MINERS & BUSINESS MENS
Within the limits of this mining district there are at the present time about one hundred and twenty families, and a population of nearly two thousand.
Our citizens are wide awake to improvement, having recently erected a large number of substancial (sic) buildings, and dotted over the whole Flat with beautiful cottages, the grounds around being neatly enclosed and planted with Fruit and ornamental trees. Even on the Eastern slope of Table Mountain, about two miles of which are embraced in this district, a number of houses have been built, and gardens laid off, and from near the edge of the ‘scoria’ one is agreeably surprised to hear the mother’s lullaby song, and the merriment of children at play.
To the fact of our being a very orderly, moral, and law-abiding community, we are indebted for the large number of families residing amongst us.
Our flourishing division of “Sons” have completed a fine Hall, where they weekly assemble and practically illustrate their doctrine of brotherhood and fraternity.
Another large Hall is also nearly finished, which is to receive the nucleus of a Cabinet and Library, to be devoted to general literary and scientific purposes.
A capital, well appointed, and pleasantly situated School house has just been erected and a Free School commenced under the happiest auspices, which will be numerously attended by our 150 children.
Sabbath School and divine service are holden (sic) at present in the hall of the ‘Sons,’ but we have the building of a Church at an early day, under advisement.
In our debating club the “great questions” of the day are discussed, and satisfactorily settled, and twice a week, at our singing school the mystery of “half stops” and “transposing the scale” are deeply practiced.
We have ten or a dozen Stores, a couple of good Hotels and numerous shops at which various kinds of mechanic work are executed, all of which are dong a good business.
An enterprising gentleman from San Jose is establishing an orchard and nursery, which he designs to make the largest and most complete in the Southern Mines.
The principal draw back to our prosperity heretofore, has been the lack of water, during quite a part of the season which will be obviated on the completion, next Spring, to the Tuolumne river, of the Tuolumne Ditch, which our enterprising townsman Mr. J. Street, is constructing, at a cost of $200,000.
The work on the Peppermint and Stoney Gulch Flumes, both enterprises of considerable magnitude, is rapidly advancing, and a company of our miners has recently organized for the purpose of building a large flume from Wood’s creek up through Tennessee Gulch, at such a depth as will render it practicable to wash down the whole Flat, 34 or 40 feet below the surface.
Notwithstanding the vast amounts of gold already taken out in this district, it is the opinion of our oldest residents that the aurifferous (sic) deposits have only begun to be developed, and that our hills and mountains will, the coming season afford as rich diggings as any yet washed. The land extending from Caldwell’s ranch into Table mountain is one of the richest ever struck in California. The fortunate owners, who, during the Summer and Autumn, were engaged in raising the golden sand to the surface, are now washing out from five to ten and twelve pounds per day to the claim, frequently taking out an aggregate of sixty or seventy pounds per day. It is estimated that the entire yield of the garden will not be less than $150,000. A dozen tunnels are going into this portion of the mountain in this district, and some forty shafts are sinking from the surface, in which some four hundred of our miners are interested, and all anticipate finding a lead of unsurpassed richness when their energy and perseverance shall have let daylight into its bowels. That the mountain contains remarkable rich deposits, has already been clearly proved by the shafts of Capt. Mann and others which have reached the bed rock.
As to our enterprise, we will only say, that wherever there is “anything of a show,” we are in. From Cherokee to Scorpion Gulch in another County, our Miners are extensively engaged in tunnel operations, but we are content to “let live” as well as “live,” and when prospecting a hill or mountain, do not claim more ground than we can work out in a thousand years, believing that Miners and the Community around us now, have higher and prior claims on the golden treasures of this region, than those of posterity some conturies (sic) hence.
MINING LAWS OF SHAW’S FLAT.
At a large meeting of the Miners and Residents of Shaw’s Flat District, convened pursuant to due notice, at the Empire House, on Tuesday evening, the 9th inst. In order “to make and adopt a written declaration of the limits and boundaries of the district, to enact new regulations in respect to deep diggings, and to consider such minor matters as might properly be presented,” it was unanimously
Resolved, That the established limits and boundaries of Shaw’s Flat Mining District have been, and are, as follows, to wit: beginning at Peppermint Falls, near Mr. Dick’s Garden, thence across Table Mountain, in a nearly northerly line, to a point on Mormon Creek, one hundred feet below the Illinois House; thence up Mormon Creek to the mouth of Stony Gulch; thence up said Gulch to Saw Pit Gulch; thence up Saw Pit Gulch to the centre of the Sullivan Ditch Reservoir, call the big Reservoir; thence south-east by east to the head of Tennessee Gulch; thence in a south-east and southerly direction, following the ridge of high land west of Wood’s Creek, and embracing a portion of Sidney Gulch, to a point near and above the Saratoga Restaurant; thence in a south-westerly course, crossing Dragoon Gulch at the point of intersection of the road from Sonora to the Race Track, to Sonora Hill; thence following the ridge between the Race Track and Sonora Hill District to place of beginning.
In relation to deep diggings, it was
Resolved, ART. 1. That bona fide claims in deep diggings, where the pay dirt is twenty five feet more below the surface, may be laid over without work from the 1st of December, annually, to the 1st of May following; provided such claims shall have their limits well defined by marks and notices, and that they shall be recorded, as hereinafter provided.
ART. 2. That a recorder of claims be elected, who shall register, when required by the claimants, in a substantial book, to be kept for that purpose, all claims in deep diggings laid over, under, and pursuance of Art. 1, and that the record shall clearly declare the area of the claim or claims registered, its or the boundaries, with the name or names of the claimant or claimants, and the time when the ground embraced in the claim or claims was taken up, and that the register shall be open to inspection at all seasonable hours; for which service the said recorder shall receive fifty cents per company, or one dollar where the number of associated claimants shall exceed six.
ART. 3. That where companies are, or may be, formed to work claims in deep diggings by shafting, tunneling, or otherwise, the amount of work required to be done on such associated claims to hold them, need not exceed that which can be advantageously employed; provided such associated claims shall be worked one day in three, as required by the law of August 5, 1854, except when laid over, pursuant to articles first and second.
ART. 4. That any provisions of the law of August 5, 1854, conflicting with these regulations as to deep diggings, be, and they are hereby repealed: provided, that nothing herein contained shall be so construed or interpreted as to impair or affect the full force and validity of said law in respect to surface claims and mining.
ART. 5. That Henry Wellington be elected Recorder, pursuant to article second.
LAW OF AUGUST 5, 1854, AS AMENDED IN ARTICLE 1.
ART. 1. No claim shall contain more than 100 feet square. The claim shall be laid off in a square, and can be held only in one lot.
ART. 2. No person shall hold a claim, either by purchase or otherwise, unless he works it; but this law protects claims that are purchased in good faith, and worked according to the rules and regulations herein prescribed.
ART. 3. Each and every man holding a claim within the bounds of this district shall work on it one day in three, or employ a substitute; otherwise such claim shall be forfeited, unless such claims can only be worked conveniently by water from the water companies; in which case (in the absence of water) they may be held good by stakes at each corner, with notices on the same with the names of the persons holding the same thereon, until ten days after the return of water in sufficient quantities to work the same.
ART. 4. No person shall hold but one claim by right of possession; and if any person is found holding two claims by right of possession, he shall forfeit both. But these laws recognize who hold one claim by right of possession, and hold more by the right of purchase; provided they keep men at work on them, according to the laws of the Flat.
ART. 5. When companies are formed, and every member is at work on one of the claims belonging to the company, the remainder of the claims shall be held good. But this law shall not be considered as to allow a part of a company to hold the claims of a whole company during the absence of a part of its members.
ART. 6. All laws heretofore passed, for the regulation of Shaw’s Flats, are hereby repealed.
We certify the above to be a true and correct copy of the declaration of the limits and boundaries of the district--the regulations adopted at the meeting of November 9, 1855, and of the law of August 6, 1855, as amended in article 1.
HARVEY W. SAMPSON, Chairman
JAMES B. STETSON, Secretary.
Transcribed by Sue Wood.
Proofread by Betty Vickroy.
© 2008 Sue Wood.