Saturday, August 13, 2011

BINGHAM A GHOST TOWN bY EUGENE

U.S. a Ghost Town
United States Mining & Refining Co.
By Eugene H. Halverson
Nothing was stirring, well maybe a mouse, the mines had closed and the people were gone.  No one to bother us the town was ours.  There was nothing we could not do or see.  The towns water tank was now our swimming hole.  Abandoned mines, buildings and equipment made a wonderful playground.  My favorite was the gun turret set on a narrow gauge circular track, complete with bullet marks and dents.  By pulling or pushing a vertical lever, we could go forward or backwards, it could travel fairly fast, and still slowly rotate so the gunman could shoot the strikers through one of several gun ports.  I played on the stumps of the giant Red Fir, some over five feet in diameter that the Mormons hauled away to Salt Lake.  I walked through the long deep trench where silver with lead surfaced, it was taken in 1863 and then became the first mine in Utah.  These and the people are my memories but my dreams are what it was like before we made such a mess the poor mountain.  Mining sucked the surface water away, springs and streams are gone as well as flowers, bushes and trees. The mountain is scared with hundreds of mine dumps, roads, trails and junk.  The mountain still is rich with minerals that will never be mined during a time of low profits the pumps were shut off and now we have a couple of hundred miles of tunnels full of water that is to expensive to be drained. 

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