TREADWELL (Historic Information)
As we steamed up Gastineau Channel, on the left was the town of Douglass and the Treadwell Mines on Douglass Island, which I suppose was named in honor of John Douglass, who prepared some of Cook's notes, afterward becoming Lord Salisbury, being again honored by the name of Salisbury Sound.
No doubt the Russian fur traders explored this country, but they made no record of it. Quadra took possession for Spain in 1775, particularly of Salisbury Sound, Chicagonoff and Krugoff Islands. But Cook and Vancouver made the first reliable maps, renaming everything in sight.
Jumbo Mountain, behind Treadwell. is 3,333 feet high. Ditches and flumes like a network catch the waters of the island, convey them to the mines, where they run 200 of the 880 stamps, the largest mills of the kind in the world.
Mining developments commenced here in 1 882. and nearly ever since the powerful trip hammers have been pounding the rock into dust day and night.
For a mile and a half along the channel, and many feet under it. rock is being taken out. aggregating approximately 100.000 feet in extent of workings. 10.000,000 tons of rock, and $30,000,000 gold.
Although the process of saving the gold requires pulverization, amalgamation, concenration and smelting, and a ton of rock contains but about three dollars of gold value, nevertheless the system and economy employed saves almost half of it as a net profit.
The records show that John Treadwell purchased the mine from Pierre Joseph Erussard (French Pete) September 13, 1881 for $5.
The company owns many of the tenant houses, employes foreign labor, and occasionally has a strike. Years ago French Pete was the cause of much trouble and a tragedy. About the same time the miners sold liquor to the Indians, then took their squaws to the dances, which in time resulted in a battle. These are about the only ruffles in the even running history of this titanic mining plant.