Reprint of this story from the January 19, 1900 issue of The Grand Encampment Herald brought to you courtesy of Grandma’s Cabin, Encampment, Wyoming. Preserving History - Serving the Community.
J. G. Rankin Tells of The Greatness of The Wyoming Copper Belt
The Denver Republican published the following in regard to Mr. Rankin’s recent visit to that city:
James G. Rankin, an old pioneer and prospector, who drove the first stake in the great copper district of Grand Encampment, Wyo., is in the city having some samples of copper ore assayed which he believes is from what will prove to be as great a copper mine as; anything yet opened in the great copper belt of Wyoming.
Mr. Rankin was at the Albany and told about his great find with the modesty of the mountaineer though it is evident that he believes himself to be the owner of as good a copper property as there is in the United States. While he has large interests in the Grand Encampment district he is not neglectful of opportunities in other directions. A considerable amount of his work in the field has been directed toward the tracing of the copper belt of Grand Encampment in a northerly direction.
Nothing has been found of importance between the railroad and Grand Encampment but Mr. Rankin did not allow that fact to deter him from going farther north, and one day last summer, while driving over the hills about five miles north of Rawlins, in a comparatively level country, with few, if any, signs of mineralization, he came upon a dyke which had every appearance of being a well-defined lead, with plentiful indication of copper values. A careful investigation of the locality was made, and Mr. Rankin succeeded in tracing the vein for a considerable distance, the partially decomposed float showing that the ledge carried exceptionally high values.
Mr. Rankin thinks that the great copper belt, of which Grand Encampment and Battle Lake are now the principal exponents, will be found to continue northwest for a long distance and that it will become one of the greatest copper districts in the country. He says that the Grand Encampment country has been scarcely scratched and that mines will be found there as large as or larger than either the Doane or Ferris Haggarty.
He has investigated the country in that vicinity quite thoroughly and predicts that not only will it develop big copper mines, but that gold mines of exceptionally good grade will be found there.
E. E. Quinby, who has just leased the Wagoner shingle mill, contemplates adding a sawmill equipment to the plant. He has ample water power to operate a large mill and sees in the near future a lively demand for all kinds of building material at Grand Encampment. We can say with a fair .degree of certainty that Mr. Quinby will have a sawmill in operation, in addition to his shingle mill, within ninety days.
A. J. Ferry has secured a lot on Rankin Avenue, opposite the Rankin livery barn, and will at once erect a substantial building for a blacksmith and general repair shop. A first class wood worker is interested in the business who is competent to make or repair anything from a wagon to new house furniture. Mr. Ferry is now drawing lumber for the building and will open for business with the least possible delay. This for the present fills one more of the growing demands of our thriving city.
Willis’ ice house is being filled in anticipation of a big demand the coming season.
The Grand Encampment Mercantile company have put in a set of computing scales of the famous Dayton, Ohio manufacture. They make a fine addition to this splendidly stocked store and are an improvement that one would scarcely expect to see in a town of the proportions of Grand Encampment.
The interior of the popular Bohn hotel has been greatly improved by covering the walls with pretty paper. The dining room has been made especially attractive and cozy by the artistic placing of a number of beautiful pictures. And, what is most important, the table service furnished by our enterprising landlady is not excelled this side of Cheyenne.