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Lost Horse Mine
JTNP-Lost_Horse_Mine_20090116_HDR_DSC_9676. The Lost Horse Mine Even before the California Gold Rush of 1849, prospectors were finding gold in southern California. As the take from the mines in the Sierras petered out, miners fanned out into the deserts. Here hot summers, scarce water, limited wood sources, and the difficulty and high cost of transporting equipment and provisions created a challenging environment in which to operate a mine. But a few hardy adventurers persevered and about 300 mines were developed in what is now Joshua Tree National Park-although few were good producers. An exception is the Lost Horse Mine, which produced 10,000 ounces of gold and 16,000 ounces of silver (worth approximately $5 million today) between 1894 and 1931. When the story of the Lost Horse Mine is told, it sounds like a western campfire tale: gun slinging cowboys, cattle rustlers, horse thieves, the lure of gold, and a sticky-fingered miner. Johnny Lang As long-time resident William F. Keys, told the story, Johnny Lang and his father drove their herd of cattle into the Lost Horse Valley in 1890, when there was “nothing but cattle and Indians.” Johnny told Keys that they had moved west after his brother and six other cowboys were gunned down in New Mexico. One night, while camped in the Lost Horse Valley, the Langs’s horses disappeared. Next morning Johnny tracked them to the McHaney brothers’ camp near today’s Keys Ranch. According to local legend, the McHaney Gang were cattle rustlers. Keys said they told Johnny his horses weren’t there and to leave the area. Keys goes on to say that Johnny met up with a man named “Dutch” Frank who told of also being threatened by the McHaneys. Frank said that he had discovered a rich claim but was afraid to develop it. Johnny and his father bought the rights to the mine for $1,000 and called it Lost Horse. To reduce the chances of being killed by the McHaney Gang or having his claim jumped, Johnny took on three partners. After filing their claim, they set up a two-stamp mill and began processing gold. J.D. Ryan A wealthy rancher from Montana, J.D. Ryan, bought out Johnny’s partners in 1895. The next year he found a steam-powered, ten-stamp mill somewhere near the Colorado River and had it dismantled and hauled to the mine site. To provide steam for the mill, Ryan ran a two-inch pipeline 3.5 miles, from wells at his ranch to an earth and stone reservoir near the mill. Steam engines fueled by trees from nearby mountains were used to push the water up the 750 foot elevation gain where it was boiled to power the stamp mill. Heating the water at both the ranch and the mill required a lot of wood, and the results of the timbering can be seen today in the sparsely vegetated hillsides at both sites. Getting to the Gold The booming of the ten 850-pound stamps could be heard echoing across the valley 24 hours a day as the ore was crushed. Water added to the crushed rock made a slurry, which washed over copper plates covered with a thin film of mercury. The gold particles clung to the mercury and the debris washed away. The amalgam of mercury and gold was smelted to separate the two metals. The mercury could be reused and the gold was formed into bricks. These 200 pound bricks were carried to Banning every week, concealed in a 16-horse freight wagon. The 130-mile trip to deliver the gold and return with supplies took five days. As the story goes, the day shift was producing an amalgam the size of a baseball while the night shift, supervised by Lang, recovered a mere golf ball. Ryan hired a detective to investigate and discovered that when Johnny removed the amalgam from the copper plates, he kept half for himself. Ryan gave Lang a choice: sell out or go to jail. Lang sold, then moved into a nearby canyon where he continued to prospect. The Lost Horse Mine continued producing until 1905, when the miners hit a fault line and forever lost the ore-bearing vein. The mine was leased to others or left dormant until 1931, when rising gold prices prompted the processing of 600 tons of tailings (unprocessed chunks of leftover ore) with cyanide, producing a few hundred ounces of gold. During one of the mine’s dormant phases, Lang returned and set up residence in the cookhouse. According to Keys, Lang had hidden his stolen amalgam at the mill site and, unable to get to it before Ryan ran him off, had returned to retrieve his stash. Lang sold what Keys called “pure gold bullion” on several occasions during this time. In the winter of 1925, sickly and unable to walk out for help, Johnny Lang died of exposure along Keys View Road. Two months later, Keys found his body and buried him across from the access road to the mine. National Park Service With the creation of Joshua Tree National Monument in 1936, Lost Horse Mine came under the protection of the National Park Service. With time, the wooden portions of the cabins and the headframe of the mill collapsed. (The latter was removed for safety reaEldridge Street Synagogue
Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. . The Synagogue of Khal Adath Jeshurun with Anshe Lubz, more familiarly known as the Eldridge Street Synagogue, was the first and finest synagogue erected on the Lower East Side by the Orthodox East European Ashkenazic Jews. Now an impressive monument to the American Immigrant experience, it was built in 1886-87 by the architectural firm of Herter brothers and stands today as an enduring symbol of the Lower East Side as it thrived during the last decades of the 19th century. The imposing pressed brick and terra-cotta facade features elements of Moorish, Gothic, and Romanesque design, a combination which later would be used frequently by the Herter Brothers in their numerous designs for tenements in the Lower East Side.. . Although the early history of the congregation remains obscure, it is known that Khal Adath Jeshurun (Community of the People of Israel) was the result of the union of two Ashkenazic congregations; Beth Hamedrash (House of Study) and Holche Josher Wizaner (Those who walk in Righteousness).. . Established in 1852, Beth Hamedrash had quickly become the most important center of Orthodox Jewish guidance in America. Under the tutelage of Russian-educated Rabbi Joseph Ash, the congregation trained Jewish scholars who were then in much demand throughout the country. In 1856 the growing congregation bought an old Welsh chapel at 78 Allen Street where they remained until the synagogue was built on Eldridge Street.. . Typical of the mergers and divisions which characterized ;the Jewish community in the mid-nineteenth century, Beth Hamedrash was reduced in number and prominence by the secession of two splinter groups, the most crucial departure being led by Rabbi Ash in 1859. Ash established a rival congregation named Beth Hamedrash Kagodol (Great House of Study) which, in 1885, purchased a Baptist church at 60 Norfolk Street and transformed it into what is now the oldest Orthodox Ashkenazic house of worship in New York City. The partnership of the remaining members of Beth Hamedrash and Holche Josher Wizaner, which ultimately became Khal Adath Jeshurun, could have been formed as early as 1884, although it did not exist as a legal entity until 1890, three years after their synagogue was built. A small congregation of Polish Jews, Anshe Lubz, joined with Khal Adath Jeshurun shortly after the/dedication of the new synagogue.. . There were many benefits to be reaped from such a union. A mass immigration during the last half of the 19th century transplanted one third of all East European Jewry to the United States in a generation and a half. In 1847 there were 13,000 Jews in New York City, by 1890 there were more than 200,000, Because of social and language differences, conflicts over cemeteries, and minor ritual, changes, numerous congregations were formed by small groups of immigrants and usually met in rented rooms or halls. With the influx of East European Ashkenazic Jews into the Lower East Side, the middle-class population of German Jews and the remainder of the Sephardita who had arrived in America in the early decades of the 19th century, began to move uptown to the "nicer neighborhoods.". . The German Jews considered themselves far more cosmopolitan and more successfully integrated into New York society than the newly arrived immigrants. They had also begun to accept a less traditional„ reformed style of Judaism, The consolidation of Beth Hamedrash and Holche Josher Wizaner into Khal Adath Jeshurun resulted in a larger, stronger congregation which was conceptually united in its opposition to Reformed, or Americanized Judaism.. . A further consideration for their merger may have been the congregation's position in its own Orthodox community of the Lower East Side. There was much competition among the sixty extant synagogues in 1880 to be awarded the prized title of "Jewish Community of New York. Furthermore, there was a strong movement in favor of designating a Chief Rabbi for the entire Orthodox community, with each congregation naturally desiring to have its own rabbi so honored.. . The members of the Khal Adath Jeshurun congregation therefore planned to build a synagogue which would not only house them in splendor, but would also be illustrative of its prominent position in the Orthodox community. Three lots at 12-16 Eldridge Street were purchased in 1886 for a total cost of $36,050. This was to be the site for the new synagogue and the architectural firm of Herter Brothers was commissioned to design the building.. . Peter and Francis William Herter had arrived in America from Germany between 1880 and 1884. Little is known about them before this time,' although it can be assumed that they received their architectural training in Europe before coming to the United States. The synagogue was their fifth executed commission in New York City and their first religious structure. Upon arrival in New York, their first c
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