Woolsey's Gold Mine
Here is the James Woolsey gold mine story as it was relayed to me.
James B Woolsey was a sheepherder all his life and had a prospector friend
who was a dentist in
Salt Lake City, Utah. The dentist had him bring samples to him from various areas where he herded
sheep. If they looked good the dentist had them assayed. The dentist promised Jim if he ever found
anything good he would stake it and give him a percentage.
One particular year Jim took his herd of sheep above Current Creek just east
of Low Pass on the summit.
He also made camp on the summit just east of Low Pass. Several days later he rode his horse down over
the hill, north and east of camp. He hadn't been gone long when he spotted a mine tunnel. He got down from
his horse and looked at the tunnel. At the entrance the props were sticking out of the ground. It looked as
though the hillside has slid or the mine had caved in. Around the props the rock in which the tunnel had been
driven was exposed. It was dark reddish brown in color and in the rock was a gold colored metal which he
thought might be iron. He chipped some samples from around the tunnel to take to the dentist. During the time
Jim was on the mountain he rode by the old mine several times. That fall when he returned to Salt Lake City
Jim took the samples to the dentist's office only to find out he was out of town. He left the samples at the
dentist's office anyway. Within a couple of days Jim got a job offer in New Mexico and left Utah for a time.
When he returned the next year to visit the dentist he learned that he was
in a mental institution.
Jim found out the dentist had had the rock assayed and that it ran $57,000.00/ton. He also discovered
the dentist had spent most of the winter and spring hunting for Jim until his nervous collapse. Jim did not
know whether or not the ore he had brought him was the cause of his condition, but with that in mind
he never went back to the old mine.
Jim gave directions to find the mine and said one should have no trouble finding it. Here are the instructions:
Go up Current Creek. Near the head is a road that takes off to the right.
Follow that road up the mountain
and over the top. Go east through Low Pass and continue going east along the summit. East of Low Pass
you can find the camp where Jim stayed. You will know it is the place because all the trees have Woolsey
carved in them. Just south and down the hill is where you can find some old dipping vats that were used to
dip the sheep in. After finding Jim's camp go a little northeast from there, down over the hill somewhere
around 1/4 mile. The tunnel is in the timber and from the tunnel you can see the west fork of the Duchesne
River. Another clue which may help is to find the Bobby Duke Trail. Jim said the tunnel is visible from that
trail if you look very close.
Good luck with your search and who knows, we may see each other on the mountain
in our quest for gold.
Photos of Low Pass