"Rambler" tours from Marysvale to Antimony
(Deseret News, 29 May 1880)
(Note: Although I cannot prove it, I believe "Rambler" was a pen name
of Josiah F. Gibbs. AEP)
Marysvale, May 21, 1880
Editors Deseret News:
Having just arrived from "Antimony City," a short letter may prove interesting and also instructive by increasing the geographical knowledge of many of your readers, for "Antimony City" is not down on the old maps of Utah.
Starting from this place, we travel 20 miles up the Sevier to "Junction," the county seat of Piute, and which is situated in the north-east corner of Circle Valley at the junction of the "East Fork" with the "South Fork" of the Sevier River. Junction is a small place consisting of a grist mill and a few farms, but is regarded as a place of considerable future importance, as it contains the ponderous and valuable records of this prospective "booming" mining camp.
From Junction we follow the windings of the East Fork for 12 miles, and thank our "lucky star" that the fords and treacherous quicksands are passed in safety, and that we can loosen the tight grip on our nasal organ, which has been an absolute necessity to prevent suffocation from the awful and horrid stench that proceeds from the festering carcasses of dead stock lying by the road side, and an additional 50 head, whose bloated forms are lying in the river.
By the way, as this is a rambling letter, allow me to diverge for a moment and state a rather unpleasant fact, though one that should be known by those interested, viz: between Circleville and Marshall's Ranch,--and it is reported on the best authority there are several hundred of those above-named putrifying carcasses in the Sevier River, poisoning the water for those that live below, and who, in the absence of wells, will be obliged to use this sickening water for culinary purposes. This stock perished through the late severe and long winter and many this spring, and although it was well known in the vicinity when the weather was cold and river low, no attention was paid to it, and now that the river is rising rapidly and the weather getting warm, it is impossible to pull them out. Not a person with any kind of a "seller" could live through the ordeal of tieing a rope to one of them. Will not the News kindly suggest to the Sevier Valley settlers some method of purifying by filtration or otherwise the poisonous stuff that flows down the Sevier.
The before mentioned 12 miles brings us to "Clover Flat" in Co-op Valley with its beautiful landscape of ponds and green meadows, which spread out to the north and south following the course of the river, which here "forks" again.
Five miles brings us to Coyote Creek, the almost extreme southern end of this valley, where several Beaverites and others are making farms, and are apparently well satisfied, as they have one of the necessary adjuncts to a Utah farm, viz., plenty of water. We follow Coyote Creek easterly about three miles and enter the canon, two miles further, and the suburbs of "Antimony City" loom up, consisting of the saw-mill of J.D. Wilcox & Co., and several houses. Forty rods further up this creek brings us to the "heart of the city," which means one house with one room, which does as a hotel and general business office. To illustrate the rapid growth of the camp or city, it is only necessary to state the fact that the saw mill thus far has been unable to supply the demand.
The formation is remarkable. The underlying, or lowest visible rock is a hard, conglomerated, composed of hard, smooth pebbles and boulders of quartzite, many being semi-transparent, and bearing no resemblance to the country rock of the district. Capping the conglomerate is a strata of greyish sandstone, and the veins of antimony lie on top of this with a hanging wall of the same kind of stone, and overlying the whole is frequently found a bluish clay. Further up the canyon granite, which lies in place and unbroken, covers the whole mas, furnishing a geological problem worthy the consideration of those that assume theories to be facts and thereon build sciences and lead astray those that are unaccustomed to reflect for themselves.
The veins of antimony crop out strong, and are almost pure, and lie nearly flat. Immense quantities of the ore has been uncovered by storms, frost, etc., and has rolled down the ravines. One slab, seen by the writer, would weigh about 3,000 pounds. Just how wide the veins are, is difficult to state, as "float" is found in abundance twenty to thirty feet above the ledge. From "indications" plainly visible the veins are certain to be permanent, and at the present advance in price of antimony, are valuable property. They were discovered last spring, and Mr. L.V. Loomis, a gentleman well known in Southern Utah as a stock buyer, became interested in their development and made a shipment of several tons to San Francisco. His success though not flattering was not discouraging, and the rise in antimony has made it possible to ship it with profit.
Recently Mr. Fred W. Day, well known to Utah mining men, has become associated with Mr. Loomis, and they are pushing this work of development ahead. One carload of ten tons will be at Juab this week.
Coyote Canyon is wide with precipitous sides, which are cut into chasms, gulches, towers, pyramids, etc., which possess nearly every color, dark red, yellow and grey predominating. There is an abundance of water for machinery, wood and saw timber, and the writer is willing to risk his reputation as a good guesser that "Antimony City" will yet be one of the liveliest places in Utah, for if antimony is worth anything the "city" has a big foundation.
Will leave this Marysvale camp for a future communication, with this remark that we calculate to have our "boom" if printers ink will bring it, and we can stand a tremendous one if it will bring plenty of cash. As it is now "tangle-leg" can't be procured on "jawbone" (no matter how big) and the "boys" take naturally to Sevier water as the next worst beverage.
Copyright 2006 by Ardis E. Parshall