South Pass
ining District

From Wyoming Tales and Trails

This Page: Miner's Delight.

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About This Site

Bryant Cabin, Miners Delight, looking northeast, approx. 1950 In the distance in Beaver Buttes.

The third city of the South Pass Mining District was Miner's Delight started by Jack Holbrook and originally called Hamilton City. How or why the camp was called Hamilton City is presently unknown.

Miners Delight, 1973.

Shaft Hoist, Miner's Delight, 1973.

Allegedly, One morning, Jonathan Pugh came out from his cabin seeking his ox team and observed glittering in the morning sun the yellow of gold in quartz on the opposite hill. Thus, was discovered the Miner's Delight Mine about 800 feet above Hamilton City. By 1869, some $60,000-$70,000 in gold had been recovered from the mine resulting in the change of name from Hamilton City to Miner's Delight. By 1870, the town had attained a population of 70 including 40 miners, 1 farmer, and a grocer, shoemaker, and a liquor dealer. According to James Chisholm in his Journal, University of Nebraska Press,, the Sabath was observed, if there was no special work to be done, about the card table, but "[w]hen the drink begins to pperate you can see the wild element come into play, manifesting its presence generall in a kind of rough boisterous merriment, which a slight breeze,however, may in a monent blow into a fierce outbreak. 'it is the little rift' through which the savings make thir escape."

One miner, John Connor, according to Chisholm, found a grizzly cub which he kept as a pet named Cuff. As the Cuff grew he developed the bad habit of invading miners' cabins in search of sugar or honey pots. Chisholm explained:

My poor friend Cuff is dead. I saw him hanging ignominiously by the hind legs in the meat stall Requiescat in--that is after I have enjoyed a nice fat tender steak off him. Cuff was getting too bearish to be borne with any longer. He would go off on excusions through the cabins and his zeal in the search after forbidden fruit outran his discretion. I saw him yesterday tied to a stump and howling dismally; but all his promises of future good conduct could not avail him, and this morning he was compelled to yield up the ghost.

[Writer's note: Requiescat in a Latin prayer "In Pace Requiescat" frequently found on headstones, meaning "May he rest in Peace.]

Mines in Miner's Delight included the Diana mine, Garfield Mine, Gold Dollar Mine, and Miner's Delight Mine. By 1880, the town was deserted. Holbrook, one of the owners of the Miner's Delight was working in Denver as a freighter. Periodically efforts to reopen the mines would occur with giant pumps being brought in to drain the flooded mine. Other efforts were made at placer mining. Thus, the Salt Lake Herald noted on August 9, 1883, of President Arthur's trek through Wyoming, that he stopped at Miner's Delight of observe the gold washing. More reports of gold were made in 1897. All of the efforts came to naught. The Miner's Delight mine used a wood-fired, steam-powered ten stamp mill to crush the ore.

Cabin, Miners Delight

The privy to the right and behind the cabin is a "two-holer." See photo below right. If the French Section of Atlantic City provided companionship, Miner's Delight, the next camp, may have been lonely. Chisholm described the women of Miner's Delight:

Society in the city of Miner's Delight consists of three females. The first is a plump, dumpling-faced woman built very much in the shape of a bale of cotton drawn together in the middle, and with a big coal scuttle on the top. She has one white haired little darling and she does right onto it. The second is a shadowy secluded kind of being whose profile I have had a few passing glimpses of while passing her cabin door. I don't know sho or what she dotes onto. The third I will call Dalilah. She is an adventuress. She dotes onto Jack Holbrook. Jack is interested in the Miner's Delight and she is interested in Jack.
Dalilah is not beautiful. She is not handsome. Her face is lean and spotty and unhealthy looking, and the upper part of her form is like an old whale bone umbrella not properly folded. She was not a respectable person when she first struck the camp, but she is now studying virtue under Jack.

In 1907, the Miners Delight Mining Company attempted to resume mining. During the depression many of the otherwise abandoned cabins were occupied by the jobless. Most of the sructures in the town date to the 1907 period, it being doubtful, with the possbile exception of the Bryant Cabin, than any structures date back to the original town.

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