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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns of

UTAH

“The Beehive State

 

 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Utah

Ghost towns abound in Utah.  What more can be said about this fascinating state?  Unlike Nevada, California and Colorado, the ghost towns in this state don't receive a lot of tourist visits.  During all the trips I've made to Utah, I've only seen people at Silver Reef (museum), and at Grafton, and of course in any of the semi-ghosts where people do still live.  If you do visit the museum at Silver Reef tell Eric that Gary Sent you!

         

Whether the town was a product of gold or silver mining, agriculture, or war, Utah is fertile ghost town country.  Certain areas are flush with old sites.  The Tintic Mining District, the coal canyons in the Price/Helper area, the area around St. George, the region below the Great Salt Lake.  Clusters of old ghost towns are sprinkled all over the state’s map.  Comparison of older maps to modern ones brings out the mining camps and old road towns active during the 1930s-1950s. 

 

There are over a thousand ghost towns in Utah, and several excellent books dealing with the subject.  Have fun, and we’ll see you out there!

 

Listed below are capsule summaries of just a tiny number of those 1000+ ghosts that lie scattered across Utah's colorful landscape.   

 

We visited a number of Utah’s ghost towns during the summer of 2008, and a large portion of that journey is documented on a set of pages entitled On The Road Again. This specific journey was across US Highway 6 from Laws, California, across Nevada, to the UT/NV state line, thence east to coal country, located around Price.  We also visited a number of ghosts elsewhere in the state, and those visits will be added as time permits.

 

PLEASE NOTE:  Where photos are linked to the vignettes, thusly - subject - please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to the featured page.  I am NOT able to add a back-link to the jpg image. 

 

THE GHOSTS

 

ADAIRVILLE

Kane Co.

This class B ghost is on the Paria (Pahreah) River, south of where US 89 crosses the river, 42 miles east of Kanab. Founded by Thomas Adair and a group of farmers in 1872.  It was abandoned by the 1920s.  Not much remains.

 

·        Latitude:

·        Longitude:

·        Salt Lake Base Line & Meridian

BASIN

Grand Co.

Basin is at an elevation of 10,000 feet, and is accessible only by four wheel drive roads (inquire in Moab for directions and road conditions).  From 1896-1905, the tiny gold mining town of less than 100 folks had a blacksmith shop, hotel, post office, two restaurants and a couple saloons.  The 1907 financial panic killed the mines, and the town died.

BLACK ROCK STATION

AKA – Butte Station, Desert Station

Juab Co.

This old Pony Express Station was located 14 miles southwest of Dugway Station along the northern edge of county, east of Callao.  It was one of several stations stretching across the bleak Utah desert.  It was a lone building in the shadow of a volcanic cone.

CALLAO

 AKA – Willow Springs Station

Juab Co.

Also known as Willow Springs Station, this old Pony Express and later, stage station is located right below the southwest corner of the Desert Test Center, southwest of the Great Salt Lake.  It is literally out in the middle of nowhere.  In 1869, Callao (pronounced CAL'-ee-oh), died with the opening of the railroad to the north.  In the early 1900s, it became an important stop on Lincoln Highway, and in 1936 peaked at 100 people.  A few people still remain.

CASTLETON

Grand Co.

Castleton was a mining supply center located about ten miles southeast of SH 128, east of Moab.  It originally boomed along with the gold mines in Miner’s Basin, but died after the 1907 National Financial Panic killed the mines.

CISCO

Grand Co.

In the 1930s, this tiny class D map dot was a busy road town with several hundred people.  It was located on what was US 6/50.  Cisco is 5.8 miles southwest of I-70 at EXIT 220, 16.7 miles west of the state line, 50 miles east of Green River. 

See our CISCO page for additional details.

COAL CITY

AKA – Dempseyville

Carbon Co.

This old coal-mining town was located 2.5 miles south of Helper, then nine miles west on SH-139 west of Spring Glen.  It is not shown on recent AAA state maps.  Other old ghosts in area are National (three miles above Coal City), and Consumers (a mile & a half above National).  In 1885 the coal camp was established, and it died shortly after.  In the 1920s it experienced a minor resurgence, stores and a school were opened, but it quickly died again. Ruins of a number of buildings remain, including the old rock store and several large wooden buildings that have collapsed.

 

·        Latitude: 39.6666304 / 39° 40' 00" N

·        Longitude: -111.0162773 / 111° 00' 59" W

·        SWĽ Sec 27, T13S, R8E, SLM

COVE FORT

Millard Co.

Just north of the junction of I-15/I-70, about 20 miles north of Beaver and 1.9 miles southeast of Exit 135 on I-15.  This restored, stone walled fort was in use from 1867-1877.  It is now a state historic site and is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

See our COVE FORT page for additional details.

DIAMOND CITY

Juab Co.

This old mining town is located in the Tintic Mining District, two miles east of US 6, at a point 1.9 miles south of junction of SH 36 and US 6, 3.8 miles southwest of Eureka.  Diamond City was one of the smaller camps in the Tintic Mining District which included Eureka, Mammoth, Silver City, Ironton, Knightsville, Homansville, Dividend, Burgin, Tintic Station and Tintic Mills. 

ELGIN

Grand Co.

Located at the east end of, and just inside the Green River city limits, just east of the river, north of the railroad tracks, east of the Super 8 Motel.  In 1905, some 30 families lived in this tiny agricultural community, which at one time it had a post office, railroad depot, school and a store. In 1917, the price of coal rose, and two years of killing winters decimated the orchards, killing the town.  A few buildings remain, including a half-dozen occupied homes interspersed with unoccupied structures and abandoned vehicles.

EUREKA

Juab Co.

Eureka is an old class E silver mining town located on US 6, 20 miles west of I‑15 at Santaquin, which is 15 miles north of Nephi.  It is the “metropolis” of the Tintic Mining District, and had a with a 2000 population of 766.  It was born in 1869 with the discovery of silver, and sits in a shallow valley.  The mines perch on the hills around it, and its mostly abandoned, false fronted, rock and brick building-lined Main Street is now part of a National Historic District.  Faded advertisements on exterior walls and dusty merchandise inside store windows reveal memories of a distant past.

See our Tintic Mining District page for additional details.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

FRISCO

Beaver Co.

At the south end of the San Francisco Mountains 15 miles west of Milford, and on the north side of SH 21.  Milford is 30 miles northwest of Beaver in southwest part of state.  An 1876 era silver camp, Frisco has many ruins and is considered one of Utah's best ghost towns.  Having not been there I can't vouch for that claim.

FRUITA

AKA – Junction

Wayne Co.

Located at the confluence of Sand Creek and the Fremont River, in the heart of Capitol Reef National Park.  Fruita is the remains of a Mormon agricultural colony established in 1876, and vacated in 1959, 14 years after the town was absorbed by the National Monument (now Park).  Many of the homes were torn down, but unlike most similar locations in other parks, the National Park Service has seen fit to remember the hardy pioneers, not to shuffle them into the dust-bunnies of the past.  The restored school house/church and a few other buildings greet campers who spread out through the still-producing orchards.

GARFIELD

Salt Lake Co.

This company-owned copper-smelting town was located on SH 201 midway between Magna (to west of I-80) and the junction with I-80.  Garfield was founded around 1906 and as late as 1950 was still a major town with 2123 folks.  By 1955 with expansion of the smelter, most of the buildings were relocated four miles to the east at Magna, or to Hunter.  In 1956 the last of the houses were torn down, leaving it a forgotten site.

GOLD HILL

Tooele Co.

Not even shown on most of today’s maps, this old town is located 22 miles north of Callao, and west of the Desert Test Center.  It was founded in 1892, and around 1917 grew rapidly when a branch railroad arrived.  About 3000 folks eventually lived here, but by 1950 only 32 remained, and as late as 1980, 11 residents remained.  Today, it's not even on the map.

GRAFTON

Washington Co.

Located on south side of the Virgin River, 3.7 miles west of Rockville, this class C ghost is actually at its second site, the first having washed away.  A number of interesting and picturesque buildings remain, including the old school and several former homes.  The cemetery is located about halfway between the town site and the Rockville Bridge over the Virgin River.  For recently departed ghost towns, visit our ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST page.  This is mentioned as one of the buildings in town was removed after it collapsed in the 1990s.

See our GRAFTON page for additional details. 

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

HIAWATHA

Carbon Co.

This small coal mining camp was located on SH 122, nine miles west of SH 10, at a point eight miles south of Price. It was one of many small coal camps that dotted the hills and valleys in the Price/Helper area.  During the WWII years, some 1500 people lived here, but today, only a handful of people still call the rundown community home.

 

·        Latitude: 39.4844112 / 39° 29’ 04” N

·        Longitude: -111.0115559 / 111° 00’ 42” W

·        On line S-Ctr Sec 27, N Ctr Sec 34, T15S, R8E, SLM

MERCUR 

AKA – Lewiston

 

Tooele Co.

On a dirt road to east of SH 73, about ten miles southeast of a junction with SH 36, at a point 12 miles south of Tooele. Mercur began its life as a wild placer gold camp of 1200 miners in the early 1860s, but quickly faded as the gold was exhausted.  During the 1890s, hard rock mining began, and the cyanide processing of ore created a monster boom that attracted miners, and others.  By 1902 some 12,000 people called Mercur home.  However, on June 25, 1902 fire destroyed the city, but it was reborn.  In 1942 when the federal government closed al the gold mines, Mercur died.  In 1983 the site was purchased, and an open pit gold mine started.  If anything remains, I don't know.

MODENA

Iron Co.

This old class D agricultural community is located on the edge of the Escalante Desert, about nine miles northeast of the Nevada state line, and south of SH 56.  In 1990, 80 people still lived here, but this must include everyone within a dozen miles, because occupied buildings in this town are rare.  Facing the railroad are two classic ghost town structures.  One is a chocolate brown, bare-windowed, single-story false front, while the other is a well weathered two-story, with peeling paint advertising it as the “B.J. Lund & Co. General Merchandise and Hotel.”  Other buildings of note include the cut-rock Modena School, the white clapboard “Last Chance Saloon”, the still active “Force’s General Store”/single-pump gas station & post office, along with a handful of other unidentified structures.

PARIA

 AKA – Pareah

Kane Co.

39 miles east of Kanab, on the west bank of the Paria (Pahreah) River, six miles north of US 89, at a point 9.4 miles west of its river crossing.  This agricultural and mining town began in 1872, faded by the early 1900s, and was totally abandoned by 1930.

PROMONTORY

Box Elder Co.

This one-time railroad boomtown was located 32 miles west of Brigham City, near the Promontory Point National Historic Site.  On May 10, 1869, this was a one-sided, one-street railroad construction camp.  When the Union and Southern Pacific railroads met, they met here.  It was here that the national attention was focused on that singular event.  The Atlantic and Pacific coasts were now connected by rail.  Ten years later the town of Promontory was a has-been, and in 1942 the rails were removed, having been relocated to the south.

SEGO

Grand Co.

This class B early 1900s-1950s era coal mining camp once had 500 people, and is located in Sego Canyon, about five miles north of Thompsons (Thompson Springs – depending on the map).  A high clearance vehicle is recommended.  DO NOT attempt this route in wet or threatening weather as flash floods frequently wash down this canyon.  The solid pinkish-rock walls of the old company store, the deteriorating remains of the wooden, two-story "American" boarding house and the rock remains of another unidentified building make up the heart of this little ghost.  Scattered through the greenery, are dugout cabins, an explosives bunker, and many foundations. 

See our CISCO page for additional details.

SILVER CITY

Juab Co.

This class B, Tintic Mining District silver-mining camp was located southwest of Mammoth.  From Mammoth, go to US 6 and headed south.  At 0.8 miles the southern leg of the SH 36 "Y" junction is reached, and in 0.2 miles a dirt road again leads off to the east.  This one wanders past the concrete foundations of a huge mill, and a large tailing pile, which in 1995 was undergoing heap leaching.  Silver City is 0.7 miles up the road, but there is nothing left other than a few holes where mines were, and a number of colorful tailing piles.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

See our Tintic Mining District page for additional details.

SILVER REEF

Washington Co.

Located in Washington County, 1.5 miles west of Leeds, which is along I-15 at EXIT 22, 15 miles north of St. George.  Remains include: a few modern homes, the restored 1876 John Rice Bank Building, the restored Wells Fargo & Co. Express building, and the reconstructed Cosmopolitan Restaurant, which closed between 2008 and 2012.  Other rock walls and ruins also remain.  Silver Reef is a worthwhile stop if you are in the St. George area.  See our SILVER REEF page for additional details.

SOLDIER SUMMIT

Utah/Wasatch Cos.

Located where US 6 crosses the county line at an elevation of 7470’ east of Spanish Fork and north of Price.  It is the scattered remains of a once-lively railroad town.  The current population is only four and they serve a restaurant/gas station on the summit that does brisk business.

This was our Ghost Town of the Month for November 2011.

THISTLE

Utah Co.

Located below the junction of US 6/89 along the creek bottoms, this old railroad town was nearly destroyed by a massive flood in April 1983.  For photos and additional details See Part 6 of our “Tour Guide to the Ghost Towns Along U.S. Highway 6”  Also see our ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST page for a list of towns that have disappeared or been damaged in some way in the very recent past.

 

·        Latitude: 39.9913448 / 39° 59' 29" N

·        Longitude: -111.4982447 / 111° 29' 54" W

·        Corner Secs 28, 29, 32 & 33, T9S, R4E, SLM

THOMPSONS

Grand Co.

Located about a mile north of I-70, at EXIT 185. 

See our CISCO page for additional details.

TOPAZ RELOCATION CENTER

Millard Co.

Located about 16 miles northwest of Delta (which is on US 6/50).  In early 1942, 42 blocks of barracks were erected on desert land, and thousands of Japanese-Americans were shipped here for the duration of the war.  In 1945 the camp was disbanded, and soon all buildings were removed.  Nothing but foundations, slabs and rubble remain.

This is one of the locations featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

This was our Ghost Town of the Month for March 2014.

See our TOPAZ RELOCATION CENTER page for additional details.

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

There are over 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America. Gary B. Speck Publications is trying to capture as many of these historical locations as possible and is currently in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of *** ™.  These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

 

For more information on the ghost towns of UTAH, contact us at Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to any e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line.   

 

 

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

IMPORTANT NOTE

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in UTAH as shown above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.   ALWAYS respect the rights of the landowners. 

 

When you are exploring the ghost towns of UTAH, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

 

Also visit: Ghost Town USA’s

 

Home Page | Site Map | Ghost Town Listings | On The Road Again | Photo Gallery | Treasure Legends

CURRENT Ghost Town of the Month | PAST Ghost Towns of the Month

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics | Publications | Genealogy | License Plate Collecting

 

A few LINKS to outside webpages:

Ghost Towns | Treasure Hunting | License Plate Collecting | Genealogy

 

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FIRST POSTED:  July 04, 2002

LAST UPDATED: April 07, 2014

 

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