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along the western base of the Inyo mountains, there are a vast number of gold and silver bearing lodes, not generally of large size, and sometimes much broken up on the surface, but nearly all of great rich
. The metals are chiefly a combination of silver, lead, copper, and antimony, a union rendering reduction by smelting necessary. The district has a length of about fifty miles with an average width of six miles, there being within its limits about five hundred miners, the most of them Mexicans. On the foot-hills and mountains adjacent to the mines are scattered groves of piñon and juniper, but many parts of the district are badly off for water, supplies being scanty in the dry season and obtainable only by digging. A large number of rude and cheaply constructed furnaces have been built for smelting the ores, which by this treatment yield, with a little selection, from one hundred to three hundred dollars to the ton. There are also a number of arastras in the district, some of the ores containing free gold and yielding liberally under this mode of working. With the aid of even moderate amount of capital, very little of which has ever yet been invested in these mines, their product of bullion, it is believed by those most conversant with their character, could be multiplied many fold, rendering their more extended working largely and almost certainly remunerative.
Between the years 1861 and 1865, a number of mining districts were organized in different parts of this county, in some of which a good deal of prospecting work was done and several mills were put up Owing, however, to the rebellious disposition of the ores, the occurence of Indian hostilities and other obstacles, incident to the then condition of this region or inherent in the mines themselves, no satisfactory results waited upon any of these enterprises. Under the more favorable circumstances now existing, some of these efforts are about to be resumeda marked degree of success being confidently anticipated.
There are now fourteen quartz mills in this county, several of them costly and of considerable capacity, and all driven by steam except four. They carry a total number of one hundred and thirty stamps, and cost in the aggregate about $350,000. There is but a single water ditch in the county of any magnitude, the San Carlos canal taking water from Owen's river, and conducting it along its banks for milling and irrigating purposes. It extends a distance of fifteen miles, and cost about thirty thousand dollars.
Tehama county, erected in 1856, has the following boundaries, viz. : Shasta on the north, Plumas and Butte on the east, Butte and Colusa on the south, and Mendocino and Trinity on the west. Its length, east and west, is about seventy-eight miles, and its average breadth thirty-eight miles, giving it a superficial area of nearly three thousand square miles. The county is bordered on the west by the Coast Range of mountains-its eastern portion being covered by numerous outlying spurs of the Sierra Nevada. The latter are well timbered with forests of spruce and pine, suitable for making lumber. The Coast Range contains only an inferior species of oak and pine, while there is but little timber of any kind elsewhere in the county—the cottonwood and sycamore formerly growing along the Sacramento and other streams, being now nearly all cut away.
Tehama is almost exclusively a farming and stock raising countythere being a large body of rich alluvial soil in the valley of the Sacramento river, running centrally across it, and along the several large creeks that flow from the mountains on either hand. Here is a broad scope of the best grain growing land in the State, while the hills are everywhere covered with wild oats and bunch grass, affording rich and ample pasturage for the herds of sheep, horses and cattle that constantly feed upon them. The numerous streams afford abundant means for irrigation-an aid not often needed for maturing the cereal crops, though employed to some extent in the gardens, orchards and vineyards.
In 1865, there were, according to the Assessor's report, 70, 715 acres of land enclosed in this county, of which about 16,000 were under cultivation ; 7,832 acres, sown to wheat, yielded 147,478 bushels ; 8,068 acres, sown to barley, yielded 153,965 bushels; and 25 acres, planted to oats, produced 1,080 bushels. In the year 1866, 13,424 acres of wheat gave a product of 270,035 bushels-a less quantity of this grain having been raised the following season, though a greater area of land was sown ; the crops having suffered, as was the case in many other localities in the State, from an excess of rain at one period, and an insufficiency at another. Several thousand bushels of Indian corn are raised here every season ; a considerable amount of broom corn being also grown.
The climate of this region is well suited to viniculturethere being now more than a half million grape vines in the county,
and several thousand gallons of wine having been made annually for a number of years past.
Latterly, much attention has been given to sheep raising in Tehama, and as the soil and climate are well suited to this business, wool will, most likely, in the course of a few years, form one of its most important staples.
Tehama contains four grist mills, capable of grindirig four hundred barrels of flour daily. They carry twelve run of stone, and cost, in the aggregate, about $90,000.
As there is little or no placer mining carried on in this county, no water ditches, other than those required for irrigation, have been constructed, while an almost exclusive devotion to agricultural pursuits has prevented the inhabitants engaging in the business of manufacturingabout the only thing done in this line being the making of flour and lumber. There are two saw mills in the county, both driven by water, and of but moderate capacity. The assessable value of the property in Tehama county was placed at $950,589 in 1865, and at $1,557,925 in 1867—showing a gratifying advance during this period.
Owing to the generally favorable character of the country, but few costly wagon roads have been required in this county, and, consequently, but little money has been expended on these improvements; the citizens, however, have contributed liberally towards building roads leading over the Sierra—the county having issued its bonds in the sum of $40,000 to aid the construction of the Red Bluff and Honey Lake turnpike, opening the shortest wagon route from the navigable waters of the Sacramento to northwestern Nevada and southern Idaho.
The population of Tehama numbers about seven thousand, of whom a large proportion are women and children. Red Bluff, the county seat, occupies a handsome site on the right bank of the Sacramento river, and contains two thousand five hundred inhabitants. It is a prosperous and growing town, and, being at the head of steamboat navigation on that river, enjoys a thrifty trade, not only with the different parts of the county, but also with points east of the Sierra—the amount of freight shipped from this place for the Humboldt and Owyhee mines being large, and increasing every year.
Tehama, twelve miles south of the county seat, on the same side of the river, has a population of about five hundred. Being near the point of confluence of several large creeks with the Sacramento, along each of which there is much fine land, it is the center of and supply point for an extensive farming district, extending in every direction around it.
Cottonwood, Moon's ranch, and Grove City are rural hamlets, containing from fifty to one hundred inhabitants each—there having been at one time several small mining camps in the county, the most of which are now abandoned.
In 1864, at which time there was much attention being paid to the discovery of copper, a great many lodes carrying the ores of this metal, often mixed with gold and silver, were located and partially prospected in the eastern part of the county. A town named Copper City sprang up at these mines, and a population of several hundred were for a time gathered there. A four-stamp mill was subsequently put up, the only one ever erected in the county, and ran for a period with fair success; the quartz, though somewhat difficult of reduction, having been found to yield from twenty to thirty dollars to the ton. Of late, but little has been done in the district-the population having mostly left-though it is believed the lodes are really valuable, and that they will yet be worked with profit—the facilities for extracting and reducing their contents being good.
In the northeastern part of the county are numerous volcanic cones, some of them regularly shaped and very steep; and rising several hundred feet above the country adjacent, they often become striking objects in the surrounding landscape.
All the streams heading in the Sierra run in deep cañons which open upon the Sacramento valley in gate-like chasms, the lava formation through which they flow terminating here with an abrupt edge. Below this is a barren, treeless belt, covered with volcanic fragments, which, gradually sloping to the west, merges in the fertile bottom lands along the river. The latter, in places, more especially along the water courses, still contain much timber, a great deal of that formerly found on these plains having been cut for fuel and fencing.
The Tuscan, formerly known as the Lick springs, lying to the northeast of Red Bluff, having quite a reputation for their medicinal virtues in certain cases, are much resorted to by invalids from the surrounding country-a bathing establishment and boarding house having been erected for their accommodation. The water has a temperature of about seventy-six degrees, and contains salt, soda, lime and borax, in various proportions.
Butte county, so named from the Sutter Buttes, a group of
prominent peaks lying a few miles south of its border, or perhaps from a low serrated mountain range within its limits, is bounded on the northwest by Tehama, on the northeast by Plumas, on the southeast
by Yuba, on the south by Sutter, and on the west by Colusa county; its extreme length north and south being a little over sixty, and its average breadth about thirty-five miles. It is the only county in the State possessing an almost equal importance in an agricultural and mineral point of view. Skirted by the Sacramento river on the west, it embraces a large portion of the rich bottom lands along that stream; while, running through it from north to south, is the extensive and fertile valley of Feather river, with those of its several branches, giving it a large area of the finest farming lands in the State. Along the main Feather river, as well as on its South, its West and Middle Forks, and throughout the country lying between them, there is a broad scope of mineral land, forming the theatre of very active and remunerative mining operations.
The county is well watered—the western part by Rock, Chico, Butte, Mesilla and other smaller creeks, and the eastern by Feather river, its three main forks and their numerous tributaries; along all of which there is more or less rich interval land. The greater part of the county is level; only the eastern and northern sections rising into the foot-hills of the Sierra Nevada, while the northwestern is crossed by a number of low ridges, separating the several creeks that run through that region. The county along its northern and eastern border is well timbered ; the interior and western part thereof being without forest suitable for lumber-much of it without a sufficiency of wood even for fuel. There are ten saw mills in Butte, each of which cuts barely enough lumber to meet the requirements of its own neighborhood, none being exported.
The citizens of this county, besides building many wagon roads for local conveniences, have aided in constructing others running into the more important mining districts, and one leading from Chico, on the Sacramento river, across the Sierra-a route by which much freight, destined for northern Nevada and the Owyhee mines, has gone forward during the past few years. Through the aid of a railroad extending from Oroville, near the center of the principal agricultural districts, to Marysville, the head of navigation on Feather river, and by means of the Sacramento river, also navigable, the farmers of Butte enjoy good facilities for shipping their produce to San Francisco, the controlling market.
The population of this county is estimated at about twelve thousand. The real and personal property therein, exclusive of mines, was assessed in 1866 at $5,128,358, giving an average of $427 to each inhabitant; and which, if the value of the mines were included, would make this,