Park City Museum members can bushwhack their way to the Nelson Queen Mine
What: Park City Museum’s members only hike to the Nelson Queen Mine
When: 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16
Where: Lost Creek Trailhead at Jordanelle State Park
Park City Museum interim Executive Director Andrew Cohen is ready for some bushwhacking.
Cohen, along with the museum’s research coordinator Dalton Gackle, will clear a seldom-used path near Jordanelle Reservoir to the Nelson Queen Mine on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
The hike is open to Park City Museum members and registration is open at parkcityhistory.org.
“The hike itself will be 7 miles round trip,” Cohen said. “We will start at the Ross Creek Trailhead located by Hideout at the second parking lot next to Jordanelle Reservoir.”
The group, which will be capped at 20 hikers, will meet at 8:45 a.m. at the trailhead parking lot, which will require a minimal parking fee, according to Cohen.
“The hike will go from there for 3 miles, until we’ll have to bushwhack,” he said. “Because we’ll be bushwhacking, we’ll ask everyone to wear long pants and bring poles. While we cleared things out a little during the last hike we did, there is still a bunch of overgrowth and thorns.”
Masks will also be recommended, although not mandatory, Cohen said.
“We’ll be outside and will social distance ourselves on the hike,” he said.
Hikers can expect to see three beaver creeks that were rerouted by the animals’ dams, according to Cohen.
“The Beavers had done an amazing job there,” he said. “One of the dams rose higher than me, and I’m 6-foot-1.”
The group will also come upon many animal bones and carcasses.
“It was interesting, because the bones were from different type of animals,” he said.
In some places, hikers will have to duck under branches and climb over fallen trees, said Gackle, who hiked the trail with Cohen last week.
“The trail leads up to a secluded area,” he said. “Not a lot of people would have come across the mine, because it is not one of our famous mines.”
At one point the trail follows old telephone poles that were connected to the mine, which was active between 1906 to 1910, and on and off from 1922 to 1929, Gackle said.
“The interesting thing about this particular mine is the public relations, specifically from The Park Record,” he said. “Nothing came out of that mine, except for second-grade ore over a couple of five-year stretches, but The Park Record was consistently saying it would be a big producer of high-grade ore.”
The reason for the publicity may have stemmed from the friendship of then-Editor Samuel Raddon shared with Wiliam H. “Jinks” Nelson, one of the mine’s owners.
“Samuel would go up and visit Nelson’s cabin near the mine, and hang out with their friends and wives,” Gackle said. “And he was more than willing to promote the mine.”
In 1926, during Prohibition, the local sheriff found a whiskey still in the shaft, Gackle said.
“It was large scale,” he said. “I think it was about a 400-gallon still, and they didn’t bust anyone because there wasn’t anyone around at the time.”
The Park City Museum doesn’t have any photos of the Nelson Queen Mine because of the mine’s history of “empty promises,” according to Gackle.
“We do have a rendering of the mechanism that they planned to use to retrieve the ore,” he said. “But other than that, the mine just sort of fell away into unuse in the 1930s.”
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