Wahsatch

Name:

Wahsatch

County:

Summit

Zip Code:

 

Latitude / Longitude:

41°11’57″N 111°06’47″W

Elevation:

6,824 ft (2,080 m)

Time Zone:

Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)

Comments:

Wahsatch (/’w””sæt”/) is a ghost town in Summit County, Utah, United States. It lies along I-80 at the northeastern end of Echo Canyon some 23 miles (37 km) east of Echo, and 11 miles (18 km) west of Evanston, Wyoming. Wahsatch was established as a railroad camp, later achieving local prominence in sheep ranching. It was inhabited from 1868 until the 1930s.

Remains:

Wahsatch was established in 1868 as a railroad construction camp, the first of many such camps set up in Utah by the Union Pacific Railroad in the process of building the First Transcontinental Railroad. From 1868 to 1869 a population of hundreds dug the 772-foot (235 m) Echo tunnel through the Wasatch Mountains west of town. Wahsatch soon became a major supply station and railhead, with its own roundhouse, workshops, boarding houses, and warehouses. When the transcontinental railroad was finished in May 1869, a meal station for waiting passengers was constructed.

Established:

1868

Disestablished:

1930s

Current Status:

The townsite on the north side of the highway is on railroad property, but the ruins on the south side are on a public road and can be accessed. Most visitors see little more than an old wooden sign reading Wahsatch alongside the tracks, but there are some remnants of railroad buildings and equipment.

Remarks:

Toward the end of the 19th century, Wahsatch enjoyed a minor rebirth as a location central to the area’s growing sheep ranches. A number of new dwellings were built as ranchers and laborers began to gather here annually for sheep shearing season. In the spring of 1899 alone, an estimated 700,000 pounds (320,000 kg) of wool was sheared. In June 1903 it was reported that 489 carloads of sheep had arrived at Wahsatch from their winter range. The town grew enough to justify the building of a new school in 1910. In 1916 Wahsatch became the headquarters for the construction of a second railroad tunnel, bringing another temporary surge in population. The railroad built a new depot and section houses in the 1930s, but Wahsatch soon declined, along with the sheep industry. The town was abandoned in the 1930s.