Payson Canyon's Cursed Mine
Very few people have ever heard this story. It happened to a very dear friend
of mine Harold Nelson
of Pleasant Grove, Utah. He originally told me this story around 1985 while we both worked at BYU
(he is retired now). He retold it to me November 1, 2001 along with his permission to put it in writing
on this site. Before telling this story I wish to thank him deeply. This story takes place in the Payson,
In the late 50's Harold drove truck for Highland Dairy. He delivered milk to various stores in
the South Utah county region. One day while at the Springlake store he waited in line behind an
elderly gentleman. Harold noticed that when the elderly man knew his bill he went behind a food
stand and pulled out his shirttail, where his money was pinned, and retrieved cash to pay for his food.
After paying for his groceries he seemed to just wait around. When Harold was done with his business
the gentleman asked him for a ride to Payson. Harold said "Sure, I can do that." What came next was
quite peculiar. He asked Harold to drop off his food at his house, to place them behind the rose bushes,
and drop him off a couple of blocks away. Harold thought this to be very odd since driving a very
large dairy truck to a house would be very obvious. He however did as requested.
Over the next while Harold and the gentleman became friends. Harold delivered
to the Springlake
store on Thursdays and the gentleman was usually there buying his food. Even though this man appeared
to be in his 80's he walked everywhere he went. Harold often saw him walking from Payson to Spanish
Fork and gave him a ride. The gentleman seemed to be very secretive and didn't trust anyone except Harold.
One day he asked Harold if he ever drove up Payson Canyon. "Yes"
was his reply and explained
he liked to go fishing at Payson Lakes. The gentleman then asked if he could drop him off at a
certain spot up there. "Sure, I would be glad to," Harold said. When Saturday came Harold was
ready to go fishing. He picked up the gentleman and took him up the canyon. He dropped him
off at a bridge, not far above the Grotto, and the gentleman offered no explanation. That afternoon,
as Harold was returning down the canyon he stopped at the same place and honked. The gentleman
came out of the trees and hopped in. Harold did this several times. Finally on one of these trips the
gentleman confided in Harold and said he was looking for a gold mine. It was a very rich mine which
he had found and lost. He said he had marked the trees with his ax while going from the mine to the
road, but upon his return all the trees were marked. Because of this he said it must be a cursed mine but
he wanted to find it again anyway. He had been there, seen the gold, and strongly wanted to return to it.
He asked Harold for money to grubstake him so he could look for the mine
full time. Harold is a meager
family man and didn't have the financial means to do that. The gentleman was only asking for $20.00 per
month but it was not to be. He indicated Harold was a good honest man and that the powers that be
might smile upon both of them with that arrangement. Harold said " I'm sorry, but I don't have the
extra money to spare."
Harold moved to Pleasant Grove in the early 60's and lost track of this gentleman
but never forgot him.
There isn't a time that he goes up the canyon that he doesn't ponder about his old friend. As he drives
past the spot where he dropped him off he wonders about the mine, what it's like, and where it is.
Yes, indeed the mountains do hold mysteries of riches. But then, this is the stuff dreams are made of.
Here is a picture of the bridge or culvert where Harold dropped him off.
This is where you should start your search for the mine.