Galena Days

  Galena Gulch was filled by mine dumps in the 1920s and in the 1930s it was beginning to be mined away by the ever-growing Utah Copper open pit mine.  In 1939 the town of Bingham Canyon held its first Galena Days festival to celebrate the proud history of the canyon where mining got its start in Utah.  The following poem was written by the chairman of that event and printed in the Bingham Bulletin on September 29, 1939.  If it never mentions the Hickmans by name it's probably because the writer couldn't think of an appropriate rhyming word.  Actually the Hickman family was only a small part of a very big story; and in his poem, he was not just telling that story but he was inviting his readers to become a part of it.

Out of the Past
by Dale Johnston

'Tis midnight and the light of day
Has long since disappeared.
The autumn moon there on the ridge,
Casts shadows, long and weird.
The restless breeze goes scurrying
Along the narrow street.
Another sound now fills the night--
The tramp of ghostly feet!
Just now I heard a ghostly word,
A ghostly burro bray--
The mountain men are home again
To spend the holidays!
The canyon walls are echoing.
Once more to song and laughter.
A challenge flung from ghostly lips
To us who follow after--
"And shall you turn the challenge down
And hurry home to bed?
For who has most to celebrate--
The living or the dead?
Tonight once more from swinging doors
The yellow lamplight plays--
The mountain men are home again
To spend the holidays!
"What is the difference now from then?
This is the same old town!
The same old hills loom black above,
The same old moon looks down!
What if our strident voices are
But whispers in the dust?
We've come to celebrate! they cry--
"Who's here to welcome us?"
A score of ghostly shouts ring out
From a bar across the way.
The mountain men are home again
To spend Galena Days.

--Marion Dunn, Bingham Canyon, 1973, p.151-152

To learn more about the Hickman Family at Bingham Canyon, click here.
To see a map of Galena Gulch, click here.
To return to the Hickman Family index page, click here.