Despite the fact that the rush to the Klondike and the war have diverted attention of capitalists from our gold fields, there is considerable activity in mining going on. The woods are full of prospectors and reports of rich finds are reported almost daily. Several parties are doing some good development work in the way of sinking shafts with a view of testing the value of their locations and others are stripping the veins. The Seine River and Lower Manitou seem the favorite hunting grounds for prospectors, who may be seen with pick and pan at almost every spot. As will be noted in our "Mine Centre" correspondence the " Hidden Treasure" mine, located near Sturgeon Falls and adjoining the Golden Crown mine owned by Gehl Bros., is reported sold for a nice sum, of which $10,000 was paid down in cash. This property has a shaft on it some fifty feet in depth and discloses a very rich body of ore. Several other properties have options on them and a number of sales are expected to be closed in another two months.
A letter to the HERALD from Mr. G.W. Pelton, secretary of the Klondike & and Northwestern Supply Co., located at Boston, Mass. states that he is now on his way to visit this section on behalf of his company, with a view to investment. He is accompanied by Dr. Haines a distinguished professor of Harvard University and a noted mineralogist, who will examine into the mineral resources of the country. Should they see anything to suit them it is likely some big deals will go through, as the company are looking for good investments.
Advices from the Lower Manitou say that the Bullion Mining Company, of Rat Portage, have a big sale on hand of mining property in that district to an English company. The exact figure could not be learned but it is said to be in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million. Several other properties near Moose Lake are expected to change hands in the course of a few weeks, which looks as if things were holding their own.
Some great improvements are being made in the mines around Mine Centre in regard to the erection of permanent buildings and other work of a substantial character which is an indication of the confidence of the owners.
Take it all in all, while we would like to see greater development work, yet the work that is being done is of a nature to insure still more in the near future.
Of the many properties that can be said to be well managed the Golden Star heads the list. This company are installing a 30- stamp mill besides making other improvements which when finished will make it the most complete in the west. Speaking of the property, the Duluth Herald in an interview with Mr. R.R. Thayer, foreman of the Burgess Electric company who has just returned to Duluth after making an estimate of the cost of building an electric railway for the mine, says -
"The proposed road is to be built from the Golden Star mine, formerly the Randolph, to the lake, where a stamp mill is now being erected. It will be 3200 feet long and will have a 10 per cent grade. It will be used for hauling ore from the mine to the mill. There is now on the stockpile at the mine, about 4000 tons of ore, which it is estimated will average $20 to the ton in gold. The main shaft of the mine is now down 300 feet, at which depth the vein is fourteen feet wide, and enough ore in sight to insure the continuous running of the mill after it is ready for business. At other mines in the district the mistake has been made of erecting mills before they have been sufficiently developed to keep the stamps at work, and their enforced idleness has resulted in great financial loss to the owners.
"Mr. Thayer also states that there is great activity at most of the mines in the district and that owners show every confidence in the value of their properties. At the Ferguson mine, which has been idle for some time owing to litigation which followed the death of one of its owners there was an explosion last Wednesday. A house containing 30,000 percussion caps was struck by lightning during a severe electric storm and all of the caps were exploded. The loss of about $1,000. Mr. Thayer visited this mine, which is down about 70 feet and brought home with him a number of choice specimens of gold-bearing quartz. The vein is a narrow one but is exceedingly rich.
"Mr. Thayer reports good roads over the portage by the Tower roue and says that boats on the lakes are making close connections, so the trip to Mine Centre is now not only easy but pleasant. The boats make three trips a week, leaving Tower Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays returning on the same days.