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Gold Hill Utah

Tooele County

Located in far western Tooele County, Gold Hill is a town that refuses to die. Gold was originally discovered there in 1858 by some emigrants on the trail to California. Indians prevented any serious mining at that time so the area was undisturbed until the 1870's. At the same time, another town south of Gold Hill was booming. The town was Clifton and men from there went into the Gold Hill area to mine. Gold Hill stayed slow until some major strikes occurred. Mines named Copper Queen and Alvorado  among others began producing big time. Money was being made and the town grew bigger. Like all other mining towns, after a good decade of work, the mines were done. Miners left and the town slowly died. But, enter world war 1 and there was a resurrection. It seems that the miners had run into a lot of arsenic as a waste product of the mines. With the poison gas bombs being used over in Europe, a sudden need for arsenic brought the town back to life. The population increased up to 1500 people and a rail line was built south from Wendover to expedite the delivery of arsenic. The boom lasted as long as the war did so the town was soon almost abandoned. The last train left Gold Hill in 1938, never to return. In 1940, the rails were torn up for scrap. But, enter world war 2. Another need for arsenic brought the town back to life. Though not as big as before, the revival kept the town alive for the period of the war. Once over, the town began to die. The school closed its doors in 1946 and the Post Office in 1949.  As for what goes on there now, who really knows. Last I heard was they got mail 3 times a week. So there is still life there. The area is so desolate that noise carries on forever. I have pulled into town and got out to explore some of the ruins and I have heard voices. They sat and talked about what we were doing. It is a very odd feeling. I did see one man once. He exited his house, got firewood and went back inside. It has been a while since I was there so I'm thinking it might be time to go back. 

Gold Hill


We returned to the Gold Hill area today and ran into something new. While exploring the core shed I happened to look west across the street and saw something truly amazing. There in front of my eyes was a saloon. It looks fairly new and had welcome signs out in front of it. My curiosity piqued and we headed over to visit. The saloon was part of 3 buildings that again looked fairly new. We walked up the porch and tried the door. It opened. We were greeted by a large cardboard figure of Donald Trump behind the bar and John Wayne off to the side as bouncer I would guess. Not completely 1880 vintage but a mix of some very old and some fairly modern. There was a blackjack table from a Wendover hotel, and old small pool table. The bar was stocked and the walls were adorned with old and new artifacts. I could have spent an hour in there easily. I still wonder if i should have laid a few bucks on the bar and made myself a drink.  The next building had a modern compressor in front of it with a note saying feel free to use but please return it for others. The last building looked like a store. It was locked and as is the norm in Gold Hill, there was no one in sight. If you truly want to hear silence...... visit Gold Hill. The silence is deafening.