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Historic Note - Week of November 13th

The Livingston Enterprise, November 13, 1886

H. Gassert and wife have been spending a few weeks at Butte. They returned this week and went to Cooke, where they will spend the winter. In conversation with Mr. Gassert he said it was surprising the interest the Cooke mining camp is creating throughout the territory, and especially in Butte. He says that since it has been clearly demonstrated that the Cooke mines can be profitably operated, notwithstanding the serious difficulties connected therewith, that a large amount of capital will go in there the coming year. Mr. Gassert says that in operating the old smelter the past season – which is but little else than a bake oven – he was unable to save more than about 75 per cent of the ore’s value, whereas with proper machinery 90 to 95 per cent would have been obtained. Though suicidal to work ores at this enormous loss yet in doing so a fair profit was derived after paying the excessive freight charges on the bullion product to eastern reduction works. Encouraged by the past season’s experiment with the old smelter, Mr. Gassert contemplates putting in a new smelter at Cooke in the spring, but in the meantime will only do development work on his different mining properties.

Republic Smelter about 50 years later in the left background.

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