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

California State Route 58/Old California State Route 178 west of CA 43

This past week I drove California State Route 58 west of CA 43 in Kern County over the Temblor Range and La Panza Range to US Route 101 near Santa Margarita of San Luis Obispo County.


CA 58 west of Bakersfield and CA 99 in general is a mostly two-lane highway that traverses some very remote territory of Central California.  I chose to cover CA 58 west of CA 43 specifically due to the changes in the alignment that are to come when the West Side Parkway connects to the Centennial Corridor project.  The Centennial Corridor will connect CA 58 west of CA 99 to the already completed segment of Freeway on the West Side Parkway.

Westside Parkway and the Centennial Corridor; Future California State Route 58

CA 58 from Barstow west to Bakersfield was carved out of what was US Route 466 during the 1964 State Highway Renumbering.  CA 58 west of Bakersfield to Santa Margarita was carved out of what was part of CA 178.  The change from CA 178 to CA 58 west of Bakersfield to Santa Margarita can be ob…

Chisholm Ferry/Bridge Location and early Legislative Route Number 10

This past month while viewing the site of Chisholm Ferry along the Kings River of Kings County I noticed that route being illustrated resembled an early Californian State Highway.  My suspicions proved correct as the location of Chisholm Ferry was part of the original alignment of Legislative Route Number 10; a precursor to California State Route 198.


The Facebook in question above was posted on the Antique Images from the Collection of Michael J. Semas and can be viewed below:

Michael J. Semas on Chisholm Ferry and Bridge

The location of Chisholm Ferry is located just south of Jackson Avenue/Old CA 198 on the Kings River about 4 miles west of Lemoore near Avenal Cut-Off Road.  This particular section of the Kings River was once the northern most extent of Tulare Lake.

Tulare Lake was once the largest fresh water lake west of the Great Lakes by surface area.  Tulare Lake was first surveyed at an approximately 570 square miles in 1849 and was later surveyed to be 690 square miles in …

California State Route 118

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 118 from Ventura County east into Los Angeles County.


CA 118 is a major 47 mile State Highway which begins in the City in Ventura County and traverses east into Los Angeles County by way of Simi Valley and Santa Susana Pass.  From Santa Susana Pass CA 118 continues eastward through San Fernando Valley within the City of Los Angeles and terminates at Interstate 210.  CA 118 contains within it's right-of-way some of the most historic highway corridors in California history.

The precursor route of CA 118 was Legislative Route Number 9 which was first added to the State Highway System during the First State Highway Bond Act of 1909.  The original definition of LRN 9 was from San Bernardino westward to LRN 4 in San Fernando. LRN 9 was extended westward to LRN 2 near Montalvo (modern day Ventura) in 1933.

In a August 1934 Department of Public Works Guide the Signed State Highways were announced.  CA 118 was announced to be a…