In 1863 Bingham Canyon was being logged by George B. Ogilvie, an apostate Mormon; Archibald Gardner, the bishop of West Jordan; and some soldiers from Camp Douglas. One afternoon in September, Ogilvie and others uncovered a piece of ore while in the process of dragging out logs. Ogilvie sent the ore to General Patrick Connor, who assayed it and found that it contained gold and silver. A picnic to Bingham Canyon was organized a few days later by some officers at Camp Douglas and their wives. While eating lunch, one of the ladies found a piece of ore on the mountainside. The soldiers prospected further, found the vein, and staked off a claim. Some contend that the combination of these two stories marked the beginning of the history of mining for precious metals in Utah.
The Jordan Silver Mining Company was formed immediately after the picnickers' discovery at a meeting at Gardner's Mill on the Jordan River. Here the mining rules were drawn up by General Connor and adopted by the twenty-five members present. The West Mountain Mining District was organized on 17 September 1863, and included most of the Oquirrh Mountains. This was Utah's first mining district.