Salt Lake Tribune archive
The town of Mercur, Utah first came into being in 1870 as Lewiston, when gold was discovered at the head of the Lewiston Canyon. A small gold rush began, peaking about 1873. The population reached as high as 2000. Lewiston became a ghost town by 1880 when the ore ran out. In 1890 the gold rush started all over again, and a new town sprang to life on the old site, but the name of Lewiston was already taken by then, so the citizens settled on the name Mercur, In 1902 a fire that started in the business district of the town burned almost the entire city to the ground. The town was rebuilt and mining resumed again. In its heyday, there were about 5,000 residents of Mercur. By 1913 all the mines were closed and by 1916 there was only one building left in Mercur. Mercur supported a large Italian immigrant community. Young men were attracted by the opportunity of high wages and the romance of the American "wild west." With this Italian influence, Columbus Day became an important city event including parades, games and performances by the Mercur City Band.
A Look Back: The mining ghost town of Mercur, Utah
| The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Jul 12 2013 07:22 am • Last Updated Jul 19 2013 08:29 am
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