September 4, 2014
Advertised as the "largest miner in the country" the statue of what the townspeople fondly refer to as "Big John" stands in front of the Helper, Utah Civic Center.
According to Wikipedia: "Helper is a city in Carbon County, Utah, United States, about 120 miles southeast of Salt Lake City and 7 miles (11 km) northwest of the city of Price. It is also known as the "Hub of Carbon County". The population was 2,201 at the 2010 census.
The city lies along U.S. Route 6/U.S. Route 191, a shortcut between Provo and Interstate 70, on the way from Salt Lake City to Grand Junction, Colorado. It is the location of The Western Mining and Railroad Museum, a tourist attraction that also contains household and commercial artifacts illustrating late 19th and early 20th century living conditions."
Helper was named after the "Helper" train engines that were often used to push the heavy coal trains over the mountains of Utah. We spent several hours there as they were having an art festival in town. We met a young man there that was visiting his Grandmother who lived in Helper. He was so nice and he told us that his ancesters came to America through Ellis Island from Italy. They were miners and the original intent was to make it to California and go to work in the mines there. However, when they got to Helper, they liked the little town and there was (and still is to some extent) a thriving coal mining community, so they decided to stay.
"A distant cousin sent me some genealogy report on my father's side, and it's sort of what I suspected. Coal miners for generations... four or maybe five generations." ~ Gina McKee
Have a super day today!