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Horseshoe Park Spanish Camp

40.64257, -109.85703

In 1980, about one and one-fourth mile south and a little west of Horseshoe Park, Jim Nebeker, Ford Larsen, Reid Powell and I discovered an old camp in a large clearing near five or six small ponds. There were two very old cabins, a rock smelter, parts of an old windless and several piles of smeltered slag. About 1,000 feet to the east of these, out on the lip of the ridge, we discovered a pit-like prospect hole about 5 feet deep and 6 to 7 feet wide, inside of which was found the head of an old hammer.

Also upon the lip of this same ridge, a short distance northwest of the prospect hole, we came upon a large pine tree marked with Latin cross which was about 18 or 20 inches long and about 5 feet up from the base of the tree. Under the cross was carved either a square or a circle, it was difficult to determine which. A square would indicate "buried treasure" or "90 degrees," while a circle could mean a "mine, cave or knoll." This tree with its symbols stood out on the very edge of a 12 to 15 foot high ledge. Therefore, the base of the ledge was searched for any evidence of a mine or a cave but neither was found. We never had a metal detector with us so we could not scan the area to determine whether or not there might have been a buried cache.

Southeast of these old cabins, in a draw which empties into Dry Fork Canyon, we traced the ruins of an old trail or wagon road which often times had been rocked up along its side walls to prevent the trail or road from slipping into the bottom of the draw. This pathway was very old; moss had grown upon the rocks and trees had grown up though the center of the path. --Lost Gold of the Uintah, pg. 156.

In 2000, I followed the vague description in the above story and actually found this old Spanish camp. It turns out however not to be a Spanish camp at all, but one of the Flume Mill camps. There used to be a saw mill and camp here at one time. Workers building the Flume Mill down in Dry Fork Canyon below this area obtained wood for the flume from this mill for a period of time. The cabins were where the workers stayed while milling the lumber and the “smelter” is actually the old chimney from the camp’s kitchen tent. The plaque below was found at the site. I guess you can't believe everything you read in the books!

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