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Mojave Desert History -
Pioneer of the Mojave
Lane's Snow Storm MineLane's ninth claim, the Snow Storm, caused some excitement. The claim was recorded with the Ord Mountain Mining District in the summer of 1871, and though production figures do not exist for the mines of the period, it appears to have been one of the more successful discoveries in the district.
In October 1874, three years after the claim was located, enough interest had been generated in the Snow Storm mine that the editor of the San Bernardino Weekly Argus requested George W. Perrie to investigate the site. Perrie, a mining engineer and an employee of Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin in Bear Valley, reported that the mine was about 80 miles from San Bernardino via Rabbit Springs, and was at the 5,150-foot elevation at a point where the mountain was capped with scoriated lava.
"The ledge," Perrie wrote, "crops out boldly over 2,000 feet, the greatest extent of the vein not visible being less than 50 feet." The width of the ledge averaged five feet, being three feet at its narrowest point. Specimens from the entire length carried gold, and it was estimated the ore would mill at about $34.50 per ton. The work done up to that time consisted of an open cut across the ledge to a depth of twelve feet.
Perrie commented on the abundance of feed for stock growing in the vicinity, and noted there were three springs within a radius of two miles, more than sufficient, he felt, for the mining of the ore. He calculated that a road to the Mojave River, distant some sixteen miles to the north, could be constructed for about $5,000. From that point the ore could be shipped to the railhead, at that time located at Spadra, and supplies received in the opposite direction at one and one-half cents per pound. Perrie did not mention the names of the mine owners, nor how much the locators were paid for their claims, but if the finder's fee had been substantial, it would have been leaked to the press.
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