THE DAILY UNION.
LETTER FROM COMO
[Correspondence of the Virginia Daily Union.]
COMO, November 20th, 1863.
THE FIRST MILL HAS STARTED.
"Blow ye the trumpet, blow!" for the accepted time has come at las, and the big steam whistle has sounded forth with a most joyful sound, the like of which was never heard before since the creation. At ten o'clock yesterday morning, Mrs. Mette, the wife of the Superintendent, with her own hands, caused the whistle to sound, and started the engine; therefore to her belongs the honor of having started the first mill in this district. Everything worked splendidly, and during the afternoon the little prospecting battery of two stamps was run, crushing some rock from the "Jessie" claim. Nothing could work better—it was like clockwork, and a perfect success. Of course during the afternoon the mill did not lack for visitors, as we all have long and anxiously looked forward towards the completion of this mill. The Como Brewery furnished an unlimited amount of lager on the occasion, which had the effect to produce a general feeling of happiness and good fellowship, as this delicious beverage is composed principally of the "milk of human kindness." The prospecting battery will crush a ton or a ton and a half in twenty-four hours, and as the process is precisely the same a the big batteries, the yield of bullion will be proportionably the same. The large battery of ten stamps will be completed about the first of December. The engine is forty horse-power, and capable of running three such batteries; and the building is so arranged that more stamps can easily be added when it shall be deemed advisable. Six of the largest sized "Wheeler" pans will be run at the first; and the whole cost of the mill, when complete, will be nearly sixty thousand dollars. A more substantial, better planned or more thoroughly executed piece of work of the kind does not exist in this Territory. Great credit is due to the Superintendent Mr. F. J. Mette, the clear headed, indomitable originator of this enterprise. To Mr. J. S. Aiken, the contractor and builder, this mill stands as a monument of the untiring energy and zeal with which he has thus far pushed forward his undertaking to a successful completion. He has had hundreds of unforeseen difficulties and extra expenses to content with, and will not make anything at all on his contract; but he will have the proud satisfaction of knowing that no one else could have done the job any better. There is plenty of room for more mills, both here and at Palmyra, but parties intending to erect mills here should at once be on the lookout to secure the best locations. Como, being built on a warm, sunny slope, we are but little troubled with snow, as it melts off very soon after it falls, so that our streets are now in the best possible condition, the nature of the soil—a fine gravelly loam—precluding the idea of mud, of which you seem to have such an abundant supply.
A HOME PRODUCTION.
Under the head of "home production," I must make especial note of the fine boy baby that was born last Sunday night, to the wife of Thos. R. Hawkins, Esq. It is the first white child born in this District, and weighed eight pounds. Various causes have been assigned why there has been no increase in the families here. Some laid it to the climate, and some said it was the water; but whatever it may have been, the lager from the Como brewery has a decidedly counteracting influence, for it is but two months since the first brewing, and see the result: one fine boy already, and several other ladies are reported to be ——
The Wizard claim, on the Floridian ledge, is fast increasing in favor among those who desire to possess good "feet." A fine tunnel has been run to the distance of thirty-seven feet, and when they strike the ledge, they are sure of finding it rich, for the Floridian ledge has long been known as among the best, it assaying invariably rich. This claim, as I said in a former letter, was named in honor of "Martin, the Wizard," who still continues to hold forth at the Stone saloon, where he supplies the thirsty sinners of the District, "or any other man," with those same renowned "Wizard cocktails," of which we read. The Wizard is a gentleman, "with a hand for his friend, and balls for his foes."
There are many strangers coming here for the last few days, and the hotels are in demand. From present appearances, I may have to report a "rush" here this winter, instead of waiting till next spring. A. D.