Saturday, July 9, 2011


My Memories of Bingham
A Boy in Bingham

Eugene in Eureka
I, Eugene Harvey Halverson was born 18 July 1928 in the Bingham Hospital in Bingham Canyon, Utah.  My doctor was Paul Richards and my nurse was Miss Treloar.  I was the first child born to Signe Elisabeth Holmes and Harvey Halverson.  “Eugen Day” is celebrated in Finland every year on 16 June.  The man I was named killed the Czar’s Governor-General who ruled Finland with an Iron hand.  Those who resisted him were killed, sent to Siberia or made to serve in the Imperial Russian Army.  My grandfather left Finland to escape the prosecution.  When Eugen shot Boblikof everyone was so happy and anyone caught smiling was imprisoned charged with “unmotivated happiness”.  The massive strikes and revolt soon began.  Later when the Czar himself was killed Finland won their independence.  Eugene is a person of noble birth or nobility.  “Harvey was my father’s name, strong, worthy and eager to battle.  Halvor means the guardian of the rock.  Signe (my mother) was named for a warrior princess who died fighting for her people.     

I was blessed with having a wonderful mother.  She was a miner’s daughter of Swedish-Finn immigrant who was born in Frisco, Utah.  Frisco was the site of the famous Horn Silver Mine that had collapsed and had taken the town with it.  She was raised in the metal mining towns of Frisco and Eureka, Utah.  She came to Bingham Canyon to find employment where she met and married my father, Harvey Halverson.  I was born while living in their first home in Telegraph.  We lived in three different houses in Telegraph.

The Old Telegraph mine dates back to the early 1880’s and was located above what was the town of Copperfield and Bingham.  Although I was too young to remember being in our first home I know where it was, it was number 5B Telegraph, the center of the three four-plexus apartments, you could hear the neighbors through the walls on both sides, it was small and run down.  The apartments were built on the main big dump left by the Telegraph Mine after all mining activity ceased.  The apartments were built by the United States Smelting and Refining Company, "(U.S.)" for it's miners in Copperfield.  The Company required their workers to live in their town near their work.  It was a true "Company Town", If you lost your job or went on a strike, you were evicted.  Our back yard was the mountain and the front yard was a mine dump about 50 yards wide and 100 yards long.  Our yard was just one large yellow dusty pile of rocks and dirt full of arsenic, sulfur and lead, nothing could ever grow on it not even weeds.   I have a picture of me sitting on the ground when I was about 6 months with my crib tipped on its side.  The yard in front was held in place by a large timber cribbing.  I loved to sit on the road and look across the wash and watch the many squirrels and chipmunks living there. The mountains were scared by many mines with their dumps and old rusty machinery.  There were also three active working mines.
Upper Telegraph-May Berry Mine, Bodmers, Giant Chief

Finnish Mother
My mother’s family was one of the hundreds of Swedish-Finns from Vasa, Finland who came to Bingham during the 1890's to finally be free from Russian dominance and fighting in wars not of their making.  I am looking at the cemetery records of both the Chandler and the Bingham Cemeteries for these friends and relatives, also in the Park City and Eureka cemeteries.  Most of the old folk I was around spoke Swedish or English with a wonderful accent.  I remember the food and old country atmosphere, I loved it. I grew up knowing only my mother's family it was many years later that I found out that I was also a Dane with a Norwegian name.  Last year a cousin from Rokio, Finland sent me two books, “Klippinga Bergen” (Rocky Mountain).  Two chapters are stories of the part of my family who went back to Finland.  It tells of their life in Bingham in the 1900’s.  In 2004 I visited both sides of my mother’s family in Finland, where I walked through my ancestors homes, farms and woods. 
Paul, Gene, Lee's pup

My brother, Lee was born 1 August 1930 while we were living here in Telegraph. Grandpa Halverson had died in Mapleton, Utah just after I was born in December 1928 and Grandmother Lisa Antbrams Holmes died in Eureka, Utah just after Lee was born.  This was also about the time Dad got sick with what is called Silicosis and was fired because of his illness.  This caused us to be kicked out of our company house.  We moved to the Panos Apartments in Frog Town.  George Panos must have been a good man the let us live there when dad had no job or money.  This was at the worst time during the “Great Depression”.  Our food came from the Chris Apostle Store and our milk from Hogan Dairy.  All on a promise that our family would eventually pay off, and we did.  There was no governmental or church help for us.  After we moved back to Telegraph Hogan Dairy if there was milk left over would give us a bottle or two on credit.  Dad would work for days at a time to pay him back which was only fair.

Frog Town

These were hard years.  We were quite poor with many trials.  Frog Town named after the French was the lowest part of Bingham several miles from Telegraph. Dad was sick and didn’t do much work for about two years these were his angry years.  At times he worked at the Aderley Nicholes Garage pouring gas.  He suffered from bouts of pneumonia, his resistance was low he left home when Lee and I got the chicken pox or measles.  Everything had gone wrong for Dad, no work, no money and now another new baby, Paul.  It was common in those days to see a “Quarantine sign” hanging on someone’s house for something or other.  I can’t remember how many times we were quarantined.  Dad lived away from us during those times.

I still wonder how Mother fed and clothed us.  I know she tried not to charge any more food at the store than she had to, just the staples like flour and things.  With this she made delicious crusty bread and we had bread and milk till it came out of our ears, but I liked it.  We never could afford to buy meat or coal.  Mother asked me to gather wood, I still remember dragging parts of old buildings, railroad ties, trees off the mountain and other wood to the back yard, putting them on a sawhorse and sawing them up for firewood.  I was six and Lee was four when we were doing this.  Lee and I played together from the time he was old enough to get around, I felt that it was my responsibility to protect him.  Of course he said it was my safaris and ideas that caused most of his health problems.  He was always willing to go and do the things I liked to do.  I remember when he needed to take shots everyday for an allergy that we couldn't afford so the doctor said, "Have a bee sting him everyday that's what's in the shot", so that what he did. 

In those days I Indians were my hero’s and I did what I thought they did.  One day I decided to show Lee how the Indians roasted and ate grasshoppers, everything was fine until the fire got out of control and set the cheat grass on fire in the back yard, up it went up the mountain where it burned its self out below the B&G railroad.  No one ever found out who did it and we never told. 
Frog Town with Yampa Smelter

As a six year old I remember walking a trail that led down Dry Fork about three miles away.  This trail was actually a trail that brought drinking water by Pipe to fill a cement under ground water tank above Frog Town.  The trail was ugly, hot and dusty with nothing but grass and shrubs on a very barren hillside.  No animal life except a rattle snake.  The closer to Dry Fork the more snakes.  I went there many times, Dry Fork was very beautiful in those days.  We always came home up the road in the bottom of the canyon or up the creek which was also the sewer.   I don’t know which was the dumbest playing in the sewer or the remains of the smelters.  The English’s had a dairy there that sold milk and pigs to the miners in Bingham.  The pigs fed themselves on the garbage from the Bingham Garbage Dump that was next to them.  There was good drinking water and lots of rattlesnakes in the canyon. 

The mountain across the road was also very pretty.  The trees were mostly large oak bushes but were quite tall, tree size.  There were many bushes and flowers, especially the “Pinkies” we brought home to mother.    There were two large rocks there to play on and under them.  One of the rocks had a cave, probably a mine tunnel.  I used to dream about it and in it was a very big lion.  Night after night that damn old lion came to eat me, what a way to start a day.

 I was older when I found the other water canyons like Markham and Freeman.  The last time I went to Markham was with Bobbie Madsen, who had moved from the U.S. down there somewhere.  It was quite a hike to get over the dumps but it was well worth it.  Beautiful clear water stream that came from some large springs.  The scenery above the dump was more like the Wasatch Canyons than any of the canyons here.  The mine dump stopped the flow of water forming a large swimming pool.  There were all kinds of trees there, pine and fir trees, Quaken Aspen, mahogany, choke cherry and elderberry and a thousand kinds of flowers.  This has always been a favorite memory of mine, I can still see it in my mind, just as colorful now as the day I first seen it. As close as it was to town I never ever seen any people or signs of people there. 
All my springs, streams, rocks and canyons are now buried.  Even my poor lion.
Ice-house near rail-depot

I remember the old Ice House across the road, and the tennis courts and the coal yards above.  Tons of ice was stored and saved there.  Very few families had refrigerators in those days.  I was about 14 years old when we got our first one.  Frog Town had a few stores, Apostles and Prigastis's and a beer joint or two.  There were also many open mines and old foundations of some mills and smelters.   The railroad yards all had a coal fired steam driven locomotives smoking and blowing steam.  It was an interesting place to live.

Bingham Creek has been remembered as a seven mile drainage ditch and sewer.  We played in the sands along the creek.  That was the only sand in Bingham.  It was the town sewer and the mine drainage.  Snow was pushed into it and carried away when it was removed from the streets.  Depending on whether it was arsenic, lead, copper, sulfur or just sewer each part had its own color, green, red, yellow or brown. But what I remember most was the toilets built over the creek.  Silver Creek in Park City was called Poison Creek back then.  The doctors were always waiting for some kind of disease to pop up but the acids must have killed all the germs and bacteria. 

Games and Toys
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I can’t remember of having toys to play with here but we played games, mostly with older kids.  My favorite game was can the can which was just a poor boys cricket game.  It's funny no one plays it today.  Then there was our rubber guns.  Before World War II tire tubes were made from pure rubber not like the junk today something like our live rubber today.  We would cut the tubes in strips to shoot in our rubber guns.  Knots were tied in them, the bigger the knot and the tighter they were stretched the more they would hurt.  You would just squeeze clothespin and shoot friend or foe.

One day Lee and I were sleigh riding with some older boys.  We had watched for the cars for them when they came down the hill and across the road, when it came our turn to go they waived us down and left, both Lee and I still wonder if they done it for meanness or was the car going faster than normal.  We sailed down the hill right in front of Robert Hoyne's car.  Lee had a severe head injury and I had a broken and a dislocated hip, he loaded both of us in the car and took us to the Hospital.  Doctor Smernoff said the nerve was dead and the leg should be amputated, but Doctor Paul Richard said they could do that latter if all else failed.  I remember laying in sandbags for a long, long time, until the ball reattached its self to the leg bone.  The neck of the joint of the injured leg is twice as long as the other one.  Because of nerve damage I had no feeling in the leg.  Four or five months later I began using crutches my right leg dangling uselessly below me.  I tried to use it many times but when I touched it to the floor it felt like I had plugged it into a light socket. 

First I learned to use two crutches and later one, I could run almost as fast as Lee on one crutch but I did crash and burn.  I would get angry at times and throw the crutch away and then crawl after it.  I later learned to walk again by myself, but it was painful and slow.  I was held back in the first grade and almost again because I didn't go to school much the following year either.  It's hard watching your friends go on without you.  I missed an awfully lot of school, I know I struggled for a few years but in time things got better.

Bingham had many famous people and some were just different.  Doctor Straup who was Bingham’s first doctor gained more fame as the towns first mayor.  I credit him for taking control of the town from the mining companies to the people.  Doctor Paul Richards was another doctor who showed the companies the wisdom of caring for the people who worked for them rather than just removing the sick and injured from town as soon as they were no longer of use to them.  Ventilating the mines and down wetting of the silica dusts saved the lives thousands of workers.   This is what killed most all of my mothers family.  There are no Holms left in America they all died in the mines.  Because of the many back injuries he was treating doctors from all over the world came to learn his techniques.   He proved that what had thought were permanent disabling injuries could be cured.  He gained fame for his radium treatment for cancer.  His hospital was the best anywhere.  He was active in the Boy Scouts and in the schools.  There were many people from Bingham who gained fame in the world but these are the ones I cared about. 

Paul  & Vivian  


Well, the accident was terrible but it got dad a chance to work again. The father of Fred Hoyne was also the superintendent of the US Mine he was afraid of a lawsuit over the accident so Dad was given the job of running this huge giant air compressor in Copperfield.  When Wride quit his job, Dad got his job and his house.  The house was the highest house in Telegraph and it to was built on a small mine dump.  It was an ugly house but it was surrounded by some beautiful trees; pines, quakies and choke cherries.  My memories are still quite sharp and vivid.  I loved this place. 

Our address now was 231 Telegraph and it was over 7000 feet high.  Dad was actually too sick to work but he had too.  He had a hard time walking home from work.  It took him a long time and he was completely exhausted when he got home.  This probably in the long run cured Dads Silicosis.  I remember him as being mean and angry to me.  I was also recovering from a broken hip and pelvis and was on crutches.  Lee said I was meaner than the devil too.  Lee had health problems too and I remember he was angry too.  Poor Mother what a life she must have had.  But I remember only her constant love and care.  She never raised her voice or spanked us or anything. 

It didn’t take long before we all got to love this little old house in Telegraph, especially mother and I.  She loved the mountains and her little redheaded birds she fed.  She would try to keep us from waking up dad when we came home from school.  He was usually sleeping at this time.  So almost every day she would take us for a walk in the mountains, mostly up towards the Queen Mine.  These were the fondest memories of my childhood.  I was truly blessed to have a mother like that.  The walk was steep for about one half mile and then it would level off at an old cement damn used for mining of gold.  The canyon was all a part of Bear Gulch, and it was beautiful.  We would then cross the damn and enter the most beautiful grove of maple trees in the whole world.  The trees were large and old, a little undergrowth maybe but the ground was covered with mostly grass and wild flowers, columbines, pinkies and daisies.  I can still see Mother sitting there, happy and not a care in the world.  It was good to see her that way because she did have a hard life.  I get a tear in my eye even today thinking of her.  She was the sweetest and the most caring mother a person could have. 
 house in Telegraph

We had no water in the house.  So, there was no bathroom or kitchen sink.  Two bedrooms, a kitchen and a front room a light with a pull-chain hung from the center of each room, no plug-in outlets.  No refrigerator cold stuff was kept in a mine entrance in the kitchen pantry or in a powder box with a can on top that dripped water on a burlap sack to keep it cool.  We had milk and we only had that if the milkman had it left over after delivering all of Bingham, we owed him a lot of money.  We couldn’t afford meat and butter.  I carried water about a block away from a tunnel under a spring-fed water tank, the best and coldest water in Bingham.  A short walk in the tunnel brought you to a large brass tap.  The water was under a great deal of pressure, much care was needed slightly open the valve or the water would knock the bucket out of your hand.  The floor in the tunnel had ice on it all summer. 
Springtime usually meant floods.   One such flood left four feet of mud just inches from coming in the window the whole length of the house.   We left it that way.  That turned out to be the pretty side of our house, grass, flowers and trees began to grow there. 

We were extremely poor but I didn’t know it.  For a few years there was no meat to eat.  Mother would send me down to get the jackrabbits and carp people would bring home from the valley.  When you body feels starved for meat you will eat anything, carp, suckers and jackrabbits that the hunters and fishermen brought in suited us just fine.  How mother ever got the fish not to taste fishy and how the rabbit ever got tender and tasty I’ll never know.  I remember going in the mountains and killing and cooking on a spit the many porcupines, rock chucks, squirrels, many small birds and even fish that we killed with rocks and clubs. We always carried a potato to bake in the coals to go with the animal if we killed something.  While living in Bingham Mother cooked a lot of Swedish dishes, I have tried many times to cook the fish and sweet-soups that she made, but I can't quite get the taste right.  The codfish she bought was as hard as a rock, it was preserved by salting and drying.  She fish had to be soaked in lye water, fresh water, lye water and back to fresh again, how many times I don’t know.  She cooked the fish many different ways.  She took special care of wild game to make it extra tasty.  We seemed to acquire some venison at times.  I was 10 years old before we got a radio and a lamp, no gadgets in those days. 


Our town was simply called Upper Bingham.  We did have a few stores and a school.  I believe the name Copperfield School was named before we named the town after the mine cut us off from the rest of Bingham.  Each ethnic group or nationality had its own part of town that they lived in.  We had our Jap Camp, Greek Camp, Dinkyville, Upper and Lower Copperfield and Terrace Heights. 

Tourists near viewing area  Copperfield
Copperfield School was something else.  You had to learn to fight to survive.  My first day at school I had a fight.  I had many fights at least one a week maybe more, all after school.  I got in trouble a few times for fighting during school time.  A new boy always had to be tested.  I did try to avoid these fights because I didn't know how.  I learned the hard way, school of hard knocks.  I usually fought Max Salazar, he was the one to beat, he was the leader of the Jap Camp and Copperfield gang.  Later it was Carl Espanoza, he was no problem until to our surprise he was being trained by a professional to be a boxer, I got lumps all over my head the last time we fought, he was a good one to avoid after that.  Carl was the leader of the Dinkyville Gang.  Marion Carter was the leader of the Terrace Height’s and Dinkyville gang.  Telegraph and Carl’s part of the Dinkyville gang would always join together to fight the Copperfield gang.  Each part of town had its own gang.  We formed gangs for protection but our fights were fair.  I still remember the scolding I and a few others got one day from “Old man Wooten” when the principal called him up to stop the fighting.  The boys had to be the same size or there was no fight.  Mostly we just walked around acting tough and if there was a fight it was the leaders who fought.  We didn’t use clubs and guns in those days.  I never had a fight in High School but I did get knocked out in the Library once.  I didn’t know what happened until I woke up.  Someone was always putting a chip on his shoulder and daring someone to knock it off. 

I was always one of the smaller boys in my classes at school and to make matters even worse I had too live with a bad limp because of an injured hip.  I was required to carry all the water and saw all the wood that mother needed for the house.  In time this hard work made me a great deal stronger than anyone in my class.  I had to win my fights by endurance.  They seemed to dance around me and punch me at will.  I took my lumps but eventually they would tire and I would get my turn.  In time I learned to box and even enjoyed it.  I never cried, my mother said, "Don't let them see you cry that's what they want you to do.  Be strong and things will always get better, just wait".  This was Sisu that she taught me in her own way.  I could endure pain, fatigue and go long periods without food or water.  What has to be endured can be endured.

Copperfield Tunnel waiting for Green Light
Tomorrow I’ll go the cemetery to bury my old fighting buddy, Juan Vigil.  We started working together as laborers on the trackgang and later in the machine shops.  We loved to fight then.  As soon as the whistle would blow and work for the day was over we would attack each other like Detective Couso and Kato did in the Pink Panther.  We would end up bruised and our clothes torn off our backs.  He was my helper in the Boilershop for many years.   We hunted deer together for many years.  The three of us, Juan (Johnny), James Ballamis and myself.  First as single men and later when our sons were old enough to go.  He was a wonderful friend and I’ll miss him.

I was always quite competitive, and loved to test my skill against all comers.  We had special tops in those days that are not sold any more, probably because of safety reasons.  They were wooden tops made of hardwood with a hard metal end to spin on, the spinners had a rounded point and the spikers had sharp points.  A spiker was made to destroy an opponents top, each person would take his turn until some ones top was broken.  A string was wrapped around the top from the bottom up, the other end was held in your hand, the top was thrown with force to it spin faster. 

Marbles was played with the winner taking the opponents marble.  Some kids could shoot a marble so hard they could break the marbles. 

Lower Copperfield
We played a game called "Can the Can", a game copied from "Cricket".  It was a four man ball-game, two against two, a tennis ball and a two bats.  Two men were up to bat at a time, other two tried to strike them out.   The plate was a hole in the ground with two condensed milk cans back and straddling the, hole the holes were about 60 feet apart, a run was counted if the batters hit the ball and was able trade places or if the ball got away from the pitchers.  The batters were up until the pitchers knocked three cans over. 

Our skis were barrel stays with straps nailed to the sides.  We were always on them but one day I got the bright idea of skiing down to the Horse-Shoe Bend near Lark to hunt cotton-tail rabbits on the barrel staves.  Why we did this on such a cold Winter day I’ll never know.  Skiing seven miles was fine but the walk back home up over the high mountain was to much for Lee.  Our pants had long ago frozen in to something like a stove-pipes, Lee was cold and tired and wanted to lay down and sleep, I knew he would have died if he did so I pushed and pulled him all the way home.  We still laugh about all the dumb things we did back then. 
Signe (Beth) Holmes Halverson

We had “Coca Dirt” in Telegraph and everybody came to play in it.  We would make roads and tunnels in it.  We would also grab a handful like you would make a snowball and throw it at each other.  We looked like someone had dumped a can of coca on your head.   It was the tailings from an old mill and concentrator.  It was full of arsenic, lead, iron and sulfur. 

Just above the Coca Dirt below the mine dump was our football field.  Buck (Nelson) Leyba would gather all the gangs together for our football and baseball games.  The field was level but it was covered with small rocks and coca dirt.  We had great times but I swear that we all left some blood and guts there and we really got dirty. 

The “Big Tree” was just above Telegraph and everybody who ever lived in the Copperfield area, remembers it.  It was on the way to the Queen Mine.  It was the most magnificent old cottonwood tree you would ever want to see.  It must have been hundreds of years old, and three or four feet in diameter.  It was the only cottonwood tree in the canyon.  I have just found a picture of it, Isabel Rose Scroggen gave I to me.  It was near a spring with cool clear water but mining activity eventually polluted it.  It was on an old Indian trail from the Salt Lake valley over the Oquirrh Mountains to the Tooele valley.  The tree was the site of their summer home, burial grounds and a hunting area.  I was able to find a large collection of arrowheads, spearheads and knives.  I found other arrowheads here near the tree and all over the mountain.  Some at the old Scout Camp in Butterfield but mostly at the Big Tree was they must have been their burial grounds as well as being on the trail to the desert .

Mother and Viv
At the head of a canyon above the Silver Shield Mine there were giant stumps of an ancient old forest of giant trees that had been clear cut back in pioneer days.  The stumps were all about four to six feet in diameter.  No one would believe me when I told them how big they were.  Only a few of us during my lifetime had ever seen them.  I was grown up and moved away before I found out who had cut them.  In a geology book I found out that they called my trees the "Big Grove".  Brigham Young had sent his people to build a saw mill and cut these trees.  The tabernacle and most all the valleys buildings were built from these trees.  The trouble was the clear cutting caused this particular species of Red Pine to become extinct.  Mining and logging has now destroyed this mountain.  It was a beautiful mountain and it is hard access to what is left of it.  The Indians called it Oquirrh Mountain, meaning the Shining Mountain.  I didn’t realize the many of the trails that I walked on were logging roads not ore haulage roads.  Every canyon had a spring for drinking if you knew where to look.  Mining eventually destroyed the aquifer which caused the many springs and creeks to dry up.  The water now drains from the mouths of the many mines but it is polluted with arsenic and other metals. 

Holmes at Eureka
From the time we moved back to Telegraph, my Mothers Swedish-Finn friends started visiting us, they all spoke Swedish and they were fun.  They came when Dad was working, two or three at a time, friends she worked with when she too worked in the boarding houses.  I now believe many of these girls were actually relatives.  Mother always made lasting friends.  In time I began to understand what was said, sometimes Mother would send me outside when my ears got to big.  When the boarding houses closed the girls left. 

I remember when spring came and the snow began to melt and the streams began to run. This was the time to pan gold.  Miners like Alvin Cole would come past our house on their way up to the gold beds between our house and the Big Tree.  I would follow them with my gold pan.  The gold we found showed signs of denting or flattening and was always dark in color.  When I asked Alvin if this was gold he would say "Yes" and put it in his bottle.  They taught me many things about ore and some of them took me into the mines.  They showed me how to tell if a mine was safe and how to take care of myself.  I was fascinated with their stories and their experiences in the mines in earlier days.  I had a collection of brass candle holders, the ones the miners used before carbide lamps.  I also had a collection of carbide lamps that were used before flash lights.  I had many other tools that were collectibles.

Signe Holmes grandmother Lisa Holmes  Irene Johnson
????                   Edith                      Walter
There was an old man who lived in one of the original old Telegraph mine buildings his name was Karl John, we never did know his last name.  He was German who immigrated here after World War I, he had boxes and boxes of money in his house.  He would give us handfuls of it when we got courage enough to just ask for it.  The only problem was that it was old German marks and was worthless.   With a pick, shovel and wheelbarrow he dug a long trench on the surface between our house and the old Telegraph Mine.  He was secretly following a vein of ore that only he and I knew about.  He was upset and made me promise not to tell anyone because if the company knew what he was doing he couldn’t mine there anymore.  He always kept the ore covered or hidden and shipped just old plain dirt mixed with the good stuff so that the U.S. Mine would never suspect how rich the claim was.  He had a poor-mans blacksmith shop, bellows, anvil, etc., where I would watch him heat his worn-out picks and tools to an almost white hot color and hammer them sharp and temper them again.  One day he retired and left he said he had enough money to last him till he died, this was before Social Security.  A couple of years later the Hieneki brothers while bulldozing a road accidentally uncovered  Carl’s vein of lead, silver and gold.  After just one shipment to the smelter the U.S. Mine came to see what was there and shut them down. The US Mine followed this vein and called this new mine the Mayberry they made many millions of dollars.  This new mining activity was to close to our house so they forced us to move from our little house in the trees. 

There were all kinds of dangers, the mountains were full of abandoned mine shafts and tunnels that were caving in leaving holes that were several hundreds of feet deep.  We knew what to look for and how to stay out of danger.  I lost two dogs in them and the Ivies lost a horse. 
shafts and mines above Telegraph near Silver Shield area

Dynamite, caps and carbide was laying everywhere, we all knew how to use dynamite, insert the caps and how to tell the difference between primer cord and the regular timed cord, we played with the cord a lot, each had it's own danger.  The carbide mixed with water made acetylene gas which was very explosive, it was supposed to be used in our carbide lamps but that's not the only way we used it.  Lots of kids and adults lost fingers and thumbs, especially with the caps. 

I learned to ski early by watching Doctor Frazier, (the Town Doctor and Antarctica Explorer), here I learned that there was more to getting on a pair of skis and crashing at the bottom of the hill.  He must have been preparing for Antarctica when he built a ski-jump up towards Queen about a mile or so above our old house.  I seen his ski-tracks in the snow but couldn't figure out the round holes in the snow, made by the ski-poles, I had never seen ski-poles before.  I tried his ski-jump but very seldom ever made it and I never learned to turn either, if I did it was because I was in his tracks.
US Town looking from US Mine

Times were hard while dad was still paying Chris Apostle and Hogan Dairy, I never had any money, until I got a paper route, the Tribune.  Lee helped me and I gave him a share of the money.  He was always helping and doing things with me.  He was always a good brother.  We were able to buy things that we were never able to have.  A lot of my money went into model airplanes.  They were made of balsa wood, covered with paper and had a elastic to power the propeller.  They were scale models of the real thing, I learned what kinds to buy, the ones with the two wings flew best.  In time I learned how to make all of them to fly better.  Eventually they would all crash and burn, most likely the bodies would go first, then I would build gliders from the wings and they would fly better than the plane.  I found that I could build a better plane or glider than I could buy.  In time I built them bigger and bigger and they flew good.  In a couple of years they grew from 18 inches to fourteen feet.  No more glue and balsa wood they were now made of firing strips and cloth.  I paid many visits to the U.S. Mine’s carpenter shop.  There I would gather all the long thin strips of fir I could carry and then sneak past the watchmen and the bosses before I was caught.  The frame of the fourteen footer was finally built and then I had to go talk some of the mothers out of their petticoats to cover it.  

Viv   Tippy   Paul  in Dad's flower garden
When the big day finally came to fly it.  Kids from all over came to see it.  We carried it to the top of the highest and largest mine dump in Telegraph.  It was the head of the canyon and had good up-drafts of wind.  I had to balance all my gliders with a weight just in front of the wing.  I knew by feel how much weight was needed.  This one took about 35 pounds of steel that we took from an old air compressor.  I had made several attempts to launch it but either the wind or the balance of the weight didn't feel right.  As I tried to perfect the glider  the wind took over and I was yanked off the ground and up in the air.  Down the dump I went afraid to let go.  I flew for about 100 yards before I could let go.  I had to wait until I reached the bottom of the dump where I could fall into some large maple trees.  It wasn't an easy landing, I was scratched and my clothes were torn.  What was worse I never even got to see it but everyone said it sailed high in the air and down the canyon, it was beautiful.  It swooped and soared like a big bird right into Marsell Chea's garage.  The weight made a big hole right through the top.  We were lucky he and his car was gone.  We gathered up the glider and laid low for a few days, I don't think he ever figured out what happened to his garage. I was in the fifth grade at the time.

Dad's flower garden  Telegraph
I was asked one day by my Grandson, "What kind of toys did you have when you were a boy"?  It was the same question that Billy McIvor asked when he came to play with me when I was little.  He said, "What can I play with"?  Other than my airplanes, I had no store-bought toys, if I played trucks it wasn't with a truck it was a block of wood or a can.  I guess I had a good imagination and made many things and was proud of what I had made.  Billy's father was rich and he had room’s full toys, he was also two or three years older than I was.  One day he had his father bring all these toys to my house and gave them to me, they didn't work because Billy couldn't fix anything.  I soon had them all running again.  One was the largest Lionel Trains I had ever seen, with all the automatic switches, dumping stations, tunnels and lots of track, A large erector set and steam driven engine.  They had been abused but in time I had them all working.  Billy said his father had given him new ones.

I always believed that I would have been a good Indian.  They were my heroes.  I had been collecting arrow heads from all over the mountains and had read a lot of books, I wanted to be an Indian, live off the land.  I gave up on BB guns, they never seemed to kill much.  I always carried a flipper crutch in my back pocket and was quite good with it.  I also had a sling-shot like David in the Bible had, but it wasn't as accurate or as fast, it did hit hard though.  When I was 12 on Christmas I was given a single shot twenty-two, what a wonderful day that was.  It's a wonder I never caught the bubonic plague or something as bad.  For years I had been eating all kinds of animals and birds, chickadees, Jays, squirrels, porcupines and rock chucks.  I always carried matches, I wonder why I never carried salt.  I never carried food, water or bedding.  At times it was too far to return the same day.   I had a Rat Terrier named Tippie who was a better hunter and killed more animals than I did.  He sounded like a bear when he went down a hole.  In time out he would come dragging a squirrel or rockchuck.  Some of the animals were larger than he was.  We ate what he killed too.   

Lee still tells the story of one Spring day when five of us went to Butterfield Canyon and decided to spend the night there with only one blanket to sleep under, it snowed four inches and got real cold, one by one the other three left for home, Lee and I were alone come morning.  This is when we asked some old mining friends of mine for food.  They lived in the mountains alone working an old mine claim.  Their house had a dirt floor with a rabbit hole in most every corner, we watched the rabbits as they came and went.  They feed us strawberry jam and home made bread.  Our trail to Butterfield followed an old water line to Queen where they were.  I can remember when Queen was quite a large community. 

My dad ran a very large air compressor for the US Mine in Copperfield but there was an 8 inch or bigger pipeline that took air all the way to the “OLD Jordan” Mine.  As this pipe passed through Telegraph it traveled up at a 45 degree grade for a half mile before leveling out.  What a wild slipper slide it made.  Some called the town, Jordan, others called it Galena but we called it the US.  It was the site of the first Silver and lead mine in Utah.  A surface vein of lead and silver found and developed by the US Army and some Mormons against the wishes of Brigham Young.   I was told that when the Army massacred the 350 Indians at Bear River they were shot with silver/lead bullets from the Jordan Mine. 
US Mine tunnel and rails to dump

US/Galena whatever was the site of much bloodshed.  Where a large circular tank on wheels, that rode on a circular track.  As it was hand pumped the tank would slowly spin as it rolled around the track.  It would move quite fast if you pumped real hard.  In the old days it was used by the company’s gunmen to shoot at the strikers from the safety of the tank.  In an all-out war one day 5 or 6 scabs (strike-breakers) were killed here by the strikers.  Company gunmen and the State Militia were also shooting at anyone and any thing up on the mountain and the strikers were shooting back from the hills.  Nothing was despised or hated worse than a "Scab".  We had no use for a person who would steal another mans job during hard times.  There were many different nationalities in Bingham.  They were brought in, in many cases by the companies to replace those who went out on strike for better pay and working conditions.  The only people who would honor a strike and not get fired was the Japanese, They were the powder monkey's, they were called this because they would hang from a rope all day long barring rocks down that might damage the steam shovels many were killed doing this.  No one else would do this type of work and the company knew it.  Farmers it seems came up from the valleys during the winter time to be scabs, earning a bad reputation for themselves. 


I was 11years old in 1939 when Russia declared war on Finland with thousands of tanks, planes and guns, Russia was supposed to be Americas ally because they were fighting Germany but they were never an ally of mine.  Mother and I cheered for Finland all the way.  Russia for all her size and might couldn't seem to conquer Finland but sadly in the end they did prevail. 

Peal Harbor
Two years later on 7 December 1941 an announcement came on the radio that said we were at War.  The Japs had caught our fleet anchored and defenseless in Pearl Harbor.  All of our ships were sinking and burning, they were bombing at will any installation on the Island.  Hawaii was bombed and strafed mercilessly all day long, losses in lives, ships and aircraft were beyond belief.  In a little while we heard the declaration of war by our president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, World War II had begun.  We had declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.  Russia was now supposed to be our ally now that we were in it but I never trusted or liked them, still don't like or trust any European country. 

War wasn't new to us it was all around us but it was a sobering thought, In a few years I could be going to the war, for three years now Germany had been marching her armies throughout Europe and controlled everything.  We had been supplying England and the rest of Europe from the armies of Germany and Italy.  Many of our ships had been sunk by the German U-boats.  My cousin Virginia lost her husband, Bob Burke at sea.   

I remember my Mother during these years would volunteer to serve on various Civil Defense committees where she learned first aid and what to do if we were bombed, I remember the pump tank she kept in the house to put out phosphorescent bombs.  Food, tires, gas and many other items were rationed, you could only buy these item if you had a ration book with the right colored stamp in it. 

With in days some of my Japanese friends and their families began to disappear.  They were called enemy aliens, so they were systematically rounded up and put in concentration camps out in our Western Desert.  I knew some of these families quite well and knew they were all right but government officials feared sabotage and business people coveted their property and possessions.  When the government waved the flag, it was unpatriotic to say other wise.  I have watched many groups of people have had their constitutional rights taken away from them by some flag waving congressman or some right-wing Republican group.  We have more than our share of them in Utah.  As a child I remember following Jacky Myaki and Max Salizar into their public houses and sitting in the hot tubs.  More than we jumped out and ran with our clothes in our hands as the ladies came in.  The Myia’s owned the camp were good people. 
Paul with home-made train set in front of Telegraph home
Eventually we moved away from our little house in the trees down to the top row of one of the apartments, It was Neally's old house.  The house was larger and it was modern but I still liked the old house.  In the old house we were isolated and now we around other people began to play with other kids and families that lived there.  When apartments were full, 17 or 18 families were there, at sundown there would be a baseball game, men, women and children would come out, some played, others watched.  All seemed to enjoy the night and each other’s company.  Wintertime there was sleigh riding and bob-sleighing. 

Bingham at one time was one of the largest cities in Utah.  In my time they had about 7000 living there.  There was every kind of stores, many saloons, theaters, even houses of ill repute.  Then in 1948 the expanding mining operations finally forced everyone to leave Bingham altogether and move to West Jordan.  Bingham is now a ghost town and if you could see my many different homes they would be either setting out in the sky or buried under rock and dirt.  My neighbors and friends are scattered like so much chaff in the wind. 

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