Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mammoth, Utah November 19, 2011

Directions: Mammoth is located two miles off of Utah 36 on a paved road. It is located approximately eight miles from the town of Eureka.

History: Mammoth began in 1873 with the discovery of a rich ore vein containing gold, silver, copper and bismuth by the Samuel and William McIntyre brothers. Within a couple of years a number of mines were producing including the Ajax, Black Jack and Mammoth. Prospectors rushed in and a town sprang up near the mines. From the beginning water was a problem and residents paid high prices for drinking water.

In 1890 two mills- the Mammoth near the townsite and the Sioux down the the canyon- were built by a man named Robinson. Wanting to garner as many prophets as possible, Robinson created a town in his name. The railroad was built into Robinson but not Mammoth angering the McIntyre brothers. As a result, they ran him out of town. From then on Mammoth would have an upper and lower town.

Business and mining activity was greatest in the early 1900s. Uppertown (Mammoth) would be the residential area while businesses were located in Robinson (lowertown). Robinson had a wide diversity of businesses including a general store, meat markets, a dry good store, stable, billiard hall, bookstore and four large hotels. One of the hotels would be remodeled as the Tintic Hospital. Just like most boomtowns Mammoth had a newspaper called the Mammoth Record.

In the early 1900s the mines in town were making an extraordinary amount of money which caused dissatisfaction with many of the miners. It was necessary to load the ore under armed guard because of the high price of the shipments. In fact one carload in 1907 carried over $107,000 worth of ore. The mines profits were well over $20 million. Miners disatisfied with their pay began "high grading" the ore- or pocketing high value ore when they left the mines. This led to a certain amount of organized crime in town.

The boom in Mammoth faded because of lower ore volumes and higher production costs. Today, the town has a number of old buildings and many relics from its past. It is a must stop for anyone interested in the history of the western United States. (Information from Utah Ghost Towns by Stephen Carr).

Ruins of the old mill in town

Old buildings in town
Old mine on the hillside

Stairs to nowhere

Picturesque abandoned structure

Monument to Tintic Hospital

Mill ruins at the bottom of the canyon

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