Sunday, August 21, 2011

BINGHAM A MEMORY of DINKEYVILLE I by JANIE TORRES MONTOYA

Janie Torres Montoya
Janie Torres Montoya
My Memories of Growing up in Copperfield
By Janie Torres Montoya
At times, when I remember my childhood in Dinkeyville, I long for the good old days.  I remember the sheriff, Mr. Householder, coming to my house in the dead of winter to quarantine our house for Scarlet Fever; it was the Yellow Sign.  Our neighbors, the Contreases, had the White sign for Measles.  That was the winter of 1935/36 and I must have been nine or ten years old.  The snow covered everything like a  white blanket, and icicles hung from the roof of our house to the ground.  Looking back at those days long ago, with our unheated houses, no running water and outside toilets, I don’t remember being unhappy or feeling deprived.   When we got well, we went out on the trail to play on our cardboards or snow shovels.  A few of the wealthier kids had sleds, but not many.  Halloween was jus over, and I can’t help but remember how the big kids, Paul Garcia, Jay Corona, Edmond McDonald, all good friends, would go around knocking over outhouses, cutting clothes lines, and believe me, we were not singled out for any reason.  Everybody got the same treatment. 
Dinkeyville  top
When I was in the fourth grade, my Dad bought some cows from Mr. Ivie.  Those were happy times for my brother, Manuel and me.  It was our job to take the cows up into the hills past the Saddle where there was better grazing .  we would take our tortillas , rolled with beans, and we’d pick flowers.  We picked prickly pears too, which my mother used to fix for us.  They were then, and are now, quite a delicacy. 
This is our after it got burnt.
 Dinkeyville was quite a place to grow up in.  we were like a big happy family, cohesive, loyal and caring.  This is where I grew up and went to school and learned to speak English.  To this day, when I meet friend from the olden days, I make tine to stop and chat.  I’m glad and happy this opportunity has come up so we can reminisce and put down on paper some of our memories,  hoping they bring happiness to others when they read these thoughts.  I know that even in my home, with different brothers and sisters, each one of them will have different things to remember.

Kids selling ore to toutists
We lived just steps from the Contreras family and down the steps from the Espinosa’s;  none of us had running water in our homes, so we’d borrow several pieces of hose from neighbors, connect them together and fill barrels, and tubs and all our buckets from the community Pump.  My Mom would heat water on top of our stove so she could scrub our clothes: and of course, in the summer she would wash outside, making a fire in the yard.  I’d help Mon stir the clothes, and we would boil till they’d  be shining white. 
What fun!
My Mom also knew how to make soap.  She would save all the grease and we’d help her stir it out-of-doors.    When I remember back to those olden days, I must confess that our mothers must have been pretty smart; they doctored us when we were sick; they all sewed; and Mom even had time to grow a garden, as impossible as that seems to me now.  We carried water from the pump in buckets and actually grew zucchini and string beans in that rock hard-laden soil full of minerals. 
Dinkeyville is gone but not forgotten.  I remember when Chis Bapis used to go early in the morning to git out order so he could deliver it by noon from the Panhellenic.  I remember when the mailman used to deliver mail on horseback and sometimes he’d give us a ride.  I also remember when Ralph Carter would deliver for the Miner’s Mercantile.  I’ll never forget the bunkhouses, Terrace Heights, or Telegraph; and Jap Camp: although if you didn’t live with us in those beautiful long-ago days, you’d never know that’s the way we lived, and loved every minute of it, and made me what I am today.
Dinkey steam engines with wooden cars
This is a picture  of my brother, Sam, beside a big rock near Dinkeyville.  It was taken sometime in 1937 or 1938.  The rock was a favorite place to play, because it was on the way to the “Saddle”.  If you lived in Dinkeyville in the thirties, you played on the hills.
To the left of the rock lived a goat-herder who, one day gave me the biggest scare of my life.  Anyway, I was coming down the hill by the big rock one day, and I saw him finish slitting a young goat’s throat, lift his arm high over his head, and drink the kid’s blood.  I had never,  in my young life, seen anything like that.  Even now, I can clearly recall all of it, including the blood spilling down the goat-herders clothes


 We’d run outside when the trains were coming and we’d put nails and small objects so the train would flatten them.  Now and again someone would have a penny and we’d have a flat penny, but money was hard to come by so mostly we would put nails…
We lived in Dinkeyville, up the hill from Copperfield.  We walked everywhere, to school, to the store and sometimes even stopped to pick chock-cherries when they were ripe. 
Elderberries grew on the sides of the hills.  I knew friends that made Elderberry wine.  At that time pretty flowers and bushes grew in abundance.  Many of these plants were growing between the levels of the mine.
Our mountain was beautiful when I grew up in Copperfield.  Now the whole mountain has been hauled away.  I have memories I’ll never forget. 
My Dad was a trackman for 20 Years.  It was hard work.  The necessary track-gangs were needed to keep the operation of the mine running smoothly.  A strong back was a definite asset…Manuel labor, pick and shovel…there were miles of railroad track in those old days.  Tamping ties, driving spikes.  During the war the Copper Company needed and willing to give the Junior and Senior boys at the Bingham High School an opportunity to work week-ends and summers.  It was a great help for these young men to go to college.  It required no special skills and generally hard work, these young men were paid the same as the other trackmen that had families, and with the same benefits.   Many women also hired on at this time to tend switches and work at the Precipitation Plant at Lead Mine.  These were exciting times.  The Utah Copper supplied 90 % of the nation’s copper used in the war effort. 
This picture was taken at what we referred to as the “Bingham Central” school.  I wasn’t aware there were musical programs in school.  I remember the one time my father gave me permission to go to this “awesome school”.  My fourth grade teacher was a wise lady, she knew the ways and customs that my dad insisted we adhere too.  Mrs. Richards walked up the hill, got his permission to take me and brought me home while the school bus waited.  She thanked my dad! 
 This is the house I lived in when we went to the grade school in Copperfield.  We walked and run down the trails and steps.  When I was young my mom tried to plant a garden all the way across the front of this house.  The house was 558 Dinkeyville, Utah. 
Wee” (William) Lopez lived in Dinkeyville also.  His brother, Gilbert, was in my grade in Copperfield School.  He grew up with his older sisters, Neva and Mary caring for him, and brothers, Albino and Gilbert.  Jay Corona lived in Dinkeyville, where we lived.  I never knew his mother, but he had an older sister, Delfina, who was one of the Dinkeyville beauties.  She cared for Jay Mary, and Ernie while Mr. Corona worked o the track gang.  Ernie was in my grade also.  Jay was older and quite a fighter.
Copperfield above the mine
We had lots of tourists coming to town to see the Copper Mine, they came from all over America and the world wanting souvenirs and information.  They got it, each of the kids had their own spiel to offer them.  Each one of them had their own stash of ore samples to sell plus good honest information.  They had true knowledge from their dads.   The observation point was the end of the road right near the Miners Merc.  Bus after bus came, several at a time and many, many cars.  All came somehow through the mile and a quarter narrow tunnel.  This was the area where the youngsters sold their ore samples all summer long.  They made pretty good pocket change. 
The Dinkey engines were the ones who brought water to the residents who were living in Dinkeyville area.  It took a fireman and an engineer  to run these engines.  A dollar a barrel is what they charged.  My friend Billy Harper tells me, his father would let him ride this engine all summer long with Clarence Stringham, engineer. 
Copperfield
“The Circle”
the "Circle"--company houses
These homes were on the main street in Copperfield- down the street from the school house.  When I was young my dad would send my sister, and I, here to “ the Circle” where the Anglos lived to find out where to report for work when he’d been off after his two days off.  .  Berzell Bullock lived in the “Circle” .  these Utah Copper homes had running water and inside toilets.  Although many years later, the Utah Copper gave permission to the rest of us to rent there.  The homes were maintained by the Company; painted and repaired regularly. 
Jap Camp
This is where all the Japanese people lived.
We lived across the valley and got together at school.  We as Hispanics, like the Japanese, couldn’t live in Copperfield, which is at the bottom of the hill where we went to school. 
Gemmell Club
Bingham
The Copper Office Tramway took you to the Copper Office to get your payroll check.  This was where the young men had to go early in the morning to “ rustle” for a job.  The bottom was right next to the Gemmell Memorial Club.  Right across the street was the Cyprus Hall maintained by the Company for the single workers.
The R.C. Memorial Club was in Carr Fork on the way to Highland Boy.  This club provided many activities- bowling, dances, and prize-fights.  The bowling pins were set up manually and gave the youngsters an opportunity to make extra change.  My friend Jimmy tells me he took regular showers at the Club when they’d run out of water at home.
Lewis Brother’s Stages
The depot was right across the street from the Bingham Merc.
In those long ago days, the boarding houses were important, they were close to work.  Very limited transportation made the boarding houses a necessity for the single men that followed the “diggings”.  They were run by the widows.  They were given a breakfast, sent to work with a lunch box, and a supper at night.  Besides the room with a bed, they had a place to clean up in.   the boarding house was the center of the social life with everyone gathered around the pot-bellied stove to discuss the problems of the day.
Company Doctors
Dr. Harold Jenkins took good care of us when we lived in Bingham.  He was a veteran of world War II and was discharged in 1946.  Dr. Wayne Sorenson was also there they were on call 24 hours.  I remember them with fondness.  Doctor Frazier was also there. 
Janie with Miss Duhigg
Highland Boy
The Rev.  Miss Ada Duhigg was Superintendent and Deaconess of the Methodist Church at the Highland Boy Community House.  Miss Mildred May, Methodist Missionary- together ran the house of joy for at least 28 years.  The Community House was open daily with many programs for all ages.  We even had a Gym- Boy Scouts, sewing- Library and cooking classes.  On Sunday we had church services and Sunday school.  Something for everyone.  The road was steep the Community house was one thousand feet above the Bingham Merc.
Telegraph trees Copperfield below
Nothing is there anymore.  All we have is memories and a few pictures.  The people are scattered everywhere.  But worst of all we can never go back and visit our towns and friends.  They are all gone.  Our  life has been forever changed.  Evert thing is all covered with dirt. 
 Long after the monster trucks and shovels that are still digging away are gone our poor mountain will still be there, to give us an Elderberry or two but it will be hurting as we are hurting.


Dinkyville Back to Those Days of Long Ago
By Janie Torres Montoya
Quarantine Signs
I remember the sheriff, Mr. Householder, coming to our house in the dead of winter to quarantine our house for scarlet fever.  It was the yellow sign.  Our neighbors, the Contrerases, had a white sign, they were quarantined for measles.  It was about 1935-1936, I must have been nine or ten years old, the snow covered everything like a white blanket.  The icicles hung from the roof of our house to the ground.
Sleds and Card-board
When I remember back to those days long ago, with our unheated houses, no running water and outside toilets, I do not remember being unhappy or feeling deprived.  When we got well, we went out on the trail to play on our cardboards or snow shovels.  A few of the wealthier kids had sleds, but not many. 

Halloween was just over last week, and I couldn’t help but remember how the big kids, Paully Garcia, Jay Corona, Edmond McDonald, all good friends, would go around knocking over outhouse, cutting clotheslines, and believe me, we were not singled out for any reason, everybody got the same treatment. 
Saddle Picnic

top-Dinkeyville

When I was in the fourth grade, my Dad bought some cows from Mr. Ivie. Those were happy times for my brother, Manuel and I.   It was our job to take the cows up into the hills past the Saddle where there was better grazing.  We took tortillas rolled with beans, picked flowers and prickly pears, which my mother used to fix for us.  They were then, and are now, quite a delicacy.
Memories
Dinkyville was quite a place to grow up in.  We were like a big happy family, cohesive, loyal, and caring.  To this day, when I meet friends from those olden days, I make time to stop and chat.  I am glad and happy this opportunity has come up, so we can reminisce and put down on paper some of our memories, hoping they bring happiness to others when they read these thoughts.  I know even in my own home with my different brothers and sisters, each one of them will have different things they remember. 
Water Train
1935 Copperfield
When we lived in Dinkeyville, it was before the water line had been put in to furnish water and fire protection to the community.  At that time, the railroad system of the Utah Copper Company was powered by small steam locomotives.  Dinkeyville got its name from the Dinkey Engines.  These engines had a small coal boiler on the back, and the water was carried in a saddle tank that straddled the boiler from the smoke stack to the front of the cab.  The “70’s and 80’s” were larger engines and they had a tank on each side of the boiler to carry their ware. 
One engineer and one fireman would take the job of bringing water to the residences.  The crew would go over to the water tank on “H” Line and fill the water tanks, bring them over to the east side where the residences were.  There the water would be dispensed into barrels.   Each family had one to three barrels.  Sometimes they would have to make three trips to the water-tank.  The people who lived below the tracks piped their barrels to storage barrels in their homes. 
The engine crew could not see how much water was released, they would allow one minute for each barrel they were supposed to fill.  The water crew would do this three times a week.  We would pay $1.00 month for this for each barrel.  My father, Billy Harper, the engineer and Clarence Stringham, fireman had this job.  Of course, I could ride up in the engine. 
Dinkeyville. 
Copperfield Tunnel
Dinkeyville was a good place to live, when you were a kid.  All of those hills to roam around on, without a “Keep-Out or No-Trespassing Sign” anywhere. In the wintertime we could ride a sleigh from Dinkeyville, down the canyon through Copperfield, down the main canyon on a well packed road, almost to the junction with Carr Fork.  Then came the long walk back.  This of course was a long time before the Copperfield tunnel was built.  Also in the winter time we made small sleds out of powder boxes and made a sleigh run along the edge of the dump.  We could stay in the house, until we heard the school bell ring, and not be late for school.

Draper Merc. had an order and delivery service. (was this Tolman?)  Once a week they would deliver groceries and merchandise that had been ordered the previous week.  That was the day when we would get fresh fruits and vegetables that were in short supply, at the Miners Merc. or the Pan-Hellenic grocery in Copperfield. 
a can of “treasure”                                                
Add caption
In school, the children of several nationalities were together in the same room, and they were completely compatible there were competitive gang, but they were not destructive, or belligerent.  I remember a can of “treasure” hi-grade galena ore, the crux of the game was for one group to find where the other group had hidden it.  Then they took and hid it somewhere else, if they found it.  Between spies and informants, they usually found it.
Walks
Venturing into the Custer Tunnel, but only as far as we could go and still see daylight at the mouth of the tunnel.  The gentle hike to the Lark Ridge and the myriad of spring flowers.  A visit along “H” line to the search lights, that were used to illuminate the workings across the canyon.  “H” Level was the highest level cut on the east side at that time.  It was the only waste track used on the east side at that time.  We lived in the red lumber company house, right above the Copperfield school house. 







No comments:

Post a Comment