Silver: Anacapa Island

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Silver: Anacapa Island

In the News~

June 6, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “Silver has been discovered on Anacapa Island. The ore assayed shows $1 of gold and $35 of silver to the ton. Santa Barbareños are interested in the mine.”

June 10, 1895 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, June 9. The sloop Restless yesterday returned from Anacapa Island bringing back several Santa Barbara gentlemen who for a week or so past have been prospecting for precious metals upon that rocky point of the channel archipelago. They were led to examine into the mineral resources of Anacapa by the tradition that an old Spanish mine of fabulous richness existed there, the secret of whose location was lost. A member of this party visiting the island discovered a great ledge of white quartz and broke off some specimens which, being assayed after his return to the mainland, showed a moderate amount of gold. On his next trip several of his friends joined him for the fun of the excursion rather than with any faith in the importance of the find… They found a well-defined quartz fissure 100 feet wide, extending from the water’s edge up the face of a steep cliff. This deposit is crossed and recrossed by mineral veins. A blast was put in and a quantity of the specimens obtained were apparently much richer in character than those forming the base of the original assays, showing solid masses of silver sulphurete in considerable quantity… E. B. Pratt, John Reseigh and Samuel Burtis are the gentlemen prominent in this new mining enterprise on our Channel Islands with one or two others, whose names cannot be mentioned at present.”

June 10, 1895 [SBMP]: “C. A. Storke and party are back from the islands. Mr. Storke says they discovered some good-looking rock, but whether it contains anything valuable or not is a problem. It will be sent immediately for assay, which will tell the tale. He brought over about 150 pounds of valuable looking specimens.”

June 15, 1895 [Mariposa Gazette]: “The latest alleged discovery of silver and gold comes from Anacapa Island, a barren point of rocks off the coast of Ventura. A ledge 100 feet in width is said to have been found which is largely composed of silver sulphurets, with a respectable proportion of gold. It has long been alleged that the Spaniards in the early days operated a rich mine on this rocky island. The spot is so barren that no fresh water is found there.”

July 11, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “A mining party left today (Wednesday) by the schooner Restless for Anacapa Island. The gentlemen comprising the expedition were Messrs. Lansley, Pratt, Storke, Dodge, and T. Storke.”

July 12, 1895 [SBDI]: “The Restless came in from Anacapa Island this morning with a party of gold prospectors. The reason for the quick return is that the sloop has an engagement for Monday to take a camping party to Santa Cruz Island. Mr. Storke said that they were not at the island long enough to ascertain anything further, and there was nothing more to report. With the use of dynamite the men went down eight feet below the former excavation; they found that the rock was not so far decomposed as that nearer the surface, but was full of metal. They brought over about half a ton and will send samples to San Francisco.”

July 13, 1895 [LAT]: “In reference to the discovery of gold on Anacapa Island in the Santa Barbara Channel, reported some time ago, Clarence M. Buel, mining engineer who was sent to examine it, reports that there is every evidence of good-paying ore on the island, but recommends further examination, and that mill tests would be better than to rely on assays. Messrs. Pratt and Storke, who made the discovery and location, intend sending out another party to the island to look deeper into the matter.”

July 25, 1895 [SBDI]: “John Reseigh… is very confident that the Anacapa strike is a big thing, and will be second to none in the state when developed. As a miner he is willing to risk everything in its development. The assays and mill samples, of which he shows the certificate of Clarence M. Buel, the expert, give returns that will average $14 a ton, which, if it holds out, means a veritable bonanza for the owners… The owners of Anacapa Island mine expect to continue its development as soon as the last mill returns are in… Reseigh has been mining for fifty-three years.”

July 30, 1895 [LAT]: “The Santa Barbara Independent says that John Reseigh, one of the discoverers and owners of the ledge of ore made by Clarence M. Buel, the expert, showing returns that will average $14 to the ton. The owners of the island will continue their developments and if the mill returns continue to prove satisfactory the necessary machinery to mine to ore will be put up.”