Posts Tagged ‘Smith’s Flat’

Placerville: Miners, Bankers, and Runaway Hogs

April 15, 2010

Miners’ Meeting.

At a meeting of the miners of Smith’s Flat, on the evening of September 21st, 1854, E. Gage, Esq., was called to the chair, and T.M. White appointed secretary, and the following laws for the government of claims in Smith’s Flat District, were unanimously adopted.

Mining Laws of Smith’s Flat.

1. The boundaries of Smith’s Flat Mining District shall be as follows, viz:

Beginning at the south east corner of Negro Hill District, thence east until it strikes where the road running through Smith’s Ranch intersects the emigrant road East; thence south until it strikes the Coon Hollow ditch; thence west, along said ditch, until it strikes Spanish Hill District; thence north to the south line of Negro Hill District; thence east on said line to the place of beginning.

2. The size of mining claims shall be 50 by 100 yds.

3. Each miner may hold two claims — one by location and one by purchase, or both by purchase.

4. All claims must be recorded by a Recorder duly elected; and he shall receive one dollar for recording each claim. He shall set a permanent stake at each corner of each claim, and put a written notice on each, giving the name or names of the party or parties, having such claims recorded, with the number of the claim and time of recording, and shall file a duplicate of such notice in a book kept for the purpose. It shall be his duty, also, to record all claims that he may be requested to.

5. No claim shall be forfeited by not being worked between the first day of July and the first day of December; provided the owner of any claim shall notify the Recorder of his intention to work said claim before he leaves it.

6. Any person having a claim shall forfeit it, by neglecting to work it one whole day in every seven, between the 1st of December and the first of July following.

7. Any person having two claims may hold both, by working either, as above mentioned.

8. Any difficulty that may arise relative to mining interests, shall be referred to a jury of five miners; — four of them to be chosen by the parties, and the fifth by these four.

9. Any person having a claim that requires a tail race, shall have the privilege of cutting it through the claims adjoining it below, (provided, said cutting shall not interfere with the working of the same,) until he has obtained sufficient fall for all reasonable mining purposes. But he shall in no case permit his tailings to accumulate on the claims below, to the detriment of the working of said claims.

Hill Claims.

1. A tunnel claim shall be 150 feet front, and run to the centre of the hill.

2. A claim must be worked within ten days from the time at which it is taken up, and as often as one day in each week thereafter.

3. Two or more holding claims, may form a company to work any one of them, without being bound to work each of them.

4. Any miner or miners finding new diggings in this district, shall be entitled to one extra claim for each member of the company, on any vacant hill ground in the district.

5. Any tunnel company who shall have expended $200 upon notifying the recorder of their intention to leave their claim, shall not forfeit the same, provided, they resume operations within three months from the time of giving said notice.

Resolved, That the old code of laws be repealed, so far as they conflict with those now adopted.
Resolved, That the above be published in the Mountain Democrat.
Meeting adjourned.
E. GAGE, President.
T.M. WHITE, Sec.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Sep 30, 1854


Owing to the scarcity of water in many localities, mining is not carried on so actively as in the early part of the summer. But, where water is to be had, at Negro Hill, the Reservoir, and the various tunnels in the vicinity supplied by the South Fork Canal, and on the creeks and bars, the miners are making their usual good wages. Next month the South Fork Canal will be completed, and will afford an abundance of water. We may then look for an activity in mining operations, that has not been equaled in any portion of the State heretofore, during the dry season.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Jul 22, 1854

A Placerville Church (Image from

NEW CHURCH. — The enterprising citizens of Negro Hill have erected a fine church and school house at this point, which was dedicated to religious and educational purposes, on last Sunday evening, by Rev. G.B. Taylor.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Dec 23, 1854

Placerville - 1851 (Image from


“Let other poets raise a fracas
‘Bout vines an’ wines, an’ drunken Bacchus,
An’ crabbit names an’ stories wrack us,
An’ grale our lug,
I sing the juice Scot’s bear can mak us
In glass or jug.”

The above verse, as every body knows, is the beginning one of Robert Burns’ eulogy on “Scotch Drink;” the peculiar national beverage of his fatherland. The pride which animated him in the witty composition may have been different in [spirit], yet the same in kind with ours, in referring to the excellence and completeness of our street improvements. San Francisco, Stockton, and Sacramento have, for months, literally “grated our lug” ’bout piles, and planks, an’ pitfull sidewalks, while it has been equally the custom of visitors from either of those illustrious localities, to harp and carp about the alternate dust and mire of our mountain City.

In the future, however, for these croakers, “Othello’s occupation’s gone.” The principal streets of Placerville now present an appearance of substantial firmness not equalled in the State. Not of combustible or decaying boards — eternally wearing and shivering into yawning man-traps and requiring a perpetual re-taxation for repairs, — but deeply Macadamized with imperishable stone alike impervious to heat or cold. — The substratum is of stone blocks of considerable size, covered with gravel or small cobbles, which effectually fill up all the interstices, and render the surface smooth as a carpet.

You will not, O denizens of plank-bottomed towns, hope, therefore, any reciprocation from hitherward, of your melting records of fractured limbs or skulls insensate — the fruits of planking discrepancies.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Feb 3, 1855



OWNERS of hogs within the city limits, are hereby notified that the City Pound had been moved to the alley in the rear of the Station House; and that sales of hogs that may be impounded, will take place every Saturday, at 11 o’clock A.M. — commencing on Saturday, the 3d day of March.

RENICK CONE, Pound Master.
City of Placerville, Feb. 24, 1855

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Feb 24, 1855

From the Town Talk.

A Node to a Bank.

Oh, Bank, grate malstrom for koin!
How yew swaller up things. What
A maw yew hev got for Bull-Lion.
And when yu hev filled yourself chock
Full how yew luv to bust up
And brake things.

Yew grate malstrom for koin!
Grate bank! What air you good for
Eny how, yew overgrown cirtter, but
To chaw up all a feller has got
and then larf into his face and sa,
“Oncet I had koin but now eye’m
Bust and can’t do nothink!”

Grate malstrom for koin!
Yew are a ga deceiver — yew fell
Into a feller’s pocket for speshe and
Tickle him up ’bout keepin it safe
Wen you knowd yew warnt
Safe enny how. You’ve played H-ll.

Grate malstrom fur koin!
How du yew feel now, yew old buster?
Yew hev dun it — yew hev
Put your foot into it and
Yew hev split menny hopes.
Where do you Xpect to go tu,
Yew old buster? Hev yew
Kicked up sich a dust that
Yew can’t tell what its all
About? Hev yew?
You nasty, vile malstrom fur koin?


Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Mar 31, 1855

From the Mountain Democrat

Part 2


Auburn Ravine (Image from


One day last week three miners in prospecting a ravine emptying into the South Fork, opposite the mouth of White Rock Canon, took out a lump weighing twelve ounces besides other gold, amounting in all to near sixteen ounces, and have been making good wages since.

Would it not be a good idea in some of those who are lying around the taverns doing nothing, to start out with a pick and shovel and try their luck a little further in the ravines hereabouts?

There are many hillsides that have not been prospected at all, which, perhaps, are richer than any that have yet been opened in our vicinity. No miner is “hard up” long at a time who is industrious and persevering. Dame Fortune, like the rest of her sex, is capricious; and if she frown, to-day may relent to-morrow; and is sure to reward, with her choicest favors, continued exertion.

“Better luck next time” must be the miners motto if he would succeed; he must [keep at work] if he would make money. We were once a miner ourselves and know from experience, that loafing is a poor way to strike good diggings, and that playing seven up for the whisky won’t pay board bills.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Apr 22, 1854