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The Lost Rhoades Mine

The Lost Rhoades mine is one of the more fabled mines. Whether you believe the mine exists or not doesn't really matter. The fact is there are those who have seen the mine but have been sworn to secrecy and have never told anyone the where abouts. For over 100 years men have hunted and prospected the valleys and slopes in the Uinta mountains. Many have lost a fortune looking and other have lost their lives. It is said that the mine is so well hidden that you could be standing right on top of the entrance and never even now it.

It was in the mid 1800's that Brigham Young a mormon leader was bringing his so called people with him to the new and promised land out west. These followers of his were devote religious people who would one day settle in the land and farm, raise their families and live a life close to God. The problem was these people were very poor and had very little money to survive little lone start building farms and building homes. They needed money or a source of income in this new land that is now around Salt Lake City Utah.

About this same time there was lots of talk about a gold rush that going on over in California. Brigham Young supposedly sent a few of his people over there to mine for gold and bring the gold back to him so he could mint the gold and use that gold for a currency to buy essentials for the people. Gold in general was really frowned upon because it brought out the greed in people and made people do things that were not intune with God so he only sent his more faithful followers over. These people did go to California and did mine gold and brought back some gold that could be minted and used.

Of course being Mormons like any religion, the faithful tried to convert the natives of the area to become Mormons. Some of the local natives did and as time went on became followers. The chief of the Ute tribe became good friends of Thomas Rhoades who was one of the faithful. One day the chief took Thomas to a secret place in the mountains and showed him a mine that was filled with gold. The chief said you could use this gold to help the church. It is said that Thomas brought home 60 pounds of gold one time to help finance the church. As time went on though Thomas grew old and one day decided to show his son the mine. Thomas told Caleb that this was a mine that was sacred to the the Ute people and to only take what was needed. His son Caleb would then go off into the hills and get gold whenever they needed some for expenses.

As time went on word leaked out about this secret mine and people tried to follow Caleb. It was then that Caleb got a native friend to help as a guide and look out. His friend was called Happy Jack and Happy would head off into the hills with Caleb and keep an eye open to see if they were being followed. Sometimes they would camp out during the day and then slip off into the mine during the darkness of night. More than once were they ambushed but Caleb was a marksman shooter with a good eye. Soon Caleb took on a partner to help develope other mines in the area. He had gotten permission from the government and the local natives to explore the area for minerals. The two spent many days trying to find other mines in the area but nothing really materialzed of these other mines.

Caleb grew old and died and his partner continued on looking for more mines. The old mine that Calebs father Thomas use to get the gold from was still hidden from Calebs partner. The mine is said to be sacred and only a few chosen few are allowed to enter. Just before Caleb died he told his wife where the secret mine was and left her a hand drawn map but after he had died she could not decifer the map and his explainations fell short. Caleb had taken the the secret to his grave.

Today there are still many prospectors who try to find the Lost Rhoades mine. No one has found it to date. It is also said that there are some Ute natives who know where the mine is but they know that the gold will bring greed and they have been told by the spirits to keep it a secret.

Gold Moroni atop the temple