COMMUNICATED. Mariposa Gazette, January 1900-submitted by William Disbro

     On one of the fairest days in the year's calender, your
correspondent left Coulterville for Bull Creek. Our objective point on
that famed stream of water was the Compromise mine, known to the mining
world as Marble Springs. We went by the way of Dogtown and Date's Flat.
Dogtown is the home of several of Mariposa county's most successful
pocket miners. Men such as Frank HOWETH, George JEFFREY, Judge KING,
Roland DEXTER and other nugget experts live in this city. Houses are a
scarce article in the town and we saw the visage of but one dog but that
visage is what makes dogs scarce in this one time city of dogs. When
these above named  pocket hunters scatter themselves over the hills in
quest of the festive nugget it is a lucky pocket that escapes their
expert eyes. We expect to see Dogtown to change its name to Nugget town
in the near future. Every week some of these men uncover a rich pocket,
and the world is never the wiser. Above Dogtown the road slants towards
the stars until Date's Flat is reached. Our first stopping place was Dan
HOELTZEL's. This is one of our county's finest farms and the owner one
of our most popular citizens. He is not quite so popular as he once was,
as his large family of daughters are all married. We passed the Red
Cloud mine and report says that it will be re-opened soon. Near there we
saw two Indian women with their papooses strapped in a basket and
wondered if Lucy HITE and Pocahontas were ever carried in the same way.
Then we passed Bower Cave, Fritz WENGER lives there at present. Then the
school house was passed. Here we turned off the main road for the
Compromise mine, and at the mine found Miner HILLIARD one of the owners.
The mine is not in a condition to examine just now as it is filled with
water to the hundred foot level, Mr. HILLIARD has found the foot wall
ledge and is working to drain a portion of the mine so he can prospect
it further. He showed us some very valuable specimens. A sight of them
is good for the sore eyes and emphasizes the fact that the Compromise
mine contains the most beautiful specimens in California. The quartz is
milk white mixed with galena that is very bright with steel blue
sulphurets, mixed all through this is the yellowest of gold in thick
profusion. That the old Marble Spring mine is very rich the surrounding
environments seem to assure. Its past history is part of the rich
stories of our country's mineral wealth. Mr. HILLIARD expects to
commence crushing rock before to long and it is our prognostication that
it will be a mine second to done in the county in gold production.
             Coulterville to Hornitos.
     From COulterville to Hornitos, via Horse Shoe Bend, affords more
optical splendors of mountain, hill and valley, and at present oceans of
fog, than any other point on our mineral belt. We romanced across the
stretch of mineral country on foot. It is an old trail, worn threadbare
in the early days, and patched up with a strong growth of brush. It
takes a contortionist to thread its mazes and an athlete to climb its
rugged stairs. The trial led us by the Tyro and Columbus mines. Active
preparations are being made by the last named company to take out gold.
As we stood near the Columbus mine we could see the old Wheeler farm,
now owned by the DANARI family. A large brick house causes one to wonder
why such a fine building was ever built in this country. 'Tis said that
away back in the sixties some beautiful woman stirred the minstrelsy of
love's music in old man WHEELER's breast, and with anticipation made
glad by a supposed reciprocal attachment, he built a gorgeous house for
an intended bride but Fate with its rude hand dispelled the dream. The
house was never finished and stands today as the fading dream of a
broken heart.
        We crossed the Merced river at Horse Shoe Bend on a suspension
bridge and passed through the finest orchard and vineyard in our county.
This property belongs to the MAST estate. An orange orchard hangs
bending with its golden load of fruit, rivaling the orange groves of
Riverside in quality and quantity of production, and proving that there
is a future Mariposa county other than the mining industry.
        The climb from the river is over a very rough mountain; the view
as you climb up this immense aclivity broadens until the vision is lost
amid the snowy summits of the Sierras as you look to the north and east,
or rest upon the summit range of the coast mountains across the
eintervening fog. The sunshine was glorious. The climate of Mariposa is
justly celebrated for its agreeableness, its equability and for the
vigor it imparts alike to plant and animal life. Raised on a high
pedestal of the Sierras, above the adjancent San Joagquin valley, we are
exempt from most of the wintry fogs that frequently hang like a pall
over that great valley for weeks at a time. In that respect what to
Stanislaus, Merced and Madera is a source of gloomy depression is to
Mariposa an aesthetic pleasure. This somber for ocean  of th eplains,
viewed from the hills of Mariposa is a simmering silver sea, reflecting
to us the milder rays of the sun, and fanned by the breezes of Spring,
for when it fogs in the valleys it is always sunshiny weathee here. We
are not aerologist enough to tell just why this is so but suffice to say
that it is true. Of course Mariposa has its fog but it is as a rule dry
fog, so to speak, well aerated and refined in our high, pure atmosphere,
it bears none of the scent or heaviness, or clammy chill, or disease
germs of the swamps. Here fog is white, fleccy, elastic rarefied snow
retaining the color and purity without th edamp and chills. It is a
pleasure to breathe the fog of our Sierras, and its presence is hailed
with joy. It does not creep upon us and envelopes us stodly, grimlyand
darkly as a pale vapory ocean, but comes bounding over the hills like
nymphs, an dtrailing and whirling like Dryads from our pine groves, but
let this suffice for the fog, without prevarication we are a little bit
tired of it ourselves. As I gazed out towards the marble spires, through
the saphire air, across the sea of pines, I thought of the future of our
county aside from its productiveness. No where in the world is there
such a summer resort as in the mountains of Mariposa. Yosemite is
already famous the world over, and nothing we might say here would add
anything to its prestige as one of the wonders of the world. But
Yosemite is th egreat nucleus around which we shall ultimately be able
to draw the attention of the world its sublime setting- the nieghboring
Sierras. Wawona has already been recognized to be a veritable gem of the
earth as a camping place. Then there is Hazel Green, nestled quietly and
seclusively amoung the pines, at a altitude of about 5,000 feet. But to
enumerate all the avaiable spots for an ideal summer camp within an easy
days journey of Yosemite would fill a volume. The camping room within
the territory mentioned is practically illimiteable. For freshness of
air and wholesomness of water this region cannot be surpassed. It has
balm for the lungs, beauty to delight the eye, primeval gratitude foe
tired nerves, and unmeasured reaches of grandeur for lovers of the
sublime in nature. W.F.R. (To be continued)



November 23, 2002