Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Improved Weather Allows Mining to Begin Around Florence

On May 15, 1863, the owner of a claim near Florence wrote to a friend in Lewiston and said, “We are having excellent weather now, and, the snow is rapidly disappearing. We expect to commence sluicing tomorrow.”

This was a turnaround from the previous month [sesquicentennial blog, April 16], when the snow was three feet deep. Then, continued cold weather had produced little run-off, so there was no water for placer mining. That had not, however, kept prospectors from searching for new, rich ground. Some of those men had been successful, and had just been waiting for a chance to start.

According to the letter writer, that time had finally come: “Miners around Florence are beginning active operations, and in a short time few can complain of hindrance from snow. Present indications are that our claims will pay much better than they did last season.”

Reference: “Letter from Idaho Territory,” Evening Bulletin, San Francisco, California (June 6, 1863).

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