Monday, September 13, 2010

Ruth Nevada Copper Mine

The Bingham Canyon Cooper Mine is a very noticeable land mark that is visible almost anywhere in the Salt Lake Valley but there was also another open pit copper mine in Ruth, Nevada.  Ruth, Nevada is 6-8 miles from Ely, Nevada, along highway 50 going east.

The mining started in 1869 when silver was discovered lying on the ground which started a silver rush in the areas around Ruth and Ely Nevada.

Like Ruth the Bingham Copper Mine had begun as a gold and silver mining operation and later copper took the forefront of the mining. Ruth likewise soon found that there was not a lot of silver in the ground but there was copper to be mined.

Mining continued and copper soon became the ore that was sought after and most of the mining work was done underground.  Mining continued working underground until 1958.

In 1956 Kennecott Cooper bought the Ruth mine from Nevada Consolidated Copper and started open pit mining in 1958.  Almost immediately the town of Ruth was moved because the mining opened up a pit and it grew rapidly.  Kennecott built a new town and turned it over to White Pine County for administration.

I remember going to Ely in the early part of 1963 and working as vacation relief.  I worked at Safeway Food Stores and for a while I worked as vacation relief for the Meat managers in the Salt Lake division.  I spent two weeks in Ely which was close to Ruth and it was a very busy store.  Things were going good at that point in time for the Ruth mine.

Kennecott Copper soon turned the Ruth Mine into the largest open pit operation in Nevada.  Copper mining at Ruth remained strong until the downturn in the market hit in 1999.

Ruth today is about 500 in population and the mines and railway are idle, but if the mines and railway come back so will Ruth.  

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Lost Dutchman's Mine

Earlier in this month of July the news media was covering a story of 3 Utah men who had gone into the Superstition Mountains in Arizona.

They were going to find the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine and they were going to come back rich.  I don't know if they said they would come back rich but why else would they go if they did not want the gold.

They didn't have camping gear with them or food and very little water.  They said they would be back by July 10th.  It is now July 29th and the only part of the expedition that has been found is the vehicle they drove into the Superstition Mountain State Park.  The search for them has been called off by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Old tales of lost gold or treasures have cost many a treasure hunter their lives.  Granted some succeed and find riches and fame but they have generally spent years of researching both records and the country where the treasure is supposed to be.

To the novice going into that sort of country that makes up the Superstitions in July is a risky deal even if prepared and experienced.  It is sad to say but it sounds as if these gentlemen were neither prepared nor experienced.

There is a lost gold mine here in Utah also that has stirred up a great deal of interest over the years.  Out in the Uinta Mountains around the Tabiona area there was a gold mine and a man named Rhoads who was allowed by the Indians, Chief Wakara, to go into that mine and retrieve gold for Brigham Young when it was needed  in the early years of settlement by the pioneers.

When Rhoads would go into the mine he would be escorted by Ute warriors and he was restricted as to how much of the gold he could bring out at a time.  The stories say that he could only bring out what one horse could carry at a time and that it was not all newly mined gold but some refined gold also.  (Spanish Gold)

There are hundreds of stories about the Rhoades mine and the many people who have searched trying to find it and like with the Lost Dutchman there are many who have searched and never returned from that quest nor been heard from again.

One of the mountains in that area has even gotten the distinction of being a killer mountain because those who have gone up into it have never returned.  Some say the Indians still guard the mine and the gold.

Things to think about!