Tom Ashworths Prospectors Cache


by Tom Ashworth


COUNTY:Tooele County


Tooele County produces many minerals. Arsenic, Gold, Lead, Silver, Copper and Tungsten have been produced in quantities. Tooele County is estimated to have produced around 1,257,000 ounces of gold.

Gold Hill

Gold Hill is located in the southwest corner of the county. The Clifton (Gold Hill) district near the Utah - Nevada line had a total production of around 26,000 ounces of gold between 1892 and 1944. There are numerous mines in the area, but the Cane Springs, Alvarado and Gold Hill mines lead in production. In the Deep Creek area there were some small copper - lead - silver mines that had a by product of gold. This area has also produced large quantities of bismuth and molybdenum. Legend has it that placer gold was discovered here in 1858, but the Indians drove the prospectors away. There is no record of these placers ever being worked though.


Mercur is no longer on maps, but in 1902 about 12,00 people lived here. It is reached from Route 36 South of Tooele a short distance South of route 73 turnoff east to Ophir. The Camp Floyd (Mercur) district, is 55 miles southwest of Salt Lake City and had a total production of 1,115,000 gold ounces. The Mercur, Delamar, Geyser-Marion, Sacramento, Sunshine, Overland, Daisy and La Cigale mines all were very productive. Mercur was totally destroyed by fire and was Utah's only all gold mining city and was considered to be one of the world's greatest gold camps, surpassed in its heyday only by Goldfeild, Nevada. Here is where the cyanide process was first introduced into North America. The enormous settling basins are spectacular, as are the sky scraping tailing piles within the old townsite. The first long distance power transmission line (from Provo) ever developed to that time was brought in to run the giant mills. In Sunshine Canyon, the ghost camp of Sunshine had many mines as well. On the Western side of Oquirrh Range the old camp of West Dip had many mine too.

Ophir District

The Ophir district is located between the Camp Floyd and the Bingham Districts and is reached south of Tooele via routes 36 and 73. The Ophir - Rush Valley Districts produced 104,000 ounces of gold. On the west edge of town, The Ophir Mine was a lead - silver mine with a by product of gold. You can find some excellent pyrite crystals on the dumps. In Rush Valley there were a lot of mines as well.


Stockton is located 7 miles south of Tooele. Just east of town is the Honorine Mine which was a major producer of lode gold.

Willow Springs District

The Willow Springs District in the far southwest corner of the county in the south part of the Deep Creek Range had a total production of 11,650 ounces of gold. Many mines in the area.

© Tom Ashworth's Prospectors Cache / Tom Ashworth / Revised