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Geowizard

Canals

31 posts in this topic

Great topic.   Around here the ditch companies made a much better profit than the miners ever did, there are over 100 miles of ditches in the Boise Basin District.

 

Ditches don't always parellel the creek, there was a hydraulic operation in Idaho City, that used water from two creeks.

 

The old timers didn't start digging ditches just because pumps were expensive, they dug ditches because they did not have portable pumps, like we have today, even a small pump back then was made out of so much iron that you would not want to keep moving it.

Ronald C and Laurence D like this

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Thank you Geowizard.

 

I know that I was nitpicking, but my interest have been in gold and some silver mining for 35 years, which means I am now an expert liar, because Mark Twain has described a mine as "a hole in the ground owned
by a liar.

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That is one way of "experimenting" lifting water, to a "ditch".       the success of their experiment is only claimed by the pumping station, I would expect their results to be favorable, on their behalf.

 

That certainly is a rare method for hydraulic mining, of that time period, not very practical.

 

F.Y.I. Canals and ditches are not the same thing.

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I do see that it may not be the pumping plant that made the claim, but then, who did?

 

The history of the west has shown that someone making outlandish claims of success about a mine, town or district etc. was not only tolerated but accepted as fact.

 

Newspapers were the worst at embellishing claims of any kind, just as long as it benefitted them, and they exploit the  news in order to attract customers, and to get more customers they always have good things to say about any mine, town or district, but just about where they happen to live.

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when I was staking my claims in the Bonnefield district in Alaska I was going up the side of a mountain on my Polaris 6wheeler. It was to steep for a 4 wheeler when I came to a super thick line of alder, once climbing into the thicket I realized there was a ditch and the alder had taken it over. I guess it was 4-5 ft deep and over a 1/4 mile long. getting back on the main trail and looking over on the side of the hill I could make out the alder line, old timers(archives go back to 1905-1909) must have hand dug this to divert spring run off to go to the head of the small creek in the tundra.

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I know of one ditch that was applied for and granted to a sawmill operator in the 1880s close to Idaho City, on the hill were the  ditch turns toward the sawmill, there are four ditches below it, in about two hundred feet of elevation.

 

And those are the ditches on the west side of the creek, on the east side there are even more ditches.

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The advantage is that you had water to mine with!! :)

There was no water upstream to divert.

The area that they were mining had winter runoff 3 months a year then no more mining.

I know, I own 93 acres of it and I had water part of April,  May and June this year from rain runoff.

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Yes and the point stands, pumping water for a placer mine, and using steam pumps, is not practical at all.

 

An acre of ground is not a good example of how well steam pumps can be used for placer mining.

 

Most all hydaulic operations used diches [not canals] for a practical water source.

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First off your source is not to be trusted, it is a newspaper, not a mining report.

 

Second where does it say, how much did it cost per yard to pay for the pumps.

 

A mine might be profitable at $5 a yard, but not when you spend $4 a yard on water.

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It's just like my other post about small scale smelters, that were used in the 1920s.

 

Small scale smelters are not practical.  But yes people did it, just not for very long.

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Geowizard

 

Go back and read the hole thread and then there should not be any understanding.

 

What you posted does not come close to the subject, except for pumps and newspapers.

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"History has proven that most newspapers in the west were very biased, when it concerned the town, population, wealth and mines in the area, because it was profitable for them to be biased.

 

Maybe try some research to avoid misunderstanding.

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Normally, in most mining texts, waterways constructed for mining purposes are called ditches. You may have started this thread, but no, you don't own it.

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