Wednesday, July 25, 2012

UTAH GHOST TOWNS UNCOVERING WINTER QUARTERS by DEBBIE



Debbie's Winter Quarters Book 40 pages of pictures and stories
Cost is about $14.00 from Debbie
STORIES OF OUR FAMILY WHO LIVED AND DIED MINING COAL HIGH ON A REMOTE MOUNTAIN 


LENA THORPE WADE STORY

My name is Lena Thorpe Wade.  I am the daughter of John Thorpe and Eva Hall Thorpe.  My parents had 8 children: our names were Lena, Agnes, a stillborn baby,  Mary Jane, Tom, Hilda, Alice and Jack.  My sister, Agnes and me were born in Higham, Yorkshire, England.

My parents told me they were planning to come to America.  I got the measles, then pneumonia; that held them up until I was better.  They sold all the furniture and everything.  When we got on the ship, the captain asked my parents if I could walk.  They told him I could.  If I couldn't, he said we would have to get off the ship.  They put me down and I walked from one parent to the other parent.  We stayed on the ship.  My mother was pregnant.  She was seasick all the way.  My dad had to take care of us.

We went to a mining town called Winter Quarters in Carbon County.  Mining was all my dad knew.  He quit school when he was 12 years old and worked in the mine with his dad.

Baptizing in Winter Quarters Creek
My dad was bald-headed on the top of his head.  When we were kids, we asked him how come he was bald-headed. The only answer we got was that he pushed the loaded coal cars with his head.

Winter Quarters was located 1 1/4 miles up the canyon from Scofield.  The altitude was very high.  The houses were on one side of the canyon.  On one hill, there were sage brush and sarvis berries.  They were good to eat.  The other side was pine trees, aspen trees, timber, lilies and forget-me-nots that grew wild.  There was the hillside, houses, road, railroad tracks and the creek.  It was cool in the summer and cold in the winter.

We got the first snowfall in October.  You never saw the top of the fences until spring.  We had dirt roads and no snowplows to clear the snow off.  The train would have a plow on the front of the engine to clean the tracks.  I have watched two trains together to clean the tracks off.  The snow was so high.

Ella and Helen Nielson Houghton in overhauls 
We got the first snowfall in October.  You never saw the top of the fences until spring.  We had dirt roads and no snowplows to clear the snow off.  The train would have a plow on the front of the engine to clean the tracks.  I have watched two trains together to clean the tracks off.  The snow was so high.

WE had no electricity in the houses.  We used kerosene lamps.  We had one in each room.  When I was about 9 years old, they put electricity in the homes.  My grandmother wouldn't let them put the wires above the ceiling out of sight.  She was afraid they would set the house on fire.

My grandparents and most of the family joined the L.D.S. Church in England.  My mother was 15 years old when she was baptized.  The missionaries converted them.  My mother said she did the laundry for the missionaries every week.  My grandparents had the missionaries for a lot of meals.  My grandfather and one son came to America first.  They worked in the mine and saved their money for a year, then Grandma and the rest of the family came to America.  We came a year later.

I loved to go to my grandparent’s home.  Grandma always had something for us.  I was the first grandchild.   She always gave me a handkerchief on my birthday.

My grandpa worked in the fan house that pumped the air in to the mine.  It made a lot of noise.  It made him quite deaf.  Grandpa died after my mother's sister, Florence May Hall Nielson died.  She had 6 children, one a baby six months old.  Grandma took the baby (Jim) and raised him until he was 7 years old.  It was hard for her because her health wasn't very good. 

Veda and Helen Nielson

ELLA NIELSON BOOTH'S MEMORIES of WINTER QUARTERS
sample of another story in Debbie's Winter Quarters
I was born December 20, 1904 in Winter Quarters, Utah to James Nielson who was born 18, October, 1860 in Laasby, Skanderborg, Denmark.  My mother was Christine Smith born 22 March, 1863 at Fountain Green, Utah.  My brothers and sisters were:  Ida Marie Nielson, Niels Nielson, May Nielson, James Nielson, Christian Nielson, Joseph Nielson, Jennie Nielson, Caroline Nielson, James Nielson, Ethel Nielson, Martha Nielson, Decinious Nielson, Manila Nielson, and Minnie Nielson.  I was blessed and baptized in Winter Quarters and attended school in Scofield, Utah. 

I was the 15th child of the family.  My mother died with the 16th child, and I was 18 months old at the time.  I was raised by my father and my sisters helped.  When I was a little girl, my father would put me in a sleigh and put a harness on the dog and I would ride all over town.  In the summer he got a little red wagon for me and we went all over.  There was a beautiful picture of me with light hair when I was young and I looked like Jalynn.  When I was little, I had mumps, measles, and diphtheria.  They always had a sign on the house, when anyone in the house had the measles.  When I lived in the house in Winter Quarters, I sold the newspaper and became a news girl and sold the San Francisco Examiner.  In mothers words, they charged me five cents and only gave me two cents.  Then I sold the Grit and it was ten cents and they gave me four cents.  I'd go on one side where the rocks were and the other side where the trees were.  I'd sell all over town.  I thought I was rich making all that money.  I got tired of that and started tending children for a butcher and his wife.  I got tired of that too. 

In MIA, when I was young, we had dances in a big amusement hall.  They had dances but the boys wouldn't dance.  We had to dance with girls all the time.  They had shows on Charley Chaplin, the silent movies.  We would go there once a week and have to pay for it.  When I was young, I played basketball and you should have seen my bloomers.  They were black with elastic on the middle and elastic on the legs.  We would go up where there were cattle and get mushrooms.  My brother fished and gave us some.  I went horse back riding up the hill with Winifred on Joe's horse.  Oh, it was so much fun.  My father went with us on picnics.  He watched me skate.  He would say,  "Ella quit letting those girls fall on top of you."  The first car I rode in was the old Model T Ford with Stanley Harvey.  It made me sick as a dog.  I have a picture of the school with Millicent when she was visiting us.  I was dressed up with a crown on my head and a thing in my hand.  I was the Statue of Liberty.  Our outdoor toilet had a catalogue in it.  We had dreams every time we went to the toilet probably about some of the things you couldn't get at the store.  On the 24th of July we went up a big hill to Lee Marsden's.  They had a bunch of lambs.  The men built a great big platform and put brush on every side of it and they would give popcorn, ice cream and hamburgers free anytime we wanted.  The Bishop was sponsoring it and he was the head of the mines.  The Bishop's son married Lavern Parmley of Salt Lake.  We had the best time.  We ran races and made a lot of money, just like we did in Rupert.  They played ball, and I like to play ball then.  We had fun.  When we got hungry again, we went back and had all the food we could eat.  I would love to play horseshoe's.  My brother, Niels said to me one day,  "Ella you take off those overalls or I'll be mad at you and give you a licking".  I went home and never liked him so much.  I have a picture of me with his daughter, Julia and the big dog.  

Winter Quarters mine entrance
At Christmas time when I was 12 years old, it was snowing like the dickens in Winter Quarters, Utah.  Tomorrow was Christmas and I wanted my Christmas tree.  My dad had been to busy to get one.  I put on my rubber boots, coat, and hat.  I went down the hills, over the road, over the railroad tracks and walked in the water.  I went way high in the hills.  When I found my Christmas tree, I took my ax and cut it down.  I let it roll down the hill.  When I got to the water, I pulled it across the water, across the railroad track across the road and up the hill I went.  When my father came home, he said,  "Ella, your brothers and I could have got the tree".  I said,  "I don't care: tomorrow is Christmas".  He said,  "OK".  He made a wooden stand and put it up in the room. 
 I made popcorn, colored it pink and put cranberries around it.  We put a bundle of tinsel on the tree.  Its not like Darlene's She has the most beautiful tinsel I have ever seen.  On the tree, my father put handles all over the tree to put candles in.  The candles were red, white, blue,