John Haun Diary, April 1856

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Tuesday 1 – Dave and I went up the Pike ditch in the morning and found where the water was running out. We worked in the diggings today. Shults came home about noon and worked with us. We did not clean up today. Snowed late in the evening and rained. Nothing else today.

Wednesday 2 – Cleaned bedrock in the forenoon and got about 2 oz, with the day before. Piped in the evening but stopped and set out boxes and cleaned up, but got but little. Sterling came up about noon to let me know it would be doubtful whether. He could let me have the money or not.

Thursday 3 – Commenced piping in the morning and continued all day. We did not clean up. Shults and I went to the Point after supper and stayed a while. I saw old McFall and had a talk with him. I tried to get some money from Ike Farris but did not succeed &c &c.

Friday  4 – I started for the ranch in the morning and got there about noon. Pa and I went down in the field to look at some ground and grain. I started home and got in company with a man at the Illinois Ranch and came the balance of the way together. Pa hired Frank Goble to work on the ranch. Cloudy today but no rain of consequence.

Saturday 5 – Dave started for the Ranch towards noon with some butter. Jim and I worked today. The hose burst twice today. We got about $22 today.

Sunday  6 – I went to the Point early in the morning and took a couple of big slugs of gold and deposited them with Thompson as security for the sum of $500 at the rate of 3 per cent per month. Came home got some butter and a pick and shovel and started for the Ranch and got there after dinner and took the money to Pa. Lizzie and I called on Miss Cleveland after supper. Rained a little in the evening. Nothing else today.

Monday 7 – Dave and I started home and got there a little before noon and found Joe Ficklin and Tim Compton there from below. They came up to get work. Joe went to the Point and got himself a gum coat to work in. Jim and I took out the hose to the diggings and set the boxes ready for work, moved some rocks so as to set the boxes. Joe, Dave and I went to the lower diggings to get a piece of hose to put on the ours above. We ripped it off and left it lying. Nothing else new today.

Tuesday 8 – Jim and I took the old hose up to the upper diggings and laid them so as to dry. We set our leading troughs and dug a ditch. Joe commenced work today with Dave in the lower diggings. We are about ready for washing.

Wednesday 9 – Jim and I laid our hose and got ready for washing. I went to the Point for a  hoe and some twine, came back and went to piping. Mrs Reel and Miss Williams came to the diggings in the evening, took her little girl to the Willow Ranch. I also sewed up a hole in the hose we broke our hoe from the bank falling in. Rained a little in the evening &c.

Thursday 10 – Cloudy today. Jim and I piped today in the upper diggings and took out $40, one piece weighing $25. One of our boxes fell and broke to pieces as we were cleaning up. Rained a little today. Dave took out pretty good wages today. Tom Eves came by and took dinner with us &c.

Friday 11 – Rained a little all day. Jim and I piped all day. Pa and Kyler came by the cabin about noon, also Duesler and Phelps. Duesler and Phelps went to the Point. Pa and Kyler went out to the Diggings Kyler stayed all night. We cleaned up a couple of boxes but got but little. Nothing else of interest today.

Saturday 12 – We found the boxes covered up in mud and some of them broken. We cleaned bedrock after getting out the boxes. We took out 5 oz and $2. Rained some today. Nothing else new today.

Sunday 13 – Pa and Jim went to the Point in the morning. I saw O’Grady today. Thompson packed over our stove to the Ranch and went to putting up the fireplace. Kyler came up after Dave and me to see about buying old Charlie’s claims on Rocky Bar. We all went down and stayed until night. We closed the trade, gave him $2,500 to be paid in six months. Rained off and on all day. Nothing else today.

Monday 14 – Joe worked with me today piping. Did not clean up our channel. Looked very much like running out. Rained nearly all day. Dave made about $11. Nothing else today.

Tuesday 15 – Joe and I piped in the forenoon and commenced cleaning bedrock in the after, but did not finish it. I went to the Willow Ranch and took a note to send to Pa. I gave it to Phelps. The bank caved in and raised one of our boxes out of its place. Our channel is about to run out. A pretty day today

Wednesday 16 – Cleaned bedrock all day and took out 7 oz and $2. Dave worked with  us. He went to the Point in the forenoon to get a pick sharpened but had to leave it. I got a note from Pa. We finished about an hour by sun and helped Dave clean up the lower boxes. Nothing else today.

Thursday 17 – A beautiful day. Joe and I dug out a couple of boxes, broken ones. We set some and laid our hose and tried our pipe over on again. We piped out some mud. Dave started for Quincy after dinner. Nothing else.

Friday 18 – Joe and I worked in the main ravine awhile in the morning but quit. Set the rocker and commenced cleaning some bedrock that was  left last year, but we soon laid aside the rocker and set a couple of boxes and finished it. We got $2.50. We carried all of the broken boxes and rocker to the house. Nothing of consequence today.

Saturday 19 – Joe and I sluiced off tailings in the main ravine in the forenoon. The old stump lid in the ravine. Joe and I started for Quincy after dinner. We met Dave this side of the Illinois Ranch coming home. Root over took us and we went together the balance of the way. We found everybody busy at the Ranch rolling up logs and burning them. We helped until night. Stayed all night.

Sunday 20 – We stayed about the house in the forenoon burning chip piles &c. We all went to the lower end of the Ranch on the evening.  Taylor came by and we all started home and got there before night. Came by Loyd’s cabin and got an oven and some pans. Nothing of interest today.

Monday 21 – Kyler, Pa and Dave started for Rocky Bar after breakfast and carried their blankets. Joe and I went to work. Cleaned up our boxes the first thing and got 6$. We set the penstalk and hose over again put on our pipe and cut a little ditch. We worked at the stump in the evening. Nothing else.

Tuesday 22 – Joe and I worked as usual. Our hoses burst and we had to work without them. We got the stump did not clean up today. Pa came by on his way to the valley. Nothing else of consequence today.

Wednesday 23 – We set our boxes and cleaned bedrock and got $19. Lem came by in his way to Rocky Bar to work on the flume in Pa’s place. We set our boxes and went to sluicing off tailings. I mended the hose in the evening and commenced piping. Clouded up in the evening &c &c.

Thursday 24 – Joe and I piped all forenoon and cleaned bedrock in the after. Took out $14. We set a couple of boxes ready for sluicing. Very cold all day and cloudy. Nothing else of consequence today.

Friday 25 – Sluiced and piped all day. I picked up $8.50 off the bedrock. Nothing else

Saturday 26 – Set our boxes and commenced cleaning up and took out about $54. Fox came by the diggings after dinner from the wedding of Miss Williams to Lacy at the Willow Ranch. They had a shivaree1 last night. Joe and I went to the Point after supper. They had a dance at Fox’s. Lizzie came from the valley today. Joe and I went home about 11 o’clock. No more today.

Sunday 27 – Cloudy in the forenoon. Dave and Lem came up after breakfast after some of their things. Joe and Lem went up the Pike ditch to turn on the water that had been stopped for 2 or 3 days. Joe and I went with them to Rocky Bar to look at the diggings. Commenced raining while we were there. Joe and I came on home. I bought a keg of molasses and some beef. We got a pick that Dave left to get sharpened. Pa and Kyler came by after supper. Nothing otherwise new today.

Monday 28 – Found it raining in the morning went out to work as usual but did not stay long. We got very cold. We commenced piping in the left hand bank but found no channel. Rained and snowed all day. Very disagreeable, and the snow covered the ground towards night. We did not clean up today. Nothing else new today.

Tuesday 29 – Snow still on the ground. Very cold and disagreeable today. We piped a little in the forenoon and ground sluiced the balance of the day. Picked up a little gold of the bedrock. Cleaned up our boxes but didn’t get much. Nothing else of consequence today.

Wednesday 30 – Worked in the rain all forenoon–and snow. We got very cold didn’t work in the afternoon. Stayed in the cabin until late in the evening and went to the Point and ground our axes and then went to Rocky Bar and stayed all night. I looked at Dover and company work a while Pa and I stayed at Sterling’s all night. Joe stayed  at Kyler’s and Dave’s cabin. Heard that Maguire was killed from a bank caving on him and hurt his partner to some extent. Rained and snowed all day Nelson Creek is up again. Nothing else new today.

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  1. The custom of banging pots and pans, blowing noise makers and playing music, and teasing newlyweds on the wedding night.