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Bank Displays Chunks of Gold-Laced Quartz

With gold fever at high pitch in Southwest Oregon, the Josephine County Bank in Grants Pass attracted attention in May 1911 when it displayed several large chunks of gold-laced quartz.

The rocks came from a recent mineral discovery in the Illinois Valley valued at several thousand dollars a ton. The rich quartz was found west of Selma in rugged terrain south of the Illinois River. 

Henry T. Brazile and John C. Shade, described by the Rogue River Courier as a couple of old-timers, discovered the ore on their Black Bear quartz claim.  They said Brazile was coming down the mountain from the remote claim with a sack of rocks on his back when Medford mining investor, Dr. J.F. Reddy, and some of his partners from Grants Pass happened to run into him.  The old prospector revealed he'd just found one of the rich ore veins known to be in the area.  An immediate deal to lease the claim was made right on the trail. 

Brazile was handed a check for between $400 and $500 for the quartz in his sack, later displayed at the bank.


Source: "Gold Strike on Shade Property: Looks Like A Bonanza." Rogue River Courier 26 May 1911 [Grants Pass, Oregon] : 1. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. .

Lynda Demsher has been editor of a small-town weekly newspaper, a radio reporter, a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for the Redding Record Searchlight, Redding California. She is a former teacher and contributed to various non-profit organizations in Redding in the realm of public relations, ads, marketing, grant writing and photography.