Sumpter Mines, Baker County, Oregon

Columbine Mine

     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 merely.
     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 year.
     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.

The 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 of
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 Star 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.



California Mine


Eastern Oregon Gold Fields


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