LETTER FROM VIRGINIA CITY.
[SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE OF THE HERALD.]
VIRGINIA CITY, September 5, 1869.
The railroad between here and Carson, misnamed the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, is in rather a quiescent state at the present time. Before George Francis Train came here, there were 2,500 men of all sorts employed on that road, but now there are scarcely 500. I don't mean by this statement to give the impression that George has slaughtered the road—he is too light a Train to crush down any railroad—but the fact of it is that the grading is nearly completed and they are only waiting for the iron, which is now fully due, when the track-laying will be proceeded with at once. Some people affect to think that this extensive cessation of work on the road is owing to the Bank of California getting cramped for money. But this is not so.
The Pandering Train.
Just as might have been expected from the way George Francis Train tried to ride the winning horse while here at Virginia, pandering to whatever he recognized as the prime local power, he has done the same at Salt Lake. You will recollect that I stated in my last letter that if he talked woman's rights out there, same as he did here, old Brigham would cave his head in for him. But no, the time-serving George didn't have anything at all to say about woman's rights out there, except to tell them they were all right as they were. On the contrary, he went the whole Mormon hog, and indorsed them in all their peculiar institutions. If Brigham had thought him worth while, he would have anointed his bumps with sweet oil and taken him into the bosom of the church. But no, the Mormons simply let him go on and talk, while some of them did the listening. He pandered to them in every way, yet he got rather poor houses and poorer pay that he ever experienced before in all his lecturing. Says he" I say you have been the most outraged people on the face of the globe, and if our Government dares to interfere in the future with any of your notions, you must fight. You remember how, in 1857, six hundred Mormons, at the head of Echo Canon, kept an entire army at bay. If you could frighten them under such circumstances, what can you do now, with 100,000 Mormons ready to fight for their religion and rights?" Of course those obstreperous people were hugely tickled at this idea, whatever their private opinion might have been. George was simply playing for the Mormon vote. That's his style. If the wild, hostile Indians on the Plains had a vote he would go among them at once, advocate their cause like a Major and have them scalp the Quaker Commissioners forthwith. George won't do. He will hardly be President in 1872.
Owing to the frequent fires occurring here lately, there are more crippled and injured firemen than I ever saw before. Engines or hose carriages get away with them in running down our steep cross streets, and so they get run over or dragged, or else they get burnt by running straight into the fire. You never saw the like; they just deliberately walk into the flames with their pipes, stand it like salamanders, and afterward, when the cooked skin and flesh peels off or festers on the side of their faces or hands, they wonder how it was done. A fire here generally starts out in good, respectable style, but ends ingloriously—our firemen are too much for it.
Here in Washoe the weather at this season of the year is the very best. We are enjoying our regular "Indian summer." We have no birds to sing among the trees, and no trees for any birds to sing among; but rich, temperate, clear, pleasant days, just warm enough and just cool enough—and such glorious nights for sleeping! This suits Crooks, and is considerable of a quietus on the
I don't know why it is exactly, but, although fleas are plenty throughout California, we have none of them this side of the mountains at all. They won't live here, but bed-bugs do. Those infernal stinking little nuisances thrive here and multiply at a disgusting rate. Cheap lodging houses are full of them, and even first-class hotels cannot always be kept entirely free from them. They are in nine-tenths of the houses in this city, and they abound in every roadside tavern throughout the country; they are worse, however, in Dayton, Carson, Reno and other valley towns than in this elevated region. They are simply indigenous to the country, and can never be wiped out entirely. There is one thing for comfort, though, they don't follow a person about and bite in the daytime like fleas do.
The White Piners are coming back at a pretty plentiful rate just now. They have got chloride enough, and are looking for winter quarters. Quite a lot of printers have got back within the last two weeks. Of the three newspapers out there, only one, the Inland Empire, will live till next spring. The Telegram is dead, and the White Pine News will be a weekly in two months; it is pretty weakly now.
Quite a stir was made day before yesterday, relative to a reported rich strike in the Overman mine, and the stock took a jump of $6 per foot in consequence; yet, after all it was not justified by the facts of the case. They certainly did find some very good ore at the 500-foot level, but not a very large body of it. The Overman abounds in low grade ore, with occasional isolated bunches of rich ore among it; these, however, are like angels' visits—"Few and far between." The general average of the best ore does not yield $25. A huge body of fair milling ore is developed at the 400-foot level, which breasts out 60 feet in width. I saw an assay from it yesterday, which showed $45 to the ton. The yield of the mine is increased to 60 tons per day, averaging $20 per ton, but, as I have before stated, no new and rich discovery is made in it at present. The air is very bad at the 500-foot level, therefore little work is being done there. A winze is being excavated to connect this and the level above, which will be finished in about ten days, giving a good circulation of air.
I have nothing new to report relative to the Crown Point mine. It still continues to yield no ore, and none is yet developed at either of the lowest levels—the 1,000 and the 1,100. A small streak of good ore was found at the 1,000 foot level, but it did not amount to anything. A "raise" at that point might develop good ore above that level, but the prospects below are decidedly not good.
The Kentuck upper levels continue to yield a goodly quantity of fair grade ore, enough to supply two mills, and some very good ore is being developed at the 900-foot level, through the same level of the Yellow Jacket. The fire still burns in the mine, somewhere about the 600-foot level.
The Yellow Jacket yields about 240 tons of ore per day from the lower levels of the south mine, and the old Yolo tunnel in the surface workings of the north mine. There remain to-day fourteen feet of water and mud to get out of the north shaft before the track floor of the 700-foot level is reached. Owing to a considerable increase of water-flowing, progress is necessarily slow, and it will take probably a couple of seeks yet before that shaft can be cleared out.
The repairs to the Imperial-Empire shaft are completed down to the 1,080-foot station, and it is not supposed to be much injured below there. Drifting southward toward the Holmes ground at that level will be resumed to-morrow. The old workings of the upper levels continue to yield at their usual rate—some 60 or 70 tons per day.
The Chollar-Potosi yields 225 tons of good paying ore per day, principally from the old Blue Wing section. At the northern end of the New Tunnel section quite a body of extra good ore has recently been developed. A dividend of $2 per share was declared last Monday, payable to-morrow.
The Hale and Norcross shows a greatly increased yield at present, nearly or quite 200 tons per day being extracted. Over half of this comes from the fifth or lower level, which by the completion of the repairs to the shaft is once more brought into productive service. A new pump is being put in, and very shortly the shaft is to be sunk 100 feet deeper in order to open another level.
The savage is paying expenses, but does not show well at the lower levels. About 6 o'clock last evening, the pump-bob broke at the seventh station; it will take four or five days to repair it. This will stop work at the lower level, but above there it will be proceeded with as usual.
Nothing but porphyry and clay, with here and there a thin streak of quartz, is yet found in the drift east at the lower level of the Gould and Curry. The old upper workings yield nearly 40 tons of ore per day, averaging $38 per ton.
The new shaft of the Virginia Consolidated is 274 feet deep to-day. Very little water is yet encountered, and excellent progress is made. The new hoisting works operate well.
The Ophir drift has penetrated 575 feet west from the shaft, with nothing new or encouraging yet encountered.
A large quantity of excellent ore, filled with free gold, has recently been developed in a drift west from the surface workings of the Sierra Nevada, and another rich streak, three feet wide, is developed in the car track tunnel. The mill is being run on ore from both these places, and an extra good yield is therefore looked for this month. The regular monthly dividend will be declared to-morrow or next day. It is a profitable mine.
The Occidental mine, it is unnecessary to state, continues its regular yield. There never has been an assessment upon it, and probably never will be. The face of the lower tunnel is undoubtedly in the west casing of the ledge, penetrating it to the extent of over thirty feet; yet as the tunnel is being run at an angle of about twenty degrees, or comparatively parallel with the ledge, it has not in reality approached the ledge more than twelve feet from the outside of the casing. It is gradually nearing the ledge and will probably cut it by next Sunday.
The Lady Bryan yields about forty tons of $25 ore per day, a streak of gold-bearing ore, five feet wide and assaying as high as $200 to the ton, is developed by a wins, forty-five feet below the surface. Sinking the main shaft deeper will be resumed in four or five days, and a new station opened at the sixty-foot level. About the 10th instant the mill will be started running again.
The Union mine, Silver City, yields about $10,000 per month, and is being actively worked. It is purely a gold vein, and the ore is worked at the Ione mill, and arastras on Carson River. The mine is principally owned by S. A. Chapin, Esq., of Silver City, and certainly is a very lucrative piece of property.
The Murphy and Mack minstrels performed to good audiences at Piper's Opera House on Wednesday and Thursday evenings last, and then left for the Bay. They took well with our theatre-goers—Ben Cotton especially with his pretty little mouth, jolly laugh and gay song of "Love Among the Roses." The Martinettis open at the Opera House to-morrow evening for a two-weeks' run. They will take well.
A little stub of a stray preacher, with two ladies, arrived this morning from the East, and this afternoon they collected quite a big crowd in front of the International, on C street, by singing, after the style that a band wagon collects customers to the circus, and then the little preacher preached to the crowd. After he was through the three went about giving away little tracts. No collection was taken up, therefore, I couldn't see the margin for the profits. It will probably be soon developed. They are coming your way soon.