Bookmark and Share

Tintic Mining District2
Tintic Mining District Utah.

Tintic Mining District is among the oldest mining camps in Utah.  The Tintic District lies about 85 miles due south of Salt Lake City, and on the west central slope of the Tintic Mountains, just west of the Wasatch mountains. Ore was first discovered in December 1869 about a mile east of Silver City, and the district was organized the following spring. In 1869, a non-Mormon cowboy (the Mormons knew about the rich gold strike four years earlier, but didn't want the word to get out) named George Rust, camped for the night in Ruby Hollow, and rediscovered Shadrack Lunt's find. The district is named in honor of the Ute Indian Chief Tintic who lived his whole life in the area with his tribe. Shortly after the district was organized, an influx of settlers, prospectors, and miners started to move in. Many new properties were soon discovered, like; The Black Dragon Mine, The Mammoth, The Armstrong, and others. By 1899, the Tintic District was the leading mining center of the state of Utah.

Up to January 1914, the Tintic District mines had produced metal amounting to $143,295,800. The Tintic district is about six miles long by two miles wide which is divided between Utah and Juab counties.  Within the area are the towns of Eureka (see Eureka Utah web page), Mammoth, Robinson (merged with Mammoth), Silver City, Homansville, Dividend, and Knightsville.  All these points are reached by the Denver and Rio Grande and S P L A & L railways.

Other than Eureka, very little visibly remains of the town structures, only old mine tailings, mill foundations, and a few cemeteries are visable of the Tintic Mine District. Eureka and Mammoth are still living ghost towns.

When exploring the Tintic Mining District, I recommend staying at the historic Tintic Goldminers Inn Bed & Breakfast in Eureka. The B&B is a restored home once owned by Lillian Fitch and J. Fred Johnson, superintendent of the Chief Consolidated Mining Co. The B&B resides in a small community on the south side of Eureka once called Fitchville as the homes were built for Mr. Walter Fitch and his family. The current owners Norman and Margaret Gillen have restored this mansion to bring visitors modern day amenities all while maintaining the original character and authenticity of this former C. Fred Johnson residence.


Tintic Mining District3

In 1869, a cowboy prospector named George Rust discovered the remains of old Native American mines in Dragon Canyon. By December a large claim known as the Sunbeam Mine was located here, and a new mining camp went up quickly as the rich mines multiplied. Gradually the town grew from a mere tent city with a saloon and a blacksmith shop, to include a claims recorder and assay office, a telegraph branch, stagecoach line, and post office, and eventually numerous stores, hotels, and restaurants. There were even two railroad depots, as both the Salt Lake & Western Railroad and the Tintic Range Railroad ran lines into town. Economic conditions improved, and by 1899 Silver City's population reached 800.

Jesse Knight, known as the "Mormon Wizard" for his ability to find ore easily, decided to build a smelter (smelter ruins shown here) in Silver City because it had the flattest ground in all of the Tintic Mining District. Silver City had several mines in 1890, but the mines hit water and were abandoned.

Tintic Mining District4
More smelter ruins

Tintic Mining District5
Smelter ruins

Tintic Mining DistrictNew1a
Silver City area

Tintic Mining District27
Silver City Cemetery

Tintic Mining District6

Tintic Mining District7

Tintic Mining District8

Tintic Mining District8a



Tintic Mining District19

The townsite lies in Mammoth Canyon on the west flank of the East Tintic Mountains about 1.5 miles west of Mammoth Peak at an elevation of 6400 ft. Mammoth was founded around 1870. The name for the town comes from the Mammoth Mine located near the area. The Mammoth Mine was discovered around the same time as the settlement of Eureka in February 1870. Miners rushed in and began a boomtown. The area was remote and the environment harsh; no water was to be found nearby. The mines piped in water for industrial use, but residents had to buy drinking water for ten cents a gallon. Mines in the area around Mammoth produced ore, silver, and gold. The Mammoth Mine was in production for around seventy-five years.

Tintic Mining DistrictBank
Old mine in Mammoth


Tintic Mining District10
Flower (lupine) growing in Knightsville

Tintic Mining District11
Foundation of old school house in Knightsville.

Jesse Knight came to the Tintic Mining District in 1896, with little money and no previous mining knowledge or experience. Against the advice of experienced geologists, he sank a mine shaft that quickly reached a rich body of ore. In response to those who had doubted, he named it the Humbug Mine. Opening about a half dozen mines in the east Tintic area, Knight became one of the region's richest mine owners. His membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was conspicuous in an industry dominated by non-Mormons, and his successes brought him the nickname "the Mormon Mining Wizard".

Knight disapproved of the drunkenness and other vices of the typical mining camp lifestyle. He decided to build his own model town to house the miners near the Humbug Mine.He started Knightsville by having 20 houses built on Godiva Mountain. He soon expanded to 65 homes and two boarding houses. There were stores, churches, hotels, and a post office. But Knightsville became known as "the only mining camp in the United States without a saloon"; as the landowner Knight would not permit a saloon to operate in town.

Jesse Knight took a paternalistic attitude toward his workers and tenants. He was the first area mine owner to close his mines on Sundays, increasing daily wages to compensate for the lost day of work.He encouraged the miners, most of them Mormons, to attend church on the day off. The operation became laughingly known as the "Sunday School mines". When he learned the town's school population was too small to qualify for county funding, Knight solved the problem by hiring a father of eight. Eureka's many saloons were close by, but any employee found to be neglecting his family for liquor would be reprimanded, and even terminated if he persisted. Such policies proved attractive to many miners, who affectionally called the owner "Uncle Jesse". By 1907 the population of Knightsville grew to 1000.

Tintic Mining District11a

Looking down on Eureka from Knightsville.


Tintic Mining DistrictMonitorMill1

EJ Raddatz, a prospector, discovered ore in the area around 1907, and established the town of Dividend. Mr Raddatz created the Tintic Standard Mining Company and released a million shares of stock in an attempt to raise funds. He then hired John Westerdahl, an experienced miner and first foreman of the Tintic Standard Mine. For months they dug blindly into the hillside until the money started to dry up. The miners started to get paid in shares of stock instead of money, which wasn't great at the time as the mine had yet to produce anything of value. Most miners sold these shares or traded them for booze. Then one day they noticed a weird gas coming out of the shaft. The gas came from a large sulfur-rich ore body at a depth of 1200 feet. A massive lead-silver deposit that would prove to be one of the largest strikes in the Tintic District. It was named the Tintic Standard Mine.

By 1918, a town had sprung up around the mine. At first it was just housing for the miners, but soon it also featured a school house, a store, barber shop, pool hall, a post office and hotel. A newspaper, The Standard, even showed up from 1924 to 1925. A population 350 men, women and children called this land home, and anyone who had kept their stock certificates were rewarded with over one and a half million dollars in dividends from the mine by 1922.

Tintic Mining DistrictMonitorMill2
Ore loader, Dividend UT

Tintic Mining DistrictMonitorMill3
Indian Paintbrush blooming in the area

Ore chute hardware

Old mine structure


Tintic Mining District14

Homansville was a small mining town established in 1872 at the head of Homansville Canyon, two miles northeast of Eureka. It was named for Sheppard Homans, a member of Captian J.W. Gunnison's party during the 1870's. The population was about 300. The town was Developed to produce water for the surounding mining towns such as Eureka. The town was abandoned prior to 1900.


Visit my Photo Gallery for Print Prices & other merchandise



Custom Search


Home   |    Ghost Towns   |   Old Mines and Trails   |    Desert Scenery and Wildlife   |    Book Store
©2008 SilverStateGhostTowns.com, All Rights Reserved
Займы под залог