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Rock Springs in Sweetwater County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Rock Springs Coal

 
 
Rock Springs Coal Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, July 6, 2013
1. Rock Springs Coal Marker
Inscription.  Buried under the streets of Rock Springs are seams of coal. In 1850 Howard Stansbury noted that coal could be found near the present town. When, in 1868, the Union Pacific Railroad built through the area, the large commercial mines opened. Number 1 Mine, opened in downtown and the village streets were said to have been laid out by "a 'drunken' miner on a dying horse." The Number 1 Mine, along with the nearby Blair Mine, which opened in the early to mid 1860's, formed the nucleus of an infant community. The town became known as the "Newcastle of the West," (after the fabled England coal town). From 1868 to until the mid-nineteenth century, coal from Rock Springs area mines provided relatively clean burning fuel for steam locomotives that crossed the Rocky Mountains. In the late 1800's English, Swedish, Finnish, Chinese, Italian, and Slovenian miners came to work in the mines. By the turn of the century the town boasted miners from around the world. Japanese, Welsh, Cornish, Scottish, German, and Polish workers joined other nationalities in the mines to make Rock Springs one of the most diverse communities in Wyoming. When in the 1950s the underground
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coal mines closed many thought that Rock Springs would vanish. The newly opened Trona mines west of present Green River employed many of the miners that chose to stay in Rock Springs. Then in the 1970's strip mines opened east and north of present Point of Rocks and coal mining once again provide miners in Rock Springs with jobs. From 1862 to the present coal has been mined in the area around Rock Springs. Coal mining brought Rock Springs to life and modern miners continue to bring to the surface the fuel that fires the areas economy.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1850.
 
Location. 41° 35.204′ N, 109° 13.227′ W. Marker is in Rock Springs, Wyoming, in Sweetwater County. Marker is on S. Main Street east of C Street, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located in Railroad Park next to the western end of the railroad depot building. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rock Springs WY 82901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "Charlie Smith" (a few steps from this marker); A Tragedy Remembered (a few steps from this marker); Beneath This Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Rock Springs Coal Welcome Sign (within shouting distance of this
Rock Springs Coal Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, July 6, 2013
2. Rock Springs Coal Marker
marker); Rock Spring Stage Station Site (approx. 1.3 miles away); Oil Derrick (approx. 1.7 miles away); Tipples and the Reliance Coal Mines (approx. 5.8 miles away); The Reliance Tipple (approx. 5.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rock Springs.
 
Rocks Springs Railroad Depot Building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, July 6, 2013
3. Rocks Springs Railroad Depot Building
Presently used for offices
<i>Coal Mining Scene at Rock Springs, Wyo.</i> image. Click for full size.
Postcard by Curteich, circa 1940
4. Coal Mining Scene at Rock Springs, Wyo.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 17, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 692 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 17, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   4. submitted on October 20, 2015.

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Mar. 4, 2024