Saturday, July 9, 2011


lower two four-plexes
 by Eugene Halverson

I was born in Telegraph.  In a company house in a company town owned by the US Mine where my dad worked.  When he got silicosis from his work they fired him and forced us to move within a few days.  We moved to Frog Town where we lived in the Panos Apartments.  I found many new friends.  A few years later Lee and I had a sledding accident.  We were run over by Bob Hoyne.  He was the superintendent's son.  This somehow caused the US to give dad Mr. Wrides house in Telegraph Wride’s job of running the large mine air compressors back of the US Hotel.  He was also the one who tooted the whistle.  We were extremely poor at this time, Dad had only worked a few months in the last two years.  We mostly ate bread and milk no meat.  Carp and jack rabbit tasted good then.

viewing the end of Telegraph
I started school in Bingham but because of the accident I was held back and resumed schooling at Copperfield in the first grade again.  As the new boy in town I was thoroughly tested, after school I had to fight every boy my age many times.  With out a club or a friend it was like running the gauntlet to be in another part of town.  Being bashful I was more afraid of the girls than anything.  I have many fond memories of going to school in Copperfield and the people there.  We had no lawns but the hard packed dirt was ideal for our marble games and the spinning of tops, the tops were sharp and quite dangerous. 

Not having any real friends I spent most all my time alone in the mountains.  I was fascinated with Indians and wanted to be one.  Taking only matches and a coat I would spend days at a time high in the mountains.  I believe that I ate just about every kind of root, bulb, rodent and animal there.  Even grasshoppers.  I got quite a collection of Indian arrowheads and knives at their burial ground at the Big Tree. 

If I went over the mountain to Middle Canyon I would pass near an ancient forest that had been clear cut by the pioneers who used the wood to build Salt Lake City.  I remember playing on the stumps of these large trees.  They were all at least 6 feet diameter.  The pioneers called it “the Grove”.  The clear cutting caused them to become extinct.  We camped on a spring above the Middle Canyon in Tooelle County where we would meet the kids from Highland Boy who walked through the tunnel.  We had a few tunnels that went through other mountains.  Most kids had their own carbide lamps to go underground.  We knew more than we should about fuses, blasting caps and dynamite.  We all knew kids who had lost fingers. 

I used to hike over the mountain through the little town of Queen to Butterfield Canyon.  When I was little it had about 14 or so families living there.   When the mine closed and the houses were turn down.  Two old miners came back and leased the mine They lived in an old wooden shack with a dirt floor and walls you could see through.  They loved company and always invited me in for a loaf of fresh baked bread and strawberry jam.  I learned a lot about going in the mines from these and other old men we called “Leasers”.  I learned mining and blacksmithing from Carl John.  Alvin Cole taught me how to pan gold.  There was a lot of gold along the creek that was just covered up by Kennecott. 

Then there was a large metal tank with bullet marks on it at the Galena Mine.  In the old days armed guards were used to protect the scabs during shift change.  It had wheels on it and it would spin as it traveled around on a little circular railroad.    It was great sport to throw rocks at your friends as they tried to get away by pumping it as fast as they could. 

I built many model airplanes and eventually built a glider with a 14 foot wing span.  Many kids came to see it fly.  Dumb me I forgot to let go.  I had to drop down into a tree a few hundred yards along the way.  It flew from the highest mine dump in Telegraph into the side of  Marsell Chea's garage. 
Our field trips were mostly hikes in the mountains led by our principal one was a five mile hike to an abandoned mine in US.  We went inside without lights and it was scary.  Then our principal growled like a bear.  What a stampede.  Another was to the University of Utah where we experimented with electricity and magnetism.  Another was a visit to the Smelter, it was a fine tour but when we went to leave we were stopped at the gate.  Okay,  “Boys empty your pockets”, the guard said.  A pile of silver ingots soon appeared.  We thought we were rich and it was real silver.  It was just babbit used in making bearings.  I didn't have any teacher in any school who gave me any special attention so I don't have any fond memories of them.

In 1948 the mine expansion forced us to move from Telegraph to West Jordan.  We were about the first family to go.  We didn't get much of a welcome though.  They were afraid that all the Bingham people would ruin their town.

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