Kenilworth Coal Mines and Railroads

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During early spring 1904, Heber J. Stowell, a resident of Spring Glen discovered veins of coal showing on the surface while searching for stray horses. He took a sample into Price and showed it to William H. Lawley. Stowell and Lawley began prospecting as time and money allowed. After discovering three workable coal beds, the pair began mining operations, northeast of present-day Kenilworth. James Wade of Price and Fred Sweet of Salt Lake City became interested and financed increased development of the potential mine. (C. H. Madsen, "Carbon County: A History," 1947, page 43)

Stowell built a wagon road to the workings and hauled water from the Price River. By February, 1906 there were 16 men working in the mine, which was known as the Wade-Lawley prospect. Stowell and Lawley called their organization the Western Coal and Coke Company.

In late December, 1906, the Independent Coal and Coke Company, a Wyoming corporation bought the mine formerly worked by Wade and Lawley. It was reported that 40 men were employed by this new company.

The first development work was done in Bull Hollow, northeast of the site of Kenilworth. This coal seam proved to be a difficult to develop due to the seam at that location having been burned for several hundred feet into the mountain. Much of the coal that could be easily mined had been reduced to clinkers. Mr. Lawley discovered another seam, unburned, showing high on the cliff side, around the mountain west from the Bull Hollow site, 750 feet above and north of the later site of the town of Kenilworth. It was here that the first opening was developed. (HAER: Kenilworth, p. 5)

"...destruction of the railroad monopoly held by the Denver & Rio Grande Western and its subsidiaries. As soon as the federal courts broke the monopoly in 1907, the number of miles of track in Carbon County began to grow. Their expansion continued with only temporary increases until the late 1940s." (O'Neil: Carbon County, pp. 30,33) (See also: Powell, Next Time We Strike, p. 22)

(Research: Find out about the Interstate Commerce Commission ruling, as well as a possible grand jury and the court case concerning coal land fraud by Utah Fuel Company, circa 1907-1909.)

"The Independent coal lands cannot easily be compared with land containing seams of average thickness, for the reason that it contains from six to eight times as much coal as ordinary coal land. There are three workable seams, aggregating more than forty feet of coal. The lower, or Aberdeen, seam is from eighteen to twenty-two feet in thickness; the middle, or Royal Blue, seam six to ten feet; the upper, or Kenilworth, seam sixteen to eighteen feet. These seams all dip into the mountain from seven to twelve percent. The sandstone roof and floor are so solid that it is unnecessary to use timber in the mine for ordinary mining operations. This item alone reduces the expense of operating about $2000 per month. Coal can be mined from these thick seams more cheaply for the reason that it requires less development, trackage, etc. for a given tonnage." (Independent Coal and Coke Company. "Report On The Property Of The Independent Coal & Coke Company, Kenilworth, Carbon County, Utah", August 1918, page 6)

"The old original Aberdeen mine is in section 10, and it is about one and a half miles northeast of the tipple. It is in the Aberdeen seam and was made in twenty-two feet of coal. This opening was made over thirty years ago and is known as a wagon bank, or mine. It presents a most unusual condition, namely, that the wagons are able to drive directly into the mine and load up in the rooms, the largest room being over two hundred feet long. As the coal is mined nearly to the roof, it is about twenty feet high. The coal in this opening has been exposed to the weather many years, yet there is no timbering whatever in the same, and the coal on either side of the entrance is firm and unweathered. the roof and floor of this seam, both here and at number one and two openings, are massive sandstone." (Independent Coal and Coke Company. "Report On The Property Of The Independent Coal & Coke Company, Kenilworth, Carbon County, Utah", August 1918, page 6)

"Aberdeen No. 1 Opening -- The number one opening was made in the lower, or Aberdeen, seam near the center of the northeast quarter of Section 16." (Independent Coal and Coke Company. "Report On The Property Of The Independent Coal & Coke Company, Kenilworth, Carbon County, Utah", August 1918, page 10) (This is the opening high on the cliff above the town of Kenilworth, reached by the steep incline.)

The coal was first mined and shipped from the Aberdeen opening high on the cliff above the town of Kenilworth. "From the mine mouth the coal is lowered over what is known as the shelf road to the top of the incline where a twenty-five ton balanced gravity drum delivers it to the tipple over an incline. The shelf road gets its name from the fact that it is built on a ledge or shelf of massive sandstone which underlies the coal. It is 1200 feet long and has a uniform grade of twelve and one-half percent. The incline is 2000 feet long in a straight line, the upper two-thirds of which has a grade of thirty-nine percent and the other third twenty-seven percent. It is double tracked, both the shelf and incline being laid with seventy-five pound steel." (Independent Coal and Coke Company. "Report On The Property Of The Independent Coal & Coke Company, Kenilworth, Carbon County, Utah", August 1918, page 14)

Kenilworth Name

The town and mine were named Kenilworth, from the supposed similarity of the three peaks surrounding the coal camp with the famous 12th Century castle in Kenilworth, Warwickshire in central England. (Madsen, p. 43, wrongly locates the castle in Scotland.) Kenilworth Castle, which after Cromwell's 1648 attacks was mostly ruins, was romanticized by Sir Walter Scott in his 1821 novel, "Kenilworth". (Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, 1987; The American Peoples Encyclopedia, 1954)

The choice of this English name, along with the name Aberdeen (a coastal port, and third largest city in Scotland) for the company's coal trade name illustrates the English ancestry of many of the Carbon County's coal mine owners, developers and engineers, and other early residents, who were mostly Mormon converts from the British Isles. The ethnic and cultural diversity of Mediterranean and south European immigrants that came to the area in the post-1900 era was a result of the efforts of labor agents to furnish inexpensive labor for the coal mine and railroad construction.


Aberdeen Mine (Price Trading Company)

Active from 1898-1916; not served by a railroad.

(Research suggests that the original Aberdeen [Bollinger; Price Trading] mine, and the later Wade-Lawley-Stowell mine were two different mines.)

February 4, 1895
The Aberdeen coal mine was noted as being seven miles north of Price, and was the only coal mine in a summary of the newly created Carbon County. (Salt Lake Tribune, February 4, 1895)

"Aberdeen Coal Mine. -- Seven miles north of Price is the Aberdeen coal mine, belonging to citizens of the town. This was first opened in 1892. The vein is one of three which can be traced a distance of twenty-six miles. The vein where opened is 22-1/2 feet thick, of most excellent coal, and of course very easily worked, since it dips northwest at an angle of one foot to the rod, and being opened at the north side, the coal can be run out by gravity. The mining so far done has been only for local consumption, and sold to persons who go there with their teams and haul almost all the way over a fine road and slight down-grade to Price." "L. M. Olson has lately opened a vein of semi-anthracite coal in another gulch, about six miles north of here, the vein being eight feet thick." (Salt Lake Tribune, February 4, 1895)

(This is the first mention of the Aberdeen coal mine in available online newspapers.)

The Aberdeen property consisted of a tunnel 200 feet in length through which wagons were driven and loaded in a big chamber during the previous fifteen years whenever the citizens of Price needed a load of coal. (Deseret Evening News, December 29, 1906)

September 15, 1898
"The Price Trading company is this week repairing and partially rebuilding the wagon road to its coal mine some eight miles north of town. The outlay will amount to about one thousand dollars." (Eastern Utah Advocate, September 15, 1898)

September 16, 1898
"Castle Valley Coal. -- The Price Trading Company Building a Road to Its Mine. -- Price, Utah, Sept. 14. — The Price Trading company today began work on a wagon road to its coal mine eight miles north of the city, and which means an outlay of $1,000 to the company, and at the same time a material reduction in the price of coal to the consumer in this end of Castle valley. This is probably one of the biggest and best mines in eastern Utah, and is considered the best coking coal about here, that at Castle Gate not excepted. The vein is the largest in the county and measures 22-1/2 feet from wall to wall. Some idea of its size may be had when it is stated that a wagon and team is often driven into the stope, turned around and loaded. There is enough coal in sight in the mine to supply Carbon county for 25 years to come. This coal has been much sought after in past years, and there has been more or less talk of late of the building of a branch road to the property and the erection of coke ovens of large capacity." (Salt Lake Herald, September 16, 1898)

November 30, 1899
"Recent maps and surveys made by Price Trading company show that their coal mine is located some three miles east of Helper, and by the expenditure of a few dollars only a good wagon road can be built into that town, which would cheapen the price of coal to residents there. About all the coal consumed by Helper people is now bought of the railroad company." (Eastern Utah Advocate, November 30, 1899)

July 2, 1901
A. J. Ferron was surveying the large coal lands north and east of Price. "The work will take several weeks, and then Mr. Ferron will do similar work for Messrs. Whitmore Bros. & Ballinger, who have a valuable mine some eight miles north of town." (Deseret News, July 2, 1901)

(A nearby news item on the same page stated that the Price Trading company sold its extensive mercantile business, with the principle former owner, J. M. Whitmore, planning to open Price's first bank.)

(Research suggests that Whitmore and Ballinger were the principle owners of Price Trading company. Ballinger retired from active management of Price Trading in 1913.)

December 27, 1906
Independent Coal and Coke Company bought the coal mine owned by the Price Trading Company, owned by Whitmore and Ballinger, for a reported price of $25,000. (Eastern Utah Advocate, December 27, 1906)

October 12, 1907
"Price, Oct. 11 -- "The Aberdeen mine has been leased to LaDue and Sweet of Salt Lake, and preparation is being made to put a good force at work there also, and in hauling coal from the two mines mentioned no less than 250 teams will be operated if they can be secured." (Inter-Mountain Republican, October 12, 1907)

October 17, 1907
"The Aberdeen mine of the Independent Coal and Coke company is being worked to full capacity by the lessors, Sweet & Ladue, of Salt Lake City. the output goes to the valley towns principally." "The Milburn mine is also sending down a considerable quantity of coal for Salt Lake City." (Eastern Utah Advocate, October 17, 1907)

November 14, 1907
"C. N. Sweet, who has a lease on the Aberdeen mine of the Independent Coal and Coke company, is making his headquarters at Price..." "Sweet's lease on the Aberdeen, known as the Whitmore & Ballinger mine, runs for a year. The vein is a thirty-foot one and the property is almost exhaustless for many years to come." (Eastern Utah Advocate, November 14, 1907)

(C. N. Sweet was Charles Nelson Sweet who was later, in 1917, one of the officers of the Peerless Coal company in Spring canyon, and in 1925, the Sweet Coal company in Gordon Creek canyon.)

(Read more about Charles N. Sweet)

November 21, 1907
Sweet produced fifty carloads during mid November 1907. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, November 21, 1907, p. 5)

November 30, 1907
Coal from the Aberdeen Mine of Independent Coal & Coke Company was being shipped to Price by wagon. (Salt Lake Mining Review, November 30, 1907, p. 39)

January 3, 1908
Sweet and Ladue sold their lease of the Aberdeen mine and quit the business. The lease was sold to A. Schreck. (Inter-Mountain Republican, January 3, 1908; Eastern Utah Advocate, January 16, 1908)

(The difficulty appears to be the declining price of coal, and their inability to set a competitive price for their coal between "Sunnyside" and Goldfield, Nevada, in terms satisfactory to the Interstate Commerce Commission. Sunnyside was the closest station for originating coal shipments to Goldfield without the expense of establishing a new tariff.)

June 17, 1909
"J. M. Whitmore and Price Trading company have deeded the Aberdeen coal mine, consisting of a hundred and sixty acres, to the Independent Coal and Coke company. Consideration, $25,000." (Eastern Utah Advocate, June 17, 1909)

(The Independent company "bought" the Price Trading company's mine in December 1906, which was likely just an option. The final sale was in June 1909.)

December 31, 1909
"The Price Trading company has several teams employed hauling coal from the Aberdeen coal mine and shipping it to Utah and Salt Lake counties to relieve the coal famine in that section." (Carbon County News, December 31, 1909)

Kenilworth Mine (Aberdeen No. 1)

Spring 1904
During early spring 1904, Heber J. Stowell, a resident of Spring Glen discovered veins of coal showing on the surface while searching for stray horses. He took a sample into Price and showed it to William H. Lawley. Stowell and Lawley began prospecting as time and money allowed. After discovering three workable coal beds, the pair began mining operations, northeast of present-day Kenilworth. James Wade of Price and Fred Sweet of Salt Lake City became interested and financed increased development of the potential mine. (C. H. Madsen, "Carbon County: A History," 1947, page 43)

April 27, 1905
The following comes from the April 27, 1905 issue of the Salt Lake Telegram newspaper:

New Coal Company Files Its Articles -- Another coal company has sprung into existence. It is the Western Coal and Coke company, which is the owner of several tracts of coal land in Carbon County, near Helper. The surveys of the company's lands have been finished and work is expected to commence at an early date. Besides the general marketing of coal the company will construct a large number of coke ovens.

The company has filed articles of incorporation. The capital stock is placed at $500,000, divided into 500,000 shares.

The following officers were chosen: President, Joseph A. Brown, vice president, J. W. Sterling, secretary, Arthur A. Sweet, treasurer, R. J. Evans.

May 4, 1905
James Wade and W. H. Lawley, in the name of Western Coal & Coke, had filed on the north half of Section 9, and all of Section 4, as mineral lands. Joseph Brown, president of the Western company, was shown as a millionaire banker from Ohio. (Eastern Utah Advocate, May 4, 1905)

(These two sections are located immediately north of what would later become the town of Kenilworth. The original Kenilworth mine was located in the center of Section 16, immediately south of Section 9, and the Kenilworth town site is located along the south section line of Section 16.)

(Learn more about the Public Land Survey System; Township, Range, Sections, etc.)

October 12, 1905
What was known as the "Wade, Sweet and Lawley coal mines" north of Spring Glen were likely to open soon. A search for development capital was progressing, with the cost reported as $15,000 being needed to start development. (Eastern Utah Advocate, October 12, 1905)

February 1906
There were sixteen men working in the mine, which was known as the Wade-Lawley prospect. (Zehnder, Chuck. A Guide To Carbon County Coal Camps And Ghost Towns, page 15)

February 8, 1906
"The stationary of the Wade-Lawley syndicate bears the name Western Coal and Coke company, mines and works at Coaldale, Utah. The offices of the company are in the D. F. Walker building in Salt Lake City." (News-Advocate, February 8, 1906)

September 6, 1906
The Independent Coal and Coke company bought a quarter-section of land in Section 16 (T13S, R10E). (Eastern Utah Advocate, September 6, 1906)

(This quarter-section containing 160 acres was the planned site of the company's tipple, coke ovens and townsite, later known as Kenilworth. -- Deseret Evening News, December 29, 1906)

The property purchased by the Independent company included the south half of Section 9; the northwest quarter of Section 16 (where the townsite and tipple were); and the northeast quarter of Section 17. (Deseret Evening News, December 29, 1906)

(Note that the Western Coal & Coke company had filed on the north half of Section 9, and all of Section 4, further to the north.)

December 17, 1906
From a letter dated December 17, 1906 (BYU MSS 154 Box 2):

To: Mr. A. E. Welby, General Superintendent, Rio Grande Western Railway

Our plans contemplate the construction of a railway commencing at a point on your line about 450 feet east of your present Helper Yard limit, running thence 4 miles east to our tipple. Our railway will be standard gauge constructed of 60 lb steel, laid on a first class road bed. It will be necessary for us to have a connection with the Rio Grande Western Railway, and we herewith submit for your consideration, a proposed plan of our trackage and yard; showing the most desirable point of connecting our Railway with your road.

We have already purchased our steel rails, ties and other equipments; we have arranged for lands for yards and rights of way, about we have about forty men employed and are now equipping and provisioning construction camps to build the railway and other improvements referred to. We will be able to commence shipping coal in three or four months, and expect to be able to deliver 500 tons daily within six months from date, consigned to points within and without the state.

If your company has any hesitancy in making the expenditure necessary to connect your railway with ours, we will be glad to make any reasonable guaranty that traffic commensurate with the expense involved will be offered for shipment or to reimburse your Company for your outlay.

As we are now ready to commence grading, you will oblige us greatly by taking the matter up at the earliest date convenient.


F. A. Sweet, Manager, Independent Coal and Coke Company

December 22, 1906
Independent Coal and Coke Company filed its articles of incorporation. The company was organized on October 13, 1906, incorporated on October 22, 1906 in Wyoming, and filed in Utah on December 22, 1906. The company was organized by L. H. Curtis, F. A. Sweet, W. C. Orem, C. N. Strevell, and James H. Patterson, all of Salt Lake City, and A. J. Orem of Boston. The organizers chose the Independent name because of the new company's independence from any large corporate, smelting or railroad interests. (Utah corporation, index number 6054; Wyoming index number 429)

(The Orems later organized the Castle Valley Coal Company. L. H. Curtis was Lucius H. Curtis)

Grading for a railroad line from the mine in Bull Hollow to a point on the D&RG about a mile east of Helper was begun in late December 1906. (Zehnder, page 15)

December 27, 1906
Independent Coal and Coke Company bought the coal mine owned by the Price Trading Company, owned by Whitmore and Ballinger, for a reported price of $25,000. (Eastern Utah Advocate, December 27, 1906)

(This was apparently an option for the Price Trading company's mine. The final deed and sale was in June 1909. The coal mine of the Price Trading Company was located 8 miles north of Price, approximately in Section 9.)

(Learn more about the Public Land Survey System; Township, Range, Sections, etc.)

December 27, 1906
"Aberdeen Mine Sold -- Messrs. Whitmore and Ballinger Deal With the Newly Organized Independent Coal and Coke Company." "The company has taken over the properties of the Wade-Lawley syndicate to the north and east of Helper, and has recently purchased the Price Trading company mine north of Price, the consideration for the latter property being in the neighborhood of twenty-five thousand dollars." (Eastern Utah Advocate, December 27, 1906)

January 24, 1907
"A. Ballinger, in charge of the old Price Trading company mine for Independent Coal and Coke company, loaded two cars of coal for the Salt Lake City market yesterday. This is the first shipment to go further than Price from this mine." (Eastern Utah Advocate, January 24, 1907)

January 25, 1907
"Two carloads of coal from the mine of the Independent Coal and Coke in Carbon county was received in this city yesterday." "This is the first coal to come from this mine to Salt Lake. The coal was hauled a distance of nine miles by team in order to reach the railroad. It is asserted by the railroad people that about 200 tons of coal is coming to Salt Lake every day now and that the worst is passed in the coal situation." (Salt Lake Telegram, January 25, 1907)

April 18, 1907
Independent Coal and Coke company was given a trust deed in the amount of $200,000 from Utah Savings and Trust company, to cover the cost of construction of its railroad and its coal mine. (Eastern Utah Advocate, April 18, 1907)

May 2, 1907
Construction work started for the building of the railroad of the Independent Coal and Coke company. The new "Shea" locomotive was expected in about six weeks time. The name of Patterson for the new town site was turned down by the post office, and the name Strevell had been proposed. "The Aberdeen mine is not to be worked for some time, but will continue under royalty arrangement to supply the Price market by wagon haul." (Eastern Utah Advocate, May 2, 1907)

July 4, 1907
Independent Coal and Coke company went to court to have legal property condemnations for three parcels it needed for its railroad. The three cases were settled by the court in October 1907, in favor of the railroad. (Eastern Utah Advocate, July 4, 1907; October 24, 1907)

August 8, 1907
The first use of the name Kenilworth for the new coal camp was in the August 8, 1907 issue of the Eastern Utah Advocate newspaper. No earlier references have been found in available online newspapers.

August 10, 1907
Independent Coal & Coke shipped its first coal, over its new railroad using a leased Rio Grande Western locomotive. Their first Shay locomotive had not yet arrived. (Eastern Utah Advocate, August 15, 1907)

Independent's new locomotive, a Shay with road number 100, arrived in early September 1907, having left the Lima Locomotive Works factory in Lima, Ohio on August 24, 1907. (Koch, builder's record)

(Independent Coal & Coke began production in 1907. Prior to the beginning of mining operations, the mining company had built their own railroad between their mines at Kenilworth and the Rio Grande Western at Spring Glen. The line was over three miles long and the grades were so steep, and the curves so sharp that they needed an special locomotive called a Shay to operate it.)

September 26, 1907
"The Independent Coal and Coke company begins shipping this week from four to five cars daily of coal, which is going to Nevada. It is sold at three dollars a ton on the cars delivered to the Rio Grande Western at Spring Glen." (Eastern Utah Advocate, September 26, 1907)

October 12, 1907
"Price, Oct. 11 -- The Price Co-op Mercantile company is rushing matters in coal output from the Milburn mine which it has under lease." "A long string of wagons is each evening unloaded here in the cars of the Rio Grande system, and the force is being increased as fast as possible." (Inter-Mountain Republican, October 12, 1907)

Once work began in developing the original twenty-two foot thick Aberdeen seam, a second seam was reached, directly above. This middle, or Royal Blue seam, averaged six to ten feet thick and was mined through an opening from the Aberdeen slope, sixty feet below. A third seam, called the Kenilworth, was discovered directly above the Royal Blue seam. This seam averaged sixteen to eighteen feet in thickness and was also mined from an opening inside the mine, from the Aberdeen seam. The general slope of all three seams was at nine degrees down towards the northeast, so that a level tunnel cut into the lowest Aberdeen seam eventually crossed through all three seams. The downward slope of nine degrees, or sixteen percent, would eventually work against the company in later transportation costs. (HAER: Kenilworth, p. 5)

(Read the complete Historic American Engineering Record [HAER] report)

March 12, 1908
By March 1908 the Kenilworth mine was producing about 300 tons per day. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, March 12, 1908, p. 3)

September 24, 1908
By September 1908, the mine was shipping 600 tons per day and could not keep up with the demand. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, September 24, 1908, p. 3)

April 23, 1908
David J. Sharp sold coal property adjoining the Independent property to United States Smelting Company in April 1908. A tramway was to be built and the mines producing by June 1908. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, April 23, 1908, p. 1)

(David J. Sharp was one of John Sharp's sons. The other was W. G. Sharp, president of United States Smelting, Refining and Mining company. David Sharp had been in the retail coal business in Salt Lake City for 14 years, beginning in about 1892, until driven from his business by Union Pacific in 1906. David Sharp and his wife spent two years in 1909-1911 traveling in Mexico and California, returning in late June 1911. D. J. Sharp himself died at age 43 of a heart attack on June 12, 1912, at his home in Salt Lake City. At the time of his death, he was manager of Western Fuel company, the retail outlet of the former Castle Valley Coal company, since April 1, 1912, just after that company had been sold to USSR&M. Sharp was born in Salt Lake City in 1869.)

The second Shay locomotive had left "the East and would soon be in commission out of Helper hauling coal down for the Independent company." The mine was producing an average of 10 cars per day. (Eastern Utah Advocate, December 31, 1908, page 5, "Of A More Or Less Personal Nature")

February 4, 1909
During early 1909 the Kenilworth & Helper's Shay locomotive was used to haul water to the mining camp at night, and haul coal down to Kenilworth Junction at Spring Glen during the day. A second Shay locomotive had been ordered. Production at Kenilworth had increased by February 1909 to 700 tons per day. (Eastern Utah Advocate, February 4, 1909)

February 6, 1909
Kenilworth & Helper received a new Shay locomotive, "The new Shay engine arrived last Saturday (February 4, 1909), as the production of the the mine is becoming so great that one could not handle all the traffic." (Carbon County News, February 13, 1909)

Mr. William Griffin, representative of Lima Locomotive Works, builder of the new Shay locomotive, accompanied the new locomotive and returned to Lima on Thursday, February 18. (Carbon County News, February 20, 1909)

Kenilworth & Helper's second Shay locomotive, number 101, arrived in early February 1909, after having been completed by the Lima factory on January 21, 1909. The arrival of the second Shay gave the coal company two 70-ton locomotives to move its coal to the D&RG connection. (HAER: Kenilworth, p. 14)

During 1910 the coal company purchased water rights to fulfill its needs. This water came from the Spring Glen Canal Company, from the Price River. Additional water was pumped from the river itself. (HAER: Kenilworth, p. 16)

The holdings of the Independent Coal & Coke Company consisted of 3,200 acres of land, which included the townsite of Kenilworth, the railroad right of way for its own railroad (later the Kenilworth & Helper Railroad), the railroad terminal yard at Kenilworth Junction (later Spring Glen), and the coking plant situated between Kenilworth Junction and Helper. The coal mined at Kenilworth came from three different veins, or measures. The lower was the Aberdeen measure, at twenty-two feet the thickest of the three. The middle measure, the Royal Blue, was the thinnest, at eight to ten feet thick, and the upper most measure, the Kenilworth, was eighteen to twenty feet thick. All three dipped at about nine degrees down. The main workings were in the Aberdeen measure, which produced about 1,600 to 1,800 tons per day in 1910. The Royal Blue was producing about 250 tons per day, and the Kenilworth measure was not being worked at all. The output of the Kenilworth mine, from the Aberdeen measure, was conveyed to the wooden frame rail car loading tipple by way of a gravity tramway. From the mine to the turning point, called "The Knuckle", the tramway was called "The Shelf Line" and was single track, 1,300 feet long and at a ten percent grade down from the mine. It was operated by a Hendrie & Bolthoff hoist, situated at the mine opening, which lowered loaded cars down to The Knuckle. The gravity tramway from The Knuckle down to the loading tipple was double-tracked, 2,000 feet in length and had a grade of thirty-nine percent for two-thirds of its length, and twenty-seven percent for the remaining one-third to the tipple. The descent of the skips of seven or eight loaded cars down the gravity tramway was controlled by a Dillion & Box gravity drum hoist, and as the loaded cars are lowered, their descent returned empties to be reloaded in the mine. Each of the cars held about three to three and a half tons, so that each descending skip of loaded cars brought between twenty-one and twenty-eight tons of coal down to the loading tipple. At the tipple the coal from the loaded mine cars was weighed, sized and graded, and dumped directly into waiting railroad cars. In 1910, the major portion of the coal from the Kenilworth mine was sold to customers in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, California, and portions of Montana. Its customers included smelters, factories, railroads, and dealers who furnished the home heating market. (Higgins: Independent, p. 17)

The original tipple of the Independent company was wooden frame in construction, being made up of Oregon fir. The tipple was manufactured by the C. S. Card Company of Denver, and included Jeffery-type shaking screens for grading of the coal. (Higgins: Independent, p. 18)

In June 1910 Independent Coal & Coke Company purchased the Citizens Coal Company in Salt Lake City to give it a retail outlet for the Kenilworth coal. (Salt Lake Mining Review, June 30, 1910, p. 34) The Citizens Coal Company was incorporated on January 28, 1898. (Utah corporation, index number 2166)

In August 1910, a depot was built at Spring Glen by the Independent company for use by the Kenilworth & Helper Railroad. (Salt Lake Mining Review, August 30, 1910, p. 38)

By September 1910, Kenilworth's production had reached 1,500 tons per day. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, September 8, 1910, p. 2)

During 1910, the railroad was operated using two 72-ton Shay locomotives. (Higgins: Independent, p. 19)

June 22, 1911
"Independent Coal and Coke company has received a new Shay engine for use on its railroad from Helper to Kenilworth, making three now in commission. It weighs seventy seven tons and comes from the Lima Locomotive Works at Lima, O." (Eastern Utah Advocate, June 22, 1911)

The formal completion date for this locomotive, with road number 150, was on May 31, 1911. (Koch, builder's record)

On July 15, 1911 the Kenilworth & Helper Railway was incorporated, in Wyoming, by the owners of Independent Coal & Coke Company. On July 19th the railroad company purchased and commenced operation of the coal company's railroad property, which they had built in 1907. (26 ICC 860)

In 1911 the Independent Coal & Coke Company incorporated the Kenilworth & Helper to operate their already constructed rail line, which remained in operation until it was replaced by the D&RGW's Kenilworth Branch in 1926. (105 ICC 720)

The Kenilworth & Helper Railroad was incorporated in Wyoming and was 100 percent owned by Independent Coal & Coke Company. The railroad was leased for operation for a ten year period to D&RG on December 1, 1914. Shay locomotives were used on a separate (42-inch gauge) tramway by the coal company to bring coal down to the No. 1 tipple. Shay locomotives of the Kenilworth & Helper had a capacity of twelve cars over the line's 6-1/2 percent grades. Seven empties could be brought up from the D&RG connection at Spring Glen. Twelve to fifteen loaded cars could be taken down from the mine to the D&RG connection. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 868)

"Incline Tunnel -- As stated in report for 1913, this tunnel was driven from the sixth right entry of the Aberdeen mine, up through the intervening strata and the Royal Blue (middle) seam, to the Kenilworth (upper) seam, for the purpose of marketing the coal in these two seams. This tunnel was completed in the latter part of 1913, but there was practically no development work done in either the Royal Blue or Kenilworth seams until this year." (Independent Coal and Coke Company, General Manager's Report, 1914 and 1915)

March 6, 1913
Kenilworth produced a record 2,339 tons of coal on one day in March 1913. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, March 6, 1913, p. 13)

May 15, 1913
Independent Coal & Coke began work on a new steel tipple, and conversion from steam operation to electric operation. (Salt Lake Mining Review, May 15, 1913, p. 35)

(This was the second of three tipples at Kenilworth.)

"Steel Tipple. -- The old frame tipple was replaced by an all steel tipple with a capacity of 3000 tons per day and with all the latest improvements, including picking tables so as to obtain the best results in the preparation of coal. This tipple is provided with four railroad tracks, on which all sizes of coal are loaded into cars." "Box-car loaders are also provided for loading lump, stove, egg and nut into box and stock cars on three tracks." (Independent Coal and Coke Company. "Report On The Property Of The Independent Coal & Coke Company, Kenilworth, Carbon County, Utah", August 1918, pages 16, 17)

A new steel tipple, designed by Link Belt Company, was under construction during August 1914, had a stated capacity of 3,000 tons per day, and included a semi-automated Link Belt car dumper. (Lewis, p. 22)

The new steel tipple at Kenilworth was completed by October 1914. (Salt Lake Mining Review, October 30, 1914, p. 21)

The new steel tipple was designed by the Link-Belt company. (Robert S. Lewis, "The Book Cliffs Coal Field, Utah," AIME Transactions, Volume 50, 1914, page 670)

The new steel tipple was built at an angle away from the inclined tram. When the wooden tipple had been in place, a large mass of sandstone broke off directly above the incline tram, and slid down the rails and smashed over the end of the tipple, causing considerable damage. To prevent damage to the new tipple, it was placed to one side of the wooden tipple, and the incline tram tracks were curved for a short distance at the bottom of the incline. "It is thought that the velocity of any runaway object will be so great that it will not make the turn, but will keep straight on past the tipple." (Robert S. Lewis, "The Book Cliffs Coal Field, Utah," AIME Transactions, Volume 50, 1914, page 673)

The new steel tipple built in 1914 allowed the grading of the mined coal into four, rather than three sizes. The slack could now be separated and sold, and the dust still used in the company's steam boilers. The slack and dust coal were conveyed to a rescreening plant where the slack was separated from the dust. Both screened slack and dust were stored in separate sixty-ton bins with bottom gates that allowed their contents to be dropped into railroad cars. The dust bin was provided with a conveyor to move the dust coal to the boiler house for use as fuel in the company's boilers. The lump coal was loaded into railroad box cars by the use of two Ottumwa box car loaders, one a standard Ottumwa steam driven pusher type, and the other an example of the new Ottumwa-Ecks conveyor style. The stove, egg, and nut coals were loaded into both box cars and open top rail cars. (Independent Coal and Coke Company. "Report On The Property Of The Independent Coal & Coke Company, Kenilworth, Carbon County, Utah", August 1918)

Steam was used to power the tipple shaker screens, the box car loaders, the machine shop, and the pumps which supplied the mine and the town with water.(Independent Coal and Coke Company. "Report On The Property Of The Independent Coal & Coke Company, Kenilworth, Carbon County, Utah", August 1918, pages 16)

The 1913 conversion brought two boilers from the Aberdeen opening to a new, enlarged power house at the tipple. The six steam boilers in the new powerhouse were used to generate electricity by the use of steam turbines. The various steam hoists in the mine, including the hoists on the Shelf tramway, were all replaced by electric models. The conversion from steam to electric power was completed during 1913. (HAER: Kenilworth, p. 18)

A fourth Shay locomotive was completed on September 20, 1913. Its road number was 151. (Koch, builder's information)

"Kenilworth & Helper Railroad -- The operation of our railroad has been taken over by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Company, the latter company having entered into a contract whereby they operate the road free of expense to our company. This has the effect of putting Kenilworth on the main line as all coal rates are effective from Kenilworth to point of destination instead of from Junction as heretofore. This will mean a considerable saving in the cost of marketing coal." (Independent Coal and Coke Company, General Manager's Report, 1914 and 1915)

August 15, 1914
The Independent company contracted with Utah Construction Company to complete two large fills on its Kenilworth & Helper Railroad. (Salt Lake Mining Review, August 15, 1914, p. 28)

(This was a stipulation of D&RGW's lease of the Kenilworth & Helper railroad, that two wooden trestle bridges be replaced with earth fills.)

January 15, 1915
The Kenilworth & Helper Railroad operated its own property from July 19, 1911 until January 15, 1915. The D&RG took over the operation of the Kenilworth & Helper on January 15, 1915. (26 ICC 860,861)

The lease of the Kenilworth & Helper to the D&RG was signed on December 1, 1914. (105 ICC 720)

The lease of the Kenilworth & Helper Railroad to the D&RG was at no cost to the parent Independent company. (Independent Coal and Coke Company, General Manager's Report, 1914 and 1915, page 7)

March 1915
The Kenilworth & Helper railroad expanded its horizons in March 1915 when it filed an amendment to its articles of incorporation that would allow it to build from Helper to Salt Lake City, and from Kenilworth northeasterly through the "Vernal country" to a connection with a railroad from Colorado, presumably the Moffat Road. The roster of officials and directors of the railroad were identical to that of the Independent Coal & Coke Company, and included C. V. Strevell, Salt Lake, president and general manager; James H. Patterson, Salt Lake, vice president and treasurer; F. A. Druehl, Salt Lake, secretary; Walter Parker, Peoria, Illinois; Charles W. Buckley, Chicago; Normal B. Holter, Helena, Montana; M. H. Walker, Salt Lake; Joseph Geoghegan, Salt Lake; and H. C. Edwards, Salt Lake. (New Railroads, p. 17)

In about 1915 the Independent company decided to open a second entrance into the Aberdeen and Kenilworth coal seams. A new 1.4 mile tram road was constructed to move the coal from the new opening to the tipple at Kenilworth. The lower portion, a 4700-foot, forty-two inch gauge tram road was constructed from the Kenilworth tipple around the mountain as far as practicable, using a uniform four percent grade, at which point it connected with a 3000-foot long incline from the new Bull Hollow opening. The incline was built with a grade varying from ten percent at the bottom to a short stretch of eighteen percent near the top at the new Bull Hollow mine opening, and was operated by an electric hoist. To operate the four percent portion of the tram road, the company purchased a new 30-ton Shay locomotive to carry the loaded mine cars from the base of the Bull Hollow incline to the Kenilworth tipple. The Shay locomotive handled the loaded mine cars in trains of thirty cars, each car having a capacity of three and a half tons, for a total train capacity of 105 tons (enough to fill a single railroad car by today's standards). The incline from the mine opening to where the cable hoist passed the cars off to the Shay locomotive was operated by a hoist located at mine opening, and the loaded cars were lowered down the incline in trains of ten cars each. (Independent Coal and Coke Company. "Report On The Property Of The Independent Coal & Coke Company, Kenilworth, Carbon County, Utah", August 1918, pages 17, 18)

By 1917 with the expansion of operations into Bull Hollow, additional power was needed. The expansion required an additional generator which was not available due to World War One shortages, so in July 1917 power was purchased from Utah Power & Light, with the first power coming to the mine in September. Three of the boilers and the generator were removed and sold at a profit. (Independent Coal and Coke Company. "Report On The Property Of The Independent Coal & Coke Company, Kenilworth, Carbon County, Utah", August 1918, page 16)

The location selected for the second entrance was the original 1905-1906 Stowell mine opening in the right hand fork of Bull Hollow, which was completely reworked. The first several hundred feet of the original opening had been burned. The new Bull Hollow portal was opened into the Kenilworth seam, and into the Aberdeen seam further into the mountain beyond the burned areas. The improvements at the new opening included a new cut-stone hoist house and fan machinery. (HAER: Kenilworth, p. 22)

The new Bull Hollow portal and new Shay operated tram road was in operation by March 1918. (Salt Lake Mining Review, March 30, 1918)

In December 1917, the Independent Coal & Coke accepted delivery of a Shay locomotive with road number 1. The locomotive was used solely on the coal company's forty-two inch gauge tramway from the new mine opening in Bull Hollow, hauling loaded mine cars from the mine to the tipple in Kenilworth, at the base of the original gravity tramway. The new tramway was referred to as the "Bull Hollow Tramroad and Incline", with the original tram from the Kenilworth opening being called the "Shelf and Incline Tramway."(Independent Coal and Coke Company. "Report On The Property Of The Independent Coal & Coke Company, Kenilworth, Carbon County, Utah", August 1918, page 29)

Additional tonnage by mid 1920 required a second forty-two inch gauge Shay locomotive for the Bull Hollow tramroad, which was delivered as road number 2 in late October or early November 1920, having been completed by the factory on October 22, 1920. (Koch, builder's record)

The local newspaper was impressed with the new mine, calling it fully modern in all respects and operating with electricity. (Coal Index: The Sun, November 29, 1918, p. 1)

A separate Aberdeen Coal Company was incorporated in October 1917. (Salt Lake Mining Review, October 15, 1917, p. 46)

During 1918 the railroad car capacity of the Kenilworth & Helper included nearly one hundred cars at the Kenilworth tipple and another 150 cars at the nearly four miles of yard tracks at Kenilworth Junction. The motive power for the Kenilworth & Helper during 1918 was the two 90-ton Shays and one of the two 70-ton Shays. (Independent: 1918, p. 20)

Coal production for the Independent company grew steadily from its opening in 1907 to 1912. The production for that year was 411,661 tons, about 1,372 tons per day for a standard 300 day year. Production fluctuated between that 1913 peak and 236,522 tons over the next four years, depending on demand for the company's coal. Record production for the mine took place on December 31, 1917 when 2,831 tons came out of the combined Kenilworth and Aberdeen (Bull Hollow) openings. The Kenilworth coal was marketed under the trade name of "Aberdeen Coal". (Independent: 1918, pp. 21,23)

In 1920 change came to Kenilworth & Helper railroad operations. The two original 70-ton, two-truck Shay locomotives (42-inch gauge) were removed from service. Number 100 was sold to a used locomotive dealer in Portland, Oregon, and resold to Western Lumber & Export Company in May 1920. Shay number 101 was scrapped in December 1920, while still on the railroad's property. The two remaining 90-ton Shay locomotives, numbers 150 and 151, remained and were operated by the railroad until the entire railroad was leased to the D&RGW for operation in 1926. (Koch, Shay locomotive builder's record)

The following comes from the Historic American Engineering Record for Kenilworth, pages 22, 24, 25:

By 1920 the workings of the Kenilworth mine had proceeded far enough along the coal seams that the farthest working face was 750 feet below the original Kenilworth Aberdeen No. 1 opening, meaning that the mining activity was taking place at the same level as the tipple outside the mine. The coal was being hoisted up 750 feet inside the mine to the mine portal, then let down 750 feet by way of the gravity tram to the tipple.

To cut the costs of transportation of coal from the mine to the tipple, the company undertook to drill two new tunnels into the mountain that would intersect the coal seams at the same level as the tipple outside. The new 3,100 foot long tunnel in Bull Hollow was begun in 1920, and was finished in 1921. The second new tunnel was begun in 1922, with its portal adjacent to the Kenilworth tipple, was 8,100 feet long and was equipped with a double track tram for coal haulage to the surface. It was finished in February 1924.

Once these two tunnels were finished, all coal was brought through them to the surface, and the original openings at the Aberdeen No. 2 opening in Bull Hollow, and the Aberdeen No. 1 opening above Kenilworth mine were converted to exhaust openings for the mine ventilation system. The original Shelf line tramway, and gravity tramway from the original Aberdeen No. 1 opening down to the tipple were abandoned.

February 1, 1924
When completed, the new 8,100 foot tunnel was said to be the longest in the west. (Coal Index: The Sun, February 1, 1924, p. 8)

The new tunnel at the No. 1 mine brought out 100 tons per hour. (Coal Index: The Sun, February 29, 1924, p. 1)

Production in 1926 was 2,200 tons per day. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 828)

On January 28, 1926, Kenilworth & Helper Railroad and Denver & Rio Grande Western filed a joint application for the abandonment of the Kenilworth line, operated under lease by the D&RGW, and to construct a branch line of the D&RGW extending from a connection with the D&RGW mainline at or near Spring Canyon Junction, in a general easterly direction for 6.28 miles to Kenilworth. The Kenilworth's line, as operated by D&RGW, was 3.75 miles long and extended from a connection with D&RGW's mainline at Kenilworth Junction (Spring Glen) to Kenilworth. The daily production of the Kenilworth mine in 1926 was about 2,000 tons, or about 40 fifty-ton carloads. In 1924 the Kenilworth mine's production amounted to 382,336 tons (about 7,600 carloads, about 21 cars per day) and projections for 1925 production called for an increase of about 21 percent, to 465,000 tons, or five more carloads per day. The Kenilworth line had grades in excess of six percent and its operation required the use of a Shay locomotives, which required increased maintenance and operating expenses. The coal company was about to expand their No. 2 mine which was projected to produce an additional 2,000 tons, or 40 carloads, per day, and construct a new loading tipple and tipple yard, and the current railroad would not be able to handle the increased traffic at a reasonable expense. The coal company desired to construct an alternate line with more capacity and reduced operating expenses. This was projected to cost $469,000.00 for its construction, and the projected traffic was 600,000 tons for the first year, increasing to 1,000,000 tons by the fifth year. The land for the right-of-way for the new line was donated by the coal company. The new line was laid with 85-pound rail and was constructed with three percent grades westbound (loads) and 1.5 percent eastbound (empties), and was projected to be complete and in operation by October 1, 1926. (105 ICC 720; map accompanying application)

The two 90-ton Shays remained as locomotives leased for operation to D&RGW, until D&RGW's new Kenilworth Branch was completed in 1926, being replaced by a D&RGW 3300 class Mallet assigned out of Helper. Number 150 was sold in June 1929, ending up on a logging railroad in Oregon in August. Number 151 was sold in September 1928, and later resold to another logging company, located in Washington, in April 1929. (Koch, Shay locomotive builder's record)

Kenilworth & Helper Railroad was 6.39 miles long, including 3.525 miles of main track and 2.865 miles of yard and side tracks. (26 ICC Val. 781; D&RGW ICC Valuation Docket 960) D&RGW leased two locomotives from Kenilworth & Helper Railroad. (26 ICC Val. 785; D&RGW ICC Valuation Docket 960, done July 30, 1982)

The following comes from Railway Age magazine in 1926, about D&RGW's new Kenilworth Branch:

February 6, 1926 -- D&RGW has applied to the Interstate Commerce Commission for a certificate authorizing the construction of a line of 6.28 miles from Spring Canyon Junction, Utah. (Railway Age, February 6, 1926, page 409)

March 13, 1926 -- D&RGW's improvement program for this year calling for an expenditure of more than $9 million, includes "an extension from Helper, Utah, to Kenilworth, a distance of six miles." All of the other projects were in Colorado. (Railway Age, March 13, 1926, page 833)

April 10, 1926 -- Abandonment. -- The Interstate Commerce Commission has issued a certificate authorizing the Kenilworth & Helper and the Denver & Rio Grande Western, lessee, to abandon the line of the Kenilworth & Helper, which extends from Kenilworth Junction, Utah, to Kenilworth, 3.75 miles. Similarly a certificate has been issued authorizing the Denver & Rio Grande Western to construct a new branch line from Spring Canyon Junction in a general easterly direction, 6.28 miles. The Kenilworth is leased by the Denver from its owners, the Independent Coal & Coke Company, which purposes to open up new coal operations which the present line will not be adequate to serve. (Railway Age, April 10, 1926, page 1039)

May 22, 1926 -- D&RGW has awarded a contract to the Utah Construction Company, San Francisco, Cal., for the grading of a six-mile extension from Helper, Utah, to Kenilworth, reported in the Railway Age of March 13. (Railway Age, May 22, 1926, page 1415)

New D&RGW Kenilworth Branch shipped its first coal traffic on November 24, 1926. (Coal Index: The Sun, November 26, 1926, p. 1, "last Wednesday")

The Independent Coal & Coke built a second tipple for its No. 2 mine in 1927. (Madsen, p. 40)

(Some photographs show this second tipple in the distance, east, from the main tipple. This tipple was built near the base of the tramway to the Bull Hollow mine, and was part of the expansion of operations that included the construction of the D&RGW Kenilworth Branch to replace the old Kenilworth & Helper line in 1926. Research has not yet found a date for the removal of the second tipple.)

In 1931, Independent built a steel tipple that replaced the wooden tipple built in 1914, which had replaced the original wooden tipple built in 1907. The new steel tipple built in 1931 was built by the McNally Pittsburgh Manufacturing Corporation. This tipple remained in operation until the mine was closed in 1960. (HAER: Kenilworth, p. 26)

April 1931
Independent Coal and Coke company contracted with Pittsburgh Boiler and Machine company to build a new steel tipple at Kenilworth. the new tipple was eight tracks wide and was equipped with seven picking tables, six loading booms, and a rescreening plant. The new tipple had a capacity of 1,000 tons per hour. (Coal Age magazine, April 1931, page 204)

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

September 1933
Independent Coal and Coke company constructed a new rock tunnel 7,000 feet long that connected the working areas of the coal mine with the the loading tipple at Kenilworth. The portal was slightly west of the Kenilworth surface facilities, and connected underground with the lower coal seam. Another rock tunnel, 1,200 feet long, connected the first tunnel with the upper coal seam. Both coal seams dipped at a 12 degree incline downward into the mountain from where they showed at the surface, high on the cliff wall, where the original mine portals had been built. The new rock tunnel allowed an almost level haulage of coal from mined spaces direct to the processing plant on the surface at Kenilworth. The new portal was in a side canyon northwest of the tipple area, 1,950 feet from the tipple, and was 534 feet below the original portal constructed in 1907, high of the cliff wall. The surface portion of the new tramway dropped at a 2.5 percent grade down to the tipple. The resulting haulage no longer required hoists to move the coal up the incline of the coal seam inside the mine, then down to the tipple. After the new rock tunnel, and new tramway, the only hoisting was downward inside the mine, lowering the coal down to the level of the tunnel. From that point inside the mine, the coal was simply hauled by electric locomotives 7,000 feet through the new rock tunnel to the portal, then down 1,950 feet by way of the new tramway to the tipple. The cost savings were significant, and the new tunnel very soon had paid for itself. (Coal Age magazine, September 1933, pages 305-307)

(The source material is unclear as to the exact locations of the portals, and routing of the surface tramways.)

After 1937, all coal from the Independent company's mine came from the upper, Kenilworth, seam. (HAER: Kenilworth, p. 26)

Mechanization of the mining operations began in 1928, and the mine was fully mechanized by 1939.

September 1939
Independent Coal and Coke company announced that it had contracted with McNally-Pittsburgh Manufacturing company for the addition of a rescreening plant and blending bins to handle 120 tons per hour of 1-5/8-in.x0 coal to produce marketable coal in four sizes, down to 3/16x0-in. The new addition was to be complete by October. (Coal Age magazine, September 1939, page 74)

(The underground mining methods of the Independent Coal and Coke company's Kenilworth coal mine were the subject of a six-page article in Coal Age magazine, August 1942. The article included several photos of the underground operations, and several diagrams of the mine workings.)

Independent Buys Utah Fuel

December 1951
The next major change in the Kenilworth mine came in 1951. In December 1951 the Independent Coal & Coke Company purchased the holdings of the Utah Fuel Company, including the mine at Clear Creek, and the mine and coal washing plant at Castle Gate, which was located directly across the mountain from Kenilworth. At that time, most of the coal being mined from Kenilworth was being hauled around the mountain by rail to Utah Fuel's Castle Gate coal washing plant. (HAER: Kenilworth, pp. 27,28)

(The underground mining methods of the Independent Coal and Coke mine at Kenilworth were the subject of a seven-page article in Mining Congress Journal magazine, November 1956. The article included a few photos of the underground operations, and a diagram of the mine workings.)

Independent Coal & Coke began a 5,000 foot rock tunnel that was drilled north from the 1924-built Aberdeen tunnel to the main slope of the Castle Gate mine. With the completion of this new tunnel in 1959, coal was gravity fed down to the Castle Gate mine's main haulage tunnels and exited at the Castle Gate portals, adjacent to the coal washing plant, eliminating the cost of hauling coal around the mountain by railroad. (HAER: Kenilworth, pp. 27,28)

(The surface workings of the Castle Gate No. 2 mine in Willow Creek canyon are approximately 3.5 miles in a straight line northwest of the surface workings of the Kenilworth mine.)

Utah Power & Light constructed its Carbon Steam Generating Plant at Castle Gate in the mid 1950s. The first unit went into operation in November 1954, and the second unit came on line in August 1957. The plant was located at the mouth of the Castle Gate coal mine. (McCormick: UP&L, p. 121)

After it was closed on February 4, 1960, the old Castle Gate No. 2 became the main haulage between the Kenilworth and Castle Gate mines. With the closure of the No. 2 mine, all workings were sealed and the track gauge changed from forty inches to forty-two inches. Work on a tunnel to connect the Kenilworth workings with the Castle Gate workings was to be completed in March. The tunnel would permit moving of Kenilworth coal to the Castle Gate facilities and eliminate tipple work at Kenilworth and a heavy freight expense. Kenilworth was producing about 1,800 to 2,000 tons per day, and Clear Creek was producing about 800 tons per day. Operations at the mines of the Independent Coal & Coke Company were reduced due to the depressed coal market, with the company cutting back from a five day week to a four day week, and laying off ninety-one miners from their operations, fifty from Castle Gate, twenty-eight from Kenilworth, and thirteen from Clear Creek. (Deseret News, February 5, 1960)

The Kenilworth tipple operations were closed down during the middle week of October 1960. (Deseret News, October 13, 1960, "this week")

The following comes from Coal Age magazine, October 1960, page 54:

Transportation of coal underground is expected to result in substantial economies for Independent Coal & Coke Co., large Utah coal producer -- The company has built a 1-mi underground tunnel, linking from portal to portal, two of its properties in Carbon County, the Kenilworth and Castle Gate mines. W. J. O'Connor, president and general manager, related that coal coming from the Kenilworth mine to Castle Gate, where the firm supplies fuel to a mine-mouth plant belonging to Utah Power & Light, would be hauled through the new tunnel.

Objective of joining Kenilworth and Castle Gate is to eliminate overhead and freight charges and to obtain costs that will permit Independent Coal to make a profit on tonnages sold to the generating plant at Castle Gate.

The firm has also done considerable development work in its new C seam mine at Castle Gate. The new seam will supplant the abandoned No. 2 mine. Outside facilities at Kenilworth mine were closed Sept. 1, but the firm expects to keep them in operating condition.

Cost of the project was upwards of $300,000, not including seam development work. Mr. O'Connor said that the consolidation should result in lower costs in the last 4 mo of 1960. If sales hold up as estimated, he noted, the firm should have a good last quarter. (Coal Age, Volume 65, number 10, October 1960, pp. 54,55, "Underground Link")

"All outside mining operations at Kenilworth have ceased with completion of work joining the Kenilworth and Castle Gate mine tunnels, Carbon County, Utah. All operations now will be from the Castle Gate side. The mine shaft had dropped more than 6,000 ft from the surface and the coal had to be hauled up the main slope by a hoist. Now that the two underground tunnels have been joined, the coal being removed is at the same level as the outside works at Castle Gate. The Independent Coal & Coke Co. started the changeover about two years ago because the Kenilworth side of the operation was becoming too expensive." (Coal Age, Volume 65, number 11, November 1960, p. 50, "News Roundup")

(The underground mining methods, and the underground rock tunnel connecting the Kenilworth workings with the Castle Gate workings were the subject of a five-page article in Coal Age magazine, April 1962. The article included several photos of the underground operations, and a diagram of the connecting tunnel.)

The completion of the new Kenilworth to Castle Gate tunnel allowed the closure of the Kenilworth tipple and mine portals in 1960. The surface workings and tipple at Kenilworth were gradually dismantled and otherwise demolished, so that by 1983, they were selected as candidates for reclamation under the Surface Mining Control & Reclamation Act of 1977. This law authorized the use of public monies for the demolition of all remaining facilities and return of the mining sites to their undeveloped condition. The site was surveyed and the reclamation work completed by late 1984, leaving the town of Kenilworth, with its remaining residents, as a very scenic suburb of the extended Price/Helper community. The site was later sold to the Price River Coal Company. (HAER: Kenilworth, pp. 27,28, title sheet)

July 1966
"Western Equities, Inc. said late in May that it seeks to acquire the assets of Independent Coal & Coke Co. through an exchange of stock. The Houston, Tex., company will compete for control of the Salt Lake City coal mining firm with Sunshine Mining Co., which a week before announced it would make a tender offer for all outstanding common shares of Independent. Exact terms of Western Equities' proposal is to be decided later." (Coal Age magazine, July 1966, page 52)

Sale To North American Coal

November 6, 1967
"Coal Firm Sale -- Cleveland -- (UPI) North American Coal Corp. has agreed in principle to buy Independent Coal & Coke Co. of Salt Lake City for $4.4 million. (San Francisco Examiner, November 6, 1967)

November 19, 1967
"Coal Firms Merge -- Cleveland -- The North American Coal Corp. has acquired the Independent Coal & Coke Co. of Salt Lake City in a cash transaction. North American, a major coal producer had sales of $32 million last year and Independent had sales of $4 million. (Fort Lauderdale News, November 19, 1967)

December 1967
"Independent Coal & Coke Co. directors last month approved in principle a North American Coal Co. offer to purchase Independent for an estimated $4,400,000. The proposed acquisition would be for cash and is subject to approval of shareholders of Independent Coal. In 1966, the Salt Lake City-based firm produced over 700,000 tons of coal and had sales of $3,900,000. Independent Coal owns about 250 million tons of high-grade bituminous coal reserves which are ideally located to serve the growing fuel requirements of the electric utility industry in the West. Principle customer of Independent Coal is Utah Power & Light Co. which operates an electric generating station adjacent to Independent's mining operation." (Coal Age magazine, December 1967, page 50)

December 29, 1967
The shareholders of Independent Coal and Coke company met at Evanston, Wyoming, for a special shareholders meeting to vote of the complete dissolution of the company, and the sale of its assets to North American Coal Corporation. The sale was approved, 73 percent for, and 3 percent against. (Salt Lake Tribune, December 30, 1967)

(Available online newspapers do not show a specific date the transfer of ownership took place, but by January 11, 1968, North American Coal had installed its own general manager of its new Utah Division.)

On March 8, 1968 Independent Coal & Coke Company corporation was dissolved. (Utah corporation, index number 6054)

(Read more about the Kenilworth mine after it was combined with the Castle Gate mine)

December 1971
D&RGW received federal ICC approval to abandon its Kenilworth Branch, Helper to Kenilworth, 6.23 miles. (Railroad magazine, April 1972, page 65)


Kenilworth Railroads -- A Google Map of the railroads in the Kenilworth area.


Kenilworth & Helper Railway -- Information about the railroad that served the Kenilworth mines.

More Information

Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) report for Kenilwoth, Utah -- Transcribed text of the original HAER 1983 report.