One of the minor themes presented during the recent Ancient American History Conference was about pre-Columbian evidence of mining and mineral extraction. Post-Columbus there was a ton of Spanish mining activity in Utah. One of the books I picked up at the conference is “Out of the Dust: Utah’s Lost Mines and Hidden Treasures” by Stephen B. Shaffer. Stephen was at the conference and presented one of the lectures, and displayed some old Spanish sword he’s found in old mines. The swords were forged in Spain, one of them marked “Toledo,” the city in Spain where it was made.
I like to read books that relate to geography and follow along with Google Earth. I often mark landmarks and key places with pushpins in Google Earth and save them to My Places. I did a lot of research and place marking on my old law school laptop. Much of the time I should have been studying I spent on Google Earth making notes. After law school I reimaged my old laptop so my wife could use it. I totally forgot to save My Places and I lost many, many hours of research. I had marked over 75 Mayan sites, the entire Mormon Hole In the Rock expedition trail, every dwelling I’ve ever lived in, etc. I’m so upset that I might just try and forensically recover any remnants of the My Places file from the current slack space on the hard drive of that laptop.
Anyway, during my reading of Chapter 9, the Pole Creek Mines, I was convinced to find the exact location in Google Earth. I tried for a couple evening to deduce the location on my own and eventually resorted to online sources, where I quickly found it. It is a pretty cool story and I’ll probably take my family up there later this summer when we go up there camping. In addition to the more recent and short mine tunnel still visible, there are stores of a sunken, old mine ore car, and a dynamited-shut previous mine entrance. Below the area is a fun cave that the kids will probably enjoy.
Here is some good information on the Pole Creek Canyon Mine, aka the Sacred Mine.
Here are my photos taken at the location of the Pole Creek Mine: