Skip to main content

Ghost Town Tuesday; Thompson Springs, UT, Utah State Route 94, and old US 50/6

Back in 2016 I visited the small ghost town of Thompson Springs in Grand County, Utah located at the north terminus of Utah State Route 94 at Old US Route 50/6.


Thompson Springs began as a rail siding in the early 1880s along the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad when rail construction reached Utah.  The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad ultimately spanned from Ogden, UT to the vicinity of Santa Fe, NM.  The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad incorporated in 1870 and had many spur routes in the Rockies in addition to Colorado plateau.  The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad was merged into the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1988.  Cisco can be seen on the 1883 Denver and Rio Grande Railroad map.

1883 Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Map 

The present location of Thompson Springs was near one of the branches of the Spanish Trail and In 1926 US Route 50 was plotted through town.  By 1937 US 6 joined US 50 in Thompson Springs as it was extended to Long Beach, CA.  Cisco would remain a major stopping point on US 50/6 until both highways were multiplexed onto I-70 which was completed on a new alignment to the south.  I'm uncertain of when Utah State Route 94 was first signed as it's original north terminus was 5 miles north of Thompson Springs in Sego via Sego Canyon Road.  The current south terminus of UT 94 was completed to I-70 1969 to act as a connector route from the new alignment of I-70/US 50/6 to Old US 50/6 in downtown Thompson Springs, I'm fairly certain the segment north to Sego was deleted at that time.  Today, UT 94 is a very small route signed on Thompson Canyon Road and is slightly less than 1 mile.  UT 94 is mainly used for access to a gas station in addition to a UDOT maintenance yard.

Thompson Springs did not weather time very well after being bypassed by I-70/US 50/US 6 as it now is a ghost town.  Unlike nearby Cisco the buildings located in Thompson Springs are largely in a decent state of repair.  Below is the north terminus of UT 94 approaching Old US 50/6 houses various abandoned buildings.



Along Old US 50/6 there are various abandoned structures in a variation of decay.  I found the Thompson Motel to be the most interesting to look at.






The Desert Moon Hotel appeared to be the only occupied building left in Thomson Springs.  There is an active RV site still listed at the location on Google Maps.


The Book Cliffs are relatively close to Thompson Springs and can be seen across the railroad tracks on Old US 50/6.





Sego was a coal mining town located at the foot of the Book Cliffs north of Thompson Springs.  Sego was inhabited from 1910 to until 1955 when miles played out.  Sego had a peak population of about 500 residents and a 5.25 railroad spur known as the Ballard & Thompson Railroad which operated from 1911 to 1950.  This 1950 Utah State Highway Map shows Sego north of Thompson Springs connected via UT 94. 

Comments

US 89 said…
UT 94 was created in 1935.

Popular posts from this blog

Yes, the color of your nearby fire hydrant matters...

...and here's why. You will find White, Red, Yellow and Violet colored fire hydrants pretty much everywhere.  But there's a reason for this - and it's because of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  This association has issued guidelines for color coding standards for fire hydrants.  These color codes from the body of the hydrant, top of the hydrant, and in some municipalities the outlet caps are designed to allow fire fighters to know what type of system, water flow rate (Gallons Per Minute or GPM), and level of water pressure.  This guideline is known as NFPA 291 and is intended to be used universally throughout the United States. The NFPA guidelines are specific to the body and the top cap of the hydrant.  If a hydrant is WHITE or YELLOW - it means that it is connected to a public/municipal water system.  If a hydrant is RED - the hydrant is connected to a private system, typically a well.  These are most common in rural or unincorporated areas

Phase 1 of the California State Route 132 West Expressway (in the making since 1947)

On September 15, 2022, the Phase 1 of the California State Route 132 West Expressway opened in the city of Modesto from California State Route 99 west to North Dakota Avenue.  Phase 1 of the California State Route 132 West Expressway was built upon a corridor which was tentatively to designated to become the branching point for Interstate 5W in the 1947 concept of the Interstate Highway System.  The present California State Route 132 West Expressway corridor was adopted by the California Highway Commission on June 20, 1956.  Despite almost being rescinded during the 1970s the concept of the California State Route 132 West Expressway corridor lingered on for over half a century and became likely the oldest undeveloped right-of-way owned by California Transportation Commission.  Pictured above is the planned California State Route 132 freeway west of US Route 99 in Modesto as featured in the May/June 1962 California Highways & Public Works.   The history of the California State Route

Aptos Creek Road to the Loma Prieta ghost town site

Aptos Creek Road is a roadway in Santa Cruz County, California which connects the community of Aptos north to The Forest of Nisene Marks State Parks.  Aptos Creek Road north of Aptos is largely unpaved and is where the town site of Loma Prieta can be located.  Loma Prieta was a sawmill community which operated from 1883-1923 and reached a peak population of approximately three hundred.  Loma Prieta included a railroad which is now occupied by Aptos Creek Road along with a spur to Bridge Creek which now the Loma Prieta Grade Trail.  The site of the Loma Prieta Mill and company town burned in 1942.   Part 1; the history of Aptos Creek Road and the Loma Prieta town site Modern Aptos traces its origin to Mexican Rancho Aptos.  Rancho Aptos was granted by the Mexican Government in 1833 Rafael Castro.  Rancho Aptos took its name from Aptos Creek which coursed through from the Santa Cruz Mountains to Monterey Bay.  Castro initially used Rancho Aptos to raise cattle for their hides.  Following