Some old timers in Waldo
in the early 1900's by Bob Haskell
[This is a hand written piece with no date on it, copy is
Bob Haskell was a welchman. he was an expert placer miner, he also
understood the dialect of the Chinook indians. he was the man that
brought Jim Logan and Phil Frainey to Waldo for their first time in
1896. They had been working at provolt on Williams Creek, and got
layed off. Bob said they would find work in Waldo. So they walked
out to Waldo, and got jobs for the Simmons saw mill on the Illinois
river near the end of Dick george Road.
Bob was a quiet sort of man who always attended to
his own business, and was very sensitive about offending people. He
never played poker at the Waldo store where there was a game
everynight, but would play two hand cribbage. He would sit and watch
the other men play, and you could find him every night in the back
part of the store where there were lots of chairs and a card table
and a big wood stove.
George Elder closed the store promptly at 9:00 pm
, and when he began closing the big iron doors and windows, Bob and
the rest of the men would get up and leave.
When Jim Logan became successful in the mines, out
of appreciation for Bob bringing him to Waldo, he took care of him,
gave him a house to live in and he became a general handyman around
Logans place, taking care of the garden, orchard and berry patches,
with a good deal of time left to mine. Logan let him mine anywhere
he wanted to on the Simmons Logan and Cameron property.
Bob would prospect around and find a good place to
set up sluice boxes or a rocker. he went over to french Flat, where
the french miners never let the chinamen work, and at the upper edge
of their working, he was surprized at the amount of gold that he
He began to feel kind of guilty; so he ask Logan
how much gold he could take out. Logan said all he could get, Bob
said how about $10.00 a day for a few hours work (wages at the Logan
mine was $3.00 a day for 12 hours work). Logan said he didn't
believe him; but Bob showed him how rich it was. Logan them moved
his entire operation to that location and with two miles of 16 inch
hydraulic pipe moved there for three years and took out $50,000.00
in gold. For this discovery. The next winter Logan sent Bob on a
prospecting trip to Alaska, and although he found more gold in the
mines in Alaska, he decided on account of the freezing weather there
it could not be mined at a profit, so Logan gave up the idea of
mining in Alaska.
George Elder hired Bob to drive the grocery
delivery wagon. It was a light box wagon with a light team of
horses.One of his jobs was to go over in "the Valley" or Holland as
that area was known, to the creamery once a week for butter. (the
road to holland was down the stage road now known as the rockydale
road to just north of Jimmie Little hill, and turned right at a
slight angle and forded the Illinois River just below Hogue hill and
then on almost a direct line to Holland).
One day on the way back from the creamery, Bob
fell asleep while driving along, the horses pulled up in the shade
of a tree and let him sleep. When he awoke it was way late, and
George was waiting for the butter which was in a bad condition when
he arrived at the store: so he fired Bob. The job didn't pay much
only $12.00 a month with three meals a day. He could sleep in any
unoccuied building in Waldo of which there were many.
George elder operated the hotel and store having
taken them over when Mr. Veatch, who married Charlie Deckers widow
and had moved to Cottage grove.
Bob was a good story teller and one of his stories
was: of one time when he was mining in the mother lode country of
California. he had a cabin back on a creek where when he wanted
freash meat he would go to the hill back of his cabin and kill a
deer.. he had a 45-70 single shot rifle. he used to reload his
shells and after firing them several times they would become
enlarged and stick in the chamber.
one day while hunting on the hill he came on a
grizzley bear, so he decided to have some bear meat. he shot at the
bear and missed, he tried to reload his rifle but the cartridge
failed to eject. The bear took after him so he dropped the rifle and
climbed a tree. The bear came up to the tree and saw the rifle ,
picked it up pulled back the lever and the shell bounced out., then
he looked up at Bob and motioned for him to throw down another
shell. Bob said of coarse the bear knew I wouldn't do that because
he would have shot me if I did. Then the bear tried to climb the
tree; but it was to small for him to climb, then he tried to shake
him out but that wouldn't work, then he got a pole and tried to poke
him out with no better success. So after lookin over the situation
he went down the trail to Bobs house. As soon as he got out of sight
Bob came down out of the tree and relaoaded his rifle being curious
to know what the bear was up to he went back towards his house and
here comes the bear up the trail with an axe over his sholder. he
was going to chop the tree down.
The Logan Simmons Cameron mine was sold to Mr.
Esterly. Logan done some mining in the Happy camp area in which he
lost a good deal of money. Bob Haskell went with him, and when Jim
Logan stopped mining, Bob was along in years and went to the Old
Folks home in Yreka where he died a few years later.
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was last updated on -05/29/2010
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