Ghost Towns & Communities

During the 1890s the area now known as Grand County was dotted with many small villages and communities. Other then Moab, only 2 remain, Cisco and Thompson. Not much remains of these old towns and communities today, so only history is left to tell their tales.

One of the first towns in the area was called Plainsfield. It probably would have become a part of Moab, but it was just inside the San Juan County line. Little is left as evidence of its existence.

East from Moab, on Wilson Mesa in the La Sal Mountains, was the little village called Mesa. The Town of Pinhook, also in the La Sal Mountains, was a tent village. On June 15, 1881 a bloody battle was fought between the village and a hostile band of Indians. Eight white men were buried at the site in 1 large grave. A historical marker has been erected on this spot.

Up the Colorado River road (Highway 128) from Moab was the community of Castleton, which once vied with Moab for the county seat. This was a small mining town of over 100 people in the early 1890s and was the hub of activity for ranches and other small villages in the area. Little remains today of the town that once boasted 2 saloons, 1 hotel, 2 grocery stores, a post office and a school.

Miners Basin
Miners Basin, which was up the road from Castleton, had a small population of miners. These men, during the 1890s, found rich veins of gold, copper, and silver. Up the river from Moab was the Town of Dewey, which today is known by the old cable suspension bridge built in 1916 across the Colorado River. Today, travelers cross the river on a new bridge built in 1987. Near the Colorado border, in the vicinity of Dewey, were the communities known as Picture Gallery, Cisco, and Westwater. West of Cisco in the Cisco desert, Harley Dome, Danish Flat, Agate, and Crystal Carbon were towns that sprang up as a result of the railroad.

Valley City
North of Thompson was the coal community of Sego. Just north of Moab, along the highway, was a town called Valley City. In western Grand County, along the east bank of the Green River, was the farming community of Elgin, which was well known for the many acres of locally grown peach orchards.