John Haun Diary, May 1854

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Monday 1 – The first day of May 1854. Clear in in the morning but cloudy in the evening. Ground sluiced in the forenoon but washed a little after dinner. Dobson and Givens came to the diggings and we quit for the evening. We bought Dobsons interest for $500, $200 down and the rest in 30 days. The first day of May ever brings back pleasant recollections of the past–the May hours spent in pleasant company.

Tuesday 2 – Clear and pretty all day. Washed in the forenoon. I took out $11 and ground sluiced in the evening. Nothing otherwise new today.

Wednesday 3 – Nothing particularly new today. Set and patched up some boxes in the forenoon and washed in the after and took out $19. Yank came up today.

Thursday 4 – Very windy all day. Washed today and took out $11. Quite before sunset and took a couple of picks to the Point to get sharpened. Got a can of fresh butter sent to us by H.P. from Marysville. Stopped awhile at the saw mill. A great many miners about the Point nothing new today.

Friday 5 – Windy all day, turned cool after dark. Done some heavy ground sluicing today  worked hard. Nothing else worthy of note today.

Saturday 6 – Cold cloudy and snowed all day, covered the ground fairly. After supper, done some heavy ground sluicing again today. Got very wet and cold and &c.

Sunday 7 – Found the ground covered with snow in the morning but soon went off. Commenced snowing after dinner and continued until in the night. Dobson and Givens came up about noon. Paid him $200 in part for his claim planted some potatoes in the evening late. Yank came up about breakfast time to play chess.

Monday 8 – Very cold in the morning. Pa went to the Point after breakfast. He received a letter from H.P. stating that Dave had left in January and nobody knew where he had went. Pa bought Fox’s and Kline’s interest in the mountain company paid them $15 and $20—pretty cheap. Done some more heavy ground sluicing today. Nothing else today.

Tuesday 9 – Nothing new today. Cleared away the rocks &c. Washed in the evening and took out $4. Rained a little after dinner but quit about night. Nothing else today.

Wednesday 10 – Washed a little today but not a great deal on account of men stopping at the diggings to talk with us. Clear in the morning but cloudy in the evening. Took out $12. Yank came up after tea to play chess. The saw mill broke the crank of the wheel. We talked of buying hose and pipe to wash the diggings with.

Thursday 11 – Rained off and on all day. Worked all day and only took out 7$. No more today.

Friday 12 – Cloudy at times all day. Done no working in the forenoon on account of some men coming up from the Point to buy in with us. We walked round all forenoon looking around. They took dinner with us before they left with the intention of buying Mathew’s and Curley’s claims if they could. Hawkins and Shaw washed in the afternoon and took out $17. Nothing else today.

Saturday 13 – Rained in the morning but cleared off before noon and turned out to be a pretty day. Worked all forenoon. Hawkins and Shaw came to the diggings after dinner. We done no work after they came. They bought Curley’s and Mathew’s claims. Shaw and I shoveled in a little dirt and took out about an ounce. Nothing more today.

Sunday 14 – Found it raining in the morning but cleared off after breakfast took a couple of picks to the Point. Went to the new store on Sterling flat. Also went to A.D. McDonald’s camp. A great many people at the Point, gamblers mostly. Hawkins and Shaw is to give us $400 and come in equal partners with us. Rained after tea.

Monday 15 – Pleasant all day. Hawkins and Shaw came over after a late breakfast we made up a bill of goods to lay in for the summer. Hawkins started about noon for the valley. We all went to work before before dinner. Pa took a cramp in his back and got very bad after supper.

Tuesday 16 – Shaw and myself worked in the evening and took out $9, no more. Shaw and I worked all forenoon. Hopkins came about noon and worked with us in the afternoon. A cousin of Hawkins’ pa came out after dinner and worked a little, took out $15, no more.

Wednesday 17 – Clear in the forenoon but rained in the after. Commenced working the ravine near the Willow Ranch. Cleaned out the ditch turned the water in and commenced ground sluicing. Pa a little better today. Shaw and Hopkins went to the Point and got him some medicine.

Thursday 18 – Ground sluiced all day. Pa very sick in the evening.

Friday 19 – Set the boxes and went to washing and only took out $6 all fine gold. Pa very bad about supper time in a great deal of pain. No more today.

Saturday 20 – Clear and pretty in the forenoon but raised in the afternoon but cleared off before night. Took out about $9. Pa better today.

Sunday 21 – A clear, pretty day. Thundered a great deal for the last three days. Shaw, Hopkins and myself went up the ditch in the forenoon and found it broke in one or two places. Shaw and Hopkins went to the Point. After we came back Pa received a couple of letters, one from home and one from Iowa. Heard that Dave was in Georgetown. Stayed  at the cabin all day and done washing.

Monday 22 – Went to the Point in the morning for a plan, nails &c to make some new riffles with three of us worked on them. Hawkins came back in the evening with new pipe. Nothing otherwise new today.

Tuesday 23 – Clear in the forenoon but thundered and hailed in the evening. Put the riffles in the boxes in the morning. Done no work in the afternoon. Hawkins Shaw and myself went up the ditch a piece and looked around prospecting. Nothing else new today.

Wednesday 24 – Clear in the forenoon but clouded up and thundered very heavily and rained in the afternoon. Washed in the forenoon and a little while in the after.

Thursday 25 – A clear beautiful day. Washed in the forenoon. Cleaned up the Hungarian riffles1 and set boxes, and took out $13. Hawkins went to the Point in the evening.

Friday 26 – Clear all day. Washed today and took out $18. Hawkins went to the Point in the afternoon to see if our goods had arrived. Hopkins went to the ranch for some milk for supper. The sun appeared red after dinner. Nothing else of note today.

Saturday 27 – Washed today and took out about $42. The goods arrived today. Played a little on my violin after supper. The company talking of buying some more claims. Nothing much today.

Sunday 28 – Cool but pleasant all day. We went to look at some new diggings for the purpose of buying if we liked. Also went to the Point to get some picks sharpened. Pa received a couple if letters from Ky, one from home. Went to the Point again about sunset to take a letter down. Pa good deal better today.

Monday 29 – Very cool in the night and all day. Washed today and took out $62 between the three of us. Pa and Hawkins fixing hose and pipe all day. They went to prospect a claim above the Point in the forenoon. No more today.

Tuesday 30 – Pretty cool in the morning and evening. Washed today and three of us took out $53. Pa and Hawkins still fixing hose and leading troughs. They all came in our cabin after supper to play cards while I played the violin.

Wednesday 31 – Clear but cool for this time of year. Washed today and took out $31. We dug up a tree and fell to across a box and broke it. Pa and Hawkins still at work at the leading troughs and hose and riffles Davies and co moved out of the other cabin today. Nothing more of interest today.

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  1. Hungarian riffles are a type of sluice box texturing designed to catch and trap the heavier gold while soil, gravel and debris flow through. Hungarian riffles are shaped like an inverted letter L. They are known for causing a high level of turbulence in the sluice as the water passes through.