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Mojave Desert History -
Pioneer of the Mojave
Lane's Silver Mountain Mining DistrictExciting news came in January of 1873 when precious metals were discovered in the hills right across the road from Lane's:
The lead near Capt. A. G. Lane's ranch on the Mohave, proves both richer and more extensive than had been anticipated, a recent assay showing $160 [per ton] in gold, $18 in silver and a large deposit of copper. The Captain thinks there is a chance for some of our idle men to improve their idle moments in his neighborhood.
The prospectors descended upon the hills east of Lane's, and a few weeks later it was announced that a float of rich silver ore had been located near his ranch (a "float" is a piece of rock broken off from a vein and washed downhill from the main outcropping). In early April, Lane arrived in San Bernardino and went in search of the assayer. He wanted to get an evaluation of some rock he had brought with him that was supposed to be "exceedingly rich."
This ore, as it turned out, was from a ledge that had long been searched for, as it was suspected that such a ledge existed based on a float discovered several years earlier. Lane was jubilant. He called the hill where he found the ore, "Silver Mountain," and began a new mining district which he named after himself.
The Captain staked out three claims in Lane's Mining District, or the Silver Mountain Lane District as it was also called, in the first half of 1873. In early May the Guardian reported that "Capt. Lane arrived in town Sunday with another lot of ore." Later in the month it was noted that he was making weekly trips into town, no doubt providing work for the assayer. The impression derived from the newspaper stories is that he was enjoying himself immensely.
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