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Thursday, June 20, 2013

ghost town

The ghost town

John AKA (doggie) cliff AKA (the nose) and I AKA (the squirrelly Englishman) were out in the west desert the other or west side of the Great Salt Lake looking for geodes and other rocks of value. It was a hot August day; the alkali dust was all most too much to take. The directions we had seem simple enough but I think we were lost but we knew where we were, if you know what I mean.  We came across a trail that took off from the main trail/road we were on and fit the directions we had. It look like it had not been travel in quite some time. There was a bit of a stream along the trail but the water look bad.  Rust and sulfur deposit were along the banks and the all present alkali.

 We decided to take a chance and go up the trail and maybe fine fresh water and the geode we were looking for. We had gone about a mile over a very ruff trail into a canyon in the foothills of the Newfoundland mountain range. The trail was getting a little hard to fallow but there was no place to turn around we would have to back up about a half mile to turn around. So we press on up the trail. It kept getting worse till we came to an old wooden bridge. The bridge was in no shape to support the old dodge truck we were in so we stop and got out to find a way across the stream, it was about three foot across and maybe 6 inches deep. The banks were about a foot high. We end up breaking down the banks with a rock pick and a GI shovel so we could ford the stream. We could see that there was a wide spot up the trail about a hundred yards. It was up hill so we were not sure what we would find up there.

As we got to the wide spot we could see the metal roof of a building so we push on. After a half mile or so, we had the building in sight but there were five buildings. We pulled up to the middle of the buildings or courtyard and got out to look around. The first building look like it had been and office/home it was vary dusty and look like no one had been there in years. There was something strange about this place that gave me the willies. Things were just laying there like someone had just left. We found a ledger but it was not to legible and we think was written in German. The last date we found in it was 4/18/1906. It looks like we were the first people to be here in sixty years. As we looked around there was a lot of stuff there clothing, books, and thing that people just don’t up and leave behind.  We look in the other building it was equipment shed with a steam donkey engine and air compressor and air drills stuff for mining.  Across from it was what looks to be a cook shack or mess hall with pots sitting on the stove and whatever dry up and decayed in them. Bottles of caned food were still on shelves. There was a table where card were dealt out an about a dollar fifty in change on the table, it looked like three people were playing. Empty glass sat on the table you could see where what ever was in them had evaporated. Again we got the felling that the people just up and left. The other building was a bunk house and again it was like the other building thing just left. The last building was a barn and coral.  Our best guess was there had been eight to ten people living there.

About fifty yards up the canyon we found some rails for an ore car heading into a rock slide. We started to think that we knew what had happen here. There had been a mine cave-in and those that were not in the mine came to help then whole mountain side came down trapping them all inside, our best guess.  


The one thing that kept coming to mind was the safe in the first building that we found. We tried to get it open with no luck, and we could not move it. Our wildest dreams were lock up in that safe. We decided to pack all we could of value in the truck and leave then come back with a bigger truck and tools to get the safe open. We had not plan to do an overnight-er and we really did not want to stay there. It was spooky. 


We had fifty miles of bad dirt roads plus another hundred to get home. After we got back home we did some research and found there had been a German settlement in the area about twenty miles to the north around the late 1800. The date we found was the date of the big San Franco earthquake. The pieces of the puzzle were coming together. We went back three week later but could not get there because of three day of heavy rain and it was to muddy. We plan another trip for the next summer. Believe or not when we tried we could not find our way back to it.  After all it was a Ghost town. 

some more to read about the area that give some in site to the problem we had in finding it again http://www.expeditionutah.com/2013/01/the-mines-camps-of-the-newfoundland-mountains/

Thank you for stopping by and your comments god bless

7 comments:

Anna L. Walls said...

Ooh now that would really be spooky. Shoulda marked that trail head somehow.

Roy Durham said...

we thought we did but we could never fined the right trail there are many out there.

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Oh, wow, Roy, what a scary, but entertaining, story! Gave me chills thinking you all could never find your way back there . . .
Blessings!

Roy Durham said...

we made many trip out there to find the place. if it had not been for the stuff we brought back the first time I would say we dreamed it. but we did find some people that were related to the miner and know of the old mine. none had been there. to them it was just and old story. we know it's still out there it just a matter of finding it again. there is a lot of space to explore and it all looks the same. after four or five years we stop looking.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

Sandra Tyler said...

Wow that's a great story and even greater since it's a true story! (Right?)

Roy Durham said...

it is sandra

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