Season XXXI Volume 13 Issue 3 July-September 2016



Support the Ghost Town Project!

Mercur 1910

City of Mercur - Tooele County, Utah
Publication by Utah Power and Light Co.

Ghost Town Support

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Contact Information

Office: (801) 707-9930
e-mail: info(at)anotherlanguage(dot)org


National Advisory Board

Charles Amirkhanian
Executive Director
Other Minds Festival
San Francisco, CA

Jeff Carpenter
Multimedia Specialist, NCSA
Urbana Champaign, IL

Kent Christensen
New York, NY

Karly Rothenberg
Faculty Member and
Industry Event Coordinator
AMDA College & Conservatory
Sun Valley, CA

Utah Advisory Board

Pauline Blanchard
The Pauline Blanchard Trust

Wayne Bradford
Systems Administrator
University of Utah

Harold Carr
Software Architect
Oracle Corporation

Board of Directors

Kathy Valburg
Another Language President
Ice Skating Director

Sylvia Ring
Registered OR Nurse

Jan Abramson
University of Utah
Health Sciences
Grants Contract Officer


Jimmy Miklavcic
Founding Co-Director

Elizabeth Miklavcic
Founding Co-Director


Another Language Directors, Elizabeth and Jimmy Miklavcic, received the 1995 Utah Arts Festival/Mayor's Artists Award in Performing Arts.

InterPlay: Loose Minds in a Box was honored as a national semi-finalist for the 2006 Peoria Prize for Creativity.

InterPlay: Nel Tempo di Sogno received a 2007 City Weekly Artys Staff Award for Best Real-time, Distributed, Surrealistic, Cinema.

InterPlay: Carnivale received a 2008 City Weekly Artys Readers Choice Award for Best Opera/ Symphony performance by Travis Eberhard and Artemio Contreras.

InterPlay: AnARTomy was awarded the 2009 City Weekly Artys Staff Award - Best Reason To Set Your Alarm Sunday Morning.

Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters The Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters chose InterPlay: Performing on a High Tech Wire written by Elizabeth and Jimmy Miklavcic to receive the 2010 Best Paper Award in the Arts Category.

Duel*Ality 1.0 was awarded the Salt Lake City Weekly's 2011 Artys Staff Award - Best Mixed-Media Performance Art.



Another Language Performing Arts Company's Art-of-the-Month was created to publicly feature a variety of visual art expressions created by the directors of Another Language. Exhibiting abstract acrylic to digital paintings, and running the gambit in-between, this gallery exhibition offers the viewer an online gallery experience with a new addition each month. The Art-of-the-Month web program began September 2010, and features a variety of paintings, showing a body of work spanning decades. Extensive visual art galleries are available to supporting members in the Membership area of the website.

Sundance One
By Elizabeth Miklavcic

Sundance Two - Layers
By Elizabeth Miklavcic

Sundance Three - Star
By Elizabeth Miklavcic

Sundance Four - Spiral
By Elizabeth Miklavcic

This Sundance series was created in-between viewing films during the 2003 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.


Mercur By Babs Delay and Bella Hall
This newsletter edition features the Mercur Ghost Town project of Babs Delay and Bella Hall:
Just south of Tooele, then Stockton, watch for the one sign that points east to Mercur and turn right. The view west is to the Rush Valley from the parking lot at the bottom of the hill in Mercur. Rabbit Brush is as prolific as Sagebrush in the area. Utah natives have reported that it is a healing plant and that the seeds and leaves are edible. There is the only marker at the Cemetery. It was put up by the mining company who owns the land just above the graveyard. They appear to maintain the parking lot and the graveyard by picking up trash and maintaining the picket fences around most of the graves.
Juniper trees abound in the hills around Mercur. They are also known as cedar trees. They are a native plant and are the most predominate single species of trees in Utah. The blue hard 'berries' are eaten by jackrabbits and deer eat the foliage if they have no other feed. There is no better campfire than that made of Juniper wood-the fragrance is amazing. The wood is also used for fence posts out west because the plant wood is highly decay resistant. Lichen are found all over the rocks leading to the gravesites and on the rocks of the graves themselves at Mercer. The colorful 'crust-like' things look like scabs or plants, but they aren't either. Lichen are a partnership between a fungus and an algae. They come in many colors and can be used as natural dyes. They are bitter to eat and some are toxic to humans but can be used in perfumes, cosmetics, sunscreens and even as a replacement for hops in brewing beer. They are very sensitive to air pollution and don't grow too close to humans.

Annie’s famous grave, visitors bring dolls and toys to lay on her grave.
Mercur became famous in 1891 for being the site of the first successful use of cyanide to extract gold and is still the most successful way to get gold out of hard rock around the world. It's poisonous and is banned in many countries. To the untrained eye, it's all just rocks. Someone went through the graveyard recently and put a silk flower on all the visible graves. This person or persons weren't Jewish because flowers in the Jewish tradition on graves means nothing to the dead. Instead you place a small stone that costs nothing and place it on a grave to let the one that's passed know that they've made an impact on you. Spend the money you would have spent on flowers and give it to charity in the memory of the deceased. At least half of the graves at the Mercur cemetery are surround by picket fences. It is said that until the introduction of advertising on fences in the 1980's all cricket fields were surround by picket fences. This gave rise to the expression 'rattling the pickets' for a ball hit firmly into the fence.

Visitors come to the graveyard at all times of the year. Here there was Christmas tinsel that had been tied up along the pickets surround Annie's grave. The biggest holiday in Mercur was Columbus Day because many of the miners who had come to work the gold were from Italy. Mercur even had its own band that performed for the Columbus Day parade down the main street and for special occasions. Maybe the band played funeral dirges, too? The early graves were/are marked with lichen covered rocks. The fencing has been added at a later time by keepers of the cemetery. The silk flowers were probably added by visitors in the last year since we've visited the site. Most of the graves in Mercur are not marked with headstones. It's likely there were never engraved stones used as markers because there were no stone masons who had the tools to carve the names of the dead onto rock. Or, the markers were all wooden and decayed in the last 100 plus years from the individual graves. One is not supposed to walk on top of the graves of others as it is disrespectful to the dead.
Babs and Bella Visiting Annie's Grave By Makayla Barrandy
It's hard to know how many men, women and children are actually buried in Mercur. Folks over the years have kept the rocks around what is thought to be the original graves. These rocks are all remnants of the mud left under the great waters of pre-historic Lake Bonneville that once covered the whole area and now is simply the Great Salt Lake further north. There is the graveyard and also a town called Mercur. The town itself is up the canyon and is fenced off from the public. The first town there burned to the ground in 1903 but was rebuilt and in its heyday had 5,000 residents living in wooden homes and cabins, and tents. The gold rush has come in waves since the 1800's and Mercur is a great example of the boom and bust seen in so many Western towns.
Because Mercur is reportedly a place for talking to ghosts, many people come at night to try and commune with the dead. There is evidence in many places of campfires that have burned at night surrounding the graveyard. There are coins all over grave stones at Mercur. Soldiers leave coins on graves to give a message to fellow soldiers that 'they’ll buy them a round when they see them in heaven' and to help pay for upkeep of the graveyard. The Greeks of ancient times told the story of Charon, the ferryman of Hades. He required one coin to ferry your loved one's soul across the river Styx. Back then people would put a coin on the eyes or in the mouth of the dead person to 'pay the ferryman'. If you don’t pay, you wander the shores of the river Styx for 100 years. There are coins left on Annie’s grave. The marker has all but been destroyed except for the 'B' that can be seen here. It’s believed Annie C. Jones was born in 1887 and died in 1898. Every time we visit her grave we leave gifts and every time there are new toys and different coins present.
By Babs Delay


Babs Delay & Bella Hall Photo: Makayla Barrandy
Babs De Lay and Bella Hall have been legally married in Utah since that fateful decision day of December 20th, 2013. Bella is from the Pacific Northwest and moved to Utah after doing that long distance relationship thing for many years.

Bella didn't have any experience with ghost towns until she moved to Utah, but she does believe in ghosts. Babs not only believes in them but has seen a few in her lifetime. One lives in their condo downtown and makes it clear that they can't stand live plants in their corner of the unit. Any potted plant placed there will literally FLY off its perch within a few days. The ghost hasn't materialized in form but is very present, not bad or good, just picky about its personal space.

Before moving to Utah in 1970 Babs lived in Arizona and spent virtually every weekend with her family exploring Anasazi and Native American ruins around Sedona and Flagstaff, burial sites on the family ranch in Tucson and abandoned mining towns up and down Highway 89.

The Mercur (pronounced 'Merr-kurr') graveyard is one of the closest and most haunted remnants of an 1800's town west of Salt Lake City. Babs and Bella enjoy visiting little Annie's grave out there and bringing her gifts. Her grave is often a foot deep in sun bleached plush toys or barren except for a dolls head and ball at the side of the marker. The site is one of the most popular places near the big city to visit and is well taken care of we think by the company that owns the closed mining operation at the end of the canyon. The graves sit at the mouth of the canyon on a little hill.

Participate in the Ghost Town Project:
Another Language Ghost Town Project continues throughout 2016. Original photographs, movies, animations, visual art, music soundscapes, poetry and text compositions submitted by participating artists will be uploaded to Correlations between historical ghost towns and modern conceptual ghost towns are encouraged. What is your personal ghost town? What do you see, think, and feel when experiencing a place that was once thriving?

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Another Language Performing Arts Company is a non-profit 501(c)(3) arts organization. Part of our mission is to combine different art forms in innovative ways and broaden access to cutting-edge performance art with today's technology. We have been able to pursue this mission with the generous support of our national, state and local granting organizations, and our contributing members

Please help us continue our innovative and ground-breaking work by becoming a contributing member. Simply select the link below and contribute now.

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Digital Images by Elizabeth and Jimmy Miklavcic

May 17, 2013, May 24, 2013 May 25, 2013 June 4, 2013 June 17, 2013

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Friends & Members:
Kathy Chamberlain
Vera Feight
Dave & Mary Hanscom
Lily Havey
Hanelle Miklavcic
Kathy & Darrell Valburg
Nicola & Rus Whaley
Jan Abramson
Dr. Tanya Johnson, Ph.d.
Sylvia Ring
Jan Abramson
Barry Carver
Callous Physical Theatre
Babs Delay & Bella Hall
Sheryl Gillilan
Brent Haddock
Alyssa Kay
Karen Knudsen
Alexis Levitt
Victoria Mansell
Sarah Morton
Roz Newmark
Marden Pond
Victoria Rasmussen
Gretchen Reynolds
Sheri Sturdevant
Brian Thayne
Patti Thomas
Barbara & Dave Chamberlain



Supported by the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, with funding from the State of Utah and
the National Endowment for the Arts.

Another Language Performing Arts Company [501c(3)] : Salt Lake City, Utah
PHONE: (801) 707-9930 | EMAIL: info(at)anotherlanguage(dot)org