Take it easy
  Stateline (Iron co., Utah)

37°59'55.45"N 114° 0'40.58"W

VISITED April 21 2021
DIRECTIONS From Modena, Utah: Head north on Modena Canyon Road for about 13 miles; head generally northwest for about five miles.

First, a general overview of the camp:

Mining camps were made up mostly of single men, but enough families lived at Stateline in 1900 for a school to be started. Stateline flourished for several years as a mining town, complete with stores, hotels, school, a newspaper named the Stateline ORacle, and a medical doctor. The population was 118 in 1900 and peaked about 1903 with between 200 and 300 residents. A masquerade ball was the community's way of celebrating Thanksgiving in 1903 since, as the editor lamented, they had no place of worship where they could give thanks in a more appropriate way. Even in this far corner of the county, live music was played. The ball was not limited to local residents, as a great many attended from Fay, NEvada, a "sister" mining camp. The town was a mile long stretch of stone and false front buildings,some of which are still standing, as are the mills on the sides on the canyon. Ore values dropped in 1905 and most miners moved on. The names of many Stateline families filled the delinquent tax lists over the next few years. There were only 35 people in the Stateline precinct in 1910. Stateline is now a ghost town and the area the domain of stockmen.
-Utah Centennial County History Series - Iron County 1998, Janet Burton Seegmiller

A more detailed overview was published on line by a Mr. Pubah.

The canyon was also used by cattle rustlers and other outlaws. They found it a convenient route to move their stolen Mormon cattle from Utah to Nevada where officials turned a blind eye to stray Mormon cattle brought in to feed the hungry miners of the Nevada mines. One such outlaw was Nate Hansen who was shot within a few hundred yards of the state line by an angry Mormon posse determined to get their cattle back before they could be sold.

Though small time mining started in 1894, it was not until 1896 that rich silver/gold ore was found in the shallow workings of the Ophir mine. This touched off a small stampede to the area and other major outcroppings were found to contain paying quantities of both silver and gold. The major mines included the Ophir, the Johnny, and Creole. The ore coming out of the Creole in 1899 was so rich that the ore dump was successfully panned by the company.

Stateline grew quickly from a small tent camp to a full fledged mining town. In 1896, the Intermountain Mining Review reported on July 9th that a new town site had been established and that town lots were being sold for $100 apiece. On July 16th they reported that there were twelve active mines in the district. Subsequently by September 24th it was reported that a post office had been established, over 180 men were working in the mines with more coming in daily, and that Line City contains 17 houses and more are being put up.

By 1903, Stateline had grown to a solid mining town of 300, with two or three general stores, a fine hotel, two saloons, blacksmith shop, shoemaker, restaurant, a daily stage to Modena on the railroad sixteen miles away, and its own newspaper, the Stateline Oracle. Several mills, for processing the ores from the Ophir, Johnny, Creole, and Big Fourteen mines were also erected in the surrounding area, close to their respective mines.

Extensive mining continued until about 1910 when many of the mines started closing because of a lack of high quality ore. Miners and business gradually drifted always until in 1918 there were only about18 individuals left in town carrying on small time mining in some of the lesser claims. Since about 1920 some mining has continued in the area with minor upswings in activity in the 1930s and 1940s. As late as early1980s limited mining was being done. In 1984, the small mill that sits prominently on the hill above the town was closed by the EPA for improper environmental procedures, closing the last mining operation in the area.

Like most Nevada mining camps, Utah newspapers were filled with articles about exciting strikes and developments, even in the face of more scholarly reports pointing to the opposite. Stateline seemed to be no exception.

J.J. Marx is Favorably Impressed With Stateline District
J.J. Marx, Superintendent of the Black Dragon, near SIlver City, returned to Salt Lake yesterday from a visit to the promising gold camp of Stateline. He was most favorably impressed with the district, with its numerous ledges of strong quartz veins, and he believes that in time this will come to the front as one of the great gold producers of the intermountain region. Mr. Marx states that the Popkees mill is running nicely and from the showing on the plates, which were well covered with the yellow metal at the time of his visit, he was satisfied the recovery was most satisfactory. The mill is running Creole ore, and Mr. Mark announces that a new and important strike has just been made on this property.
-Salt Lake Herald, April 17, 1898

The year 1902 has been a prosperous one for the young mining camp of Stateline. Though the youngest in years of the camps that are now making the name of Utah synonymous with wealth, Stateline is far from the last in the amount of work being done, in the amount of ore being developed and in possibilities. Though only about seven years have passed since the first locations were made in this vicinity, and the camp has had setbacks and discouraged the strongest, it is forging ahead. Plans will be matured for another mill to be completed before January 1, 1904. The johnny and the Ophir mines have been the most developed, and today are the only producing properties. This country has been greatly discriminated against by the Oregon Short Line, which charges a rate of $6 [$179.40 in 2019 dollars] per ton for ores from Modena to Salt Lake. Such a rate is prohibitive except for very rich ores.
-Salt Lake Herald, December 28, 1902

These kinds of stories continued despite more knowledageble opinions being offered.

Stateline, although much abused, has survived under circumstances that have more often than not demised camps of greater fame, and is likely to meet with golden rewards during the year ushered in.
-Salt Lake Herald, December 30, 1906

And while smal discoveries of ore continnued, there just wasn't enough to make it worthwhile.

Deep interest now being taken in the Gold Springs District, in the western portion of Iron county, Utah, has been the means of again turning the attention of the mining public to Stateline district, the discovery of which, several years ago, led to the finding of great mineral ledges of Deer Lodge District, Pike's Diggins, and eventually Gold Springs. Deer Lodge is on the Nevada side of the line dividing Utah and Nevada, ad Gold Springs adjoins Stateline on the south, virtually taking in Pike's Diggings, all three of those camps being located on a great porphyry belt extending ten or fifteen miles in a northerly and southerly direction, and which is three or four miles in width. Stateline was established in the year 1896 by the discovery of the Ophir and Burro mines. At first the new district was supposed to be mainly silver-bearing, but within a short time it was shown that Stateline was primarily a gold camp. There are two big mills in the camp, the Ophir and the Johnnie, both of which are idle at the present time. The Johnnie company has been a dividend player, and the mine is nowise exhausted. Bad management or lack of harmony may be given as an excuse for the fact that the Ophir and Johnnie are now out of commission.
-Salt Lake Mining Review, March 15, 1908

Apparently, the camp was temporarily abandoned.

Mr. Wm. C. Reeves was appointed Register of Vital Statistics on Kanarra Precinct. The clerk was instructed to inform the State Board of Health that there is no one living at Stateline at the present time.
-Iron County Record, May 16, 1924

Stateline Mining Men Ask County to Improve Road
Frank Weice, mining man from Stateline, Utah, presented a petition signed by sixty-five residents of that section of Iron County, to the county commissioners Monday asking for county support for improvement of the road from Stateline to Modena. The road is used for trucking ore from the mines in the Stateline to the railroad at Modena, and is in such condition that it cannot be used in wet weather. A WPA project was started on the road, but becuase of lack of equipment, very little could be accomplished, and the project was discontinued.
-Iron County Record, June 25, 1936

The population of Lund dropped from 191 in 1930 to 119 in 1940 and the Hamlin Valley precinct (including Stateline) dropped from 85 in 1930 to 15 in 1940 for the biggest decrease in the county.
-Parowan Times, June 21, 1940

POST OFFICE 1896 - 1938
NEWSPAPER Stateline Oracle

Traveling north out of Deer Lodge, Luis's throttle stuck and by the time I caught up to him, we were across the border into Utah. This looked like an interesting site and it was so close to Deer Lodge - six miles as the crow flies-- we just had to examine it. Many rock buildings still standing- if there were more wood buildings, a fire may have consumed them. Great cemetery.

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