OPHIR MILL (Willard & Harrison)—CUDDEBACK LAKE

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:

CHRONOLOGY:

February 18, 1896: “Mr. McEwen, formerly of Kelso Valley, has sent to Los Angeles for well boring machinery and will erect a mill half-way between Fremont’s Peak and Randsburg, probably near Cuddeback’s wells.”  – Californian

June 10, 1896: “SAN BERNARDINO BREVITIES—Roscoe Willard and Edgar Harrison came in from the mines in the Rand District last night say the Times-Index.  They expect to return in about 10 days with a five stamp mill and ten horse power engine and push the work on their claims—the Rawhide and Ophir.  They have a four and half foot shaft down about 100 feet and about one hundred tons of ore on the dump, on which they will go to work as soon as the mill is in running order.  In company with Ed Dooley and Jesse Beggs, they own eight claims in the district, and all give promise of good things.  They report about one thousand people at and near Randsburg and Cow Wells, with three stages daily for Mojave, and everything pointing to a prosperous future.”  -- Los Angeles Daily Times

January 26, 1897: “Harrison & Wlllard have put down a well 195 feet on their mill site at Cuddeback lake, twelve or fourteen miles from Randsburg, and have secured an ample supply of water. They expect to start up their new five-stamp mill about the last of this week.” – The Herald

February 1, 1897: “Willard & Harrison’s five-stamp mill at Dry Lake, Kern county, has been completed. The water supply is derived from a 200-foot bored well.”  – The Herald

February 2, 1897:  “Willard and Harrison, who have a mill at the lake, reached the first water at twenty-five feet, but it was not good.  At 110 feet they found more and better water, but not until they reached 180 feet did they find water of a pure quality, and lots of it, rising to within twenty feet of the surface, the other having been eased off.”  –Los Angeles Times

February 16, 1897: “Messrs. Mathewson and Faust of the Marvel mine some three miles southwest of town, have had nine tons of ore milled at Harrison & Willard’s mill on Cuddeback Lake.  The ore was very rich, but they do not know yet just what it went per ton.  This was the first ore milled from that mine.”  -- Los Angeles Daily Times

Milling Charges For Ore From the Burcham #1 Claim, Which Was Apparently Leased to Fisher and Griggs in 1898. The Lease Did Not However Appear to be A Paying Proposition as Their Return on 62 Tons was Only $39.00. -- Collection of Rand Desert Museum

February 20, 1897: “A visit was made on Monday of this week to the Willard-Harrison Stamp Mill on Cuddeback Lake, distant from Randsburg some twelve miles.  The mill is a very complete one of five stamps, manufactured by Lewellyn & Co. of Los Angeles, with a Frue Vlanner concentrator attached and comes nearer extracting all the gold and silver in the rock than any mill now running in the district.  Ever since it started it has been running on high-grade ore from the stringer district and so far has given good satisfaction.  The mill charges $10 per ton for hauling and milling.”  — Los Angeles Daily Times

September 20, 1897: “The mill at Cuddeback Lake is kept busy with custom work.” – The Herald

October 31, 1897:  “OPHIR MILL—CUDDEBACK LAKE This custom mill is situated 12 miles southeast from Randsburg. It was started in February, 1897; has five stamps, a well 140 feet deep and another 200 feet deep. John C. Qulnn, superintendent of the Val Verde mines, is also superintendent of the mill, that company having leased the mill for some time. The mill is owned by Messrs. Willard & Harrison, and H. S. Deyo is foreman. Seven men are regularly employed. Llewellyn Bros, of Los Angeles furnished the mill, engine and boiler. Sagebrush is used for fuel, and it makes a hot fire.” – The Herald

The Above Receipt for Gold Bullion Show That The Cuddeback Mill Was Still Operating in 1898.

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