Tanyards, Placer County, California

In our general statistics of the county, we purposely omitted giving any notice of this branch of the mechanical pursuits of the people of the county, as we intended to give the only tanyard in the county more than a passing notice. Observing that saw mills, water ditches, turnpike roads, toll bridges, quartz mills, etc., formed the main feature of the report of the County Assessor of this county, and no mention whatever was made of this important branch of industry, we think it worthy of more than a passing notice.

The Iowa Hill Tanyard is situated upon Indian Canon, about two and a half miles above Iowa Hill. Although it” might be considered a small concern, yet the proprietor, John Rutherford, being himself a tanner and currier, informed us that he was fully satisfied, from past experience in the business, that he can make the business at that place self-sustaining. He states that with his present facilities lie can turn out two thousand sides of sole and harness leather per annum ; and can furnish leather to customers at a small advance upon prices paid for a similar article in the markets’ of the Eastern States.

Spruce, balsam and oak barks are used by the proprietor in tanning, a sufficient supply of which can be had in the forests contiguous for a number of years to come, even should the business increase to twenty times the capacity of the yard at the present time.

This experiment in the tanning business in Placer County, when found to be successful, as it must, cannot fail to draw the attention of tanners and induce them to enter into the business upon a more extensive scale, and eventually check the present extensive exportation of hides from, and importation of leather in return to this State. Hides can be procured at a low price; bark is easily obtained convenient to the yard; natural water exists in the canon in great plenty, and there is nothing that one can conceive of except the high price of mechanics’ wages to prevent the manufacture of leather in that locality as cheap as in any part of the United States.

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