History of Carbon County, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
Area: 1,476 square miles; population: 20,228 (in 1990); county seat: Price; origin of county name: from the vast amounts of coal found there; principal cities/towns: Price (8,712), Helper (2,148), Wellington (1,632), East Carbon (1,270), Sunnyside (339); economy: coal mining, transportation (railroad), energy; points of interest: Helper Historic District, Scofield Reservoir, Price Canyon recreation area, Western Mining and Railroad Museum (Helper), College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum (Price), Nine Mile Canyon.

In 1894 the territorial legislature created Carbon County from a portion of Emery County. Most of the county's residents live in the Price River Valley and at the foot of the Book Cliffs. The western end of the county rises to the Wasatch Plateau and slopes down eastward to the Price River, which cuts through Castle Valley. This valley stretches across the southern half of Carbon County and continues into Emery County, with the Wasatch Plateau and Range on the north and west and the Book Cliffs all along the east. The Green River marks the eastern border of the county. Geographically, Carbon County is in the Colorado Plateau physiographic province.

Evidence of the Fremont Culture is extensive in the county. Figurines have been discovered as have many rock art panels, such as the "Head Hunter," located in the Gordon Creek area. Evidence of prehistoric life includes many dinosaur footprints found in the coal mines.

Mormon settlements were established all along the Price River in the late 1870s. The high barrier of the Wasatch Range and Plateau had delayed settlement until that time. Routes into the region included offshoots of the Old Spanish Trail and a trail over Soldier Summit. Farming and ranching became early economic activities, giving Carbon County a tradition of cowboys and outlaws, with the likes of Butch Cassidy and "Gunplay" Maxwell roaming the area. The Nine Mile Canyon freight road from Price to the Unita Basin became an important transportation link.

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