TIN CUP, WYOMING ( A PLACE OF MYSTERY AND BROKEN DREAMS)

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 1.37.05 PMTHE AREA OF WYOMING SHOWN IN THE MAP (B) IS A WINDBLOWN, FLAT TOPPED PART OF THE GRANITE MOUNTAINS. WHILE APPEARING TO BE JUST A MOUNTAIN OF ROCK AND A DESOLATE PLACE WITH FEW TREES TO BREAK UP THE DESOLATION. IT HAS BEEN A PLACE THAT ATTRACTED MANY SEEKERS OF GOLD, PRECIOUS STONES, RARE EARTHS AND EVEN THE MOTHER LODE OF URANIUM IN THE DAYS WHEN THE GREAT URANIUM BOOM WAS GOING FULL BLAST. LONG AN AREA OF INTEREST TO PROSPECTORS, ENTREPRENEURS AND ROCK HOUNDS, TIN CUP STILL SEEMS A PLACE OF MYSTERY. THERE ARE THOSE WHO TO THIS DAY BELIEVE IT IS A PLACE WHERE FORTUNES CAN BE MADE.

YOUR AUTHOR AND CO AUTHOR OF THIS POST, COUSIN CLARKE GOODMAN, EACH HAD ONLY ONE OR TWO VISITS TO THE AREA OVER THE YEARS. MY LAST CHANCE TO VISIT WAS MANY YEARS AGO WHEN EVERYONE WHO HAD A GEIGER COUNTER WAS OUT PROSPECTING FOR URANIUM. WHEN WE ARRIVED AT THE TOP OF THE FLAT AREA AT TIN CUP THE EVIDENCE OF THE HARD ROCK MINES WAS SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE AREA. MANY SHAFTS HAD BEEN DRIVEN INTO THE GRANITE IN SEARCH OF THE ELUSIVE VEIN OF GOLD. AMONG THE SHAFTS WAS THE GOODMAN MINE.

THE GOODMAN MINE DATES BACK TO THE 1920’S WHEN OUR GRANDFATHER, AFTER SOME UNSUCCESSFUL SPECULATION IN OIL AND COAL MINING, DETERMINED TO MAKE HIS FORTUNE IN THE GOLD FIELDS OF GRANITE MOUNTAIN. THE MINE PROVIDED SEVERAL SUMMERS OF “EMPLOYMENT” FOR OUR FATHERS AND THEIR BROTHERS. IT WAS NOT EASY WORK, DRILLING HOLES FOR THE DYNAMITE CHARGES, BLASTING AND MUCKING OUT THE BROKEN ROCK, A BUCKET AT A TIME BY HOISTING IT UP THE SHAFT TO DUMP IN THE WASTE PILE. IT WAS BACK-BREAKING WORK TO BE SURE. SOME OF THE SHAFTS WENT DOWN INTO THE GRANITE AT LEAST 30 FEET OR SO. CLARKE’S FATHER SPENT THE MOST TIME ON THE MOUNTAIN. HE WAS SINGLE AND ABLE TO SPEND MORE TIME AT THE MINE THAN HIS MARRIED BROTHERS. THERE WAS A SOD CABIN AT THE MINE WHERE HE FREQUENTLY STAYED. HE BECAME CONVINCED THAT THERE WAS GOLD IN THOSE HILLS.  IN 1943, HE MARRIED AND HE AND HIS NEW BRIDE, DORIS, SPENT ONE SUMMER AT TIN CUP. IN 1944 THEY HAD THEIR FIRST CHILD AND THE NEW FAMILY PRECLUDED DEVOTING ANY MORE TIME TO THE MINE AT TIN CUP. ABOUT THIS TIME OUR GRANDFATHER LEFT WYOMING AND STARTED A SUCCESSFUL STRAWBERRY FARM IN WASHINGTON STATE.  HIS SPECULATION IN OIL, GOLD AND COAL HAD COME TO AN END.  WHILE CLARKE AND DORIS RAISED A FAMILY OF SIX CHILDREN, CLARKE STILL FREQUENTLY TALKED OF TIN CUP AND HIS CONVICTION THAT THERE WAS PROFITABLE ORE ON GRANITE MOUNTAIN. WHEN CLARKE AND DORIS’S CHILDREN WERE GROWN AND CLARKE RETIRED, HE AND HIS WIFE RETURNED TO WYOMING AND STARTED A COMPANY, GEMCO (GOODMAN MINING AND EXPLORATION COMPANY). IN THE EARLY 1980’S THE COMPANY FILED CLAIMS AT TIN CUP WHERE THE ORIGINAL GOODMAN MINE HAD BEEN. FOR A FEW YEARS, CLARKE AND DORIS LIVED IN A TRAILER THEY HAD MOVED TO TIN CUP. CLARK’S LAST ACTIVITY AT TIN CUP WAS IN 1986. HE PASSED AWAY IN 1987, STILL A FIRM BELIEVER IN THE PROFITABILITY OF THE GOODMAN MINES ON GRANITE MOUNTAIN. TO OUR KNOWLEDGE THE ELUSIVE VEIN OF GOLD WAS NOT TO BE FOUND. IN THE WORD’S OF A GOODMAN BROTHER, OUR UNCLE MARK, ” … MORE MONEY WAS POURED INTO THE HOLE THAN WAS EVER TAKEN OUT.”

CURRENT ACCOUNTS OF THE AREA (SEE LINKAT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG) BOAST OF MANY KINDS OF PRECIOUS AND SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES AVAILABLE IN GREAT ABUNDANCE IN THE AREA.  GEOLOGIC STUDIES OF THE AREA INDICATE THAT THE TIN CUP AREA WAS ONCE THE HIGHEST PLACE IN THE GRANITE MOUNTAINS AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE THE SOURCE OF THE VARIOUS MINERALS AND GEMS, PERHAPS CARRIED BY WATER OVER THE EONS. WHILE ALL OF THIS IS SOMEWHAT SORTED OUT, THE SENSE OF MYSTERY STILL SEEMS TO SURROUND THE AREA AND MANY LONG FOR A MORE THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THE POTENTIAL OF TIN CUP. CLARKE DISCOVERED UNDEVELOPED SOURCES OF RARE EARTHS IN THE AREA DURING HIS PROSPECTING DAYS. SO LIKE SO MANY AREAS OF WYOMING, THE MYSTERIES CONTINUE, AND FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE AREA IS  AWAITING DISCOVERIES BY PROSPECTORS OR ENTREPRENEURS OF THE FUTURE. WYOMING IS STILL A FRONTIER IS SO MANY WAYS, A PLACE WAITING FOR SOME NEW BOOM TIME, PERHAPS JUST AROUND THE CORNER ONCE AGAIN.

LINK OF INTEREST: tinkup.blogspot.com 

THIS POST WAS THE JOINT EFFORT OF THE USUAL AUTHOR, JIM GOODMAN AND HIS COUSIN, CLARKE GOODMAN WHO PROVIDED MUCH OF THE DETAILS OF HIS FATHER AND MOTHER’S INVOLVEMENT IN TIN CUP AND ITS HISTORY. YOUR AUTHOR THANKS HIS COUSIN FOR HIS VALUABLE INPUT.

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