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Utah’s Coal Industry

The name Carbon County appropriately suggests the importance of carbon products to the economy and history of this area. The first commercial development of coal occurred in this vicinity in the 1870’s and soon out-distanced production in other sections of Utah. The great impetus to the industry and settlement of the area came with the extension of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad from Colorado through this canyon to Salt Lake City in 1883. Particularly during World War II, coal from Carbon County placed Utah among the leading coke and coal producers of America with vast reserves still to be developed. In addition oil shale and tar sands offer a rich potential as a source of petroleum. A major use of coal is destined to be in the production of electricity as occurs in the Utah Power and Light Company steam plant near this site.

This historic marker is located at the Castle Gate Historic Marker Highway Pull-Off with several others (listed on this page) and was erected by the Utah State Department of Highways.