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Jacob City, Utah

Tooele County

Jacob City is an old mining town located in the west side of the Oquirrh mountains. It is located up Dry Canyon and can be reached 2 different ways. The first way is by following Copper Street in Stockton till it turns into a dirt road. Take the left fork and follow the signs up the mountain. From what I recall it is about 9 miles. I might be wrong so don't hold it against me. The other route is directly up Dry Canyon itself. You reach this by taking the Ophir Canyon turn off and then head north east up the dirt roads to the mouth of the canyon. Dry Canyon has a bad reputation which I don't really understand. Up until a few years ago, I never saw anyone use it. I have had people ask me if they could take their ATV's down it and I shook my head. Hell I just brought a Jeep up it....... They chickened out.  The only issue for this way is that it is truly a one lane road and places to get off so someone can get by are few and far between. Due to it being a true canyon road, it will not be open as soon as the upper road. 

Founded in 1865 or so, Jacob City became a fairly large mining town. In its peak, there were 2 stores, 2 meat markets, a grand hotel and numerous saloons. Information is hard to come by for this area, so exact details are still unavailable. A gentleman I know was writing a book on the area and hopefully it will be done by the next time I see him. He is quite knowledgeable about the whole west side of the Oquirrhs.  The main mine in Jacob City was the Hidden Treasure Mine. It was the biggest producer and the largest mine there.  What I have found is that by 1900, the mines were played out and the people moved on. The Hidden Treasure did make the news once again in 1989. A group of scouts were up exploring the mine when one young man became lost. Local sheriffs searched the mine and found nothing. They brought in the Utah Power rescue team and they also struck out. During this time, the history expert mentioned above begged the sheriff to let him in. He had been all through the mine and knew it better than anyone. He was denied. He tried to get in through a back door, so to speak, in Ophir Canyon but found it had caved in. On the 5th day, He was finally allowed in, with an escort, to find the body.  There was no body to be found. Withing 15 minutes of entering the mine, he found the boy alive and brought him out. The young man had spent 5 long days in total darkness and survived to tell the tale. This set the government into action. Mines in the Oquirrh range began to be sealed off to prevent this type of accident from happening again. As of my last visit a few months ago, things are beginning to slowly disappear. Nature is reclaiming the land. There are still some sights to see and it is a fun trip so I recommend a visit. 

There is also a town just north and west of Jacob City. It was called Gisbourne. It was built on the cliffs above Dry Canyon. Taking the Stockton route up the mountain, if you know what to look for you can see where the road lead down to it. Sometime a decade or so ago, they plowed the road to Jacob City and pushed the dirt sealing the road. It is probably a half mile hike down to the area. I would be willing to bet that not a lot of people even know it is there. It had buildings that were literally built on the edge of the cliff. I have not been down to it since the mid 90's so as to whats left I do not know. Sorry but I am too lazy to hike that far.  

Jacob City