Idaho History June 12, 2022

Thunder Mountain Gold Mining Prospectus 1902

Thunder Mountain Rush Part 8

Going to Thunder Mountain, Grangeville, Idaho 1899-1900


source: History of Idaho Mike Fritz Collection
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TMProspectus1Prospectus Of The Thunder Mountain Gold Mining Company.

Incorporated Under The Laws Of Arizona.
Capital Stock, $2,000,000.
Represented by 2,000,000 Shares of Common Stock, of a par value of $!.00 Each.
All stock when issued becomes absolutely full paid, and is not assessable for any purpose whatever.
This Company has no Bonds or Preferred Stock.
Holders of the Common Stock are exclusively entitled to all of the Company’s net earnings and surplus.

Hon. H, C. Begole, State Senator, Belleville, Ill.
Hon. F. W. Hunt, Governor Of Idaho, Boise City, Idaho.
C . M. C. Harper, Banker And Manufacturer, Boston, Pa.
Dr. D. W. King, Physician, Joplin, Mo.
W. M. Lucas, Pres. Lucas Oil Well Drilling Co , Beaumont, Tex.
John A. Cragin, Cashier First National Bank, Joplin, Mo.
J. H. Schlund, Real Estate Dealer, Chicago, Ill.
Thomas Morgan, Manufacturer, Muncie, Ind.
A. A. Cass, Mine Owner, Cartervi!le, Mo.

H. C. Begole, President.
Gov. F. W. Hunt, First Vice-president.
C. M. C. Harper, Second Vice President.
W. M. Lucas, Secretary.
John A. Cragin, Treasurer.

Western Office :
Boise City, Idaho.

Eastern Office :
The Company’s Authorized Agents,
J. E. Morhardt & Co,
Broad Exchange Bldg., New York. N. Y.

TMProspectus2Fortunes In Thunder Mountain Gold.
A Rare Opportunity.

The newly discovered gold fields of the Thunder Mountain district, in Idaho, offer opportunities to make money that have never before been equaled in the history of this country; and one of these opportunities is now extended by the Thunder Mountain Gold Mining Company to every reader of these lines.

It is conceded by all who have visited the district that it is the richest gold section in America, if not in the world. Not half of the Thunder Mountain story has yet been told. It is too big to tell. A full realization of the vastness and the unprecedented riches of this new field can be comprehended only by those who go into the heart of these gold laden mountains, and see for themselves.

TMP1Panning Gold on Thunder Mountain.

Experts frankly admit that they never before saw or even heard of a formation similar to the ore deposits of Thunder Mountain. They cannot account for it, and old time miners stand speechless in amazement when they see for the first time these vast ledges of rich, free milling ore, running here and there and everywhere, and stretching away for miles and miles; so very far, in fact, that the real limits of the district have not yet been established.

That is a picture, briefly drawn, of the greatest gold country yet discovered on this continent. But, after all, it should come as no surprise to mining people who are familiar with the past history of the production of gold in this singular State of Idaho; the State whose name, translated, means the “Gem of the Mountains.”

We desire our readers to grasp thoroughly the importance of the disclosures which follow, and to that end we present, briefly, some facts of record pertaining to Idaho’s past gold production. Our purpose is to give some idea of the inexhaustible nature of its mineral resources, a circumstance of much significance in considering the future of the new Thunder Mountain district.

It is estimated by statisticians having all existing records at hand that Idaho has produced more gold than the total production of both California and Colorado. The mines of the entire State of Colorado have produced to date something like $300,000,000. The mines of its most famous camp, Cripple Creek, yielded a total production up to January 1st, 1902, of $116,549,287. These figures are generally regarded as something gigantic, yet they are a mere bagatelle in comparison with the actual records of Idaho.

Boise Basin, of which Idaho City is the center, has alone produced from its placers, a strip of country fifteen miles wide by twenty-five miles long, over $300,000,000, and the section surrounding Elk City, which is admitted to be the richest placer mining district in the world, has produced over $400,000,000.

The Ebenezer mine yielded upwards of $300,000, working only 75 feet of ground; the Gambrinus more than $325,000; the Sub Rosa $260,000; and these properties, together with numerous others which might be mentioned, constitute an old camp, yet new ledges are found every little while. In fact, it is not half prospected, nor a hundredth part developed.

The mines of Elmore County, at Rocky Bar and Atlanta, according to the records of Wells, Fargo & Company’s Express· have produced more than $60,000,000. In the Custer country the Charles Dickens has a record of $4,000,000 before a stick of timber was used or a candle burned. The Montana, in Estes Mountain, paid $1,000 a foot while simply a common prospect shaft, and yielded in going 500 feet more than $400,000. The Custer mine has a record of $8,000,000. The Lucky Boy property has 15 feet of $25 free gold ore and has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in dividends.

The De Lamar mine was sold to an English company for $2,500,000 after Captain De Lamar had taken several millions out of it. Since that time the property has paid in dividends to its English owners the amount of the purchase price, and for six years since that time has been operating “on velvet.” It has undoubtedly produced upwards of $10,000,000.

Up the Boise River from Boise City the placer grounds have all been located within the last few years. Old timers had passed over them day after day without observing their value, and they were eventually found to be rich in gold by some “tenderfoot” who was laughed at by those who “knew it all” when he commenced prospecting in land that was supposed to be barren. And since then these same properties have been worked with enormous profit. One company in this district recently spent approximately $200,000 in opening their ground, and then struck an old river channel up the side of the mountain or slope, that out-rivals Klondike, values averaging as high as $15 per cubic yard.

The Sheep Mountain country contains what are probably the largest and richest silver mines in the West. The Bull Dog mine shows an unbroken vein 30 feet wide for a total length of 6,000 feet, which runs from 20 to 500 ounces silver to the ton, and from $20 to $80 in gold. Ore shipped from J. Earley’s Birdie mine ran from 375 to 2,000 ounces in silver, and from $20 to $70 in gold to the ton, and this, practically speaking, is all an unprospected country. This :reference to silver, perhaps, is departing somewhat from our subject; yet it brings out a point we wish to make, namely, that Idaho is a great State, a very big State, in a sense, and a sparsely settled State. Portions of it are utterly wild, and for this reason mining developments thus far have been confined, comparatively speaking, to a very few districts.

Snake River Valley, uninviting as it may look, has literally a lining of gold. Hundreds of miners are working the bars along the banks of the stream, primitively, of course, yet with good returns. They cannot save all the gold, to be sure, but they save enough of it to pay them for their trouble. Some of them, even by the most crude methods, are washing out from $10 to $30 a day.

And who has not heard of the great Couer D’Alene mines? The fame of this section in the northern part of the State has traveled around the world and back again, and with good reason, for their output of both silver and lead has been on an enormous scale, and there are also in this district some very rich gold mines. The majority of these properties, however, are at present working on development, deferring actual treatment or shipment of ore until the completion of railroads now building bring transportation facilities nearer home.

Pierce City, or Oro Fino, was one of the early camps of Idaho, and yielded upwards of $30,000,000 in placer gold. Recently prospectors have gone back and located a number of quartz veins, showing ore of which the value may truthfully be termed wonderful in comparison with similar formations in other parts of the West. Elk City, previously mentioned, is another of the old placer camps of the State that has recently been found to contain enormously rich veins and ledges of quartz.

The camp of Florence has proved one of the richest ever discovered anywhere, in proportion to its surface dimensions. The first pan of dirt in the ”discovery” yielded $800. In late years prospecting for the quartz veins, the real supply of the placer gold, has been vigorously pushed, with the result that many mills have been erected. The average yield per ton of all the operating mills in this section is extraordinary. $38,000,000 was taken from the placers of Florence camp before the discovery of her quartz veins, and in one year, from 1862 to 1863, the Wells-Fargo Express Company alone handled over $33,000,000 in bullion and gold dust from Florence and Pierce City properties.

TMP2Up the Trail to Thunder Mountain.

Warrens, the sister camp to Florence, also has a great record. Its ore is very rich, some of it milling (from the Rebolt mine) $2,000 in gold to the ton; and the placer locations of the camp have produced upwards of $25,000,000, so far as the records show, and it is said that a much larger amount has been taken out.

So much for a general review of the showing this State has already made. Now compare Idaho with Colorado, and what do you find? Simply this: that the discovery of Cripple Creek, in Colorado, focused at or near that point a group of capitalists. They came in just at the right time, when, with the aid of improved machinery they could invest their money with but little risk, and the district was advertised all over the world. A great mining exchange was created at Colorado Springs, and ever since that day we have fallen into the habit of regarding Colorado, with its notorious Cripple Creek, as the leading mining State of the Union.

Money and concentrated energy “boomed” that one little camp of Cripple Creek to such an extent that we are surprised when we glance over actual figures, and learn that the “insignificant” State of Idaho could give Colorado another Cripple Creek, and then beat her out in a total showing of both gold production and ore reserves.

TMP3Tracing a Ledge of Gold on Rainbow Mountain.

But, to top all this, now comes Thunder Mountain, with a wealth of gold ore that the most imaginative prospector never dreamed of finding. The Thunder Mountain district will undoubtedly furnish the world with more gold than has yet been produced by California, Colorado, and all the balance of the State of Idaho. This statement, of course, will be at once challenged by the average mining ”expert,” whose business, in part, is to be as skeptical as possible. But we do not propose to waste time arguing the point. We know what there is at Thunder Mountain, and we propose to tell what we know about it in the following particulars. We admit that nothing like the formation in this new field was ever before encountered anywhere on earth. Everybody admits it. But to the man of sound reasoning this fact only demonstrates that there are opportunities here to make money that no other section ever offered. The skeptical “expert,” like a great many others, will have to travel into the heart of the new Eldorado and ascertain for himself, by personal observation, that a new standard of values has been established.

TMProspectus3Concerning The District.

The Thunder Mountain District is so named from the fact that the first rich discovery, made by the three Caswell brothers, was on the summit which they themselves had christened “Thunder Mountain,” because of the low rumbling sounds which almost constantly emanate from it. But it is now generally recognized that other sections of the district are even richer, and present, in several respects, much more desirable features for the prospector.

Rainbow Mountain, for instance, is regarded as better ground, because it is more highly mineralized, and the ore, for the most part, is high grade, Except for a few unmineralized spots, it actually appears that Rainbow Mountain is simply a gigantic pile or summit of rich, gold bearing ore. Entire claims on one slope of Rainbow are mineralized from side to side and end to end. As one walks across these claims every step plants the foot on gold ore that is worth on the average at least $20 a ton, and running through these immense ledges are numerous streaks that carry bonanza values, often going in excess of $1,000 a ton.

TMProspectus4The Company’s Property.

The property of the Thunder Mountain Gold Mining Company, consisting of five full claims, each 1, 500 feet long by 600 feet wide, is located on the eastern slope of Rainbow Mountain, and, as will be seen by reference to accompanying map, adjoins the Gold King group, which has recently been purchased for $200,000.

In October, 1901, the company’s promoters sent in its first convoy, consisting of sixteen horses and mules, and eight men, with all necessary equipment for performing development work, the idea being to ascertain as accurately as possible the exact value of the several claims; and the reports made at that time, as well as those since received, warrant the statement that this property is unquestionably richer and better than any that has yet been developed on Thunder Mountain proper, not even excepting the Dewey group, which was purchased from the Caswell brothers for $100,000, and is now valued at $10,000,000.

On April 26th of the present year, our special representatives left Chicago, for Council, Idaho, to conduct the second convoy of men and mules, which was to carry provisions and also additional tools and incidental equipment to the property. Needless to say, this expedition arrived safely at its destination, and the reports that were brought back were more encouraging than ever. The Company maintains a representative on the property constantly, and has done so from the beginning, in order that its interests may be well taken care of, and the property developed as rapidly as possible.

TMProspectus5Character Of Ore.

The ore formation on Rainbow and Thunder mountains does not differ materially from other free milling camps, except in the immense size of the ledges. The average prospector thinks he has a big thing if he locates a vein of gold ore 3 feet in width, and running $10 to the ton. But the “veins” on this Company’s property, and, in fact, throughout the district, are so immense that they are simply termed ledges, as their width averages from 300 to 600 feet, frequently widening out to much greater dimensions. Indeed, some entire sections are mineralized, the ledges in such places evidently having widened out until they ran together, thus practically forming one compact, solid mass of ore. Precisely such formation is encountered on our property on Rainbow Mountain. Very large portions of our five claims are mineralized, and for years to come the ore can actually be quarried out.

Numerous tests for values show that it averages in excess of $20 in gold to the ton, and there are streaks in it that run very high. Many of these rich streaks are as wide as the entire mineralized vein on the ordinary property in other camps, and they will undoubtedly bring the general average of values up to a figure far in excess of that we have named.

H. L. Hollister, a man who has spent all his life in mining, was all through this district last spring, and made a number of tests of the ore on our property. He says that it will all run $20 to the ton or more, and when asked to give an estimate as to the total value of the Company’s five claims, said it was too big to figure out. “Why, there is enough gold on your locations,” he said, with an expression which indicated plainly that he meant it, ”to pay off the Government Debt.” And then added: ” The property is so big and so rich that no one company will ever be able to exhaust its ore supply. You might as well try to bale out the ocean.”

Mr. Hollister also said that the ore was so free milling that it could be mined and milled at a cost not exceeding $1 a ton, a statement that is corroborated by every expert and mining man of practical experience who has visited the district.

From these figures as to the value of the ore per ton it will be seen that it is decidedly high grade. The ore on the Dewey property, on Thunder Mountain, is termed “low grade,” and averages about $8 to $10 a ton, although it, too, has many rich streaks in it that run above $1,000 to the ton. But it is a fact that it makes little difference to this Company and its stockholders whether our ore runs ten dollars or fifty dollars. There is a fortune in every ten square feet of our ground – and we have 100 acres. If the value was only $5, or even $4 a ton, it would still be a really great proposition, because there is so much of it, and it can be mined and milled so cheaply. Ore that yields a profit of $3 a ton is, in the ordinary camp, regarded as a big thing. Here we have an unlimited supply of ore that will return a net profit of at least $19 a ton. Moreover, not more than 4 tons of ordinary free milling ore can be treated in a day by a single stamp in the regulation stamp mill, or forty tons with a ten-stamp mill; whereas the ore in the Thunder Mountain district is so soft and the gold is so free that a thousand pound stamp will crush 8 tons per day, thus giving 80 tons as the daily output of a ten-stamp mill – or double the customary returns.

TMP4Big Creek – Near Thunder Mountain

TMProspectus6Profits And Dividends.

The Company proposes to commence operations with a 40-stamp mill, which will crush 320 tons of ore per day. To be conservative, we will figure only on six tons per stamp, however, which gives a total daily milling capacity of 240 tons.

Taking the ore value at $20 a ton, and allowing for cost of $1 a ton for mining and milling, we have a net profit of $19 per ton, which on 240 tons amounts to $4,560 per day. But to be conservative again, we will ignore our proven values, and figure that the ore nets us only $10 a ton. Then, on our conservative daily production of 240 tons we have conservative daily Net Profits of $2,400.

There are 365 days in a year, and at this rate our total annual net profits would amount to $876,000. But we must allow for occasional delays and a break-down now and then; so we will figure on only 300 ·days operations – which computation shows a total annual Net Profit of no less than $720,000, or just 36 per cent. in earnings on our full capitalization, to be paid out in dividends.

This, remember, is after making ample allowances. We have under-estimated the crushing power of the mill, we have under-estimated the value of the ore, we have under-estimated the number of working days in the year. And, more than this, we have figured on a mill of only forty stamps.

Now, on some properties a forty-stamp mill is about the limit that can be worked advantageously. Because on such properties the narrowness of the vein limits the number of men that can be employed in the workings. But on our property no such conditions exist. The entire property itself is a single, mammoth vein, if you please to look at it that way, and, as we have said before, thousands of tons of the ore can be actually quarried. Hence almost any number of miners can be employed in the work of getting out the ore for treatment, and so there is really no limit, comparatively speaking, to the mill capacity.

As the work of development progresses, therefore, more stamps will be added, and the Company’s net returns correspondingly increased. A 100-stamp mill, operated in accordance with the above conservative figures will pay annual dividends of 90 per cent. on the par value of the Company’s stock, or 7 1/2 per cent. monthly.

Again, we figure on a 40-stamp mill paying dividends of 36 per cent. on the par value of the stock. Then the actual return to the purchaser of these shares will be just as much GREATER than 36 per cent as the price he pays for his stock is under or lower than par – the par value being $1 per share. For instance, if you buy your stock at 20 cents a share, the return on your actual cash invested would be at the rate of 180 per cent. per annum. And if you buy it at 40 cents your returns would be at the rate of 90 per cent.

TMProspectus7Company To Erect Mill.

A mill of at least 40-stamp capacity will be erected on the Company’s property at the earliest possible moment – and this means as soon as the road now being built into the heart of the district is completed. The work is under contract and is being rushed, and the road will probably be completed and in fair condition by fall of the present year. In the meantime the Company proposes to develop its properties and get the mill building ready, so that production on a large scale can be commenced as soon as the machinery is set up.

TMProspectus8How To Obtain Stock.

To provide working capital for the full development of the mines and the purchase of necessary machinery, together with such buildings as are required, a portion of the Capital Stock of the Thunder Mountain Gold Mining Co. is hereby offered for public subscription.

The price will be advanced as development work progresses, and the right is reserved by the Company to reject any subscription in, whole or in part if, in the judgment of the Directors, such action is deemed wise and advantageous to the best interests of the Company and its stockholders. The Company also retains the privilege of withdrawing all stock from the market and terminating this offer absolutely at any time it may so desire, and without further notice.

Applications for stock should be made out on the Company’s Subscription Blank, and forwarded direct to the New York Office, accompanied by remittance in full if purchased on the cash payment plan, or by the stipulated first payment if purchased on the installment plan.

TMProspectus9Points Of Interest.

The Thunder Mountain Gold Mining Co. is organized along practical lines, and for practical purposes. Its Board of Directors is composed of business men of high commercial and financial standing in their respective communities and the work at the mines is in charge of experienced mining men.

Their united efforts have resulted in launching, through the organization of this Company, an enterprise which it is believed will prove one of the most profitable investments ever placed before the public. Certainly no opportunity equal to this exists at the present time, and we sincerely doubt whether it can be duplicated.

Conditions in the Thunder Mountain district are extraordinary, and this Company’s property could not possibly be more advantageously located. The figures herein presented are ultra-conservative, yet they show the certainty of returns so large as to insure a great advance in the price of the Company’s stock. There are no features of uncertainty. The ore is there, and we KNOW its value is as good as $20 to the ton, at the lowest calculation. That is a demonstrated fact, produced by actual test. And these tests, bear in mind, were made from the surface, and, as phonolite has been found it is considered indicative that the values will become still greater as depth is attained. Again, in all developed properties in the district it has been found that these great ledges are seamed with ore deposits that carry remarkably high values, usually far in excess of $1,000 to the ton. It might be said, indeed, that there are veins within veins. There is practically no dead rock on our properties, at all. In every part of it rich ore is encountered – and we say “rich” ore, because free milling ore that runs $20 to the ton and more IS rich ore.

The operation of the five-stamp mill on the Dewey property also demonstrates that all the statements that have been made about the free milling character of the ore of the district are absolutely true. It can actually be both mined and milled for 75 cents a ton, yet we have figured on a cost of $1.

The State Mining Inspector, of Boise, Idaho, is a firm believer in the future of the camp. He says; “Many persons believe that the reports from Thunder Mountain are greatly exaggerated for the sake of booming the district, but in my opinion the region is even richer than prospectors think it is.

“A person may sink almost any place in that country and find pay ore. It costs only $1.25 a ton at the highest figure to handle it, and, by the way, that is one of the advantages of Thunder Mountain over many other districts. The ore is more free, and costs less to mill. Some of it can be put through for fifty or sixty cents. Thunder Mountain is the center of a wonderful mineral country. On every side are districts which have turned out large sums of gold, mostly placer.”

And this statement is exactly in line with the facts given earlier, concerning the big output of the placer lands in the valleys and lower levels surrounding Thunder Mountain on every side. It is known, now, that the gold in placer gravel is merely the small particles which have washed down with the rain and snow from the mother veins hidden high up the sides of the mountains. And, just as Idaho’s production of placer gold has excelled that of all other districts, is it not reasonable to assume that the supply point, the natural store house, is equally superior to the deposits of other sections?

On this point there really is no chance for argument – and no occasion for it, either; for we are through with theory, now. We are not searching for the main supply veins, they have already been found; and their wealth is something unprecedented. The question now to be considered is how to turn these discoveries into individual fortunes, and we do not believe a better method is at hand than a liberal purchase of stock in the Thunder Mountain Gold Mining Co, – a company that is organized expressly for the purpose of taking advantage of this greatest of all great opportunities.

Address all communications to

TMProspectus10J. E. Morhardt & Co.,
Broad Exchange Building,
New York City.
Authorized Agents for the
Thunder Mountain Gold Mining Co.
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source: UCSD Library (UC San Diego)
courtesy Justin Smith Idaho History 1800 to Present
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Return from Thunder Mountain, Grangeville, Idaho 1899-1900


source: History of Idaho Mike Fritz Collection

Further Reading

Link to Thunder Mountain – Roosevelt History
(Table of contents to stories)