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For a long time past it has been surmised that gold placer deposits could be found in the mountains sixteen miles south of Elizabeth lake, especially as the remains of excavations and abandoned workings are found through all the hills, which plainly prove that the value of the ground was known to the Indians ages ago. Within the past year investigations have been quietly made by Doc. Cooper of this city [Los Angeles] and James Powell, of Leadville, Col., with the result that the ground has been found to contain an amount of gold, which has exceeded their expectations, and, in fact, promises to develop into the richest placer fields so far discovered in California.
A large crew of men are at present engaged in the construction of a ditch under Contractor W.G. Huey of this city. The ditch will convey 500 minerís inches of water from the San Francisquito creek. The water will be carried along the course of an ancient river bed about a thousand feet above the bottom of the San Francisquito canyon, and will also be used in the working of several gold ledges, which are the feeders of the Placerita fields below, and are immensely rich.
The contractor has experienced considerable difficulty in keeping the men in his employ at work on the ditch, for the reason that they desert and start washing gold on their own account, because they can make far more money by that means than they could earning daily wages.
The ditch will shortly reach the placer grounds, and then the work of developing them will be commenced at once.
At present there are over 500 men engaged in mining operations throughout the San Francisquito district, and the gold, which brings $20 an ounce at the San Francisco mint, has been rocked out at the rate of half an ounce per day per man.
Courtesy of Jason Brice.