[D0014AAB], Letter from John Vincent Miller, Cloyd Mason Chapman to Thomas Alva Edison, March 20th, 1900


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[D0014AAB], Letter from John Vincent Miller, Cloyd Mason Chapman to Thomas Alva Edison, March 20th, 1900





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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University


Dolores, N. M.
Mch. 20, 1900.
Mr. Thomas A. Edison,
Orange, N. J.
Dear Mr. Edison :-
Upon our arrival here on Feb. 9th, we found things very different from what we had expected. Not only was the building not under way but the grading for it was far from finished. The lumber has only partly been delivered on account of a fire at the saw-mill. The carpenters were here and were finding the timbers as they arrived
Mr. Burn has first selected and cleared a site on a fairly level spot on the summit of the mesa where very little grading would have been necessary, but after a reconsideration, changed the location to one less exposed to the wind more convenient to the proposed shafts and offering excellent dumping facilities. It is at the head of a deep arroyo near the hand of the mesa and extends into the bank (gravel and bed rock some forty feet. The accompanying blue print shows this quite plainly.
The condition of the site was so unsuitable for the erection of the plant on account of its small size and unevenness we found it necessary to do a considerable blasting in the bed rock. This occupied some ten days. The site in its present state we consider quite satisfactory. Upon the arrival of the mills and floor-beams the erection of the building was at once begun Feb. 26th. and has progressed rapidly and satisfactorily as the accompanying prints taken weekly will show. We expect the building to be entirely finished by the end of the month.
Our car from Orange arrived on Feb. 12th. in very good condition. One pulley only was broken and that in hauling from Cerrillos to Dolores. This has already been replaced from Albuquerque. The boiler and engine were here and in good condition upon our arrival and the engine was yesterday placed upon its foundation in the building. The generator arrived all right and will be in place as soon as the engine room is ready.
As soon as possible after our arrival we sent out for bids on well seasoned lumber for our interior work. Owing to the great demand for lumber no dealers nearer here than Denver keen a stock long enough to allow it to become well seasoned. They could furnish us only green, freshly sawed lumber. After considerable correspondence and calling personally upon the dealers in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Vegas, and finally Denver we obtained satisfactory stock, partly from Denver and partly from Santa Fe. The cost was about $17.50 at the yards. The shipment from Santa Fe has arrived and that from Denver is on the way and due.
As soon as Smith, our carpenter from Orange, can be spared from working on the building he will at once begin on our interior, which will be this week. The screens are being out the frame and will be ready in ample time.
[We?] found here a rotary roaster or dyer which we are getting repaired and into shape for drying our gravel. We believe it will do the work very well.
Mr. Burn had a very convenient assay office built and ready for us on our arrival and it is now fitted us with scales etc. ready for use.
Mr. Burn has sunk two rows of shafts across the head of the mesa near the mill site about one-hundred feet smart. As soon as we are in working order complete data concerning these and all shafts will be forwarded to you. We would like little more detailed instructions concerning the number of shafts, their distribution, and the area of mesa to be covered.
Water is very scarce except during the rainy season of July and August. The only stream within fifteen or twenty miles that has water the year around is the Galisteo River but even it at this time of the year disappears entirely in the sand in places. It has some six miles from the head of the mesa and about a thousand feet below.
There is a good spring here in Dolores which will furnish us with water for the experimental plant.
We have a site selected for a weir in the Galisteo River at a dyke so that we believe we can obtain correct measurement of all the water as here doubtless all the water comes to the surface.
We are very much pleased with the accommodations prepared for us by Mr. Burn and think you did not overdraw the de- lightful climate of this section. But the charming senoritas you lead us to expect are scarcer than the water and of far poorer quality.
Very respectfully yours,
John V Miller.
Cloyd M. Chapman.
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