Celia Peter House

Union was formed in 1863 and the Union Mining District established May 30, 1864. The Atlantic and Pacific Mining Company, which owned all the mines in the district, platted a townsite in 1865 and began construction of a 20-stamp mill. The company folded, however, before the mill was completed. The camp faded, and Union Canyon was quiet until the 1890s.

When gold was discovered and the Berlin mine began production, miners settled in Union because it was close. In May 1895, John Mayette started building a 10-stamp mill, using stamps from Belmont and a building from Ellsworth. Mayette's mill began operation in July. In the mean time, another mill was under construction by Theodore Cirac, and his started operating in November. On January 20, 1896, Union's post office opened, but it was rescinded July 25.

In 1904 and 1905, Union peaked. It had over twenty buildings, including a town hall, mercantile store, and schoolhouse. Union remained active, as did Berlin, until 1907. That year the workers of the Berlin mine went on strike. The company refused a pay raise and closed the mine. Both Union and Berlin faded quickly.

Today, both Union and its neighbor Berlin are a part of Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park. In 1928, Dr. Siemon Muller discovered ancient ichthyosaur fossils just above the Union townsite. Excavations began in 1954, led by Dr. Charles Camp and Dr. Samuel Welles. In 1957, the area was officially named a state park. Excavations continued into the 1960s, and 40 individual ichthyosaur fossils were uncovered. Those are today housed where they were discovered, inside a large building above Union.

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