Looking back: Steamboat pictured on postcards
July 15, 2007
75 years ago
From the July 15, 1932, Steamboat Pilot
Drove to Frisco and back
A group of 27 people drove to Frisco and back Sunday. The distance is 100 miles. There were six cars, most of them going over the Rabbit Ears Pass, then up the Blue River to Frisco. Mr. and Mrs. Webster See went over the Gore Pass because they stopped at Yampa to get Mrs. See’s mother, Mrs. Chapman, and her granddaughter.
The group enjoyed a picnic dinner at the William Thomas Ranch, played games and had a horseshoe-pitching contest. The trip was unusually enjoyable because of the marvelous scenery. The picknickers had about seven hours to play before returning home in the evening.
Thousands panning gold
Between 8,000 and 10,000 persons are today panning the streams and rivers of Colorado for gold according to John T. Joyce, Colorado Commissioner of Mines. The search for the elusive grains of the yellow metal is not the way to fortune according to Mr. Joyce. Many of those panning gold are working for starvation wages and are having little or no success in finding gold.
Mr. Joyce says to his knowledge, the miner’s average extraction did not exceed 50 cents a day.
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Many believe gold mining can be accomplished by a tyro armed simply with a gold pan and a bit of mercury and a stream to pan. Actually, gold pans are only used by miners to determine whether or not the spot they’ve located contains sufficient gold to warrant the working of that spot. If it does, sluice boxes and other machinery for mining gold are erected.
Ground containing one dollar worth of gold to the cubic yard is considered good and even working the smaller mechanical devices for extraction of gold, a man can handle only about three cubic yards per day. Every yard of this ground known to contain this much gold is already located and being worked by veteran miners.
Thus it can readily be seen that the panning of gold is not the rainbow trail to fortune. In fact, in most instances, it is the exact opposite.
Local scenes on postcards
The series of pictures of Steamboat Springs and vicinity now offered in post cards at the Rocky Mountain Miraquelle Spa are reproductions of photographs taken by Rex Gill. The pictures include scenes of Mt. Zirkel, summer and winter, skiing on Mt. Agnes, herds of wild elk, views of the magnificent Adore and Yampa canyons in lower Moffat County, mountain peaks and ranges, Fish Creek Falls, etc.
The pictures of Ladore Canon, taken by Mr. Gill at extreme hazard, are the only ones of the kind ever offered to the public. The views are as marvelous as the views of the Grand Canyon of Colorado, and would be as thrilling to behold were the canyon accessible. A picture of a storm on Mt. Zirkel is beautiful. A collection as offered in these photographs taken by Rex Gill is not available anywhere else and doubtless will never be duplicated by individuals.
Placer property developed
F.M. Nelson and William Fabry returned to Steamboat Monday with a bottle of amalgam containing at the least estimate one pound of gold. They left for Denver Tuesday night where they will have a retort made. If the showing is favorable, they will be accompanied on their return by a Denver man who will invest sufficient capital to install modern machinery for the development of the placer lease, which Mr. Nelson, his son F.M. Nelson and Mr. Fabry have on the McIntosh land in the vicinity of Hahns Peak.
The bottle containing the amalgam created considerable excitement when it was shown at the Nelson Market. While the contents appeared to weigh a few ounces, the bottle and the amalgam together tipped the scales down over six pounds. The gold was secured with a rocker. Further development of the placer property with modern machinery will be a big boost for Hahns Peak. The Nelsons are very much pleased with the results of the few weeks of prospecting and expect to continue operations on a large scale.
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