Castle Gate was named for a unique rock formation that looks
like a castle. As you approached this formation from either direction
you had the impression that the Gods were opening or closing a way through
the mountain just for you. Some idiot from the Utah Department of
Transportation blew one side of the Castle off so we can now drive around
the curve five miles faster.
#1 Castle Gate mine opened in about 1886. It opened after the *Denver
& Rio Grande Railroad ran their tracks over the mountain from Springville.
It is a mine producing high quality coal.
first houses for their employees were old boxcars provided by the railroad.
In time homes and buildings were built as more people came. By 1914
it was incorporated as a town. It was a Company Town. Utah Fuel/D&RG
owned the ground and all the houses and buildings. The store was also
called the Wasatch Store. (See
Winter Quarters history) Here too, you had to buy from it
or lose your job.
8:30 a.m. 8 March, 1923 there was another disaster (See
Winter Quarters history), another explosion was felt. The
heavy iron doors of the #2 Mine were blown over the mountain. It cost
the lives of 173 miners and many were injured. Exploding coal dust and
methane gasses also caused this explosion. Jack Thorpe, father of Jack
Thorpe, mine inspector (relative of Hall family) was killed as
he entered the mine. His wife, Eva had a dream of this: Eva dreamed
about a ball of fire that shot many streamers of fire to all her neighbors.
When the last streamer of fire hit their house she screamed, "Jack your
going to burn", and he did. The two worst mine disasters in Utah history
were at the properties owned by Utah Fuel.