NOT SO GLITTERING
Are the Golds Prospects in Alaska.
A KLONDIKE LETTER
From A Miner Who is a University Graduate.
He Warns Against the Many Dredging Schemes Being Promoted in this Country and Sums up the Whole Situation.,
Luther E. Campbell, a graduate of the law department, who is now in the Klondike, writes to Mr. and Mrs. E. S. Cushman in this city from Dawson City under date of Dec. 27, a letter containing a very succinct state ment of the conditions there which coming as it does from a man with mining experience in the west and in Mexico is entitled to considerable weight and varies materially from the rosy views of the Klondike sent out by promoters. Mr. Campbell says :
"First, let me say that the riches of the Klondike district were vastly overrated by true press and private reports which went out last year. The total output of gold so far from the entire Klondike and Indian River district is less than $12,000,000 and and this was from five creeks, Bonanza, Eldorado, Hunker, Bear and Last Chance. With perhaps half a million taken in the early summer from Sulphur and Dominion. These discoveries were all made and staked prior to 1898, but it was generally believed that the territory contiguous to these paying streams was open to location and that there would be many new discoveries during the past summer. In this hope there was a rush of adventurous gold seekers from all parts of the world, and the passes leading over the Alaskan coast range were thronged by the thousands who thought they had but to reach Dawson, stake a claim, and begin shovelling out the nuggets, which lined the bottom of all the stream about the Klondike. As an illustration of the trend of thought in the states or this point, I cite you the various companies organized to dredge the Yukon river bed, to sluice with hydraulic pumps, and a multitude of other project which emanate from the fertile brain of the "promoter. " The ridiculousness of these proposition is apparent when I tell you that the river and streams freeze from the bottom up, and that a hole was burned down 65 feet on a bar of the Yukon this summer and frozen dirt found the entire distance to bed rock. The same is true of the Klondike and all the rivers north of Ft. Selkirk and the Pelly rivers. They freeze from both ways, up and down, from September on. So much for climatic conditions. There were, it is estimated, between 30,000 and 35,000 of men en route to the gold fields, over the tracts and via St. Michaels, and of the probable one half or two-thirds reached Dawson during the open season of 1898. Many turned back from the first steep climb at Dyea and Skaguay, but a large number came on in and are prospecting and exploring the upper Pelly, Millan, Stewart and White rivers. Of those who kept on hoping to locate in the Klondike district, there are more than 5,000 to day in and around Dawson idle, discontented, and unless new strikes of importance are made within the next few months, soon to be starving. Nothing of importance has been found during 1898, and after "wild-catting" everything around Dawson 50 miles and getting the "Chee'choko" (Indian for "a new man to the country") to prospect the ground. the Yukoner is beginning to realize that about all the paying ground lies in the few small streams discovered in 1896 and 1897. As if this of itself were not sufficient to discourage the newcomer, there was a still greater obstacle to surmount in the flagrant abuse of privilege and power in high governmental and official positions. It must be apparent that a thoroughly organized ring, headed by the governor general of the territory and extending through the various official positions, could so manipulate the records as to exclude any undesirable person or persons from access to their books. I should first explain that the recording office is presided over by a gold commissioner, whose office is appointive, and that appeal from his decision, relative to a claim is taken to the governor general whose decision is final, for all practical purposes, as no one can afford to spend a year to carry an appeal to Ottawa, the seat of government. Such a ring was organized and its practical working effects have been felt by every man who has attempted to put ground on record for the past eight months. Bribery and corruption were rampant and it became impossible for any one unless backed by the official sanction, to place ground of any known value on record. This state of affairs continued until late in July, the miners decided to take a hand and endeavor to bring about a change. Indignation meetings were held every evening for several weeks in which the territorial administration was scored vigorously, and a petition signed by several thousand names, was forwarded to Ottawa, asking that a new staff be appointed. To the credit of the Dom union government this petition was promptly acted upon, and Oct. 1, the Hon. Win. Ogilvie reached Dawson to succeed Major Walsh as governor general. Since then the old gang has been steadily weeded out and Jan. 1, the last leprous blot on the ex -official list, Mr. Fawcett, is superceded by a new gold commissioner. . A better, and we hope, a fairer man. On American soil the miners would have risen in arms and lynched the whole crew of them from Walsh down, and there is a lack of the proper spirit among the "Cheechokos" here, or there would have been a hanging long ago.
"Perhaps yon would be interested in a brief outline of my trip in. I reached Skaguay April 25 last, per Ste. Coquitlain, and was something less than a month packing and sledding my outfit, consisting of 1,500 pounds of stores and provisions, to Lake Benuett. There I built my boat (on the model of the celebrated Peterboro Canoe), and embarked June 12, on the down trip. I ran the Canyon and White Horse rapids successfully ; made the lower lake, (La Barge,) and Thirty mile river without incident worthy of note; came near swamping in the Five Fingers rapids, and in eight days from leaving Bennett, was tied up at the Dawson water front, which for several miles was covered with boats of every description. Early in August I went down to the Forty-Mile Country and locate some ground on Alaskan soil. I have altogether about 14 claims in that district. On my return here in September I began suit for the privilege of recording a claim on Eldorado, which I learned to be vacant, and which I staked according to law. Mr. Fawcett promptly decided against me but on Ogilvies accession to office, I carried the case up and won it, getting 149 feet of the upper half of section 9, Eldorado, left limit. I have a claim on Kentucky and another on Thistle Creek, both being recent rich strikes but covering no considerable extent of ground, the creeks being small. I am also the possessor of one of the most comfortable little log shacks, or shanties, in or around Dawson, where I retire on cold frosty evenings to smoke my pipe and meditate on the hopeless state of the Yukon Cheechoko. A few days ago I met an ex-U of M man named Talyor, who is here with Vrooman's Chicago Co. and from him heard some news of the old college town. "
IN GREAT NUMBERS IN STRAW STACKS WITH NETS.
Nearly 7,000 Sparrows Killed in Sharon Net Nearly $135 Make the Largest Sparrow Order Issued.
The largest sparrow order ever paid in this county was paid this week when Lewis Dresselhouse, treasurer of Sharon township, called on County Clerk Schuh and turned in the orders he had cashed in that township and received therefore an order for $133.84 which County Treasurer Menu paid. This represents 6,692 sparrows killed in Sharon since the last sparrow orders were cashed from there. Mr. Dresselhouse, when asked how he explained so large a catch of sparrows said they were not all shot by the boys. Many of them roost at hight in straw stacks and the boys had rigged up large nets which they let down over the straw stacks and sometimes 100 were caught at a time in this way. Such a haul would net $2. County Treasurer Mann said that his man had caught 75 or 80 in a barn into which they had taken refuge in bad weather by fastening a stirring to the door and pulling it shut when they were inside. He then waited until after dark when with a lantern he found them sleeping and was enabled to pick them up.
New Way of Thawing Pipes in Ann Arbor .
Thawing out water pipes by electricity in Ann Arbor is proving a great success. After much trouble Dr. A. K. Hale president of the water company secured the necessary apparatus and yesterday President Hale and Supt. Stevens of the Ann Arbor Electric Co; commenced their experiments. They first thawed out two service pipes very successfully and then 550 feet of mains on Lawrence st. The apparatus although very effective is not perfect. Dr. Hale terms what has been done simply an experiment. Tomorrow service pipes on Liberty st. are to be opened. Only 50 volts of electricity are used. This new plan of thawing the ice in water pipes was first tried in Madison, Wis., and is proving a great success everywhere. The electricity generates enough heat to melt the ice and effects a very great saving in expense.
A writer on dancing estimates that eighteen waltzes are equal to about fourteen miles of heel-and-toe work. And yet many a girl who is too frail to walk down into the kitchen can cover about sixteen miles of ballroom floor per evening.- Judy.