Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ghost towns and an abandoned refinery

Today E and I decided to pack a picnic lunch and head out on the road to celebrate the perfect weather. We've been wanting to explore Eureka and the surrounding ghost towns for what seems like forever, and today everything was perfect.

We left the house around 11:30 and headed west towards Tooele where we then cut south. The drive south of Tooele is an area E and I have explored often, since this is also an area ripe with ghost towns. Today, however, we continued south and didn't stop until we had reached Juab county, an area rich with mining ghost towns. Our first stop was Mammoth, a ghost town neither of us had ever been to, and was well worth the drive. High on the hill stood an old mining building along with a huge gouge in the mountain. Below there was a lot to explore, many store sites that were abandoned and in one place, an entire sub basement exposed. We got out of the car, took pictures and explored every nook and cranny of a handful of sites.

Our next stop was Eureka itself. I came to Eureka about five years ago with my mom and we explored the entire town. Many homes were abandoned, some still full of food and garbage. Today, however, Eureka is a different place. The mine has re-opened (after more than 50 years) and many of the old homes have been cleared for new ones. Main Street is still dilapidated, however, there was not as much to see in Eureka as there once was.

After our picnic lunch of turkey sandwiches, grapes and chips we headed to Dividend. Dividend is another ghost town right outside of Eureka. Many mines were located in this area, and unfortunately, other than a few mine structures; there was not a lot to see. This was a little disappointing, because a large town lay here at one point, and only was abandoned 60 years ago.

E and I headed east and soon stumbled upon a place we’ve talked about a few times, but forgot where in the state it was – the Tintic Standard Reduction Mill. E and I drove past this huge smelting site high on the mountain years ago, and just couldn’t remember where it was. Today we found it! From far away this site looks like an ancient castle, huge turrets and buildings litter the side of the mountain. We drove close to in, got out and took some photos, and then decided to go explore the site itself. Access to the site is an easy hike along the mountainside, where we looked down at Warm Water Springs (more like toxic springs, if you consider that there was a refinery here). E and I were awe struck by this location, how beautiful it was, in a forgotten way.

After arriving home from our day-long outing we researched the site and found out the name and some of the history. This was a refinery for metals; gold, copper, silver and lead were all refined here. Wow. Learn something new about your own state every day. It was a great day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Lovely thoughts:

Related Posts with Thumbnails