer, it forms an Ideal spot for
the mining mail.
North Pole Mine
Among the many mines In this
county none take higher rank than the North Pole, which lies in the
Cracker Creek district. It embraces two fall claims of 1500 feet
each, and a fraction of 400 feet, making 3400 feet on the lode bar.
The mine is opened and operated through two tunnels, the lower being
400 feet vertically under the upper tunnel. In the upper tunnel a
fine ore body varying in width from 2 to 16 feet is being mined and
transported to their own reduction works. It averages $16 per ton.
The lower or main tunnel encounters this same ore body at a distance
1200 feet from its mouth. The
mine is equipped with all the necessary improvements.
The McArthur-Forrest Patent Cyanide process is used here with most
gratifying success. The annual production amounts to about $120,000
a year. The North Pole is the property of the Eastern Oregon Mining
Co., of which Alexander Baring, of London is president, and Emil Melzer, treasurer, and local representative.
Gold Mining & Milling Co.
On the east slope of the Blue Mountains, about thirty-six miles west
of Baker City, in Baker County, and twelve miles from Sumpter, the
present terminus of the Sumpter Valley Railway, lies the property of
the above named company. It consists of six claims, six hundred by
fifteen hundred feet, as follows:
The California, Winning Band, Daisy, Silver Creek,
Hornet, and Coal Pit. On the former a great deal of work has been
done, six tunnels laving been driven, No. 1 being 100 feet long, No.
2 125 feet, No. 3, 75 feet, No. 4, 200 feet, No. 5, 268 feet. No. 6,
408 feet. The formation of the vein is of a porphyretic nature. The
filling or vein matter is quartz carrying sulphurets of iron. It is
from four to five feet wide, showing an average of from eighteen to
twenty-four inches pay streak, and widens and grows richer as depth
is obtained. There has been a number of improvements built on the
property, including it modern ten stamp mill, with ore breakers and
wilefly tables, boarding houses, office building, electric plant,
and lately a slum house, 40x60. They have also lately added four
Johnson concentrators. This property, in the opinion of mining men
of this section, will prove to be one of our greatest producers, and
will lend its influence to prove that the gold mines of Eastern
Oregon are among the country's best investments. W. J. Connors is
the efficient superintendent of these properties.
Eastern Oregon Gold Fields
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