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Gold-and-Whiskey-Thirsty Outlaws Randomly Kill 17 Townspeople

The lust for gold in Oregon attracted not only miners, but also thieves.

The Triskett Gang, made up of the two Triskett brothers and three other men, was ruthless in its pursuit of golden riches.  After an 1852 robbery in California, they crossed the Oregon border and stopped for some whiskey at a saloon in the mining town of Sailors’ Diggins near present-day Cave Junction.  Full of booze, they left the saloon, and without warning, one gang member pulled his gun and shot a bystander.  The rest of the gang joined in and soon they had randomly killed 17 townspeople.  Miners in the hills scurried for town when they heard shots ring out. 
The gang stole $75,000 in gold from the assay office before fleeing with a passel of miners right behind them.  The posse soon surrounded the gang and killed four of them in a gunfight, and took the remaining and gravely wounded outlaw back to town.  He died before telling anyone where the gang had hidden the stolen gold. 
It’s still out there somewhere, just waiting for a sucker bitten by the gold bug. 


Sources: "Oregon’s Triskett Gang: Outlaw Gold Never Recovered." Cultural Oregon. 2014. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.


Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.