Old Joe prospected1 Sugar Boy Mountain, a mid-sized mountain flanking the Crystal River Valley. In 1872, he uncovered two large silver veins, and he secretly mined what he could. He showed the high-grade ore to Mr. Davidson, who then became his partner to buy out all other claims on Sugar Boy. The Sugar Boy Mine prospered under Joe’s care, employing two ten-man shifts a day and producing $100,000 of silver a year in its heyday. There had been several explosions and accidents and strikes, but these were not meticulously recorded.
The veins had not tapped out when the Panic of 1893 forced the mine to close.
Since Marble Springs had shunned the proffered largesse of this grizzled prospector and former prostitute, Old Joe and his wife, Billie Rose, had not squandered their savings on buying a good reputation or even simpler luxuries. Thus, they stayed on Sugar Boy in comfort and raised their family2.