Introduction to Mining in Utah

Submitted by Mary Hunt

OBJECTIVES:

1. Students will come up with a definition of mining together as a class.

2. Students will take notes in a learning journal and recall the stories of how three mining towns in Utah were begun.

3. Students will become introduced to the song "Sixteen Tons."

MATERIALS:

Mining learning journals for every child (Blank booklets)

Disney's "Snow White" video

Copies of the stories of how three mining towns in Utah began          Click here for stories

Jimmy Dean CD with "Sixteen Tons" on it (Titled "Big Bad John")       Click here for lyrics

Copies of lyrics to ìSixteen Tonsî

PROCEDURE:

1. Watch the mining clip from "Snow White." (Begin when the seven dwarfs start singing "We dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig all the whole day through" . . . and end about a minute later as they start singing "Hi ho! Hi ho! It's home from work we go.")

2. Pass out mining learning journals.

3. Ask the students if they know what mining is. Define mining as a class. Have the children write this definition in their learning journals.

4. Tell the students that this week you are going to be learning about mining in Utah.

5. Present this scenario: Let us say that you are on a vacation with you family. You are playing in a stream and you notice something shiny in the streambed. What could it be? What would you do if it were precious ore? Who would you tell?

6. Explain that even before explorers came to Utah in the mid1800's, many of the Native Americans, Mexicans, and Spaniards came to mine the mountains of Utah. However, it was not until the westward migration of settlers that Utah became well known for its minerals.  People liked the idea of striking it rich quick, so when one person got lucky and discovered minerals, people flocked from all around to try their luck.

7. Pass out the stories of how three mining towns in Utah began, alternating from student-to-student so that three children sitting next to each other will each have a different story. Allow the children to move onto the floor where they can sit with those children in the class who have the same story as them. Explain to them that within the groups they are to read these scenarios together and pick out one main point of the story for each person in their groups to present to the entire class. They should write these key points down in their mining learning journals. Give them time to practice presenting their story.

8. Bring the students back together and have one group at a time present to the class. Remind the students that they should be taking notes in the learning journals on every presentation. If some of the main points are unclear, review these with the class.

9. Pass out the words to "Sixteen Tons" to each student and play the song for the children. Have them read along so that they will be familiar with the song when you start to learn it the next day.

EVALUATION:

1. Assess the students understanding of mining by listening to them as they come up with a definition of mining together as a class.

2. Listen to the groups reading and sharing information with one another. Ask questions when the class comes back together to review the main points of each story.

3. Check to see that the students are reading along on their copy of "Sixteen Tons."

4. If you would like, collect and look over the learning journals this first day to check student documentation of what they are learning.

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**HOW THREE MINING TOWNS IN UTAH BEGAN**

BINGHAM

Sanford and Thomas Bingham were sent by Brigham Young to settle the area now known as Bingham Canyon in 1848. They farmed and grazed their herds and even found many valuable ores. But Brother Brigham did not want the Saints to search for gold, so they covered the ore they had found and their discovery was soon forgotten. Several years later, in 1863, George B. Ogilvie and some of his friends were cutting down timber in the canyon. As they were dragging out the logs, they noticed silver ore. Many of the soldiers heard about it and came to the canyon to find more ores. Without the railroad there, it was really expensive to transport the ore, so many of the prospectors began "placer mining." This is when they take pans and wash the ores to find the gold. As soon as the railroad came to Bingham Canyon, they began "lode mining" again and the miners started to earn more money.

STOCKTON

In 1864 there was a general in command of the forces from California who had volunteered to protect the Overland Trail during the Civil War. His name was Colonel Patrick E. Conner. His soldiers started to get bored, so to keep them busy he asked them to start looking for ore to mine. General Conner heard about an area where the Indians had been mining gold and silver for jewelry and lead to make bullets. He built several smelters in the area and they began mining the ore beds. This is how the towns of Stockton, Ophir, and Mercur were begun. Connor is now called "The Father of Utah Mining." At first the miners earned a lot of money, but the ore beds were shallow and soon they ran out of ore to mine. It wasn't until new technology came about that they were able to dig deeper into the land to reach the mines and start operating again.

FRISCO

In 1875 two men from Nevada found a good water hole called Squaw Springs in the San Francisco Mountains. They didn't want to leave this good water hole, so they began looking around for ore. One of the men stuck his pick into a ledge that he thought might have ore init, and sure enough, they saw glistening ore. When they whittled the ore, the slivers curved up like the horns of a mountain sheep, and that is how it came to be called the Horn Silver Mine. Many people wanted to mine here, and soon the miners were able to convince the leaders of the railroad to extend the tracks to Frisco. They were finding a lot of ore, but it wasn't enough. The owners kept pushing for more, ignoring many of the rules that should have protected the mine. One morning in 1885 as the miners were switching shifts, they began to feel trembling in the shaft. All of the sudden the mine crashed in. The crash was so hard that it broke windows in homes fifteen miles from the mine. The miners had to move away and go somewhere else.

**SIXTEEN TONS**

Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that's a-weak and a back that's strong

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said "Well, a-bless my soul"

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin' it was drizzlin' rain
Fightin' and trouble are my middle name
I was raised in the canebrake by an ol' mama lion
Cain't no-a high-toned woman make me walk the line

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

If you see me comin', better step aside
A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don't a-get you, then the left one will

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

-Merle Travis