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The Mining Town Called Miner's Delight

Most stories we read about old mining towns have a common thread that runs through each story and that thread would about how the mine got it's name or how a camp or town got it's name. The other common thread of course is how the mine was discovered and in a lot of cases these discoveries were strickly by accident. The town of Miner's Delight however has two different stories on how it came to be.

One of the stories is that of a farmer by the name of Bill Jones. Bill (William) claimed he was out rounding up some of his cattle that had gotten away and while walking across a field he stumbled on what was a so called quartz out cropping. He noticed that the quartz had small specks of gold in the rock itself. Because Bill was a farmer and his cattle came first he proceeded to round up his loose cows. Besides he was out in the middle of nowhere and this all happened back in 1869 and there was not a whole lot of other people around at the time so he was not in a big hurry to stake his claim on this out crop of quartz.

Now the second story goes to the effect that a fellow named John Pugh and he claimed he found the claim well before farmer Bill. In fact John was able to give a real good description of this quartz out crop and called it Miner's Delight. Now here comes the twist to the story. The town already had a name and that name was Hamilton City. And becaus the Miner's Delight mine was located only about a half a mile from the town of Hamilton City, people decide to just call the town Miner's Delight.

Aside from the Miner's Delight mine, there was never any really large mines as most of the mines were smaller is size. The town had several houses, a saloon, a meat house and root cellar, a post office and several other out buildings. There was only about 70-80 people who lived in Miner's Delight and of course most of them were miners. It was known as a hard working town and sort of a hide out kind of place also. Calamity Jane was said to have been there in her younger years.

The town was very prosperous and survived the booms and busts that happened quite often with these small out post places. The first big boom of mining activity went bust from 1872 to 1874 then fell into a funk of depression but by the mid 1880's prosperity arrived again. Several smaller booms occured in the early 1900's and then again in the time of the Great Depression when jobs were scarce and a lot of people went out to look for gold.

People stayed on in Miner's Delight well into the 1960's but by the late 1990's there was no one left. Today Miner's Delight is just a ghost town however there is a restoration program in the works for the town to become a historical place of interest.