Carbon County, Utah Ghost Towns
Situated south and east of the Wasatch Plateau and west of the Book Cliffs, Carbon County
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.