Bingham UT Real Estate Guide Town History
Bingham was a city formerly located in southwestern Salt Lake County, Utah, United States, in a narrow canyon on the eastern face of the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon area boomed during the first years of the twentieth century, as rich copper deposits in the canyon began to be developed, and at its peak the city had approximately 15,000 residents. The success of the local mines eventually proved to be the town's undoing, however: by the mid-twentieth century the huge open-pit Bingham Canyon Mine began encroaching on the community, and by the late twentieth century the Bingham town-site had been devoured by the mine. No trace of the former town remains today.
The geographic feature known as Bingham Canyon received its name from the location's two first settlers, the brothers Thomas and Sanford Bingham, who arrived in the canyon in 1848. Initially, the area was utilized for livestock grazing and logging, but the region's economic focus changed with the 1863 discovery of rich gold and silver ore bodies in the canyon. Mining activity in Bingham Canyon boomed after the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd Rail Road completed a line t
o the canyon in 1873, and as the region grew the focus shifted to the high-quality copper ores in the district. As the mines grew, the town of Bingham also expanded, spreading along the narrow and steep canyon floor below the mines.
The Bingham Canyon mines experienced their greatest boom during the first years of the twentieth century, as the district's smaller mines were consolidated under large corporate ownership. The most significant development occurred in 1903, when Daniel C. Jackling organized the Utah Copper Company to begin surface mining at Bingham Canyon. The Utah Copper Company's mine prospered, and this brought a tremendous influx of new residents into the canyon. The town of Bingham Canyon was officially incorporated on February 29, 1904. By the 1920's, the city of Bingham was at its peak, with perhaps 15,000 inhabitants. Urban development spread for some seven miles along the single, narrow road winding up the steep canyon floor.
Bingham UT Real Estate Guide Ghost Town
As with many western mining towns, the Bingham Canyon area evolved into a collection of diverse neighborhoods, many with pronounced ethnic affiliations. Many Scandinavians lived in the Carr Fork area, while southern and eastern Europeans congregated in Highland Boy, which was in another branch canyon toward the top of the main city. As the main street in the bottom of the canyon grew, Copperfield became the name of the upper section of the main town. Bingham itself attracted British, French, Irish, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and other immigrants and ethnicity.
Numerous other small neighborhoods and communities also existed. Most took the name of the mine where they were located. Commercial, Boston Con, and "the Niagara" were the first three communities to be mined away or covered, as the last one was by Galena Gulch waste dumps. Others were The Galena, Old Jordan, Silver Shield, these three found in Galena Gulch, along with Niagara. Telegraph was in the upper part of the canyon, along with Copperfield, which was threatened when the mining excavating was expanded and a long one-way tunnel was built before 1940 to allow traffic to reach the upper communities. Many names were colorful: Terrace Heights, Dinkeyville, Jap Camp, and Greek camp were sections of Copperfield. The Frisco, Yampa, Phoenix, and Apex were in Carr Fork along with Highland Boy. Further down the canyon were Markham, Freeman, and Frog Town (lower Bingham).
- Bingham Canyon Mine is the largest man-made excavation on earth, over two and three quarters miles wide and three quarters of a mile deep. It covers 1,900 acres.
- Two empire state buildings stacked on top of each other would not reach the top of the mine.
- The mine has produced more copper than any other mine in history. Each year the mine produces approximately 300,000 tons of copper, 500,000 ounces of gold, 4 million ounces of silver and 30 million pounds of molybdenum.
- The cumulative value of all the ore finds far exceeds the yields of the Com-stock lode, Klondike, Colorado and California gold rushes combined.
- Over two thirds of all Utah's mineral production has come from the Bingham Canyon mine.
- In 2010 Kennecott employed more than 2,400 people at the mine, concentrator, smelter, refinery, power plant and offices.
- The Utah Copper Company began surface or open cut mining operations in August 1906. With the beginning of World War 2, demand for copper grew at outstanding rates. Women as well as Puerto Ricans were recruited to help augment the labor shortage created by the men serving in the military.
- As the copper pit grew deeper in the 1940's and 1950's, the expense of hauling the trainloads of copper up the mines terraces to the mills became too expensive. To make hauling the copper more cost effective they began boring tunnels through the mountain's allowing Kennecott to resume mining operations.
Information provided by Wikipedia.
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