Wahsatch, Summit County, Utah
Ghost Town in Echo Canyon

Wahsatch was established in 1868 as a railroad construction camp, the first of many such camps set up in Utah by the Union Pacific
Railroad in the process of building the First Transcontinental Railroad. From 1868 to 1869 a population of hundreds dug the 772-foot
(235 m) Echo tunnel through the Wasatch Mountains west of town. Wahsatch soon became a major supply station and railhead, with its
own roundhouse, workshops, boarding houses, and warehouses. When the transcontinental railroad was finished in May 1869, a meal
station for waiting passengers was constructed. During the tunnel construction in 1868–1869, Wahsatch was known as a wild and lawless
place. Laborers spent their wages immediately in tent saloons. Shootings were common, and there is even record of a lynching. Lacking
a formal cemetery, the town buried its dead in makeshift hillside graves. This violent period was short-lived; in the early 1870s
Wahsatch's development was outpaced by that of nearby Evanston, Wyoming, and the railroad moved most operations to Evanston. The
population sharply dropped, and most of the buildings were demolished. Wahsatch became little more than a point for loading livestock.
Toward the end of the 19th century, Wahsatch enjoyed a minor rebirth as a location central to the area's growing sheep ranches. A
number of new dwellings were built as ranchers and laborers began to gather here annually for sheep shearing season. In the spring of
1899 alone, an estimated 700,000 pounds (320,000 kg) of wool was sheared. In June 1903 it was reported that 489 carloads of sheep had
arrived at Wahsatch from their winter range. The town grew enough to justify the building of a new school in 1910. In 1916 Wahsatch
became the headquarters for the construction of a second railroad tunnel, bringing another temporary surge in population. The railroad
built a new depot and section houses in the 1930s, but Wahsatch soon declined, along with the sheep industry. The town was abandoned
in the 1930s. The townsite on the north side of the highway is on railroad property, but the ruins on the south side are on a public road
and can be accessed. Most visitors see little more than an old wooden sign reading Wahsatch alongside the tracks, but there are some
remnants of railroad buildings and equipment.
WIKIPEDIA


Rumor has it that while the railroads were booming in the late 1800`s to early 1900`s, many Chinese workers were used to help build
tunnels. Well, when they died, the foremen would bury the bodies in the walls. It is always freezing cold inside due to the ice that is
always in the middle of the tunnel. The locals say that you can hear crying, the ghost trains and whispers in the middle of the night.
The 1916 Railroad tunnels’ east portal can be seen 200 yards west of siding. I-80 Exit 193
COURTESY OF ABA JOURNAL 1971