The community of Hiawatha, Utah was founded on or about the year 1910 on the grounds of an old cattle ranch. Sitting at the headwaters of Miller Creek, the town sat just south of Price, Utah, where rich veins of coal had been previously discovered around 1905.
Originally, the community Hiawatha co-existed geographically among several other coal communities. Sometime between the years 1913-1915, however, the communities of East Hiawatha, West Hiawatha, and Black Hawk consolidated and formed the town of Hiawatha proper.
Operated by the Carbon Coal and Coke Company, for approximately 60 years the town flourished and the mines were worked. Nestled amidst the rich coal bearing county of Carbon Utah, the town provided long lasting livelihoods for many men and their families.
During the 1970’s the population of Hiawatha began to decline. With the coal veins diminishing in output, the population decline accelerated into the 1980’s. Slowly but surely dwellings and other structures were abandoned, leaving them in disrepair.
The Hiawatha Mines officially closed on Friday April 19th 1991, and the town ceased to exist. Those buildings not already razed due to abandonment and disrepair were torn down and leveled.
What remains of the town today are a few dusty roads, relics, and a few husks of long abandoned buildings.
Interestingly, the town may experience a rebirth. Though officially now classified as a ‘ghost town’, in the past decade or so talks have been underway to reopen the shafts and begin mining once again.
Below are several Hiawatha Explosive tokens. All grade from approximately Choice Fine to Very Fine.
Notes and Sources
The Blogs of Geri Blackburn and Wallace R. Baldwin
Explosive Control Tokens, David Schenkman, NSCA, ©1989
20,000 Coal Company Stores, Gordon Dodrill, ©1971
Utah State History – Digital Collections
The Library of Congress Digital Archives