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About The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 8, 1905)
THE SUNDAY OREGOXIAX. PORTLAND, OCTOBER 8, 1905.
THE GREAT MINES OF SOUTHERN OREGON
Six Thousand Acres of Rich Mineral Land Are Owned
and Being Developed by the Lewises.
rANOUAMIC VIEW OF THE FAMOUS GREENBACK MIKE.
BY WILL, G. MAC RAE.
VOU may talk of your new Tonopah
discoveries, the gold mines that
have been found in Goldfield and
Bullfrog, yes, and even those that have
been found In the frozen North of Alaska,
but right in Southern Oregon, taking It
by comparison, are riches Just as groat as
those found In the places I have Just
mentioned. There have been no booms in
the Southern Oregon mining district; you
don't have to climb up Impossible moun
tain trails with snow 20 feet deep that's
the reason there has been no stampede,
and that's the roason.why there "hasn't
been more gold taken out of the country.
It is so easy to roach? It, there are so
few obstacloe to overcome, that It has
been practically passed up, I had hoard
of the mines of Southern Oregon, but only
In a vague sort of way. . Heard that gold,
both placer and quartz, were to be found
there, but not until I was literally kid
naped and taken off tho train at Leland
by John Lewis did I realize what a groat
country that mining district is. I saw out
a day of it, but during that day I talked
with men who have lived thoir lives
among those hills and what I failed to
see in that one day I was told by the
men who knew. Some few of us in Port
land might think that we knew John
Lewis. It has been known that for the past
15 years he has been mining In Southern
Oregon, but because he has not on visits
to Portland appeared laden with gold nug
gets, the" size of hens' eggs, and bottles
of yellow metal, .those who think they
have known him believe that he Is min
ing for a pastime.
A Practical Miner.
But there are two John Lewises, John
Lewis the practical miner and John Lew
Is, the man of the world, with a lo'efor
politics that keeps him In touch, porhaps
a step In advance of the political move
ments of Ills own state and in close touch
with National politics. It Is not John
Lewis, the man of the city, with the la
tent love for politics that I have to do
with. It is John Lowls, the miner, whose
pride and belief in tho. future of Southern
Oregon amounts almost to a passion. He
gave up his career-as a city business man
to settle In the Graves Crook mining dis
trict. Mr. Lewis had been told that he
was wasting his time. To those who have
told him this he has listened, smiled that
engaging, smile of his that has won for
him a legion of friends, and simply, said,
"Come to Leland. I've a little bungalow
there. Sam will cook for you and after
you have feasted you can ramble In the
hills, kill deer in season and fish In the
creeks. I've a little mine there, also."
This is about as much as I ever heard
John Lewis say about the mining opera
tions, and I believed, like many more
who knew Mr. Lowls in a casual way,
that ho was a droamor who dabbled In
mines and mining, who dreamed if he
missed the earth's golden store house to-
' day ho would surely find it on that mor
row which never comes. I had promised
to accept the Invitation to cat of Sam's
cooking and enjoy the hospitality of the
bungalow, but I never dreamed at the
time I made promise that I would soon be
breaking his bread and eating his salt. I
had been to San Francisco to see the
Britt-Nelson fight, and was on my way
home. The train had reached Medford on
Its Portland Journey and had stopped
there to take on several passenger.
Among them were John Lewis, to whom
some one on the depot platform in saying
good-bye called out, "Good-bye King of
Southern Oregon." and C. W. Geddes. a
mining -expert of great reputation. As
Mr. Lewis was passing through the car
to the diner he spied me. That settled it
I must get oft with them at Leland. I
must spend the night, a week, a month,
yes, stay there If I wanted te, but I must
get off and put up at the bungalow. John
Lewis would not take no for a answer,
so when the train stopped I stopped, too.
Night had long fallen and when I caught
sight of the one-story station, a sense
of loneliness came over me, and If I
hadn't known John Lewis well, I would
have felt sorry for him. "When the train
rumbled on I saw below me the twinkr
ling lights of Leland.
Great Mountains s.t Leland.
All about me wore groat mountains,
their sides studded with massive pines,
giving them the appearance of having a
green carpet spread over them. The sky
was cloudless and blue, that vivid bluo
that delles the painter. And in that vault
of heaven shone a great full moon that
lighted the country as the arc lights il
lumine a city's streets.
There Was a walk down steep steps
leading somewhere beneath the hill
where Hank, tho driver, was waiting.
Into the four-seated buggy we got, and
like myself. It was Mr. Geddes first trip
to John LcwIb. There was a short drive
that led us across a bridge, through a
long lancllkc road that passed beneath
giant trees. Mr, Lewis and Mr. Geddes
talked mines and mining while I listened
still wondering how far we were going
and what we would find at tho end of the
Journey. Suddenly the endless song of
the three toads was lost in the clamor
ous bark of dogs. The bark of warning
ceased and became a whine of welcome,
and suddenly spread out before us were
a .number of distinctly up-to-date cot
tages with the lights blinking a welcome
out of each window. Sam's big mooa
face peered from the kitchen door, and in
his broken pigeon English helloed a wel
come to us, and at last we were at John
Lewis' bungalow. It was a batchelofs
bungalow, with a great big comfy fire
place, with two great logs sputtoring and
blazing. In one corner was a roll-top
desk. In the other placed on a shelf
against the wall was a pair of gold scales
and an assayer's kit, a" table strewn with
letters and assay reports and against
the wall on the other side was a book
case, in which, tossed with no attempt
at order, volumes of Shakespeare were
sandwiched between George Ado's "Fa
bles in Slang," and the latest things In
fiction. Like others who" knew John
Lewis. I had wondered why he lived at
Leland. New I knew.
"While Mr. Geddes and I were admiring
the bungalow, Sam was busy in his
kitchen a short distance away, and al
most before we were settled he appeared
grinning like a schoolboy Just starting
on his vacation, with plates laden with
good things tb eat. Then the talk set
tled down to mines and raining. Being
the lay brother, I listened, and In the two
hours and a half before bedtime the his
tory of Southern Oregon was spread out
before me like a fan. The little mine
which John Lewis owned became an area
covering G) acres. I learnod for the Arat
time that Allen Lewis, a brother, and at
the head of the firm of Alien & Lewis,
was Interested in these 0030 acres, and
that Mr. and Mrs. Lewis were visiting
their big placer mine, the Columbia, at j
the time. I had read in print or people
owning big mineral belts, but I never
knew of two men owning G) acres, upon
which could be found both placer and
quartz mines. The Lewises did not tell
me. It came from the lips of a man who
was born on the acres which the Lewises
now own. that John Lewis and his
brother, Allen, had invested in the Grave
Creek district something like 40J.Mt
From this same person I learned that
John Lewis had expended in building
trails and wagon roads something like
"While listening to tho talk between Mr.
Geddos and Mr. Lewis, I heard the story
of the Greenback mine, a preporty that
was once owned by John Lewis, and Is
now owned by W. K. Brevoort. dt the
new find. In a place I believed Mr. Lewis
called. Butte Creek; of the placer claim
that was within 50 feet of. the bungalow;
of the big ditch which the Lewises had
built, and of the work that was being done
on the Columbia placer mines, and of the
prospects that were yet to be made and
that had been made. The ditch that fur
nishes the water for the placer mines Is
a marvelous piece of engineering. John
Lewis told me how long this ditch was.
how many hundrods of feet of difforent
kinds of piping that were in use. but in
tho maze and mass of stuff that he gave
mc I lost out. Because my visit was to
be brief, only a short trip was planned
for the next day. Mr. and Mrs. Allen Lewis
had been notified by telephone that we
would visit the Columbia and stay for
lunch, after which there would be a hur
ried visit to the Greenback mine.
While wc were waiting for Hank and
tho buggy. Mr. Lewis was busy showing
Mr. Geddes samples of the gold taken
from the placer mines, and pieces of
quartz that had been discovered in a
number of recent prospects. Gold was
oozing out of these samples, and Mr.
Geddes was waxing oloquent. Even I.
who knew nothing about gold-bearing
quartz, could see the virgin gold Imbed
ded In the rock. I took a niece from a
pile that lay on a table, and, without first
asking whether it contained gold or not,
began pounding and grinding it in an
! Iron motor. Whon it was pulverized into
t dust, I began, in my amateurish way. to
pan it.. All the time Sam was making
fun of me. When my task was done, the
gold was there a piece of stone weighing
not over three ounces had. given me 25
cants of yellow metal that men, since the
world bogan, have struggled to obtain.
Visit to tho Mines.
By the time I was through the team
was ready and the trip to the Columbia
placer mine and to the Greenback began.
Allen Lewis has been working the Co-'
lumbla for nlno years, but it Is only with- j
lri the past few years that any great .
amount of work had been done on tho i
mine. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis were there to
greot us. From the poroh of the cottage
could be seen this mine. A gorge had
been gouged out of the earth. The side
of a great hill was half torn away and (he
place had the appearance of having at
seme time been devastated by a' huge
flood. Timbers. piping, flumes, sluice
boxas. roots of trees and- wreckage of all
sorts grcotcd the eyes, and to a person
who had never soon a placer mine It
would have meant nothing but a lot of
abandoned flotsam and Jetsam. Mr. and
Mrs. Lewis were enjoying a brief outing
and at the same time Mr. Lewis was
planning for the opening of the mine
os soon as the Winter rains began.
Half an hour's drive from the Colum
bia mine is the Greonback. a mine that
has never cost its owners a dollar other
than the original cost. Mr. Brevoort's
mine, like those owned by tho Lowls. is
not for sale. The Greenback mine has
turned over to its owners over a million
dollars. Beginning with a five-stamp mill,
thlp mill has been added to until it has
reached a 30-stamp mill. The mill was
formerly operated by water, but when It
opens next week ten more stamps will
be added and the plant will be operated
by electricity. It has cost Mr. Brevoort
almost H0.CC0 to change the motive power
and add the ten new stamps. This mine
I undoubtedly one of the greatest in the
State of Oregon. The miners are only
down to the fifth level, but they have
ore enough In sight to run the new mill
for five years, and a marvelous part of
this, they can figure within 520 monthly
output of this magnificent property.
Like the Lewises, Mr. Brevoort and his
superintendent are comfortably located.
Here also Is a great fireplace modernized,
for a coil of pipes makes the grate of
this fireplace and from the pipes Is fur
nished hot water for baths. The cottage
la fitted throughout with electric light
and the power for these lights, like that
which will operate the ml.l. Is furnished
from the big plant recently built at Gold
Ray. Mr. Brevoort Is a New Yorker. He
has mined all over the world and, like
John Lewis, his faith In the great future
of Southern Oregon is colossal.
Too Easy to Reach-
After reading all this, there, may be
some tendency, to think I've been romanc
ing. Skeptics will ask If there is so
much gold In the Benton-Graves Creek
country, why hasnt It been developed. The
first answer to thla is because it is too
easy to reach. Miners and boomers have
passed It by because there were no hercu
lean tasks to overcome in order to reach
it. Back of thly is a still greater cause
Mr.. Harriman and the Southern Pacific.
People In certain parts of Oregon have
been crying for railroads, and the rail
road magnates have answered, "Get the
people, and you'll get the railroads." The
people of Southern Oregon are crying, not
for railroads, but for the Southern Pacific
to throw on the market their -railroad
lands and strike out that mineral clause.
The section of the country which has to
do with this story Is fit for nothing else
but mining. The Southern Pacific owns
every alternate section. There was a time
that this land could be purchased, but
of late It has been withdrawn from the
market. But even when It was on the
market, what good did it do to buy it.
for in the papers of transfer was a cute
little clause which set forth that shouM
the purchaser of the land discover mineral
on the land, the property reverted back t
the original owners.
A nice law a law made specially for
the rich corporation the Southern Pacific
railroad. Every foot of this seetkm of th
country has been prospected, and soma
vory valuable prospects have been found.,
but many of them have either been found
on railroad sections or so near them that
In the course of opening the mines the
.miners would finally find themselves on
railroad land?. So it's not another rail
road that the people of Southern Oregon
need. They want the Southern Pacific Rail
road to throw upon the market the land
they are holding up and give each pur
chaser a clear and lasting title to the
SLADE, THE NOTORIOUS SLATE MEDIUM, DEAD
N THE rush of more important news.
possibly, the death oh "Dr." Henry
Sladc In a Michigan -sanitarium re
cently gained littlo attention. And yet
"Dr." Slade. slato-wrltlhg medium, was
one of the most curious of figures. Ho
had been a rich man at least 'twice and
a pauper twice. He had exhibited his
"powor" to Monarchs and to paupers
In almshouses in which he lived during
his times of adversity. He had been In
dorsed as having: genuine powers by
people as eminent as Honry Ward
Batcher, and he was the star perform
er in England hl3 expose which nearly
cost him a throe months' term in Jail.
Excepting- tho Fox sisters, no medium
was ever so famous. It is said that he
was the original of Mr. Sludgo in
Slade. while perhaps not the originator
of the slate-wrltlng trick, brought It
to perfection and made it popular. So
well was he known in connection with
this device that tho agents for the
goods used by spurious mediums still
advcrtlso their best slate-writing- ap
paratus as "the exclusive device of the
groat Slade." He gave another tradi
tion to the profession of fake medium
ship. These people usually use high
falutln language, mixed with a gTeat
deal of bad grammar. In this they are
following- Sladc, who was a man of de
ficient early education, but had picked
up a great deal of mystic and pscudo
Slade started as a farmer boy In
Niagara County. He was scarcely In
hfa teens when ho began to astonish the
other boys by table-tipping, slate-wrlt-lng
and the like. He was in New
York In the late '60s and early '70s.
His slate-writing created a furor.
Honry Ward Beecher saw him, and ad
mitted that the thing was past him.
"Many believing spiritualists, who ad
mit that Slade was proved a fraud later.
think that he had real occult powers
In his early days, but that his "control"
was uncertain and that he resorted to
fraud In order to ma'ke results a cer
tainty. Investigated by Scientists.
Spiritualism was having a big run
Just then. Slade's earnings were large.
He was already a rich man when. In
1876, he went to England and was a
nine days wonder. Committees of
savants had sittings with him and re- i
ported that they could not explain it.
The celebrated Dr. Carpenter said that .
he was "shaken in his belief" In splr- .
itualism. The London courts and police ;
took notice after a time, exhibitions '
of fortune-telling being against the law
In that city. Sergeant Cox asked Pro-
lessor E. Ray Lankester to havea sit- ;
ting with "Dr." Slade and report. !
On September 11, 1876. Professor
Lankester attended a seance. He got a
theory, and came back four days later
to prove it.
The scanco took place in a well- f
lighted room. The medium and his i
"sitters" sat on opposite sides of a j
table. Slade brought out a slate, with !
pencils, and showed both sides to prove
that it was blank. Placing a pleco of
pencil on the face of the slate, Slade
pressed the face against the under sur
face of the table so closely that no hand.
not even a finger, could be Introduced be- I
tween. There would be a slight scratch
ing noise, and Sladc would show the slate '
with a message on it.
Professor Lankester, who pretended ab- .
solute belief all through, noticed that !
there was an Interval between the show-
ing of the clean slate and the placing of j
the slate under the table. During that In- J
terval Slade coughed as though he had '
a bad cold and did unexpected things to
turn his sitters attention to another part f
of the room. Also he thought he saw a j
slight raptlon of the muscles of the arm I
with which Slade held his slate under the
On the second visit the professor and an
assistant caught and held Sladc Just as
he was placing the slate under the table.
Although tho slate was supposed to be
clean, they found a message all written
our Slade tried to shake something out
of his hand. They caught It, and found
that he woro a thimble colored like his
skin, with a bit of slate pencil on the
end. He had written the message on his
knee during his coughing spell. If that
failed, with his thimbled finger he could
sprawl off a message while holding the
slate under the table. This brought the
message on the wrong sIdoof the slate,
but he would detract attontion for a mo
ment while he flopped the slate over.
Slade was arrested, convicted and got
three months In Jail, the limit for that
misdemeanor. On appeal he got off
through a defect In the wording of the
The case attracted some attention in
Europe. The Russian court wanted, a
medium, real or false, for Its diversion.
They sent for Slade. He exhibited before
the Czar, and was a court sensation for
a St. Petersburg, season. He dropped out
of sight very suddenly, but bobbed up
again In this country in the early '80s.
broke and showing In small towns. He
went abroad again, and had a renewal of
popularity In Berlin, where he exploited
ideas about the fourth dimensions. He
was even honored by a heavy German
treatise, "Transcendental Psychics," by
For ten years the world lost sight of
him, until in 1S33 he appeared again on
the streets of New York, old, ragged,
walking on crutches. He had a paralytic
stroke the first day after he landed, and
was treated in the Roosevelt Hospital.
The physicians noticed that his hands
were calloused as though he had been
doing hard work.
He came West and showed up at lost
In Detroit. There he lived, old. broken,
and half insane, in one room, and mado
his living by giving "testa" to servant
girls at 10 cents a sitting. In time ho
got too broken even for that, and was
sent to a sanitarium, where he died.
Slade never had any confidants. Hp was
always a man of mystery. No one knows
how he lost or spent the fortune, esti
mated at 51,000,000. -which he dropped be
tween his day of popularity at tho Rus
sian court and his reappearance In New
How lie Knew.
It was a beautiful day. without a
single cloud in the sky. Tho man who
was buying some food in a delicate
ssen store remarked on the weather.
"Yes, it'3 fine, but It's going to rain,"
replied the dealer.
"Impossible!" said the customer.
"I'll bet you a fiver." said the dealer,
"that It rains before the day la over,
although I hate to take your money."
The money was put up, and the cus
tomer went away chuckling.
Before night the rain was falling In
torrents. The man who lost the bet
stopped at the deiicate-essen store to see
"How did you know it was going to
rain?" he demanded of the storekeep
er. The latter chuckled.
"See that Ice chest?" he asked, point
ing to a big box In the corner.
The customer saw the Ice box. It
was sweating big drops of water.
"That chest," said the storekeeper.
"Is my barometer. When there is rain
in the air it begins to sweat; when
rain is imminent It sheds those big
drops you see now. I've had it over
two years, and It never yet prophesied
"Never too late to learn." sighed th
customer, "but sometimes a little
knowledge comes high."
PLACER MIXING ON ONE OF THE IX WIS CLAIMS.
rrxDXAUiia peacxr mining on tux Columbia claim of i.. a. invis.