May 1883


wife beaters

About half of the issue of May 4, 1883 consisted of ads, probably good for the newspaper’s revenue stream but a little like commercial television in the United States (where about 1/4 of each show’s allotted time is taken up by commercials).


“There will be a total eclipse of the sun next Sunday, but it can not be noticed on this side of the earth.”

racismNopal As Sheep Food

“The striking cowboys on the panhandle of Texas have burned the ranges of Gunter & Monson and Sanborn.”

“A few turns of the impression screws on the press of theLake Valley Herald would make that paper and the Kingston Tribune readable.”

“The president (Editor: Chester A. Arthur) has appointed...W. W. White of Atlanta, Ga. as clerk of the civil service commission.”  (Editor: It was White’s job to implement the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883, effectively ending political patronage in the  Federal Government and establishing merit as the standard for selection for positions below the Secretary level and one or two levels below.) 

“The Albuquerque Review is authority for the statement that there is no cash in the territorial treasury and that as a consequence the price of county warrants is declining.”

“The lands comprising the Otoe and Missouri Indian  reservations in Kansas and Nebraska, covering about 50,000 acres, will be sold to the highest bidder in tracts of not more than one hundred and sixty acres, at Beatrice, Nebraska on the 31st of May.  Each purchaser must make permanent settlement upon the land within ninety days from date of sale.”

“Prof. A. F. Bandalier, who has been engaged in investigating the antiquities afforded by this southern country, for several years past, got down into our sister republic recently, and, so it reported, was captured and in turn investigated by Ju’s scientific and inquiring followers, in a fashion from which he will hardly recover."

“Black Range Mines - An Unprejudiced Opinion Concerning Some of Them” (See below for annotated description of this three column article.)

Racism, disguised as poultry news, ended the front page.


“The Georgetown Courier evidently imagines that the mission of a newspaper is to curse everybody and everything praising nobody nor nothing, and it holds to this course.  It requires no high intelligence to be a blackguard and win notoriety as such, and there are few persons, comparatively, who crave such distinction.  The editor of the Courier will therefore be permitted to occupy, unmolested, the field he has chosen.”

“Illustrated New Mexico” contains some interesting pictures and has not a little instructive reading matter, but it is far from being what its author is capable of making it.”

An article on feeding prickly pear cactus to sheep added some cutting edge reporting to page two.


“It appears to be not generally known that J. M. Smith is a deputy sheriff appointed by Sheriff Simpson, but such is the fact not withstanding.”


“A. F. Armstrong, the member of the firm of Armstrong Bros. commission merchants, who manages the business house at Engle, visited the range Thursday.  The object for which the visit was made was to arrange with our merchants to furnish them with fruit and vegetables and  dairy products in a regular and systematic manner.  Mr. Armstrong proposes to put on a fast freight line, one which will make the trip through from Engle in one day.  He will then make arrangements for having the fresh products desirable to be shipped from California on a certain day of each week and the freight line will bring them to the range immediately upon arrival at Engle.  By this means the people of the range will be able to rest up from the present siege of sow-belly and frijoles.  The Range trusts that nothing will interfere to prevent the scheme being carried out.”

Fairview: “The late employees of the Black Knife Mining and Smelting company are preparing to attach the Black Knife mine and smelter for wages claimed to be due them.”

Hermosa: “The shaft of the American Flay still has the mineral crevice in good shape and as nice mineral as ever is being hoisted.  Each day’s work increases the value of the property.”

Chloride: “The Hermosa, on Monument creek, carries native silver in porphyry the same as the Royal Arch, on Dry.”

Silver Prince

Chloride: “The Buffum ore crevice at two hundred and five feet depth is two feet wide of copper glance, solid and unshaken.”

Chloride: “Billy Dawson while on his fishing excursion on the Gila last Sunday, saw a bear and shot at it.  Billy succeeded in making his escape.”

Chloride: “Billy Dawson, Newton Sheldon and Charley Jones went fishing in Diamond creek on the opposite side of the range last Friday and the editor feels grateful for a mess of luscious trout.  Fresh fish are a rare luxury in these parts.”


“Mrs. Beebe, consort of the Major, arrived in Chloride  last Friday and is now comparing the scenery of the Black range with the comforts of St. Louis much to the disadvantage of St. Louis, of course.  Major Beebe is well satisfied with Mrs. B’s. change of habitation, and the Range trusts that the lady will be equally so.”

“Work has begun on the King No. 2 mine, on Byer’s run.  Mose Thompson has a three months working bond on thisproperty, and on Monday last he put five men at work.  Next week four more will begin and others will be added as fast as room is made for them.  Mr. Thompson is running a tunnel which when sixty-five or seventy feet long is expected to tap the vein over a hundred feet deep.”

“Hank Kelly has charge of the work of packing Silver Monument ore down to the wagon road, and at present twenty-nine sacks have been transferred.  Five burros anda mule are engaged in the work.  Lately one of the burros slipped from the trail and with a load of ore on his back rolled a couple of hundred feet down an acchvity (sic?).  The animal went on the retired list for a week on account of the accident but he is all right now.”

You may read the full issue at The Black Range Newspaper, issue of May 4, 1883, the file is 2.2 MB in size.


Bandelier National Monument, Bandelier (the man) is mentioned in today’s issue.
(Editor’s note of 2/9/16 - Adolph F. Bandelier wrote a novel entitled
“The Delight Makers: A Novel of Prehistoric Pueblo Indians”
which was well reviewed in the February 2016 issue of
the “Hillsboro Community Library News” by Joe Diel of Hillsboro.



This edition of The Black Range Newspaper contained a three column article on “Black Range Mines”, it is shown here, with annotations, in its entirety.  I might note that I doubt that the “Black Range” newspaper had many “unprejudiced” opinions.

See the Major Mines - 2 page for listings of mines and minerals from this area.

As noted in the article, “Wall Street” refers to a group of mines in the Chloride Creek area.  At page 82 of Bulletin 10 “The Geology and Ore Deposits of Sierra County, New Mexico” (George Harley, 1934), Harley describes the Nana Mine “on the Apache vein...(of)...the Wall Street group of claims.” A “high grade pocket was found at the surface (which) assayed $168 ton”, some other pockets assayed at an average of $60 ton, but most of the vein assayed “from $4 to $13 ton in low-grade shoots...” 

The Report of the Director of the Mint upon the Production of the Precious Metals in the United States during the Calendar Year 1883 (p. 606) describes the Wall Street Nos. 1 and 2 as “locations more or less developed.”

The US Geological Survey Bulletin 1876, “Mineral Belts in Western Sierra County, New Mexico, Suggested by Mining Districts, Geology, and Geochemical Anomalies” (1989) (referred to below as "Mineral Belts") notes that “The Wall Street mine on the Apache vein system in andesite on the north side of Chloride Creek produced mostly free gold and auriferous pyrite in a quartz gangue.” ( p. 8)

The vein mentioned here (the Apache Vein) is mentioned several times in “Mineral Belts” (pp. 7-9) but the Apache and Adirondack mines are not mentioned, nor are they mentioned in “Bulletin 10”.  “The Report of the Director” (p. 606) describes the Adirondack as “more or less developed”.  Of the Apache it says; “Assays from the Apache show a value of nearly $670 to the ton in silver and gold.”

The White Signal Mine is described as “more or less developed” (p. 606) in “The Report of the Director”.

Bulletin 10 (p. 85) Notes that “The Colossal and Midnight mines are on the Treasury vein south and east of the St. Cloud workings.  The Colossal is reported by Mr. Ed James to have produced $75,000 in gold-silver ores that in some shipments carried as high as 10 per cent copper.”  “The Report of the Director” (p. 606) states that “The Colossal - Work on this mine has progressed during the year, but at the present time” (1883) “so much water has been encountered in the shaft that but little more can be done until pumping machinery is supplied.  A tunnel is being driven in on the vein, from which fine ore is being obtained.  The shaft is being enlarged, with a view to preparing it for compartments; in the prosecution of this work some good ore is being removed.”  

“Mineral Belts” (p. 7) that as of 1989 “the Colossal mine, also active, is located on the north side of South Fork Creek”.

In “Mineral Belts” (p. 7) it is noted that: “The Silver  Monument mine is located to the west near the head of Chloride Creek.”  At page 8, it is noted that the Silver Monument mine is in older andesite and (at page 9) that “rich copper-silver-gold ore in andesite host rock also characterized the Silver Monument mine at the western end of the district”.  “Bulletin 10” has an extensive section on the Silver Monument mine (pp. 87 - 90).  Including this longitudinal section of the mine.  ”The Report to the Director” has this to say about the Silver Monument mine ( p. 605): “The shaft of the Silver Monument has been sunk to a depth of over 150 feet, and in addition has been developed by a tunnel of considerable length.  All the workings are thoroughly  timbered, a protection which neglected in the earlier stages of development subsequently occasioned much trouble.  The vein of this mine is reported to be about 8 feet wide with a 10-inch pay streak on one wall and 4 feet of ore on the other, with a 3-foot deposit of mineralized talc in the center.  The first shipment of ore gave mill returns of $140 in silver to the ton; the second, about 10 tons in quantity, gave $240 to the ton, and the ore now upon the dump, ready for shipment, is expected to assay much higher.  This is regarded as one of the best mines of the Black Range, but its thorough development has been somewhat postponed by difficulties between the owners and lessee, which are now said to be in a fair way of adjustment.  About ten men are kept employed in the various workings of the mine.”


silver monument mine


At page 87, “Bulletin 10” states that “The Black Night, which is reported to have more argentite and less bornite in the ore than the Silver Monument , but which otherwise is quite similar.  Very little development work has been done at any of these outlying properties.”  

At page 605,”The Report to the Director” states that King No. 2 is among the best mines of the district in point of development and that (p. 606) it “is being worked under bond, and is producing some rich black sulphuret ore.  The streak is not wide.” Of the Midnight mine, it says that it is “more or less developed”.

“Bulletin 10” at page 85, says: “The Colossal and Midnight mines are on the Treasury vein south and east of the St. Cloud workings...At the Midnight mine the vein in the limestone is conspicuous for the presence of contact-metamorphic minerals, including garnet, epidote and calcite, in the wallrock, and for the abundance of copper staining in the upper part of the vein.  A mill was erected on this property, but it was in poor condition at the time of the writer’s visit.  The last shipment of concentrate was made in 1925.  In that year it is said that between 4,000 and 5,000 tons of shipping and concentrating ore was taken from the mine.  In the past few years the mine workings have caved badly and are mostly inaccessible...Mills were erected and operated...(on) the Midnight properties...Only the Treasury and Midnight mills remained standing in 1932, with part of the milling  machinery still in place.  On the whole, the mines appear to have been systematically developed, and the plants are of appropriate size in view of the prospects for ore and show evidence of good workmanship and economical construction methods.”

Harley, in “Bulletin 10” begins his discussion of the Cuchillo Negro District at page 113.  At page 116, he notes that “deposits in this range were discovered at about the same time as those at Chloride and Fairview, but owing to the presence of hostile Indians in the region, prospecting and development were carried on with difficulty and were often interrupted.” and at page 117, “About 1900, further work was done in the district on the Dictator and Black Knife properties , when several inclined shafts were sunk.  This work was done by various lessees.  The Black Knife group was formerly owned by C. H. Laidlaw, the original discoverer of the group not being known...In 1917, T. C. Parker...entered the district and secured an option on the Black Knife group and adjoining claims, on which he did some development work and from which he shipped three cars of ore.”  That work was discontinued in 1921.  However, in 1928, Parker took “a new option lease, later purchasing both the Black Knife and Dictator groups of claims from” (Frank H.) “Winston, who had previously acquired the Black Knife group from C. H. Laidlaw.  The Cuchillo Mines Co. was organized and all of Parker’s holdings in the district turned over to it.  At Willow Springs, 1 & 1/9 miles distant from the mine, 160 acres of ranch land, a flowing spring, and all necessary water rights were acquired, and a small mill was erected...Parker estimates that approximately 1,000 tons was shipped from the Black Knife and Dictator claims prior to 1917...In 1918 the Black Knife produced 120 tons of ore, 80 tons of which was mined in sinking the 175-foot shaft.  This ore averaged 15 oz. silver, 25 per cent lead, 5.5 per cent copper and 7.7 per cent zinc.  In 1920 some small shipments of zinc and lead... (etc.)”  At page 119, Harley further discusses the Black Knife Group.

The “Report to the Director” (p. 505) describes the Cuchillo Negro District as lying “east of Palomas and Apache districts.  It is an extensive mineral belt, containing several hundred locations.  Its ores are low  grade, but being rich in galena and carbonates of both copper and lead are valuable for fluxing.  Reports of operations during the year” (1882) “are exceedingly meager, brief accounts of the Black Knife, Guide, and operations of the Humboldt Mining Company only having been received.  The shaft of the former shows about 3 feet of good mineral, and an incline 4 by 6 feet is sunk in solid ore, 3 feet of which is superior to any yet exposed.”

“Mineral Belts” starts its discussion of The Cuchillo Negro District at page 26, noting that “Mines in this area produced mostly copper and lead with a little zinc, silver, and gold (from contact-metasomatic ore).  total production from the district has been about 1,500 tons of ore with a market value of about $250,000...Mines were chiefly active in the late 19th and early 20th  centuries...the main mines in this district...(included)...the Black Knife Group...”

In preparing these annotated reports I am often struck at the usefulness of the three primary sources which I am using (see links above) and recommend them to any interested readers (they may be downloaded from these links).

The Black Range newspaper definitely had a world view which was restricted to the northeast quadrant of the Black Range - something like any other local paper has today.




hidden birds puzzle

In this issue, the paper continued its “Black Range Mines - An Unprejudiced Opinion Concerning Some of Them” column (see below)

Every edition of the Black Range newspaper has a number of fluff pieces like the one to the right, from the front page of today’s issue.  They can appear on any page of the paper and depending on the amount of “hard news” may take up a good deal of the print space or only a quarter.  The second page is dedicated to national and international news and the third page is dedicated to local news.  The back page of each edition is limited to ads and “witticisms”.

From Page Two:

“An organized band of rustlers are running off the stock of the Crow Indians in Montana, and the aborigines are asking protection from the military.”

“Prof. Longuemare is making an excellent journal of his “Bullion”.  It is devoted exclusively to the mining interests of Socorro and vicinity, and it is doing good work for them.  The Bullion is a monthly publication.”

“The Joneses, late of the Hillsboro Prospector have opened out again at Lordsburg, with the Advance.  It exhibits better patronage than the prospector ever had, soit is fair to suppose that the change is for the better.”

From the Silver City Southwest Sentinel: “Toppy Johnson has lately bought D. Montoyo’s ranch, at the mouth of Canada de Alamosa, which is located about fifty-six miles from Kingston.  It contains about 140 head of cattle, for which Johnson paid $16.50 per head, besides $1,000 for the ranch itself.  The cattle will be moved to Canon creek, on the west prong of the Gila river, and upon which it is his intention to place 7,000 head of cattle.”


Column two of this page included several methods to test ore for minerals, including the “wet test”, the “fire test” and the “blow pipe test”.  Each procedure is described in detail.

From Page Three:

“The Rio Grande is up and booming which gives notice that there is a moderation to the weather up north.”

“Every tree along Wall street that is now alive should have boxing put around it.  This will be a handsome avenue in a couple of years more if these trees are preserved.  It will be a shame to have them killed now.”

“The homestead patents which Jose Sanchez and others are trying to secure on lands lying on the Gila north of Detwiler’s are being contested by Burt D. Mason and others.  It is claimed that there has never been a house put upon most of the claims and no sign of settlement made; that the Mexicans who ware trying to get possession of these lands are peons of Tranquilina Luna’s and that he is backing them in this criminality.  If he is and it can be proven he should be punished by law as the instigator of attempts to defraud the government.  Too much of the land of New Mexico is being secured by means of just such rascality.”

“Mexican hunters set fire to the grass on the Gila side of the Black Range and the winds of the past few weeks kept the blaze alive and moving until at present the major  portion of the range has been burned off and the fire has come over to this side in some places.  However, the grass is not strong enough in growth to permit of much damage on this side of the summit.  If the chaps can be found who are guilty of setting this fire they should be severely dealt with.  It will be a great inconvenience and the occasion of some loss to the ranchmen on the Gila to have their stock feed so disastrously destroyed, for the grass now burned over will not start again until the rainy season begins nearly two months hence.”

water rights

Fairview: “Jim Ryan, from Canada de Alamosa has been over paying his friends a visit during the last week.  While waiting for his turn at the irrigating ditch he finds plenty of leisure.”

Fairview: “The outgoing coach left Fairview on Saturday morning with nine passengers on board.  The stage is heavily loaded both ways these days, and it must be recovering its previous losses somewhat now.”

Fairview: “The checks that Col. Nulton last gave in settling debts of the Black Knife company were protested.  “No funds.”  The Black Knife has left Fairview in much the same fix that the Occidental did Grafton - hard up.”

Fairview: “Mr. Staley is making the Dowling ranch at the mouth of Bear canyon look like a farm.  He has an unlimited supply of water and all the apparent advantages necessary for successful crop growing.  Mrs. Staley will probably soon arrive to assist him in makingthe venture a success.”

Grafton: “The wagon road to the Royal Arch mine is  completed and the work of putting timbers in the shaft to fit it for receiving the pumps is being accomplished.  Three thousand feet of timber is order to be used on this property.”

Chloride: “McBride is getting along nicely on his road up Chloride gulch.  He is now working at the second box.  When this is passed the hard spots are over.”

Chloride: “Seventy-eight dollars freight was the price paid for thirty-two hundred pounds of the Silver Monument ore from Engle to Denver on the railroad.  Adding thirty-two dollars, the price paid for transferring from the range to Engle and it will be seen why no more ore is shipped to reduction works from the Black Range.”

water rights 2

“Chloride will soon have a hotel worthy of the name, and  visitors to this place can, ere long, be sure of having first class accommodations.  Henry E. Rickert, proprietor of the Chloride hotel restaurant, has arranged for the immediate erection of a two story adobe building 30x65 feet in dimensions.  It will be erected on the site of the present restaurant which will be removed for the purpose.”

Chloride: “Work on the Hagan’s Peak tunnel is progressing finely.  The tunnel is now thirty feet under cover with twenty feet of an open cut.  Two shifts are working this week but next week there will be three.  A two hundred bushel coal-pit is nearly ready for drawing and a cabin is almost completed.  Supt. Briggs will have eight men in all at work next week.  The face of the tunnel is porphyry rock which is thoroughly impregnated with iron pyrites, the mineral lying in large chunks and sheets.  It looks a little as if this hole is leading to something and that this something is not far distant.”

chloride business

A complete copy of The Black Range Newspaper, issue of May 11, 1883 is found at this link, it is 2.2 MB in size: 5-11-83.pdf



The May 11, 1883 edition of The Black Range newspaper continued the “Black Range Mines - An Unprejudiced Opinion Concerning Some of Them” column from the previous week.  

In mining law a fissure vein is “a vein or lode of mineralized matter filling a preexisting fissure or crack in the earth’s crust extended across the strata and generally extending indefinitely downward. 

The Ivanhoe Mine was located in the Grafton District where the US Geological Survey Bulletin 1876, “Mineral Belts in Western Sierra County, New Mexico, Suggested by Mining Districts, Geology, and Geochemical Anomalies” (1989) lists it as one of three “main producing mines”.  The other two are the Emporia and Alaska, all of which produced more gold than silver.  Both the Emporia and Ivanhoe Mines were producing “rich gold ore in 1985-87” (p. 6).  “Mineral Belts...” goes on to say that “the ore occurs along strong northerly, northwesterly, and northeasterly trending quartz veins, some of which can be traced continuously for more than a mile and are as much as 8 ft. wide in places.”

Harley describes the Ivanhoe in “The Geology and Ore Deposits of Sierra County, New Mexico” (George Harley, 1934).  He described the Ivanhoe as: “The Ivanhoe mine is on a vein which strikes northeast and dips southeast, and which must cross the Emporia vein in a draw within 300 feet of the Emporia shaft, although the point of crossing has apparently never been definitely located.  The shaft is 380 feet deep, according to report, and there are three levels with 600 feet of lateral workings.  Considerable high-grade ore has been won from this mine, but it is said that the bottom level showed an extreme pinching of the vein, although it could still be followed along its course.  One nearly vertical ore shoot had a maximum stope length of over 100 feet.  Both walls of the vein consist of andesite breccia.  It is said that the first ore found in this mine assayed 17 to 25 ounces gold and over 100 ounces of silver to the ton and about 3 1/2 per cent copper.  While the mine was yet in the early development stage it was sold to Robert G. Ingersoll (see photo below), who appeared at the collar of the shaft one day with his engineer and at once completed a deal involving the payment of $60,000 on terms of $10,000 down and the balance in 30 days.  The mine is reported to have produced $100,000, but it never paid a dividend.  The main shaft was sunk to a depth of 400 feet, using a hand windlass for hoisting.  Lessees on the property are said to have secured much very high grade ore from time to time by close hand sorting.  A recent shipment of a few tons of combined Ivanhoe-Emporia gold ore is said to have returned over $200 per ton net.” (pp. 80-81)

The Report of the Director of the Mint upon the Production of the Precious Metals in the United States during the Calendar Year 1883 (p. 606) notes that “The Ivanhoe is also located in this district, and is represented to be producing good ore, bearing both gold and silver.  The gold in fair quantity can be obtained by crushing the buore and the silver by smelting it.”  (Note that there was also an Ivanhoe mine north of San Jose in Grant County which was a good producer.)

Robert G. Ingersoll was extremely famous during the second half of the 1800’s.  It was in honor of him that the Ingersoll mine referenced in “Spell of the Black Range” was named.

The Buckeye, Surprise, Alaska, Smuggler, Montezuma, Yankee Boy, Shorty, Homestake, Home Again, Pioneer, Yellowstone, Good Enough, Great Southwest, Keystone, Great Republic, Minnehaha, and Occidental Mines mentioned to the right are not mentioned in The Report of the Director of the Mint upon the Production of the Precious Metals in the United States during the Calendar Year 1883.

However, although the Montezuma is not mentioned in The Report of the Director of the Mint upon the Production of the Precious Metals in the United States during the Calendar Year 1883, at least not “this Montezuma”.  There was a Montezuma in the Cook’s Peak District to the south which interestingly enough had ore which was “a rich galena, carrying from 10 to 12 ounces of silver as a rule, though streaks or pockets are sometimes encountered where it runs much higher.  The ore is said to average about 40 per cent lead, and is very valuable for fluxing purposes in addition to the intrinsic value of the lead and silver it contains.  Teams are almost constantly engaged hauling this ore to the smelter at San Jose, and the southwestern smelter on the Ivanhoe property...” (p. 587)  Note that not only is this not the Montezuma Mine referenced in the Black Range article to the left, it is not the Ivanhoe Mine mentioned in this article either - it is the Ivanhoe Mine in Grant County.


Robert G. Ingersoll, the owner of the Ivanhoe Mine
and greatly admired by Jay Barnes -
see The Spell of the Black Range, Blogs to Books entry.


And, there was a Keystone mine in what was then Grant County, “The Keystone is another mine of this camp” (the Monaska) “that is regarded as a promising property.  A shaft upwards ...” (p. 586) and a Keystone “in the north end of the Caballos Range” (p. 604)

It would seem that the mining industry developed a short-list of acceptable mine names and used them repeatedly.

Compounding this particular problem is this reference to some of these properties from Bulletin 10, p. 81.  “The Alaska group of claims is in the old town of Grafton.  Over $150,000 is said to have been spent in the equipment and development of this property.  A main shaft that was to have tapped the vein at 600 feet depth was started, and the surface plant, consisting of hoist, large boilers, stamps, and much accessory equipment was set up on expensive rock and concrete foundations.  The shaft was sunk to 150 feet, and a crosscut was driven to the vein, which when cut, flooded the mine with water so rapidly that the miners barely escaped with their lives.  (editor:  See the article’s comments on this to the left.) Nothing has been done in this shaft since 1883.  The property has gone under the names Alaska, Montezuma and Yankee Boy at various times in its history. No shipments other than small lots of high-grade ore from shallow surface workings have ever been made.” (emphasis added)

Ownership changes, among other things, often led to a change in the mines name.

Bulletin 10 (pp. 78 - 79) notes that “The Principal mines in the Phillipsburg area include the Occidental, Black Mountain (formerly called the Minnehaha), Great Republic and Keystone. Production from the Occidental and Black Mountain mines has been about $25,000, from the Great Republic about $25,000, from the Keystone $5,000 and small but unlisted amounts from other properties.  These mines may have produced ore worth $60,000, which would include all small-lot shipments from the outlying prospects.” 

“The Black Mountain (Minnehaha) group of three claims was located in 1881, and is reported to have yielded a small amount of rich ore from a small ore shoot shortly after its discovery.  In 1931, Silver City, N. Mex., people acquired the property, and after driving a short tunnel on a cross vein (the Bullion vein) and sinking a winze on it to a depth of 200 feet, from the bottom of which short drifts were run, the property was closed down.  No shipments were made during this period.  The mineralization consisted of irregular stringers of quartz traversing the fracture zone of the vein, and when the ore was hand sorted it assayed $30 per ton, principally in gold.  The main north-south vein, locally called the Minnehaha, was not cut, but drifting along the Bullion cross break for about 200 feet would have encountered it.  The old workings on this main vein are said to be caved.  The camp is equipped with blacksmith and carpenter ships, a portable compressor, hoist, and bunk and cook houses.  It is reported that the owners of this group also bought the Great Republic mine which adjoins the Black Mountain on the same vein system to the south.” (Bulletin 10, p. 79)

“The Great Republic mine has been developed to the 400-foot level, but when visited all surface and underground workings were caved and inaccessible.  The last work was done in 1923, when a 40-tone capacity tabling and flotation mill was erected.  Sulfides were encountered at the 100-foot level, but above this, rich pockets of silver chloride were mines, and it is said that the finest specimens from the district came from a small pocket called the Jewelry Shop on the 175-foot level.  A flat fault is said to cut the vein off below the 300-foot level, and it was not found on the 400-foot level.  The ore occurs as strings of quarts with pyrite, gold and silver, in a fractured zone of andesite breccia which has been much propyltiized and impregnated with pyrite.  It is said the the ore occurs in shoots within the vein, which is 2 to 10-feet wide, and the mine contains 4,000 tons of this material blocked out, which assays $14 per ton.  South of the mine about 1,200 feet, a northeast-striking fault has cut off the vein, and the southern portion of it has been moved 300 feet or more to the east.  The northern segment of the vein ends against a block of Magdalena limestone.  The vein appears to split between the Republic shaft and his fault, and it is said that the hanging-wall fracture carried mostly silver, while the footwall fracture was richer in gold.  It is believed, however that the footwall fracture carries a later mineralization than the other, which is associated with the period of the rhyolite extrusion.  Residual patches of rhyolite are abundant just to the east of the mine, and some of the rock on the dump is rhyolite, which was said to have come from a dike along the footwall fracture.  No evidence of the dike could be found on surface.  One carload of ore is reported to have shipped in 1928.” (Bulletin 10, pp 79 - 80)

“The Keystone property is south of the Great Republic and on the main north-south vein of the district, but due to faulting the vein has been offset somewhat to the east of the line of strike of the Republic portion.  It probably produced some high-grade ore from pockets near the surface, and it said that a considerable quantity of ore is in place on the 100-foot level in a shoot that has a stope length of 150 feet.  The value of this ore is said to be about $10 a ton, consisting of 2 ounces of silver and the  remained in gold.  The property has passed through several ownerships in the course of its history, but is now owned by the U. S. Treasury Mining Co., which has headquarters in Chloride.  Mr. Ed. James is the manager.  The mine has apparently not been actively worked since the early nineties.” (Bulletin 10, p. 80)



Benefits of Coffee-filtered

The issue of May 18, 1883 continued the “Black Range Mines - An Unprejudiced Opinion Concerning Some of Them” series on its front page, see below.

From Page One

“The railroad is completed to Silver City.”

“Gen. Crook has met no Indians and consequently has not been defeated.”

Hostetter's Bitters-filtered

“The renegade Mescalero Indian Muchacho Negro has been captured and will be permitted to do more  harm.”

“Joseph Pulitzer, the well known editor of St. Louis, has purchased the World newspaper of New York and will take charge of it at once.  He will continue it as a democratic paper.  The price paid was $400,000.” (This in the days before the Pulitzer Prize.)

From Page Two

The second image to appear in The Black Range newspaper appeared in this issue, an ad for Hostetter’s Bitters.  It joined the long running ad of Browne, Manzanarea & Co. in using an image in an ad.

From Page Three

“The Rio Grande river still continues to rise.”

“Wednesday’s storm left a blanket of snow on the summit of the range.”

“There is fifty feet of water in the shaft of the Royal Arch.”

Fire and Smallpoxmaking arrowheads

“It is about time that the spring winds gave us a rest.  If the weather clerk continues this howling much longer he will get himself disliked.”

“Kean St. Charles returned from St. Joseph, Missouri, Friday evening with sufficient funds for sinking the shaft of the Occidental another hundred feet.  It is now two hundred and twenty feet or thereabouts deep and the bottom being near water lever, anotherhundred feet will prove the value of the property pretty well.  The old debts of the company will not be settled at present but no new ones will be contracted and the workmen will be paid their wages each Saturday night.  Three men are clearing the shaft of water this week, and next week two more will assist in work of shooting and hoisting rock.”

“There are four mines in the Black Range having shafts over two hundred feet deep, namely: The Ivanhoe, Occidental, Alaska, and Buffum.  Three have over two hundred feet of tunnel and drift, viz: Ivanhoe, Colossal, and Little Luelia.  Those, in addition to the mines mentioned that have two hundred feet of work done in the shafts or tunnels or both are the Sailor Boy, Royal Arch, Buckeye, Apache, Alta, and Silver Monument.  There are nine that have already sent a ton or more ore to mill or smelter, to-wit: Ivanhoe, Occidental, Eureka, Wall Street No. 1, Wall Street No. 2, Colossal, King No. 2, Silver Monument and Black Knife.  When it is considered that one year ago these remarks would have been applicable to but one or two of the properties mentioned it can hardly be said that the range is standing still.  Dull, it certainly does seem to be, but there is nevertheless, a good deal of development work, and good work too, accomplished in the course of every twelve months.”

Hermosa: “The Americano has found it necessary to procure an air pipe for use in its shaft.  The damps are troublesome in the shafts of the range during the rainy season, which apparently is not far off at this time.”

Hermosa: “J. J. Dalglish has taken a ranch of his own on Palomas creek, about a mile above the town of Hermosa, and to this point he has moved his stock  from Dry creek.  He has a nice place where he is now, there being several acres of cultivable ground there and when the town of Hermosa acquires the importance that it is certainly destined to have the Dalgish ranch will be valuable.”

Chloride: “Work was resumed on the Adirondack Tuesday.  C. J. Dow is superintendent and Charley Canfield foreman.  This week is occupied with timbering the shaft which is forty-five feet deep, and making other preparations to begin work in earnest.  A drift will be run north on the vein for about twenty feet depth in the shaft and a shipment of ore will be made.  The amount of development will be governed by the future appearance of the vein.”

Chloride: “W. W. Jones will survey the Buffum mine for patent as soon as he receives his expected appointment as deputy mineral surveyor.  The shaft of this property had reached two hundred and ten feet depth last Saturday and a wall had been struck which is supposed to be granite.  If it really proves to be granite it will be an important revelation and it will greatly inspire confidence in the minds of mining men concerning this country.  The Black Range is known to be capped with a secondary formation of porphyry, lime, trachite and brecca, but, heretofore no shafts have penetrated to the primary structure to determine its composition.  If it is definitely settled that the solid formation is granite, and that the veins continue down uninterruptedly into it, then there will be no fear in the minds of any to take hold of the remarkable rich surface workings here shown, and continue them to the establishment of permanent and remunerative mines.”

A complete copy of this issue can be read at - The Black Range Newspaper, issue of May 18, 1883, the file is 2.1 MB in size.

paying in cash


The May 18, 1883 edition of The Black Range newspaper continued the “Black Range Mines - An Unprejudiced Opinion Concerning Some of Them” column from the previous two weeks.  

The Nordbausen, or Nordhausen, is not referenced in any of our primary resources: The US Geological Survey Bulletin 1876, “Mineral Belts in Western Sierra County, New Mexico, Suggested by Mining Districts, Geology, and Geochemical Anomalies” (1989); Bulletin 10 (George Harley, 1934); and The Report of the Director of the Mint upon the Production of the Precious Metals in the United States during the Calendar Year 1883, referred to below as “Report to the Director”.  Either the mine changed names at some point, or it never panned out.

Much more is to be said in these sources about the workings in Hermosa, mentioned later in the article.  Hermosa, like many mining towns in the Black Range has faded away, fallen apart, and filled in.  

BR Mines 1-filtered

The Report to the Director (1883) describes the American Flag so (p. 602): “The American Flag, the principal lode of this series, shows a noble outcropping of quartz 30 feet in width, fine-grained and granular, with cavities, the interior of which are studded with quartz crystals and native silver; the ore body is 12 feet in width.  Iron, copper, and silver sulphides, copper carbonates, silver antimonide and native silver in grains, blades, and twigs are distributed through the quartz, making a rich ore of brilliant and attractive appearance.  Assays as high as 13,000 ounces of silver have been made; a shipment of 5 tons of ore returning 179 ounces to the ton, a second shipment of 11 tons returning 275 ounces.  This mine has three shafts, one of 50 and two of 10 feet in depth.  The strike of the vein is northerly and southerly.  A car-load of ore has been sent to Denver for treatment, which returned 275 ounces in silver to the ton, and another car-load of first-class ore is about ready.  There are about 80 tons of second class ore on the dumps.  The Flagstaff is a parallel vein to the American Flag, and is adjacent to it.  The vein is 20 feet wide, carrying iron sulphides and oxides, copper carbonates and sulphides, silver sulphides, chlorides, and native silver.  The developments consist of a shaft 20 feet in depth and open cuts.  The American Flag and Flagstaff are formerly known as the Massive and Nourse, being so described in last year’s report, but they were abandoned, were located again and have been sold to a company of which Mr. Alexander Bently is manger, who is rapidly developing them.”  The American Flag is referenced in Bulletin 10 (p. 97) (1934) as: “Along the Bullfrog fault and a half a mile south of the Palomas Creek, two properties, the American Flag and the Flagstaff yielded lead sulfide ores in early days.  It is reported that they produced ore worth about $50,000 from a single small surface working and that the ore was taken out of a glory hole under a cave, the total depth of which was only 50 feet.”  In Mineral Belts of Western Sierra County.pdf page 11 (1989), these mines are referred to as: “Other smaller mines include...the American Flag and Flagstaff mines.” And at page 13, “Outlying jasperoid samples, outside the main district, have been collected from...the dump of the American Flag mine.”  An assessment of the material from this mine is given at the bottom of page 13.  

The Palomas Chief is referenced in Bulletin 10 (1934) (p. 95) as “to the west of the Argonaut is the Palomas Chief on the north side.  This mine is located on the fault of the same name, and at least some of the ore appears to be at the junction of an east-west fracture with the fault, which may be the Kendall break along which so much of the ore in the district has been localized.  This property is opened into the face of the cliff by a 2,800-foot tunnel, which followed along the Palomas Chief fault and connected with a shaft 200 feet deep that was sunk from the surface.  There is said to be nearly 10,000 feet of workings in this property, most of which were inaccessible, due to cave at the openings of the mine.  Very little ore was found in the tunnel along the Palomas Chief fault proper, and nearly all of the ore mined was taken out of the shaft before the long and expensive tunnel was connected with it.”  In Mineral Belts of Western Sierra County.pdf page 11 (1989), it is noted that the “Palomas Chief mine at the eastern end of the district...produced more than $100,000 in ore.”

Of the Pelican, the “Report to the Director” (1883) (p. 603) says: “The Pelican, developed by two adits 20 and 125 feet in length with two drifts 20 and 10 feet in length.  It is a bedded vein of large size and continuity, with spurs or tributary branches, the main vein being from 3 to 10 feet in width, of lead carbonates and sulphides carrying silver; copper carbonates, iron oxides, and balls of spherosiderite also occur; the ore of one of the spurs showing large percentages of copper carbonates, iron oxides, and argentiferous galena, making an ore of rich and variegated  appearance.  The westerly heading of the 20-foot drift is in cube galena, which assays 80 per cent lead and 51 to 130 ounces in silver to the ton; an average of 10 feet in depth or carbonates and galena gives 45 per cent lead and 35 ounces silver.  The heading of the 125-foot adit is in a fine body of carbonates and galena.” Bulletin 10 (1934) (p. 96) has an extended discussion of the Pelican Group, in part it reads: “On the north side of the creek along the Pelican fault is the Pelican group of claims, from which the largest production in the district has come.  This group consists of four patented claims, which cover the outcrop of the northward-trending Pelican and Bullfrog faults and their intersections with the main cross fracture on the north side of Palomas Creek, known as the Kendall break. Numerous tunnels on these claims extend into the side of the hill at the level of the creek.  These tunnels have followed the north-south fractures, of which there are a large number between the major breaks, and crosscuts from them prospect all of the the east-west breaks that are encountered.  Wherever traces of ore were found these were closely followed, and in many places the effort expended in tracing out these tortuous stringers was rewarded by uncovering a shoot or pocket of the typical high grade ore of the the district.  Most of these pockets of ore were found at the intersections of the two sets of fractures, and any where in a vertical distance of 100 feet, although most of them were found in a bed of limestone about 20 feet under the shale horizon.  On the west side of the Pelican fault, the Pelican shaft, with collar 50 feet above the creek level, is 150 feet deep, and its bottom is 164 feet lower than the tunnels of the ore horizon and 120 west of the Pelican fault at that elevation...”  In “Mineral Belts” (1983) (p. 3) it is noted that “Other major mines which have produced more than $1 million worth of ore include the Pelican mine in the Hermosa District.” And at p. 11, “The largest mine was the Pelican, on the north side of South Fork palomas Creek about a mile and a half east of Hermosa; it alone produced about a million dollars worth of ore.” 

Of the Albatross, the “Report to the Director” (p. 603) says: “The Albatross, an eastern extension of the Pelican, is developed by three adits, 108, 35, and 27 feet long.  It is a vein of unknown dimensions, the ore returning 50 to 106 ounces in silver to the ton.”

The Hermosa mining district was very productive during and for a few years after the date of this article.  The ore was rich, and glory holes were common enough, and now it is all melting into the ground.  Such is the legacy and history of mining in the Black Range.




Lake Valley mines

The front page of this issue of The Black Range newspaper was dedicated to ads, “humorous” stories, poems, a discussion about dynamite and how to make it, the first demonstration of the electrical transmission of moving images, and an article about postal rates and postal money orders.

From Page 2

“The Rio Grande Republican remarks that the ‘Palmea soap’ made from the soap weed which abounds in this territory, is kept my all the merchants of its town and finds ready sale among the people.  Here is a new industry practically without limit.”

Herald newspaper moves to Kingston

“Secretary Lincoln is getting himself disliked by the laborers on the Washington monument and other government work under the charge of the war department, because he demands ten hours for a day’s work.  Eight hours is alone required by other departments.  Secretary Lincoln evidently  cannot see why laborers for the government merit privileges not accorded them by individuals and he proposes so long as ten hours is called a day’s work throughout the land he will require equal service for the government.  This will please the people who pay the taxes.”

From Page 3

“Mexican justice is wonderful in its conception and attributes.  Andrew Kelley was arrested and taken before the Mexican alcalde at Canada de Alamosa last week, charged with taking water from the Canada creek on the 4th of May.  Mr. K. proved that he used no water on that date, but the judge said that if he did not take it that day he did some other day, and consequently fined him ten dollars and costs.  Upon Mr. Kelley’s giving notice that he would take an appeal to the district court, the justice averred that there was no opportunity for an appeal, that there was no higher court for such cases.  Mr. Kelley paid his fine and four dollars costs and has gone to Socorro to see what he can do in the premises.”  (See related article to the right and below.)


“Jack Farrell met with a narrow escape from death, last week, in the shaft of the Americano, at Hermosa.  He had set the tapers to the fuses of four blasts and was being hoisted from the shaft, his foot in the loop of the windlass rope.  When about twenty-five feet from the bottom his hat fell off, and with his proverbial carelessness he let go both hands from the rope to grab at the head gear.  Of course he fell backwards and landed on the rocky bottom of the shaft.  The fortunate part of the occurrence was that when he landed he extinguished the fire from all four of the snuffs and thus prevented the explosion which would otherwise have made mine mean of his anatomy.  The fall bruised him a little, only.”

“Col. A. A. Robinson, chief engineer of the A. T. & S. F. Railroad, visited the range this week with a view of ascertaining for the company what inducements this country offers to the building of a branch.  Under the guidance of Judge. J. B. Adams of Grafton, Mr. Robinson spent Wednesday in rambling on the hills, and many of the best ore producers here were visited.  Judge Adams is probably as well acquainted with the range as any man in it and was therefore fully qualified as a guide.  What Mr. Robinson did not see he heard of, and from what he did see he could form a very correct opinion as to the truth or falsity of that  which he was told about.  Mr. Robinson stated to the Range Reporter that the company was ready and willing to build branches into all sections where there was sufficient business, present or immediately prospective, to justify, and he gave it as his opinion that work would begin on a line heading this way at an early date.  He seemed to be very favorably impressed with the number and size of the ore dumps that he saw and it is fair to suppose that his report upon the construction will be favorable.  He could not say whether this line would come from Socorro or Engle, nor where it would end, but that it would not be long in making a start at dirt throwing.  This is good news, for with a railroad handy the ore here could be gotten to smelters at figures with the bounds of reason, or there could easily be works got here.”

Grafton: “The Grafton hotel has closed up.  Mrs. Scales became ill and Mr. Scales concluded to take a rest.”

Grafton: “The Occidental has been hoisting water during this week and last and it must have the shaft about clear by this time.”

Grafton: “W. E. Taylor has received word from A. Rush Bowe conveying the news that the hoisting machinery and pumps for the Royal Arch were on the cars enroute to the range.  This is good news.”


Grafton: “The shaft of the Alaska is about one hundred feet deep and the moist condition of the ground means that water is not far off.  The advent of water is not feared now  as the size of this shaft renders it an easy matter to manage the flow with the machinery on hand. ... A. H. Sellers, secretary and manager of the Chicago and New Mexico mining company, of which Judge Adams is superintendent, visited the range this week and took a look at the various properties here shown.  Mr. Sellers has been in the range  twice before and was not a stranger.  He is quite confident of the future of the Alaska mine and has no doubt that the company will find rich and abundant mineral when the ledge is reached by the shaft now being sunk.  He is well pleased with the manner in which the superintendent is conducting the work, but he strongly objects to paying four dollars per day for labor.”

Fairview: “John A. Anderson has put out some strawberry plants on his ranch on Bear Creek.  The income from a good bearing strawberry patch in this country would equal that of the best producing mine in New Mexico.”

Chloride: “Westerman & Co. have laid a sidewalk in front of their building preparing for the rainy season.”

Chloride: “Three milk wagons disturb the slumbers of Chloride people each morning.  It is either a feast or a famine in the milk business in this country.”

Chloride: “Lew Cruise is working in the White Signal tunnel on his own responsibility.  He has a curiosity to see what eight or ten additional feet of development will show up.”

Chloride: “There are about thirty men now working for wages in the mines in the vicinity of Chloride besides the number who are developing their own properties.  This is a big improvement over the late existence of things.”

Chloride: “Information was received here yesterday to the  effect that Hagan’s Peak Tunnel which was run fifty-seven feet on Thursday is now in mineralized rock which indicates that very rich ore is not far off.  The miners working on the property have taken 8,000 shares of stock in payment of wages, thereby showing their faith in the property.”


Chloride: “Horace McGinnis who with his father has a ranch on the Caliente Creek told Mr. Hill of the Canada de Alamosa party, who came up to his place to cut the irrigating ditches that if this thing continued somebody would get a bullet hole in him, and Mr. Hill claiming that Horace had threatened his life, with the assistance of his fifty followers forced the boy upon a horse and took him Canada de Alamosa, but they let him go soon after reach the town.”

You may read this entire issue at this link: The Black Range Newspaper, issue of May 23, 1883, the file is 2.2 MB in size.



What else was going on in the world? In that year,
the first international tennis match was held at Wimbledon.  
Prior to that year only British players had participated.


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