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The Lost Blue Lady Mine

In 1891 a rich gold vein was discovered on Mingus mountain by a man by the name of William Phelps while he was out prospecting. Phelps had been employed at one of the other gold mines near Jerome and decided that he was going to set off on his own after getting enough funds for his own operation.. After a year of saving his earnings he was finally able to not only file this claim but also buy some equipment & supplies to be able to mine this vein of gold. This deposit became known as Blue Lady Mine, after his mother who loved to wear blue dresses.

It wasn't long before Phelps realized that mining solo was incredibly difficult, so he got help from another miner from Jerome named Sam whom Phelps had worked with in the past. After just 3 months of hard work, blasting, digging and crushing ore that was extracted they began to build a kiln and smelt their own gold bars. They smelted 10 bars on the first day, with each weighing in at 20 ounces & then stamped. Each month for the next two months they would smelt the gold into 20 ounce bars.

Just one day after the last smelting of gold had occurred, two armed men came to the Mine from Jerome and told Phelps to stand aside, they were after Sam. The men told Sam he had two weeks to pay his increasing debts in town for gambling, drinking & bad credit loans and if he tried cheating his way out of them, they would be back to collect in their own way. The men then rode away back to Jerome.

Two weeks later the two men returned but this time they brought friends. 5 armed men rode up to the Mine and ambushed Sam just as he was exiting the Mine. Sam handed over several bars of gold but it wasn’t enough. The armed men said to Sam “you will pay the debt, then you’ll pay the price”. Sam ran into the Mine to get away but was shot in the back and was dead before he hit the ground.

Phelps was out getting water from a spring nearby when he heard the shots and he started running back to the Mine. When he returned he found Sam hanging by the neck with one of his hands missing, probably cut off as proof of his death. Then before the men left they blew up the entrance of the mine causing it to cave in. Phelps had hid his gold bars way in the back of the Mine along with Sams gold because the he felt that the mine was safee than the banks in Jerome. Over 50 bars were smelted and stamped by Sam & Phelps.

Phelps didn’t have the funds or the resources to re open the Mine, because all his money was still inside the Mine. So he sold what equipment he had to the Gold King Mine & sadly committed suicide in Jerome soon after.

The Blue Lady Mine was never reopened and it;s entrance could very well be covered by one of many hundreds of mine tailings that dot the hill sides of Mingus Mountain. If this Mine could be found, not only would it yield good gold, but also you would find the bars of gold smelted by Phelps himself.