In 1892, John Gerrit took a couple of gold developers, John
Summer and William Butler, up into the high country at the head of crescent
creek. The two men owned gold mines in Colorado and were interested in Great
Grandfather John Gerrits’ gold discovery in the Henry Mountains. They made the
long ride upwards to the headwaters of Crescent creek where the men camped and
began the hard work of prospecting the find. It took only a few days for them
to prove that several outcroppings contained gold veins. They had discovered
the gold ledge that became the high-grade Bromide Mine. The men agreed on a
plan and that agreement began a 20-year mine production of the property and
records indicate that as a result, the mine produced over 84,000 ounces of
gold. The discovery also spawned the boom town of Eagle City, Utah.
The Henry Mountain gold was only one adventure for my Great
Grandfather John Gerrit Ekker. Cass Hite had a homestead on the Colorado River
in 1882, and the normal route from there to Hanksville and the Henry Mountains
was by way of Trachyte Creek. In the Glen Canyon Gold Rush during the 1880’s
there was a pony express mail route from Hanksville to Trachyte, then down
Trachyte Creek to Hite. The pony express contract was owned by my Great
Grandfather John Gerrit Ekker. Great Grandfather John Gerrit had three sons,
Cornelius, my Grandfather, John Garrett and Andrew. They did the riding for
their father from Green River to Hite and to the gold diggings in the Henry
Mountains. It took two full days to ride by horseback for Hanksville to Hite.
The overnight stop for the riders was at Trachyte.
The Cass Hite’s homestead, at the confluence of Trachyte Creek
and the Colorado River, was the only river crossing in the Southern Utah
Colorado River region. By 1889 Cass Hite had built a supply depot and a ferry
crossing to accommodate the on comers that mined and dredged the river bottoms
in Good Hope Bay for gold. It was also a rough from the east for prospectors
and ladies of the night headed to the new towns of Eagle City and Hite mining
camps. A post office and school was established at Hite in 1889.