Montello

When the Southern Pacific constructed its new Lucin Cutoff in 1904, it bypassed the division point at Terrace, Utah. It was at this time that the town of Bauvard was created as the new division point, named after an old siding about three miles to the southwest. Houses were moved in from Terrace and Kelton, Utah. The first train passed through Bauvard on March 4, 1904, and a post office opened on June 4. The railroad built a large hotel (which burned in 1908), and a small Chinatown also developed, consisting of forty residences, a store and a joss house; a Chinese house of worship.

Afer 1904, the population reached almost 800. In 1907, Bauvard was made the headquarters of the Utah Construction Company because of its proximity to the railroad. A new school was constructed in 1910 to replace the smaller school from 1906, and in 1912 the town's name was changed to Montello.

The beginning of Montello's decline was a fire in October 1925 that destroyed much of the business district. The town's final shine in the spotlight was in 1928, when future president Herbert Hoover gave a campaign speech there. In the 1940s, diesel engines began to replace steam locomotives, and Montello lost its importance as a water, fuel and repair stop. Most of the railroad facilities were removed during the 1950s. Today Montello is only home to about 75, and a few original buildings remain.

I Visited Montello
6.28.2007

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