49 photos
Carbon County, Utah Ghost Towns

Situated south and east of the Wasatch Plateau and west of the Book Cliffs, Carbon County, Utah’s history dates back thousands of years to when the Fremont Indians lived extensively throughout the area, leaving behind numerous rock art panels. And before these ancient natives called it home, the land was roamed by dinosaurs, the footprints of which have been found in many of the area coal mines.

The first white settlers; however, were the Mormons, who began to cross the Wasatch Plateau, building numerous small communities all along the Price River in the late 1870s. The initial roads into the region included paths off the Old Spanish Trail, the Nine Mile Canyon freight road from Price to the Uinta Basin, and a route over Soldier Summit, were utilized by the early farmers and ranchers for transporting goods and supplies.

However, it was in the early 1880s when the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad began to seek a route from Denver to Salt Lake City that the area really began to be populated. As the railroad opened up the area, they discovered coal and mining further developed the area as numerous coal companies moved in, often building and running many of the mining camps. Within no time, the mining camps were populated with immigrants from all over the world, so much so that Helper became known as the town of "57 Varieties" due to its ethnic diversity.
Though the new mines brought people and prosperity to the region, it also brought tragedy and violence in mining explosions and major strikes. However, coal mining continues to play a vital role in county’s economy.

Carbon County, UT - Coal Mining

Carbon County, UT - Coal Mining

Castle Gate, UT - 1913

Castle Gate, UT - 1913

Castle Gate, UT - Utah Fuel Company Mine

Castle Gate, UT - Utah Fuel Company Mine

Consumers, UT - 1936

Consumers, UT - 1936

Consumers, UT - Blue Blaze Mine, 1936

Consumers, UT - Blue Blaze Mine, 1936

Consumers, UT - Building

Consumers, UT - Building

Consumers, UT - Main Street, 1936

Consumers, UT - Main Street, 1936

Consumers, UT - Mining Today

Consumers, UT - Mining Today

Consumers, UT - Stone Building

Consumers, UT - Stone Building

Helper, UT - Balance Rock Motel Sign

Helper, UT - Balance Rock Motel Sign

Helper, UT - Business Building

Helper, UT - Business Building

Helper, UT - LaSalle Hotel & Cafe

Helper, UT - LaSalle Hotel & Cafe

Helper, UT - Main Street

Helper, UT - Main Street

Helper, UT - Main Street - 2

Helper, UT - Main Street - 2

Helper, UT - Old Building

Helper, UT - Old Building

Helper, UT - Rainbow Inn

Helper, UT - Rainbow Inn

Kenilworth, UT - Company Houses

Kenilworth, UT - Company Houses

Kenilworth, UT - Company Store

Kenilworth, UT - Company Store

Kenilworth, UT - Mine Buildings

Kenilworth, UT - Mine Buildings

Kenilworth, UT - Mine Shute

Kenilworth, UT - Mine Shute