In June of that year (approx 1882), construction of the road up Cottonwood Canyon was begun. A group of men from all parts of Sanpete County bought a coal mine in Huntington Canyon and was called the Deseret Coal Mine. The Company was called the Sanpete Valley Coal Company. In building the road, each stockholder was assessed so many days labor, or a certain amount of money. As father had no money and preferred the labor part, I was sent to do the job. I worked fifteen days, which was the amount prescribed for father's share. Pick and shovel was my part of the job. I recall how an old man from Ephraim, named Simpson, cautioned me not to work too hard, saying I was too young.
A description of the road as it was then is in order. The Fairview people had a road part way up the canyon, following the bed of the creek. From the end of that road a new one was constructed, beginning about the side hill, where it now is. Later a change was made by a dugway on the side hill all the way to the mouth of the canyon.
Hans Carlson of Fairview was the promoter of the sale of the mine to the stockholders, and later promoted the purchase of the property from the people for less money than they paid.
Finally a toll gate was placed on the road and for years people paid toll for all teams and loose animals passing over the road. Twenty-five cents was the charge for single teams and fifteen cents for loose animals.
It was a mistake to sell the mine, and the people recognized the fact when it was too late. Somehow Carlson held a franchise on the road until the county took it over, after which it became a state highway. It is now very different from the road I first saw there. (Highlights in the life of James Monsen p.26)