Friday, July 22, 2011


Guld  Guld  Guld

By Eugene Halverson
Boom to lift Ore from WASA Mine
Gold was said to be everywhere laying in the streams and the mountains, all yours for the taking.  Galena Gulch in Bingham 1863 had a vein lead mixed with silver vein hundreds of yards long several feet wide.  A very fancy bullet to kill the 500 innocent Indians in the Bear River Massacre.  Precious surface metals were there on a first and find bases.  My G. G. Grandfather, had ten children and many more grandchildren leave Vasa, Finland to Utah from the 1870’s for the next 40 years.  Some returned but most of them never looked back. 
Klippiga Bergen (Rocky Mountain) a book by Olin writes about 20 chapters with hundreds stories of these Great Grandfathers lives in Utah, Colorado and Montana.  It seems like more Swede-Finns were killed by State Militias and company gunmen here in America than what the Russians were able to do.  There were many ways to die in Colorado, what the mines didn’t kill the Militia and company gunmen did.  The Old timers said, if you went to Colorado, you were never seen again.   Gunmen in Bisbee, Arizona loaded 2000 men in boxcars one night and were left still boarded up a thousand miles away.  It was not easy and at times very hard miserable.  The people Bingham tell of how 400 company gunmen who took over the City. 

Miner's Shack at WASA Mine
Vad Gjorde  farfar I Klippiga Bergen by Olin tells all about the lives of thousands of these individual Grand Fathers from Vasa;  The ships they came on, when and where settled, what they did when they got here, and what they accomplished.  These two books gives a complete history of mining and living in Utah, Colorado and Montana when our grandfathers were alive and struggling to make a living.  The stories and pictures came from those who had returned and later died in Finland.  Both books written in the Swedish language.  My cousin Brita Hagglof  from Vora, Vasa, Finland gave these books to me several years ago.  I also visited Holms, my grandfather’s birth place and Norrgard my grandmother’s birth place.  Histories of each were in the books. 

Wasa Mine      pictures from   Jan Morse, Division of Oil & Gas, abandoned mines recovery
The first I heard of the Was Mine was when I read about the death of Herman Snell.
Eureka Reporter           4 August 1908
Death of Herman Snell
Herman Snell was a well known resident of this city (Eureka) was struck by a falling rock while working in the 100 foot shaft at the Wasa Mine in North Tintic on Thursday last week.  Sustaining injuries which result in his death a couple of days later.  Mr. Snell in company with Andrew Strom and Joseph Holmes (his wife’s brother) was engaged in putting in some timbers in the shaft where a station was being cut out.  While this work was going on some rock became dislodged and fell upon Mr. Snell, on large boulder, weighing 200 pounds, striking him between the shoulders.  No bones and the body was not bruised to any extent but this blow between the shoulders caused concussion of the spine and Mr. Snell’s entire body was paralyzed.  After he had been removed to the surface one of the men came to the city for a doctor.  Dr. Laker made the trip out to the mine and remained with Snell until the next day when the injured man was brought to his home in this city.  The Wasa project is nearly fifteen miles north of this city and on account of the rough country near the mine it was necessary to carry the injured man upon a stretcher for nearly four miles.
Mr. Snell was 31 years of age and leaves a wife (Lovisa Holms) and four children.  He was secretary of the Wasa Company and had only been working at the mine a few months.  He was a bright young man and for the last ten years has been one of the leaders of the Swedish-Finnish population of this city.  In 1897 he assisted in the organization of Norden No. 9, Temperance Association of Eureka to which many of the best Finlanders in this city belong. He was a good musician and several years ago assisted in the organization of a band in this city. 
Six years ago Mr. Snell joined the local lodge of Maccabees and took and important part in the affairs of the lodge.  He carried $2000 insurance in this order and was also a member of the Miners Union.  His death is sincerely regretted not only by his country men here but scores of other friends who extend sympathy to Mrs. Snell and the children.  Mr. Snell’s father was also killed about 15 years ago in the Old Daly Mine in Park City. 

The Funeral
The funeral services were conducted in the Baptist Church in this city on Tuesday afternoon under the directions of the Knights of the Maccabees.  The speakers were Rev. Rydeberg of Salt Lake and Rev. C.C. Stillman of this city, prayer being offered by Rev. S. Allison.  A mixed quartette consisting of Miss Edna Russel, Mrs. Thurmond, Frank Garritty and Joseph Phillips rendering a couple beautiful songs.  The services were attended by an immense number number of friends and a lengthy funeral cortege followed the remains to the cemetery.  The band was present at the services and rendered a funeral march as the procession passed down Main Street.  
Wasa Gold Mine
Site 42UT1542 consists of a single mine opening. 3090313VO1 measures six feet square, is at least 300 feet deep, and has a spoil pile measuring 22 feet by 110 feet and containing 900 cubic yards of fill. Near to the shaft is a 15 foot-diameter scatter of fragments of dimensional lumber, mainly 1/2” by 6” boards.  These may be the remains of a small, now-salvaged wood frame building. A road and trail access the mine.  This site is located on the east slope of the East Tintic Mountains at the head of a large wash. It is on the D&B claim, which was surveyed in 1899 and patented that same year. The site is located on private land and is recommended as ineligible for listing on the NRHP due to its small size, apparent lack of millable ore, and limited cultural features and artifacts.           Researched by Jan Morse, Division of Oil & Gas, abandoned mine reclamation

Wasa Mine Corporation
As I gather information about the corporation and try to understand what they were doing back in my grandfathers time it boggles my mind.  All these men were buying and selling stock here and there and even in Vasa in a great get rich scheme to find and dig for riches.  It is unknown to me what the stock was selling for but they must raised a lot of money and many men worked for a number of years before the money ran out and the stock quit selling.  Grandpa had stock but I never got to see it.  They had men out looking for likely prospects and buying others.  Somehow or other they settled on a site fifteen miles to the north of all the successful sites near Eureka.  They probably had no choice as there were hundreds of claims there and guns to keep any newcomers away.  There were real battles fought and men killed.  Nesbit with his gunslingers fought and won two big wars.   
The FarFar book must have had a hundred or so men listed as delegates or secretaries and most of them worked for wages and/or stock and probably many more that were not from Vasa.  There were no shipments of any ore that I have heard of and often wondered what kept them going.  They had some of the better miners in the state working for them, did they known something or did they dream to much.  They wore out their body and mind, a prayer may worked, it worked for Uncle Jessie. 

Shack at North Tintic for WASA Mine
Grandpa was about 70 years old and we would look across the valley where Jessie Knight had his town and mines.  Grandpa spoke in awe of Uncle Jessie, as he was the greatest man he ever seen or heard of.  Grandpa had no doubt that God, himself talked to him.  Here was a farm boy who knew nothing about mining was able to find gold mine after gold mine wherever he went.  And Uncle Jessie was a wonderful man who totally honest and paid off his bankrupted Church huge dept.  Then put his money helping people, to farm to mine, whatever. 
He fought off the hated “robber barons” who tried to destroy him and the smaller miners.  How could a Church, city or a country make such a wonderful man? 
Grandpa worked for the Wasa Corporation, for himself and leased sections of mines that the big mining companies did not care for any more.  In one such mine him and his partner, Raymond found an entrance to a cavern full of gold and silver, but it was soon taken away from them when the company found out what they had.  Another time when they were getting rich the vein went under water.  He hit many highs and lows but he lived a good life.  His father died a young man from breathing the metallic dust in to his lungs, but not grandpa, he died at the age of 76 with a good set of lungs.  He would have rather been a farmer but lost what ever he owned down there when Mosida by the Lake failed during a big drought Utah Lake dried up on them and the crops withered away. .

The 42UT1542 site fulfils all the known facts that I have read or heard of in conversations with family and friends.  I would bet dollars to dough nuts, that this is the Wasa Mine but who really knows???  I would love to go see it before it is covered or screened in but old age is catching. 

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