History of Wanship, Utah

Wanship (Summit) is an unincorporated small agricultural community. The town is located on I-80 and state road 32. It is 4.8 miles (7.724 km) southwest of Hoytsville. Coalville, the county seat, is 8.2 miles (13.196 km) northeast of Wanship. Farther northeast on I-80 ca. 15 miles (24.140 km) is Echo Reservoir, 1.7 miles (2.735 km) south is Rockport Reservoir. Both reservoirs are stocked with fish and provide other water and camping recreation and activities. The Weber River flows into the two lakes.

The Town was founded in 1859 by Stephen Nixon and Henry Roper. In 1861 some 300 Native Americans arrived in the area. Finding game for food became difficult for none-native settlers. However, friendly Shoshone Indian chief Wanship, (good man) for whom the town would be named, shared valuable information about edible plants and where to find game. A trade system was also set up between the two groups.

Because of Wanship's central location and access to silver hauled first by horse and wagon and later by railroad from Park City 16.4 miles (26.393 km), coal from Coalville 8.2 miles (13.196 km), and lumber from Kamas 16.1 miles (25.10 km). Wanship became the first county seat of Summit County. The overland stage (Kimballs Stage Station) stopped here. The rail-line has since been turned into the Rail Trail State Park which runs from Park City to Echo Reservoir.

G. William Wiersdorf

See:Summit County, History; Utah Place Names 1997, John W. Van Cott.

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