William P DeWolf was one of the great freelance writers of the mining investorís world of the early 1900í,s and here in 2003 we reproduce one of his articles from the October 1908 issue of Profit and Loss magazine:
Notes on Shady Run Nevada by William P DeWolf October 1908
"The journey was made by automobile via Salt Wells and Sand Springs, the latter being a station on the Wonder-Fairview-Fallon and Rawhide-Fallon stage routes, and the uneasy abiding place of an immense cone of silica whose minute particles are as restless as the sands on the seashore.
This immense pile of disintegrated ash-white quartz is one of the many wonders of this desert country, is of great value to the glass-making industry, and, like many other commodities animate and inanimate which find foothold in Nevada, it is owned by the Southern Pacific Railway Company. The wonder is not, however, that this great hill has passed into possession of the company before mentioned, but finds expression in its twilight wailings and itís proneness to change contour.
As the chameleon has the power to alter at will with itís color, so this huge bulk of piled and concentrated aridity has the facility to alter at will the incongruities of itís shapelessness. Janus-like it seldom presents an unchanged face for the space of a single hour, and during the passage of the sun god from eastern to western horizon it will mould and remould itself into into a thousand conformations, each one more ill-shapen and more interesting to look upon than its predecessor.
So long as the hours of light prevail the huge mass remains as silent as a deaf mute in a maelstrom, but with the approach of twilight emits a vague and all but tympanum escaping murmuring, as though it were reviewing in soft whisper the musty, dusty, age-old secrets it has in charge and keeping. When the mantle of night rests darkly upon the white expanse of sand dune and alkali waste and when the air is a-whisper with the gentle rustle of desert creeping things, the hoary old pile raises itís voice in long-drawn resonant sound. For the once the day-pent cry suggests the wail of banshee in itís weird intensity; again it has the sullen roar of raging waves beating heavily on rock bound shore! ĎTis an uncanny note at best the grim and ancient oracle plaints, and is withal surcharged with ghostly modulations from out the dim and dusky hiding places of past centuries.
To gaze upon its ever-changing face and to harken to its message, freighted with the accumulated mystery of the flight of years, is a privilege never to be lightly held. It is one of those experiences to be met with only along the by-paths of lifeís highway; one of those by-paths from which, having trod, a man would not willingly turn his face.
But it is with Shady Run, present day mining camp, not with shifting sand dune and its ancient messages this article has to do.Ē
[DeWolf goes on to describe local water situation, types of ledges seen, companies active in area, general population and prospect of the camp from this point; talks about Hicks, McLaughlin and other local promoters flogging the camp.]
ABOVE: One of zillions of similar "investment" enticements from Profit & Loss Magazine, 1908
BELOW: The other side of the coin: Western Federation of Miners Doc 1908
Panic of 1907!