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Centennial-Eureka Mine
10
History and Exploration
Overview
Location

Eureka, Utah

Sights

Miles of tunnels. Huge and impressive stopes. Ore carts, compressors, and other various mining equipment.

Distance

?

Time Required

3 - 12+hours

Pets

Only bats or canaries.

Fees

None.

Water Info

I took 2.5 liters. The mine is very damp with occasional pools. I would not drink anything in this mine.

Best Season

Any.

Trail Condition

There are arrows leading through much of the mine. It is still very possible to get lost.

Restrooms

Anywhere people won't stumble upon it.

Visitor Center

Eureka Mine Museum.

Food

None. Unless you experiment with fungi. (Don't!) I took leftover pizza and cliff bars

Equipment

Ropes
Harness
Ascenders
Rappel Device
Sturdy Boots: 5.10 Valor
Backpack: Dakine Pro II
Gloves: Home Depot Cheap
Knee Pads: Home Depot Cheap
Coveralls: CAL Ranch light weight
Helmet: Petzl Elios
Flashlights: I take 3-4 of them. Two mounted on helmet at all times.
Extra Batteries: for all lights.
Air Mask: Home Depot Cheap
Gas Detector: MSA Altair 4
First Aid Kit
Emergency Blanket
Knife: Kershaw Open Assist
Rock Pick

Centennial-Eureka is one of the classic large production mines of Utah. It generated millions of dollars  (which in 1920 currency is a lot!) and was talked about around the West. It is a massive mine, 2350ft deep with dozens of miles of tunnels. It has stopes, mined out chambers, that are possibly up to 800ft high and hundreds of feet wide.

Originally called Blue Rock, it mined Gold and copper. As mining continued through the decades, they picked up impressive amounts of Silver and Lead.

The entire mountain is honeycombed, connecting it with a handful of other mines. There are anecdotal stories of people from Mammoth hiking through the mountain to go grocery shopping in Eureka, and returning the same way. The trip would only be a couple miles that way, instead of the eight or so to go around the mountain. And detailed below, there is a story of a fire closing this and three other mines. No one knew where the fire was; the smoke filled the inside of the whole mountain. It took weeks to locate the source. Many people were injured and one man died trying to find and put out the fire.

That is how big this mine is. It takes weeks to find a fire inside the mountain!

The mine started in 1876 and dwindled to an official close in the late 1920’s. After which is was still leased out for ten years or so. I have yet to find solid records about its close and the years after. As the mine grew and the wealth flowed from the heart of the mountain, Utah was a buzz about the Centennial-Eureka. But as the rich ore vanished, so did the talk. By the mid 1920’s not much was mentioned about the great Centennial-Eureka.

Exploring Old Centennial-Eureka:

I’ll start with a disclaimer. This mine is dangerous. Ok, I know you have all probably heard mines are dangerous. Some are more than others. By now you may be reading this thinking, “this is awesome. I want to go!” This mine is far more dangerous than many we have been in. Seriously.

Do not attempt to enter this mine without permission. Do not trust any wooden structure inside this mine. Seriously.

Ok, now on to the current status of the Centennial-Eureka.

Compressor tank? Holden Tunnel.

Compressor tank? Holden Tunnel.

The Holden Tunnel is an access tunnel intersecting the main shaft at the 500′ level. It was created in 1910 to help facilitate the pumping of water out of the 2000 and lower levels. This is how we entered, since the shaft is mostly blocked by debris in several places.

Ice column (in winter) in the Holden Tunnel.

Ice column (in winter) in the Holden Tunnel.

The Holden Tunnel became the main method for transporting ore. Carts would exit the Tunnel right at the Eureka tracks. They didn’t need to use their aerial tram (started in 1901) any longer. This saved the United States Mining Co, owners of the mine, thousands of dollars a month in operating costs.

Collapsing ore chute in the Holden Tunnel, 500' level.

Collapsing ore chute in the Holden Tunnel, 500′ level.

The tunnel is still well intact. The tracks have been pulled, but some of the railroad ties are still there. At the end of the tunnel, where the ore chute and the shaft are, things are starting to collapse.

 

The mine has many levels and miles of tunnels. Much of the mine has already collapsed, so exploration is limited.

The Manway from the 400'-700'levels.

The Manway from the 400′-700’levels.

Top of the Manway, 400' level.

Top of the Manway, 400′ level.

Miles of winding tunnel.

Miles of winding tunnel.

Many tunnels still have track in it. The tunnels branch and go on and on.

Ore cart.

Ore cart.

There are still many ore carts. Tracks and carts were generally removed and sold. Centennial still has a handful of carts left in it.

A map on the wall.

A map on the wall.

At one point we discovered a rough map on the wall, indicating connections with other mines in the mountain. The connections were most likely all collapsed.

 

Centennial-Eureka was famous for its massive stopes. A stope is a chamber created when large amounts of ore are found. As long as there is ore, workers keep blasting away, opening larger and larger rooms of excavated rock.

One of the massive stopes. Probably 300+ft long, 100ft wide, and 100+ft tall.

One of the massive stopes. Probably 400+ft long, 100ft wide, and 100+ft tall.

Hiking up the slope of the stope.

Hiking up the slope of the stope.

Centennial-Eureka’s stopes are the largest we have found in any mine we’ve yet been in. And judging from the news articles (detailed below) we didn’t even get to see the largest of the stopes.

A light at the exit of the stope.

A light at the exit of the stope.

Another Giant stope. 500+ft long, 100ft wide, 150+ft tall.

Another Giant stope. 500+ft long, 100ft wide, 150+ft tall.

A lot of rock was moved out of this mountain. These chambers swallow you in darkness. And they are inherently unstable and can have frequent rock fall.

At the top of a huge stope, looking down into it. 200+ft deep.

At the top of a huge stope, looking down into it. 200+ft deep.

One stope, in particular, became famous in 1914 when 11 men were killed due to the roof collapsing. Articles of this are included in the Accident section below. So generally, stopes are not places to hang out.

 

To safely get between levels we installed bolts for ropes. Trusting wooden ladders is always a terrible idea. These ladders have been exposed to water, mold, and time and are slowly rotting. They often give out under a person’s weight, or even less. We have experienced this first hand.

One example: Once, in another mine, one of the guys was in a room with a ladder going up to another chamber. Knowing how unsafe ladders are, he opted to climb the wall which had ample foot and hand holds (also risky and should rarely be tried). He only used the ladder to help steady himself when he needed it.

Bumping the ladder near the top, the top-most rung fell free. The rung fell straight down, subsequently knocking out every other rung on the ladder. As if a cartoon, the ladder split like an opening zipper, one leg slowly falling away from the wall to the right, and one to the left.

It was a hilariously perfect moment, but could have been very dangerous. My friend didn’t even put weight on the ladder, just simple bumped it.

The moral: Do not trust ladders in mines!

Putting in bolts. Allowing the use of ropes and harness for safety.

Putting in bolts. Allowing the use of ropes and harness for safety.

Drilling has begun again in the Centennial-Eureka. ;)

Drilling has begun again in the Centennial-Eureka. 😉

Obviously, do not attempt to use ropes if you are not trained. Rope work in mines or caves is much more technical than climbing at a gym or rappelling while canyoneering.

Hanging out, going down.

Hanging out, going down.

Arriving on the next level.

Arriving on the next level.

We only got to see a fraction of this mine. I cannot imagine how long it would take to get to the bottom of the main shaft, at 2350ft. Any time you use ropes to descend or ascend it adds hours to a trip. Going that far down would be exceedingly time intensive.

 

One of the reasons we enjoy exploring mines is for the history. On the surface is the present. As you descend into the darkness, you travel back in time. You are walking tunnels that are almost exactly as they were when created. You find artifacts left and long forgotten, exactly how the workers dropped them. Each adit, each drift, every item discovered offers a glimpse into the story of the mine and the men that worked it.

It is a personal, sometimes even intimate (in the strictly plutonic sense) experience. Below are a sample of some of the things discovered in this mine.

Decayed dynamite.

Decayed dynamite.

The dice are found. David owes me dinner!

The dice are found. David owes me dinner!

At the head frame we dropped these foam dice. If we found them, we knew which shaft was the old main shaft. Well, it turns out we found them immediately. The shaft at the end of the Holden Tunnel was indeed the main shaft, and dropped a sobering 2,350ft, though there is a blockage and that is where we found this die.

Dynamite.

Dynamite.

Unknown wooden structures.

Unknown wooden structures.

Wheelie ore cart.

Wheelie ore cart.

Breakroom beverage collection.

Breakroom beverage collection.

Whiskey bottle: Old Guide Brand.

Whiskey bottle: Old Guide Brand.

Old Comics.

Old Comics. October 18, 19??

Old newspaper. Most likely from the 1920s.

Old newspaper. Most likely from the 1920s.

 The Bull Gang

The Bull Gang

This was a really cool find! The Bull(Ball?) Gang: September 13, 1926.

Lloyd Lootborouw

Hugo Johnson

Rex Garity

Mex(?)harthitin

August Nystrom

George Eror

Jack Fredrick

Walter Sutherland

Feel free to let me know your take on these names. Some are very hard for me to distinguish. But awesome panel to find with so many names and a clear date, right around the time the mine was closing.

 

 

Collected History:

Centennial-Eureka’s is the classic “from rags to riches” story we American’s love to read about. Started by three men in 1876, W.W. Chisholm, J.D. Kendall, and J.F. Woodman, they were unable to sell stock at a low $2.50 and told they were fools and their prospects a joke. Twenty-two years later they had made millions, with people clammering to buy their stock valued at $100.

In researching this I learned many things. There were three Centennial mines of prominence (well, sort of, and only for ten years or so). Eureka, the massive; one in Bingham Canyon; and a smaller venture in American Fork Canyon.  There is a Centennial mine of note in Colorado. Also, there is a town in Wyoming named Centennial that was in the news often, tied to the Union Pacific railroad. Several other towns share the name Centennial as well. And last and also least, the word centennial was used far more often in the early 1900’s than it is now. Newspapers printed about centennials of the nation, the state, city parks, peoples’ deaths, etc. If that was not enough, there were countless semi-centennial jubilees, festivals, and observances. The work grew long and tedious sifting through the false centennials looking for the true gold.

Below are collected excerpts in chronological order for your historical entertainment. Grab a cup of your favorite tea, and dive in!

1890, December

Utah Enquirer

Centennial-Eureka [often abbreviated to C-E by TheTrekPlanner] is still on the rise with $42 bid and no sales.

1892, October

Deseret News

The Centennial-Eureka mining company have placed an order with R.M. Jones –the designer and inventor — for a special apparatus which will indicate to the engineer handling the hoist the exact conditions of all the traps which close the shaft at each station, and which will make collisions impossible. This is an ingenious contrivance, and the engineer can see at a glance if all or any of the twenty traps are open or shut. Te indicators or needles are operated by compressed air, caused by the lifting or closing of the traps. It is the intention to have the indicator ready to put in by the time the work on the hoist is completed.

1893, December

Deseret News (Full Article on the prospects of Prospecting)

The Centennial Eureka expended before they got a dollar back one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, but now she is paying in great shape.

Centennial's 1896 Yearly report.

Centennial’s 1896 Yearly report.

1896, April

Deseret News

It is reported that a strike of very promising ore has been encountered on the 1,100-foot level of the Centennial-Eureka in the Tintic mining district.

1896, September

Deseret News

The new superintendent of the Centennial-Eureka, Captain “Hank” Smith, arrived yesterday from Oregon to take upon himself the responsibilities of his new office. Mr. Smith once presided over the Bullion-Beck,but of late years he has been looking after the interests of Lawler’s gold mines in the state of Oregon…

1896, October 3rd

Deseret News

The mine is now paying $2 per share a month, and its stock is said to be the highest priced mining stock in the United States.

1897,March 3rd

Deseret News

  • Congressman Clarence E. Allen is back, dedicating himself to full-time management of the mine.
  • A mill is to be started to process low grade ore.

1897, March 30th

Deseret News

  • J.E. Bamberger wins ore contract.
  • …The mine is said to be in good shape. Especially is this so on the 800 level where recent developments have disclosed a great deal better showing than formerly, the ore bodies being large and of exceeding richness…

1897, June

Broad Ax, The Tennessee Exposition

No.4 is from W.W. Chisholm, Esq., Treasurer of the Centennial-Eureka Mining Company. It is very rich in silver, copper, and gold. The great Centennial-Eureka Mining Company has paid two million and ten thousand dollars in dividends.

1897, December 10th,

Deseret News

The “News” is informed that changes in operations are being made at the Centennial-Eurka mine now under superintendency of Newt. Dunyan. Manager Allen is on the ground looking after things…The company is just shipping sufficient ore to pay running expenses.

1898, January 29th

Deseret News

Shipment of three cars of high grade ore sent in – Black Dragon Vein… [mentions Rabbit Foot Company and Sunbeam Consolidated Mining Company work drifts on different levels, presumably within the Centennial Mine]… The cross-cut on the 425 foot level of the Black Dragon, cut through the vein yesterday which at that level showed fourteen feet wide…the company will decided to sink on the vein or to drift…

1898, February 2nd,

Deseret News

At the Centennial-Eureka meeting held yesterday afternoon, the old board of directors was re-elected. It consists of J.F. Woodman, president. J.E. Bamberger, Vice President; W.W. Chisholm, Treasurer; W.C. Staines and William M. Bradley. John R. Alexander is also retained as the company’s secretary. Manager Allen’s report will be printed in pamphlet form and made public later on.

1899, June

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full Article)

Key Points:

  • Stock originally sold for $2.50, and went as high as $100 in ’97-98.
  • Major ore struck at 400ft level. Gold, silver, copper.
  • This ore vein had been followed to 600ft, 700ft, and possibly 1,000ft levels. These all appear to be new levels with exploration just starting.

1899, August

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full Article)

Key Points:

  • Original mine name: The Blue Rock.
  • Started in 1876
  • Recently has aggressively explored to ensure that an estimated $2-3 million dollars worth of ore is always accessible.
  • This month, Centennial sold to United States Mining Company

1899, September 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

Great article talking about the Tintic district in whole. Key Points:

  • The Centennial has forced the basis for the biggest mining deal ever recorded int he Tintic District, being purchased by United States Mining Company of Boston.


— 1900 —

Salt Lake Mining Review, December 15th, 1900

Salt Lake Mining Review, December 15th, 1900

1900, March 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full Article)

Incredible praise for the Centennial mine.

1900, August

Salt Lake Mining Review

One of the most important discovers of the year is reported in the Centennial-Eureka mine at Eureka, the discovery being made on the 800 level, where an immense body of high grade ore has been uncovered, which, undoubtedly, places this property to the front of being one of the greatest bonanza propositions in the intermountain region.

 

1901, August 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

Surveys are being made for the Centennial-Eureka tramway which is to connect this Tintic bonanza with the proposed new matting plant [? I’ve seen mention of a smelter for $300,000. Not sure if this is the same as a matting plant].

1901, September 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The mine has been closed down [temporarily, a few days] pending the retimbering of the working shaft to the 1,600-foot level.

Salt Lake Mining Review, 1902-12-30

1902 Dividends: Salt Lake Mining Review, 1902-12-30

1902, October 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

Some of the most sensational gold ore ever mined in Tintic came from the Centennial-Eureka several years ago, some of the specimens exhibited from this mine showing chunks of native gold as large as a pea.

1902, December 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The Centennial-Eureka paid $50,000 dividends each for the first two quarters of the year, or a total of $100,000. Since the last payment it has been practically inactive while waiting for the completion of the United States smelter at Bingham Junction, which being now accomplished, the mine is likely to begin producing earnings at almost any day.

1903, March 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

…has placed an order with the General Electric company…for an electric lighting plant for its Eureka, Tintic, mine and mill.

1903, February 28th

Salt Lake Mining Review

…C.-E. is earning, net, close to $120,000 per month on its present output of 250 tons per day…The main channel, 1,600 feet below the collar of the shaft is as large and the values are as good as at any place above that level…the property is to be equipped with an electric plant of an enlarged capacity, sufficient to light stations, drifts and stopes. It will require a dynamo large enough for a village.

1903, April 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full article)

Interesting article on the state of the United States Mining Company and its holdings.

  • U.S. Mining bought Centennial-Eureka in 1901.
  • Now extracting 250 tons a day.
  • Planning to sink main shaft 500 feet deeper.
  • Likely four ore bodies accessible with 500,000 tons of workable ore.

1903, May 15th

Eureka Reporter

The first baseball game of the season was pulled off at the Summit grounds last Sunday afternoon…between the Maccabees and Centennial-Eureka miners resulting in a victory for the last named team by a score of 10 to 7.

1903, May 29th

Eureka Reporter

The regular force is again at work at the Centennial Eureka mine. Last week a large number of men were temporarily laid off on account of trouble at the United States smelter at Bingham but the difficult having been overcome the men were ordered to return to work on Wednesday of this week.

1903, July 3rd

Eureka Reporter

…the Centennial Eureka Mining company placed all the work at the mine under the contract system…Manager Allen this week increased the pay of the stope bosses to $3.00 a day…there are about 200 men on the pay roll at the present time.

1903, July 24th

Eureka Reporter

Almost the entire force at the Centennial Eureka min was give a lay off last Sunday. It is said that the smelter at Bingham Junction was being crowded by the immense output from this and other properties of the United States Mining company and that the temporary shut down was for the purpose of giving the reduction works time to handle the ore.

Dividends for 1904: SLMR December 30th, 1904

Dividends for 1904: SLMR December 30th, 1904

1904, February 29th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full Article)

Very cool biography on William Wallace Chisholm, one of the founders of the Centennial-Eureka mine.

1904, June 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The ore bodies on the 1,400 foot level of the C-E mine in Tintic have been opened and they appear to be as extensive and as rich as they were on the upper levels.

1905, March 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

…the force at C-E mine has now passed the 300 mark and is still growing. The pay roll of this mine for the month of February amounted to about $18,000…This week the output from the C-E mine amounted to 91 carloads, or about 3640 tons and this heavy tonnage will be gradually increased.

1905, March 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

…the gross value  of ore is figured at $28.75 per ton and net value $11.87 per ton. Over 600,000 tons are estimated as ready for stoping, giving a net value of $7,200,000.

1906, July 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

…is to be equipped with a new steel hoist. It will also be part of the company’s policy to replace all wooden structures at the mine with structual [typo in original] steel.

1906, October 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full article)

Great article on prominent miners W.W. Chisholm, John Dern, William Hatfield, J.E. Bamberger, Charles Lammersdorf, and James E. Talmage.

1906, November 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full article)

Another Great article on prominent miners Newton A. Dunyon (was a superintendent of C-E mine), George B. Earnshaw.

1906, December 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

During the eleven months of 1906…C-E shipped 2,060 carloads or over 103,000 tons of ore…[this averages] 187 carloads monthly or 47 carloads per week.

1907 Article about the new steel shaft house.

1907 Article about the new steel shaft house.

1907, January 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

A fifty-drill air compressor is being installed at the C-E mine at Eureka, Utah. This is probably the [illegible] plan of this character in the state.

1907, July 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full article)

An article discussing some of the current mines of Tintic.

  • Three grades of ore mentioned.
  • Triple-decked cage run down the shaft by double drum hoist.
  • One massive stope from the 500 – 1,200 foot-levels.

1907, October 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

…new track laid from the shaft to the house and other necessary improvements made. The new steel building is now nearly completed and the mine is in splendid shape…

1909, February 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full Article)

Bleichert Aerial Tramways in Utah.

  • 1,700 ft long
  • Can carry 30-35 tons an hour.

1909, March 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full Article)

W.W. Chisholm’s obituary. He was one of the founders of the Centennial-Eurka (Blue Rock) Mine.

1909, May 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

R.A. Brown [who has been acting superintendent of the C-E for a few years], who is one of the shareholders and who also owns ground adjoining the Eureka Company’s holdings, has consented to act as manager for the company.

Illustration of Newton A. Dunyon

Illustration of Newton A. Dunyon

1909, June 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The C-E is now drifting on the 2,260-foot level. On the 2,000 ft level in this grand old property there is a wonderful showing of ore…

1909, July 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full Article)

Biography of Newton A. Dunyon.

  • “Attaching himself to the Centennial-Eureka much in the same way that a fly forms a lasting partnership with a sheet of flypaper…for he was here to stay and stay he did.”
  • Started keeping books, then surveying, then assaying, and finally foreman.  Later became Superintendent.
  • Was responsible for finding one of the giant ore-bodies.

1909, July 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

C. E. Allen, mine manager; Frederick Leon, assistant managing director, and L. D. Anderson, assistant engineer for the United States Mining company, were here the early part of the week, spending the time in conference with Superintendent R. A. Brown of the C-E mine…figuring out a plan for the handling of the water encountered upon the 2,5[illegible] level of the C-E mine. It is quite possible that a big pumping plant having a capacity of not less than 500 gallons per minute will be installed at the mine at an early date. All of the officials of the company are so well pleased with the showing upon the lower levels of the mine that they are determined to go through with the original plan of developing the ground at even greater depth.

1909, September

Beaver Weekly Press

Arrangements have been completed for the driving of a big tunnel from the county road west of Eureka to the 550-foot level of the Centennial Eureke Mine

1909, September 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

With the completion of the tunnel the lift which the big pumping plant will be called upon to handle, will be cut down just 500 feet and this will result in the savings of thousands of dollars each year. The company will no doubt bring the ore to the surface through the tunnel, thus cutting off another expense, that of operating the tramway.


— 1910 —

1910, March 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The big Holden tunnel, which taps the shaft of the C-E at a depth of 500 ft, was completed on Tuesday evening…the company has been able to make a new record for rapid work in the Tintic.

1910, April 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The C-E leads the district in ore production.

1910, August 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full Article)

Article on going deeper than the water level.

  • Swiss pumps to be installed.
  • Water level is at 2,100 foot level.
  • Level is same for Opex, and Gemini.

1910, August 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

[The C-E] is undoubtedly, the greatest silver-lead-gold-copper mine of the west…a gentleman from an eastern mining school, who visited the C-E last week, stated to the write that never before had he ever seen such gigantic bodies of high-grade ore. “Why,” said he, “I expected to find veins from three to five feet wide, and the Centennial ore-body is more than 200. It will take years to work it out.”

1910, October 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full Article)

Praise to the Centennial-Eureka

  • Electric locomotives running the Holden Tunnel.
  • Two pumps installed on the 2,250-foot [actually 2,000?] level.
  • No ore removed below the 1,800-foot level yet.

1910, October 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full Article)

Depths explained.

  • Pumps on 2,000 ft level.
  • Doors in drifts installed incase water flow endangers pumps. Drifts can be sealed.
  • No one knows how quickly water will fill the works at this depth.

1910, October

Coalville Times, Mines and Mining

…the new Swiss pumps of the Centennial Eureka company are up to expectations in every regard. Only one of the two units is in operation, and this unit in commission has a rated capacity of 500 gallons of water a minute, yet it has raised as much as 600 gallons.

1910, November 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

[The C-E] recently paid a dividend of $3 a share on its 100,000 share capitalization. This makes two $3 dividends the C-E has paid this year. Since June, 1906, the company has paid a sum total of $27 a share in dividends; which is something to brag about.

Ore shipments by Carload, 1910.

Ore shipments by Carload, 1910.

1911, May

Coalville Times, Mines and Mining

Since the installation of the the new pumping plant about 800 feet of drifting has been done upon the 2,200 level of the Centennial Eureka mine, at Eureka, Utah. As two drifts are being driven, the work has only been carried on to a distance of about 400 feet from the shaft.

1911, June 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The large ore house, which is located at the lower end of the old C-E tramway, is being torn down this week. Now that the output from this mine is being handled through the Holden Tunnel, this building is not needed. The big gravity tramway…has been shipped to one of the properties of the United States company at Kingman, Arizona.

1911, June 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

[Again] $600,000 the company has paid to stockholders during this present year.

1912, January 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The big power plant at the portal of the Holden Tunnel was placed in operation early in the week…the C-E has been securing power from the Knight company, but line trouble early in the present week made it impossible for this mine to secure all the power that was needed…

1912, April

Davis County Clipper

The United States Company: The United States Smelting, Refining and Mining company is operated extensively in Utah. It maintains office in Salt Lake: operated the Centennial-Eureka and Bullion Beck mines in Tintic and Old Jordan-Galena, Niagara and Telegraph mines in Bingham; two concentrating mills and a huge smelter in middle, Utah.

1912, November 1st

Eureka Reporter

Pumps Removed:…It is understood here that the labor trouble which a few weeks ago seemed to threaten all parts of the state, but which at this time does not present a serious aspect was responsible for the pulling of the pumps at the Centennial Eureka. The mine officials refuse to verify such ha report however and simply state that the removal of the pumps will clip off about $4,000 per month from the cost of operating this property.

1913, January 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

Robert A. Brown, superintendent of the C-E at Eureka, Utah, has resigned after having been connected with the company over twenty years.

Ore shipments for 1913.

Ore shipments for 1913.

1913, August 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The Emerald Mining company…has sued the C-E Mining company…for $300,000 damages, alleging that the latter company has been working in the Dove ground which belongs to the Emerald.

1913, September

Beaver Weekly Press [folded page so partially unreadable]

Reports from Tintic are that…much improved conditions have…on the 1600 level which…Centennial-Eureka is driving for…King William ground.

1913, December 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The surveys of the C-E, at Eureka, recently made to determine the question of trespass by the Centennial on the Emerald, show that there has been no encroachment.

1914, February 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

A. P. Mayberry, superintendent of the C-E…

Geology of the Tintic, 1914.

Geology of the Tintic, 1914.

1914, May 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full Article)

John D. Kendall Biography.

  • Started C-E with his brother-in-law, W. W. Chisholm.
  • Was the first superintendent of the mine.
  • Since the sale of the C-E in 1899, he has mostly been fishing and hunting.
Ore Shipments for 1914

Ore Shipments for 1914

1914, November

Beaver Weekly Press

The centennial eureka will resume work from its 500-foot level on the King William property on January 1 it is said. The King William property is expected to enter the list 0f producers inasmuch as it is practically surrounded by producing properties.

1914, December 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

A tunnel is being driven to further develop the recent surface gold discovery on the C-E.

1915, January

Eureka Reporter

C-E people are at work in the King William ground which they are developing under a lease and bond. The showing is still quite favorable but nothing of interest has yet been developed.

1915, February 26th

Eureka Reporter

…water is jus 2,101 feet below the collar of the shaft. The water level will probably be a few feet higher in the early spring. The shaft…is 2,304 feet deep and it will be remembered that this company spent an immense sum of money for pumping equipment and…then suspended operations below the water level.

1915, March 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The C-E Mining Company of Eureka, has relinquished its option on the property of the King William Mining Company.

1915, May 14th

Eureka Reporter

…nearly one thousand feet a month is being done at the C-E.

Ore Shipments for 1916

Ore Shipments for 1916

1916, January 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

Newton A. Dunyon, of Salt Lake, one of the most successful mine managers of the west, who, a number of years ago, was in charge of the operations at the C-E…is now the mine manager at the great Ontario at Park City, Utah.

1916, March 24th

Eureka Reporter

Two years ago the C-E had a $250,000 bond and lease on the adjoining King William…the world war broke out, the panic struck the country, this work was suspended and the lease forfeited.

1916, April 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The C-E…which suspended dividends over two years ago, resumed payments on the 14th inst. by the declaration of $1 a share, this being dividend No. 80 on its 100,00 shares…Dividend payments have reached the total of $39.50 per share. George W. Heintz of Salt Lake is the general manager for the company.

1916, October 27th

Eureka Reporter

In order to furnish an outlet for the ore now being mined on the 1600 level a drift is being driven and a raise sent up from the 1800 level this work being handled under contract awarded to Victor Bray.

1917, January 26th

Eureka Reporter

A most serious car shortage exists here in Tintic and practically every one of the mines is effected…about two-thirds of the mines regular tonnage of ore was sent out this week at the property of the C-E.

Income and expenses.

Income and expenses for 1917?.

1918, April 19th

Eureka Reporter

The working force at the C-E is now smaller than it has been for some time, the strike talk having caused quite a number of the men to leave town. But Supt. Andrew P. Mayberry says that the vacancies in the ranks will no doubt be filled up within the next few weeks. The mine is prepared to use about 125 men and early in the week the force employed was probably a trifle under a hundred.

1918, April 26th

Eureka Reporter

New ore found at the C-E!…a strike of a rather important nature has been made on the 1900 level of the C-E…the deposit is about eight or ten feet in width but a large part of the [lead] ore is of rather low grade.

1919, January 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

An important body of ore is being followed below the water level in the great C-E mine, at Eureka, Utah…It is in a winze from the 1,900 level. Water was encountered at a depth of fifteen feet in these workings. A small pump is being used at present, the water being piped to the main shaft…The shaft reaches a depth of 2,300 feet, but the big flow of water has precluded recent work below the 1,900, the management having removed the pumping equipment when the former failed to find ore.

1919, March 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The new winze…has reached a depth of 100 feet early in the month, without a noticeable increase in the water flow. The ore has dipped away from the wine and a station is being cut at this point for purposes of development.

1919, August:

Beaver County News

Manager G. E. Allen was at the Centennial Eureka mine and gave orders for pulling the pumps and discontinuing the campaign of work which has for several months been under way on the 2000-foot level, which is considerably under the water level. It is understood that the pumps have already been removed and that nearly 1000 feet of workings [horizontal?] below the water level are now filling with water, says the Eureka Reporter.

1919, December 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The upper levels of the C-E…may be turned over to leasers after the first of the year. No doubt nothing below the 800 level will be included.

1919, December 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

Definite announcement has been made by the officials of the United States Smelting, Refining, and Mining Company that on or about the 1st of January, the first seven levels of the C-E proper of the company, at Eureka, would be opened to leasers.

1919, November 28th

Eureka Reporter

Andrew P. Mayberry who for several years has been superintendent…will sever his connection with the property in the near future. Mr. Mayberry who has been connected with the properties of the United States Mining Co for twenty or more years will probably continue to serve the company in some capacity but his health has not been the  best during the past year and for this reason he is giving up his work in Tintic.

John Enlund…will continue to look after both [C-E and Bullion-Beck] properties.

1919, December 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

Andrew P. Mayberry has severed his connection as superintendent of the C-E. He is succeeded by John Enlund.

 

Current stock prices, and total payout of Utah mines 1919.

Current stock prices, and total payout of Utah mines 1919.


— 1920 —

1920, April 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

It now is reported that the company plans granting leases in the deeper workings, where it is said the chances of making good money are excellent.

1920, August 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The first installation in Utah [of signaling mine hoists] was in the shaft of the Centennial-Eureka mine under the management of C. E. Allen. It was placed in operation in the summer of 1899, and has been in continuous and satisfactory operation for twenty-one years. The arrangement consists of two bare wires down the shaft carrying a current at 60 volts potential with a device on the cage for making connection between the two wires. This device is…operated by a short lever, forcing the short wire out against the two bare wires, thus making a circuit which rings a bell in the hoist room.

1920, December 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

Andrew Berg and Carl Holt have been awarded a contract for driving a drift on the 1,800 level of the Centennial Eureka mine, at Tintic. This is rather an important piece of development work and two shifts will be kept on the job. The drift will be sent entirely through the Grand Central’s holding for the purpose of reaching some of the Centennial’s ground which is far from the old workings.

Ore Shipments for 1921. Due to the smelter being backed up, the C-E closed down for many months and then never got back to full production.

Ore Shipments for 1921. Due to the smelter being backed up, the C-E closed down for many months and then never got back to full production.

1921, March 25th

Eureka Reporter

While repairs are being made to the big compressor underground operations have been suspended at the C-E.

1921, April 8th

Eureka Reporter (Full Article)

Tribute to Ben Thurmond who has worked at the C-E for 32 years. He is now acting as a watchman.

1921, August 5th

Eureka Reporter

Officials…have just awarded a contract for the continuation of the long drift on the 1800 level. This drift is being sent over toward the south and will develop a very promising section of the property which is nearly a mile form the main shaft.

1921, August 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The C-E and the Bullion Beck – which have been closed down for several months [due to an immense stockpile at the smelter, thus giving the smelter time to catch up] resumed underground operations early in the month. When the shutdown took place most of the mining operations at both properties were in the hands of lessees and as some of these lessees have found other employment it may be some time before new men take their places and bring production back to its normal point.

1922 Ore Shipments

1922 Ore Shipments

1921, September 2nd

Eureka Reporter

Lightning struck the rails of a small track leading to the dump from the C-E shaft, twisting the rails and tearing out the spikes. The men working on the surface thought someone had opened up on the works with a big machine gun and one miner who was near the station on the 1800 level got a shock that threw him to the ground. It is thought the electrical current followed the air pipe down the mine.

1922, January 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review

The Centennial mine of the United States company has been shut down for the greater part of the year…

Ore Shipments for 1923.

Ore Shipments for 1923.

1922, June 23rd

Eureka Reporter

A raise is being driven from the 1800 level in an effort to locate a continuation of ore which was mined from workings above this point. All f the ore which the C-E is now shipping is coming from ground operated under lease…

1923, August 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

G. W. Crane, well known geologist, has for some time been engaged in doing some special work for the U. S. Mining company, owning the C-E and Bullion Beck mines this district. It is understood that his report…may decide on a new development campaign for their local properties.

1924, February 15th

Salt Lake Mining Review (Full article)

The C-E is limping along. A new plan, the “footage plan,” is announced to breathe new life into the old mine.

  • They will pay/finance lessees to prospect, so they can afford it.
  • 12 locations for lessees to develop.
  • Most development will be between 300-1,800ft levels.
Ore Shipments for 1924

Ore Shipments for 1924

1924, February 29th

Salt Lake Mining Review

About forty lessees are now reported to be working in the C-E mine…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dismantling of the Buildings, 1927

Dismantling of the Buildings, November 1927

Ore Shipments for 1927

Ore Shipments for 1927

1928, July 19th

Salt Lake Telegram (full article)

J. E. Bamberger dies in Salt Lake. He was one of the original founders of the Centennial Eureka.

1929, December 25th

Iron County Record

R. A. Brown was superintendent of the Eureka Centennial mine…while he was in charge…between the 1,000 and 1,600 foot levels they took out an ore body six hundred feet square. Just imagine a block of ore the size of one of the Salt Lake City blocks, 600 feet high and you have it. In fact their ore body was nearly that large from the surface to the full depth of the mine, which was over 2,000 feet.


— 1930 —

1931, August 29th

Salt Lake Telegram

The only work at any depth in the C-E at this time, is being performed by John Uren and associates. They have found some ore that runs two or three ounces in gold and feel confident that they are in a part of the mine that has great possibilities as many years ago it produced some of the richest ore ever shipped from the Tintic district.

…on the dump above that point Dan Atherley and sons are doing some mining and they have subleased what is know as the old ‘Boarding House’ stopes to other Tintic miners. The Atherlys have, during the past few years, or since the closing of the C-E, sorted and shipped a lot of dump ore. Their work has been profitable…

The ‘Boarding House’ stopes were so named beaches, during the hey day of the C-E it was discovered that the ore bodies were making above the old tunnel level, hence another tunnel was started within a few feet of the boarding house and this piece of prospecting resulted in the openings of large stopes from which several hundred thousand dollars worth of ore was mined.

1934, November 24th

Salt Lake Telegram

Dan Atherley, lessee is removing thousand of tons of wise material…[he] installed a 600-foot endless belt, which hauls the waste through a tunnel dug through the dump…

The ore is highly silicious, with an admixture of lime, and carries from $5 to $6 in gold and silver, with a small amount of copper. Mr. Atherley estimates that the dump contains more than 100,000 tons of shipping ore…


Accidents and Injuries History:

1895, March

Provo Daily Enquirer

William Crookston has filed a complaint in suit against the Centennial Eureka Mining Co., for $25,000. Damages,  he sets forth that on the 19th of October 1894, as an employee of said company, he was at work in the mine, when a shot, which had missed fire the night before and had not been removed, exploded and hurled upon the defendant great masses of rock, earth, and other material whereby a number of his bones were broken, and which caused him great suffering and permanent injury. This he charges was caused by the neglect of the company in not removing the powder which caused the explosion. D.D. House, Robert Anderson, and S.A. King are plaintiff attorneys.

Cave in reporter the 1903 Eureka Reporter.

Cave in reported in the 1903 Eureka Reporter.

1903, March 13th

Eureka Reporter

Cave in on the Vermont Stope, between 500-600 levels. See news image to the left.

1903, March 20th

Eureka Reporter

Williams Williams who was quite badly injured by a premature explosion in the Centennial Eureka mine several weeks ago is recovering nicely and is now able to get out upon the street.

Pat Boyle who was so badly shaken up in a cage accident at the [mine] a couple of weeks ago returned from Salt Lake yesterday.

1903, March 20th

Eureka Reporter

Patrick J Lively…will probably pass the remaining portion of his life blind. Lively was at work 1000 feet south from the station on the 1400 foot level when the accident occurred.

Lively was fitting the giant caps to the fuse when the entire box containing almost one hundred caps exploded. The flesh on the unfortunate man’s face, hands, and arms was badly lacerated and the right leg and chest were also [?] considerable by the explosion…He was taken to St. Mark’s hospital in Salt Lake.

Tuesday Lively was operated upon, one eye being removed.

1903, September 25th

Eureka Reporter

Patrick J Lively…the sight of both eyes was destroyed. [He] returned  from Salt Lake City this week. He was accompanied by his brother John Lively of Park City [who dies this month or the beginning of October in an explosion in a mine in Park City].

1903, October 2nd

Eureka Reporter

Patrick J Lively who lost his eye…with his brother Barney Lively… will proceed to their former home in Ireland…Barney Lively requests the reporter to thank the miners of Eureka for the liberal manner in which they assisted his brother, making it possible for the unfortunate man to return to the home of his boyhood.

1903, October 9th

Eureka Reporter

Shortly before the day shift at the Beck mine quit work last Monday evening smoke presumably from burning timbers was discovered by some of the miners…[by] Tuesday the smoke had spread to the Eureka Hill…into the Gemini and still farther south into the Centennial Eureka…In the evening [Mr. William Menlove] and several other went into the mine for the purpose of putting in a bulkhead in one of the openings between this mine and the Eureka Hill on the [illegible] foot level and all were overcome by the smoke and gas. As fast as possible the men were carried to the shaft and taken to the surface by a rescuing party and while several were in very circle condition fro several hours, all recovered wit the exception of Mr. Menlo who died at 11:30 Tuesday night.

Wednesday evening [still unable to determine where the fire was burning] the superintendents of the four mines go together and decided to close up the surface openings and try to smother the fire until some Zizen helmets especially designed for this kind of work could be secured. These helmets are charged with compressed oxygen sufficient to enable the wearer to remain in the smoke and gas for two hours.

…Six mules used in the underground workings…on the 700 foot level…have undoubtedly died by this time.

1904, June 30th

Salt Lake Mining Review

In October [last year] an underground fire of mysterious origin which filled the workings of the C-E, Eureka Hill, Bullion-Beck, and Gemini with gas and smoke, caused much annoyance and a cessation of work for several weeks. The fire was finally located in one of the old stopes of the Eureka Hill property, and extinguished.

1914, September 18th

Eureka Reporter (Full Article)

Major Collapse of the Oklahoma Stope. Worst tragedy in the history of the Tintic.

Collapse of the Oklahoma Stope.

Collapse of the Oklahoma Stope.

1914, September

Davis County Clipper

Earl D. Bryson, one of the eleven men who were killed in the Centennial-Eureka mine, is a relative of the Bryson brothers of this place. His picture was given in the Sunday’s Herald.

1914, September 25th

Eureka Reporter (Full Article)

Still trying to get the bodies out. Regular work restarted.

1914, October

Davis Count Clipper

A total of $1,180.46 was distributed on October 24 to sufferers from the cave-in at the Centennial-Eureka mine on September 17.

1914, October 30th

Eureka Reporter (Full Article)

Several bodies recovered.

1916, February 18th

Eureka Reporter

Thomas Hughes had his left leg badly crushed below the knew while at worked un the C-E yesterday.

1916, May 26th

Eureka Reporter

William Champion…suffered a broken leg Monday when a boulder struck the braces allowing a timber to strike him with much force. He was taken to Salt Lake hospital for treatment.

1916, September 01st

Eureka Reporter

James Shaw…was quite seriously injured last Saturday when the cage on which he was being lowered from the surface to the tunnel level struck the chairs on the 400 level. Mr Shaw was injured about the head and legs and two ribs were also broken.

1917, October 5th

Eureka Reporter

Nick Lambros a Greek miner lost his hold on a ladder and fell to his death in the C-E on Wednesday evening. In company of other miners he was just going on shift. They were descending the ladder way from the 1500 to the 1600 level and in some unaccountable manner Lambros slipped falling into an ore chute. His mangled body was taken out of the chute about a hundred feet below.

Lambros was 23 years of age and unmarried.

1921, April 8th

Eureka Reporter

Andrew Johnson a shift boss met with a very serious accident. He was taking a mule train of loaded cars out of the long drift on the 1800 level when one of the cars was overturned and he was caught beneath its load his left leg being fractured in two places between the ankle and knee.

1930, April 19th

Salt Lake Telegram

Plunged into the hopper of the loading chute of the Blue Rock dump of the old Centennial-Eurka mine Friday afternoon, Theodore Strange, 25, of Salina, was buried alive beneath ten feet of ore. His body was removed two hours later.

…Suddenly the loading chute opened and the ore poured in on him, carrying him down with it. Fellow workman shouted to him to grab the cable, but he failed to follow their advice.

Personal Thoughts:

This was a great and adventurous mine. It was demanding physically, and mentally. You can get hurt or lost in here easily. But the history of the mine is really fascinating. Being able to walk the tunnels that so many men worked to carve out was a singular experience.

Please let me know if you have questions or comments. Especially let me know if you have history to add about the Centennial-Eureka. There are so many fun and interesting stories about Utah’s mining history. So many are already lost and forgotten. Feel free to help us keep these stories alive!

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About The Author
Hawkeye-TP
A man of adventure and generally swell guy. He was born, and has been winging it since then. Trevor@thetrekplanner.com

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10 Comments on "Centennial-Eureka Mine"

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Dennis
Guest
I’ve been through a lot of this mine myself, spending about 3.5 hours, and there was plenty of history to see . It’s one of the best in Utah. Did you guys get to the bottom? I’ve been back there a few times for some short trips, and I noticed the bolts in the wall, in the main shaft. I’m guessing that was you guys. How far did you go down and did you have to come back up the same way you went down? Or was there another exit? Just curious to know what the lower levels are like.
Justin Seal
Guest

This is amazing! I’ve always just peered down the main shaft and wondered if there has been anyone down there since 1920. Great article, great history, made my day. Thanks folks!

Eric
Guest

Who can I contact to get permission to enter? I want to organize a trip. Do the owners have a map as well?

Shane D Nystrom
Guest

I’m doing some geneology research on my family and when I searched my great grandpas name (August Nystrom) this article popped up! Very cool to see that picture with his name and the rest of the Bull/Ball Gang! Thanks for posting this guys!