In the town near Harbin Hot Springs called Middletown, and in the new beautiful Middletown Public Library, I was looking for the earliest newspapers for Middletown, and found these interesting resources online by Google searching on ... > "middletown independent" california newspaper archives 1880s < ... and vis-a-vis the first newspaper "Middletown Independent" which began in 1886:
Beginning of Middletown
Guenoc was the name of a village started in Coyote valley, which had but a brief existence. Herrick & Getz had a store there in 1860, the first store in the southern end of the county, but moved it the same year to Lower Lake. Strader & Clark started a store there in 1866, and O. Armstrong had a saloon there soon afterward. An Odd Fellows' hall was built, but was moved to Middletown in 1871. The founding of the latter town, nearer the quicksilver mines and at the junction of two roads killed Guenoc.
The first house was built at Middletown in the fall of 1870 by J. H. Berry, who conducted a hotel therein. O. Armstrong started a saloon in the same year. C. M. Young bought a half-interest in the townsite in 1871. D. Lobree started the first store in 1872. The town developed and prospered in the days of extensive quicksilver mining in that section. It was then, as now, connected by stages with Calistoga, Lower Lake and Lakeport. A brewery was established in 1875 by Munz & Scott, which continued under varying management until recent years. The Middletown Independent was established in 1886 by P. B. Graham and J. L. Read. Read bought Graham's interest in 1889 and later in the same year sold a half interest to W. C. Pentecost. In 1895 Read again acquired full control, placed T. A. Read as editor until 1899, and then Warren E. Read until 1904, when the paper was sold to J- D. Kuykendall. The latter conducted it one year and sold it back to J. L. Read, Warren Read again becoming editor. On October 11, 1906, the paper passed to A. O. Stanley, who published it up to January 1, 1911, when he leased it to his son, "Mort" Stanley. The Independent was Republican in politics up to 1906, and independent since.
Quicksilver mining in this section reached the height of its development about 1895. The Great Western Mine, operated by Andrew Rocca, employed 250 men and was equipped with modern machinery. This mine had been located in 1850, but little development was made until 1872, when E. Green and Hiram Taft operated it. The Mirabel mine was another large producer. The Great Western and other small mines still produce considerable quicksilver.
A franchise to construct and operate a toll road was granted by the Legislature in 1866 to John Lawley, a Mr. Patterson and Henry Boggs. The road was built in 1867 from Calistoga over Mt. St. Helena to Middletown. The toll road is still in operation by the Lawley heirs, a suit in 1909 to terminate the franchise by reason of the death of the original grantees having been decided in their favor.
(And related - http://archive.org/stream/historyofmendoci00carp/historyofmendoci00carp_djvu.txt ).
MIDDLETOWN INDEPENDENT, Middletown, bake County, California. The only newspaper published (every Saturday) in an enterprising town, lias a good circulation, and makes money for its advertising patrons. Send for sample copy and rates. PKNTKCOST & READ. Editors and Proprietors.
Lake County, California Deaths ... and which mentions Middletown's first newspaper "Middletown Independent" - http://www.cagenweb.com/lake/Deaths.htm
Item #559165JANUARY 25, 1896MIDDLETOWN INDEPENDENT, Middletown, Lake County, California, 1896 * Rare title Over the years we have offered hundreds of different titles from the Old West, but this is one we've never offered before. We have just 4 such issues, all from 1896. Fortunately, this newspaper used rag paper so the quality is nice, not the least bit fragile or pulpish.
see, too: http://www.rarenewspapers.com/list/wildwest?page=6
Interesting resources ... but nothing about Harbin itself, which is about 4 miles away from Middletown ...
How easily will such resources, and even more, become available, and eventually via "History" wiki subject pages at WUaS, for example, and in all languages?