G W Towle
The Free Lance
24 Jun 1898 --
Letter From the TOWLE Bros. -- We are indebted to the courtesy of L.W.
JEFFERSON for the following letter which will be of interest to many of
Cooper Creek, Alaska
April 30, 1898
Mr. W.B. HAYFORD
I expect you are anxious to hear from us. Well, we have made the trip all
right and are now camped at Cooper Creek. Have everything with us. We
made things howl when we got to the lake. There is where the horses came
in for a share of the work. We made the 25 miles in just 6 days. On the
last trip we made, it was 2500 pounds to each horse. Made the trip down
and back in just 2 days. We were 2 months, to the day, in making the trip
from San Francisco. We arrived here on the 22nd of August.
I think there is going to be some big discoveries here this season. I
believe Cooper Creek is rich. This is the first year there has been any
mining on it. There are 3 men at work sluicing, and though they have not
yet got to the bedrock -- are merely sluicing the top gravel -- they are
making $6 per day to the man. I think it will be very rich in the
bedrock. The gold they secure is exactly like our gravel bank, and
evidently that is where it comes from. Stetson Creek is the only creek
that puts into Cooper Creek. Between here and there, and above Stetson
creek, you can?t get a color. We all agree that Stetson Creek is the
source of supply for Cooper Creek.
We have located about 700 acres above and below our claims. I have not
been to the mines yet, so can not give any opinion yet. Some of the boys
that have been up there say it is far above what it has been represented
to be. The only thing now is to get to work as quick as possible. We will
have to pack from here to the mines. I do not think it is over 5 miles.
The boys called it 7 miles last year. We were making trail yesterday,
to-day it is snowing. There is considerable snow at the mine yet, but it
is fast disappearing. We have our goods cached so they will be safe and
dry. Our greatest difficulty will be to get enough to eat. This region
beats the deck for appetite. A man will eat about 3 times as much here as
he would in California, consequently our grub is disappearing very fast.
We will not have more than enough to last until about the first of
August. The sugar is about out. I have informed the men that when it is
gone they will have to do without it, for we cannot get any more before
Will write again, when I have a chance to send the letter out.
PS: Regards to all inquiring friends. Tell them that I believe we have a
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