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Coalville’s population was 1,382 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Summit County. Interstate 80 runs through the town, as well as the Weber River which runs into the Echo Reservoir just north of Coalville.

Coalville was founded in 1859 by William Henderson Smith, an early Mormon freighter. He noticed that wheat spilled by other wagons moving through the area would grow to maturity. He subsequently convinced four families to settle in the area with him. The settlement was originally called Chalk Creek.

Early life in Chalk Creek was difficult, and during winters the settlers dealt with a constant scarcity of food. When food ran out, they would travel to Salt Lake City for supplies. The local Native Americans were also hostile for a time, and the settlers built a fort on advice of Brigham Young.

In 1854 the territorial government in Utah offered a $1000 reward to anyone who could find coal within 40 miles of Salt Lake City. Four years later, Thomas Rhodes found a coal vein in the Chalk Creek area, and coal mining began in earnest. Hundreds of tons of coal were shipped to Salt Lake City, and soon a narrow gauge railroad was built. The settlement was renamed Coalville as a result of this early success mining coal.

The Thomas L. Allen House in Coalville is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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A timeline from Coalville’s website:

  • 1858 – The settlement was first called Chalk Creek, but discovery of coal soon changed the name to Coalville.
  • 1860 – Coal was discovered. The first school began.
  • 1869 – July 30, small pox outbreak, the town was quarantined.
  • 1865 – Old Rock School House was the first church built, and is still standing. (Owned by T. E. Moor)
  • 1867 – Coalville is incorporated. Mayor was W. W. Cluff.
  • 1870 – R.J. Porter built a water power grist mill.
  • 1882 – Union Pacific rail road goes through Coalville on its way to Park City.
  • 1904 – County Courthouse is built.
  • 1906 – A power house is completed and lights are turned on for the first time on New year’s night.
  • 1912 – One of the best school district schools in the state was built costing $37,000. It was 133 feet long, 66 feet wide and two stories high. A hospital was opened by Dr. O. W. French in the second story of the Summit Furniture Building.



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