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As It Was: Miner Shoots Himself While Picking at a Rock

In 1936, the gold miner Slim Damon accidently shot himself while prospecting in Curry County’s Mule Creek Canyon in Southern Oregon.

He was picking on a rock when a .38 caliber pistol slipped from his shoulder holster and discharged when it hit the ground.  The bullet hit Damon in the chest and passed through his body.

He was alone and fired three rapid shots, a traditional signal of trouble, and then went into his cabin and laid down on his bed.  Another nearby miner came and got word out that a doctor was needed, and Glendale’s Dr. Faucett drove to Bald Ridge and mounted a mule. 

Arriving at Damon’s cabin, Dr. Faucett dressed the wounds and gave Damon pain medicine.  His fee for the service was $25, (the present-day equivalent of $447).

The next day, Damon was placed on a stretcher and carried seven miles to a road where an ambulance took him to a Roseburg hospital.

After several months, he returned to the Mule Creek Canyon.  Damon died nine years later of heart failure at the exact spot of the accident.

Source: Morey, George. "Fire Season at Marial." Curry County Reporter-Rogue Coast, 23 Aug. 1973, p. 7+.

Laurel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Humboldt State. Her research efforts as a volunteer for the Curry Historical Society produced numerous newsletter articles and exhibits and earned her a reputation as a seasoned local history buff. Laurel is the author of "Renderings from the Gold Beach Pioneer Cemetery", a 50-page booklet containing a walking tour and snippets about the lives and times of folks buried there. She is also a contributing writer to Oregon Coast Magazine.