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Kelton, Utah

Box Elder County

Back in 1869 as the Central Pacific Railroad made its way east, one of the stops on this original line was Kelton. Founded in 1869, Kelton was an important stop on the transcontinental railroad.  In its glory days, the town boasted  several hotels, saloons and gambling halls as well as a telephone exchange.  The Boise stagecoach was a link from Idaho down to the train. Many farmers and ranchers used the town as shipping for cattle and other goods. The town prospered, considering where it was, until that fateful day when the stage company stopped its run. Other companies had built railroads into Idaho and Oregon and the stage was no longer needed. This was good for Wells Fargo. The stage line to Kelton was the most robbed stagecoach in the west.  The town continued to live through this setback, but more were coming. In 1903, the Southern Pacific, which had merged with the Central Pacific, built a trestle across the Great Salt Lake. This was a shorter route and did not require extra engines. The steepest grade of track for the Central Pacific was not in the Sierra Nevada Range. Utah's own Promontory Range claimed that title. Trains had to be helped up and over adding cost and time to the company. By building the trestle, it was a flat strait shot across the lake with no need for help. Fact is, there was at least one station built into the trestle.  Once the trains began to cross the lake, Kelton was used as a back up line in case of a big storm on the lake. It lost daily service and trains were brought in for mostly cattle pick ups. The line remained in service till 1942. At that time, the Southern Pacific tore up the track and sent it off to be used for the war effort. At that  point, everyone packed up and left. Stories are told that they packed everything they could, including their houses. Today not a lot is left. There is a cemetery still there but it has suffered from a lot of vandalism. It has become a place to blast bunnies as well as ride ATV's.  Access is easy except during an extreme snow winter. Follow route 30 westbound from Snowville and a sign will tell you where to turn. 

Kelton Utah