Sunnyside, mile post 17.5 on the Sunnyside Sub, is located in the eastern part of the Book Cliff mountains at the mouth of Whitmore Canyon, twenty-eight miles southeast of Price. The elevation is 9,716 feet.
The first settlers in Sunnyside were three brothers - John, Jeff, and William Tidwell, cattlemen from Wellington, who discovered coal in this vicinity about the year 1896. A short time later Robert Forrester came as a representative of the Utah Fuel Company, and purchased, for the sum of $250.00. Mr. Forrester took a sample of the coal to Castle Gate, where coke ovens were in operation and found it proved highly satisfactory for coking purposes. In 1898 work in Sunnyside Mine No. 1, began which brought more settlers from Castle Valley and Wellington. Among them were Samuel Naylor and Samuel Dugmore. Mr. Mr. Naylor had charge of the laying of the railroad from Mounds to Sunnyside, which was completed November 19, 1899.
The early settlers lived in tents until the company had houses built. The first dwellings were one and one-half stories high, made of lumber and compo-board. Later four room houses were built, and the last houses erected by the company were of rock construction.
The first settlers encountered many thrilling experiences with bears and lions, but their greatest problem seemed to be the water situation. Whitmore Creek, or Grassy Trail Creek, runs through Sunnyside, but owing to a disagreement it was necessary for the Utah Fuel Company to install a pump and pipeline to secure water for culinary purposes from Range Creek, a distance of approximately seven miles. This pump was installed in 1906 after the water right had been purchased from Preston Nutter. At that time a steam boiler was used to supply power for the pumps. The electric power line was later extended over to Range Creek and in 1920 the two large electric pumps were installed.
Sunnyside received its name from Verdi, Utah. In 1898 Verdi was called Sunnyside, but when this new camp opened up they transferred the name of Sunnyside to the new place and renamed old Sunnyside, Verdi.
For several years Sunnyside remained related very closely to Castle Gate. When Sunnyside mine was first opened, all coal was sent to Castle Gate coke ovens to be coked, until the year 1902 - 03 when 480 coke ovens were built at Sunnyside. The first shipment of coke from the Sunnyside ovens was made on April 1, 1902. In the year 1912 an additional 170 coke ovens were built; two years later saw the addition of 74 more ovens and in 1917, 80 more were completed. In 1905 all coke ovens at Castle Gate were abandoned and coke was made exclusively at Sunnyside until 1929.
During the first years of operation the demand for the high grade Sunnyside coke was so great that shortly after the opening of the first mine a second mine was opened. During the peak of business the two mines were producing from 5,000 to 5,550 tons per day. During February, 1924, the demand for coke decreased, due to products other than coke being used of smelting purposes. As a result No. 2 mine was finally abandoned.
Sunnyside was incorporated in 1916 with W. N. Netzel as Mayor; A. D. Hadley, J. M. Slapp, Samuel Dugmore, as trustees; J. C. Moore, town Clerk; E. V. Tucker, constable; Nils Nelson, Treasurer; W. J. Emigholz, Justice of Peace, and Dr. A. W. Dowd physician.
Last Update 07/22/01
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