...continued from page one
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
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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