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History of Bingham Canyon, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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The rush for the riches of Bingham Canyon then commenced as Connor encouraged his soldiers, many of them veterans of the California gold rush, to prospect. He hoped that the mining fever would attract non-Mormons from outside of Utah to come to the state and thus dilute the influence of Mormons. A few rich strikes were made but the high cost of wagon transportation made the discoveries uneconomical. This almost caused the canyon to be abandoned. Mining continued, however, when men switched to placer mining in Bingham Creek. One claim yielded more than $2,000,000 in gold by 1868. However, for most miners, the placer deposits could only barely provide enough food to eat. Before 1869, fewer than 100 miners, mostly Welsh, Irish or Cornish in origin, lived in the canyon.

The arrival in 1873 of the Bingham and Camp Floyd branch of the Utah Central Railroad dramatically changed Bingham's fortunes. This event revived lode mining and soon rich strikes were paying off. Milling and smelting facilities which made mining even more profitable soon sprang up in the canyon as well as in the Salt Lake and Tooele valleys.

The end of the nineteenth century saw the consolidation of the small claims of many individual prospectors in Bingham Canyon into the hands of copper giants like the Boston Consolidated and Utah Copper Companies. The formation of these companies not only required a large supply of capital resources, but also created a demand for cheap labor. The flood of immigrants that resulted made Bingham one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the state of Utah. It was estimated that in 1912, 65 percent of the residents were foreign born.


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