By J.Lee. Fulton, written in 1940
During the summers of 1895 and 1896, considerable interest was aroused as efforts were made to develop the mines and improve roads and trails to the mines. The trail up the mountain from Lost River was widened and improvised trucks were made to which two horses could be hitched, tandem fashion, and considerable machinery was hauled into the mines by this method. As I remember, the trail was too crooked to permit more than two horses to be used advantageously.
A boom town was started near Lost River called Ventura and during the spring and summer of 1895 showed considerable activity but it never got beyond the tent stage. As soon as elaborate test could be made the ore proved to be low grade and non-free milling so much so that it could not be worked profitably and the Hart boom busted. But no sooner had the Hart boom collapsed than interest in a prospect closer to home began to develop. Jim Byrmes, very early in the development of the valley had either discovered or had become interested in a mining claim in the hills of Beaver Creek known as the Red Shirt.
Through Jack Stewart, capital was invested to develop this claim and a large mill was erected near the mouth of the Frazer Creek. This was completed in 1897 and sufficient ore was mined, delivered, and put through the mill to demonstrate it had an unprofitable investment and another mining boom collapsed.
In 1901, the machinery from the Red Shirt mill was removed to the Mazama district. It was then placed in a mill erected there and the ore from a promising prospect thoroughly tested out with the same results as in the proceeding tests. Yet, in my visit there last summer (1939) I found old prospectors roaming those hills as enthusiastic as a half century ago.