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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Utah Geological Association


Geology of Northwest Utah, Southern Idaho and Northeast Nevada, 1984
Pages 193-200

The Queen of Sheba Gold and the Boston–Deep Creek Silver Mines Goshute Indian Reservation, Juab County, Utah

Laurence P. James


The Goshute (Gosiute) Indian Reservation encompasses part of the western flank of the southern Deep Creek range, near the Utah–Nevada border. Two mines within the reservation have produced small amounts of precious metal ores. The Queen of Sheba and adjacent workings follow quartz veins in Proterozoic quartzite adjacent to a Mesozoic granitic body that forms the highest peak of the range. The Boston–Deep Creek (New Premier) workings follow siliceous silver-base metal sulfide veins and minor replacements in lower-middle Paleozoic limestones west of Johnson Canyon, in hills flanking the range.

A search for information on these and other inaccessible mineral bodies led to the interesting histories of two mine operators who had risen up from laborers and migrated to this rugged and isolated area. After putting his savings and a hard-won valuable lease into a scandalous promotion by the notorious George Graham Rice, Isadore M. Gauchat (1975–?) left his home town of Bingham in disgrace. Lloyd W. Hoskins (1889–1979), a Minnesota native, left a company he had founded in Big Cottonwood, Utah, when it could not survive depressed silver prices.

Both men worked hard to develop paying ore, Gauchat at the Queen of Sheba mine and mill and Hoskins at his Boston–Deep Creek lease, during the Great Depression. Shipments were made and both men weathered the harsh economic times, but little or no profit was their reward. Both men strayed away from metal mining when they left the Deep Creeks, but both remained vicariously addicted to it the rest of their lives. During the first half of the twentieth century, mine operators like these played an essential role in the exploration and development of ore deposits in the West.

The Deep Creek Range rises out of the Great Salt Lake Desert (Figure 1) and contains the highest peak in Northern Utah west of the Uintahs. There are a few accounts of the Goshute Reservation area at the southwestern end of this largely roadless range, the subject of this sketch. Early travelers like Major Howard Egan and Lt. E. G. Beckwith (1855) told of Indians and early Caucasians there. Mark Twain commented without admiration on the region and its Indian inhabitants as he saw them from a stagecoach in the 1860s (1962 ed., p. 118). J. H. Peck (1959) wrote humorously of his years in the 1920s as a physician after that area became an Indian reservation. While conducting exploration there, I sought information on past exploration, long-caved mine workings and fortunes made or lost.

Rodgers (1983) has described the Proterozic quartzites and structure of the high parts of the range. McCollum and McCollum (this volume) have characterized the Cambrian carbonate rocks west of the range. Wallace (in press) has studied the Ibapah stock, an early Cretaceous two-mica granitic body that forms the highest part of the rugged mountain range. Others have described imbricate thrust faulting and major tectonic features in the region. But the most graphic descriptions I could find of the mineral deposits and the bigness and loneliness of the region came from two old mine operators. Both were in the Deep Creeks during the era of the highly unreliable four-cylinder automobile, and were almost 90 years old when I interviewed them. They provided little information on geology. But their tales, transcribed into notes later at night, show how many western ore deposits were explored and sampled. Between them they worked the two mines on the reservation that yielded any significant gold and silver production.

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