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Territorial Enterprise, July 1863

[Item recovered from San Francisco Mining and Scientific Press, July 27, 1863 by Michael Marleau.]


The local of the Territorial Enterprise paid a visit to the Ophir mine, on the 14th instant, one day before the recent extensive "cave." We give the following extracts from his report of that visit:

We entered the "north mine" through a tunnel in the vicinity of the Ophir office, and traversed it through endless drifts and shafts, and climbing down from level to level, on dizzy and uncertain ladders, which seemed to rest on solid darkness. We even saw the "Ophir hore," which has gained such celebrity on the Pacific coast, and we cannot say that we were altogether satisfied with it.

* * *

We saw the old Virginia ledge, also, where it is cut in a tunnel, and there is nothing in it -- not even quartz. And we saw a very curious thing, in the shape of a broad ledge of red, rotten quartz, running east and west, straight across the Comstock vein! It contains a trace of silver -- about twelve dollars to the ton. Here and there, in the countless chambers of the north mine, excellent ore is found, but as a general thing, the lead is not near so rich here as it is further south. We went down to the fifth level, and passed under the Spanish mine, reached the main Ophir south of it. Here, vast quantities of first, second and third class rock are being excavated, day and night. A drift has been started, for the purpose of striking the rich streak of ore recently found in the Spanish mine; it will have to be carried fifty feet further before the object can be accomplished. A weary descent of an apparently bottomless staircase, brought us to the lowest gallery -- the sixth. It was sloppy in some places, on account of the stream of water struck in the back ledge, four or five months ago, and which continues to flow in considerable volume. From this depth -- 313 feet below the surface, Mr. Wilder sunk a shaft a hundred feet deeper, but struck water, and had to abandon it. The Latrobe tunnel, however, will drain it before long. The Ophir mine is in superb condition, and under the watchful care of its officers, all its concerns proceed with the smoothness and regularity of a faultless machine.

[Item recovered from San Francisco Mining and Scientific Press, July 27, 1863 by Michael Marleau.]


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