Gold Belle Mining and Milling Company was a cyanide processing mill built to process the miners' ore from the nearby prospectors' town of Wildman. Today only remnants of the foundation exist just west of where we traveled on U.S. Highway 183.
|Gold Belle Mine and Milling Co. marker (courtesy blackiron_1 photostream)|
Frank Wildman, one of the partners that formed Gold Belle Mine, was also the namesake for the nearby mining town of Wildman that sprang up at the Territory's opening. There were almost 500 people living in Wildman which had a hotel, saloons, a hardware store, grocers, a cafe and other offices, ..... but no church. E. Taylor (rebelcherokee.labdiva.com) sites newspaper reports that tell of a man showing up in the neighboring community of Mountain Park at about this time wearing a gold pin shaped like bells. He claimed they came from the Gold Bell mine he was working and was offering to sell shares of stock. The sign that is now standing at the mill site says the owners salted the mine by blowing gold dust into the walls with a muzzle loaded shotgun. They then sold shares of stock in the mine for a dollar a share netting them about $270,000. The newspaper cited on E. Taylor's post also shows the quote of one man from the area who recalled that the only man who made money out of the mine was the hardware store merchant who had sold all the machinery to the miners! The Gold Bell mine was abandoned in 1910 and the town of Wildman has since disappeared.