Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kelton, Utah October 16, 2011

Interesting headstone

Leaving Terrace, Utah, drivers pass by a number of small ghost town sites but nothing is left at any of them. The desert scenery and crumbling bridges on the old rail bed make for an interesting trip. One of the highlights before Golden Spike is the town of Kelton, Utah. There is nothing left of the town but foundations and a cemetery. The cemetery has a number of interesting headstones and is worth a look.

History: The town of Kelton, Utah, sprang up as a result of the building of the Central Pacific through Utah. It would be the center of freight and stage coach lines running into Idaho and Oregon. In its heyday the town would have a post office, hotel, saloons and stores. A pipe from the neighboring mountains brought water to steam locomotives.

The town's decline began with the building of the Lucin cutoff across the Salt Lake. As a result, many workers and residents moved away. Until 1942 Kelton would be an important hub for local shipping. At the beginning of World War II the rails were removed to aid in the war effort.(Information from Utah Ghost Towns byStephen Carr).

Desert scenery with grade in middle of photo

Some of the original pioneers of the west

Headstone that you can barely read

Terrace, Utah Historic Transcontinental Railroad October 16, 2011

Twenty-five miles of driving on the Central Pacific grade took me to the ghost town of Terrace, Utah. There are no intact buildings left in the town. If a visitor looks closely one can see foundations and imprints of buildings in the area. What is left is a historic cemetery which only recently became vandalized; however, visitors can still see some interesting headstones RESPECT America's history. You are not a patriot if you do not.

History: Terrace, Utah, was an important division point on the Central Pacific. It had a yard, roundhouse and repair shops for freight cars and locomotives. At its height 1,000 people lived in Terrace. The town was noted for being one of the only Chinese American communities in the west. The Chinese lived in shacks in the western part of town segregated from their white counterparts.

The town was noted for following strict rules of decorum. First, community leaders taxed citizens to maintain a public library and bathrooms. Second, the Sabbath was respected by towns people. Third, rules in the town kept public drunkenness to a minimum (Information from Utah Ghost Towns by Stephen Carr).

Terrace declined for a number of reasons. It was a railroad town, so when the Central Pacific moved its railroad shops to Montello many towns folk left as well. In 1900 a fire destroyed important buildings in town sealing the city's fate.

Interesting cross