Soldier Summit, mile post 641.4, elevation 7440'. The RGW reached Soldier Summit in 1882 building from Tucker to Colton. Because of Soldier Summit's elevation and topography, many news stories that mention it have to do with severe weather, such as mudslides and 18" snowfalls in the weather. The weather even played a brutal role in the naming of this place.
In 1861, when the town was still called Grassy Pass, an Army Detachment camped in the area received orders allowing soldiers from the south to return home and join the Confederate forces if they choose. Fourty officers and men took there leave. They traveled through a blizzard and decided to hunker down and wait out the weather. Six or seven of the soldiers, no one is certain how many, and a 14 year old boy traveling with them froze to death. The townspeople buried them on a hillside that to this day, there graves are kept up.
The local people did one more thing to honor thier memories. They changed the name of the town to Soldier Summit.
Soldier Summit alternated with Helper as the chief railroad Division point between Grand Junction, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah. The original Division point was Helper. In 1919 the Rio Grande built it's Division point at here. Between 1925 and 1930 over 300 people lived in town. It even had a Roundhouse. In 1930 the Division point moved back to Helper.
Today there is little left in the area as viewed from the highway. If you go across the tracks and turn left, there are a lot of fondations in the area. As far as the railroad goes, there is a turning wye at the top of the hill. The end of which runs all the way to the highway.
Last Update 07/22/01
This page and its underlying code, © 2000-2002, Utah Rails. All rights reserved.