The Map
All Articles
Resource Timeline
The Vision
Nuts & Bolts

‘Faith in the Inlet Mines’

Transcibed 1/31/2021

Calligan, R.H. “Faith in the Inlet Mines.” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 26, 1897. Accessed December 8, 2020.



A Peaceable and Happy People at Sunrise City, a Town Controlled by Miners – Some Seattle Men Who Have Made a Good Deal of Money.

Robert H. Calligan, who a few years ago was superintendent of the city water works, is home from Sunrise City, Alaska. He is a member of the United States Mercantile Company, which operates the Stella Erland and does a mercantile business at Sunrise. Calligan is looked upon as the pioneer of Sunrise. When he went there in May, 1896, there was no Sunrise City, only a cabin or two. He made it his headquarters and announced that he was there to stay. Many miners and prospectors who had located further down the river concluded that Sunrise was to be the city of that part of the Cook Inlet country, and in a very short time they had changed their quarters.

Sunrise is on Six-Mile creek, which is on Turnagain arm, and is probably the ideal mining camp of the great Alaskan country. The town has fine, good frame houses and many splendid log cabins.

"We are a peaceable and happy people up there. said Calligan to a Post-Intelligencer reporter yesterday afternoon. "The miners have supreme control of the city. Of course we follow the established code in governing mining matters, but the business of the town is in the hands of three trustees, who carry out the wishes of the miners. The latter are peaceable and honest and in all matters are strict and straight and just. You can't say that of every mining city, but you can in speaking of Sunrise, and no one will come forward to challenge the statement. We Insist on improvements. A miner Is allowed a lot but to hold it he must make certain improvements within a specified time. If he fails he loses it.

"There has been much said about the future of the Cook Inlet country. Every man has his own views. I have mine. The men who are developing the country are satisfied with it. True, it Is not as rich as the Klondike, but then we have many advantages that the Klondike does not and never will possess. With very few exceptions the miners In our country have done well. They go to work along in July and are not interfered with by the elements until October. Sometimes they have two and three weeks in October, during which time they make as much progress as in the summer time. Of course there is some chance in placer mining. Your claim may be a good one. it may be a bad one; you cannot tell anything about it until you get down to bedrock. If your bedrock Is found to be smooth, then you know better than words can tell you that your work has been fruitless. In such cases the men who have claims below you are the ones who reap the harvest. Many miners who come into the country buy claims on what is known as a bedrock price. The purchaser is allowed so much a day for developing the claim and he pays his purchase price according to the amount he takes out. A man may work for some time making only a bare living, while others near him are cleaning up good money every day.

"I recall the case of H. F. Stratton. a brother of Judge Stratton, of this city. He and several others came along there last summer and purchased a claim from several men who had worked it the previous summer. Anything but success had accompanied their efforts. They had not made a good living. Stratton and his men took hold of the claim and marvelous was the change that followed. I have been told by men who know that Stratton and his partners took out from $60 to $100 a day each. The claim is one of the best in the country.

"Just before I left Sunrise I went to make a call on A. L. Mills, of Seattle, who with Erickson and Heddy, two Seattle men, own a fine claim. Mills told me to go out on the claim and gather a little gold. In a very short time I had a small bottle filled with the precious stuff. As is well known, W. W. Price and H. C. Pierce, of the Polly Mining Company, are two Seattle men who are making money. They have probably as fine a claim as will be found in the country. Price was at one time on the Seattle police force. We all have faith in the country. I do not advise any man to go there, because If I should and he failed to win out I might come In for some criticism. But we are satisfied with our country. Andrew Williamson, an old California and Montana miner, who was In the Cook Inlet country last summer, told me that in his judgment not six claims in the entire country have been developed. He said that we did not appreciate the richness of the country. Perhaps not, but we are satisfied.