ORIGINALLY appropriated in 1924 by miners interested in silver-lead ore, the early site of the Free Enterprise Mine was abandoned after producing a few small shipments of ore.
IN 1949, mining engineer and geologist Wade V. Lewis, with two other locators, discovered the presence of radioactivity at the abandoned mine dump site. Lease for the Free Enterprise Uranium Mine was acquired and excavation proceeded down to 105 and 150 feet.
A LOS ANGELES woman, visiting with her mining husband in the summer of 1951, noticed that her bursitis disappeared after several visits to the underground workings. Relaying the incidence of benefit, word spread and the stampede began. Pain sufferers demanded access, even while mining continued. Nearly 1,000 people were permitted to visit for observation purposes only. Reports of pain relief ran so high that the operators were compelled to initiate revision of the Free Enterprise mining operation into the health destination that it is today. Lewis managed the health mine for 21 years until his death at the age of 81. His dedication culminated in a discovery that has benefitted generations for over half a century.
Lewis’ granddaughter Patricia Lewis and her husband, Burdette E. Anderson, owned and operated the facility from 1994 through March 2014. Pat’s nephew Ryan Lewis (4th generation) acquired the healthmine in 2014 and the business will continue to be managed by Patricia Lewis along with Ryan.