Local Column

Mark Twain

Virginia City Territorial Enterprise/April 3, 1863

A DISTINGUISHED VISITOR—Madame Clara Kopka arrived in Virginia a few days since, and is still sojourning in the city. To many of our citizens the name will be unfamiliar, yet such is by no means the case in the hospitals and upon the battle-fields of the East, where she has devoted nearly twelve months to arduous labor in tending the sick and wounded soldiers. In this service she has endured all the hardships and privations of camp life, without hope or desire of reward, and to the serious detriment of her health.

She comes among us partly to satisfy a taste for travel, and partly to gather renewed vigor by a change of climate. She asked Mayor Arick for a homestead, supposing, in the simplicity of her heart, that the barren but beautiful landscape which surrounds Virginia was free to any who thought they could make use of it. Unfortunately, this is not the case; but the Silver Terrace Company could give Madame the homestead she covets without inconveniencing themselves in the least, and we have an idea that they will consider it a pleasure to do so.

Madame Kopka brings with her a bundle of letters from military officers, from brigade and subordinate surgeons in the army, from Secretary Stanton, and letters of recommendation to General Halleck, all of which speak of her in the highest terms of praise. We cannot spare room for these letters, but we publish two newspaper extracts which will answer every purpose, perhaps. The first is from a long article, written by an army surgeon, in the N. Y. Home Journal of September 13th, and the other from the N. Y Tribune of July 5th . . .

THE LOIS ANN—This claim is situated in a ravine which runs up in a northwesterly direction out of American Flat, and is on the Ophir Grade, about two miles and a half from Gold Hill. The ledge did not crop out, but was uncovered by a small slide in the hillside, and found by Mr. Lightford, the present Superintendent, and located some four or five weeks ago. A well timbered incline has since been sunk upon it to the depth of twenty-five feet, and work in it is still going on day and night, although a stream of water from the vein materially interferes with the operations of the men.

In the bottom of the incline the ledge is about ten feet wide, has a casing of blue clay, and is well defined; a great quantity of quartz has been taken from it, which looks exactly like third or fourth-class Ophir, but it won’t pay to crush yet awhile, although choice specimens of it have assayed as high as ninety-two dollars to the ton.

We visited the mine in company with Mr. H. C. Brown and Mr. Lightford, the Superintendent, and we share their opinion, that there is big pay rock in it somewhere, and it is only necessary to sink a reasonable depth to find it. Such promising indications as have been found in this claim are not often discovered so near the surface. Three north extensions have been located on the Lois Ann, and shafts sunk, and the lead struck on the first and third, the character and appearance of the rock in both instances proving identical with that of the original—coarse crystallized quartz, of a porous nature, and of a dark blue color like Comstock rock.

There are fourteen hundred feet in the discovery claim, and the property is owned principally by mill men of Gold Hill. One of the best indications about the Lois Ann is at present much the most troublesome—we refer to the stream of water which pours from the ledge; work in the incline will have to be suspended on account of it and a tunnel commenced from the ravine—this will be about a hundred and fifty feet long, and will tap the lead at a depth of seventy-five feet.

A mill-site has been taken up in the vicinity with the intention of turning the water to useful account in case the ledge proves as excellent as it is expected it will. Another good-looking ledge lies back of the Lois Ann, and parallel with it, which belongs to the same company. There is a claim of a thousand feet in the vicinity of these leads which is called the Zanesville, and the rock from it pays in gold from the very surface; every pound of it is saved, and mill men who have tested it say it will yield about a hundred dollars to the ton; there is only a mere trace of silver in it. The ledge is only about two feet wide, in the bottom of a shaft twelve feet deep, but is increasing in width slowly; possibly the Zanesville may peter out and go to thunder, but there is no prospect of such a result at present. It is rich, but as it is only a gold ledge, and is so small, we have less confidence in it than in the Lois Ann.

ISLAND MILL—The Island Mill, built on Carson river by Mr. Hite, of Gold Hill, is about completed now, and the machinery was set in motion yesterday to see if there was anything wrong about it. The result was satisfactory, and the Island Mill will go to work formally and forever next Tuesday.

GOULD & CURRY—They struck it marvelously rich in a new shaft in the Gould & Curry mine last Saturday night. We saw half a ton of native silver at the mouth of the tunnel, on Tuesday, with a particle of quartz in it here and there, which could be readily distinguished without the aid of a glass. That particular half ton will yield somewhere in the neighborhood of ten thousand dollars. We have long waited patiently for the Gould & Curry to flicker out, but we cannot discover much encouragement about this last flicker. However, it is of no consequence—it was a mere matter of curiosity anyhow; we only wanted to see if she would, you know.

THE MINSTRELS—We were present at La Plata Hall about two minutes last night, and heard Sam. Pride’s banjo make a very excellent speech in English to the audience. The house was crowded to suffocation.

The works of Mark Twain and other American journalists are now freely available at The Archive of American Journalism. Visit our bookstore for single-volume collections–-ideal for research, reference use or casual reading.

Advertisements