The Tintic Mining District, as delineated for this nomination, comprises an area approximately eight miles square and includes the Main and East Tintic areas, since these areas were the most significant and contain all of the historical resources. This district lies on the western and eastern slopes of the central portion of the East Tintic Mountains, which includes portions of Juab and Utah, counties. The East Tintic Mountains form one of the basin ranges of Utah, having the north-south trend that is characteristic of these ranges and whose origin has been attributed to block faulting. They are aligned with the Oquirrh Range to the north, and merge on the south with the Canyon Range and the Gilson Mountains. The East Tintic range is is bordered on the west by the Tintic arid Rush Valleys, and on the east by Dog Valley, Goshen Valley, and Cedar Valley.

Most of the content of this page is from the nomination form for the District.

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Mining formed the significant aspect of the district. As, such, mineralization was found primarily in the following ore runs: Centennial-Eureka, Gemini; Mammoth, Chief, Plutus, Godiva, and the Iron Blossom Ore Run. It was in these areas that most mining, commercial, and residential activity took place. Massive headframes, or gallows-frames, dot the area, as these timber-framed and steel-framed structures were utilized to lower and raise men and equipment in cages in and out of mine shafts. Such structures were part of large surface plants operated by mining companies. Adjoining these headframes are large ore dumps, comprised of overburden or low grade ores not suitable for milling or smelting. Large slag dumps, from area smelters, also exist. In addition, dry farms and ranches are evident which aid in documenting another side of this mining district.

Tintic was one of the largest mining districts, in area, in Utah. Development, primarily in the period 1890-1926, occurred at a steady and high pace; of course, taking into, account, the susceptibility of a mining area to economic fluctuations both within the state and nation. Population and mining activity density was also high during the period. Population figures are put at between six to eight thousand people with Eureka City as the district’s center and four other town sites. The area was inundated with shafts and other mine workings as can be viewed on U.S.G.S maps covering the area.

The types of historic resources that are most prominent all involve Tintic’s character as a gold, silver, and lead mining district. Remnants of surface plants of various mining enterprises still exist; and those chosen here are those where the headframes (or gallows) are standing. Commercial, social, and public buildings are still evidenced and continue to function. In addition, examples of homes of pioneers, merchants, miners, superintendents, and mining entrepreneurs remain. Railroad structures (old depots), as well as a grain elevator are also of prominence.

For convenience in such a brief overview, Tintic’s history can be categorizes into four main periods during which it attained prominence:

  1. 1869-1878
  2. 1879-1898
  3. 1898-1912
  4. 1912-1924

The initial period, 1869-1878, covers the discovery and years of initial development. The Sunbeam claim was the first (1869) followed by the Dragon, Mammoth, Eureka Hill, and Bullion Beck, to name those where structures remain.

This period also produced Tintic’s first mills and smelters; and perhaps most important viewed the extension of the Utah Southern Railway into Ironton (near Tintic Junction, west of Eureka) in 1878, thus giving Tintic the advantage of rail transportation. Towns of Diamond, Silver City, Mammoth, and Eureka began around the mining activity.

Production of ores increased in the years 1879-1898. This was a direct result of better milling and smelting methods, improved transportation facilities, and the opening of new mines, especially in the area east of Eureka (the Iron Blossom Ore Run). Also of significance was the fact that operations began mining to the depths; thus, previous individual surface operations gave way to deep mining ventures which required more capital and the efforts of large mining companies. The entrance of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad into Tintic in 1891 brought competing railroad lines.

Increased production fostered increased activity, consequently the area grew rapidly. The towns of Diamond and Silver City experienced a fluctuating growth and decline; whereas, Mammoth and especially Eureka (which remain) experienced steady growth. In fact Eureka incorporated as a city on November 8, 1892. The area’s population grew, sparking growth in commercial, social, and residential building activity. An 1893 fire inflicted heavy damage on Eureka’s main street, causing city officials to initiate measures whose results are still evident–new structures were to be constructed of block or brick, and wood-framed buildings were to be covered with an iron-clad sheeting.

Substantial growth characterized the third period, 1899-1912. Tintic, in 1899, led Utah in value of ore production. The east Tintic area was a heavy producer; and also beginning during this time was the operations of the Chief Consolidated Mining Company, which would later prove to be a big producer. By 1900 Eureka’s population grew to about 3325 (from 1733 in 1890); Mammoth, and sister camp, Robinson, and Silver City also experienced an increased population.

Building of all types continued, with a significant feature being the development of Fitchville, just outside the south-central limits of Eureka City. The Fitch family, from Houghton, Michigan, were the principal owners and entrepreneurs of the Chief Consolidated Mining Company. They not only moved their company’s general headquarters to near the mine, but also built massive and tasteful homes there, in addition to maintaining a family cemetery west of Eureka.

The period 1913-1926 was marked by continued prosperity and continued work and development of the Chief Consolidated, the Tintic Standard, and North Lilly Mining companies. Values of production grew during the 1920s, fluctuating but reaching a peak in 1925 of approximately $16,200,000.

Eureka’s population grew to nearly 4,000. The strike of ore in 1916 by the Tintic Standard Mining Company gave rise to the town of Dividend in east Tintic (Utah County). Again, as in previous years, commercial, social, and residential building continued; but began to decline as the depression years commenced. Social and commercial activity during these years were brisk. Fraternal and social organizations proliferated, as they always had; many housed in presently-standing structures. Commercially, Eureka housed from approximately 88 to 112 business concerns; while Mammoth contained 27-54. Eureka was labeled in the press as a “little metropolis.”

Milling activity burgeoned during the period. Of particular importance was the utilization of various methods of treating ores, primarily the Hold-Dern Roasting method and the Augustin process (see HAER Survey for Utah). Also of importance during this time were the various efforts in dry farming the valleys west and east of the East Tintic mountains, especially the efforts of Jesse Knight, an important Mormon mining entrepreneur, who in 1915 erected a 50,000 bushel concrete grain elevator.

Depression and post-depress ion years were ones of decline. Mining and commercial activity began to wane, but the Tintic Standard and Chief Consolidated operations continued until the 1940s and 1950s respectively. Residential homes were being moved from Eureka, and commercial buildings were also being removed. Presently Eureka City still remains, with some 750 inhabitants and approximately twenty-five businesses. Mammoth has no business concerns and 35 inhabitants. Despite the decline, the area survives, with mining still evident (as well as the main portion of Eureka’s business district). In addition, the optimum that has always permeated the atmosphere of a mining town persists.

Architectural Component

Tintic’s architecture was typical of that of other mining towns – typical in the sense of expressing the need for utility of architectural design and the overlapping, fusing, and combining of various architectural styles in vogue during specific times. Types found in the Eureka district include residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial architecture. In other areas of the multi-resource district residential and industrial types dominate.

Residential architecture, dating from the 1880s through the 1920s reflect various styles. The predominant type is wood-framed vernacular; that is, indigenous structures constructed in the area primarily for utility. A common type in the 1880s and 1890s was the two-room framed structure with the entrances built on the pitch side of the roof, rather than the gable end. To the rear of many of these structures was a shed projection, resulting in a modified form of a Colonial saltbox. Vernacular forms also utilized hip roofs; and the skeletal frames were often covered with either plank siding, clapboards or horizontal overlapping wooden boards, or vertical board-and-batten. Shingle covering over the roof was the most common.
Porches were often built or added, apparently for utilitarian purposes, but also for decorative concerns since many exhibited ornate trim. Most miners’ cottages reflected the vernacular.

Various residences utilized elements of Gothic Revival. Steep pitched roofs and pierced aprons appeared on several dwellings, primarily those which belonged to merchants, businessmen, etc. In addition, the hexagonal bay-window, also reminiscent of the Gothic style, was used in some construction.

Residences for mining entrepreneurs, in this case the Walter Fitch family, were strikingly different and more stylistic. Architecturally the homes in Fitchville (as mentioned) exhibited elements primarily of the Bungalow, but also Prairie styles. Low proportions, gently sloping roofs, and extensive use of glass also render these styles, adaptations of the mid-west prairies, compatible to the existent hilly terrain. In various cases columns appear on front porches, and dormers exist but are compatible to the basic style and reflect certain adaptations made to the designs. Interiors were interesting, especially in the cases of exposed beamed-ceilings that reflect the architect’s study in ship design.

Likewise housing for supervisory personnel of the Chief Consolidated Mining Company also exhibit specific qualities. Gable-framed structures reminiscent of the bungalow with notched-end rafters extending beyond the supporting walls, and with eaves of great projection, also contain elements of the western style. Such structures perhaps represent free adaptations of the styles to this particular area.

Commercial architecture also reflected a wide usage of various elements. Most evident are the vernacular forms, comprised in part of framed structures with a false front of western architecture. The majority of these buildings were covered with a corrugated iron or tin sheeting as protection against fire. Stone edifices with brick or wood facades in the commercial style appeared later. Features of the above forms were an indented entrance flanked by large display windows. Facades often had ornate cornice design done in wood or metal.

Italianate influences appeared in the form of ornamental cornice design, window detailing, and floor plans common to the style yet sometimes varied. Generally this floor plan included a tall, narrow, deep shop space on the main level with office or meeting space on the second (similar to plans of the false front structure). An indented entrance flanked by display windows serviced the main floor level. Roofs were often flat, usually sealed by asphalt, felt, gravel, and metal; and full upper stories were behind the front as compared to the deceiving empty space of many vernacular forms.

Pure styles in commercial architecture are not evident; however, as discussed, elements of various styles do exist. Cast iron piers and bracketed cornices, reminiscent of the Italianate appear. Decorative brickwork, a hallmark of the Queen Anne style, is also evident, as well as elements of Colonial Revival. Stamped sheet metal, often with intricate designs and patterns, remain on numerous walls and ceilings of commercial structures.

Institutional designs again followed a combination of various styles. Vernacular forms, such as the wood drame gabled St. Patrick’s Church, are represented. Gothic Revival in wood was most evident in the Eureka wardhouse of the L.D.S. Church and the Methodist Church. Remaining on the L.D.S. Church structure is Gothic detailing in the form of lancet windows. Detailed cornices, characteristic of Colonial Revival, are also evident, as in the case of the former Carnegie Public Library. Later school construction (1920s) reflected a plain, utilitarian concern; however, earlier edifices (1890s), now gone, were Romanesque in their detailing of round arches and rough masonry.

Industrial architecture is most evident in Tintic in the form of massive gallows or headframes. These structures were heavily braced right triangular units mounted over the shaft. Tintic contains three earlier (over fifty years old) varieties–the two-post wood framed Montana type, early two-post steel construction, and a four-post type. Most gallows average about fifty to sixty feet in height, and some are
located with remnants of wooden ore storage bins, and various other structures, usually wood, sometimes stone, that comprised the mine’s surface plant. Concrete foundations are all that remain of various mills and smelters.

The physical relationships of buildings to each other are endemic of mining districts and areas. Eureka’s town layout follows the geographical characteristics of the area–primarily the hilly topography. All commercial enterprises, and various institutional structures, are all located on one long main street, running through the center of town. Wood, brick, and stone buildings run along the street with varying cornice heights. About half the original structures have been removed, but the south side of Main Street remains much the same.

Geographically, headframes and mine surface plants exist in Eureka City; thus, a closeness in physical relationship between the various building types. In other areas of the multiple resource district headframes are scattered, but the remnants of ore dumps and railroad grades in the vicinity creates a vision of compatibility and continuity of the mining theme.

A breakdown of the approximate percentages of building types is as follows:

  • Residential 84%
  • Commercial 5%
  • Institutional 4%
  • Industrial 7%

The heaviest concentration of these structures is found in the proposed Eureka Historic District.

Some known archeological sites do exist in the area (and are noted) but an in-depth archeological survey of the district has not been completed.

The primary significance of the historic resources of the Tintic Mining District is their value in the documentation of metal mining history, both on a state and national level. Tintic f s historic resources all illustrate various aspects of process-flows of the mining enterprise from settlement to development and periods of prosperity. Known archeological sites help to document the existence of the Ute Indians in the area (as Tintic was the name of a Ute Chief prominent in the 1850s) the peoples whose valley was invaded first by cattlemen, then miners. Examples of residential (all types), commercial, institutional, and industrial structures, as well as ore dumps, railroad grades, shafts, and tunnels remain and function as an excellent means of interpreting the mining past. In addition, the district’s center, Eureka City, still exists, containing in the immediate vicinity examples of the above structures. Mining continues in Tintic, thus offering a rare view of past and present in one compact area.

Ute Indians were the early inhabitants of the area, utilizing the mountains and valleys primarily as hunting grounds. Prior to the mid-1800s bands of Indians roamed the area without much “white” interference. The Dominguez-Escalante trek of 1776 – an expedition by two Spanish friars, taking them from Santa Fe to Colorado, Utah, and Arizona–passed to the east of Tintic. Likewise, in the 1820s fur trappers, principally Jedediah Smith, traversed Juab County, passing near Tintic. Thus, to mid-nineteenth century the area of Tintic was unsettled, except for use as camping and hunting grounds by the Utes.

With the coming of the Mormons in 1847 patterns changed. Exploration parties passed to the east of Tintic in 1847-1850 period, with the first settlement established in Juab Valley in 1851 (again, east of Tintic). John Boone is recorded as the first white settler in Tintic in the 1850s using the valley for herding his cattle and horses. Such intrusions into hunting areas sparked the Tintic War of 1856, led by Chief Tintic. This in turn increased travel and exposure to the area.

The Indians were eventually pushed out of the area near the Nevada-Utah border (the Goisuits also inhabited western Juab, the present reservation). In 1869 Mormon cowboys journeyed into Tintic Valley (so-named in 1856) aroused by a piece of float (ore brought to the surface) that had been found. By December, 1869, the Tintic Mining District was a reality, initiating the great change that would take place.

Mines were loated, the population increased, towns developed, and the entire character of the once green fertile area changed. In the 1870-1890s period numerous mines were located, followed by the rise of towns and an influx of people, primarily of northern European heritage. Transportation at first centered upon teams and wagons, but by 1878 the railroad improved ore and passenger transportation.

By the late 1890s Tintic was a significant mining area in Utah. Eureka City became the district’s center, leading in the amount of commercial activity. Mining activity burgeoned, with corporate interests leading the way. New surface plants were being erected, in addition to mills, and in the early 1900s smelters.

Such smelter activity was a catalyst to the arrival of various southern and eastern European immigrants–primarily Greek and South Slavic peoples (Serbs and Croats).

During the first three decades of the Twentieth Century Tintic was a mining district held in high regard within mining circles. The careful developmental work of mine owners is cited as a significant reason for the district’s longevity. The Chief Consolidated and Tintic Standard Mining companies are often singled out. Depression years signaled the end of growth; although major mines operated into the 1940s and 1950s.

The major period of significance in Tintic entailed the years 1890-1926, since it was during that time the area gained prominence and enjoyed its greatest activity as a mining center in Utah. The historic resources chosen were all constructed during the period and reflect the process of life in the mining district. For example, residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial structures aid in viewing the evolution of a mining district, from infancy into adulthood.

Major historical figures in the annals of Utah mining history who were related to the district include William Mclntyre, John Q. Packard, John Beck, Jesse Knight, McCornick Brothers, George Dern, W. W. Chisolm, Walter Fitch Sr., and E. J. Raddatz. Properties that relate to them are as follows:

  • Mclntyre – Mammoth Mine
  • Packard – Eureka Hill Mine
  • Beck – Bullion Beck Mine
  • Knight – Knightsville School site, smelter and mill site, and grain elevator.
  • McCornicks – Bank Structure
  • Dern – Khight-Dern Mill Site
  • Chisolm – Centennial-Eureka Mine
  • Fitch – Fitchville, Chief #1 and #2 Mines, and Fitch Cemetery.
  • Raddatz – Miner’s Dry at Dividend

Numerous other mining entrepreneurs and figures of importance had interests in various Tintic mining ventures.

J. C. Penney in 1909 located one of his Golden Rule stores in Eureka. This concern became number eleven in the J. C. Penney and Co. chain and was housed in the lower commercial space of the Miner’s Union Hall. E. C. Sams, who had opened the Eureka store in 1909 with Penney, later became Penney’s national president. In addition, a prominent Utah clothing merchant, W. F. Shriver (whose family is still in business in Provo, Utah), began in Eureka. The Fennel-Shriver business block remains.

Architecture in the district is also significant since it reflects that of a mining period, or as it has been labeled, “Bonanza Victorian.” Vernacular structures, especially miners residences, reflect the utilitarian concerns (i.e. windows with numerous panes of glass for light). Often their simplistic style illustrates the
fact that the wealth generated in mining camps did not remain with the miner or community.

In the case of Tin tic, however, all wealth did not leave the area. The Fitch family, entrepreneurs, erected massive homes near Eureka City. These structures reflect characteristics of the Prairie and Bungalow styles and were, in the main, designed by Walter J. Cooper, New York architect who had worked with Henry Ives Cobb. Cooper was involved in the Newhouse Hotel and Newhouse Building in Salt Lake City. Cooper’s designs for the Chief also illustrate the way in which the Prairie style evolved and became adapted to various locales. In 1911 Cooper moved to Utah and became a prominent architect of Salt Lake City. While in the employ of the Chief he worked with William Jones, the company’s building contractor. Together they erected several Bungalow style dwellings for supervisory personnel, with hallmarks of bare notched-end rafters that extend beyond the supporting walls. In addition, Cooper was trained in ship design, later leaving for San Francisco to follow that aspect. His interiors in Fitchville, especially the home built for Walter Fitch, Jr., carry an exposed beam ceiling reminiscent of ship design.

As mentioned in the description, some residential architecture represents a fusion of various styles–modified porch columns of Colonial Revival, steep-pitched roofs and pierced aprons of Gothic Revival, and Tudor arches in interiors. The Gus Henroid home and Miners’ Union Hall were constructed from concrete block made by a local stone mason, Tom Clarke.

Eureka’s Main Street has the concentration of commercial buildings, which architecturally are also a combination of styles–Italianate, Colonial Revival, and of course vernacular. The Miners’ Union Hall and B.P.O.E. (Elks) Block contain elements of the Italianate, while Colonial Revival is viewed, in part, in the Memorial Building (Carnegie Library). Cast iron facades, stone structures with wood and brick facades, brick buildings, pressed sheet metal interior ceilings and walls, and iron clad wood-framed buildings characterize most of these commercial structures. The architecture also acts as a source of interpretation in illustrating the evolution of Eureka from a settlement, to a camp, and then into a town.

The Elks Block, Carnegie Public Library, and Stott Building (and possibly the L.D.S. Church Ward House) were all designed by Richard C. Watkins, prominent Utah architect. Watkins, born in England, came to the U. S. in 1869 and worked as a foreman for Richard Kletting, perhaps Utah’s best-known architect. In 1892 he started his own practice and in 1911 became the architect for state schools.

practice and in 1911 became the architect for state schools. Institutional structures in Eureka include churches, schools, and city and county buildings. The Methodist and L.D.S. Churches represent Gothic influences, while the Catholic Church is a vernacular example. City Hall was designed by a local, John J. Pilgerrin, in 1899, and built by a Eureka contractor, Adams and Sons. Industrial structures, as mentioned, are most represented by massive headframes.

Commerce was a significant aspect of Eureka City’s life, as the economic center of the Tintic Mining District, as it remains. The written history attached illustrates the numerical impact of the commercial sector and also provides an explanation of impact. Suffice it to say that in the proposed district Eureka did serve as a “Little Metropolis.”

The significance in the area of engineering is best exemplified in the headframes – wood and steel and built in the 1890s through the 1920s (others not now considered were erected in the 1950s and 1960s and provide an excellent view of the structural evolution of these mining structures). In the case of the Chief Consolidated No. 2 shaft (included in the Eureka District) the shaft is a three compartment concrete-lined shaft, the first to be attempted in Utah in terms of concrete lining. Remnants of charcoal kilns, lime kilns, smelters and mills also exist as examples of engineering technology in mining, milling, and smelting.

Political significance is due to the fact that socialism and activities of the local Socialist Party were most active in Eureka. Eureka’s socialist organization continued to function until the mid-1920s, making it one of the longest-las ting socialist groups in the state of Utah.

Tintic’s main significance is, of course, its function within the mining industry. The history accompanying these forms illustrates Tintic’s importance as a mining district. It also is of significance that mining is still occurring in Tintic. The Mammoth mine, discovered in 1870 and a giant producer, is presently being leased and mined by Kennecott Copper Corporation.

Preservation and restoration activities within Tintic are almost non-existent. Various home owners are remodeling, some quite tastefully, but no program or project exists. It was an objective of the Historic Survey of the Tintic Mining District to identify historic resources and make Preservation Staff (of the Utah State Historical Society) time available for consultation and advice concerning preservation and restoration.

The choice of districts and sites within the multiple resource area was based upon two main factors. First, the size of the area–selecting surveyed archeological sites, and mine sites where headframe or other surface structures exist; in addition to other sites which aid in historic interpretation. Second, districts represent a clustering of inter-related and overall related sites and structures. The Eureka district contains many elements found in the district -as a whole. Furthermore, it still exists and functions as the commercial center. Mammoth, composed of residences and the Mammoth mine, was the site of a once thriving community but is bound by the thematic factor of mining, even though no commercial or institutional structures exist.

Results of the Tintic Mining District Survey are yet to be felt. The project has just been completed, but ways to utilize this material in implementing a preservation plan, primarily to aid Eureka City, will be prepared by the Preservation Planner working in the State Historical Society’s Preservation Department.