Matchless Mine, Silver Kings, Horace Tabor, Baby Doe Tabor. The History Of Leadville, Colorado Boom Days, gold mining, and ghost towns.
Matchless Mine title

...From Rags...

Tabor’s Rise to Wealth
August Rische, born in Minden, Prussia in 1833 came to the United States at age 19, and after serving in the Civil War, came west to Colorado Territory to become a shoemaker. But the vast wealth being enjoyed in the gold and silver mines just over the Mosquito Range near present day Leadville enticed him to accomplish far more than making shoes the rest of his life. Forming a partnership agreement with another local shoemaker he had met in the area, George Hook who had come west with his parents from Pittsburgh around 1876, the two began to dig into the rich, rocky soil of Lake County where new silver discoveries were being made almost hourly. But it cost money to buy food and supplies, and the two realized they needed a "backer".
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At the time, Fryer Hill (just outside present day Leadville), had exploded with mining bonanzas and new discoveries, particularly now that silver had become a valuable commodity, and these ongoing discoveries kept emotions and hopes high. Rische had previous experience in mining, although not a great deal, and Hook had made the acquaintance of the well known Horace Tabor who was Leadville’s postmaster and who operated a mercantile store in Leadville and the surrounding towns of Oro City and Malta - two critical factors which helped make Rische and Hook instantly rich.

Needing tools, food and other supplies to continue their mining efforts, the two decided to locate a local merchant willing to "grubstake" them... a common practice in the mining camps where miners would exchange a portion of their findings, should any be made, with someone who would provide them with the necessary tools and supplies needed to explore the hills and valleys for precious ore.
Horace Tabor

Horace Tabor was second on their list, and as he had done countless times before with no previous success, grubstaked Rische and Hook. The two wanted to sink a shaft on Fryer Hill themselves... specifically just a few hundred feet north of the New Discovery Mine which was now making George Fryer, it’s discoverer, an instant millionaire. Tabor had little expectation that Rische and Hook would actually make a discovery even worth the grubstake... picks, shovels and food estimated to be valued at around $17.00 the first time around.
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But after a second grubstake from Tabor, at 27 feet, the two shoemakers hit paydirt... a streak of carbonate ore that ran 200 ounces of silver to the ton. It was May 15th, 1878. When Tabor heard the news, he rushed up Fryer Hill from his mercantile store located on Chestnut Street in Leadville, to Rische and Hook’s discovery, now named for Hook’s home town, The Little Pittsburg (without the "h" since another similar name had already been filed using the "h"). According to the grubstake agreement, Tabor was entitled to a 1/3 interest in the discovery.

Tabor, Rische and Hook now feverishly worked the mine until June 10th when they shipped their first ore, and they realized now for certain that they had struck it rich. By the end of the summer they were each able to declare a $10,000 dividend for themselves. It was a lucky $17.00 investment Tabor had made, but a drop in the bucket compared to what he would make in the next several years with other mining investments and a seemingly unending lucky streak. He had become an instant millionaire like no other, and was now the recognized "Silver King" of Colorado.


Matchless Mine Home Page
...From Rags, Tabor’s Rise To Wealth
...To Riches, Tabor’s Purchase of the Matchless Mine
...To Rags, The Loss of the Tabor Fortune & Matchless Mine

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To read a related story on Baby Doe Tabor
www.BabyDoeTabor.com

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Colorado Gold Boom of 1860: Discovery of the California Gulch $ 12.95
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Leadville’s Story of Baby Doe Tabor, Horace Tabor, Silver Kings, Matchless Mine, Boom Days, and Colorado History.


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