Relic Home and Blacksmith Shop

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Utah's Own CALICO ROAD

"Calico Road"

 History found with the Johanna Madsen Hafen Collection.

Milan Packard, one of Springville's capitalists was closely identified with the material interest of the city of Scofield.  He worked as a freighter to the Missouri River and to Montana, and later to California.  He was interested in some of the mining projects but later became a successful merchant.  

Among other interests he sponsored and financed the building of a narrow-gauge railroad from Springville into the coal fields of Carbon County, Utah.  Mr. Packard started the road September 7, 1878.  He was his own contractor.  Starting from the tracks of the Union Pacific in Springville, it ran through Spanish Fork Canyon into the mining camp near Scofield.

The men who worked for Mr. Packard received part of their pay in merchandise from Mr. Packard's store.  Calico was the standard cotton material used for clothing at the time.  Consequently, many of the workers took calico as pay, so the road was christened "the
Calico Road". 

The engineer who laid out the road was a Mr. George Goff.  Two later engineers were Faus Smith and Abe Deremus who continued the engineering until the road was within a few miles of Scofield. When a company of eastern men bought the road C.U. Scofield was president of this company. 

This narrow-gauge road was used until 1883 when the Denver-Rio Grande bought it, changed the grade to make it easier to climb and the coal fields of Carbon County and Emery County.  One of the coal miners said "It didn't matter what time of day or night the train reached the mine for coal, the miners filled the car and sent it on its way down the canyon, so it would hurry back for more coal."

For more info on Milan Packard see:

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