John Mathias App: 1870 Diary

Diary Overview

In March of 1870, a year after he sold his gold mine, John Mathias App went on a journey across the Mojave Desert to prospect for silver.

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California 1870

An extraordinary glimpse into the life of a nineteenth century silver prospector in the Mojave Desert on horseback.

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The Remote Mojave

Owl Hole Spring is one of the most remote locations in Death Valley, and John App passes by here on horseback on his way to Ivanpah.

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Setting Up Camp

John bakes bread for the first time on their trip. On April 15 John locates the Silver Sides… a claim with an anticipated promise of silver.

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Locating Claims

Even with some Indian trouble there seem to be several who are friendly. John locates the “Lucy Eva”… named for John’s 2 year old daughter.

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Leaving Ivanpah

John and his traveling companion leave camp for home. The next day he writes about the heat, the mosquitos, and the large horse flies.

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Leaving For Home

They depart Visalia for home in Jamestown, 150 miles and a five day ride to the north, along the same route they followed south two months earlier.

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