Coal Camp Photos

Continued from preceeding page

From Wyoming Tales and Trails

This page: Hanna, Towns One, Two and Three.

Big Horn Basin Black Hills Bone Wars Brands Buffalo Cambria Casper Cattle Drives Centennial Cheyenne Chugwater Coal Camps Cody Deadwood Stage Douglas Dubois Encampment Evanston Ft. Bridger Ft. Fetterman Ft. Laramie Frontier Days Ghost Towns Gillette G. River F. V. Hayden Tom Horn Jackson Johnson County War Kemmerer Lander Laramie Lincoln Highway Lusk Meeteetse Medicine Bow N. Platte Valley Overland Stage Pacific Railroad Rawlins Rock Springs Rudefeha Mine Sheepherding Sheridan Sherman Shoshoni Superior Thermopolis USS Wyoming Wheatland Wild Bunch Yellowstone

Table of Contents
About This Site

"Spring Thaw in a Wyoming Coal Camp".
A view of Hanna, Wyo. approx. 1910.

When the Union Pacific began crossing Wyoming, in addition to Rock Springs, its major sources for coal were Alma near Evanston and Carbon. In the mid=1880's it became apparent that the coal in both Carbon and Alma was giving out and that an additional source of coal would be required on Company land. One of the areas that was available to the railroad was near Chimney Springs. Chimney Springs took its name from smoke emitting from a shallow coal deposit. In an 1889 report, "The Resources of Wyoming," Territorial Secretary S. D. Shannon noted that at Chimney Springs a number of seams were found, two of which were reported to be twenty-feet in thickness. In Wyoming an early advantage for coal mining is that coal deposits are directly on the surface. Thus, in many parts of the state, in addition to large corporately owned mines, there were mines operated by single individuals. One of the areas where there are surfacial deposits of coal was Chminey Springs. By 1886, Union Pacific had established mines at Chimney Springs. The railroad changed the name to Hanna in honor of Marcus A. Hanna, an influential Ohio politician, mining, shipping, and railroad magnate. Hanna is also noted as having rescued Ohio Governor William McKinley from financial failure. Hanna subsequently served as McKinley's campaign manager. He strongly disagreed with the reform policies of President Theodore Roosevelt, referring to Roosevelt as "that damned cowboy." At the time of his death in 1904, Hanna was being groomed for a possible race against Roosevelt for the Republican presidential nomination.

Surface vein of coal near Hanna. Photo by J. E. Stimson as published by the Albertype Company, Brooklyn, N. Y.

Hanna consisted of two towns, each numbered after a mine to which it was in proximity, i.e., Hanna No. 1, Hanna No. 2, and Hanna No. 3, Hanna No. 4, Hanna No. 5. There were in actuality a number of mines, Hanna No. 1, Hanna No. 2, Hanna No. 3, Hanna No. 3 1/2, Hanna No. 4, Hanna No. 4A and Hanna No. 5. In the image at the topof the page, Town One was nearest the viewer and was located on the south side of the railroad tracks. Town Two was on the north side of the tracks to the right of the water tank in the center of picture.

Town of Hanna No. 1, approx. 1910.

Town Two is the far side of the tipple over the railroad tracks. Some tipples had facilities for sorting the coal by size and removing stones. The term "tipple" took its name at an early period of mining when the small hopper tram cars or "tubs" were mannually tipped to empty the coal into a chute for loading into the railroad hopper cars. In the foreground of the photo, is the railroad "wye." The wye permitted a train to be backed up one leg of the wye and then proceed out the other. In this manner the train could be turned around.

Town of Hanna No. 2, approx. 1910.

Town No. 3 was about a mile south of present-day Elmo. When Carbon closed down in 1902, a number of buildings were brought to Hanna including the Finnish Lutheran Church, the Finnish Temperance Hall, the saloon, and part of what later became the hotel. Some of the Houses were broght from Almy near Evanston when the mines there closed and some from Carbon.

Town of Hanna No. 3, approx. 1910.

The town was a company town. Therefore, any businesses were located in buildings owned by the Union Pacific Coal Company. The primary business area was in Town Two on the north side of the tracks. The old Lincoln Highway passed through Town Two. Later it was moved south and even later returned.

Originally, Hanna was on a spur line running off the main line at Allen Station, a community which at its peak consisted of little more than a section house. By 1916, it consisted of less. The main line ran through Carbon. With the discontinuance of mining at Carbon and the necessity of avoiding the hill at Simpson, the main line was relocated through Hanna. With the railroad, Hanna became a center for stagelines serving outlying areas. It had a drugstore, bank, hotel, hospital, churches, and a Finnish Temperance Hall. Lodges included the Knights of Phythias and Vuorelaine Lodge No. 16 of the Knights of Kaleva, the Kalevalan Ritarit a Finnish fraternal order based on the Kalevala the epic Finnish saga dating back to the Middle Ages and similar to the Icelandic sagas. Other lodges of the Knights of Kaleva were found in Rock Springs and Diamondville. The order is still active.

Hanna, Temperance Hall, undated.

The Finnish Temperance Hall, at the time was the most prominent structure in the Town. It hosted all types of activities, plays, dances, and visiting politicians. The highlight of the 1908 Hanna social season, according the the Rawlins paper was the Mule Skinner's Ball held at the Temperance Hall. The term "temperance" with Finnish miners did not necessarily have the same meaning as commonly understood by native Anglo-speaking persons. The town dentist, Charles Stebner wrote:

[The miners] "were pretty good guys, but others were too crude. They drank moonshine whiskey during Prohibition. It was wild, especially on paydays when they gathered on the cement floor in the washhouse. I often heard them sing ribald songs and some played string musical insturments. Often they fought one another just to see who was the toughest." As quoted by Strayer-Hanson, Francis E.: Medicine Bow Valley Pioneers, iUniverse, Bloomington, Ind. (2009), p. 196.

One wag commented, "what to a Finn is temperance would in some cases seem to other people immoderation." There was one time when the lack of temperance went a little too far. The , Sept. 17, 1902, noted the appearance of the Morrison Sisters Stock Company for a week's engagement at the Temperance Hall. They, the paper said, "would have left in the good graces of all, had they not shown themselves to be confirmed and inveterate followers of Bacchus."

Baseball game, Park, Hanna, approx. 1910.

Teams from Hanna would play other teams from Rawlins, Medicine Bow, and Fort Steele. On occassion, the Coal Company would employ ringers to play on the team.

Next Page: Hanna Continued.