Living on the edge of the world’s largest open-cut copper mine was the daily experience for thousands of people that began on the first day of the mine’s operations in 1906. Upper Bingham (Copperfield) was one of the most highly-impacted communities.MoreLiving on the edge of the world’s largest open-cut copper mine was the daily experience for thousands of people that began on the first day of the mine’s operations in 1906. Upper Bingham (Copperfield) was one of the most highly-impacted communities. The roadway from the main Bingham business district to Upper Bingham went right through the open-cut mine.
It was necessary for the mine to connect its operations on the west side of the roadway with its operations on the east side- within the first two or three years of the mine’s operation several trestles or bridges had been constructed for that purpose. The E, F, and H railroad levels of the mine ran through the community of Upper Bingham.
From the very beginning the houses and businesses at the lower end of town were at risk of demolition. The people of Upper Bingham, however, accepted the activities of the mine with equanimity. The kids from Dinkeyville and Jap Camp readily crossed H-Level and Fox’s Switch on their way to and from school. The 4 o’clock warning whistles and then the dynamite blasts were part of the routine. The Dinkey steam engines, the Copper Water, the Cocoa Dirt and many other areas or items of interest were all just part of life.The Bingham Copper Mine and the community of Upper Bingham were intermixed from the first day of the Utah Copper open-pit mine’s operations in 1906 until the demolition of the last house in Upper Bingham in 1958.The history of Upper Bingham in large part predates the open-pit mine.
The first mining claim in the state of Utah was located in Bingham Canyon in 1863. Numerous underground lead-silver and gold mines, along with some placer gold mines were started in the late 1860s and 1870s. Many of these mines were the nucleus for small communities of which Upper Bingham was one. Remnants of the very early mining activities were commonplace – concrete foundations of bridges and mill sites, old abandoned mines, aerial tramway stations and ore chutes, several abandoned railroad beds – many of these were still evident in the 1940s.This book contains 136 figures, most of them historic photos, which date from the 1890s to 2003.
Human interest stories are interspersed with the photos. The author lived in Copperfield from the age of one year until graduation from Bingham High School in 1952.