I have long been fascinated with history. Coin collecting, for me, is a representative of such. As I often find myself doing, I stumbled across a very interesting piece of coinage history I had never heard of. By chance looking for information of U.S. mint contacts and congressional leaders so I might e-mail a suggestion. But that's for a future topic when I get some responses. Anyhow, this is what I learned.
By now, we all know of gold being discovered in California. With the boom in full motion, some prospectors began spreading out, north into the mostly uninhabited Oregon territory save for Indians and trappers. Gold was soon discovered, in 1851, and by late 1852 vast deposits were being mined along the Josephine and Althouse creeks of the Illinois Valley. Just as California had seen a mad rush west, so too had Oregon. By 1860, Oregon now a state, the population swelled to over 10,000 in and around Dulles City (modern day The Dulles) along the Columbia River. And like the first discoveries of other areas, miners carried around gold dust and nuggets as payment for transactions since no mints were readily available save for that in San Francisco.
It was in 1862 the Senator James Nesmith proposed legislation to create a mint in Portland, Oregon for that purpose. It failed. Largely due to the raging Civil War in the east. It would be two years before legislation passed on July 4, 1864 establishing a mint, not in Portland, but Dulles City, for the purpose of coining gold and silver.
Long story short, the building began construction the following year. Delays and cost overruns only permitted a single story of the two proposed to be erected before the gold reserves dried up. With that, construction had ended in 1869 and the stone building, which still stands, traded hands and endured several fires since. Today it is the Erin Glenn Winery.
Your patients in my long post is appreciated. Just my way of passing on some history. Imagine if they had finished it and struck coins. Bet those would be some pricy pieces like those of Charlotte and Dahlonega. Hope you enjoyed that.