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Way Back When

June 20, 2011

(The Spirit is pleased to share with our readers vignettes of life in the 19th Century as originally reported in past issues of the newspaper. These reprinted stories include their original headlines and spelling.)

Local Intelligence
March 4, 1896

IN SEARCH OF GOLD
Two Prospectors from Punxsutawney Go to Alaska

Several persons here who have heard with interest stories of gold discoveries in Alaska have contributed to a fund to send two prospectors to Alaska on a gold-huntung expedition. Will McAllister and Edward Little, both young men of courage and resolution, and also handy with a gun, started last Saturday to join a party from Emporium who are going to Alaska to look for gold. One of them, Thomas Pelky, had been there before, and in less than two years gathered up $18,000 worth of gold from placer mines.

McAllister and Little are to remain eighteen months. They go first to Seattle, Washington, thence to Juneau City, and thence to Lake Bennett. They will then cross the mountains to the Yucon River, and will follow it by ice boat 750 miles to the gold regions.

It is a wild and uninhabited country. There are a few Esquimaux along the coast and some Indians in the interior. There are also extensive forests, inhabited by bears and other game in the Yucon valley. It is really a great country, but a little chilly, some of the best agricultural lands being covered by glaciers a mile thick. But land is cheap, and the poorest inhabitant can have all the ice he wants all summer.

There is no doubt great mineral wealth in Alaska, and young men who have leisure and a good Winchester rifle, might go up there and in a few years come back with a fortune.

• • •
It is a little early for snake stories, but we must take things as they come in this world and try to be content. Last Thursday, the weather being of a mild disposition, and the atmosphere somewhat amiable, a large garter snake crawled out of his abiding place and made himself conspicuous on the lower end of Gilpin street. He was not active, and became an easy prey to the first man that came along. He was put to the slaughter, not because of any harm he had done, or was likely to do, but simply because he was a snake. And people don't like snakes.

• • •
(March 18, 1896)
Auction Sale

J. B. Rinehart, of the East End, will sell his stock of restaurant goods and fixtures at public sale on Saturday, March 21, at 2 o'clock, p.m., consisting of three show cases, a large soft coal stove, sink, bureau, candy, spices, cakes, crackers, and a lot of other articles too numerous to mention. You can buy these things at your own prices.

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