September 30, 2011

Sego Ghost Town

At the Thompson Springs turnoff on I-70, travel about 5 miles north to what's left of an old coal mining town, now uninhabited.  The above photo shows what was once the company store, built in 1911.  Below is the inside view of the store:
Either the customers were very short, or a lot of dust has filled in the entryway.
About 500 people once lived in the immediate vicinity of the store. 
This was the old boarding house, across the road from the store.  The bachelor miners lived there.  The boarding house was still standing the last time we drove through, about 5 years ago, but it looked as if a big wind would take it down.  Apparently, the wind blew.
Founded as a mining camp in the early 1890's, the town was first called Ballard after the mine owner.  The mine was sold a couple of times, and the town changed names to Neslin, then Sego after the sego lily, the state flower.  I guess they were trying to buff their image with the new name.   
The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad ran a spur line to the mine to transport the coal.  Some of the trestles crossing the deep gullies have been washed away, but a few remain.
This may have been one of the nicer residences.
This home appears to have been less desirable.  One of the town's least prominent citizens must have lived there.
The mine was closed in 1947 and the property was sold at a Moab auction.  Probably due to a falling water table, no one rejuvenated the structures or re-opened the mine. 
The "town" now houses only ghosts. 
This grave has no name, but is adorned with a single plastic flower.
Among the dozen or so tombstones in the Sego cemetery, this one was the saddest.


  1. Ghost towns are very sad and the graves, especially of the baby, seem even sadder.

  2. Hi Janie - This is an area I know, but I've never been to the old ghost town. I like that second photo with Steve inside - shows how large the building is. Seeing a baby's tombstone is always so sad. PS I like your fall header.

  3. Thanks for the interesting pictures and information about this ghost town. We've seen several tombstones for babies and young children in Cades Cove in the Smokies. It's a reminder of how hard things were not too long ago.

  4. What an interesting place. They always give me the strangest and almost melancholy feelings...places like those.
    A lot of memories hidden there.

  5. It's a strange feeling to be in an abandoned town with no-one left to remember the people who once lived - and died - there. It looks as though flowers are growing at the baby's grave.

  6. You find the neatest places. We followed the Platte River for awhile, as this was the main route for the immigrants to the west. Historical roadside markers, visitor centers, all held a constant reminder of those who died on the trail now buried and lost in unmarked graves along the way. I thought a lot about it as the miles clicked away. Great post Janie.

  7. The store seems to have held up pretty darn well. That's some pretty impressive construction. The Stortini baby grave is very've definitely done a good job at depicting this ghost town as such.

  8. you have the coolest trips...

  9. Oh my gosh...the history, the sadness. Great photos Janie!

  10. Actually, that "ground level" door was actually the basement. The large opening directly above it was the ground floor and main entrance. At one time a large wooden wraparound porch encompassed the entire building and facilitated that high entrance.



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