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Postcard from the Past - Exploring a Place Called ‘Battle’

Written by Dick Perue

Recognition of the Ladder Ranch in southwest Carbon County sent me scrambling for information about that area. The first thing I found was this great engraving in a prospectus book designed to entice the investor into buying mining stock and then flock to the Grand Encampment Mining District, just east of the Little Snake River Valley, the Ladder Ranch and Baggs. 

The pitch reads:

“The engraving on the this page, showing the Battle Lake Basin, the town of Rambler and the Doane Mine, also includes the location of many promising mining properties.

“Previous to the discovery of the Doane mine, Battle Lake and its immediate vicinity constituted a sportsman’s paradise, but at present is noted as the ‘Home of the Doane Mine,’ the Investors Mining and Prospecting Company, the Axis Mining Company, the Rambler Mining Company, the Lake Mining Company, the Battle Lake and Creek Mining Company, Rio Tinto Mining Company, Doane Verde Mining Company, the Dill Gold and Copper Mining Company, the Minnie Mabel Company and the Combination Mining Company, besides several persons operating properties individually.

“The Doane Mine is the oldest in the Grand Encampment Mining district, and its mill records of 40 to 50 percent ore in carload lots and the several mineralized veins crossing the property indicate one of the most thoroughly mineralized localities known to the copper mining industry.

“The Investors Mining and Prospecting Company’s property includes the Cuprite, Last Fraction, Umslopogus and Big Divide – the furthest being situated within one mile of the town of Rambler.

“These last three properties are located on an immense Diorite dyke, thoroughly mineralized with pyrites of copper; the greater quantities being held in the less permeable and lesser leached parts of the ‘Gossan Cap,’ which is the material that has been followed in the discovery of every mine in the Doane and Ferris-Haggarty district. Two veins on the Big Divide run parallel to each other and are traceable the entire length of the claim, on one of which is a 100-foot shaft with mineral all the way down.

“The Axis mine is situated at the left of the Doane in the illustration and is supposed to be a continuation of the same veins. There are two development shafts, a tunnel, bunk house and small steam plant upon the property, which is owned by William Evans and others, of Rawlins.”

Battle Lake Basin, Battle Lake, Battle Creek, Battle Mountain and the town of Battle all derived their name from a confrontation between fur trappers and Indians on what is now the Ladder Ranch, but then that’s another battle to wage in the next “Postcard."