CARBON COUNTY, Utah (Good4Utah)- Spring Canyon, located just outside of Helper, was a place where coal was king in a half dozen ghost towns.
The Spring Canyon coal boom lasted from 1912 to the end of World War II.
Today here and there you find the remains of a building or a house that was located not far from a little stream or some coal company building.
It was part of an area that claimed it would keep the worlds need for coal for “nearly a hundred years”.
Rare photographs show us the town called “Standard” or “Standardville”.
Extremely rare film show the men of Springs Canyon at work.
We see Tipples—the places where trains met coal in Spring Canyon. This 80 year old film explains why pieces of train a train trestle can be found here and there.
In 1996 I was musing around Spring Canyon and came across one of the last people who knew what it was like back then. Hugh Jaramillo grew up in Spring Canyon.
“Sixty percent of the people of Carbon County lived here in this county.”
Now the ruins, pictures, and film comes alive.
“You had your apartment houses down here and there was homes all along here,” Jarmaillo remembers.
That day 20 years ago, I found out information that doesn’t come from pictures. We learn about the people in the pictures.
“There was a little school house that sat right over there. A one room school house and I remember the teacher. Her name was Mrs King. She had four classes,” Jarmillo recollects, “I as the third grader learned from the fourth grader by sitting there listening to him and I think every child who came out of that school could read and write.”
He wanted to show me something that was in no picture or film. It would have been forgotten by now. It was on top of a rock.
He would stand below and retrieve the balls that went over the cliff.
“We would come down as children and pick up the tennis balls and climb up that crack and receive 10 cents apiece for each ball. Now that sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?”
Now there is less and less here to remember Spring Canyon and sadly there are fewer and fewer people to tell what the old pictures don’t show.
Thanks to a wonderful conversation I had 20 years ago we know there were people. There was life and not just these buildings.