The valley was
called Pleasant Valley; a few early pioneers had built cabins along
the valley floor and grazed their cattle there. It was pleasant and
peaceful until about 1875 when coal was discovered. When reports of
this reached the settlers of Fairview, Sanpete County, a Welsh coal miner
led a group of twelve men and one woman up and over the mountain into Carbon County. They built a road, opened
a small mine and began hauling coal to the settlements in Sanpete County.
Their camp was pitched in Little Gulch where the Wasatch Store (See
Castle Gate History)now stands. But Winter came early and
they were stranded in the mountains. They almost froze to death. Because
of this they named this camp "Winter
Quarters". Several groups of miners from Sanpete County soon established
claims to these deposits. The coal had to be hauled by horse and wagon
over a 9300 foot mountain or down the natural course of the canyon to
Soldier Summit and on down the Spanish Fork
Canyon also by horse and wagon. By 1877 hundreds of miners came and
a town was built. It became Utah's first commercial coal town. Though
the need for coal was great there was little profit to be made. Wagons
pulled by two and four horse teams came from Springville for the coal.
The round trip took four days and sold for $4.00 to $5.00 per ton. There
was now a great need to find a better way to market.