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In fact, they had some very discouraging results; during the sinking of the shafts they had encountered a substance called 'Cariboo slum'. Slum was a thick gravel porridge, too thin to dig and too thick to pump, the usual method of dealing with slum was to walk away from the mine. Not Diller...or his partners. They built stout log cribbing all the way down their shaft and managed to keep the slum out and hit bedrock... and very poor pay.

They had no money and had run up "jawbone" or credit with anybody who would have them; they could not accept defeat at this stage. Their next move was to tunnel or drift out from the shaft.

Nobody recalls why they chose the direction they did but before they had gone twenty feet, the Diller Co. had struck the richest ground ever seen in the Cariboo and they were filthy men many times over. Reports vary widely, some say that 102 lbs of gold was washed out in the first 24 hr period whereas another states 25 lbs over three days. Nevertheless, a total of over 10,653 ounces or 887.75 lbs of gold was produced in the first two months after the strike!

The Gold Commissioner's records of 1869 (some six years after the strike) state the Diller Co. Claim as producing some 259.41 ounces between August 2 and September 26 or over $101,169 worth in 1993.

Isaiah Diller eventually left the Cariboo and went back to Pennsylvania. As the story goes, he reached his home just in time to buy back his family's 'estate' that was being auctioned off due to unpaid debt. He presented himself and the deed to his aging mother, who did not recognize him after so many years absence.

Diller later moved to Oregon and then Seattle where he opened that city's first elevator equipped hotel.

Descendants of Isaiah still live in the Seattle area and contact with them has shed more light on this fascinating story of wealth. Accordingly, it is now known that the gold that Diller found in Cariboo was invested wisely and hence the family is still well off; in fact, some of the original Cariboo gold remains in the hands of the Diller Family over 132 years later.


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