Rolapp (Royal) Coal Mine

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This page was last updated on December 2, 2018.

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Frank Cameron first developed the Bear Canyon mine near Castle Gate in 1913. The first mine worker's cottages were completed in August 1914. The town was first named Cameron. (Cunningham: Tours, p. 15)

The mine was located at Cameron, at the Castle Gate rock formation. (USGS: "Castlegate", 62,500 to 1, 1916)

First called Cameron, then later known as both Rolapp and Royal; H. H. Rolapp was the name of the owner of the Royal Coal Co.

The Cameron mine was located at the Castle Gate rock formation, and two miles northwest of Frank Cameron's previously developed Panther coal mine, which he had sold to United States Smelting, Refining & Mining in July 1912.


January 30, 1909
"Frank N. Cameron, formerly with the Utah Fuel company as general superintendent, and Sam C. Sherrell, building contractor for the same company, have purchased the coal interests of David J. Sharp, in Panther canyon, between Helper and Castle Gate, Utah." (Salt Lake Mining Review, January 30, 1909)

(Read more about Frank Cameron)

September 26, 1913
Cameron Coal Company was incorporated on September 26, 1913. The corporation was involuntarily dissolved on April 29, 1965. (Utah corporation, index number 10303, or 10313)

November 6, 1913
Cameron Coal Company was organized by F. N. Cameron for new mine at Castle Gate. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, November 6, 1913)

April 15, 1914
The new tipple was completed during early April 1914, having been built by Sam C. Sherrill of Salt Lake City. The coal company owned 360 acres and was producing about five to six hundred tons per day. (Salt Lake Mining Review, April 15, 1914, p. 28, "The Cameron Coal Mines")

July 30, 1914
The company store and twenty-two new worker's cottages were completed in late July 1914. (Salt Lake Mining Review, July 30, 1914, p. 32, "Coal Notes & Personals")

October 30, 1914
Sometime in October 1914, the Cameron mine was purchased by "the Browning interests" of Ogden. (Salt Lake Mining Review, October 30, 1914, p. 21, "Cameron property recently purchased by the Browning interests")

November 1919
The Bear Canyon mine was sold to Henry H. Rolapp in November 1919 and the town's name was changed from Cameron to Rolapp, then later to Royal, after the mine's owner, the Royal Coal Company. In 1919 the Royal Coal Company was sold to the Spring Canyon Coal Company. (Cunningham: Tours, p. 15)

(H. H. Rolapp was also a District Judge in Ogden, and an officer in the Amalgamated Sugar Co.)

In 1917 Henry H. Rolapp bought the Cameron interests, after which the Royal Coal Company was the owner. (Madsen, p. 54)

(Stephen Carr, in Ghost Towns, page 72, wrote that the mine was sold to Rolapp in 1917. The Sun-Advocate & Helper Journal, January 2, 1975, page 3, says 1917. The newspaper also states that the mine was sold to the Spring Canyon company in 1930.)

(Research: Find a definite date for the sale the Bear canyon mine to both Rolapp [1917 or 1919] and to Spring Canyon Coal [1919 or 1930].)

August 1918
Production for August 1918 for the Royal coal mine was reported as 12,000 tons. (Salt Lake Mining Review, September 15, 1918, p. 30)

The Bear Canyon mine was referred to as the Royal mine in 1924. (Coal Index: The Sun, February 15, 1924, p. 1)

In 1930 the property was sold to the Spring Canyon Coal Company. (Madsen, p. 54)

The Royal mine was operated by the Spring Canyon Coal Company from 1930 until the mine was closed in 1962. (Sun Advocate & Helper Journal, Special Edition, January 2, 1975, p. 3)

The Bear canyon mine was referred to as the Royal Coal Company in 1934. (Coal Index: Sun Advocate, June 7, 1934, p. 2)

In 1947, the stated capacity of the Royal mine was 1,000 tons per day. (Madsen, p. 54)

In 1951 the Royal mine at Royal was still being operated by the Royal Coal Company. (D&RGW: Traffic Circular 36-E, p. 86)

The town of Royal was deserted by the late 1950s. The site is now the water treatment plant for Price City. (Cunningham: Tours, p. 15)

October 3, 1958
The Spring Canyon Coal Company closed its Spring Canyon mine, which had been in continous operation since 1916. At the time, the same group of San Francisco investors also owned the Standard Coal Company, and the Royal Coal Company. The Royal mine was to remain open and could handle the limited business the new company had. On April 15, 1958, the mine had closed because of lack of coal orders, but a planned re-opening on July 15, 1958 was delayed by a strike by miners after the company stated that each miner would must have a physical examination prior to returning to work. The strike continued after an abitrator found in favor of the coal company. The company was sold to undisclosed investors in late September 1958, and the new owners closed the mine. In June 1960, it was reported that "the mine will remain closed until the fall." (Deseret News, September 25, 1988; October 3, 1958; June 1, 1959; June 1, 1960)

The mine was closed by the Spring Canyon company in 1962. During its fifty-seven years of operation (1905 to 1962), the mine produced 7,101,000 tons of coal, or about 124,000 tons per year (413 tons per day for a 300 day year). (Sun-Advocate & Helper Journal, January 2, 1975, p. 3)