m. 29 OCT 1863
Facts and Events
!CENSUS:1860 California (Siskiyou, Yreka) Page Page 13 167/165 Day Laborer (living with Stock Dealers)
Smelser planted carp in his lake, and they propagated rapidly. By July of 1885 he had fish that weighted from five to eight pounds. The lake was six to eight feet deep, full of a luxuriant growth of tules and literaly teeming with fish. He had planted the fish for table use, but they became most difficult to catch. He had tried to tame them by throwing meat and bread on the water, but the fish found more palatable food in the lake. Fisherman had tried every device known to try to catch them including nets which snared in the tules.
When Smelser wanted fish to eat, he would shoot a few. He told a newspaper reporter that if he had a practical means of catching them, he could supply all the railroad towns for miles with fresh carp. In those days carp was considered equal to trout as table food. He offered a reward for anyone who could come up with a means of snaring several hundred of the fish daily. 8
In January of 1882, Smelser was promoting a new ore discovery that was creating some excitement. The ore was argentiferous gray copper which carried considerable gold and silver. It was found in a 50--foot vein with a strike of north and dip west at 50 degrees. Smelser & Co had sunk a 70--foot shaft intersecting the vein which improved toward the bottom. 9 The ore was later determined to assay $20 to $60 per ton in silver and 12 to 26 per cent in copper. It was not rich enough to ship, but the property was a candidate for a reduction works which could concentrate the ore. 10 These are probably the copper workings over the hill from the Smelser ranch on which a cabin and other ruins stood in the 1970s.
In March of 1884, Smelser's wife, Eliza, gave birth to a daughter. The next year Smelser's 8--year--old son, Wesley Levi, was playing in a cold mountain stream and fell victim to rheumatic fever. He died March 20, 1885 and was buried in Golconda.11
Isaiah Smelser was thrown from a wagon and killed Tuesday morning, March 23, 1897. He and Mitchell Brown, one of his rach employees, were hauling wood about 3 1/2 miles from the ranch. They had loaded about half the wagon. Smelser was seated on the seat and started to drive to another pile of wood a few yards away. Mitchell was at the wood pile waiting for him to drive up.
The team of colts became frightened and started to run. A wheel struck a rock, and Smelser was thrown to the ground, striking his head and shoulder. Brown asked if he was hurt, but Smelser didn't answer. Brown turned Smelser over and found that he was dead. He went for help and then helped take Smelser back to the ranch. Pete Finley, who was driving a band of sheep nearby, witnessed the accident. 12
Smelser's widow and children mvoed to Golconda where the children attended school. In 1900, the Golconda census records Eliza Smelser age 54, Rosa born in 1884, Daniel born in May 1886, Fred born in November 1888.
Smelser Springs was shut off by the earthquake of 1915 but came back in 1940. Springs on the other side of Pumpernickel Valley were not affected by the quake. 13 The pass, the abandoned ranch and a small peak carry Smelser's name.
The Silver State
SUMMIT SPRINGS MINES
An Immense Ledge and an inviting Field for Prospectors.
A miner who visited the Summit Springs mines, recently discovered, writes to the SILVER STATE as follows concerning them:
The new discovery of Smelser & Co. is about twelve iles from Stone House, on the C. P. R. R., in a southerly direction from that place and on the east side of the range. The vein strikes north and dips to the west at an angle of about 50 degrees, and crosses a low hill jutting out from the main range. The vein is about 50 feet wide on the surface, and all ore. I went down the incline shaft about 70 feet. It is sunk about the middle of the lead. The ore has improved with depth adn is much better at the bottom of the shaft than at the surface. All the rock taken from the shaft is strongly impregnanted with ore, and Mr. Smith, the Superintendent, has offered to pay all expenses incurred thus far for the ore on the dump. The ore is argentiferous gray copper, carrying considerable gold as well as silver. The company will start a level from the bottom of the incline and cross-cut the vein, so as to find th ewall and ascertain the exact width of the lode, and they do not want visitors until they have properly defined it. The ledge can be traced by croppings carrying ore over six thousand feet. Smelser's ranch is about a mile and a half south of the mine, and a large stream of water flows there. The range south is capped with limestone threaded with veins of galena, copper and silver, and covered with groves of juniper wood, and water is abundant.
Mr. Smelser has made some expensive and permanent improvements at his place. He has built high dams and long levies which back the water on to a flat, forming a lake, from which he irrigates his extensive alfalfa and grain fields. From what I have seen I have come to the conclusion that Summit Springs will prove to be one of the most extensive mining localities in Nevada.
The Silver State
Summit Springs District.
Plenty of Fishes But No Way of Catching Them
!NEWSPAPER: There is an error in this account-the ranch is southeast of Golconda. Kathleen has been on the road to the ranch.
Description of Summit Springs, now referred to as the Old Cow Camp
The crab apples use to be used for cider.
The house was on 50 acres. There is a foundation and dug-out left.
50,000 sheep were grazed in the area in the 1940s & 1950s.
The Servel family leased the ranch
It's about 28 miles south of the Highway.
Isaiah was cutting Juniper fence posts when the colts bolted.