Ghost Town: Blacks Fork - Summit County

Discussion in 'Ghost Town Database' started by cruiseroutfit, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

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    Site: Blacks Fork
    County, State: Summit, Utah
    Years of Occupation: 1870-1930
    Status of Site: Private Property, not currently signed against visiting
    Classification: Class 2 - Neglected Town
    Type: Logging
    Remnants: 12+ cabin/building remnants. All are in various states of decay.
    GPS Coordinate: 40.971° N, 110.587° W

    Blacks_Fork_August_2013 (7) (Medium).JPG
    Large single room cabin near towns center

    Blacks Fork was first settled during the 1870's, serving as a supply and housing outpost for timber companies operating along the northern slope of the Uinta Mountains. Funding for the construction and influx of workers was likely provided by the timber contractor, thus making it a company town rather than a general community. Timber was in high demand for railroad ties, mining timbers, building purposes and charcoal production throughout the west. The Transcontinental Railroad had recently been completed north of Blacks Fork connecting the east with the west, spur rails were being built to the north and south, connecting communities across the nation. With mining booming throughout the Rocky Mountains, timber was needed within the mine and their large shipments along with general freight needs were pushing exponential railroad construction throughout the region. In nearby Piedmont, Wyoming (~30 miles to the north) 5 large capacity charcoal kilns were constructed, thus providing another major demand for timber products in the area. At some point a log flume was constructed to the west of the town site to move the timber to the railroad, no evidence of this flume has been found to date. Previous to the flume, logs were moved in the winter months as the the icy ground made the heavy logs easy to drag. At the height of its activity the population was rumored to be 50-100 men, no viable sources have been found to date. The site was abandoned in the 1930's when the timber company went out of business, the town was never permanently re-occupied.

    The Blacks Fork site consists of over a dozen log cabins in various states of decay. Some are little more than a pile of broken and rotted logs, others have solid standing walls though caved roofs. Ideally this site needs some sort of restoration and or stabilization efforts in order to preserve it for future generations. Nearby forest fires and vandalism have threatened the remaining structures but fortunately it is still in relatively remarkable condition given the age. The exact town layout is unknown but the remaining buildings and foundations suggest the majority of the peripheral cabin sites served as housing, perhaps boarding houses for many single men due to their duplex style design. The central buildings likely served as stables and liveries, mess halls, company offices, and various sources state there was a post office operating in the town, we have been unable to confirm any official post office or which building would been utilized. As teamsters hauled regular timber shipments were outbound to nearby Fort Bridger and Piedmont, Wyoming, it was likely the mail was sent along with those freighters and returned with the empty timber wagons.

    Blacks_Fork_August_2013 (12) (Medium).JPG
    Multiple duplex cabins on western edge of townsite

    Additional Reading:
    http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/ut/black%27sfork.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacks_Fork,_Utah

    To Get There: Google Maps Link

    From Kamas, Utah - Take the Mirror Lake High Way (SR150) 47 miles, turn right (east) onto Mill Creek Road (FR058). Mill Creek will continue (dirt road) for 18 miles at which point you will hit a major intersection, continue north for another 1.5 miles (still on FR058) and the Blacks Fork town site will be easily visible on the west side of the road in a large meadow.

    From Interstate 80 in Wyoming: Exit I80 at Exit 34 (Fort Bridger). Continue south onto I80 Bus Loop, head east for 5.5 miles until you hit WY414, turn right and continue south for 3.1 miles. Turn right onto WY410 and continue for 13.3 miles. Turn left (south) on CR271, continue on dirt road passing Meeks Cabin Reservoir and into Utah for 15.3 miles. From Utah/Wyoming border, continue south on FR058 for 2 miles, Black Fork town site will be easily visible on the west side of the road in a large meadow. Park along the road and walk into the town site.

    Additional Pictures:

    Blacks_Fork_August_2013 (2) (Medium).JPG
    Blacks Fork as viewed from road

    Blacks_Fork_August_2013 (3) (Medium).JPG
    Duplex style cabin at south end of townsite

    Blacks_Fork_August_2013 (4) (Medium).JPG
    Fallen structures

    Blacks_Fork_August_2013 (18) (Medium).JPG
    Posing at one of the sites cabins

    Feel free to post up any stories or pictures you might have of Blacks Fork

     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  2. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

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    Updated some Blacks Fork info, please let me know if you see any errors.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  3. DAA

    DAA Member Contributor Registered

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    Typo in first pic caption - missing an n in "tows".

    Couple more pics from the site.

    [​IMG]


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    - DAA
     
  4. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

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    Thanks Dave, great shots!
     
  5. roverrocks

    roverrocks EU Contributor Contributor Registered

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    All great pictures!! My window on the world. Thanks.
     
  6. Kevin B.

    Kevin B. Member Contributor Registered

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    I wish I had Dave's magic camera.


    Duplex cabins
    [​IMG]

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    The two big single room buildings in the center are probably a mess hall and a company office and/or store? I dunno which is which. Big buildings in the foreground, number one on the left.

    [​IMG]

    Big building number one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Big building number two.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Two buildings downslope are a stable and (probably) a tool shed.

    Stable.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tool shed?

    [​IMG]

    The logs on this door jam were numbered (with tar?) from the top down - a 1, a roman numeral 2, then arabic 3 4 5 6. I have no idea why.

    [​IMG]

    Eight years of post-occupation visitors have walked off with the archeology of the original occupants and left their own detritus that'll be archeology soon enough. Lots of beer cans, broken glass, and bits of rusty metal - I only found this bit laying around that was identifiable as "original" trash. The edge is rough, indicating it was hand-crimped and soldered instead of assembled by a machine. The openings are ragged, not clean, meaning it was probably opened with a knife as opposed to a can opener. It was something liquid, not a solid like canned fruit or vegetables - my money is on condensed milk.

    [​IMG]

    At the top of the lower meadow is a small footpath deliberately lined with stones that heads uphill past a small copse of trees. It's overgrown, with trees and shrubs of considerable size growing in it. At the crest of the small hill, it splits right and straight - both branches peter out almost immediately. I couldn't find anything up there to indicate why - no grave markers, no sign of an old cabin, nothing. Very mysterious, I love it.
     
  7. Maxterra

    Maxterra EU Contributor Contributor Registered

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  8. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

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    Great additions guys!
     
  9. fogo

    fogo Supporting Member Supporter Registered

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    Did some wandering this weekend, and made our way over to Blacks Fork. Figured I'd add a few more recent photos. Stuff was still in decent shape, and we didn't find much other than the remains of buildings. There was an occasional piece of glass or bottle cap, but all stuff that's very likely more modern trash. When we arrived, some folks had setup their trailer, and were using the area as basecamp for their hunting.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_4370 by Josh Buhler, on Flickr

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    IMG_4376 by Josh Buhler, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    IMG_4378 by Josh Buhler, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    IMG_4375 by Josh Buhler, on Flickr (6-year-old for scale)

    [​IMG]
    IMG_4384 by Josh Buhler, on Flickr
     
  10. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

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    Thanks for the updated pictures Josh
     
  11. jmaxj

    jmaxj EU Contributor Contributor Registered

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    Was just there for the first time yesterday. Hoping to return with a drone before the snow hits. Get some Arial shots if the area.
     
  12. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Moderator & Supporting Member Supporter Contributor Registered

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    Did you go with Chandler?

    I would love to see some aerial shots. Be sure to share them here in fact tell Chandler to join the forum too!
     
  13. jmaxj

    jmaxj EU Contributor Contributor Registered

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    No it was a last minute drive that had no destination but ended there and Piedmont. But I'm gonna a to be trying to drag Chandler up there hopefully before the snow hits. I want some shots from the air of the area.

    I think he has joined here but not sure.
     
  14. Old Jeeper

    Old Jeeper Member Contributor Registered

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    SmokinCamel right? He doesn't appear to be very active if that's him.
    Let me know if you go again. I'd like to go along.
     
  15. jmaxj

    jmaxj EU Contributor Contributor Registered

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    Yup that's him. Thought he was on here. And I'll surely let you know when we go again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016

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