Winter Quarters, Utah

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The first commercial coal town in Utah was Winter Quarters. It was originally called Peaceful Valley, where a few pioneers lived and grazed their cattle. Everything changed in 1875, when coal was discovered. By 1877 hundreds of miners moved in and a town suddenly emerged. The winter of 1877 came early and was very severe, keeping the miners snowbound until the following February. The town was renamed Winter Quarters.

By 1900, there were 2000 families living in Winter Quarters, Utah. On May 1, 1900, the town was celebrating Dewey Day in honor of Admiral George Dewey who, two years earlier, had defeated the Spanish at Manila Harbor. At 10:20 a.m. an explosion occurred in mine #4, caused by coal dust. 100 men were killed by the explosion and intense heat. Carbon monoxide spread to mine #1, killing 99 more men. The mine was eventually reopened, and produced coal for another 28 years. It was determined the coal was of poor quality, so the mine was closed forever in 1928.

Many of the homes were moved to Scofield or Castle Gate. Today, all that is left of Winter Quarters are some walls and foundation of the homes and buildings. Winter Quarters is located off UT-96 on Winter Quarter's Canyon Road near Scofield, Utah.

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