Stansbury: The Last To Close

Stansbury Boarding House Photo Credit: Sweetwater County Museum

When you think of the many coal camps that were in Sweetwater County back in the 1940’s, Stansbury is one that always comes to mind.

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Located just nine miles north of Rock Springs, Stansbury got its start in 1944 when Captain Howard Stansbury first discovered the rich coal beds in the area.

Stansbury was opened during World War II to help meet the demand for coal and was home to 1,000 miners and their families. Miners worked three different shifts.

Unlike other mining camps in the area, Stansbury was built on flat ground instead of on the side of a hill. With the help of the government, homes in Stansbury were built very quickly. These homes had indoor plumbing, basements, were heated by coal and were rented out at $40 per month.

As soon as the homes were complete, fertilizer and trees were provided by the Union Pacific

The town consisted of dozens of modern homes, a school, a boarding house, post office, store, bath house that could accommodate up to 500 miners at a time, and several mine and community buildings. The community building provided residents with such things as a barber shop, pool tables, dance hall, and even a bowling alley where residents held bowling leagues.

Stansbury Bowling Alley Photo Credit: Sweetwater County Museum

The town school provided an education for students through sixth grade, after which students were bused to Reliance to attend further schooling.

The Stansbury Tipple was constructed of steel by the Allen & Garcia Company from Chicago which is the same company that built the Reliance Tipple.

Tragedy struck the small town in 1955 when the mine caved in. Killing miners.

The mine was closed in 1957, and shortly after that the town became abandoned. Homes in the town were taken to Rock Springs and other area towns.

4 Comments on "Stansbury: The Last To Close"

  1. Mark Chollak | July 16, 2017 at 10:27 am | Reply

    Wow. Who writes for you guys. Grammar and factual mistakes abound. Capt. Stansbury wrote of the coal in the area way back in the 1850s. That report was part of the reason the tracks were built through the RS area, was because of the known existence of coal. You missed that by about 100 years. Several incomplete sentences throughout this article. I know this is an online article, but if you guys want to be taken seriously as a news source, proper writing and reporting is required.

  2. Kelly Flores | July 16, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Reply

    My father, Michael Wharton SR, brought our family over from England with the coal mines in Wyoming in 1975. He was a forman for Stansbury Coal Mine in the 70’s, so apparently the mine did not stay closed. He helped to close the Stansbury mine around 1980 and was one of the last coal miners to work for Joe Bozner at the mine.

  3. IN 1973 My husband to be had to very good friend die in Stansbury mine of black damp. The mined said it was suppose to be sealed which it wasn’t

  4. Gene Mikkelsen | September 4, 2017 at 8:03 am | Reply

    I worked at Stansbury for 3 yrs 1976/1979. Some tough conditions but met a lot of good hard working miners!!!

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