Cost of Finding Fortune

          In the mid 1800s, many men (and a few women) came west expecting to strike it rich. Some expected to find gold nuggets lying on the ground like acorns waiting to be gathered. They discovered panning for gold was tedious and seldom produced fortunes. Digging for gold or silver was hard work that often brought nothing more than a pile of rock. Those who did not give up and return home often resorted to working for one of the large mines at a daily wage. Mines offered options of pay with or without “board”—a bed in a dormitory and meals.  Those who took their pay without board sometimes shared tents or cabins and cooked their own meals.
          The July 7 1877 Colorado Springs Gazette reprinted from the Silver World newspaper this sample of wages  with and without board (meals and a bed) in the San Juan mining district.

wages-in-san-juans1

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Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 3:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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