Home A - Z FAQ Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps Lodging About Search
Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

CalHotels.US--online reservations now CalHotels.US Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed. Click Here For Yours!
Hotel photos, maps, reviews, & discount rates.

U.S. Hotels in California (Yosemite, L. A., San Francisco ), AL, AK, AR, AS, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, FM, GA, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OK, NV, MH, MP, NM, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, PR, PW, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI WA, WV, WI, WY

Next: 27. Wall Street MismanagementContentsPrevious: 25. Gazette News

The Call of Gold (1936) by Newell D. Chamberlain


CHAPTER XXVI
FREMONT’S GREAT SALE

In 1860, Trenor W. Park became manager of the Fremont Estate. Colonel Fremont had become involved financially due to expensive law-suits, his campaign for the Presidency and his lack of business judgment. His quartz mining was not as profitable as he supposed, due to ignorance and waste on the part of the men he employed, and the Colonel did not possess the mining knowledge or business ability to correct it. Park, himself, had a large claim against the Estate. Notice was served upon all squatters to leave. Many of them resisted, but after some expensive litigation, they were ejected.

From 1860 to 1863, the Mariposa mine was leased and worked by John and James Barnett. They paid ten per cent of the gross proceeds to the Company. The rock was packed to the mill on jacks, a distance of half a mile, and while they labored under many disadvantages, their enterprise proved highly remunerative.

Park’s chief operations were upon the Princeton, Bear Valley, Pine Tree and Josephine veins, from which he extracted millions. From the Pine Tree mine, seventeen hundred feet above the Merced River, he built a railroad four and a half miles in length to the river. The cars of ore, two at a time, descended by gravity, controlled by a brakeman. The empty cars were then hauled up to the mine by mules and the mules then returned down to the river over a steep and short trail. A twelve stamp mill, run by water power and known as Benton Mills, was built alongside the river.

Another source of income to the Estate was the tax of four dollars per month, charged to each person working along the creeks and gulches inside the Grant. In April 1862, it was estimated that there were between three and five thousand Chinamen working on Agua Fria Creek and its tributary gulches, all paying their four dollars a month. The Chinamen paid this more cheerfully than when working under a County license, because inside the Grant, they were protected and their claims could not be jumped by every vagabond desiring to make a raise out of the Chinamen.

Early in 1862, Park completed a large steam mill, running forty-eight stamps, in Green’s Gulch, near Princeton. The great quartz development, during the previous year, fully justified the enterprise. Princeton was named in honor of Prince Steptoe, son-in-law of Jaret Ridgeway, one of the first settlers in Mariposa.

At the beginning of the Civil War, Colonel Fremont offered his services to the Union cause and was appointed a Major-General by President Lincoln. On July 26th., he assumed command of the Western Military Department and relinquished it on November 2nd. On March 29th., 1862, he was given command of the Mountain Department, which he held until June 27th. He resigned from the army June 4th., 1864.

On January 12th., 1863, John C. Fremont, Major-General in the United States Army, deeded to Morris Ketchum, a banker of New York City, in consideration of $6,562,500.00, his Mariposa Estate, comprising 44,380 and 83/100 acres, with its mines and appurtenances, subject to an indebtedness of $1,500,000. The deed was duly recorded in the Mariposa County Court House, where it can be seen.

Within a few months, a ten million dollar Wall Street corporation, the Mariposa Company, was formed and stock sold through Wall Street channels. According to Park, Fremont was given $1,500,000 in cash and a share of the stock. Park had been a great help to Fremont in straightening up his legal and financial entanglements and in the meantime, had laid the foundation of an immense personal fortune, enabling him later to become a principal owner of the Panama Railroad and a fleet of first-class steamships running between New York and San Francisco.

The San Francisco Argonaut of April 8th., 1877, commenting on a report that Jay Gould had bested Park in Wall Street, said, “Park is a financial cat, he will come down upon his feet with enough of his nine lives left to fight another round. We remember Park, when he came to California, a boy in his teens, small in size, a wiry, active, Scotch terrier sort of man; he joined the firm of Halleck, Peachy and Billings, made a fortune from the sale of the Mariposa Estate for himself and his friends, Selover, Billings and James.”



Next: 27. Wall Street MismanagementContentsPrevious: 25. Gazette News

CalHotels.US--online reservations now CalHotels.US Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed. Click Here For Yours!
Hotel photos, maps, reviews, & discount rates.

U.S. Hotels in California (Yosemite, L. A., San Francisco ), AL, AK, AR, AS, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, FM, GA, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OK, NV, MH, MP, NM, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, PR, PW, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI WA, WV, WI, WY

Home A - Z FAQ Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps Lodging About Search
Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/call_of_gold/fremonts_sale.html