Mammoth

The Mammoth mine was initially discovered February 26, 1870, and soon the similarly named camp developed just below the mine. Mammoth grew slowly but steadily, with many settlers of German, Irish, Welch, and Cornish descent. Homes were built, and later moved in from nearby Diamond as that camp experienced a decline. In the 1880s, a water pipeline was constructed from Jenny Lynn Spring, and completion of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad to the Tintic District in 1891 brought growth to the camp, which by 1892 boasted a population of 300 and several businesses including saloons, stores, and a hotel.

By 1893, declining prices of silver and lead aided by labor unrest due to wages brought a decline to the Tintic district, and many of the mines closed. The Mammoth reopened with a small crew in May, but by 1894 some recovery led to the construction of new mills at Mammoth. Around this time, a secondary community called Robinson (named for George Robinson, who erected the Mammoth Mill) developed ½ mile below Mammoth near the new mills. Homes were built at the new town, and in 1896 Robinson was recognized as having one of the finest hotels in the state - the Hotel Mammoth, operated by the Dix family. A railroad branch was completed to the Mammoth mills in 1896, a building boom continued through the 1890s, with an LDS Ward and schoolhouse were constructed at the boundary of the towns.

By 1910, Mammoth had grown to a population of 1828, and was incorporated as a city, ultimately formed by the merger of both Mammoth and Robinson. Unfortunately, a significant fire in 1912 destroyed the post office, a confectionery, and a movie theatre in old Robinson, leading to the establishment of the first fire department. In 1917, labor unrest due to wages again appeared, which caused the closure of Mammoth's mines by May, though they reopened by the end of summer. By the 1920s, litigation was ongoing regarding Mammoth's city limits and taxes, and a court decision in July 1925 removed several hundred acres of land from the city, dealing a blow to its tax base. Fires in 1926 and 1928 led to a decline in population, and Mammoth disincorporated in November 1929.

Today, Mammoth still hangs on, though now it is only home to a small handful of people. Only a few remnants of the original town remain, while some ruins and shacks stand among occupied homes at the former Robinson townsite.

I Visited the Mammoth
8.8.2020

Bibliography