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 SPURS n SIX GUNS TIMELINE The Town of SHADY GULCH

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PostSubject: SPURS n SIX GUNS TIMELINE The Town of SHADY GULCH   Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:50 am

GOLD FEVER TIMELINE for our Fictional Shady Gulch town

On March 27, 1850, Dr. Thaddeus Hildreth, with his brother George and a handful of other prospectors, made camp near here in Shady Gulch. They found gold, and miners streamed in to share the wealth. Before the month was out Hildreth's Diggings, a tent and shanty town housing several thousand miners, was created.

The first year was almost the last for the new town. Water, indispensable for mining gold, was in short supply. The area had no natural streams, only gulches carrying runoff from rain and snow. So, in June 1851, the Arizonia Territory Water Company was formed to bring water into the area. The Water Company's rates were high, so the miners formed the Coyote Hills River Water Company in 1854 to build a 60 mile aqueduct to supply the mines in Shady Gulch. The new system was not fully completed until 1858, when the more easily worked gold deposits had been exhausted and the miners were beginning to move out. Because of this, the Arizonia territory Water Company managed to acquire the new system, which cost over $1 million, for under $150,000.

Hydraulic mining was introduced to Shady Gulch Mine. Using monitors, or nozzles, to shoot water at high pressure, the miners blasted loose the gold bearing gravels and washed out the gold. The methods forced erosion and several times a year the mine shaft would collaspe injuring workers.


Meanwhile, Shady Gulch grew. Tents and shanties were being replaced with more permanent structures. Streets were laid out, and by the end of 1852 more than 150 stores, shops, saloons, and other enterprises were going strong. There was also a church, a Schoolhouse, a Masonic Lodge, and even a branch of the Sons of Temperance.

Wood had been the main construction material used in these buildings. In 1854, fire, the scourge of many mining towns, destroyed everything in Shady Gulch's central business district except the one brick building. When the town was rebuilt, locally produced red brick was used for thirty buildings. Iron doors and window shutters, and bricks laid on the buildings' roofs were additional fire protection.

In July of 1855 the New England Water Company provided piped water for fire fighting and domestic use. Seven cisterns, each with a capacity of about fourteen thousand gallons, were built under the streets.

In 1857 a second fire destroyed all the frame structures in the 13-block business district, as well as several of the brick buildings. Rebuilding began immediately, and the citizens decided to form a volunteer fire department. In 1859 the fire department acquired the Papeete, a small, fancifully decorated fire engine. Its arrival in Shady Gulch was the occasion for much fanfare and celebration. A year later the Monumental, a larger hand pumper, was added. This population growth and peak in 1865, began to overtake Coyote Hills population. The civil war was ongoing...Shady Gulch population surged past six thousand.

After 1867, when the easily mined gold was gone, the town began to decline. In the 1870s and '80s many of the vacated buildings were torn down and their sites mined, and Shady Gulch's population dropped from a peak of over six thousand to about five hundred. The town continued to survive, but not prosper for many years..



The presnt time in Shady Gulch is 1865
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