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Death Valley National Park: Butte Valley:

Anvil Spring

Anvil Spring in Butte Valley, Death Valley National Park
Anvil Spring and Anvil Canyon both acquired their name after Sergeant Neal, a member of the Bendire expedition of 1867, found an anvil, wagon rims, and some old iron scraps near the spring site in Butte Valley. Although it has been postulated by some that these were remains of a blacksmith outfit brought into Death Valley by Asabel Bennett in 1849, it appears that actually they were a later addition to the spring.

Milo Page, writing about some of the first mining locations in Inyo County, explains that in the fall of 1858, as a discharged government teamster, he and some other fellows in the same situation purchased a team and some supplies at Salt Lake City and headed for San Bernardino along an old Mormon route. Shortly after leaving the Kingston Mountain Range the group met a party of four or five Mormons with a six-mule team pulling a wagon heavily loaded with silver-lead bullion that they were transporting to Salt Lake for refining.

When queried as to the location of their find they said that under instructions from Church leaders they had gone out "to see what they could find," and had succeeded in locating a mine of carbonate ore, near which they had erected a crude furnace for smelting. (Page states that in 1874 he saw the remains of the old furnace near Anvil Spring.)

Eight years after the Mormons worked this mine, several men who had heard of their find left San Bernardino under the leadership of one Joseph Clews. Included in their outfit was a large anvil. Near the carbonate mine, "on the west side of a small valley," was a large spring where they camped; upon their departure from the area a few months later, they threw the anvil into the spring, where it was evidently later seen by the Bendire expedition and from which it was retrieved for use by a Judge Hanson in 1880. [147]

Source - NPS

ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
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