COUNTY: Tooele County
CLIMATE: Snow in winter. Nice in summer.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: 4WD necessary during winter.
No current residents. Very close to Mercur, a more popular ghost town. Very beautiful, although a very rough drive. Especially on a car, which is lower to the ground. 4WD recommended, but not necessary.
REMAINS: A few brick foundations.
|The Sunshine mine, discovered in the early 1890's part way up a small canyon at the southern tip of the Oquirrh Mountains, began seriously producing in 1893 when mercury-laden gold ore was located. AFter serveral other promising strikes were made the Sunshine and Overland mills were erected in 1895 for cyanide processing of the gold ore. At this time investors and spectators expected the mines and the town of SUnshine to be as large and prosperous as Mercur because they were not as high in the hills or as far back in the canyon. The town of Sunshine itself was small but sported the typical aggression of mine buildings, dwellings and boarding houses, sallons and gambling dens. Those who knew best considered it one of the most vile of the late-era mining towns. Enthusiastic promoters stated that for the amount of work done, the SUnshine mine had exposes larger bodies of ore than any other nearby operation. Supposedly all the ore produced in 1896 had been extracted in the course of development and exploration alone without any large scale working of the ore bodies. Several hundred thousand dollars were invested but in 1896 only $7000 worth of gold was recovered. Even in 1902, only $70,000 was produced. The mills were remodeled in 1908 but by 1910 the "great" ore body in the mine was depleted. In the three last years $141,000 were put out, and after fifteen years of work, each mill had produced only $220,000 in gold. The canyon, since named Sunshine Canyon, has been deserted since 1910, most buildings were either removed or have fallen to the elements. A few old brick building foundations are hidden in the sagebrush, dwarfed by the huge yellow-ochre mine dump. A dirt road which becomes a thin trail leads up to the site five miles south of the Mercur turnoff. Submitted by: Melanie Graham - Excerpted from Stephen L. Carr's "The Historical Guide To Utah Ghost Towns".