We were headed to Bryce Canyon for a four day family reunion over the Memorial Day weekend.  We had brought along our metal detectors 'cause you just never know.  After we got there we did a bit of research and found a ghost town that was settled in the late 1800's.  The population in the 1920 census was 1100.  However, a failed agricultural project caused it to become the most destitute area in the state of Utah.  Residents petitioned the Federal Resettlement Administration to have it buy the town, land, buildings, etc., and to resettle the remaining 29 families elsewhere in Utah.  This happened in the 1930's.  Almost all of the buildings are no more than piles of lumber and junk among the sagebrush.  There are, however, a few buildings that are still clinging to the vertical.  This sounded like a great spot to spend some time between family obligations.

So, we did the usual tourist things that one does at Bryce Canyon.  We drove the rim, we hiked the trails, and we waited for an opportunity to explore Widtsoe.  Finally that opportunity arrived.  We set off under sunny skies that would soon give way to rising wind and dark clouds that would bring rain that night, but this morning the site was ours!  The junk was incredible.  My first non-junk find was a small metal button.  Soon after that Niki found a 1930 wheat penny - a good omen!  And then a shout of joy heralded a significant find.  Niki had unearthed a 1905 Barber dime!  This was not only her oldest silver, but also her oldest coin so far!  Spurred on by that good fortune I kept swinging and soon it was my turn to shout for joy.  An iffy signal 5" down turned into an 1893 Indian head penny!  This beat out my 1919 wheatie as my new oldest coin!  Later, near the ruins of the old one room school house, I found a token for "5 Cents In Merchandise At Retail" from "The Cameron Mercantile Co., Marysvale, Utah."

Pics follow of the coins and token.  Some of the junk we dug is also included.  If anyone has any information on the token we would greatly appreciate it.  The nifty porcelain canning jar lid liner was fun to find because we were seeing tons of broken bits of the white porcelain and couldn't figure out where it was coming from.  A couple of location photos are also included, as are some of Bryce Canyon.  We could have spent weeks exploring the once bustling town which now sleeps so serenely under the sagebrush.  The area to cover is huge.  We'll be back!


Click here for photos.