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Carbon County Ghost Towns - Page 4

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Standardville, Utah, 1916

Standardville, Utah, 1916, William Shipler.

This image available for photo prints & commercial downloads HERE!




Standardville - About five miles northwest of Helper on Spring Canyon Road, is the old mining camp of Standardville. Getting its start in 1912, the mine and settlement were developed railroad and coal developer, F.A. Sweet who had previously organized and developed the Independent Coal & Coke Company at Kenilworth in 1907, and the Consolidated Fuel Company at Hiawatha in 1908. The mine was located just about ¼ mile north of the new town.


The "city” and the mine were so modern and well planned that the town was named Standardville, as a "standard" for other mining camps to follow.


In February, 1914 the company shipped its first coal and during that year the mine was producing about 200 tons of coal daily. A year later the output had increased five fold.


The population of Standardville increased and the town boasted a large company store, steam-heated apartments, a butcher shop, a barber shop, a hospital, recreation hall, tennis courts and an elementary school with four teachers and 200 students. Junior high students attended school in Latuda and high school students traveled to Price.





Standardville, Utah old buildingBoth the Utah Coal Route and the D&RG Railroads transported the coal to the market and early on a stage line ran daily between Standardville and Helper.


But, all was not perfect in the "model” town as it had a long history of mining strikes, which sometimes erupted into violence. In June, 1922, a mine guard was killed, and the mine superintendent and a miner wounded, by strikers who were attempting to stop a train bringing in strike breakers.


Disaster struck Standardville on February 6, 1930 when a gas explosion erupted in the mine. While 29 men were working, a pocket of carbon monoxide gas was ignited probably from sparks from a cutting machine, killing 20 of the miners and three members of a rescue crew. After the explosion, which occurred about 9:00 p.m., nine miners were able to escape. The three members of the rescue crew died when they were crushed during a cave-in.


Though the explosion dealt a blow to the mine and the community, it continued to thrive and by 1932, more than 2,000 tons daily went over the modern steel tipple.


Though the mine was still producing heavily, it was struggling financially in 1939 and was unable to meet its payroll in January. To keep the mine from closing the 265 miners voted unanimously to work only for food to save the mine from closing. However, the mine was closed on April 5, 1939. The company was then sold under foreclosure on November 3, 1939, and reorganized as Standard Coal, Incorporated (of Nevada). Shipments resumed on December 1, 1939.


By 1948 the Spring Canyon Coal Company was operating the Standard mine, along with the Spring Canyon mine, and the Royal mine. But, two years later, in 1950, the Standard Coal Company mine was closed, followed by the stores, the school, and the hospital as miners moved away. However, the mine office remained open and two families continued to live in the town until the early 1970’s.


At its peak, Standardville supported almost 600 residents.


Latuda - Located about seven miles west of Helper is the old townsite of Latuda. The settlement began when Francisco Latuda and Charles Picco, both of Trinidad, Colorado, bought approximately 326 acres of coal lands on August 1, 1917 and began development of the Liberty Mine and formed the Liberty Fuel company. The first shipment of coal was sent from a temporary tipple in January, 1918.   


Initially, the settlement that grew up around the mine was comprised of only a few houses, with the rest of the town made up of tents. However, new structures began to replace the tents in 1918 and the camp was known as Liberty. When a post office was built, the name was changed to Latuda, in honor of the mine owner.


In 1920, a mine office was built of stone, which also housed a hotel for visiting executives on its top floor, as well as a doctor's office. A school building was constructed in 1921, which was also used for meetings and social functions.  Additional homes were built to house the miners in 1922.


Coal production increased steadily as the company continued to make improvements and in 1926, was one of the first mines to utilize mechanical loading inside the mine.



Continued Next Page


Standardville, Utah, 1916

Standardville tipple and coal storage, 1916, William Shipler.

This image available for photog prints & commercial downloads HERE!


Standardville, Utah

The tipple is long gone, but this large coal storage unit, made of concrete should stand for years, April, 2008, Kathy Weiser.

This image available for photog prints & commercial downloads HERE!


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