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Carbon County Ghost Towns - Page 5

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One of the town’s earliest problems was with water, which had to be hauled in from Helper, before a small spring was tapped from some distance, and piped into the town. Another problem for the "city” was snow slides. Surrounded by mountains at an elevation of some 6,700 feet, Latuda was subject to snow slides, two of which occurred on February 16, 1927, killing two miners and burying a row of houses a nearly a mile of railroad track.

In 1928 the Liberty Fuel Company built a new "modern" four track steel tipple, which increased capacity to 1,500 tons per day.


By the mid 1940s production had begun to fall, reduced to just about 1,000 tons per day and by 1954, the company had shut down much of its operation.


In 1966, the mine was closed permanently, and the entrance blasted shut. The Population in the town peaked at about 400 people, but by 1967 no one was left.


Rains - Just beyond Latuda at the upper end of Spring Canyon, are the remains of three small mining camps – Rains, Mutual and Little Standard. These were so closely grouped together that the towns blended one into the other. Rains got its start in 1915 when prominent mining engineer Leon Felix Rains garnered the interest of  P.J. Quealy, a coal operator from Wyoming, in investing in the coal lands west of Standardville.


Latuda, Utah

Latuda about 1940, photo by William Shipler, courtesy

 Utah State Historical Society.




Probably Rains, UtahSoon, the Carbon Fuel Company was organized, the land was purchased from the government and Mr. Rains served as president of the company. Interestingly, Rains had been a grand opera singer until he became interested in the coal industry, first gaining his experience selling coal in California. Later, he worked as the general manager for the Standard Coal Company from 1913 to 1914, before starting the Carbon Fuel Company.


The 18 foot coal seams in this area were so thick that the company had little development work to accomplish before taking out its first load, which was shipped in November, 1915. The coal camp that grew up around the mine took on the name of its president, and the company built some 60 houses for its employees, as well as a school, a boarding house, a bath house, and a store.


By June, 1916 the Carbon Fuel Company was shipping about 300 of coal per day on its own railroad spur built from the end of the line at Standardville. Later the Liberty Mine at Latuda would use the spur. In 1919, the Denver & Rio Grande bought the railroad property between Standardville and Rains.


The mine continued to prosper until 1930, when a portion of the operations were shut down. However, in 1938, the Carbon Fuel Company extended its underground workings and began working the adjacent and by then, defunct Mutual Coal Mine.


Somewhere along the line, the mine was sold as by late 1945 it was under the ownership of the Utah-Carbon Coal Company and in 1951, was operated by the Hi-Heat Coal Company. But the coal was gradually being depleted and in 1958 the mine was shut down completely.


During its peak, the mine produced about 1200-1500 tons of coal per day, employed about 200 men, and the town was called home to about 500 residents.


Today, the townsite still has several foundations, walls, and buildings, which are located on a private ranch. but it is difficult to determine what belonged to Rains and the other nearby towns of Mutual and Latuda.


Mutual Utah Company StoreMutual - Just northwest of Rains was the mining camp of Mutual developed by the Mutual Coal Company in 1921. Along with the Mutual Mine, there were also a number of smaller operations in the area. Located so close to Rains, the Mutual’s population utilized the Rains school and post office, but had its own large company store and a number of miners’ homes.


From 1921 to 1931, the Mutual Mine produced more than 1.5 million tons of coal, which was rated one of the best domestic coals in the territory. The mine closed in 1938 and its workings were taken over by the adjacent Carbon Fuel Company by extending its own underground workings into the Mutual mine.

Numerous mining remains dot the end of the canyon and the old walls of the Mutual Company Store still stand, amongst corrals and ranching paraphernalia.   


© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated April, 2015.



Also See:


Castle Gate Lost Treasure

Spring Canyon Treasure

The White Lady of Spring Canyon

Winter Quarters - Hidden Loot in a Ghost Town



Carbon County Ghost Town Slideshow:



This image available for photo prints & commercial downloads HERE!


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