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August to December 1900


Excerpted from USGS Reports
The Gold Belt of the Blue Mountains
of Oregon

by Waldemar Lindgren

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Placer Mines of Sparta
--Placer Deposits--

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A long, heavily timbered ridge follows the western side of Eagle Creek for a long distance toward Powder River. The Sparta mining district occupies the southern end of the ridge, where the rounded hill, here scantily forested, gently slopes toward the arid foothills of Powder River. The elevation of Sparta is 4,200 feet. The normal granite which forms the country rock is deeply decomposed and the gulches are filled with gravel. It was found at an early date that these gulches, draining in all directions from the central hill, were auriferous, but on account of lack of water little could be done until, in 1873, the Sparta ditch was completed, with a capacity of 3,000 miner's inches and a length of 22 miles. This canal takes its water from the west fork of Eagle Creek and carries it down on the long ridge to Sparta. Great activity followed its completion, but in a few years the output rapidly diminished. According to the Mint reports the placers produced $35,000 in 1882, $30,000 in 1889, $4,500 in 1890, $3,100 in 1891, $85,000 in 1892. These figures may not be acurate, but they give a general idea of the importance of the district. At present a small production is maintained and much ground is still said to be available on the south slope toward Powder River.

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These stories are available to our electronic readers as part of our contribution to the information available on the Internet. We're interested in hearing from you especially if you've been to Eastern Oregon, the Wallowas, the Blues, or if you know of Prof. Lindgren and his trips to the many other gold camps in the West. These stories are available to our electronic readers as part of our contribution to the information available on the Internet. We hope you enjoy the stories and if you have questions or comments please send a message to editor, Keith Whittle

More on Waldemar Lindgren:
[Editor's Introduction | "Gold Belt of Eastern Oregon"]

Read our other gold mining editions:
[Sumpter, Oregon 1900 | Gold Seekers Rush to California]
[ Oregon: Land of Gold & Opportunity | Dequille Reports from the Comstock]

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