Fredric Stevens could see the light at the end of the tunnel. He had spent most of the summer attempting to assess the population of the SorGun region (check out Part 1 and Part 2) according to the mandate established by the US Constitution. Only a few more stops and Stevens would be headed back to San Francisco and modern civilization, leaving the wilderness of New SorGun behind.
Not that Fredric was against the frontier lifestyle, quite the opposite – he admired the free spirited individuals whom he had met on his journey, but the wild did take some getting used to.
Elmer Higgins was one of those rugged individuals, and Stevens was glad that he had volunteered to guide him into the hills for the final leg of his census duties. Higgins was full of stories, and he wasn’t shy about tellin’ em. Many involved wild nights at the Illahee, or wild fights at the Miss Kitty Saloon, and they were usually entertaining to hear, but as they rounded a bend in the river, Elmer told his most interesting story yet.
It turns out, right at this spot nearly 5 years earlier, New SorGun nearly became a household name the world over. Two prospectors were trying their luck, panning for their ticket to the easy life. Jesse and Levi, or was it Jesse and Leroy? Jasper and Leroy? Oh well, Higgins couldn’t remember their names – but it wasn’t important. The two of them found a gold nugget the size of a man’s hand (not as big as the Welcome Stranger nugget found in Australia last year, thought Stevens, but still a good size). They were not shy about boasting their find on main street the next day, and nearly everybody in town came to get a glimpse of the two strangers and their lucky find.
But, unfortunately for Jesse and Levi (or whatever their names were), luck can turn on a dime, and a dime was about as much as they would get for their find. Turns out, they stumbled upon a hunk of Fool’s Gold, and once the news got out, the New SorGun gold rush was over before it ever started.
But the story doesn’t end there. In fact, it’s part of the reason why Stevens was heading up into the hills east of New SorGun.
To most folks, Fool’s Gold just meant bad luck – but to the Fox family, it was a sign that real gold was nearby – just not the shiny yellow kind. Years earlier, the Fox’s were busy searching for ‘black’ gold – and they knew where to look.
After a few years of near misses, they finally found what they were searching for – and the rest they say, is history. After a day’s journey, Mr. Stevens finally rode into the first coal town in New SorGun.
With financial backing from a few local businessmen, including Eastman T. Finch, the SorGun Coal Company was incorporated in 1867. As the majority shareholders, the Fox family began improvements on their most successful mine, and by 1870 it was a full blown coaling operation.
Working the coal mines was tough work, but steady pay and cheap land attracted a sizeable workforce. The small town of Foxton sprung up out of nowhere, and after three years of growth it represented a sizable little town. Mr. Stevens got to work.
The mining operation was growing each day, and facilities were constructed to keep up with the growing production. To Mr. Stevens, it looked like a haphazard mess of timber just waiting to collapse.
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But these miners knew what they were doing, and with the ever expanding industrial revolution, coal was becoming more important by the day.
As luck would have it, the SorGun Coal Company had hit a vein of high quality coal in the hills above New SorGun. The find could fuel the entire region, and generate huge quantities of cash in the form of exports. The only problem… it was costing an arm and a leg to transport the coal from up in the hills to where it was needed. Traveling around the hilly terrain, Stevens could appreciate the challenge faced by the company and its investors.
As Fredric Stevens finished up his count of Foxton, he wondered what was in store for this little settlement, and how it would change ten, twenty years down the road. Either way, he was envious of these pioneers – perhaps not their line of work, but they were living in some of the most beautiful, untouched land Stevens had ever laid eyes on.
The final leg of his journey was long and through empty forests, but Stevens and Higgins hitched up the wagon and headed north, towards the final destination of Porthaven.
But before they could get there, the small town of Pineford provided a quick stop and a chance to stretch their legs and fill their growling tummies.
The town grew up around the logging activates in the area, and one of the only sturdy bridges in the area ensures that the road through town is well traveled.
Still, with a few stores and a handful of small homes, it didn’t take Stevens long to finish his census duties and move on towards the final destination of Porthaven.
A small ferry allowed the traveling party to cross the wide Delin River and make landfall near Fort Sunset.
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Then, just a quick trip up the road and Stevens found himself in the middle of a true logging town.
The mill was keeping Porthaven alive and kicking – and the surrounding forests were slowly retreating with each year. Downtown Porthaven had grown a bit in the last few years, with new shops, stores and apartments.
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But despite outward appearances, Porthaven was in the midst of a crisis. Recently, logging operations were springing up all around the Pacific Northwest, and the competition was driving down the price of lumber. The result was a drag on the local economy and folks in town were starting to feel the pinch. Out of town visitors, such as Mr. Stevens, were rare and the lack of a robust local economy was starting to worry local residents. Lots were sitting empty, and there hadn’t been any new houses built in months.
Regarding Frederic Stevens, his problems were fading like the setting sun. With his tally in Porthaven complete, Stevens was ready to catch the next boat bound for San Francisco. With a few months of work under his belt, compiling a census of the SorGun Region was more work than he had bargained for – but it was a job he would happily do again – perhaps with some extra help next time.
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Replies to the last teaser
Kruness: wow, can't wait, i don't know if its coming in this CJ but i hope that 1900 will come!
Well, it may take a while, but my goal is to continue the timeline to the 20th century and beyond.
ggamgus: Mmmm... gold rush? Wonderful teaser!
10000000000000: GOLD RUSH D:
In a way.
Those two prospectors thought so…
Kevenbro: This is golden bro.
Hellken: @SimCoug: That's good news SimCoug. I love your MMPs. Wow! ... Talking Rocks!!!..
Thanks Hellken – I have a few more ideas that may be turned into MMPs in the near future.
NMUSpidey: And in the 2013 NFL Draft, the New SorGun 71sters select Terry Tate, linebacker...
Terry Tate – nice one!
Mithrik: Gold? Interesting find... look like we are about to see a surge in development.
Perhaps not the type of gold the prospectors were looking for, but certainly it means good things for the region.
Benedict: Now that's going to kick-start the economy! Great census, great teaser. And well done - you're back at number one on BTT this week.
Thanks – It’s always nice to see a New SorGun background on the BTT.
Replies to the Halloween Special
Jacob Guajardo: Wow great work !
dubaidude303: Haha nice!
Kruness: cool, very spooky and mysterious, Happy Halloween! unfortunately we don't have Halloween in The Netherlands, only in some regions in the south, but not where i live , i have family in the south of the country and they have halloween, i had only one Halloween in my life, and it was really fun.
It’s never too late to start a Halloween tradition in the Netherlands J
Mithrik: Nice GIF, though I didn't get the scary part of it. :/
Yeah… SC4 is tough to make scary J
Ggamgus: Holy &#@%*&#!!! That is amazing work!
Thank you ggamus!
Mastof: Great work! Great work! Great work! Uh...Whoops strange posting...
Thanks! Your post made me laugh, even if it was unintentional.
Kevenbro: awesome bro
Thanks again, bro!
Jetty Jockey: A nice "treat" for us here at Simtropolis
Urban Constanta: amazing!!!!!
Hazani Pratama: Awesome!
Glad you enjoyed it.
hahei: Incredible work, as usual. Will there be a part 2?
Hmmm… possibly – but you will have to wait until next year
NMUSpidey: Wow, that's got to be the best SC4 gif out there. Great, creepy story to go with. Happy Halloween!
grstudios: Amazing work! Happy Halloween!
Thanks – Halloween is always good for a special treat.
IL.: Nice GIF
Brutalizer: Excellent !
Thanks for stopping by.
alfanmuqafi23: ow very spooky story. like on the house online game
I’ve never played that game, but I’m glad you liked the story.
metarvo: The dark and stormy night is good for a scary update, and the story was well done. Good work! Where I live, I didn't get any storms on Halloween. It was as dry as a bone.
Thanks! The bright, always sunny atmosphere in SC4 wouldn’t have conveyed the same level of spookiness as this .gif touch up