Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Town #39: HANKSVILLE est. 1882

Hanksville seems to be out in the middle of nowhere. It is at least an hour away from any other town. The town is just north of the Henry Mountains in southeast Utah and sits along the Fremont and Muddy rivers. It was originally named Graves Valley after Walter Graves who originally mapped the area. In the 1880s, several small towns were established in the area along the river, but Hanksville is the only one left functioning as a town. It is so isolated that they didn't have telephones until 1913, and before 1960, the only electricity came from individual generators fueled by butane and diesel fuel.

West of Hanksville, we found this billboard about the town Giles. Giles was another settlement started in the 1880s. The people of Giles struggled to make a farming community for over 20 years, they finally gave up around 1909. I have great- grandparents that met and fell in love here.

There isn't much left of Giles except some adobe brick foundations. This is what is left of the bell tower of the church/school house.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Town #38: WELLINGTON CITY est. 1878

Wellington is a small town six miles southwest of Price. It was settled in 1878 by 13 pioneer families, and is named named for Justus Wellington Seeley Jr who served in the Emery County Court.

We had to pass through Wellington to reach Nine Mile Canyon where we were able to see these wonderful petroglyphs. These are the petroglyphs that adorn, along the top, Utah's newest license plate. The canyon's name was misleading though, because we drove more than nine miles along that canyon. Or so it seemed to us.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Town #37: Helper est. 1881

I know that it is about time that I add some more towns to my list. Spring is trying to return and all those Utah towns are calling to us. I'm not sure what happened last fall, but I didn't finish posting about the rest of the towns that we saw. Last Labor Day weekend, we took a fun trip around Utah and stopped at many Utah towns. Our first stop was Helper, seven miles north of Price. This was a scary picture because we had to pull over to the side of the busy highway to take it.

A couple of days later, we stopped at Helper again on our way home and found a much better sign along the quiet town streets.

Helper sits just at the point the highway comes out of Price Canyon. It is a railroad town established by the Denver Rio Grande Western Railway. It is known as "The Hub of Carbon County". Its name comes from the helper engines that would help the trains make it up the steep Price Canyon. Because of the railroad, Helper has always had a diverse population. We like Helper because it has so many of the old original buildings on its main street still. Helper also has a great museum in one its old hotels based on the railroad and coal mining history in the area.

The Balanced Rock Cafe is another reason why we like Helper. They serve the best grilled ham and cheese sandwiches anywhere in Utah. They let you pick out both the type of cheese and bread that you want. Very tasty!