Ben Ware

”Prospecting for gold in Bear Valley, high in the San Bernardino Mountains, began in 1859, and the first ‘pay dirt’ was struck by Jack Martin and W. F. Holcomb, two well-known old-timers. The rush that always follows such a discovery was on as soon as news of the strike leaked out. and within an incredibly short time men from all over this section were engaged in feverishly panning dirt in the valley.  Holcomb also had the distinction of locating the first claims in Holcomb Valley, five miles beyond Bear Valley, staking out selections in company with Ben Ware, May 5, 1860. This valley has been known as Holcomb Valley ever since. This brought another rush, and for several years the two valleys presented all the appearances of a typical mining camp, men coming in from all sections of the country, flourishing settlements being formed and hotels, stores and other enterprises becoming prosperous.”

Reference Data:

History of San Bernardino County and Riverside Counties, by John Brown and James Boyd, 1922, page 103

 


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