RAYMOND — The merry band of gentlemen known as E Clampus Vitus (the Clampers) will be dedicating yet another piece of Gold Rush history on Sunday, May 1, this time in the historic town of Raymond.
The Clampers (E Clampus Vitus Grub Gulch Chapter #41-49) have generously donated a Monitor Hydraulic Nozzle to the Raymond Museum and set up a display to explain how they worked and why their use had to be banned due to their destructive nature.
On Sunday at 11:30 a.m., the public is invited to join them as they gather at the museum to unveil the display and dedicate a monument to this bygone practice.
Hydraulic mining was a method used to recover gold in the latter years of the 1800s. Once the richest gravels had been depleted of the most easily accessible gold through panning and the use of sluice boxes, hydraulic mining became the order of the day. Through the use of high pressure jets of water and a nozzle called a monitor, miners could unearth material right down to the bedrock.
This method allowed mining companies to move tons and tons of dirt and gravel at far less cost than conventional methods. But there was a huge downside. Massive amounts of material were dumped into streams and rivers, clogging them with debris and causing extensive flooding and erosion.
Farmers cried foul, as their fertile farmlands were covered with silt from the mining upstream. With the huge silt discharges into the river, flooding became a bigger and bigger problem, destroying not only rich farmlands, but towns as well. The war over hydraulic mining continued throughout the 1870s and 1880s. Farmers feuded with the miners, politicians got involved, and eventually the practice was outlawed on Jan. 7, 1884. (source http://www.goldrushnuggets.com)
Everyone is invited to join the Clampers at the Raymond museum on Sunday as they add yet another monument to the dozens and dozens found along the highways and byways of the west, preserving and celebrating the history of a bygone era.
For a complete list of Clampers monuments, visit http://eclampusvitus.com