August 2014 ~~~~ Editor:  Cliff Hanger ~~~~
Log flume - Sanger, CA 
A log flume is a flume specifically constructed to transport lumber and logs down mountainous terrain to a sawmill by using flowing water. These watertight trough-like channels could be built to span a long distance across chasms and down steep mountain slopes. The use of log flumes facilitated the quick and cheap transportation of logs and thereby eliminated the need for horse- or oxen-drawn carriages on dangerous mountain trails.

Early flumes were square chutes that were prone to jams that could cause damage and required constant maintenance. In 1868, James W. Haines first built the "V" shaped log flumes that allowed a jammed log to free itself as the rising water level in the flume pushed it up. These efficient flumes consisted of 2 boards, 2 feet (0.61 m) wide, joined perpendicularly, and came in common use in the western United States during the late 19th century.

The longest log flume was reputedly the Kings River Flume in Sanger, California. Built in 1890 by the Kings River Lumber Company, it spanned over 62 miles (100 km) from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the lumber yard and railroad depot in Sanger. Together with a constant water supply from a nearby reservoir, the flume enabled the efficient transportation of boards of lumber over deep gorges and cliffs and thereby opened up the area now known as Sequoia National Forest for clearcutting of the giant Redwood forests. Proper operation was ensured by "flume herders" who at various locations along the flume checked the flow of lumber and water.

On occasion, despite being exceedingly dangerous, flume herders and others would ride down the flume in small crafts or boats, either for inspection or for thrills. Such rides were the precursor of the modern log-ride amusement park attractions.

A sawmill with log flume, Cascade Mountains, USA.
Copper Queen Mine - Wikipedia

The Copper Queen Mine was the copper mine in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, that gave birth to the surrounding town of Bisbee. In the early 1900s it was the most productive copper mine in Arizona.


The original claim to the mine was staked in 1877 by a prospector named George Warren, attracted by outcrops with the lead mineral cerussite, which often carried silver. An option on the mine was acquired in 1880 by entrepreneur Ed Reilly who raised $80,000 capital from Dewitt Bisbee to begin production. The surface pockets of cerussite were soon exhausted, but the owners found that the orebody ran 23% copper, with silver and gold as byproducts. Most mines of that era could profitably mine ore containing 3% or 4% copper, so the Copper Queen orebody was considered extraordinarily high grade. The surface oxide ore was exhausted after three or four years, but miners explored deeper and eventually found even larger orebodies.

In 1884-5 the mine was offered for sale to London investors for £350,000, but the offer was not taken up, and the mine was acquired by Phelps Dodge, now Freeport McMoRan.

In the early 20th century deposits of gold and silver were also discovered in the mine.

In 1917 the mine was involved in the Industrial Workers of the World miners' strike which led to over 1000 miners being arrested and deported in what became known as the Bisbee Deportation.

By the middle 1960s, the grade of ore from the Copper Queen had declined to 4%. The mine ceased production in 1975, but tours are conducted for visitors.

Charley Parkhurst - from Wikipedia

Charley Darkey Parkhurst, often Charlie/Charlene/Charlotte or Parkhurst, born Mary Parkhurst (18121879), was an American stagecoach driver and early California settler. Assigned female at birth, Parkhurst lived as a man for most of his life and may have been the first female-assigned person to vote in California.

Life and career

Parkhurst, also known as One Eyed Charley or Six-Horse Charley, was born Mary Parkhurst in 1812 in Sharon, Vermont, to Mary (Morehouse) Parkhurst. (father unknown) Some reports say his first name was Charles. Parkhurst had two siblings, Charles D. and Maria. Charles D. was born in 1811 and died in 1813. Mary the mother died in 1812. Some time after Charley D. died and prior to Ebenezer's re-marriage to Lucy Cushing in 1817, the two surviving children were taken to an orphanage in Lebanon, New Hampshire, where they were raised by a man named Mr. Millshark. Upon leaving the orphanage, Parkhurst adopted the name Charley Darkey Parkhurst and dressed and lived as a male for the rest of his/her life. An exhibit detailing these events can be seen at the Women's Museum of California in San Diego.

Parkhurst worked as a stable hand for Ebeneezer Balch first in Worcester, Massachusetts, then in Providence, Rhode Island, and later in the "What Cheer Stables" at the back of the Franklin House Inn in Providence for several years.

About 1849, James E. Birch (entrepreneur) and Frank Stevens went to California and consolidated several small stage lines into the California Stage Company. Parkhurst moved there and started to work for them. Shortly after arriving, he lost the use of one eye after a kick from a horse. He had a reputation as one of the finest stage coach drivers on the west coast.

Parkhurst retired from driving some years later in Watsonville, California. After trying lumbering, cattle ranching, and raising chickens in Aptos, California, he moved into a small cabin near Watsonville. Parkhurst died there on December 18, 1879, due to tongue cancer.

1868 vote

The Santa Cruz Sentinel for October 17, 1868, lists Charles Darkey Parkurst on the official poll list for the election of 1868. There is no record that Parkhurst actually cast a vote. If a vote was cast, Parkhust may have been the first assigned female at birth person to vote in California.

Local legend and Parkhurst's gravestone claims that Parkhurst was the first "female" in the United States to vote. This is incorrect as a few states allowed women to vote before 1868. The fire station in Soquel, California, has a plaque that reads: "The first ballot by a woman in an American presidential election was cast on this site November 3, 1868, by Charlotte (Charlie) Parkhurst who masqueraded as a man for much of her life. She was a stagecoach driver in the mother lode country during the gold rush days and shot and killed at least one bandit. In her later years she drove a stagecoach in this area. She died in 1879. Not until then was she found to be a woman. She is buried in Watsonville at the pioneer cemetery."

Posthumous revelation

When Parkhurst died in 1879, neighbors came to the cabin to lay out the body for burial and discovered that Parkhurst's body looked unexpectedly female. Rheumatism and cancer of the tongue were listed as causes of death. The examining doctor established that Parkhurst had given birth. A trunk in the house contained a baby's dress.

On January 9, 1880, the New York Times obituary read "Thirty Years in Disguise: A Noted Old Californian State-Driver Discovered. After Death. To be a Woman":

    ...(December 28, 1879), in a little cabin on the Moss Ranch, about six miles from Watsonville, Charley Parkhurst, the famous coachman, the fearless fighter, the industrious farmer and expert woodman died of the cancer on his tongue. He knew that death was approaching, but he did not relax the reticence of his later years other than to express a few wishes as to certain things to be done at his death. Then, when the hands of the kind friends who had ministered to his dying wants came to lay out the dead body of the adventurous Argonaut, a discovery was made that was literally astounding. Charley Parkhurst was a woman, a perfectly formed, fully developed woman...

On December 28, 1879, the San Francisco Morning Call reported Parkhurst's death without mentioning the post-mortem discovery:

    He was in his day one of the most dexterous and celebrated of the famous California drivers ranking with Foss, Hank Monk, and George
    Gordon, and it was an honor to be striven for to occupy the spare end of the driver's seat when the fearless Charley Parkhurst held the reins
    of a four-or six-in hand...

In 1955, the Pajaro Valley Historical Association erected a monument at Parkhurst's grave, which reads:

    Charley Darkey Parkhurst (1812-1879) Noted whip of the gold rush days drove stage over Mt. Madonna in early days of Valley. Last run 
    San Juan to Santa Cruz. Death in cabin near the 7 mile house. Revealed 'one eyed Charlie' a woman. First woman to vote in the U.S. 
    November 3, 1868.

In 2007, the Santa Cruz County Redevelopment Agenc oversaw the completion of the Parkhurst Terrace Apartments, located a mile along the old stage route from the place of his death.
Literary adaptations

Actress Karen Kondazian wrote a historical fiction novel The Whip based on the true story of Charley Parkhurst, published by Hansen Publishing Group (2012).

Children's book author Pam Muñoz Ryan wrote a fictionalized biography of Charley Parkhurst's life titled Riding Freedom.

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