Cornucopia is located high in the Eagle mountains at the
The peaks as seen from the townsite of Cornucopia were named by the miners, Cornucopia Mountain, Granite Mountain, Red Mountain, Mt. Roosevelt, Mt. Way Up and Simmons Mountain.
Elevations range from 4,700 feet at the townsite to 8,650 feet at the top of Cornucopia Mountain.
The town was hastily constructed when gold was discovered in 1880.
The town of Cornucopia got it's name about 1885.
Names of some mines worked at Cornucopia are as follows: The Simmons Mine, the Way Up Mine, Queen of the West, the Robert Emmett, the Union, the Companion (later Union and Companion joined together) the Whitman, the Red Jacket, the Big Tree, the Mayflower, the Wild Irishman, the Contact Vein, the Last Chance.
Official records show that three mines, the Union-Companion, the Red Jacket and the Last Chance Mine produced $1,008,000.00 prior to 1903. Between 1903 and 1904 some records exist stating 272,776.64 ounces of gold and 1,088,000 ounces of silver were recovered from 983,927 tons of ore.
In spite of the lure to the mines for jobs, for the security of the jobs offered there, men who worked at the mines were well aware of a gloomy threat the mines presented. Not only were they subject to mine cave-ins, to premature dynamite explosions and potential suffocation, they feared the "sickness" that always came to men working long underground.
Cornucopia Gold Mines Company was also aware of the "sickness". In the last years the company provided a recreation room and a solarium to provide artificial sunshine to the miners. This did little to stop the deaths that occurred frequently in the mines.
(From "Oregon's Golden Years by Miles F. Potter".)
Both the town and its fabulous gold are on the west slope of Pine Creek canyon, north of Halfway in Baker County. From the old townsite one can see the Queen of the West and the Last Chance mines perched at an elevation of 7,000 feet on the sides of the Cornucopia Granites, where the winter snows are about seventy-five inches deep.
Today, should you take the time to climb the mountain to these great mines, you can feel the silence around the darkened tunnels with their rotting timbers - the rusty ore carts standing empty on tracks that disappear into darkness.
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