Hecla, Wyoming; an incredibly short-lived base of operations for three mines that bared the town's name. As well as a mining outpost, Hecla was also a candidate for a Union Pacific rail-stop, but unfortunately for Hecla and its population consisting of only miners and their wives, it never gained enough attention. As the mines closed due to lack of outsider commercial interest, Hecla's population dwindled down to a fat zero.
Following the Civil War, a need for copper developed. During the period Between 1867 and 1884, the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company of Michigan produced half of the country's copper. Between 1889 and 1900, the Company paid out $57 million in dividends. Thus, there developed a copper rush to areas in which copper deposits might be found. One of those areas was Happy Jack. In 1879, with the discover of copper and gold along Upper Crow Creek, the Silver Crown Mining District was formed. Beginning in the 1880's a series of mines opened in the District. Mines included the Hecla Mines, owned by the Hecla Copper & Golf Mining, Milling & Smelting Co.; the Lenox; the Julia Lode; the Agata Prospect, which produced gold; the two Arizona Mines; the Barlett Copper King; the Fairview; the Great Standard Group owned by the Great Standard Copper Mining Co.; the Kopper Krown Mines; the London; and the Louise.
Tailing Dump, Strong Copper Mining Company, Upper Horse Creek, 1906.
The Strong Copper Mining Company was organized in 1903 and was capitalized at $1,000,000. The mine used an 80 h.p. steam hoisting plant. By 1908, the mine was idle.
William Ferguson opened the King David Mines (later known as the Comstocks) about 1 1/2 miles northwest of Hecla and established a smelter. Most of the mines were centered on Granite Canyon or in an area along Middle Crow Creek south of present day Happy Jack Road.
Smelter, Hecla, Wyoming, undated. Photo courtesy Ferguson Archives.
The stamping mill was constructed by the Adams Copper Mining and Reduction Co. It was later sold to the Hecla Copper & Gold Mining & Smelting Co. The company owned some 14 claims, the townsite of Hecla, a millsite, a smelter, concentrating and leeching play, assay lab and office building. In 1904, the company changed its name to the Hecla Mining Co. The company subsequently changed its name again to the Hecla Consolidated Mines Co. Although, there may have been some spectactular finds of native gold, on an average the ore in the area only assays at about 0.02 ounces of gold per ton and the copper at only 0.2%. The larger outside companies had financial difficulties. By 1906 The Great Standard Copper Mining Co. was broke notwithstanding its touting of the discovery of platinum deposits.
This is the general area i researched Hecla to be in. However i would expect to see mining equipment rusting away, and only building foundations left. I found the opposite here. I will try to do some more research and exploring to see if this actually is Hecla and attempt to find the remains of the mine.
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