Gold, conmen, and coyotes


Last updated 1/30/2024 at 10:04am

Photo courtesy Harney County Historical Museum

London Lee "L. L." Noonchester mug shot.

London Lee "L. L." Noonchester was an enigmatic character and the star of the craziest gold rush story in Sisters Country.

A dealer in coyote fur, he set up shop in Burns around 1912 and quickly become embroiled in a wave of legal and ethical situations. L. L. was an accomplished promoter and peppered the Burns community with offers to pay more for "coyote and cat hides than any buyer in Eastern Oregon" despite signing a non-compete contract. During World War I he splashed ads in the local paper offering $50,000 for Kaiser Wilhelm's hide. Noonchester was arrested multiple times for passing...

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