Gold Seekers Rush to California
Volume Two Number Two
Oregon Trail 1849
MINERS DIG OUT GOLD NUGGETS Supplies Fetch High Prices
On the Middle Yuba River, one miner took out 30 pounds of gold in less than a month from a claim only four feet square. Another miner dug up $26,000 worth of ore from his claim on the Stanislaus before it ran dry.
At the camp of Volcano, miners found as much as $500 in a single panful of gravel. At Durgan's Flat, near Downieville, four men dug out $12,900 in 11 days from their claim, 60 feet square; in six months it produced $80,000.
Tin Cup Diggings, near Downieville, was so named because three men who mined there made it a rule always to fill a tin cup with gold each day before quitting. Just up the river from Downieville a nugget weighing 25 pounds was found.
Gould Buffum's party of 10 made $150 on the first day, $1,000 in the first week at Weber's Creek. Moving on to the Middle Fork of the American River they made $416 (26 ounces) the first day by the pan, and about $400 the second day by the rocker.
The hard-won gold dust did not go far with the cost of supplies being so high. Miners usually took supplies with them, but seldom enough to see them through the season. The transport of three barrels of flour, one barrel of pork and 200 pounds of small stores for about 50 miles cost Gould Buffum's party $300.
At the mines flour cost $1.50 pound, pork cost $1 pound and coffee was $1 a pound. Later in the season coffee prices would rise to $3 to $4 a pound. Editor, Historical Gazette
The above story is only one of several from this edition. Exciting tales of the 1848 discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill and line art drawings from the past can also be found in our paper copy.
Continue the Oregon Trail saga!
Read our Number Three of the series Oregon Trail1856 Border Wars or Indian Massacres.
Digging for more gold stories? [Sumpter, Oregon 1900 | Baker City, 1899 | Dequille reports on the Comstock]
[Oregon: Land of Gold & Opportunity, Oregon Trail 1873]
Bridget E. Smith, editor & publisher
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Published in Portland, Oregon