|Nieces of Aunt Kate, Jenna, Alex and Marki in New York|
In November Jim wrote that he was coming home. They had removed all the debris and found, when they reached the river bed, that it had already been worked by someone. Those huge rocks and been deposited in that place in the river by a flood, a cloudburst probably higher in the mountains. So that was that.
One afternoon I saw someone approaching the house with a little bundle on a stick over his shoulder. I didn't recognize him. As far as dress was concerned he bore no resemblance to the spic and span Jimmie Ham who left West Point in June. But it was Jim arriving just in time to summon the doctor. For two or three days I had been feeling sick, and at the time of his coming, I was suffering such pain that medical help was imperative. At twelve o'clock that night a premature boy baby, who lived but a few minutes, was born, our fifth and last child.
Now that Jim was at home with empty pockets and I was able to be up and around, what to do next was the problem uppermost in our minds. It was a period of hard times, the depression of 1893 in its second year. There was no work to be had and Jim's thoughts turned to mining for himself as a solution. There were a number of prospects in this mining district on which the required assessment work had not been done, and according to mining law, they were open on the first of January, for any person to relocate. At one minute past twelve o'clock on January 1st, 1895, Jim put a notice of location on the Crown Point Mine. This mine had been discovered and worked in the early days by a company of men from New York, and it had paid very well. They abandoned it for better prospects closer to a mill. Since then it had been "jumped" a number of times by different parties and was open to relocation when Jim took it.
(to be continued)