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	John App traveled to California from Pekin, Illinois in 1850, 
making the journey with a wagon train as thousands of pioneers did 
during the days of the gold rush. John App (1821-1898) was the son 
of Mathias J. App (1796-1878) who was the son of Matthias App 
(1761-1828). Born in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania John moved west to 
Pekin, Illinois with his family in 1833. He arrived in California in the 
fall of 1850 and married Leanna Donner (of the famed Donner Party 
and second oldest daughter of George Donner) in 1852 at Sutter’s 
Fort, now Sacramento, California. He and his wife moved to Quartz 
Mountain, California (near Jamestown, CA) where he homesteaded and 
discovered a gold-bearing quartz mine on what is known as the 
Mother-Lode. Called the App mine, it was one of the top gold 
producers of the southern mines.
	According to a page in his diary of 1870, John App (1821-1898) 
writes that the App Mine was located by John App, R.A. Jones, H. 
Roberts, H._. Wright, B.W. Wilder, and J.D. Brown on August 13, 
1856 and his interest was sold on April 1st, 1869 for the sum of forty 
thousand dollars. The App was a gold-bearing quartz mine located at 
Quartz Mountain, California (near Jamestown, California).
	In the spring of 1870 John and his son, John Quincy App (1864-
1957) went further south in California near a town called Ivenpah 
(south of Death Valley near the Nevada Border) to prospect for silver. 
Although at least three claims were staked (the Gray Eagle, the 
Toulumne, and the Lucy Eva) they did not offer any substantial return. 
 Discouraged, John and his son returned home.
	The text of the diary begins somewhere south of Jamestown, 
possibly in Mariposa county. It is preceeded by a list of supplies to 
take along on the journey. Their transportation was a horse for each of 
them and one pack horse. The route south went along the western edge 
of Death Valley following water holes or springs. Their path did not 
seem to follow what are now modern roads, but seemed to go cross 
country... at times in nearly a straight line.
	The diary measures 9.25 cm wide, 16 cm tall, 2 cm thick and has a 
black, fabric/paper covering with plain paper pages bound with string. 
John wrote his diary in pencil although there are some notes made in 
ink. It has become fragile with age, but is still very much in readable 
	Although only his basic story has been transcribed here, the pages 
of the book detail other fascinating information such as a formula for 
steel welding flux, a cure for cancer, directions and measurements for 
the trip south, and details of some of the mines.
	Through the years his diary has been remarkably preserved and is 
in the possession of Mrs. Pat (Heiskell) Hillman, Tulare, California, a 
great-granddaughter of John. The transcribed text contains an accurate 
replication of spelling and grammar. Word spacing, punctuation, and 
small page markings were impossible to accurately reproduce in the 
transcription. View the copy of the original diary for handwriting and 
markings. A scanned image of each diary page is available in 
computerized grayscale file format image (IBM Compatible). In the 
transcription references to page numbers in the original diary are 
shown inside [], and vertical writing in margins are shown inside {}.

Larry App    Bristol, Indiana    June 1995


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[Page 17]
Saturday Apr 2
left Bridger’s House  Traveled about 25
miles Camped at Elpaso Springs  Barrel
on the right Side of the road and nearly
at the top of the Canion.

Sunday Ap 3
left El Paso 7 1/2 O’clock  traveled 22
miles to Black Water Holes  Missed the
Panamint Holes.  Black Water Holes on
the left side near the road.

[Page 18]
Monday Apr 4
Left Black Water 7 o’clock.  reached Surveyors Wells at
11 a.m. Wells at the foot of Pilot Bute 1/2 mile up the Gulch
on the right side of road. Went nearly to the head of Burnt
rock Canion.  traveled about 18 miles this day. Dry camp.

Tuesday Apr 5
left Dry Camp about 6 a.m. arrived at Burnt Rock Springs 8 1/2 a.m. 
Good water on the right side of the road on the road.

[Page 19]
Tuesday Apr 5
left Burnt Rock Spring 9 1/2 a.m. Arrived at Leaches Springs at 5 p.m.  
Traveled 22 miles this day.

April 6th 1870
Left Leaches Springs 6 1/2 a.m.  no wind last night  good water and a 
pleasant night  arrived at Oul Springs at 11 a.m. Traveled 11 miles.  
left oul Springs at 12 n. arrived at Saratoga Springs 5 p.m. Traveled 
this day 24 miles.

[Page 20]
Thursday April 7
Left Saratoga Springs at 8 a.m. had a very pleasant night  no wind 
plenty Grass at the springs. no grass between Leaches Springs and 
Saratoga Springs.  Saratoga Springs on the left Hand Side and close to 
the road.  the lower Lake is poison water.  arrived at Salt Spings 20 
minutes past 12 n. found water very Salty below the old  mill  water 
best 1/2 mile above the mill in the Gulch near the mine.

[Page 21]
Camping place plenty Salt grass and a few willows  first wood we Saw 
since we left Bridgers near Walkers pass.  The ruins of an old Stamp 
Quartz mine is here.  Steam Power.

Friday Ap 8
Left Salt Springs at 5 a.m. arrived at Kiota Holes 2 1/2 p.m. Saw the first 
Indians. Traveled 20 miles.

[Page 22]
Saturday Ap 9
left Kota Holes at 5 1/2 a.m. arrived at Clarks Valley 4 1/2 p.m. Traveled 
about 24 miles this day.  all up Hill.

Sunday April 10
Reached Ivenpah City at 12 n.  the City is at this time Composed of 
one Canvas House.  a very fine Spring at this place and the water first 
rate  no wood.  a poor place for a town  not very many Indians here.  
one white man

[Page 23]
Killed about 25 miles from this place by the Indians.  the Chief gave 
him up and he was Executed last Friday at Yellow Pine.  the chances are 
that there will be trouble here this Summer.

Monday Ap 11
at Camp doing nothing.  My feet so Sore that I Can scarcely move.  as 
usual windy.

Tuesday Ap 12
Terrible windy this day  John is out Prospecting.  wrote one letter to 
my wife and one to McLea__.

[Page 24]
Wednesday Ap 13
John found nothing yesterday.  last night was a terrible Cold windy and 
rainy night.  this morning it Froze and Snowed  I have Just been taking 
Hamburg Tea  I have been Sick for 4 days with a very bad Cold.

Thursday Ap 14
It was very Cold last but Clear and not much wind.  this day I went a 
prospecting.  put up one mound. John was not well.  we have very bad 

[Page 25]
and cannot do much at present  Baked Bread for the first time since we 
left Home.

Friday Ap 15
weather very fine  Located the Silver Sides this day.  John not well.

Saturday Apr 16
I was unwell this day  took pills.  Done nothing.

Sunday Ap 17/70
John went out a prospecting  found nothing.  An Indian brought a 
Specimen to me.  a very fine day.

[Page 26]
Monday Ap 18th
This day I went with an Indian to prospect his Ledge did not find one 
but found an other one Located It and Called it the Lucy Eva.

Tuesday Ap 19
John and myself went to open and work on the Silver Sides  prospects 
not very flattering.  left Silver Sides in disgust.  fixed my Shirt and put 
a pocket into It.

[Page 27]
Wednesday April 20th
This day we worked on the Lucy Eva.  Prospects very fair.  nothing of 
Importance  built a small Smelting Furnace at Ivanpah Springs.

Thursday Apr 21st
washed and mended my clothes.  John half Soled his Boots.  done 
nothing more this day.

[Page 28]
Friday Ap 22d
visited the Umbasett mine.  vein about 5 ft 6 in wide.  very rich in 
Galena.  Mr  Marsh come in the Camp with two Mohave Squaws  he is 
keeping the trading post.

Saturday April 23
John went out prospecting this morning  Located one Claim.  I am 
unwell again  took Pills to day.  Cooked Beans.  Terrible Excitement 
among the Indians  three mountain Sheep pass through the Camp 
maller killed one about 350 yds at the third Shot.  high living in 
Ivenpah City. first fresh meet I saw since

[Page 29]
we left Visalia.

Sunday April 24
John started out after more Sheep but got none.  nothing new or 
Interesting this day.  Mountain mutton Soop this Evening.

Monday Apr 25
I went out prospecting.  as usual nothing  near Umbasett.

Tuesday April 26
John and myself went out to work on the Lucy Eva   worked until 
noon.  nothing Flattering.

[Page 30]
Wednesday Ap 27
went out again to work on the Lucy Eva.  prospects no better  found a 
new Claim.  Called It the Tuolumne   prospects not very flattering.

Thursday Ap 28,
John went to the Pechocka Springs to day  I am fixing up pack Saddles 
etc  this day I baked the first loaf of Bread  John Saw the Copper 
World.  nothing new. no discoveries this day.  Started Umbasett  left 
out to the for a Galena mine.

[Page 31]
Friday April 29
waked up this morning with the diareah.  looks very much like rain.  no 
rain  nothing done this day.

Saturday Ap 30
This morning I Started for the Pechocka Springs  John went out a 
prospecting.  I saw the Great Copper World  returned home to camp  
walked about 22 miles over a very rough Country.

[Page 32]
May 1st 1870
waked up this morning with the Head ache  Had our regular Flap Jacks 
& Ham.  would give all my old clothes to be at Home this day.  washed 
a towel  mended my socks & am now ready for another tramp. nothing 
doing but repairing old Boots etc   no arrivals from the Settlements.  
things dont look very flattering.

[Page 33]
May 2d 1870
John Started out this morning after the Horses.  did not find them.  we 
sent an Indian out to find them.  he found them in less than an Hour.  
this day spent in fixing up our packing trappings  nothing Els done.

May 3d 1870
nothing doing.  only 8 men in Camp last night. Potosi I understand 
has only 6 white men in camp.  making preperations

[Page 34]
to leave for Home.

May 4th 1870
nothing doing last night  only 7 men in Camp  read to leave tomorrow

May 5th 1870
left Ivanpah this morning at 6 a.m.  arrived at Kiota Holes at 4 p.m. 
Traveled about 26 miles.  Weather very fine  no wind or rain. very Sore 
riding.  10 or 12 Indians at Kiota Holes.

[Page 35]
May 6th 1870
Left Kiota Holes at 5« a.m. arrived at Salt Springs at 12 n.  left Salt 
Springs 12 1/2 p.m. arrived at Saratoga Springs at 3 1/2 p.m. traveled about 
30 miles this day  very warm  roast Eggs in the sand any where.  lots of 
mosquitoes & large Horse Flies gnats etc

May 7th 1870
left Saratoga at 4 20 a.m. arrivd at Oul Springs 9« a.m. left Oul Holes

[Page 36]
at 10 a.m. arrivd at Leaches Springs at 3 p.m. very warm.  arrived at 
Burnt Rock Springs at 12 midnight.

Sunday May 8th 1870
Left Burnt Rock Springs at 6 40 a.m.  arrived at Surveyors Wells at 11 
a.m. left Surveyors Wells at 12 n.  arrived at Black Water Holes at 2 
p.m. went about 5 miles on  made a dry Camp  Traveled about 25 
miles.  this day we met 12 or 14 men going to the Owen mines.  
received the first letter from Home this day.

[Page 37]
Monday May 9/70
Left dry Camp at 4 15 a.m.  arrived at Panamint Holes at 7 a.m.  left 
Panamint Holes at 7 1/2 a.m. arrived at Elpaso Tunnel at 11 1/2 a.m.  
weather very warm.  left Elpaso at 3 p.m. arrived at Kiota Holes at 
Cradlebows at 11 p.m. met Moss-Ingersol & Co

May 10th 1870
Left Kiota Holes at 7 a.m. arrived at Owens’s about 12 n.  Went to 
Weldons Ranch.  Traveled

[Page 38]
this day about 23 miles. we met Lee & the Butternut Boys at Owenses.  
also met Mr Clark and others on their way to Yellow Pine.  passed 
4000 Head of Cattle on their way to Humboldt.

Wednesday May 11/70
Left Weldons at 5 1/2 a.m.  arrived at Kernville at 1 p.m. Traveled about 
25 miles.  Pony fell down with me and come very near breaking my leg. 
Killed one Kiota and wounded one more.

[Page 39]
Thursday May 12/70
Left Kernville at 5 45 a.m.  arrived at Glennsville at 2 p.m.  Killed a 
young Grizly near the Summit. 27 miles this day

Friday May 13/70
Had Grizzly meat for breakfast this morning.  left Camp Stevesons at 
6« a.m.  arrived at Deer Creek at 6 p.m. Taveled about 25 miles this 
day.  passed McFarlans going to Yellow Pine.

[Page 40]
Saturday May 14/70
Left Deer Creek at 5 a.m.  arrived at Farmersville at 1 p.m.  left 
Farmersville at 3 p.m.  arrived at Visalia at 5 p.m. saw John Forney at a 

Sunday May 15/70
nothing new.

Monday May 16/70
Left Visalia at 6« a.m. for Home  Traveled 25 miles to Smithe Ferry  
rained nearly all day.  very cold

[Page 41]
Tuesday May 17/70
Left Smith Ferry 6 40 a.m. I was very Sick last night.  arrived at J. 
Jones House at 5 1/2 p.m. Traveled 35 miles

Wednesday May 18th
Left J. Jones Ferry at 6 a.m.  arrived at Bennetts on Maryposy Creek at 
6 p.m.  Traveled 35 miles this day.

Tuesday May 19th 70
Left Bennetts at 6 a.m.  arrived at Lagrange at 5 15 p.m.  traveled 34 
miles.  rained this afternoon

(end of diary)

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