Gordon Creek Coal Mines

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on February 2, 2019.

(Return To Utah Coal Index Page)


The coal mines and railroad service (originally known as the National Coal Railway) in Gordon Creek Canyon.

(Read more about the National Coal Railway, later the Utah Railway's National Branch)

Coal was first mined in the Gordon Creek district as early as 1907 by W. C. Brooker and five others on 1,000 acres of the Sheya Ranch, where two coal seams of seven feet each showed at the surface. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, September 19, 1907, p. 3)

In 1928 four retired boxcar bodies were moved from Martin to National for use as section material sheds. In 1937 an old caboose body, Outfit Car 06, formerly caboose number 50, was placed at Union for use by section laborers. All of the bodies still existed at their locations in 1951. (Utah Railway: Engineer's Report, 1951; Utah Railway: Manual, equipment lists)

During late 1943, Utah Railway was moving three loaded trains a week off of the National Branch. During the winter months there was a train a day, with helpers. (Utah Public Utilities Commission, case 2750, "K. L. Storrs")

Gordon Creek Coal Company

Prior to the passage of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, George A. Storrs secured a lease on the land which was known as the Gordon Creek mine. (Gibson: Gordon Creek, p. 241)

There were three Gordon Creek Coal Companies. The first, Utah corporation number 14529, was incorporated on July 12, 1920. This corporation became the Sweet Coal Company on March 20, 1925. The second, number 17158, was incorporated on October 24, 1925. This second company was "revoked" on April 4, 1932. The third was number 20917 and was incorporated on January 23, 1934. This third company was "revoked" on May 6, 1941. (Utah corporation records)

Great Western Coal Company

October 21, 1921
Great Western Coal Mines Company was incorporated on October 21, 1921. This corporation was "revoked" on April 20, 1936. (Utah corporation, index number 15138)

Coal shipments of the Great Western Coal Mines Company from the Great Western mine began in December 1924, being hauled by wagon to Wildcat Siding on the Utah Railway. Shipments via the National Coal Railway began in March 1926. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

There was also a Great Western Mines, Incorporated, incorporated on November 10, 1925. This mining company may have been a metal mine rather than a coal company. (Utah corporation, index number 17184)

Coal City was originally to be called "The Great Western", but by the time that the townsite had been laid out and approved by the Carbon County Commission, on August 21, 1921, that name had become Coal City. The town's notoriety was enhanced in 1923 and 1924 when Jack Dempsey apparently came regularly to train for his fights. (Madsen, p. 34)

Coal City in Gordon Creek was originally to be called "Dempsey City" after potential investor Jack Dempsey. The town's name became Coal City after Dempsey decided not to invest. The adjacent coal mine was Great Western Coal Company, on 1,600 acres. (Coal Index: The Sun, February 29, 1924, p. 8)

September 18, 1924
Great Western Coal company announced that the company would begin shipping coal in October [1924]. Three miles of railroad tracks had been completed, with another four miles yet to be done. (Coal Age magazine, September 18, 1924)

November 7, 1924
George A. Storrs was indicted for mail fraud by soliciting through the U. S. Mail investment in bonds for the townsite on Gordon Creek. Storrs was president of Great Western Coal Mines company. (Coal Index: The Sun, November 7, 1924, p. 6)

November 13, 1924
George A. Storrs had been indicted by a grand jury, along with three other promoters, on charges of mail fraud in their promotion of Great Western Coal Mines company. The indictments were against the persons involved, and were in no way meant as a reflection of the business practices of the coal mining company. Storrs pead not guilty to the charges. (Coal Age magazine, November 13, 1924; December 11, 1924)

February 26, 1926
Great Western Coal Company was located at Coal City and by February 1926, the company was in bankruptcy. (Coal Index: The Sun, February 26, 1926)

December 17, 1926
By late December 1926, Storrs had been cleared of the charges. (Coal Index: The Sun, December 17, 1926, p. 4)

February 26, 1926
During late February 1926, Great Western in bankruptcy. (Coal Index: The Sun, February 26, 1926, p. 8)

Operations of Great Western Coal Mines Company discontinued in December 1926, resumed in October 1928, and discontinued again in December 1928. Property in possession of Federal Land Bank of Berkeley, California from 1931. Property not developed to economical production, and production was always limited, with shipments being on a very small scale. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

Operations of Great Western mine taken over by Atlas Utah Coal Company, in conjunction with its operations of the Gordon Creek mine. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

(The map of the National Coal Railway as completed in 1925 shows Great Western Coal mines at a completely different location than near Coal City. The map shows the Great Western lands as being south of the National Coal property.)

National Coal Company

An early prospector in the National area was a man by the name of Williamson in 1908. The property was developed by Fred Sweet. (Madsen, p. 46)

Prior to the passage of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, F. A. Sweet secured a block of coal lands in Gordon Creek canyon. (Gibson: Gordon Creek, p. 241)

Coal shipments from the National mine began in August 1927. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

January 17, 1935
F. A. Sweet resigned as president of National Coal Company in early 1935 due to ill health. Replaced by C. D. Craddock. (Coal Index: Sun Advocate, January 17, 1935, p. 10)

Operations at the National mine were discontinued on July 23, 1938. National Coal Company sold under foreclosure on December 2, 1938, to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The tipple was dismantled and machinery and trackage removed and sold in March 1940. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

The remaining physical assets of the National Coal Company was sold in May 1940 by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to Carl Nyman. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

October 3, 1940
National coal mine sold to Carl Nyman of Price in June 1940. Operations to begin in late September. A new tipple was built. (Coal Index: Sun Advocate, October 3, 1940, p. 5)

A new 540 foot long spur, with nine car capacity, from Utah Railway's National Branch was completed on November 9, 1940. Coal shipments resumed on November 12, 1940. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

The coal mine at National was still known as the National mine in 1948. (Gibson: Gordon Creek, p. 241)

The National Coal company's mine in Gordon Creek canyon was purchased by the Hudson Coal company in 1949. (Coal Age magazine, March 1949, page 136, "a year ago")

Consumers Mutual Coal Company

Prior to the passage of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, Arthur E. Gibson secured 1,480 acres that was operated as the Consumers mine. (Gibson: Gordon Creek, p. 241)

There was a Consumers Fuel Company incorporated on December 27, 1911. This may have been a reorganization of an earlier company with the same name, or the renaming of another company, incorporated on May 11, 1911. (Utah corporation, index number 8991)

There was also a Consumers Coal Company, incorporated on July 16, 1934. This corporation was involuntarily dissolved on May 2, 1946. (Utah corporation, index number 21077)

During the winter of 1921-1922, Arthur E. Gibson began the development of a seven foot seam of coal he had discovered and had analyzed in 1920. He hired men to work the new mine and during that winter they were able to mine thirty-four carloads of coal, which they hauled down Gordon Creek canyon by wagon to be loaded into cars at Utah Railway's Wildcat siding. (Madsen, p. 36)

In 1924 the Consumers Mutual Coal Company began development of its mine in Gordon Creek canyon. (Carr: Towns, p. 81)

February 28, 1924
Consumers Mutual Coal Company filed its articles of incorporation in Utah. (Coal Age magazine, February 28, 1924, page 339)

Consumers Mutual Coal Company was organized by Donald Jenkins and J. Tracy Wootten, with Jenkins was president, Gibson as vice president, and Wootten was secretary-treasurer. Further development of the mine was delayed until E. J. Radditz became interested and funding became available to build the needed railroad bridge and tipple facilities. The town adjacent to the mine was originally called Gibson, but the name was later changed to Consumers. The coal company later became the Blue Blaze Coal Company, using the trade name "Blue Blaze Coal", formerly used by the Consumers Mutual company. (Madsen, p. 36)

Consumers Mutual Coal Company was incorporated on February 16, 1924, and became the Blue Blaze Coal Company on September 21, 1927. (Utah corporation, index number 16190)

November 6, 1924
Consumers Mutual Coal company announced that the company would begin shipping coal about December 1, 1924. The mine was equipped to produce about 2,000 tons per day. There were to be no cars in the mine, except to move supplies. All coal was to be moved by self-propelled shuttles and conveyor systems. (Coal Age magazine, November 6, 1924)

February 1925
Coal shipments by Consumers Mutual Coal Company from the Consumers mine began in February 1925, being hauled by wagon to Wildcat Siding on the Utah Railway. Shipments by rail over the National Coal Railway began in November 1925. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

January 8, 1926
In late 1925, the Consumers Mutual Coal Company contracted with Allen & Garcia of Chicago to build their tipple, which served two mines on the east fork of Gordon Creek. (Coal Index: The Sun, January 8, 1926, p. 1)

March 25, 1926
Consumers Mutual Coal company had contracted with Pittsburgh Boiler and Machine company for the construction of its steel tipple. The new tipple was to have a capacity of 4,000 tons per eight hours, and would handle all grades of coal. (Coal Age magazine, March 25, 1926)

(Pittsburgh Boiler and Machine company changed it name to McNally-Pittsburgh Manufacturing Corporation on November 1, 1931. -- Coal Age magazine, December 1931, page 652)

April 30, 1926
Consumers Mutual Coal Company announced that it would build a steel bridge to connect its two mines on each side of the canyon. The bridge was to be built by American Bridge Company, with a capacity to hold two Utah Railway Mallets and sixty loaded cars. The cost was to be about $60,000.00. Morrison Knudsen had the contract for the grading work for the rail yard, and for the concrete work for base of the trestle and the abutments of the bridge. (Salt Lake Mining Review, April 30, 1926, p. 18)

November 1926
The tipple of the Consumers Mutual Coal Company was completed in about November 1926. Construction of the new tipple was contracted to Pittsburgh Boiler & Machine Company of Pittsburgh, Kansas, with an estimated completion date of August 1, 1926. It was said to be one of the biggest and most modern coal producing plants in the West. The bridge built across the canyon was double track and was eighty feet high, and was built in order to get the railroad tracks of the National Coal Railway right up to the mouth of the company's two mines, which opened onto the tipple from each side of the gulch. The gulch was spanned by the tipple structure. The construction of the large bridge did away with the need to construct a long surface tramway to transfer the mined coal from the mine opening down the mountainside to the tipple at the railroad level, such as found at practically all the Utah mines. The Consumers mine was the first in the state to use conveyor belt haulage to move the coal from the mine opening to the tipple, doing away with trains of mine cars moving between the mine and the tipple. The elimination of a surface tramway at Consumers was expected to reduce costs considerably. The new tipple separated coal into five different grades, and the five tipple tracks allowed all five sizes to be immediately loaded into waiting railroad cars. At the time, it was the only five-track loading tipple in the state. While the tipple was under construction, the coal company was shipping six to eight carloads per day over the National Coal Railway. The company's trade name for its coal was "Blue Blaze Coal". (Salt Lake Mining Review, March 30, 1926, p. 15; December 15, 1926, p. 18)

September 10, 1927
The Consumers Mutual Coal Company was succeeded by the Blue Blaze Coal Company on September 10, 1927. Rail shipments continued. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

October 30, 1927
Consumers Mutual Coal Company changed its name to Blue Blaze Coal Company, adopting the trade name of its retail coal products. (Salt Lake Mining Review, October 30, 1927)

January 1936
At the time McGowan was appointed in January 1936, as superintendent of the Blue Blaze Coal company (formerly Consumers Mutual Coal company), he had most recently been mine foreman of U. S. Fuel's King No. 2 mine at Mohrland. (Coal Age magazine, January 1936, page 29)

Januaey 31, 1938
Operations by the Blue Blaze Coal Company at the Consumers mine were discontinued on January 31, 1938, at which time the company entered receivership. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

February 17, 1938
Blue Blaze Coal Company at Consumers was in receivership, with the mine closed and not likely to reopen. (Coal Index: Sun Advocate, February 17, 1938, p. 1)

March 24, 1938
Walker Bank & Trust was the lending bank and in March 1938 sued for the full amount of money due, from a trust indenture of $1,233,000 in bonds. (Coal Index: Sun Advocate, March 24, 1938, p. 13)

July 9, 1938
The property of the Blue Blaze Coal Company was sold under foreclosure to the bondholders on July 11, 1938. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines; Salt Lake Telegram, July 9, 1938)

Terry McGowan, the mine's former superintendent, was employed for a year while the tipple and other machinery and equipment were sold for salavage and moved off property. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 23, 1944)

February 4, 1939
The Blue Blaze Coal company, and the federal government settled the government's law suit to claim the $14,361.40 that Blue Blaze owed as royalty payment on its coal lease. In the settlement, the government wrote off the amount owed, and Blue Blaze relinquished its coal lease. The mine had been in operation from 1923 to 1938. The coal company agreed to leave its four miles of railroad tracks in place. (Salt Lake Tribune, February 5, 1939)

August 25, 1939
The property of Blue Blaze Coal Company was sold at auction on August 25, 1939. (Salt Lake Telegram, August 12, 1939; Coal Index: Sun Advocate, August 3, 1939, p. 1)

October 12, 1939
Operations of the Consumers mine by the McGowan Coal Company began on October 12, 1939. Terry McGowan was the owner. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

(Read more about Terry McGowan)

November 5, 1943
The McGowan Coal Company was operating the Consumers No. 3 mine during early 1945. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 5, 1943)

January 27, 1949
McGowan Coal company was sold to Hudson Coal company "this month." W. H. Sweet was secretary-treasurer of the Hudson company. Hudson Coal company had been organized in 1940 when it purchased the assets of the adjacent National mine, for which it organized the National Coal company to operate the mine. The McGowan mine was situated between the National mine, and the Hudson company's existing mine. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 27, 1949)

In 1951 the National Coal Company was operating both the Consumers mine and the National mine. (D&RGW: Traffic Circular 36-E, p. 86)

Horizon Mine

The following comes from an America West Resources letter to Securities and Exchange Commission, dated October 29, 2010.

The Horizon mine had four operators prior to Hidden Splendor. From April 1, 1992 to April 19, 1995, the mine was operated by an entity known as Blue Blaze Coal Company.

From April 20, 1995 to August 28, 1997, it was operated by Horizon Coal Corp.

From August 29, 1997 to July 14,1999, it was operated by Horizon Mining, LLC.

From July 15, 1999 to March 23, 2003 it was operated by Lodestar Energy, Inc.

Hidden Splendor purchased the operations of the Horizon Mine out of the bankruptcy of Lodestar in March of 2003 and has been operating the Horizon Mine since that time.

Horizon Mine (Lodestar), 1996

Horizon Mine description, from documents on file at Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, permit C0070020:

Coal mining began in 1924 in this area of the North Fork of Gordon Creek when the Consumers Mutual Coal Company was organized, and opened an underground coal mine in the Consumer's Canyon. This operation continued into the 1940s.

The Horizon Mine, which was owned by Horizon Mining, LLC, received its mining permit in October 1996.

Production started in January 1998.

Permit was transferred to Lodestar Energy in 1999.

Lodestar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 30, 2001 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 15, 2003.

Lodestar transferred the permit to Hidden Splendor Resources, Inc. in 2003, at which time mining operations by Hidden Splendor commenced.

A federal lease was approved in 2005. Room and pillar mining methods are used in the Castlegate 'A' Seam and the Hiawatha Seam. As of 2005 the Horizon Mine was produced 286,000 tons annually.

July 16, 1999
Lodestar Energy, Inc., acquired the assets of Horizon Mining LLC, including the Horizon coal mine, which had been idle since the second quarter of 1999. At the same time Lodestar acquired the White Oak mine in Pleasant Valley. (Lodestar Energy press release dated July 19, 1999)

December 24, 2002
Lodestar Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. An auction to sell all assets, property and equipment in Utah, Kentucky, and Colorado was set for January 30, 2003.

Horizon Mine (Hidden Splendor Resources), 2003

April 6, 2003
Hidden Splendor Resources purchased the Horizon mine from the bankrupt Lodestar Energy. Hidden Splendor appplied to the Utah Division of Oil Gas & Mining on April 6, 2003 to transfer the permit for the Horizon mine. (Sun Advocate, April 8, 2003)

(Hidden Splendor Resources was a Nevada corporation with a gold mine in Lyon County, Nevada, near Yerington, in the Como mining district. Their permit for 800 acres was issued in April 1995, and revoked for nonuse in July 2000.)

October 26, 2007
Hidden Splendor Resources, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 15, 2007 in Reno, Nevada. The company had purchased the Horizon mine in March 2003 at the Lodestar bankruptcy sale. (Deseret News, May 1, 2007; October 26, 2007)

Horizon Mine (America West Resources), 2008

America West Resources, a public company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, purchased the Horizon mine from the bankrupt Hidden Splendor Resources.

March 17, 2008
America West Resources, Inc., had previously been known as Reddi Brake Supply Corporation, and had changed its name on March 17, 2008. It was Reddi Brake that had originally purchased the Hidden Splendor Horizon mine in March 2007, by purchase of all of the stock of the Hidden Splendor Resources company. (American West Resources press release dated March 17, 2008)

Hidden Splendor Resources became a subsidiary of America West Resources, which also owned the former U. S. Steel mine at Columbia, south of Sunnyside.

(America West had originally been incorporated in Nevada on July 13, 1990 as Franklin Capital, Inc. The name was changed on October 17, 1991 to Wesco Auto Parts Corporation. The name was changed to Reddi Brake Supply Corporation on April 21, 1994. The name was changed on March 17, 2008 to America West Resources, Inc., with plans to open a large coal tract in the Book Cliffs, near Sunnyside. This new tract, 5,200 acres known as the "Columbia" property, had been purchased from C&P Coal Resources LLC. -- MarketWatch profile dated September 10, 2008)

June 30, 2008
American West Resources, with headquarters in Salt Lake City, announced that it would commence operations in a second section at its Horizon mine. Hidden Splendor Resources, now as subisidiary of American West Resources, had been operating the Horizon mine since 2003. (American West Resources press release dated June 30, 2008)

December 23, 2008
America West Resources announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Hidden Splendor Resources, Inc., had successfully emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 22, 2008. (American West Resources press release dated December 23, 2008)

May 26, 2011
American West announced the start of full production at the Horizon mine. Previously, for three years, the company had been developing its room-and-pillar system preparing for production. Development had been to create a series of rooms, with pillars supporting the mine's roof. In what is known as "retreat" mining, production creates larger rooms, while the pillars remain in place until all coal had been mined in each room. Then tempraory roof supports are installed and the pillars removed, after which the temporary supports are removed and the roof allowed to collapse. (America West Resources press release dated May 26, 2011)

September 2011
American West Resources began using the Wildcat loadout after leasing the idle facility "last month." America West would be using the screening and sorting facility, and the loading facility to load rail cars for shipment by Union Pacific and Utah Railway. Wildcat had been idle since early 2010. (America West Resources press release dated October 25, 2011)

(Read more about the Wildcat loadout)

Horizon mine ceased operations in July 2012. The portals were sealed in March 2013. After being unsuccessful in selling the Horizon mine, America West declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2013. After receiving multiple notices of voliation, America West Resources stopped paying on its reclamation bonds and insurance policies. (Documents on file with the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining)

January 2012
Beginning in May 2010, America West Resources, operator of the Horizon mine, had a coal supply contract with IPA to supply coal to the IPP plant near Delta, along with a coal loading and storage contract dating from January 2012, to use IPA's Wildcat loadout. There was also a contract, dating from March 2010, with Wild West Equipment and Hauling to truck coal from the Horizon mine to the Wildcat loadout. (Documents on file with the U. S. Bankruptcy Court, Reno, Nevada)

America West Resources, parent of Hidden Splendor Resources, filed for bankruptcy on February 1, 2013, because of insurmountable debts and safety violations. The Horizon mine has been sealed and is in final reclamation.

October 2018
A site inspection of the Horizon mine in November 2016 found continuing stream run-off violations, and reclamation bond forfeiture proceedings were started in May 2017. Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining began formal reclamation of the mine site in July 2018. Full reclamation of the site was completed in early October 2018. (Documents on file with the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining)

Sweet Coal Company

Prior to the passage of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, Will Sweet secured a lease on coal land that was the location of the Sweet mine. (Gibson: Gordon Creek, p. 241)

March 20, 1925
Sweet Coal Company was changed from the Gordon Creek Coal Company on March 20, 1925. The Gordon Creek Coal Company, the first of three corporations with that name, was incorporated on July 12, 1920. (Utah corporation, index number 14509)

No operations were conducted by the Gordon Creek Coal Company prior to its becoming the Sweet Coal Company. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

Coal shipments by Sweet Coal Company from the Sweet mine began in January 1926. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

December 31, 1926
Sweet mine in Gordon Creek canyon began production in September 1926, producing 500 tons per day. (Coal Index: The Sun, December 31, 1926, p. 2)

March 27, 1941
Sweet mine closed by March 1941, and in possession of county for non-payment of taxes. (Coal Index: Sun Advocate, March 27, 1941, p. 5)

March 31, 1941
Sweet Coal Company entered receivership on March 26, 1940, mine property leased by receiver to Hudson Coal Company on March 1, 1941. Shipments resumed on March 31, 1941. All assets of Sweet Coal Company sold by receiver to Hudson Coal Company on October 22, 1942. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

Sweet mine being worked by Hudson Coal Company. (Coal Index: Sun Advocate, February 21, 1946, p. 4)

In 1951 the Sweet mine at Union was being operated by the Hudson Coal Company. The same company also operated the Maple Creek mine at Maple Creek in Spring Canyon. (D&RGW: Traffic Circular 36-E, p.)

Hudson Coal Company was owned and operated by the Sweet family. At the time of his death in 1960, William H. Sweet, the oldest of the four Sweet brothers, was secretary-treasurer of the Hudson Coal company.

Union Coal Company

(at Union)

March 10, 1911
Union Coal Company was incorporated at Provo, to "own and operate coal mines, build and operate railroads, etc. It takes over as a basis of capitalization, 900 acres of coal land near Castle Gate, into which a railroad will be constructed from Helper." (Carbon County News, March 10, 1911; Salt Lake Mining Review, March 15, 1911; Eastern Utah Advocate, March 30, 1911).

October 4, 1923
A new Union Coal Company was organized and incorporated. Principal owner was C. N. Strevell of Salt Lake City, who owned 498,000 of the initial 500,000 shares. (Salt Lake Mining Review, October 15, 1923)

December 30, 1923
Union Coal Company won the bid from the U. S. land office for the lease 1120 acres of coal land in Gordon Creek Canyon. (Salt Lake Mining Review, December 30, 1923)

Property originally owned, but not operated, by Union Coal Company. Leased, then sold in 1928, to Gordon Creek Coal Company (not the same as the predecessor of the Sweet Coal Company). (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

January 10, 1927
Gordon Creek Coal Company leased the property of Union Coal Company, in Gordon Creek Canyon, comprising 1600 acres of coal land, together with tipple, rights to the railroad yards, all water rights, along with a store, a butcher shop, a picture house, and utilities. the lease took effect on January 10, 1927, a full year before it was filed with Carbon County. The lease agreement allowed the Gordon Creek company to begin immediate operations. (News Advocate, January 13, 1928)

Coal shipments began in November 1927, by the Gordon Creek Coal Company. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

September 8, 1932
The property of Gordon Creek Coal Company was to be sold to the highest bidder on the steps of the Carbon County courthouse, in accordance with an order of the federal District Court dated July 30, 1932, resulting from a suit brought by Columbia Trust Company, and M. H. Lewis & Company. (News Advocate, August 4, 1932)

The property was in primitive stages of development, with shipments being about two to three car loads per week. Mining activity was sporadic, and mining was done by various different individuals after the Gordon Creek Coal Company's receivership in June 1930. Shipments were made from November 1927 to July 1, 1930, then November 19, 1936 to January 16, 1937, then September 23, 1937 to March 1938. Mining activity discontinued in March 1938. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

Atlas Utah Coal Company operated the Gordon Creek mine from February 1939, along with its operation of the Great Western mine. Infrequent shipments resumed in January 1940. Operations discontinued in November 1942. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

Limited operations Gordon Creek mine resumed by Utah Coal Company. Shipments resumed in November 1942, then discontinued on February 6, 1944. Utah Coal Company was incorporated in Utah on May 2, 1942, for the purposes of development of the old Gordon Creek Coal Company. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

February 21, 1946
Gordon Creek mine being worked by Utah Coal Leasing Company. (Coal Index: Sun Advocate, February 21, 1946, p. 4)

In 1951 the Gordon Creek mine at Union was being operated by the Western Chemical & Refining Company. (D&RGW: Traffic Circular 36-E, p. 86)

Swisher Coal Company

(Unless noted, the following comes from documents on file at Utah Division of Oil Gas and Mining; Permit C0070016)

1967 -- Mining began in the North Fork of Gordon Creek in the early 1920s. Swisher Coal Company founder Ura Swisher opened the Swisher No.1 mine in 1967 on the south side of Bryner Canyon.

1974 -- Swisher Coal Company was purchased by General Exploration in 1974.

October 1975 -- Swisher Coal Company was purchased by General Exploration Company.

October 1976
General Exploration's coal subsidiary, Swisher Coal company, has contracted with four or five cement companies in Nevada and Washington for delivery of Utah coal. (Coal Age magazine, October 1976, page 49)

In 1976 and 1978, the newly organized Swisher Coal Company took control of four separate federal coal leases, including the original lease held by Ura Swisher.

April 1977 -- Swisher Coal company announced its plans for $65 million expansion of its coal washing facilities and construction of a unit train loading operation. The expansion was needed as part of a new contract to supply of 13 million tons over a 15-year period to a new coal-fired power plant in Mississippi. (Coal Age magazine, April 1977, page 53)

July 1978 -- General Exploration Company announced that its subsidiary, Swisher Coal Company, would build a new preparation plant and a unit-train loading facility, and will add a third mine (two are already operating) in order to produce 1.5 million tons per year of coal. (Coal Age magazine, July 1978, page 152)

(Read more about the Swisher loadout at C. V. Spur)

January 3, 1980 -- General Exploration Company sold its Utah coal reserves and operations, including Swisher Coal Company, to Anaconda Minerals , a subsidiary of Atlantic Richfield Company, for a reported $38 million.

Swisher Coal company was sold to Beaver Creek Coal Company (a subsidiary of ARCO). Swisher operated Gordon Creek No. 2, No. 7 and No. 8.

Atlantic Richfield Company had renamed its Synthetic Crude and Minerals Division as Arco Coal Company in 1979. (Coal Age magazine, May 1980, page 121)

November 1990 -- Mining at the Gordon Creek mines ended in November 1990. Reclamation began the fall of 1995, and was completed in November 1998.

(After the Gordon Creek mines were closed in 1990, in May 1991 Beaver Creek transferred ownership of its Trail Mountain mine in Huntington canyon to another Arco subsidiary, Mountain Coal Company, which also operated the West Elk mine in Somerset, Colorado. Arco had purchased the Trail Mountain mine in 1987.)

(Arco Coal sold the coal preparation plant and unit train loadout at C. V. Spur to Savage Industries in September 1994.)


National Coal Railway -- A Google Map of Utah Railway's National Branch, built in 1925, abandoned in 1954.