History of Soldier Summit Area

Francisco Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre Vélez de Escalante are credited with discovering the pass, but it was certainly used by Native Americans before them. Soldier Summit takes its name from a group of soldiers who were caught in an unexpected snowstorm here in July 1861. These soldiers were Southerners under General Philip St. George Cooke, on their way from Camp Floyd to join the Confederate Army. A few of them died in the storm and were buried on the summit. In 1919, a real estate promoter named H.C. Mears surveyed a townsite at Soldier Summit and began to sell building lots. The town was incorporated in 1921, with a population of over 1,000. There were stores, hotels, saloons, restaurants, two churches, and a school.

Soldier Summit Growth was driven by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad moving some of its machine shops, used for servicing helper engines, to this location from Helper. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized a branch in the new town on June 21, 1921 with Parley Bills as branch president. The number of Mormons in the town was large enough in June 1927 to organize a ward with Walter S. Groesbeck as bishop. The population of Soldier Summit peaked at 2,500 in the 1920s, but began to decline as the railroad decided to move its operations back to Helper due to the severe winters and high cost of doing business at the summit. The introduction of diesel locomotives, which eliminated the need for helper engines, further hurt the town's fortunes. The railroad moved many employees' homes to Helper, leaving only the foundations. By January 1930 the ward was reduced to a branch.

Over the next few decades the town dwindled away. In 1948 there were 47 students at the Soldier Summit school. The next year enrollment dropped to 11, but the school stayed open. It wasn't until 1973 that the school was closed and the last few students sent to schools in Carbon County.

By 1979 there were only about a dozen adult residents left, but Soldier Summit still had four part-time police officers enforcing a community speed limit on the stretch of highway passing through town. When motorists complained of a speed trap, the state Attorney General and the Utah Chief of Police Association investigated. They determined that the only reason for having a police department in Soldier Summit at all was to generate revenue for municipal services through traffic tickets. The police department was disbanded.

The town was finally disincorporated in 1984. Other than the gas station and two or three occupied houses, Soldier Summit is uninhabited. An old two-room jail, a few deserted houses, and acres and acres of foundations and crumbling walls are all that remains of the former town.

  1. Thompson, George A. (November 1982). Some Dreams Die: Utah's Ghost Towns and Lost Treasures. Salt Lake City, Utah: Dream Garden Press. p. 176. ISBN 0-942688-01-5.
  2. Jenson, Andrew (1941). Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book. pp. 807–808.
  3. Embry, Jessie L. (1996). A History of Wasatch County. Utah Centennial County History Series. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society. pp. 260–261. ISBN 0-913738-08-5.
  4. Embry, pp.306–307.
  5. Carr, Stephen L. (1986) [1972]. The Historical Guide to Utah Ghost Towns (3rd ed.). Salt Lake City: Western Epics. p. 71. ISBN 0-914740-30-X.

Browse Lots

Featured Lots

In Contract

C22

244,744

9.16

Quaking Aspens Seclusion This lot C22 is a sweet lot!! Grade is slight to gradual. Very easy to walk until you get into Quaking Aspen and brush on bed below Aspens. Views of North East Mountain and complete privacy within Quaking Aspens. Lot parameter is tagged with Orange tape for your convenience to walk the lot inside the trees. There are a few game trails easy to walk though and see the Orange tags from a distance. Included Features on lot: - Quaking Aspens, Sage and Brush open space - Lower Mountain Setting - Accessibility year round with limitations during snow days. - 20 Minutes from Scofield Reservoir - Underground Utilities include water, electric and telephone - 37 miles to Soldier Summit exit from I-15 & Highway 6 exit 257 Fun Family Activities include: - Four-wheeling - Horseback riding - Snowmobiling - Hunting - Nearby fishing - Nearby boating
In Contract

12.80

Check out "lot C34"...one of the Great Lots on the market within Soldier Summit Estates with 12.80 acres! Lot is slight slope to slope that is still easily walkable. Couple small meadow openings where I kicked up 5 Deer enjoying their "private setting". This land is Wooded "Pine Trees" with mix of "Quaking Aspens" within the Pines and "Small Meadows" and "Brush". There are some cool Mountain Views through the Pines as well. Walk the lot and check this out for the Mountain Retreat on this massive piece of property. Property will be tagged in Orange tape by end of day, June 5th. Will be able to follow the boundaries just fine. Note: Utah County didn't place boundaries accurately. Orange boundary here on this site is not accurate. Move the Orange lot boundary to the left to center of gravel road where the actual boundary is located. Included Features on lot:. - Heavily Wooded Pine Trees and Quaking Aspens - Accessible with Snow Plowed Roads in Winter - Minutes from Scofield Reservoir - Underground Utilities include water, electric and telephone - 37 miles to Soldier Summit exit from I-15 & Highway 6 exit 257 Fun Family Activities include: - Four-wheeling - Horseback riding - Snowmobiling - Hunting - Nearby fishing Contact Steve at 801.205.5656 Heritage Partners Real Estate, LLC
In Contract

C29

$184,747

12.73

Soldier Summit last of the great private lots. 12.38 acres of exclusive privacy within Pine Trees, Quaking Aspens and open space brush and mountain grass. Gradual Sloped land is easily walkable and buildable. Lot boundaries are tagged in Orange tape. (Note: Utah counties land map boundaries are off. Boundary shifts to the left with circular line to be center of gravel road).Call for more details and access. Included Features on lot:. - Heavily Wooded Pine Trees and Quaking Aspens - Accessible with Snow Plowed Roads in Winter - Minutes from Scofield Reservoir - Underground Utilities include water, electric and telephone - 37 miles to Soldier Summit exit from I-15 & Highway 6 exit 257 Fun Family Activities include: - Four-wheeling - Horseback riding - Snowmobiling - Hunting - Nearby fishing Contact Steve at 801.205.5656

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