Oregon's Trails

The Santiam gold rush was on.

The Oregonian for July 9, 1864, reported a proposed to the Santiam mines and Quartzville at the base of Gold Mountain through Oregon City south to Sublimity, across Potter's Ferry on the North Santiam and east through Fox Prairies and Meadows. By that time, 400 to 500 claims were being worked.

The town of Quartzville was laid out in 1865, although Maxwell reported later that searches of Linn County records failed to turn up any trace of an official plat. By that time, he wrote, "this El Dorado had a population of panners, prospectors and panhandlers estimated to number at least 1,000."

Few if any took away much to show for their labor, and by late 1865 Santiam gold stocks were "regarded as little more than waste paper." A visitor in 1871 found "the place to be in decay, a ghost town where bats and owls roosted in vacant buildings and where gaping, exhausted tunnels had the appearance of hideous bores."

Efforts to revive the mines began in 1889. In 1894, W.B. Lawler announced plans for a20-mile road from the rail head at Gates to Quartzville, .which he renamed Anidem - Medina spelled backward, for reasons, unknown except to Lawler who left no explanation where he'd install facilities for 1,000 miners. His company, backed by New York and European capitalists, invested $100,000, recouped its costs in the first year, then faded and finally folded in 1897.

The discontented miners in Ani-dem nee Quartzville turned their attention to greener, or whiter, pastures- the Klondike. The Anidem post office closed on June 16, 1902.

There was some activity during the Depression by unemployed men who built shacks, lived off the land and hoped to pull a little profit from their gold pans.

The site today, on federal land northeast of Green Peter Reservoir on the Middle Fork of the Santiam, is mostly memory, the only real remnant being namesake Quartz-ville Creek.

Amateur prospectors and rock-hounds still find it the source of satisfaction, if not riches.

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