The mill at Bishop Koyle's Dream Mine, built in 1932.  For a map click here.

An Insured Security
by Daisy McClellan

  In 1933 after mother's passing we had a memorable trip in my sister, Mildred's new car.  She had made the purchase in order to take mother out during her illness.  Those participating in the joy ride were Dad, Mag, Mildred Richardson Whipple (six years old) and myself.  Mildred was the driver.  Our destination was the Koyle Dream Mine.

  I was suddenly impressed before we started that we should not attempt the trip and mentioned it to the rest.  Mildred said she had promised Dad and there was no time like the present.  I had no desire to go, but I could not remain behind feeling as I did without doing something about it, which I did.  I went along and prayed the whole time as I knew that which was needed most, protection from a higher power than our own.

  We climbed the steep hill up the mountain to the Assayers cabin on top of a narrow ledge.  We met John Koyle on our way in a pick-up.  He looked a hole through us.  He had contacted Dad over fifty years before to take shares in his dream mine, but Dad never did believe in his dreams.  It had been a life-long dream of Dad's to look things over up there on the mountain.

  As we reached the landing we found only one man there, the assayer himself.  He was intoxicated but offered to turn the car around for Mildred dared not attempt it.  We all got out while he turned, expecting to see an accident, as it was a very large car.  I do not believe anything but pickups had ventured up there.  He scratched the full side of the car against the hill.  He then staggered up to us and said, "I'm going to stand right here and see you all dashed to pieces.  You'll never make that hill as your brakes aren't any good."  We had taken the wrong road to the mine.

  There was only one way to go and that was down.  With such an unsavory beginning, we piled in and began the ride of our lives.  He was right, her brakes were not good, so we just dropped down.  There were sheep on the bridge, which formed a sharp curve, and the road curved again in the direction which we went up.  When we neared the bridge and she saw we were not going to make it, she threw up her hands and screamed.  Dad, who was in the front seat said calmly "Hold on to the wheel!"  She did and no sheep were hit and we made both curves squarely but the car stopped dead on the second one on the very edge of a sharp drop-off of ten thousand feet.  The two back wheels had stopped on the very edge against a rock.

  A fellow who was herding the sheep on a horse said "It was nothing short of a miracle.  I expected to see you all killed."  Another fellow who was herding sheep on a horse at the other end of the bridge and watching us, said as we approached, "I have never seen a miracle before, but I just saw one.  I expected to see you all killed."

  This was an important lesson for Mildred in driving as she started out with a daring "nothing can scare me complex."



March 22, 1991