Friday, October 1, 2010

Spring Canyon Treasure

Located in Spring Canyon, about five miles west of the present day Utah town of Helper, was a mining camp of considerable size known as Standardville. It was started in 1912 when F.A. Sweet opened a coal mine just a quarter of a mile north of the main canyon. The town was designed and built exceptionally well and because of this became a “standard” for other mining towns. This is where it got its name, Standardville. The town had a nice general store, a fine billiard hall, and even a steam-heated swimming pool.

One day a small girl living in one of the company houses found a cigar box in her daddy’s dresser drawer. It was very heavy and the curious girl took it outside to play with. She pried open the lid which was held in place by a small nail and found that the wooden cigar box contained newly minted silver dollars.

The story goes that the girl played with them for awhile, then walked over to a two-inch pipe that was sticking out of the ground and dropped them in one by one. It was not uncommon in those days, before safety regulations and such, to have uncapped pipes protruding from the ground in mining camp towns such as this. After the coins were gone, she took the cigar box back to her home.

When the girl’s father found the coins had gone missing, he questioned the family and the truth came out. Her father asked her to show him where she had put them and she walked back to the area just east of the billiard hall. But to the dismay of both the father and the girl, there was not just one pipe sticking out of the ground, but several in the area, and the girl could not tell which pipe she had dropped them in.

Today, little remains of the once-bustling town. In the mid-1970s most of it was bulldozed down, but there remain a few remnants of the town, including a few pipes protruding from the ground. Maybe a small treasure still remains inside one of them!

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