Page:A Topographical Description of the State of Ohio, Indiana Territory, and Louisiana.djvu/83

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ilies made a settlement near it. On opening the mine they found a rich ore in great plenty. But the French furnaces were very badly constructed. They were formed somewhat similar to a lime kiln, at the bottom of which they placed a flooring of large logs, and set up a tier of smaller ones around the sides of the furnace, within which they put a large quantity of ore. A fire was then made and continued until the mineral was smelted, and run off into troughs made to receive it ; but much of the metal was burnt up, or lost in the ashes. In this manner each family smelted their own mineral, until Mr. Austin erected his furnace. Since that time, they find it more advantageous to sell ther ore to him. It is conjectured that the whole distance between the old mine and Barton's is one continued bed of lead ore.

The time of working the mines is from August to December. After the harvests are over, the inhabitants of Saint Genevieve and other settlements on the Mississippi resort to the mines. The rich employ their negroes, and the poor people work for themselves ; depending on the lead they procure, to furnish necessary articles for their families. The lead is estimated equal to cash for whatever they wish to purchase.

Another mine, called Ranalt's mine, situated on a creek of the same name about six miles north of Barton's, is said to contain very rich ore, but has been worked only a short time.