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

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Old River Lock & Control Structure (Lettsworth, LA)

  The Old River Control Structure (ORCS) and its connecting satellite facilities combine to form one of the most impressive flood control complexes in North America. Located along the west bank of the Mississippi River near the confluence with the Red River and Atchafalaya River nearby, this structure system was fundamentally made possible by the Flood Control Act of 1928 that was passed by the United States Congress in the aftermath of the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 however a second, less obvious motivation influenced the construction here. The Mississippi River’s channel has gradually elongated and meandered in the area over the centuries, creating new oxbows and sandbars that made navigation of the river challenging and time-consuming through the steamboat era of the 1800s. This treacherous area of the river known as “Turnbull’s Bend” was where the mouth of the Red River was located that the upriver end of the bend and the Atchafalaya River, then effectively an outflow

Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (Natchez, MS)

  Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and Vicksburg near the city of Natchez, the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge crosses the lower Mississippi River between southwest Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana at the city of Vidalia. This river crossing is a dual span, which creates an interesting visual effect that is atypical on the Mississippi River in general. Construction on the original bridge took place in the late 1930s in conjunction with a much larger parallel effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the area’s flood protection and levee system along the Mississippi River. One of the more ambitious aspects of this plan was to relocate the city of Vidalia to a location of higher ground about one mile downriver from the original settlement. The redirection of the river through the Natchez Gorge (which necessitated the relocation of the town) and the reconstruction of the river’s levee system in the area were undertaken in the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1927, wh