Forest City

Name:

Forest City

County:

Utah

Zip Code:

 

Latitude / Longitude:

40°31’40″N 111°36’10″W

Elevation:

 

Time Zone:

Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)

Comments:

Forest City is a ghost town in Utah County, Utah, United States. It is located in the valley of Dutchman Flat in the upper part of American Fork Canyon, in the Uinta National Forest. A silver mining town just over the mountain from Alta, Forest City was inhabited about 1871–1880. The town grew up around the smelter that was built to process ore from the canyon’s mines. The American Fork Railroad, which was intended to serve Forest City and the smelter, stopped short of its destination due to engineering difficulties. Transportation costs rose too high for the mines to continue operating profitably. As the smelter, mines, and railroad closed down, Forest City was abandoned.

Remains:

Soon after the discovery of silver in Little Cottonwood Canyon in the late 1860s, prospectors crossed the mountain ridge to the south and staked more claims in American Fork Canyon. The largest mine, the Miller Hill Mine, developed quickly, and in 1871 was purchased for $120,000 by the Aspinwall Steamship Company of New York City. They built a smelter at Dutchman Flat called the Sultana Smelting Works, which employed 250–300 men in 1871. It was one of the most costly smelters in Utah Territory. The town that grew around the smelter was named Forest City.

Established:

1871

Disestablished:

1880

Current Status:

Little is left of Forest City today. The foundations of the smelter and of some houses are still visible. The cemetery at Graveyard Flat was preserved for some time, but people have driven snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles over it and have even torn down the picket fence surrounding it. As of 2004, only a wooden sign remained. On National Public Lands Day in September 2012, Forest Service employees and volunteers from local four wheeling clubs gathered at Graveyard Flat, built a new sturdier fence around the graveyard, and replaced the old wooden sign with two nice, well-built information signs depicting the history of the town and the cemetery.

Remarks:

The smelter’s production soon outpaced the ability to transport bullion and ore out of the canyon. In April 1872 the Aspinwall Steamship Company organized the American Fork Railroad Company to address this problem. They planned to build a narrow gauge railway from the city of American Fork up the canyon to Forest City. The Utah Southern Railroad, which at the time went no further south than Sandy, was scheduled that year to extend its track southward through Utah Valley, and the new railroad was to join it at American Fork. Construction on the line began from American Fork in May 1872, and by August it had reached the mouth of the canyon.