MINERS & BUSINESS MENS
This thriving town is one of the oldest in the Southern mines. The first store was put up by Col. Jackson, in June ’49, and from its favorable location, being situated at the junction of Wood’s creek with the Tuolumne river, it possesses advantages which are not enjoyed by most river towns.
When the river is at its low state, in the month of August, September, October and November, the bed of the river is successfully worked. During the rains of winter the gulches and flats, of and among the surrounding hills afford a wide and profitable field for the toiling miner, and when the clouds have dispersed, and the ravines no longer pour their tributary streams into the foaming flood of the Tuolumne, and still that stream is too formidable to be turned from its natural channel, then to fill up the gap, the large creeks come in for their share of labor, and are always ready to discount according to the amount of the draft.
Thus, although this place has never been celebrated for its “big strikes,” or enormous “chispas,” it has held “the even tenor of its way” and while other places have attained a sudden notoriety, and sprung into existence as if by magic, and soon pining away with nothing to note where they once stood, excepting the fluttering rags, still hanging upon the frail roof of what was once a “Bella Union,” or an “El Dorado”—unlike these mushroom places, Jacksonville has steadily increased each year, adding new and permanent improvements, which show that their proprietors have a strong and abiding faith in the durability of the mines in this vicinity.
The season just closed (’55) has been very favorable for working the bed of the river. Some companies kept their flumes in as late as Christmas, and then even, took them out more upon the plea of expediency, than necessity. River mining is getting reduced more to a science, they can now calculate the amount of water to be carried out, and also the pump and wheels necessary to drain a claim after the water is turned off. There is less hazard now in entering into these operations than there used to be, and as a natural consequence there is a much larger return than at any time previous.
While the bank claims are steadily gaining favor with the miners, and there are new discoveries being made from day to day, Wood’s creek, one of the richest creeks in the Southern mines, still returns to the miner an ample remuneration for his toil; there are many claims upon its banks which are successfully worked, and which holds out the flattering prospect of not being exhausted for years to come.
A company has been formed for the purpose of testing by tunneling the surrounding hills, and should this enterprise prove successful, and that it will, there is every reason to believe, it will add a new and important branch of mining to this already highly favored place.
There are now in operation here, five stores, two large and commodious hotels and all other trades and occupations which go to make up a thriving village.
Here is also “Spring Garden,” which has acquired a well earned fame, by being the first fruit garden in this part of the State. It was not only the pioneer, but has ever been and still is far in advance of other similar places in this county. Here we see upwards of sixty peach trees in bearing order, which produced the past season more than one hundred bushels of the finest of cultivated fruit, embracing all of the most celebrated varieties, here are thirty varieties of pears, fifty of apples, twenty of cherries, twelve of plums, and twenty of the finest of European Grapes, together with apricots, currants, goosberries, (sic) raspberries, pomegranits, figs, blackberries and strawberries—which will give the enterprising proprietor, Mr. W. S. Smart, a succession of fruits from April, the time the strawberries commence to ripen in this highly favored climate, until November, when the last of his one thousand bearing grape vines have been robbed of their delicious burden.
Society has undergone a great change here in the past eighteen months, for the better, owing to various causes, on of which is the fact that the Division of Sons of Temperance numbers one hundred and ten members.
While another cause of the change in public Morrals (sic) must be accounted for by the influence of females, of which we have a large and highly respectable number.
Mining Laws of Jacksonville.
SEC. 1. All American citizens may locate and hold claims.
SEC. 2. The extent of a claim upon any bar of the river or bank of the same, or upon Wood’s creek, shall be fifty feet in width, running at right angles with the bed of the same from the centre of the stream, back to the adjacent mountain.
Upon any flat or plain the size of a claim shall be one hundred and fifty feet feet (sic) to each share; and in any gulch or ravine each person shall be entitled to hold three hundred feet of the same. In all claims which must be drained either by ditching or fluming, sixty feet in length, running up and down the stream, and the width of the river to low water mark.
SEC. 3. No person shall hold more than one claim, in a working condition at the same time. The boundaries of all claims must be plainly marked by written notices, with the names of the parties attached, and all claims which are located to be worked at any future time, shall be recorded in a book kept by the Justice of the Peace for that purpose, and all claims so located upon any flat or bar, or in any gulch or raving, or in the bed of the river, shall be worked within fifteen days of the time such claim is in a workable condition. And all claims shall be worked at least one day in three after the expiration of the fifteen days, or they will be considered abandoned.
SEC. 4. No transfer or sale of a claim shall be considered valid unless such transfer is noted on the record.
SEC. 5. The Justice of the Peace shall receive one dollar for recording each claim, and fifty cents for recording or noting each transfer.
Barnes, R., Miner, Massachusetts.
Brown, James, Miner, Louisiana.
Cassin, J. R., Merchant, District Columbia.
Callahan, B., Miner, New York.
Cedarberry, J. A., Miner, Sweden.
Chandler, T. J., Merchant, Missouri.
Chields, G., Miner, Massachusetts.
Church, H. Miner, Massachusetts.
Conway, John, Miner, Connecticut.
Crooks, J., Miner, Louisiana.
Daugherty, G., Miner, Pennsylvania.
Davis, Wm., Miner, New York.
Deering, J. H., Merchant, Maine.
Desler, C., Merchant, Maine.
Desler, I., Merchant, Maine.
Dilworth, A. T., Blacksmith, New York.
Dudley, C, M,. Carpenter, Maine.
Dudley, H. E., Carpenter, Maine.
Dugan, Patrick, Miner, Louisiana.
Edgar, E. J., Bark Keeper, Ireland.
Ennis, R., Miner, Alabama.
Finn, E., Miner, New York.
Foth, A. W., Miner, New York.
Fox, Joseph, Miner, New York.
Gafley, T., Miner, Massachusetts.
Gardner, P. G., Miner, Massachusetts.
Hallahan, T. H., Miner, Massachusetts.
Hagy, Adam, Butcher, Tennessee.
Harris, George M., Miner, Maryland.
Hartnell, John, Miner, Louisiana.
Henderson, B., Miner, Canada.
Horning, D. Y., Miner, Wisconsin.
Johnson, George, Miner, Pennsylvania.
Johnson, Jas., Miner, New York.
Keene, Alonzo, Miner, Massachusetts.
Kick, John, Miner, Louisiana.
Keyes, G. B.,
Kingsley, S. B., Hotel Keeper, Massachusetts.
Leroux, T. M., Miner, France.
Lorence, Wm., Miner, Louisiana.
Mackey, Wm., Miner,
Menter, C., Miner, New York.
Miller, G. B., Miner, Louisiana.
Munn, D., Miner, Louisiana.
Mollineaux, R. A., Merchant, Ohio.
McGinnis, John, Merchant, Alababa. (sic)
Orford, R., Miner, New York.
Palmer, Thomas, Barber, New York.
Pilcher, T. M. D., Carpenter, Ohio.
Reynolds, P., Miner, Louisiana.
Reynolds, J. S., Miner, Rhode Island.
Reynolds, J. A., Carpenter, Rhode Island.
Shimer, D., Carpenter, Ohio.
Shimer, Samuel, Carpenter, Ohio.
Smart, W. S., Nursery and Garden, Louisiana.
Smart, Julius, Attorney at Law, Louisiana.
Stewert, D. H., Miner, Arkansas.
Stedston, Wm., Miner, Rhode Island.
Thomas, E. S., Carpenter, Massachusetts.
Thompson, R., Miner, Louisiana.
Tolman, N. A., Officer C. & S. R. W. Co., N. Y.
Tucker, T. J., Miner, Massachusetts.
Warren, Henry, Miner, Maine.
Wenterhoof, O., Miner, Hamburg.
Transcribed by Betty Vickroy.
© 2008 Betty Vickroy.