THE ASSAY OFFICE.

(The various locations.)

1854


© Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.
The Assay Office display behind the Wells Fargo.

The limited supply of coins in the Northern California gold regions during 1848 to 1850 burdened the economy, since so many transactions needed to be made with gold dust.

The Assay office was authorized by the U.S. Congress in late 1850 to assay gold dust, and coin the dust into ingots or coins of a standard fineness and weight. This authority to create legal tender coins outside of an official U.S. mint is unique in U.S. history.


1854 D. O. Mills is the sole owner of the brick building on the southwest corner of Fulton and Main Streets with a secret passage leading to the assay and smelting office.


© Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.
Furnace room details.

1856 George Morgan builds a 2 story brick structure. Among other businesses occupying the building is an Assay Office operated by the S. Molitor & Co.


© private collection of web master.
Weekly Columbian newspaper ad - 1856

1861 The assay office of the D. O. Mills building moves into the post office space and the telegraph office moves out.

Follow the sign to the left of the Wells Fargo.

© Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.



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created for the visitors to the Columbia State Historic park.
© Columbia State Historic Park & Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.