Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thompson Springs, Utah

My camping buddies and I explored Sego Canyon on our June 2014 annual camping trip.  On the way back to our campsite in Green River, Utah, we stopped at the modern semi-ghost town of Thompson Springs.  As a ghost town hunter, it turned out to be one of my favorite photo opportunities of the trip.

The town had some importance from 1890 when a post office opened, to about 1950 when the Sego Canyon coal mines closed.    The community was a railroad shipping point for ranchers in the area, and Amtrak was a flag stop here as late as 1994 or 1997.  The town was doomed when  I-70 bypassed it by just a couple of miles.

Today, downtown Thompson Springs has many derelict buildings, including the Thompson Motel, a café, the railroad depot, and several vacant houses.

The motel was an interesting photo opportunity.  It is boarded up, but the lobby door was open, and the inside has had a lot of abuse.

I explored the interiors of several abandoned houses, the railroad station, and a few other derelict buildings.  Most were in pretty bad shape and had been trashed by squatters, but there were a few interesting things to photograph, like this sign.

One house had a story to tell about a failed subdivision.  This story has been repeated hundreds of times across the deserts of the western United States.  I wonder if anyone paid $5000.00 for a membership.

The café was different from the other abandoned buildings.  It was locked tight, so my photos were taken through the windows.

It was eerie.  It looks like it could open again tomorrow, except for that huge hole in the ceiling.  But, someone has cleaned up the ceiling debris, and the sugar, salt, and pepper are still on the counters waiting for customers.

There are plans to clean up a uranium mine near Moab and bury the tailings near Thompson Springs.  Who knows… maybe those jobs will bring customers back to the old café?