The Nature of the Ore and Where Found.A Promising Future for Pitkin County.In 1879, in the heat of the summer, a little band of prospectors straggled over this way from the scene of their recent exploration, the Elk Mountain range, and then located a number of properties which have since made this camp famous throughout the land. The Ute at that time ranged through this section at his own sweet will, with none to molest or to make afraid, and a contemplated visit to this little band of prospectors occasioned them to weigh anchor and sail out. Some few returned and wintered at the eastern extremity of the town, called Ute City. In the spring of 1880 came others, an immense amount of prospecting was done, to the total neglect of town building, and other choice locations were made. The coming winter occasioned preparation, and along late in the fall a few houses were built, but it was not until after January first that our fair city took on its present forms and importance.The basis of our prosperity is the mineral about us, and Aspen City is located at almost the center of a belt of mineral which can be traced by the out-cropping ore or wall-rock a distance of nearly thirty miles from Frying Pan to the Taylor range. Aspen is upon the narrowest part of the belt, where it is not even a quarter of a mile wide, while at the south end of the belt at Ashcraft it is thought to be eight or nine miles wide, and at Frying Pan some three or four miles.The ore is found between the silurian and metamorphis or granite formations, and consists of galena, chlorides, native silver in various forms, and bromides. At the south end of the belt it contains a great deal of copper. There is of course a large portion of the territory as yet but imperfectly prospected, and energy, combined with judgment and skill, will doubtless disclose many another claim equal perhaps in value to any yet developed.THE SMUGGLERis as well known as most any mine in Colorado, and is situated at the base of Smuggler mountain. Its ore is a fine grained galena with native silver freely interspersed in the forms of leaf and wire. There are three development shafts, the deepest of which is about sixty feet, the mineral improving to the bottom. From this shaft, two drifts and cross cuts have been run, proving up a continuous body of ore about twenty feet wide, which assays upon an average from 40 to 100 ounces silver.The north extension of the Smuggler is the J. C. Johnson, a fine property, promising with like development to equal the Smuggler itself. This claim is better known as the Smuggler No. 2, a misnomer.Three claims of the Smuggler Mining company, to the north of it, are developed by shafts from 30 to 100 feet deep. The vein has not yet been uncovered in them, but certainly passes through that territory, and the work is being rapidly prosecuted with the certainty of success.South of the Smuggler is the MOLLIE GIBSONowned by the Josephine Mining company of Denver, from which already has been taken rock assaying a few ounces in silver.THE GUNNISONis the next location, and is on the right bank of Roaring Fork river, developed by a shaft 55 feet, lying directly in course between the Smuggler and the SPAR.This is one of the finest properties in Colorado, situated on the north slope of Aspen mountain, from which ore has been shipped to Leadville by jack-trains all winter, always securing a handsome profit, while the expense of shipping and reducing has been very heavy.The last shipment of a little more than five tons returned $13,500 to the lucky owners.The THOUSAND-AND-ONE, MOHAWK, FROLIC, CHANCE and STELLA adjoin the Spar and are excellent prospects.THE DURANTcontinues the Spar course, and only needs development to place it among the first of all the claims in this section. The mineral is in place and has the same general characteristics as the Spar ore.Then come the CHLORIDE, WAR EAGLE, EUREKA, BUENA VISTA and SILVER STAR, all of which are being developed as rapidly as possible, and are of first promise.The HARRISBURG and CAMP BIRD are upon the same line and are splendid claims, with high grade ore in quantity. From them one could be shipped at any time with even our imperfect means of transportation at a profit. The HORN and CASTLES 1 and 2 are in Tourtelott’s Park. The owners are under contract to furnish 300 tons to Corston, Owers & Co.The GRAND VIEW, LITTLE RULE and LAST CHANCE are fine prospects in this immediate vicinity, and the SILVER BELLE has a large amount of development work done.The Castle Rock Mining Company’s claims adjoin this, running down into Queen’s gulch. The best developed claim of the group is the GRAY CARBONATE, showing a very fine vein of splendid ore.Near this last is the SWEDISH QUEEN, averaging above 50 ounces, not as yet very fully developed, but there is every indication of a large body of ore.The EVA BELLA is a fine property, in condition to ship high grade ore, andassays and mill runs can be obtained from 20 ounces up into the hundreds.Captain W. H. Kingsbury’s claims, in the same vicinity, are being rapidly developed under the skillful management of Fred. Bessanger. Fine rock has been shown here in the camp from them, resembling the best from the Chloride.Upon the western end of Aspen mountain are situated the TRAYNOR, PRIDE OF THE HILLS and LATE ACQUISITION, all upon the same 20-foot vein. The ore is low grade, self-fluxing, running heavily in lead, though there are pockets in the vein of very rich stuff, chlorides and sulphurets.THE PIONEER, one of the oldest and best known locations, adjoin the above named excellent mines, and has produced some of the best mineral in camp.The HUNTER’S PRIDE, ELLSWORTH and COPPOROPOLIS have a fine vein from eighteen inches to three feet wide, running about 160 ounces in silver. In these claims the vein is disclosed for two hundred feet.The VESTAL tunnel runs into the mountain at its base more than 100 feet.The BRADLEY tunnel near the point of the mountain is in about 150 feet, and is a finished piece of workmanship. A large amount of work is being done on Hunter’s creek, in the neighborhood of McFarlane’s mill, on the Blodgett and Stants claims.In this our first issue, we are unable to name all the properties in and about Aspen. Our friends whom we have not mentioned will allow haste to excuse what can not be construed as slight or neglect. We will gladly accept the accounts of any developments, strikes or finds. We have the utmost confidence in the future of Pitkin county, and believe our stanch old Governor will yet be proud of the section that bears his name.In future issues we shall treat more particularly of individual claims, entering fully into details. The condition of our mines will always be a feature in this sheet, for we shall work for Old Aspen, and recognize that in her mineral lies her glory, her strength and pride. To-day we have a surer foundation and better promise than had Leadville a little more than two years ago, and labor, capital and machinery will place us just where we belong at the head of all the mining camps in Colorado.
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At the center of allegations of a $2 billion tax fraud scheme, the highest amount the federal government has accused against an American, is a businessman who lives in Houston and Aspen.