In the late 1800's, the flat, open area on the right side of the road (north) was occupied by stables which housed the mules of the Dalton Mill. Located about a mile up the road, the mill used mules to pull cars full of gold ore from mines still further up the canyon. Although the sleepers and rails have long since been removed, the bed of this narrow gauge railroad can still be found along the north-facing slopes of the canyon. (Stop 7)
Life in the gold mines of Bullion Canyon was tough for man and beast alike. Mules worked long and hard but they did enjoy corrals open to the sky and fresh water from a spring against the hillside. In California gold country, many mules spent their entire lives underground in mines which were indescribably dark, cold and wet. In the early 1900's, mules were replaced with "motors" (locomotives) powered by batteries or Model T gasoline engines.
Photo Courtesy Utah State Historic Society
Because mules played such an important part in a successful mining operation, they were generally well-cared for. Over the mountain in the Kimberly gold district, a well-liked mule was accidentally killed while underground. Distraught the mule skinner refused to allow anyone to cut up the body of the animal which would have eased her removal from the mine.