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Woodside
Price
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Castle Gate
Soldier Summit
Thistle
Marysvale Branch
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desert stock yard etching c1880 uvb.jpg (85871 bytes)

 

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Woodside, UT
Elevation 4,645  feet.
Population 124 (c1920).

Denver 581 miles.

Woodside is located on the desert edge near Price. This is the farthest point southeast of the Wasatch mountains where you can still find water. From Woodside south there is nothing but arid land, although the area is still grazed with livestock that scrape by on grasses formed after seasonal rains.

In 1881 settlers built homes on the west bank of the Price River, near the D&RG railroad crossing. The site was originally called Lower Crossing. The locals farmed the land by damming the river for irrigation. A remarkable variety of food and livestock was grown here including vegetables, turkeys, cattle, sheep, sugar beets and honey.

The town name was changed to Woodside for the field of Cottonwoods growing along the river in 1892. At that time there was a schoolhouse, stores, blacksmith and the railroad related facilities.

Originally the narrow gauge line built in 1882 followed the Price River into Price. Flooding washed out the tracks soon after construction and in 1890 the line was relocated onto higher ground a few miles east.

In 1920 the population peaked and the town sported a new railroad hotel and Depot. But the site was a difficult one indeed. The river often flooded to aggravate the farmers, and they eventually moved on to better lands. In addition, the railroad streamlined its operations with all work going to Helper.

But the down did not die. In the 1880's the railroad dug a well that slowly, over the years, became a bubbling muddy hot spot in the ground. Enterprising fellows were actually able to produce an intermittent geyser from the hole and in 1940 it was turned into a tourist attraction along the highway. There was an automotive service station and cafe at the site along with the usual embarrassing roadside attractions. The place struggled on until 1970 when the cafe burned down. The service station seems to come and go, and today only the bravest of highway travelers venture in to see if anyone is actually there.

 

 

Desert Siding, UT
Elevation 4,500  feet.
Denver 568 miles.

 

 

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