This page contains comments visitors to this website have made. I listed their names to the left and the years (if applicable) they lived in Uravan, Colorado. I did not include their email address to protect their privacy. If you would like to get into contact with anyone listed I would be happy to forward your email to them.
Please feel free to send me any comments about this website, especially if you were a former resident of the area.
Jackson, Allan S. (Grandparents and Mother) 1912 - 1914 top^ My grand parents and my mother homestead in the middle of the third park in 1912 to 1914. I still own the rights and pay the taxes and I have the patent signed by President W. Wilson. On the homestead there is nothing there not even a tree according to the satelite photos. They were shutter bugs and I do have both post cards and snap shots of the area around Nucla and the flume. They thought the defunct flume was to be opened to the second and third parks to create farmlands. But the flume was too low and in 1914 water tended not to flow up hill. So they moved back to Cripple Creek in Sept. of 1914 they sold the house/shack and it was moved to Nucla. The last time I was there was about in 1955?
The majority of the Edith Stuart Jackson Collection is at the U. of Wyoming Heritage Center. It is the life long research and hundereds of pages of oral inteviews that were prepared to be a history of Teller County Colo. and the Cripple Creek District. On the other hand the photos of Nucla are in one of the eight 1.5 X 2 ' photo albums that pictoraly document our family and all its branches from 1600 through 2006 CE. that I have here at home. There are hundereds of copies of oil paintings, daguerreotypes and all sorts of paper photos of the people life and times. My mother had been a journalist on the Cripple Creek Times and later executive assistant to the President of Western State College. After she married a classmate from CC High School we lived in Columbus O. where my father was a scientist at Batelle Inst. He and I both graduated from CU. then Yale (him). My Mother from CC. and then both of us from Ohio State.
Pehrson, Shirley ???? - 1929, 1929 - 1931 Naturita, 1931 - ???? Moab top^ I opened your website after my cousin George Elliott of Nucla told me about it. I am sorry I don't have any pictures of it but, I went to school their the first year they had a school. I wasn't really old enough to go but they needed more kids to open. After my first grade in Uravan we moved to Naturita and I went to school for two years there and then moved to Moab with my mom in 1931 after my mother and dad got a divorce. I finished school there.
My father Perl Graves worked in the mill their. My name was Shirley Graves and I really like these pictures as my dad was later married to a Carver but that's a different story. I kinda remember Joe Carver (a little)
I remember living down by the river in some rentals (I suppose) and how the river flooded into the houses also.
Anthony, James Louis 1935 - 1942 top^ My dad and mom lived in Uravan, along with my dads family. Walter Anthony, his brother Bill, mother Ruby, sister Opal, sister Dorothy. My brother Bob Anthony was born in Uravan in 1938, I being James Anthony was born there in 1940. Even though my birth was in Uravan my birth certificate indicates grand-jct. My brother and I were brought into this world by a veterinarian.
August of 1940 my mom hitches-hike with by brother and I to Vancouver, Washington. Eventually my dad and mom went to work for the kaiser ship yard. That was in 1942. Bill, Dorothy, and Ruby also moved to Vancouver where they also worked!!! Opal Anthony married a Rusty Rustrum while in Uravan. Rusty worked in Uravan at the time. After they married they moved to Oregon and Rusty went to work in the timber industry. Eventually both ended up in California. Brownsville Oregon at that time was a thriving lumber town. all are dead now and I got my dads pictures that I keep from Uravan here at home. I forgot my dads youngest sister Vera Rose Anthony lived there also. She was but a young teenager at the time.
Johnson, Emmit (Puddin) 1937 - 1940 top^ Our family lived in Uravan from 1937 till 1940. We experienced two floods (we lived in TENT TOWN). I have written a couple books about the town.
I loved and hated the place. We lived like animals for a while. Later Uravan was a livable place, but when we first lived there were only 5 or 6 livable houses. (BOSS TOWN).
Stone, William Alan 1939 - 1940 top^ My name is William Alan Stone, but I was known as Alan Stone when I lived there. I went to first grade in Uravan in 1939/'40. My teacher was Mrs. Woods. My dad Harold, my two brothers and I lived in a tent in tent town. We slept four to the double bed. I could go on about my adventures there but I'll keep it short.
Dad got us out of there before the spring flood could get to us and we moved to Redvale. I went to grade school at Shenadoah, near Redvale, then went to High school in Nucla, from 1947 to 1951.
I had many friends from Uravan. My brother Ted lived there and got married to "Cream" Tomlinson's daughter Mary Lou while he lived there, about 1950. I explored the old mill with a buddy (Ray Lathram) in 1947 when it was shut down. That place was a going concern during the '50's. I lived in Naturita after my stretch in the army and left there in 1959 and moved to Washington state. I have lived on Whidbey Island (North of Seattle) since 1960. I'm retired now.
I'm sorry about missing the big reunion in Nucla a few years ago. I had a commitment I couldn't stall or pass up. I didn't know many of the people whose letters were in your website, but I knew a lot of the people that were mentioned. I recognized several of the people in the Photos as well. All in all it was a great trip down memory lane.
Bonner, Kenneth 1939 - 1941 Nucla, 1943 - 1979 Uravan, 1979 - present Nucla top^ I first came to Nucla in 1939 and worked in the USV Coal Mine in Nucla through 1941. Joyce Urch and I were married on September 5, 1942. I enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and was given a medical discharge from boot camp due to having asthma. I was told that I could help the war effort by returning home and working in the Army Mill in Uravan.
I worked there as a civilian employee throughout the Manhattan Project until it was over in 1944. I worked at various jobs in the area until 1950 when I went to work in Uravan again for Union Carbide. I performed various jobs for Union Carbide including laborer, dozer operator, crane operator and mechanic. I took a correspondence course from National Schools to become a diesel mechanic. I was promoted to Maintenance Forman in 1965 and remained at the position until I retired from Union Carbide in 1979.
Brandon, Ron and Anna 1941 - 1945 top^ Ron Brandon
My family lived in Uravan when I was born in the town of Nucla, Colorado in 1943. We left there in 1945 for the coal mines of Utah, so I do not remember a thing about Uravan.
My older brothers and sisters have told me many stories of the place. How much fun they had growing up there. Most of the stories are about the river that runs through the area and the swimming and the fishing.
I thought your hanging "Flume" photos were fantastic. When my nephew and I went through there in 1986 I just stared at that Flume in awe. I do want to thank you for keeping the memory of the town alive for me and all of the others who did live there.
Anna Quantz (sister)
I enjoyed visiting your Uravan Page and reading the comments from past residents. The music and poem by Eric Leatha is especially enjoyable.
I have contacted my two older sisters Annell Brandon Moore and Jodell Brandon Pope to write what they remember about Uravan. They were in high school when we lived there 1941-45. Jodell's friend Phylis worked in the Uravan Boarding House, we are going to try to contact her also.
I am also trying to locate some pictures of that time period. I know I have only one in my possession at this time. But it doesn't have any of the town. Just some of my family members. I hope my sisters have some. Since I started first grade there in 1944 and we left in 1945 it would be only the memory of a little person.
(Hutton) Bennett, Barbara 1942 - 1952 top^ My brother Raymond Hutton just called and told me about your site. My but the tears did flow. My name is Barbara (Hutton) Bennett and I live in Grand Junction. We lived there from 1942 until 1952. I was two years old when we moved to the Club Ranch where we fed and slaughtered cattle for the town. We lived on the ranch for approx. 4 years. We then moved up town to Block C and then on to Block A [I think]. My first year in school I was the only girl with five boys. The Latham's, Lowdermilks, and Dean Skalla. Our first teacher was Maurice or Morris Woods he came from Paradox. (Fox) Heaton, Phyllis 1942 (birth), 1947-1950, 1954-1963 top^ I was born in Uravan in June of 1942 up Atkinson Creek. My parents were Maurice (Morris) and Vivian Fox. My name was Phyllis Fox. When I was a few months old we moved away. Then when I was 5 we moved back to Uravan in C block. C7 was our address. My parents did not want me to travel on the school bus to Naturita to the first grade so they with some other parents found a old retired school teacher and my parents went to get her. I remember bringing her to Uravan but I can not tell you where she was from. There were just a few of us in the school. There were 2 of us in the 1st. grade. Raymond Hutton and myself. Raymond's sister Barbara was in the 3rd grade. I can not remember the teachers name nor any of the other kids. Our mothers cleaned the old school taking turns and carrying water in for us. We only used one room. The bathroom was the old outhouse. I went to the first and second grade in Uravan and we moved away again to Grand Junction.
Then when I was ready to start the 6th grade we moved back to Uravan. This time we lived in the flattops for a while and then moved into C6 where we lived until I graduated from Nucla High in 1960. Shortly after that we moved to A block. My aunt and uncle Glen and Kate Yuille lived a few doors from us. He was the top electrician there for years. At one point there were only 3 telephones in town. The head of the mill had one, Glen had one and the doctor had one. For several years my cousin Shirley Vancil lived in A block but had moved to Craig when we lived there.
Mom cleaned the hospital and guest house for years and helped Dr. Ellenwood deliver babies. Dad was in the mill for years and then was the long haul truck driver for many years until he retired.
My brother Raymond Fox graduated from Nucla in 1962 at which time he enlisted in the Marines. He now lives in Grand Junction and is on the police force there.
Both of our parents have passed away. Mom first in 1972 and Dad in 1983.
- The picture of me was in the first grade.
- The one picture was the teacher and her class, I am the one with the bow in her hair.
- The Halloween picture is the class and little sisters and brothers. I am one of the witches and my brother Raymond has the big straw hat on.
- One picture is the mothers and the kids the Halloween of 1948.
UPDATE June 2008
My husband died in 2005 and I now live in Whitewood, SD and my name is now Heaton.
Hutton, Raymond "Skip" 1943 - 1954 top^ My earliest memories of Uravan, begin on the Club Ranch. My parents worked the ranch, and on many occasions I remember helping take loads of fresh Food, Meats, Corn, Tamatos, etc up to the Commissary Store, which was run by Pop Foster who always see that I got a Nesbit Orange Soda. I do believe that we used this barter system to survive, as it was war time.
My fondest days on the Ranch were those when my Sister Barb, and I would play in the old abandoned Stone Club House. We moved to C Block #1, and then a year or two later over to Block B. We lived next to Charlie Gregory, and his Wife Georgie. We also lived two doors from the Latham's. Ray Latham helped me learn to ride my first Bike. I used to watch he and his brother Sheldon ride their bikes across the swinging bridge, and go down the steps one at a time. It looked easy, so why not try it. I had not problem in the crossing, but when it came to the steps, that's where the difficulty began. I forgot to slow down, and you guessed it, I flew off the top step and crashed face first into the Cinder covered street below. So much for that bike. I walked to the school house from that day on. I see these pictures, and read about this place and I get all teared up. I was last there in 1990, and all was about covered up.
I attended school there with Phyills Fox Davis, The finest days of my childhood were in Uravan. As a six year old I am in first school class picture, on right standing in front, good look-in blond boy. The strangest thing is; I didn't know what the purpose of the mine, or the reason for Uravan was, as my parents didn't say much about what was going on. I was required to do a paper in High School History about the War Effort, back Home. I chose the Manhattan Project, and thus it came to me, that this Little Place called Uravan was very important the outcome of the War.
I have wondered about all the families, and folks like Mrs. Woods my First Grade Teacher 1948. In the photo I am in the second row on the far right. I wish I knew what has happened to those other kids. I can see Phyllis Fox and my Sis, but I don't recognize the others after all these years. I hope you will include my comments, in hopes of finding others. Thank you for my memories of Uravan.
Cooper, Don 1944 - 1945 top^ I was a GI in Uravan from July 1944 to November 1945. None of my photos has survived, but some of yours brought back memories. Hopkins, Joseph E., Jr 1944 - 1945, 1948 - 1953, 1958 to 1975 top^ Very nice pictures etc. of Uravan and surrounding area. I put in a couple of hitches there with the family and will write it up for you if you are interested in another article.
I first started in Dove Creek receiving Vanadium /Uranium ore at the Ore Receiving station in 1942. I was fresh from Nome, Alaska but did mine examination for prospective miners. Sharpened the miners drill steel at no cost, sampled their Uranium properties for a possible advance payment. We sold them powder at cost and helped in any way we thought would benefit the war effort.
About 1944 or so "we" (family and I ) were transferred to Uravan where I was to be an observer and learn the milling procedure. Spent quite a while learning the process.
I was the U.S. Vanadium company representative on the Manhattan District Uranium Mill built in Uravan about 1945.
In 1948 I was sent to Uravan from my plant Engineer Job in Rifle, Co U.S. Vanadium Plant to be Superintendent of the Vanadium Mill start-up and install the first Uranium circuit in the Uravan Mill. We hired all personnel and accepted Uranium/Vanadium ores from company owned and contract mines. In 1953 I terminated my employment for a promising job as Superintendent at Usibelli Coal Mine in Alaska.
In 1956 I returned to Union Carbide to oversee concurrent construction of three Uranium mills at Rifle, Slick Rock and Green River, Utah which proved to be a success.
Over the years 1958 - 1975 I was in Engineering Dept. and oversaw construction projects like Solvent Extraction Process and others at Uravan and other plants.
In 1975 I was assigned to Brazil to assist the design and install a Tungsten concentrator for Union Carbide South America which took two years.
I retired from Union Carbide in 1978.
Emerson, John F 1945 top^ My name is John F Emerson and would like to report living in Uravan, in the spring of 1945. During the period of 1943 to 1946, I was employed by Union Mines, a division of Union Carbide. Union Mines was a participant of The Manhattan Project, commissioned to determine reserves of uranium ore in the U.S. One of the projects assigned to my party was mapping and sampling Club Mesa, west of Uravan. During the Fall of 1944, U.S. Vanadium closed the Mill, the Army Corp. of Engineers shut down and removed their facility, all employees and families departed Uravan; one person, I think his name was Jerry Foster, kept the store open. My Party, consisted of myself and two other geologists, my wife Mary, a two year old son, and the wife of one of the geologists. We checked out all of the houses, picked out three, and moved in.
Incidentally, after Union Mines, Union Carbide transferred me to their mining operation near Bishop California. In 1956 was transferred to Grand Junction as Manager of Mines, in 1965 became Manager of Union Carbide's Colorado Plateau Operations, in 1972 General Manager of Western Mining and Milling Operations. With all that general information all I can say is, I have been to Uravan many times but only lived there the two month in 1945.
Gladman, Howard 1947 - ???? top^ My Father was Richard J Gladman MD,and my mother was Lucille. Dad, after completing his tour in the Army, started his first medical practice in Uravan. I believe this was late 1947 or 1948. Our family consisted of my younger brother Grant age 4, my baby sister Dixie, myself Howard, age 8, and my constant companion Micky a black Labrador retriever.
Dad used to brag that he was the only Doctor within a 100 miles and that was by dirt road. He was assisted by a nurse, Mrs. Laudermilk, I believe, and there were occasions when mom and I were even called in to help. There were lots of accidents. I recall one evening helping dad pick shot gun pellets out of a wound to a fellow's head.
Dad was proud of the time he spent in Uravan and often boosted how he would often get paid by somebody dropping of venison or elk stakes. He enjoyed his time as a country doctor, and often reveled in telling the stories of his Uravan experience.
Doc Gladman died in Oakland California at 2007 the age of 92
(taken from blog site http://www.uravan.blogspot.com/)
Hurd, Ralph 1948-1949 top^ (Added 2009) We moved to Uravan in 1947, the AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) was over-seeing the core-drilling of the area locating Uranium. The mill was not working, but had a caretaker.
Jerry Foster was running the Commissary store - my family made a total of 48 people in town. That soon changed when all the drill rigs moved in.
Joe Hutton drove us kids to school in Nucla every day.
Other family names I remember were the Latham's, Ray and Preston. Preston was killed in Korea and the VFW post was named in his honor
The Schooleys - later had a big Trucking business in Grand Junction.
We lived in the house furthest East in Block "A", the suspended foot bridge was right in front of the house. We later moved into government housing, called the Flat Tops, or Block "D" west of block "B" where the Foster's lived. Loudermilk"s lived on the corner.
When people left after WW2, they left many things behind such as a 1927 Chevrolet sedan that the guys got running and drove around. Washing machines, tools, furniture, and I stuffed myself with all the fruit on the trees. My aunt Pearl Smith came to visit, they found out she was a teacher, so they opened up the school in Uravan. There were 8 students, the high school kids still had to go to Nucla. I was in the 7th grade, but there were no books, so I had to use 8th grade ones.
I don't know how much of a story you want - I could write for pages about the things I did and the places I saw. As I said, I have a lot of fond memories of that area and was sorry to see the town disappear.
Gladman, Howard 1948 - 1950 top^ Our family lived in Uravan for a short time, a year or so, between 1948 and 1950. My father, Richard J Gladman, was the company doctor and we, my mother, Lucille Gladman, younger brother, Grant Gladman, and baby sister, Dixie, lived in the hospital for a short time before moving to the house across the road. The picture of the hospital opened the flood gate of memories in my mind of an eight year old, barefoot boy with his black Lab buddy fishing and exploring our stretch of the San Miguel River Canyon. Dad is now 92. (12/20/2006) Sage, Richard J. 1948 - 1952, 1959 - 1963 top^ I was born in Nucla, Colorado, in 1938 on a ranch that Joe & Nina Rice owned. I spent most of my time growing up in and around Nucla, Naturita, and Uravan. In last part of 1948 we moved to Uravan we lived in block F unit 5 my father Leo L. Sage worked for his brother Robert Lester Sage at the old Ophra mine on Delores bench ( not sure of the spelling) I went to school in Uravan I believe the class were 1-4 Th. grade then and I was in the 4th we lived there until 1952. Some of my most favorable times I can remember is I had gotten a B-B gun for Christmas and my best friend Rodney Evans would go out in the cold and snow and hunt birds in the summer time we spent a lot of time fishing for catfish on the river with several other kids some times we would catch so many we would have fish fry on block F. Rodney mom & dad Rod and Ruth Evans lived just up the block I seem to Remember they also had 2 daughters.
In 1959 I married and moved back to Uravan on Club Mesa in a trailer house and worked in the mines on club mesa. in 1960 we moved to Wyoming in the gas hills never stayed there long moved back Uravan in 1961 moved into the flat tops in Uravan and worked for Union Cadbide, then in 1963 Jack Sage and myself started mining for ourselves moved to Grand Junction and mined on Outlaw Mesa for awhile. Then I went to Work for Foster Brothers working in the mines on Outlaw Mesa. I then went to work for Leland Bennett lived in Naturita, and Redvale until I was hurt in a mine accident. Was off for a year moved back to Naturia in 1969 in 1972 moved to New Mexico. From there back to Colorado and have lived on the front range since then.
It was sad to see them tear down the town of Uravan but I understand why, to many people has lost their lives with Cancer including several members of my family.
(Karo) Bronson, Sandy 1948 (birth) - 1966 Nucla top^ I grew up in Nucla...a class mate of Gladys Tovrea. My uncle, Vaner Nygren worked many years in the mill at Uravan. Several of my cousins worked there also. My father worked in the uranium mines, as did my brother Ron Karo. My first boyfriend lived in Uravan, as did several of my best friends. Judy Kibler comes to mind easily, as she was my first best friend from Uravan. Tovrea-Brandstoettner, Gladys 1948 - 1970 Nucla top^ I was born and raised in Nucla, from 1948 to 1970, not far from Uravan. Lots of my family were employed at the mill in Uravan or in the mines at one time or another. A lot of my friends lived in Uravan, and my Uncle Wayne Dove resided there for many years - until it closed. My Dad, Lee Tovrea use to own the service station on the corner in Nucla. It was known as Tov's Service. Briggs, Jerry 1949-???? top^ (Added 2010)
My name is Jerry Briggs. I lived in Uravan around 1949 or 1950 when I was 8 or so. I was surprised to find a website about such a small and remote town.
Although my stay was brief, Uravan left lasting impressions. My stepfather, John Utterman who worked in the mill, my mother Freda and my sister Linda started our stay in Uravan at the flat tops and later moved to C Block where some our neighbors were the Huttons, a family named Johnston, the Becks, the Dorsey family and if memory serves the Fox's were just a couple of doors away.
My memories are mostly good. Learned to ride a bike. Hiked around the area looking for treasure. Fishing with my family. I could go to the movie for only 10 cents. Nine cents to get in and one cent for a bag of popcorn. I still remember seeing Victor Mature in "Samson & Delilah." The company swimming pool was my hangout during the summer. I still have fond memories of the school where several classes shared one room. Our biannual trips to Grand Junction were a huge event. Sixty miles of rough dirt roads to get to the last thirty or so paved road to town.
As with all memories, some are bad. A tractor accident took the life of one of my classmates' father. An airplane crash at the airport on the mesa took the life of the pilot, a man and his son and a woman was injured. I can't remember any of their names but it seems the pilot was a doctor. The man and his son lived in the flat tops. His son was my age.
I returned to Uravan in 1975 just to show my wife where I used to live. I'm glad I made the trip now since the town is no longer there. Thanks for the effort to preserve the record.
Jordan, Savannah Ollar Around 1949 top^ I really like viewing the pictures of the site of Uravan. I lived there when I was a child of about 8 years old. I remember the San Miguel River and going to the commissary with my mom. I also remember that there was a one-room school and all grades were taught in the same room. My grandfather worked for the Vanadium Corp. His name was Stonewall Jones, his wife Sylvia Jones, and their daughter Geneva Jones Ollar (my mom) and my sister, Loretta Clydean Ollar (at about age 6) and me, Savannah Ollar (at about age 8) lived in two of the cabins there. It must have been sometime around 1949.
It was a sweet childhood time for me. I also remember that I was afraid to run from our house to my grandparents house because I thought there were snakes outside. My grandma always lighted the way for me so the snakes couldn't get me. Thanks for posting the pictures. Brought back some memories.
(Shafer) Morrissey, Ann 1949 - 1954 top^ My name is Ann (Shafer) Morrissey. I found your website tonight and I am so happy that someone made this effort for Uravanites.
I first moved to the Uravan area (Long Park) in 1937 when I was one year old. My Dad was a diamond driller that drilled for Uranium. My brother is Mike Shafer. We lived at Long Park, Bull Canyon, Joe Dandy, and several other mining camps.
I went to first and second grade in Naturita We moved during the war but returned in 1949 and were one of the first families back in Uravan. We lived in C Block, then the Flattops. We took the bus to Naturita in the 7th Grade and went to Uravan in the 8th Grade when they opened the schools again. My Dad was a driller for my uncle, Jack Youvan, who owned Johnson and Youvan Drilling. I graduated from Nucla High School in 1954.
Dougherty, Charles T 1949 - 1956 top^ I didn't think there was any one left who knew about Uravan. My folks moved to Uravan in 1949. My Dad helped build the first mill in Rifle and then U.S.V. hired him to work for them because he knew how everything was supposed to run. In 49 they transferred him to Uravan to convert the mill over to process uranium.
I was in the 3rd. grade then. There was about 8 or 10 kids that started school in the one room, and one teacher taught all of us. We sat on a bench until they could get us a desk to sit in. We were placed to live in what was called the flat tops until we moved to C Block. For a while we lived in the first house on the left.
That was about the time the trading post was bought by a company from Climax which changed it to a general store and grocery. They also took over the boarding house, built a drug store, bar and made the rec. hall into a theater. They also built a new gas station. Mom went to work for them and worked until about 1955.
Mom wanted a bigger house farther down in block C on the right side of the street. We lived there for a short while and then bought a trailer house. The park at that time was at the end of C Block. They built a new park across the river just above A Block. We lived right next to the wash house. Then G Block was built and we moved there until 1956 when the company transferred Dad to Maybell to start a new mill there.
I can't remember all of the dates but I think it was 51 or 52 when Union Carbide bought out U.S.V. I may be able to remember some more if I think about it for a while. Please let me know if I can help in some way. Keep up the good work. I really enjoyed looking at the pictures even though they were taken long after I left.
Young, Clyde 1949 - 1956 top^ I visited your web site and enjoyed it very much. I can remember when the school bus came form Uravan and picked us up at the river ranch when I was in grade school. I think it was in the 6th grade and took us to Nucla and dropped us off before it went on to the high school. That was in 1949 if I remember right. We were from Washington State at the time and new to the area. I graduated form Nucla High School in 1956 and left the area. Joined the army in 1958 and retired after 23 years in Martinez, Georgia. Graham, Ralph 1949 - 1958 top^ Really enjoyed seeing a website about Uravan - who would have ever thought it would come about..... Anyway, my brother Lynn Graham and I moved to Uravan in 1949 with our parents, Irvin and Jean Graham, both of whom worked for Union Carbide, the company that ran the town in those days (actually, it was called United States Vanadium then). We lived there until 1958 when my folks and Lynn moved to Grand Junction and I stayed in Nucla to finish high school.
I have great memories of growing up in little Uravan. I think the population topped out around 900 while we were there. We lived in B block, just over the cliff from G block. The girl who became my wife also lived on G block - her family name was Culp and her father was a geologist. Sharon and I now live in Tucson.
Gotta go now, but who could know, we might get into some great exchanges of stories and experiences about the little town in the bottom of a canyon on the San Miguel.
(Murray) Cunningham, Carolyn 1949 - 1965 top^ I remember the square dancing at the Rec Center with Toni and Jess Fullbright, the swimming, the trouble Ronnie Barnett and I were always getting in to, but most of all if only kids were raised now the way we were then. The memories are great and very dear to all of us as I think we all had a great childhood there.
Thanks for the site, I return to it often to see who has written in. I also keep in touch with a very dear friend from Uravan, who I hadn't seen in thirty years that got a message to me by someone at an old timers reunion.
(Sharp) Turner, Vickie 1949 - 1967 top^ Hi, my name is Vickie (Sharp) Turner and I also grew up in Uravan. I would have to say it was a wonderful childhood and I wouldn't change a thing. This website is great! I looked at the whole thing today and just felt wistful. My folks are John and Vina Sharp. We lost my dad a year ago (1998). My mom is doing very well and we talk all the time. My sisters, Bette (Martin) Nickell and Jean (Martin) Nylund still live in the area. If you run into Bette in Nucla, I hope it's not in court, she's the judge! I live in Guymon Oklahoma and work for the Department of Agriculture.
The memories just flooded by me today, and I wondered what I enjoyed remembering the most. One thing was the swinging bridge, it was great to thrill the Oklahoma cousins with!! We would go hiking to the Indian Bath Tubs, swimming every day! The only thing was, we had to be home when the 5:00 whistle blew. My folks never worried about us. Who can say that these days?
I also loved going to school and the teachers were great, Mrs. Kibbler and Mrs. Dale as I was a child. I was born in 1949 and spent my life there til I graduated in 1967. Nucla was great also. I have lifetime friends that I still have contact with on a regular basis. I'm divorced, but have a real nice boyfriend. I also have a beautiful 20 year old daughter, Katie and a sweet granddaughter named Brooklyn.
I can remember when the whistle blew, I would see the men walking home from work and while I was waiting for my dad, I would say hi to Mr. Burbridge and Mr. Schmaltz. What I love thinking about was how friendly everyone was. No sweeter place in the world.
(Allred) Malone, Susi 1949 - 1968 top^ I lived in Uravan from 1949-1968. It was a great place to grow up. You could walk everywhere. The summers around the pool were great! The roller skating was fun in the winter. You could walk out the door and go hiking year round and always find something new and exciting. The petroglyphs and history were awesome. One of my favorite memories is when we held picnics at Spring Creek Ranch with the Crabtree family. They were two of the sweetest people.
It was a fairly typical small town, except that some of your neighbors changed frequently. Everyone keep an eye on everyone else's children. You could be sure that if you did something good or bad, news of it would beat you home. (Even before telephones.) This was not necessarily a bad thing!
When you got out into the real world, you appreciated your neighbors and education system there.
Kip Hiett, Sharon A Hiett, Kathy (Hiett) Eades 1949 - 1970's top^ Kip Hiett
We lived in Uravan from 1949 to the 1970s when my Dad, Cliff Hiett, retired from Union Carbide and moved to Olathe, Colorado. He was a supervisor at the mill in Uravan, and is still alive and well, living in Delta, Colorado. My Mom passed away in 1991. My sister Deanne lives in California, sister Kathy lives in New Mexico, brother Jim lives in Utah, youngest brother Michael lives in Washington, and I live in Oregon. I graduated from Nucla High School in 1962, and left to move to California in 1963.
I have a load of memories from Uravan, and all of them good. Looking at the Boarding House renovation reminded me of the fact that my parents met there, he working at the mill, and she working as a waitress there. The recreation hall reminds me that I played basketball there before the gym was built at the school. We watched movies in that hall, we did square dances, we had our Christmas plays there. Our church services were held in the basement, I went to catechism lessons, and there was a library down there, too. We roller skated in the basement of that building. The company gave us Christmas "shindigs" every year, with baskets of candy to all us kids, and showed us cartoons on a screen that came down from the ceiling. I saw my first Elvis Presley movie in that building.
I took my family back to see Uravan, with nothing there, the last time in 1994, when our first grand child was born. There wasn't anything there, the Boarding House, San Miguel Trading Center, the Recreation Center were all suffering from disrepair, and it was really hard to see a place that I'd spent my whole growing up life, really not "there" any more. Our youngest son couldn't believe that there was nothing there. My brother Jim and my sister Kathy were with us, and we had lots of memories to share on that day. It was great and at the same time, sorta sad. It's wonderful to see the pictures of the Boarding House being repaired, and the Rec Center too.
On the School Picture #1, we lived in the 1st row of houses, the second house to the right. The post-master lived across from us. We lived there most of my grade school years. We had lived in the flat tops when I started school, then moved there, and then went to H block. Behind the school up on the hills there were/are? two ponds that all of us kids used to skate on in the winter time....we took sleds down the road when it snowed. The School picture #2 was taken before they put the class rooms in beside it.
I will come back and visit the site often. We have some pictures that I'll have my wife scan and send to you. Some of Uravan, and some of the blocks where we lived, with some of the kids we went to school with. Thanks very much for putting this together, it's great!!
Sharon A Hiett
I'm typing this for my husband and his siblings who lived in Uravan from 1948 to when their father, Cliff Hiett, retired from Union Carbide in approximately 1976. My husband's name is Kip, his sisters are Diane and Kathy, and his brothers are Jim and Mike.
They all have such great memories of Uravan, our children, growing up in California, couldn't believe all the stories Kip told them about growing up there in Uravan, and going to High School in Nucla. We took them back to visit the first time when they were all very young, and the first camping trips our children ever was at Beaver Park above Norwood.
Kathy (Hiett) Eades
It was fun to read the information about Uravan and try to identify some of the people talked about. It was a fun place to grow up and the family memories are long.
I graduated from Nucla High in 1964 and married Lee Wayne (Buddy) Eades from Paradox who graduated the same year.
Murray, Robert 1949 - 1980 top^ I have really enjoyed your web site on Uravan. Never dreamed anyone would ever have one on such an out of the way area. Brought back many memories. Haven't been thru there in the last several years. Templeton, Marie and Martin 1949 - 1952, 1952 - Today Nucla top^ My name is Marie Templeton and my husband Martin and I lived in Uravan from the first day of January 1949 until mid November 1952. Martin and my father, Tom Van Arsdale, had leased the Roc Raven Mine from Union Carbide and we moved to Uravan the first day of the New Year during a very big snowstorm. The mine was located on the rim above Tabeguache Creek on the Uravan side. You can still see the mine from the road. Union Carbide designated Block F as mine housing. This was the first block as you entered Uravan from Nucla and Naturita.
My father had a small jeep they used for transportation to the mine, but the snow was so heavy after the big storm that they walked to work for the first couple of weeks.
The house we lived in was F 3. It had three small rooms and no bath. There was a row of outhouses between the houses and the highway and two families shared one outhouse. This led to some funny, or not so funny, situations until the time that bathrooms were installed in the dwellings.
The houses were not furnished and as we had not been married very long our furnishings were very sparse. In the kitchen there was a big Majestic coal cook stove that someone had given us, a small table and two chairs, and an old-fashioned free-standing cabinet for our dishes. In the front room we had a daybed and in the bedroom we had a double bed that one of our parents had furnished for us, and one small dresser. When our clothes needed washing I went to my mother's house and used her machine. I do think I had an iron so that I could do my own ironing at home. We were as happy as if we had good sense!
I remember very well that first summer we lived in Uravan. It was always a lot hotter down in the canyon than it was up on the mesas. That house would get so hot using that old coal cook stove that it was almost impossible to sleep during the nights. So we had a lot of out-of-doors picnics that first summer.
The houses were not connected to the powerhouse at that time, although I think they must have been when the mill was operating during the war, because they were wired. The company set up a gas generator in the alley behind our house and it would run from dark to 9 or 10 o'clock at night. Then you either went to bed or used kerosene or gas lamps. Radios, if you had one, were run off a battery. The company also ran the generator for a couple of hours each Monday and Tuesday so that you could get your washing and ironing done.
That first year was a struggle financially. We had to buy, or lease, all our equipment and mining supplies and they were expensive, but they had to come first. I can remember eating so much liver, because it was the cheapest thing you could buy, that I have never eaten it since. I can remember one time I had just 20 cents to buy a loaf of bread when someone we had loaned a couple of dollars to paid us back, and that got us through to payday. I can remember the finance company coming to repossess my dad's jeep because he hadn't made the payments on time, and we hid it up at the mine until he could get the money to bring his payments up to date.
I can remember two other things that happened the first year we lived at Uravan. One day we found a baby chipmunk in the woodpile behind our house. We caught it and fed it with an eyedropper until it was big enough to eat on its own. That was one of the neatest pets we ever had. We made it a cage out of a powder box and had a little running wheel for it to play on. It was so cute. We would let it out and it would play on your shoulder and sniff in your ear. It also liked to swing on the bottom of my dress while I did my work. It could poke fifteen pinon nuts in its jaw at one time. It looked like it had the mumps. We really enjoyed the little fellow and we had him for about three years. Then one day he got out and just disappeared. The other thing we found in the woodpile that first summer was a rattlesnake. My mother killed it with the ax.
All of the neighbors got along really well and we had so much fun. Almost every night we got together with somebody. We played cards and had meals together in the winter. We played pinochle, five hundred, and penny ante poker. Then when the weather was nice enough we had community wiener roasts across the road from the houses and we played softball every evening. Everyone, even the kids, if they were big enough to walk, played ball. Someone would help the little ones bat and if they managed to hit the ball, the adult, who was helping them, would pick them up and run the bases with them.
After the mill started up and the mill people moved in, we played ball with people from other blocks. We played with the boys (14 & 15 year olds) from the rest of the town and they always beat us. We kept telling them that the law of averages was going to catch up with them someday and we would beat them, and we finally did.
They also had the swimming pool down by the powerhouse and I guess the water was heated in the process of keeping the powerhouse machinery cool. Anyhow, it was really warm and fun to swim in.
The second summer we were at Uravan the company asked me and Almina Skalla, another young married lady, to help them get the library going again. They built shelves in the little room on the west end of the Pharmacy and we got the books out of storage and started a library program. I think it was open a couple of days a week and a lot of people took turns taking care of it. It was later moved into the basement of the Rec. Hall. They also held church in the basement of the Rec. Hall. It was non-denominational and everyone was welcome.
After a year or so, we bought a used refrigerator, a gas stove and a washing machine from some people who were moving and that really made a difference in our quality of life.
After a couple of years the San Miguel Power lines were extended to Uravan and we had electricity all the time. They had movies and dances in the Rec. Hall and life kept getting better and better.
My sister lived at Long Park Camp and her husband worked in a mine up there. They had a little girl and a baby boy; the little boy got pneumonia and died. That was really a tragic time for our family.
After the Roc Raven played out, our men got a lease opening up LP 13. They were paid by the foot for the entry work to the ore body. The money was just enough to live on and that was all. Then when they got to the ore there wasn't enough of it to pay for mining it so they got another lease. This one was up on John Brown Mesa.
During that time Martin and I had our first child, a darling little boy we named Mark. When Mark was just about three months old, my father went to work on John Brown opening up another mine. Martin and I went up on Lion Creek and dug ten discovery cuts for the company. We thought this would give us a little money to live on while we were getting to the ore body on John Brown. We had a jeep station wagon and we took a camp outfit and cooked our meals out-of-doors and slept in the back of the jeep. Mark was just pushing up on his feet and he stuck his head out the window all the way up there. The next day his eyes were swelled shut with sunburn. We put canned milk on his burns and the next day he was just fine.
After we had breakfast Martin would go start digging and I would give Mark a bath and clean up the cooking mess. Then I would take an overall quilt and put it under a cedar tree for Mark to play on and I would help Martin dig. We did this all by hand using a shovel. The cuts had to be ten feet long and four feet wide and four feet deep at one end. We would break for lunch, and then we would all have a nap and hit it again in the evening. When we were finished for the day we would go down to the creek and take a bath before retiring for the night. The water was cold but Mark loved it. How did that child ever survive! We were up there for two weeks and then Martin told me we never got paid for that work. Something was not up to specs, so I guess that was just a two-week camping trip.
After we finished that we went up to John Brown and started over again. We had a two-room cabin with a breezeway in between the rooms. Mother and Dad slept in one cabin with my little brother. Martin, Mark and I slept in the other one. We cooked in our cabin and lounged in theirs. We had quite a crew up there at first, Don Hubbs and Cal Warnica were dozer operators. They made a road into the mine then scraped out the dirt so we could start the drift. Then there were some carpenters who built a supply shed and I think they built the cabins when Martin and I were working on the discovery cuts. Anyhow, they got it all ready to go for us.
There was a spring in a draw between the mine and the cabins and we had to pack our water up the hill about 200 yards. Luckily we still had our houses in Uravan and we went home each weekend and did our washing and ironing there. That summer we would go to Uravan and get our washing and ironing done, do our grocery shopping and go up to Buckeye Reservoir and spend the rest of the weekend up there fishing. The men fly-fished and they were catching their limit of big German Brown trout. They would probably weigh a pound and a half dressed. Then we would go back over to John Brown through Sally's Hollow, work another week and do the same thing over again the next weekend.
At the mine the men would get up early and go muck out the round they shot the night before, and this was all done by hand with shovels. No machines in those days! Then they would come eat lunch, go back and drill and shoot the next round and come back to the house and clean up. We would have a picnic lunch ready and we would make Mark a bed in the station wagon and off we would go exploring the country until dark. We hunted deer, in season and out, and the meat really helped out on the grocery bill. The game wardens would raid the camps every once in a while, but we were lucky and never got caught.
While the men were drifting toward the main ore body, they hit a pocket of high-grade ore. They sorted out a pickup load of it and we got $2000.00 for that one pickup load. That really helped our finances.
That winter Mother stayed in Uravan because my little brother was in school and I stayed at the mine and cooked and cleaned for the men. That February Mark was one year old, but he was still on the bottle. One Thursday the men went back to work after lunch and when they finished their shift and came out of the mine, there was three feet of snow on the ground. Were we ever snowed in! We had to get out on Friday because Mark was out of milk. So they didn't go to work on at the mine, they started shoveling the snow out of the road. They worked until noon; we ate lunch and loaded up to go home. They had gotten to the top of the hill before lunch, but the road up there was still filled with snow. When we reached the snow packed road, Martin would race the motor and plow the snow with the jeep as far as he could, then the men would get out and shovel for a while, then do the same thing all over again. We didn't get to Gateway until after dark and it was midnight before we got home.
Then when we tried to get back up to the mine, the spring thaw had came and the road was impassable for a couple of months. So the company gave us another lease on the Dolores Claims on the rim of Atinkson Mesa. We could stay in Uravan and the men could drive to work each day.
When the road to John Brown was opened again the company leased the mine to another man. When he went into the mine he found that the men had reached a huge ore body and he made a fortune off of the John Brown Mine. Just the luck of the draw, I guess.
That fall we bought a place in Nucla and moved up here. I was real lonely at first!. I really missed the neighbors in Uravan and I will always remember that time with fond memories.
(Carter) Tate, Nita 1950 - 1959 top^ My family lived in Uravan from 1950 to 1959. Clifton and Mary Jane Carter and their 5 children; Bennie, Kathey, Juanita, Edward, and Nita. Clifton worked in the mines. I remember the swinging bridge on the way to going to school but I don't see it in any of the pictures. Does anyone remember Mrs. Long a second grade teacher? Anonymous 1950's - 1960's top^ Greetings From Colorado Springs, I was bored and doing the internet cruise thing and ran across your page thanks to Alta Vista and a search for Uravan.
I grew up in that area in the 1950's (Born 54) and 60's. Was rather refreshing to see such an interesting page on such an obscure part of Colorado. I lived in Uravan during the 50's and into the early 60's at which point we moved to Nucla.
Around 1970 we moved to Colorado Springs where I now reside. Kind of interesting place around there. My grandpa, an uncle and my dad had two mines just in that area during the 50's and 60's. I used to spend every waking moment poking around in that area. My dad was a hoist operator while his dad and uncle supervised the men working in the mine.
We lived in a trailer park off the main highway.
Anyway, enjoyed your page and the memories of Uravan, Nucla, and of course Naturita where I attended Junior High School during the late 60's (67-69).
(Kissinger) Garvey Blinn, Jacque 1950 - 1965 top^ I am the oldest daughter of Jack and Margie Kissinger. There were three of us, Roxanne, my sister, who was born in the Uravan clinic and my brother Neland. We all grew up there and have very fond memories of our childhood. We moved to Uravan when I was 3 years old. I went to school there, and Nucla High School where I graduated in 1965.
My first thought of Uravan is that the town may be gone, but the memories live on. Even when I drive through and the houses are gone, the school is gone, the drug store, the store, the swimming pool, etc. I can still see them, right where they sat. I can still see kids running and playing. I can still see a community that had so much to offer, a community that I would not give up for a second, having been raised there.
I have so many fond memories of Uravan. I think one of the best is the climbing in the rocks. We had some of the neatest forts built, I think that I can remember every one of them. I remember going to "Treasure Island" as we, the kids called it. The canyon that was a retreat for all kids to get away from reality. We ice skated there, swam in the summer there, and caught those ugly salamanders. I loved climbing up through the crevice of rock, that every kid had a different name for and ending up by the pond, where we had a raft hidden out.
Some of the things that the company did for the kids were, having Santa and those huge bags of candy. At Halloween, the scary movie and the costume judging; Easter egg hunting with the whole town of kids. Huck Finn day; square dancing., etc. The movie theater served many purposes such as a roller skating rink, movies, square dances, dances, all kinds of parties throughout the year, school, sunday school and church. Rifle club was held in the basement, along with the library, bible school, and oh my goodness the things that building meant to all of us was just unreal. It still stands, alone, but the memories that it holds inside are so very precious.
My parents played in a dance band and I remember going almost every Saturday night with them from the time I was 3 on and I would curl up inside my mothers fur coat with the fur turned inward and go to sleep with the pounding of my mothers piano playing. My memories take me there a lot of the times and I get to listen to my mother playing her piano again. I remember well my dad playing the drums and I can still see him not only keeping time with his foot, and hand, but his head he would turn sideways with his eyes closed, listening to his rhythm and enjoying what he heard.
I remember learning to swim when the pool was still over in the middle of the mill. I was there as often as it was open. One other thing that I remember well and have tried to pass this memory on to my daughters was the "swinging bridge". I don't know how so many kids could have so much fun on a swinging bridge, but I know a lot of the kids I talk to say the same thing. After a movie at night, walking home, we would get that bridge to really swinging. I am surprised that it held all the abuse that we gave to it, but like the theater building , it holds lots of memories. When they took down the swinging one and put a stationary one there, it took away a lot of fun.
Uravan was the best place in the world to grow up in. We were like one big happy family. Like my parents used to say that even though they worried at times about where we were, they knew we were somewhere within those canyon walls and that we were safe and would be home soon. We did not have crime as you see it today. Kids were safe out on the streets. I loved Uravan and I am so thankful to the people that made it such a neat place to grow up in. Uravan will always stay strong in my memories.
Barnes, Bob 1951 - 1960 top^ Bob and Ruby Barnes we were residents of Uravan and Nucla 1951-1960. We had a boy, Robert, born in 1952 and girl, Roberta, born in Uravan in 1954. We now live in Shelbyville Illinois. We have four granddaughters and two great grandsons. I worked for Creme Tomilsons and Wayne Dove. (Welch) Odenwald, Cheryl Gray/Sheri 1952 - ???? top^ I moved to Uravan in 1952 with my Mother, Jacque Welch, who worked at the mines office. My name was Cheryl Gray and my sister is Shirley. We went to school over the swinging bridge and my teachers name was Miss Blue. I hope that is right. I am not sure of anything from that far back. I know we lived on a tree lined block and my best friends name was Karen Dobler. Strickland, Joan 1952 - 1954 top^ I went to school in Uravan, 1952, 1953 and 1954, my dad drilled vent holes for the miners back then. When we lived there, we lived in trailers across the San Miguel river and bridge from town, there was about 35 trailers, at that time, we were from Texas.
I was in the fifth grade, maybe someone remembers this we had no one to play the piano, so I did for the grade school for the remainder of the year, I could play by ear then, then in the sixth grade we went to school in the basement of the old movie house, as the school had burned down. Miss McBride was the name of the teacher, then we moved to Naturita and Mr. Long was my teacher in seventh grade.
I went back to Uravan last month, and couldn't believe how it had changed with all the town gone, I hadn't been back in 46 years, but I remember it so well. I wrote to a girl from Uravan for years, but lost contact, her name was Mary Fullbright, her Dad worked for the mines in Uravan. Maybe someone remembers me I was real tall for my age back then, still tall today, I am 6ft 2" now, my name was Joan Strickland, had a little brother named Johnny, at that time also, my mother lost a baby, buried in Montrose.
We now have friends living in Naturita, so will be coming back more often, and keeping up with all the events, I would like to put on the board , maybe all of us can make contact with each other again. I live in Texas again, Thank you very much , I love all of this , this is really neat to visit the past.
(Bock) Johnson, Marguerite 1952 - 1959 top^ (Added 2009) We moved to Uravan around 1952 and left about 1959. I started my 3rd grade school year there. I can't remember the name of that teacher, but I'm sure she's burning in hell. 4th grade was in the basement of the Rec Center with Mrs. Miller. She was a lovely lady, and 5th grade was Mr Long. 6th grade teacher was a lady who I can't remember , but she married several time and introduced the class to "The Black Stallion" books which reinforced my love for horses. That year we had class in the trailers by the gym ( across the road) so I remember the underpass well.
My parents lived out of town in a mining camp. I remember all the 'town folk' getting water from the camp. I guess town water was pretty awful at that time. The friends I remember are Karen Sue Lee (saw her dad died in 1977), Linda ? (lived on the hill on the gym side of the school) , Rhodena Bell, Carol Borden, Vicky and Germaine Sheets (they lived in the old farmstead between the mining camp and town.) Also Patty Crim and Nealy Dynes.......not sure of the spelling.
Too many memories to put down right now, but I did want to say how glad I was to find this site.
Witcomb, Tammy 1952 (birth)- 1962 top^ (Added 2010) My name is LLoyd lee Whitcomb Jr. I was born in Uravan in 1952 and lived there until 1962. My dad Lloyd senior worked in the lab for Union Carbide until being transferred to Grand Junction. I too have many fond memories of Uravan. Growing up with my brother Larry and my cousins Jack and Terry Hicks. The post from Glenda Mclain caught my eye. I remember Bob an audrey being one of my dad and moms best friends. Barnes, Bill 1952 - 1963 top^ In January 1952, my wife and I moved from Decatur, Illinois, to Colorado with our only child, Glenna, who was three months old at that time. She had been born in Decatur, on 11-2-51. Our other three children were born in Uravan at the Clinic. Leslie Jayne was born 1-18-53; Rhonda Kaye arrived 2-19-54; and we finally got a BOY, William David, Jr (Billy) on 3-10-55. Doctors during our stay in Uravan were Dr. Berman, Dr. Ellinwood; Dr. Berman again, Dr. Akers, and Dr. Peak.
We think that Uravan was a terrific place to raise our young family. Our children were just starting their teens when we left and moved back to Illinois in 1963, but they still have many happy memories of times there, as do we. Rock hunting, fishing and sleeping in the open up at the Altas, Gurley, and other places, and hunting arrowheads way up behind the airport were some of our favorite activities. However, no activity compared to the sense of belonging to the community, and having friends like no other place in the world. Our children still talk about swimming, swinging out over the canyon at Wayne Dove's, playing with Marlene Tooker, and the Bishop girls, as well as the Rochelle girls. They had great times at the "new" swimming pool down beyond H block, and school activities.
We lived in three different flattops (kept having babies!) and also lived at G 28 from 1955 - 1963. When we first moved into the flattops, we had cook stoves, and heated our water by pipes that ran through the cook stoves from the hot water heaters. What a glorious day when we all got new gas ranges, and gas water heaters. Wow!!
I worked as Plant Operator until early 55 when I went into maintenance, where I worked until we left in June, 63.
Some of my closest friends were Jack Kissenger, Ralph Anders, Dave Sanders, and Al Barela.. of course there were many other friends, too. We had some really good Friday night penny ante poker nights with Ralph Anders, Dick Dunn, Al Barela, Wayne Dove, Sr., and sometimes Art Lankenau.
I remember all the people Frank Wyatt mentioned in his Uravan Memories. It reminded me of when the Nucla Bowl was built and we chartered the Uravan Bowling Association. Frank was president, and I was the vice president.
In '56 several of us started the Sheldon Lathan VFW Post 4268. I believe Jess Fulbright was the first Commander of that post, and I was the first Senior Vice Commander. Sheldon Latham's mother, Mazle, was Postmistress before Benny). Sheldon's brother , Ray, worked in the mill during the first year that I was there, and then moved to Paradox to farm.
Attending the Uravan Men's ball games was always a treat. Bud Patterson was the team manager, and Dutch Tomlinson assisted. The only player I can think of right now, is Myron Bennett. I just can't think of the names of any of the other players.
When we left Uravan, I was in my second term as President of UMWA Dist. 50, local 13545. I also found my old membership card to Nucla High School Booster Club, signed by Dale Woods.
I remember going to the State High School Football Championship game in 1960 against Hugo. We lost...but if Bill Symons had been healthy we would have tromped them!!! He had either a broken toe or foot the last regular game before the championships. Our loss!!
We did several minstrel show, and plays, which were lots of fun, and good entertainment. Rhea Davis wrote a parody to "Sixteen Tons" and sang it.
Hannigan, Joe 1953 - 1955 top^ My family and I used to live there in the 1953-55 time frame. My father, Joe Hannigan, Sr, worked as an accountant in the mill, having been transferred there from the Grand Junction operations of Union Carbide. The web site brought back memories. I attended the third grade there, and fondly remember the "one room school house" we all shared.
We lived in H-12, and I've enclosed two photos of that home. One is of me, Joe Hannigan Jr, in 1954, in front of H-12. The other one is a photo in front of the house, with me on the left, followed by my mother, Carrie Hannigan; sister, Kathy Hannigan; brother, Mick Hannigan; and the gentleman holding the other end of the fishing line is Clint Holt who was a visiting friend of my parents.
In the winter, we'd use an old car's hood, turned upside down, to slide down the hill on the snow near the school. We also found that cardboard boxes flattened out work about as well, but didn't quite offer the protection the car hood did against bumps and rocks that might poke through the snow.
I recall vividly one day on the way to school, that the western most cable of the "swinging bridge" that crossed the river and joined the housing side of the canyon with the community center and mine operations had been damaged. The swinging bridge was on our path to school. The fact that the bridge was leaning to the west at what seemed like a 45 degree angle didn't deter officials from lining us up, and one by one, sending us across the bridge that we may further our education. The waters were running very high after heavy rains in the area, and it seemed like the raging river 50 feet below us (although it wasn't) was waiting to swallow us up. We all hung on for dear life to the one cable still firmly in place as we ventured across. Nonetheless, we all managed to get across the bridge and attend class that day.
We would also hike back into the canyon south of the school in the winter and were in awe of the frozen ice formations that covered the sides of the canyons, sometimes making beautiful ice caves where we'd play. In the warmer months, we'd go back into that same canyon to see the hieroglyphics on the sides of the canyons - I wonder if they're still there today, and if it's accessible. I'd love to go back if they are.
I remember community picnics and softball games at the park, learning to swim in the pool (and later saving a classmate from drowning in the same pool), and climbing the sides of the canyon behind our home in search of uranium. Occasionally I'd find small rocks with "yellow cake" on them, and put them in my pocket as a treasure. I remember going to movies in the theater, accompanying my mother to go shopping in the company store, and not being able to receive radio stations because we were too far away and at the bottom of the canyon.
About 10 years ago, I went back to Uravan and found the town virtually gone, with only a few remaining buildings being used by the Superfund clean up crews. We used to play in the tailings and around the settling ponds, oblivious to any radiation danger which may be present. Quite a surprise, and quite a change from what I remembered in my younger days.
My father eventually left Uravan with us in tow, and we went back to Grand Junction. He worked briefly for S&M Supply, then went back to Union Carbide. When Union Carbide closed their Grand Junction operations, we left for Bishop, CA, and lived in Rovana, the Carbide company town, where Dad served as an accountant. My brother and I each worked at the Rovana mine and mill during summers to earn money for college. Dad retired, and he and mom now live in Santa Fe, NM. My sister lives there also. My brother Mick is a real estate broker in Washington state. After 26 years of service, I retired from the USAF as a colonel, worked for awhile at a hospital in Alaska as their director of purchasing, and now live in Pagosa Springs, CO. I guess I need to fire up the Corvette and once again check out what's left of Uravan.
(Banks) (Morlang) Patton, Janet 1953 - 1958 top^ I moved to Uravan (Lasalle Mine) in 1953 with my parents, Clarence and Edna Banks and my sister Carol. Lasalle mine was located on the winding, curving, narrow road above the mill. I drove this road in my dads 1949 green International pickup down to Uravan to catch the school bus to Nucla to attend High School and then back again in the late after noon. The road always busy and dusty with the big ore trucks going to the mill loaded or back up for another load. We also drove that road to go to a movie, I believe they started out having just one a week in the Rec. Hall in town.
Some of the people I remember at Lasalle are, Chris and Lydia ( both now deceased) Morlang and their family, Bob, Anna Marie, John (deceased), Faye, Donna Lynn, Ronald, Melvin and Mathew. I also remember Danny White, brothers Glen and Lanny Callahan, Charles Meryhew, William Pitney, Lloyd Philips and wife Gladys, Hightowers, Yorks, and Strains. I met Jake Morlang and his best friend Yancy Corman through a friend of mine Myrna Johnston. They both worked at The Golden Cycle Mine. I married Jake Morlang in 1954 (lost him due to a horrible mine accident in Silverton in March of 64). I moved up to the Golden Cycle where we lived in a 22 ft. trailer until after our first born. We used out houses and carried water from a big tank the mine provided. Two of my four children were born in Uravan, my son Wesley Morlang 1955, delivered by Dr. Akers and my daughter Larae (Morlang) Wareham born in 1956, delivered by Dr. Berman. The kids can't hardly believe the place they were born no longer exists, it's like a ghost town.
Some of the people I remember working at the Golden Cycle, Galen and Thelma Bennett (Galen deceased due to a mine accident in Grants, New Mexico), Moores, Arnold Schendel (deceased) and wife Bertie, Bus's, Mike (deceased) and Opal Marshall, Dee Munkers and my family, Clarence (deceased) and Edna Banks and daughter Carol, both brothers (both deceased) Dean and Merle Banks, a brother in-law Leo Edgeman and his wife (my sister) Ardie and their two daughters Pam and Debie, a brother in-law Romeo (deceased) Morlang and a cousin Bob Morlang and ex- wife Carol and family.
Many more that I cannot remember as the list of employees grew. When their were enough grade school children, my Dad drove the school bus from the mine to Uravan. That certainly was a wicked scary road in the early years.
I remember some great friends Clarence Reed who worked at the Sandy Mine below the Golden Cycle. His brothers, Lloyd (deceased) and Clayton who both worked in the mines over there. Jakie Krause and family who worked at the mill.
When I take a drive over that way, it is sad to see and remember what once was. They can take away the town but they can't take away the memories whether good or bad.
(Bailey) Clemens, Laura 1953 (birth) - 1960 top^ I was born in Uravan in 1953. I lived there till 1960. I've noticed from reading there is/was a concern about having thyroid problems. Dr. Berman was the doctor who delivered me and then diagnosed me with the hypothyroidism after returning from service two years later. I had been growing normally and then ceased to function as an normal child a year after birth. I've been taking thyroid since I was 2 yrs. old. My mother worked in the lab. My father worked at Union Carbide and for Lark Washburn.
After reading other memories I was flooded with a several memories of my own. I don't remember the block I lived in but I remember my neighbors: the Peaks ( Mrs. Peak was the doctor), and the Ausmuses (I ran away from home to their house for the evening...had a great time but felt homesick. I was five.) I remember other people from Uravan like the Sanders ( we played a lot of tag and hopscotch), the Evans (they lived in a cabin-like house) the Brices ( the birthday parties) and the Lees ( remembered the their snowball tree and hearing "Teen Angel" .)
I learned two life lessons:
1. Wear shoes when riding a bike. I found myself helplessly moving down a hill at the end of the block on a bike with no way to stop but scraping the skin off my big toe.
2. Don't walk on loose rocks. I did and lost my balance and went tumbling down the mountain ( a little voice told me to double up and roll). I hit that big rock that's on the other side of the highway and survived. I believe God has been blessing me all along the way as I'm still alive.
Less painful memory of Uravan was my favorite place, my back yard, a wonderland. I could make mud pies and hollyhock dolls, climb trees and make snow forts with my dad. I learned to ride my bike in Uravan.
Thank you for letting me remember my childhood once again and sharing my memories with my son and husband.
(Kissinger) Defoe, Roxanne 1954 (birth) - ???? top^ Uravan is my home-town and some of my most fondest memories lie in those canyon walls! In 1954 I was born in the clinic there to Jack and Margie Kissinger and I grew up there... I loved Uravan, and am to this day very fortunate to have been one of the "Uravan kids" !!!!
My memories of Uravan are many, but I do have some favorites to share with you. One of the best, being the swimming pool, I lived in that pool, in the summer. We lived in H - block, (H-2) for most of my life there, and the summers in Uravan consisted of hiking the mountains, going fishing with my Mom, & Dad, (oh how they loved to fish, especially Mom), hunting arrowheads, and hunting with my Dad, (although I never shot a thing), he just had me "scare em" out of the woods, while I was hunting arrowheads! lol .... a favored memory of mine too.... We used to visit Frosty, & Mames a lot, up at the Spring Creek Ranch.... I remember, when the girl scout's would go up to the ranch, Frosty would always come over and bring us wood for our fires, and he even made us cottonwood tree benches to sit on.... And my Mom, and Mames used to play on her piano.... Speaking of "piano", I often joke about growing up, "behind my Mom's piano"... as my parents both played in a band there for many years, (Mom, the piano, & Dad, the drums)... They played for many of the dances there in the old rec-hall... and everywhere in the area too....( mostly in "the old town hall", in Nucla ), but also places like Gateway, Norwood, and even Telluride, for the fourth of July... In fact you can probably still hear "Ole Lang Syne" echoing throughout the old Rec-hall!!! Along with the laughter of many residents, family, and friends of Uravan.... The church music, Christmas songs, and the minstrel shows, the music they used to play when we were there roller skating, and even the scary music they had for the haunted house they made in the basement ! Speaking of Halloween, Talk about loading up on the candy,( easy pickings when all you had to do is start at one end of the blocks and go through ), and then it was off to the rec-hall for even MORE candy, and the Halloween costume contest!! (And we never had to worry about getting any bad stuff either!!).... All, so planted in my heart! The labor Day Picnics were great too!! Swimming in Tabaguache creek, and inner-tubing down San Miguel river,.... Oh, and they even closed school down for a week, ( just for hunting season).... Now have you ever heard of any other place that does that? Uravan, was very unique! And to have been part of it all, makes me feel blessed, with the many riches, family, and friends that all lived there...
My sister, Jacque, (Jake) as she is better known now, lives in Arizona, (she just moved there recently), and My Brother Neland, lives in Edwards Colorado.... And all are doing well! I live in Alaska, and have been here for 27 years now.... Some of my friends here kid me about being "a girl from Nowhere", since Uravan is gone now....( It's still on the map though..... lol )... But hardly gone from so many of our minds and hearts, "Uravan Forever"!!!!!
My parents, (Jack and Margie), are gone now..... Mom, passed away in Nov. 1998, and Dad passed in May 2001, but, like the memory of Uravan, they will always live on, in my heart, forever!!!.... Sincerely, Roxanne (Kissinger) Defoe
P.S. And may I take this opportunity to say "Hi" to any of you that I knew growing up there...... And last, but certainly not least... "Hey", to all my old friends, Like.... Diane Anders, Jaki Mussetter, Vicki Anders, Darlene Reeves, Twyla Kraus, Karen, & Cathy Barela, all the Barnes kids, ( Billy was my first puppy love )..LOL.....Dee Dee Alred, Ruth Montano, Bobby Montano, Greg Layer, ...( the list goes on ), I pray that all your lives have prospered, and may God bless!
Thomas, Margie 1954 (birth) top^ My cousin and I were born in Uravan in 1954. My parents left there when I was 6 weeks old. I went back in 1980 or '81 and didn't see one person. It was on Sunday....maybe everyone was in church???? It was very strange. (Boardman) Smothers, Heidi 1954-1956 top^ Hi, my name is Heidi (Boardman) Smothers. My brother, Mike and I were born on September 26, 1954 in Uravan. We only lived there until 1956. I have two older brothers Ken and Bill and an older sister, Robin. My parents were Bob and Betty Boardman. I don't know exactly where we lived in Uravan. I have some wonderful pictures that were taken there when we were one or two years old. (Bauer) Hyde, Hazel 1954 - 1959 top^ My father Jack Bauer worked in the mill for Union Carbide around 1954 to 1959. He was 58 when he passed away.
My husbands brother Bill Hyde who worked in the same mill with my Dad. Bill lives in grand Junction Colorado now. We need to find proof that my Dad worked in the mill and how long and where I might find records.
Javernick, Michael 1954 (birth) - 1963, 1963 - 1970 Nucla top^ Wow, what a great page you have created. I lived in Uravan from birth (1954) until the time we moved to Nucla (1963). Lived in Nucla until 1970 but was always in the Uravan area with family visiting friends. We lived in the trailer park right by the highway. Recall fondly the fun times in that area. Whole block turning out for a water fight on warm summer nights. When I was 2 years old I fell into the river. Long way down stream I was plucked out. The reporter for the "Forum" newspaper, Jack DeKovand (sp) wrote up a short story about it. He was later my Jr. High shop teacher in Naturita.
My granddad, Matthew Javernick, leased a mine and did very well. It was up the hill from the mill area. My dad worked the hoist and I spent many summer days there exploring. Loved to see the ore cars come up out of the mine and dump in the big bin. Then the big trucks come by and fill up on their way to the mill. I would help my dad start all the air compressors each morning I was there. Was a good life for a kid.
I always visit the hanging flume when I am there and even foraged around and retrieved a fallen board for a keepsake. Have you ever explored that area of the flume? On the side away from the road are some ruins that are built of rocks and look pretty old. I have no idea what they are but fun.
If you are familiar with where the Uravan airport used to be, on top of the hill opposite the mill, we used to travel that road every weekend in good weather. At the end was the farm. ranch of Frosty and Maime Crabtree who were good friends. Visited the old indian ruins (National Monument) a few times. They had an awesome collection of arrowheads they had collected over the years. No electricity, plumbing or anything like that. Many a night I fell asleep in a rocking chair to kerosene lights and a warm wood stove.
Have so many memories of that place, thanks for giving it back to us all.
(Munkers) Borton, Debra 1954 - 1964 top^ Am I ever excited to have been shown your website! Mr. Leonard (Past Resident) happened to find me on the net one time via ICQ listing I had that showed my past in Uravan. I was contacted by him and recently another Uravanian. Both of them had never seen some of the pictures I'd found through a NARA search site. But yours are much more impressive, as I remember just mostly the town and a little of the housing across the river. We ended up living WAY up the hill way past the B mine. There used to be some camps up in the hills, Johnson's Camp. I left there when I was entering sixth grade.........I think that was in Sept of 1964. Until then I had lived there my entire life, except the first year was on top of Pikes Peak and born in Wilcox, AZ. So, the first year or so I was elsewhere. So I guess I was there from approx. 1954 to 1964. Anyway.......I remember the school and drugstore and all the things others are talking about on main street of town. My Dad worked for years at the gas station, I can't remember if it was before or after going to the mines. He also was a deputy sheriff for quite a while..........traveling the hills at night and checking the mines. I remember riding with him some nights curled up on the floorboard of the pickup sleeping the night away......(he was graveyard shift). Also, during my first grade year there, I was "crowned queen of Uravan". Was a big thing that was for me. I think the main ingredient to winning that crown was the fact that I'd saved the most pennies in a jar at school or something. I have pictures of all the entrants on the big flat bed truck.......and here I am, little poor plain Jane in my little dress compared to all the older students in their flowing white gowns. Now, that was a site to see me winning the crown over them??? I have no clue to this day, nor does my parents how I could've took that crown other than the pennies. I felt sorry for all those dressed up girls, but proud. We had even went home after the initial competition and the head of called Dad to bring me back cause I had won!! My parents were totally surprised!
Where we lived way up that winding bumpy road, I remember hating the bus trip to school and looking down the steep canyon thinking the bus was gonna fall off every time it tried to give room for uphill traffic. I remember having our own ice skating pond up by our house and we lived in the first of 3 houses on our little hill. Below the house was a mine, that I think, Dad ended up running by himself and a few others it seemed?? I remember him bringing Uranium into the house in a jar and us kids playing with the Geiger counter. We also had a generator for electricity that ran all the time and Mom hung the clothes out to dry.
I think I can remember maybe one name from when I was in school and that seems to stick with me as a Joan. I do remember the big Christmas concerts in the gym and baseball out past it in the playground area. Also played jacks and marbles with the guys. Oh! I just remembered the doctors name at the little Dr. office. He was Dr. Ellingwood..........I'm sure my 3 sisters were born there as Mom never labored much and had them quick. If I remember right we were lucky to get her off the hill and to Uravan fast enough, much less trying to make it to Grand Junction!! I remember traveling to Telluride for the annual fireworks and have never to this day seen such a brilliant display as they put on! My Dad was born in Cripple Creek. He is now dead, from cancer. Mom did get some kind of government settlement from his having worked so many hours in the mines. My uncle Dee also left the earth and his wife too got some settlement from them. Now, after reading your site and the one lady said that 4 in their family left with Thyroid problems, I'm wondering if that's why I have thyroid problems and also my mother?? I haven't convinced some of my sisters to get theirs checked, but one and she doesn't have the problem yet. I would be curious if there's other settlements out there for all us people who lived on those mines for so many years?? We used to haul our drinking water in big 500 gal tanks on our flatbed up to our big tank above our house. That water too was yucky! We got it from a pump station somewhere across the river from town......I think over by the housing areas best I can remember. I was only 11 when we left there, but memory's of area's are like pictures in my mind. I even took my first husband and I on a Harley back there on vacation one time. We rode that bumpy hill up and didn't know if we'd make it up, but found right where my home site used to be. At that time the town was still there, but the hill and camps where we lived were all torn down. Luckily they hadn't check the surrounding areas by our house where us kids played and by gosh I found some of our old toys we'd left behind here and there. This return trip was around 1973 or 74?
My uncle Dee worked in the mines also. Dee and my father Ray are last name of Munkers.
I remembered another "incident" at the school while looking at the pictures on your page I think........or maybe at the ones I have. I was in line headed out to the playground behind the school.........just getting near where the fence starts and some boy (not on purpose) threw some very rotten food he'd picked up somewhere........trying to throw it over the fence...........but he missed and it went directly up the wide sleeve of my very new, pretty heavy coat. I was in tears thinking the boy must have just ruined my brand new coat on purpose and remember the janitor taking me to his little room with the big sink tubs and cleaning my arm and coat up. He sent me to class and returned my coat later all dry. I was so thankful for him. I think the stuff that hit me must have been some old squash or pumpkin......something of that slimy rotten sort? I don't remember any teacher names......but remember the little rugs we napped on in kindergarten in the room in back facing the playground.
Long, Jason 1954-1965 top^ (Added 2010) We moved there in 1954 when I was about to start 8th grade. My mom taught 2nd grade till about 1965, but my dad spent only one year teaching in Uravan, then moved to the Upper Lavender School, south of Norwood. My bothers, Bruce, Wayne and myself all went to NCHS, along with Wayne's wife, Irene. I was shocked when I drove through Uravan several years ago and found only the boarding house and one other building standing. Miller, Dan 1954-1965 top^ My family lived in Uravan from 1954 to 1965. I went to the grade school there. I had Mrs. Long, Mrs. Dale, Mr. Dietrich, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Woods, Mr. Thigpen and Mrs. Nurka. I remember the underpass being built, and the gym. Went played basketball against Nucla, Naturita, Paradox, Norwood, and Telluride. We had a tournament for the grade schools. We lived in B35 I think. With the lilac circle, and the cherry trees in the superintendent's yard. We built forts, treehouses, bike paths, and played almost every night outside in the summer. there were always new kids in school and some left after a year or two. I swam in both pools. I was on a swimming team that went to Ouray, Montrose, Grand Junction, Delta and Durango.
I remember poison ivy down by the river, hiking on the cliffs, Red Canyon, the road to the airport. We had assemblies which included all sorts of people, like the guy that dipped a banana in liquid nitrogen and pounding a nail with it.
I remember when the road was paved in B block. There was an old pump house on the hill belong G bock, between B block and the flattops.
My mother worked with Dr. Peak and she had a clinic in one of the fat top buildings. My father worked in the office as the purchasing agent, O. E. Miller.
I read Tom Swift books from the library under the community center.
My older brother remembers playing basketball there. We watched movies there and had the Christmas and Halloween parties there. There were a number of kids in B block and we played "hide and go seek", or kick the can, or ride bikes. I sold the Nucla Forum walking from door to door, waiting for someone to find a dime for the paper.
When we first lived there, it was easier to go to Montrose than Grand Junction. I remember a rock slide one morning when we were heading toward Grand Junction and we all had to turn back. I remember the road construction every summer as the pavement inched toward completion.
There were cookouts at people's houses and at night we would roast marshmallows.
As a child, Uravan was a fantasyland. We were told that soon we would all have flying cars, unlimited energy, and what was mined there would be the start of it all. On the other side of that, I remember the stuff that was dumped in the river from the mill, and that smell from the mill.
There was a man that had a ham radio and I used to go listen to him talk to people from other places. radio koma at night
(Murray) Veenstra, Janet 1954 - 1972 top^ I was born in Uravan in 1954 and lived there until high school graduation in 1972. Dr. Berman delivered me at the Uravan Clinic. My parents were Bob and Myra Murray and I had two older sisters, Carolyn and Sherry and an older brother, Bobby (or Robb as we now call him). I also lived there for a short period of time with my first husband, Doug Goodwin in 1974 and 1975.
My last visit to Uravan was in approximately 1985 or 1986 - houses were still standing in most areas but had no windows or doors, the buildings downtown were still there but the street was blocked off by a locked gate. The 3-bedroom house we lived in looked like a playhouse and even the streets seemed narrow and made us wonder how two cars ever passed each other on them.
A lot of people have written about their memories of the swimming pool, and sledding, ice-skating, roller-skating, the ballpark, etc. - I too share those same memories. Debbie Ackerson and I used to go up on the "hill" behind F Block and slide down the chutes in the slickrock so much that we wore the butt out of every pair of jeans we had.... they'd get patched and we'd wear out the patches. Mildred Relaford made the best homemade bread in town - Zed Miller was the best school lunch cook ever and she made those wonderful lunch/dinner rolls....can't believe she made them almost every day, too. She was also our neighbor for many years and I have a lot of fond memories of her and her family.
What better place to be a child? We could run, and jump, and scream and holler - explore the rocks, the river, the creeks and see and learn firsthand about mice, and lizards, and birds, and ducks, and even snakes not to mention deer, rabbits, prairie dogs, badgers, raccoons, weasels....all kinds of wildlife (some of it human!). Did you know that people actually buy prairie dogs for pets now? We got dirty, we got wet, we got cut, scraped, bruised, sunburned and we wore ourselves out - and then we got up and did it again the next day.
Uravan helped make us all the people we are today. It was a harsh but magical place and all of us who grew up there carry it with us every day in everything we do.
(Lowrance) McDermott, Memory 1954 - 1973 top^ I was born in the Uravan clinic in 1954 and lived in Uravan until 1973 when I graduated from high school. My dad and mom were Walt and Betty Lowrance. Everyone in Uravan called me Sis. I think I thought that was my name for many years. I still have dreams of Uravan. Sometimes I wake up and think that I am still playing "kick the can". I am now living in Houston Texas and soon to be living in Austin Texas. I have a book coming out by the end of this year titled "TEA FOR TWO" Natures Apothecary. Because of circumstances in my life, my name has been changed (for over 20 years now) to Memory McDermott. I am also in the middle of writing another book about my life and would appreciate ANY pictures of Uravan and events that anyone would like to email to me along with permission to use them in the book. Uravan will be at least a full chapter in my book so I would enjoy anything I can get. Please feel free to add my email address to my letter.
I loved Uravan and I look back often and realize how good we all had it as "Union Carbide babies":) I always thought that it was funny that most people hung out with whoever was in the block they lived in. (small gangs in Uravan) I wanted to say hi to Debbie Ackerson, Janet Murray, Dena Pollard and Twyla Kraus if they stop by.
Cadman, LeRoy 1954 (birth) - 1974 top^ Hi. I was checking out the Uravan sites. Thought I'd write to you. I was born in Uravan in 1954 and lived there till I graduated from Nucla High in 1974. When I left there we were living in G 13. There are lots of memories in my head about Uravan.
LeRoy Cadman passed away January 8,2000 after a long Battle with cancer His Father Gayle E. Cadman Passed away on October 19, 1999.
Massey, Jim 1954 - 1957, 1967 - 1974 top^ I first lived in Uravan from 1954 until late 1957. I returned again in 1967 and stayed until mid 1974. The last four years I was Plant Supt. In 1985 I retired after 31 years service with Union Carbide. A great Company.
You have the facts right in the web page and the pictures are great. This is a very nice tribute. Thanks for your efforts in this remembrance.
Huskey, Mike 1954-???? Grand Junction top^ For the most part I grew up in Grand Junction, having moved there as a year-old child in 1954. My father owned a tool company (drill bits) which serviced the rigs in and around the Colorado Plateau. I spent a great deal of time driving and flying with him through that area. Later, "grown up", I worked for various drilling companies in the 70's and 80's and very frequently found myself driving down 141 and through Uravan. I remember early on the lights on the conveyors late at night when I drove through. There was just something about that town that was hauntingly nostalgic to me. It was always a high point in my drives to Cortez, or Monticello, or Farmington. Somehow, I just felt like I was transported into another world, and let me say, it wasn't a bad world. There are only one or two other places that manage to evoke that kind of strange, wonderful feeling in me.
Later on, sometime in the late 80's or early 90's, I drove through and all the homes were sitting near the highway where they'd been moved after being uprooted, and then later still, I drove through and it was ALL gone. It was so strange - I felt like I'd lost part of my life, this even though I'd never lived or worked in Uravan. I knew it was going to come down, but I always hoped that it would become some kind of museum city. I can hardly imagine how the people that lived and worked there feel.
Starks, Vere (Bud) 1955 - 1956 Naturita top^ I lived in Naturita Colorado 1955, 1956. I came down there 1955 with Inland construction co we widened the road for 5 or 6 miles toward gateway (1956). I worked for Shattuc & Denn Uranium Mine about 4 or 5 miles up in the hills from Uravan, south I think. Met and married my wife of many years, now deceased. I was in Naturita for a couple of days in 1993, one car on the street and a couple of dogs. Certainly not the boom town of the 50s. Those days you couldn't find room at the bar for a beer.
I'm 73 yrs now, live 25 miles s/w St Louis MO. Thought you might appreciate a little history. And thanks for the pictures of Uravan & for maintaining the web site.
McDonald, Patrick 1955-1957 top^ (Added 2010) We moved to Uravan in ~ 1955 and were there for roughly 18 months. Venger, Jack 1955 - 1958 top^ (Added 2010) I went to school in Uravan 1955 - 1958? and lived in A-9. Vickie Sharp (Turner) was a school mate & neighbor. During the above years my father Bob Loebe was safety engineer at Union Carbide in Uravan. Aulbaugh, Randy 1955 - 1960 top^ I was just devastated when my husband and I drove up over Longs Park this last summer. I lived at the La Salle Mine from 1952 (approx) to 1960 (approx) when we moved to Jamestown, CO. My name is Susan Klatt Aulbaugh (Susan Klatt when I lived there), I live now in Irving, TX. My Dad, Carl Klatt and wife Clio Klatt worked at the La Salle Mine, I have two brothers Rick and Milton. When we lived there I remember the family's of Roy & Hazel Rich who's children were Bill, Jeannine, Jeanette and Frankie. The Deserie Family, Polly and Wilma and their Mom who I remember seeing in Delta in later years. The Yorks, I remember Mr. York passing away Rose York and their son's Davy and Danny. I remember the Allen & Sally Strain, their daughters were Georgia and Beverly. I saw Beverly and Georgia in Paonia Co at my Mom's funeral in 1995 and several years after at the 4th of July in Paonia Co, which is where I was born. I remember a Freddie Hubbard who was older than we were. My Mom and Dad were both raised in the Paonia area. Beverly married Dee Munkers and now lives in Montana.
I read an article in your column from a Munkers relative. Georgia married Darrell still lives in Paonia, Co. My Dad, Carl Klatt now lives in Crawford, Colorado and has been on Oxygen since 1995, he also has silicosis from Uranium mining and is now 81. My brother Rick and I both have tumors on our Thyroid glands, which I read some other residents also have problems with. Would like to hear more on this also. I read a note from a Morlang in your column, I remember a Donna Morlang, who was about my age. I also remember a Sharon Snow and a Beth Snow who lived farther up the hill from the La Salle Mine. There were also a pair of twins who lived down the hill from our mine, named Donald and Ronald. I remember friends Kathryn Little, Patty Borden, Gordon Aumiller and Suzanne Allred. Noticed a Suzi Allred who left her memories of Uravan, would love to know if she's the same one. I was born in 1949 so started school in 1955 in Uravan until we moved to Jamestown, Colorado in 1960. Just reading from other residents of Uravan, has brought back a flood of great memories.
Genes, Milton 1955 - 1962 top^ Only recently found out about your Uravan website. What a treasure to have and to hold. One day I may print out the entire site.
I lived and worked in Uravan (geologist) from April 1955 to April 1962. One day soon I will make a contribution to the appropriate page. There are many names not mentioned there because maybe they don't know about it.
I have been searching to beg, borrow, copy, steal, whatever, the film, "The Petrified River." It was made by the Atomic Energy Commission, in conjunction with Union Carbide Nuclear Co, (or vice versa) around 1956-1957, and was "The Story Of Uranium." There was much footage taken in and around Uravan, in the field, underground in the mines, and in the mill. Not much was left out. It followed the yellowcake concentrate to Oak Ridge, through the gaseous diffusion process, the making of bombs, and the future peacetime uses of nuclear energy. The film is in color with sound, and runs about a half hour. It was available on loan from the Bureau of Mines in Wash. D.C.
(Patterson) Everitt, Carly 1955 - 1965 top^ (Added 2010) My mom is also trying to figure out when my grandmother, her mother, worked at the boarding house in Uravan. Do you know of anyone who has those kinds of records? Thanks in advance for everything, and feel free to share the following, along with my e-mail address……?/td> Woodley, Melva Miller 1955 - 1985 top^ I found this really neat page to bring back many memories of good times, good people and to shed a few tears in remembrance of all that was and never will be again. The one main thing I remember is that we knew who was moving to Uravan before they came and they were family when they left. The good far outweighs the bad that happened there and I will always consider Uravan as home.
I moved there in 1955, left for a short while in '66 and eventually settled there until March of 85 when they were moving everyone out. It was so neat to read the stories of other people and see what they remembered and I couldn't help but laugh at the lemons and fire sticks as to this day I still like them and people tease me about where I ever came up with such a weird taste. Have a great day and please keep this on the net.
Fullmer, Owen 1956 - ???? top^ My Dad (Ladd Fullmer) brought us to Naturita around 1956 from Dove Creek. He ran the truck yard for Superior Transportation just west of Naturita, below Glover Pools place. In 1960 we moved to Uravan, didn't live in town but on a side road to the old ball park. There was a little residential area there with a contract machine shop and the truck yard owned by Macfarland and Hullinger whom my Dad had transferred from Naturita with. Some names I recall are Gary and Willy Miller, Bunch Wilson, Bryce and Blake Cleghorn who all lived near by and we walked to school together. I remember a truck losing its brakes while parked one evening and it rolled down the hill, loaded with uranium ore, barely missing some houses and ended upside down off of a cliff and in to the San Miguel river. This made the local newspaper as my mom still has the article with picture. My Dad spent several days with a bulldozer and built a huge berm all the way around the yard so that could not happen again. He fired the driver for not chocking his wheels and I remember my brother and I thinking how cruel it was for that driver to lose his job with family and all. I'm sure my Dad had no choice and it was never discussed. There were at times up to 20 trucks hauling ore to the Union Carbide Mill. There was a nasty road they wandered and switch backed down from a mountain out of Bedrock where the mines were. We had a two - way radio base station in our home that could hear the drivers talk and they called often with breakdowns, crashes, you name it. My Dad was always gone on some rescue.
Some favorite memories: The Norwood invitational wrestling tournament in grade school, my first girl friend, Elk hunting up at Lone Pine Mt., Deer hunting around Paradox, turkey hunting out of Nucla, terrific school carnivals at the rec. hall (lots of good prizes), scavenging at the dump, shooting 22 ammo, fishing the river, and Tabaquache creek (my Mom would even fry up those orange bellied squaw fish just like we didn't know any better). Boy scout hikes above the frog pond, baseball practice and those competitive games with Telluride, Nucla, Norwood, Naturita and going to the Montrose tournament. I've read Wayne Doves' name and was reminded of playing baseball with his son. He also was the first person to show me how to hang and swing from a horizontal bar (his clothes line pole). Small motor scooters were awfully popular back then (about $450.00 brand new) as one could get a Colo. license at the age of 14. Every young boy it seems had a Honda or Cushman or Yamaha. My brother Keith and I had a dream to one day have Harleys' and travel the country. We did just that this last summer and went through the old stomping grounds. It's a little bit eerie to see a part of the past that is wiped off of the earth. We've both joined the museum in Naturita in hope to help preserve some of the good memories.
One year the ice pack from the river dammed up down in the canyon and the river almost flooded town. There was ice on the river banks for months afterwards.
My father stopped his truck at the Bedrock store one day to find the store owner tied-up and gagged and left by some daring do robbers. As I recall the proprietor was a fairly heavy guy and laying down in an uncomfortable position had almost killed him. He didn't trust people much after that.
My sixth grade teacher in Uravan was a Mr. Diedrich. He influenced me as much as anyone to try hard at all things worth trying. I remember being terrified of the principal (Mr. Workman) and well I should have been, after feeling the wide end of his paddle more than once. I also remember a Mr. Thompson (Myrle C. Thompson died 1984 at El Paso, TX; was 51) for being a gentle giant.
Carter, Paul 1956-???? top^ (Added 2010) I was born in Uravan on March 23rd 1956. My name is Paul Carter. My Mother was born an Elmer, Daughter of Tom Elmer of Nucla. Don Elmer and Dale Elmer are my Uncles and Donna Elmer (who I see has posted a short bio) is my Cousin. I haven't seen her or her sister in many years so was nice to at least see that she is out there somewhere. My Mother and Father moved to Washington state when I was two but we visited almost every summer. I love the area and have always said that someday I'd return for good. My last time back was after my Grandfather Tom Elmer passed away. I see now that the entire town is gone. Sad for me to see. I am 54 now and still come to tears when I think of that town and the area. My heart aches to return. Thanks for all your time and effort to this wonderful place. (Scott) Gibson, Julie 1956 - 1960 top^ We lived there when I was in 7th grade and had Miss Petty for a teacher. (What an old battle ex she was!) Then my dad, Marshall Scott, was transferred to Craig, Colo., and we came back again when I was in 9th grade. We were bussed up to Nucla for high school then.
My brother, Craig Scott found your site and sent me the link to it. It has been terrific fun to look at all the photos and remember that incredible place in an incredible time. It was almost like a Camelot, nowhere like it and never will be again.
How I would love to find some of the kids I knew back then! The kids I remember are Deanne Hiett, Connie Wilden, Raymond Fox, Carolyn Murray, Jimmy Kissinger, Carol Ausmus, Beverly Sanderson, Carol Borden, Betty Tooker, and Charlotte something.
We lived in G block and my dad was one of the few in town who was allowed to have a telephone. I used to love to make mud houses up behind the block, catch and play with the Horned Toads that lived there, go play at the frog pond, and climb around the rocks and the cliffs that went up to where the "airport" was. One funny memory I have of the frog pond was the day that Beverly Sanderson was going to beat me up there. I think I got scared and ran home. LOL!
Wish I could go there sometime just to sit and remember, and wish I could find some of those kids who are now as old as I am. Ours was the class of 62, although my dad was again transferred, and this time to Riverton, Wyo., in the middle of my sophomore year.
I would love to reconnect with old friends from Uravan and wondered if you could assist. Most particularly I would like to connect with Raymond Fox, Betty Tooker, and Carolyn Murray. Oh, and Carol Borden.
And how I would love to find some of the kids from my class that I went to school with in 6th grade to half way through our sophomore year at Nucla High. My dad was Marshall Scott and Union Carbide sent him to the Gas Hills in Wyo. my sophomore year. I lost touch with all of the people from Uravan at that time. I was in the class of 62 and my 5 year younger brother was Craig Scott. How I would also love to go back and visit the site of what once was.
Blakey, Gilbert 1956 - 1960 top^ (Added 2010) I Lived in Uravan from 56 to 60.
Blakey's; Elmer and Emma, Kathy, Elmer JR. (Guy), Glenn and Gilbert.
Lots of good times.
Scott, Craig 1956 - 1961 top^ (Added 2010) Last summer we drove through the town site and I was heart-broken to see no trace of the town left.
My name is Craig Scott and I lived in Uravan from the summer of 1956 to mid-winter of 1961. My parents were Marshall and Felice Scott and I have one sister, Julia who is five years older than I. We briefly left Uravan in 1957 to live in Craig, CO when my father was transferred by Union Carbide to work at their open-pit operations near Maybell but we were transferred back to Uravan after less that a year in Craig.
Both times in Uravan we lived on G-block. We lived next door to Larry Sheafer's family and across the street from the Culps and Keatings (who occupied the same house in succession). Other neighbors were the Tookers, Milt and Helen Genes, Wally and Arlene Frick (family friends who like us had moved from the lead and zinc mines in northern Washington), Bob and Carmen Caster who later moved to Riverton, Wyoming as did we and also Bob and Jo Guilinger. My parents' closest friends in Uravan, Gordon and Marie Irvine had also came from Washington. I have a lot of great memories of my school days in Uravan, second through fifth grades. My second grade teacher was Mrs. Long. I had Miss Corine Johnson for third, Mrs. Madison for fourth and Mrs. Rapp for fifth grade. Our principal was a young man named Mr. Pelican. Mr. Shoemaker taught us music and lived in the apartment complex in Vancorum.
Lots of memories of Cub Scout Pack meetings in the rec hall, movies at night, the Uranium drive-in, fishing in the frog pond, Scout camping trips up on the mesa above the airport, cutting Christmas trees in the forest near the Lone Cone south of Norwood, playing cowboys and indians on the red rocks above the San Miguel river. The town doctor was David Berman who with his wife Bunny also lived on G-Block. They moved to Denver before we left Uravan and was succeeded by Dr Ellinwood who soon moved to Grand Junction shortly after we had moved to Wyoming. Dad was still with Union Carbide and worked at the Gas Hills mine near Riverton. We eventually moved to Grand Junction in 1965 where I finished high school with lots of kids from Uravan. My mother hated Uravan and felt trapped there, but it was a great place to be as a kid. Dad was an avid hunter and fisherman and he and I had some great times in southwest Colorado while living there. Lots of good times in the summer with much time spent in Telluride long before the first ski ever appeared there! I currently live in Colorado Springs with my second wife and her two sons. I have three grown children by my first marriage.
McClain, Glenda 1956 (birth) - 1964 top^ My name is Glenda McClain and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your web site on Uravan, Colorado. I can't tell you how many times I have looked at this website, in fact, it is on my favorites both at home and at work. There are many days at lunch I get on the internet and go to Uravan.com to escape a stressful morning--I go to escape and remember a simpler time. You see, I too am one of those without our hometown of Uravan, Colorado. I was born in November of 1956 (parents: Bob and Audrey McClain) and lived in Uravan until April of 1964. My dad was laid off at the mill so we moved to Texas where most of his family lived, but we would always go back to Uravan every year on vacation. I have so many wonderful memories of my childhood in Uravan. We lived several places (trailer park, the flat tops, B Block, and finally J Block). My grandparents (Glen and Evelyn Ray) lived on G Block, along with my aunt and uncle (Ken and Onice McClain). My other aunt and uncle and cousins (Jerry, Sherry, Kathy and Jimmy Ray) lived on H Block.
Some of my memories are of the old wooden swinging bridge that I use to scare me so badly as a small child, going fishing in the frog pond across from G Block, spending a lot of time at the swimming pool, walking to school in the snow, cherry cokes at the drug store and a much simpler time when you could leave your house unlocked and the keys in your car. It breaks my heart when I thing about Uravan not being there any longer. But thanks to you and your website/memorial to Uravan, it will never be forgotten. I have lived in Texas 40 years now, but Uravan will always be my home. Now, it is only a place that I can visit on your website and in my memories. Texas is now my home, but Uravan Colorado will always have my heart.
Bland, Mardell Sanders 1956 (birth) - 1972 top^ Hi, my name is Mardell Sanders Bland. I was born in Uravan in 1956 and lived there until 1972. I live in Eureka Springs, AR now. My parents are Dave and Eleanor Sanders.
It is a little strange that Uravan is gone. I loved growing up there. I miss the people and I wish my kids could have grown up in a town with the sense of community we had there. I remember being part of the rifle team, Sunday School, the little library, dances, Brownies, weddings, funerals, Christmas parties, Halloween carnivals, and movies - all in the Rec Hall.
We lived on B block and there were lots of lilacs in the little park across the street from our house. We swam practically every day in the pool and hiked a lot on the hills. It was a good childhood. I hope your experience there was as rich as mine.
Dorzweiler, Twyla 1956 - 1973 top^ Your site is a real treat for me. I keep trying to tell people what it was like, but I think your pictures tell it better than I can. I was raised in Uravan. My parents are Jake and Ferne Kraus. I have a brother named Gilbert Kraus, and my sister's name is Charlene Annette. I'm not sure how long my dad was the electrician at the mill - I think about forty years. I, personally, lived there from 1956 to 1973 or so.
I have the fondest memories of the old underpass on the school grounds. It was made of concrete, and took students from the main school building, under the street and over to the gymnasium, playground, and a most awesome sledding hill. (yes, it really DID snow there when we were children!) We lived next to the school, so of course, all types of "stunts" were tried. I only remember one accident on the steps there, and I use the word accident very loosely: I once pushed my brother's trike down the concrete steps - with him on it!
Growing up there was an absolute joy. When I lived there, Union Carbide was running things (before Umetco). We had an Olympic-sized modern swimming pool, tennis courts, and many of the finishing touches of a quaint community of comfortable people. The canyon walls surrounding the town were the challenge of every ten-year-old who ever lived there. Such a bounty of things to see and do! Almost any young adult raised there, had the opportunity to work for an above average hourly wage, rent a home for less than the cost of a tank of gas (with today's prices) each month, and settle in to a life just as his/her parents had.
I'll always remember best the springs there. Easter was a time of new yellow dresses for my sister and me, baby rabbits with custom bonnets (courtesy of dear ol' mom), and lilacs. My mother grew prolific columbines and hollyhocks. Those are the things I remember about Uravan. In our travels back to Colorado (since moving to Alaska in 1996), we have taken the highway from Whitewater to Uravan, then down the dirt road leading to Paradox, past the confluence of the Dolores and San Miguel Rivers. What I wish for most is to see the river banks restored to it's original plant life. Allowing the river to return to it's wild and intrepid state will make any journeys anyone takes in the future, absolutely spectacular.
OH one other thing I'd like to see someone do (heck, maybe I'll do it myself next time through) is to rebuild the three crosses on the switchbacks along the highway to Gateway. Our community church held Easter Sunrise Services there each year and it was always special. I sang in a group which consisted of Marilyn Massey, Leanne Tooker, and a variety of other teenagers through the years. We sang harmony at the Sunrise Services and it was always the most moving experience to me: the sun rising over the redrocks, the sound of the river in the canyon below, and that awesome smell of an early spring morning. The breeze would carry our voices - usually in perfect harmony - all through the canyon surrounding us.
I spent most of my childhood in the rec hall. We were active members of the nondenominational church where I sang in the choir and played my little chord organ once in awhile. My dad also had a roller rink on the main floor on Friday and Saturday nights, and on Sunday afternoons in the wintertime. It was such a cool social world for all of us kids! We had an indoor shooting range in the bottom of the building, and just outside the range room was a large open room with two big support columns. My dad and brother had those types of cars where they would tether them to the big supports and go around and around!
The town was green back then. Everyone had trees and lawns, and the streets were paved and maintained. Where there wasn't pavement, there was thick gravel (I have LOTS of scars on my knees from skidding on my bike in that gravel!!). It was a beautiful life for a child. I have a feeling it wasn't so bad for the adults either.
Maybe we could have a reunion at the old ball parks outside of town towards Naturita. Who knows? There used to be a small park there, you know. It was under the shade of several large cottonwoods and elms. I could go on and on!
Thank you again for such a wonderful ending to a beautiful sunny Alaskan day!
Mathew, if you don't mind, I'd like to put a link to your site on my website, which is www.lifeinalaska.com. This is something I'd like to share with everyone! I would welcome contact with anyone else from the town of Uravan or the surrounding area towns.
Pierson- Wiseman, Sandra 1956 - 1974 top^ What a wonderful place to live. Our family first lived in the Flattops and I remember the horrible tasting water. Then we moved to the qouent huts. From there we moved to E block, what great neighbors the Colcord family was. I spent many summer nights playing devil on the door step while living in this block. From there we moved to H block. Uravan was the only place in the whole world that you could swim all summer long 5 days a week 3 times a day for less than $3.00, and even buy a ice cream cone for 5 cents.
Even the bus rides every day 15 miles to high school were fun, that is if you got a seat by the heater, never did have much home work, but brought home a lot of books so I could save seats. It seemed that while I was in good ole Nucla High School my mom would always know my grades before I got home, finally I figured out she also knew Mr Belden and forget the idea of ditching cause Mr Belden was the bus driver and would always ask where you where the next morning.
This past year my brother Robert (Bob) have lost both our parents, but we still feel a close connection to Uravan. Uravan will always have a very special place in my heart, and it is very hard to go back and find only a ghost town. I hope to see a lot of the kids that use to live in Uravan at the class reunion that Gladys Tovera talked about in the first part of this section.
Sheley, LeeAnn Tooker 1956 - 1970, 1975 - 1979, 1970 - 1974 Nucla top^ I lived there 1956-1970 where we then moved to Nucla to live until I graduated from High School in 1974. My dad continued to work there as a security guard as they were tearing it down. I worked on the Uravan yard crew and at the Uravan Medical Clinic, went away to college, married and moved back in 1975-1979. My husband took a job in the Mill. My oldest daughter was born in Grand Junction (had to travel there to have her). She got to swim in the wadding pool as a baby! We moved in 1980 to Wyoming to work in another Uranium site until they closed. We are now living back again in Grand Junction after having our own business in northwestern Colorado for 14 years.
We have not been able to find the community spirit that Uravan had, as I remember growing up. What a wonderful place . As the other past residents mentioned, there was the wooden swing bridge ( I was so glad when they built the new metal one) Older boys would bounce the wooden one and scare the little kids! I remember the elementary school and remember when it had been a junior high and high school. That ended as I was just old enough then had to be bused to Naturita. I remember the school spirit. We were the Uravan Panthers and wore green and white. I remember the lemons with the fire kisses in the middle. They were sold at concession stands. I remember great school lunches, the underground walkway where we sometimes skinned our knees on the grates when we did not walk and hold hands. How about those air release pipes as you walked behind the warehouse?. When you were little they made you jump! Remember the hikes on the side of the canyons behind G block and C block, the frog pond, the indian bath tubs, the community church, and stopping at the drug store on the way home from school.? The Christmas parties, the Halloween parties, roller skating, swimming ( the chocolate and butterscotch shushes), the swimming lessons, the friendly neighbors who would talk across the fence to each other , the great gardens and fruit that would grow? Little League games at the ballpark, rock hunting, driving up to the airport, carving your name in the sand rock by the painted Dinosaur. Special, special times and memories.
I was able to see it be torn down section by section. Took pictures of our lot in A block with the sidewalk still intact with the hopscotch game in the concrete. Our big towering cottonwood tree lay nearby in sawed off sections beside it. The post office became the security house where my dad worked till he retired. I saw the old houses parked over by the coke ovens along the highway and my husband saw them in smoldering ashes one day as he was passing by. The recreation hall (where my husband and I got married 24 years ago) still remains and so does the boarding house. Tom will say, "I got married in a roller skating rink and have been going around and around ever since!".
P.S. I just attended LeRoy Cadman's funeral on thursday (1/13/00). He was a friend all through elementary, junior high and high school. Loving sympathy to his family.
(Hilleary) Carner-Garlitz, Jackie 1957 - 1963 top^ I was told about your website by my cousin, who lives in Nucla. She thought I would be interested in it, and she was right. My name is Jackie (Hilleary) Carner, and I lived in Uravan as a little girl. We moved there in 1957 and lived next to the school house in E Block, E-5 I think. I remember all of my neighbors: Benedicts, Warrens, Kraus', Gregory's, Colcords, Pearsons, Hollingsheads (before their house burned down). It was a great place to grow up. I learned to ride a bike in front of my house. I spent more time at the swimming pool in the summer than anywhere else. I loved to go hiking up the canyons above town. I got in trouble more than once sneaking down to the canal behind my house. I started Kindergarten there and left just after the start of the 5th grade. Mrs. Long was my 2nd grade teacher and Mr. Workman was the principle. I remember the year the river froze over with ice so thick that when it broke up-river and started moving down the canyon, we thought it would take out the bridge.
My dad, Ken Hilleary, was the surveyor for Union Carbide for all of the surrounding areas. He worked with Jim Borden and Harold Stephens, just to mention a few. He was transferred to Bishop, Calif. in 1963, where we stayed until he died of cancer in 1969. Then we moved back to Grand Junction with my mother, Ruby, so my sister, Donna, and I could finish school.
After getting married and having one child, in 1974, I went to work for Union Carbide in Grand Junction at the lab. We were responsible for analyzing all of the Uravan mill samples, mine samples, environmental water and air samples, etc. I became acquainted with many of the people who lived and worked in Uravan over a period of 10 years. When the lab was closed down in 1985, I moved over to the main office and began working with the safety and environmental departments. The list of people that I worked with connected with the Uravan offices and the surrounding mines is too long to possibly list. I worked there until 1998, watching every detail of the dismantling and decommissioning of the mill, the town, the offices. It was a sad thing to watch where I grew up and what provided my occupation for so many years to be torn down piece by piece. I have a lot of great memories from that little town, both good and bad.
Ferganchick, Jim 1957 - 1964 top^ My father, Tony Ferganchick, worked in a mine up there during the time period of 1957-1964, selling uranium ore to Union Carbide. He is now ill with lung disease and we are trying to get a claim for him for that. However, we cannot find any of the documentation that shows he worked there during that time, because we can not come up with the name of the mine. (Chadd) Grey-Weatherby, Joyce Ann 1957-1965 top^ I was researching information on morality of Uravan, CO when I came across this Website. I lived in Uravan from 1957 until 1965 when my dad, Harold James Chadd died. I still think about Uravan from time to time and often wonder about the people I attended school with. A name which comes to mind is Vickie Anderson; we were playmates until I moved to Grand Junction after dad passed away. (Piburns) Waltz, Renee
[Robert & Marion Piburns daughter]
1957 - 1965 top^ Just something F.Y.I....I was not a resident in Uravan but my parents lived there from 1957-1965 (I wasn't even born yet) My mothers name is Marion Piburn, she was married to my father Robert (Bob) Piburn they were good friends of Glenn (Dutch) and Ludean Smith. My Father died of cancer several years ago and many of the people he knew who worked for Union Carbide are ill or have passed away. I was wondering if you all were familiar with the "Radiation Exposure Compensation Act"? Legislation was passed to reimburse uranium workers for illness or death from exposure to radiation in the workplace. For more information contact senator Campbell's office 970-241-6631 or R.E.C.A. 1-800-729-7327.
I had no idea of what the little town was all about thanks for informing me.
(Wyatt) Layne, Patti
1957 - 1959, 1962 - 1966 top^ Patti (Wyatt) Layne
What a joy it is to see that others remember life in Uravan fondly. We first moved to Uravan in 1957 when I was 2. My younger brother was born there in September of 1957. My father was an engineer with Union Carbide and we were then transferred to Casper, Wyoming, then back to Uravan where Dad was the plant manager. I went to school 1st through 5th grade there, before moving to West Virginia.
It was a special, innocent time growing up in Uravan. It was if we were isolated from the real world. One TV channel beamed in to us. Difficulty even getting radio transmissions.
Uravan was a great place to live and play unfettered in the canyons. Lord, if my parents ever knew half of what we did they would kill us. During our stints in Uravan we lived in A block, G block, and finally B block. I remember:
- The swinging bridge and then the metal bridge.
- Wondering every morning as we walked to school what color the river was going to be.
- Huck Finn Day at the Frog Pond.
- The new swimming pool.
- Roller skating at the Rec Center.
- Stopping buy the Drug Store everyday for a soda.
- Sucking on Lemon's with a Jolly Rancher in the middle.
- The Labor Day picnic at the ball park.
- Play Old Timers Baseball in Telluride when it always sleeted in July.
- Playing cowboys and Indians in the canyons above G Block.
- Sliding down to B Block on the metal water pipe from G Block.
- Sneaking apples, cherry's, and raspberries from the neighbors yards at night.
- Walking to school through the plant on the crosswalk.
- Going with the Boy Scouts to cut down Christmas trees near Norwood.
- Sneaking under the highway in the culvert to get to the frog pond.
- Lying in the yard at night to see Echo fly over.
- The drive to Grand Junction...Modby Dick.....The Bishop formation.....birthing of the spring lamb.
- The smell of lilacs that grew everywhere on B Block, especially in the circle outside my home.
- Raising baby birds that fell out of the cottonwoods when the limbs were trimmed.
I, my husband, and brother (the one born in Uravan) last visited Uravan in 1989. The town was pretty much deserted at that time, but mostly intact. We went up on the canyon rode that led to the "airport" and stopped to sit on the canyon and look down on the place. My brother Robert had tears in his I. Me, I had a lump in my throat and pain in my heart. A few years later, Robert returned to what was now a ghost town. So ironic that Uravan is now on of the hundreds of ghost towns that helped form Colorado.
Thank you for the chance to see that others think of Uravan too. It will never truly die.
Frank Wyatt [father]
My wife, Lois and I and family (Barbara, John, and Patti) came to Uravan in February 1957 from Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Union Carbide Nuclear Division, successor to U.S. Vanadium (a unit of Union Carbide )had just completed the expansion of the original plant by building "B" Plant on the upper level of the site. "A Plant, the original plant, had also been expanded to increase the processing capacity of the site. I worked about 3-4 months as a Shift Foreman and then switched to Plant Metallurgist (Process Engineer).
We first lived in house A-1, and shortly moved to G-2. A-1 was located almost directly across the river from the Power House. The Power House routinely blew down the boilers every hour, the result of which was aloud roar for perhaps a half minute. At first we were mortified by the din, but soon found if you just raised your voice and shouted you could continue a conversation. That promoted the move to G-2.
In '57 the Plant Superintendent was Roy Van Zante, a fine gentleman. Some time that year he was replaced by another fine boss, Al Sada, who came from the Bishop, California tungsten mine and mill. It was he that insisted that a fenced walkway be built along the river bank so kids walking to school would be off the dangerous company street as much as possible. Al Sada also replaced the swinging bridge with the metal bridge.
September 22, 1957 the town doctor, Dr. Dave Berman delivered our youngest son, Rob, in the Uravan "hospital". I believe that Rob was the last birth in that facility. Earlier that evening there was a wonderful display of the Northern Lights. As a matter of fact we worried that there might be a range fire up on the airport mesa because of the aura in the sky in that direction.
In mid-'58 I was transferred to the Globe Mining Company project as Mill Superintendent. This was to build from-the-ground-up a uranium processing plant to treat low-grade ore from the open pit mines in the Gas Hills of Wyoming. After ten months, my family and I relocated to Casper, Wyoming. During the ten months most of my time was spent away from Uravan.
Three years in Wyoming -I worked for Plant Superintendent Ken Lentz for a year, and then Ken left. For the record, Ken Lentz had been Asst. Superintendent at Uravan before we arrived in Uravan. Ken had been on the Montrose County School Board, and had been instrumental in getting the school and gym built in Uravan. He told me he had "bootlegged" the tunnel or Subway under the road at the school without the School Board's Knowledge which was a controversial subject that almost resulted in his ouster from the school board. As Uravan expanded in 1956-57, there also was a plant built at Maybell, Colorado, and Ken had been moved there as Plant Superintendent. Ken passed away in 1999 in California.
We went back to Uravan in 1962 where I was Plant Superintendent until August, 1966. In 1964 our third daughter, Martha was born in Grand Junction. In '66 we were transferred to another division in Charleston, West Virginia. In 1989 I finally retired after 38 years with the company.
We had many good friends while in Uravan. It was a place where it was easy to make friends and to be friends. One memory, sort of an odd one, comes from about 1964 when the union we had at the plant in Uravan went on strike. There was a long and serious set of negotiations with the committee which included on their side Bill Gregory and Jack Kissinger. The strike was a severe blow to the town, the company and the workers. It was undoubtedly, in one regard, the most porous strike line ever. The picket line set up at the head of the company street across the intersection from the Boarding House. Everyone, and I mean everyone, had to go through the picket line to get their mail at the post office which sat 20 yards past the line. And the strikers had to let one and all go through. We weren't running the plant so it wasn't much of a factor, more like an effort to the workers.
Some of our friends have already commented to this page, and many have passed on to the big deposit in the sky. To mention some, to recall for others, and certainly not complete there was Jim Massey, John Emerson, Joe Hopkins, Jr., Dave Sanders, and Glen Ray, Glenn Brice, Wayne Dove (next door neighbor), Floyd Larrison, Irv and Jean Graham, Eddie Gibbs, Pete Peterson who ran all the non-Carbide businesses in town; Jim Borden (Mine Super), Matt Matthews, Ruth Kissinger (my secretary for two years), Tom and Patty Roberts, Kirk Jackson (brought me to Uravan from Oak Ridge, John and Margaret Chandler, Rusty Malacarne and Don Millenbruch both of whom I worked with at Oak Ridge; I could name many more but don't want to keep on being windy.
Uravan was a superior place to raise children. there really was a lot of things for them to do and get into. Old-timer baseball and the trips to Telluride (boy, has that changed), the small but great rodeos at Norwood, in town ball games and picnics at the ball park complete with the Tug of War. And there was the dark side to life there when families got "Canyon fever" and needed to "get out".
Occasionally we still tell someone about running over to Montrose to have dinner and see a movie. That was 212 miles round-trip mileage for the evening! And another recollection we have... in about 1965 a retiree from Los Angeles and his wife put up a believe-it-or-not stainless steel diner at Bedrock (now there is a name) in Paradox Valley. We would drive over there along the Dolores River to have Sunday dinner "out". We usually were his only customers, and he and his wife would come out of their roles as cook and waitress and sit with us and chat. That was the way in "the West End". Everyone was friendly.
Mathew, my thanks to you for creating this memorial web page. A great idea. Thirty-four years since we left Uravan and all the slick rock formations, never been back, and yet just reminiscing brings back many pleasant memories. I've rattled on and on and will stop. But I'll still be recalling Uravan.
Benedict, Richard 1957 - 1966, 1975 - 1976 top^ What a great web site! It's great to know that this bit of history is being preserved. There is a book I read several years ago called "Uranium Frenzy" which is a nice summary of the uranium boom, although there is not a lot about Uravan per se. I certainly recognize some of the names in your logbook, especially the Wyatts and the Youngers.
My father, "Benny" Benedict moved to Uravan in the very early 1950's. He had fought in World War II and saw combat action in North Africa and Europe making five amphibious landings in Sicily, Salarano, Anzio and Southern France. Returned to ranching for a time near Olathe, and in June 1953 he became Postmaster of Uravan, Colo where he served 22 1/2 years. He met and married my mother, Flora, just after the war. She grew up in a French-Canadian family near Boston, Mass., so Uravan was quite a different world for her. Both of my parents passed away several years ago.
I lived in Uravan from birth in Grand Junction in 1957 until the forth grade. For a little boy, it really was a "Huck Finn" sort of life. My daughter, Sarah, is in forth grade now and she can't believe that I lived in a town so small that we only had one class per grade. Her elementary school here in Texas probably has a greater population that all of Uravan in 1966.
My father, mother, sister (Diana) and I lived in "E" block and there was lots of wide-open space close by. Between our house and the school was quite large field where I had a tree house in a large old elm. Across the San Miguel, just below the dam, was a great place to catch catfish with worms. The Evaporation Ponds you picture were originally the site of the Club Ranch, where I rode my first horse. I spent lots of time in the creek in Hieroglyphic Canyon, exploring and catching frogs. I think the Indian drawings were gone by the time I came along, but I do remember seeing dinosaur tracks in the slick-rock. There was a fairly elaborate set of trails up the canyon and someone had put in flagstones to shore up the trails where they crossed little ditches. For more adventurous trips we would go up Tabeguache Canyon, which is near the ballpark. My father's good friend "Frosty" Crabtree had a sheep ranch up past the airport which has to be the most beautiful spot in the world.
I worked two summers in the mill and earned quite a bit of money for my college tuition. It's a great story to tell people that you worked in a uranium mill; frankly, though, I was always worried much more about the machinery and the acid than I was the uranium. I am glad I got to see the final product, especially the bright yellow uranium ("yellowcake") and the dark red vanadium.
Like one of your other writers, I am curious why the trees were removed in "G" block. It's quite a difference between the two pictures. It probably was just easier to do it this way. Who knows, though. The thoroughness of the clean-up is amazing and I still can't believe that they even took out the old dam where I spent so many hours of fishing. It is ironic that the hanging flume, which produced next to nothing, is still there but the mill which produced all that radium, vanadium and uranium is gone forever. The other irony is that Telluride and Moab are now such hot spots to visit. Who would have ever guessed that back in the 60's?
(Edgeman) Jackson, Pam 1958 (birth) - ???? top^ My name is Pam Jackson - I was born in Uravan in 1958. I am so excited to see this page on my hometown even though it is non-existent now. My father and many relatives mined the Golden Cycle. Dad was the hoist man at the mine and inhaled so much of the radioactive dust that when he would blow on the geiger counter he could peg it just with his breathe!!
We lived in make shift housing near the mine. I have many memories of going down in the mine shaft and riding in the ore carts. My sister used to attend the school in Uravan, right next to all the toxic pilings. My father is one of the few survivors as I understand. The govt. has tracked him for many years. He has survived 2 different cancers.
I've been told I glow in the dark too....hmmmm. Another weird thing that has always been a topic at family gatherings were all the strange UFO sittings around that area. I'm curious if anyone else has ever been brave enough to bring up that topic with you?
Eigenberg, Helen M 1958 (birth) - ???? top^ (Added 2010) My mother lived in Uravan when I was a new born baby in 1958. Combs, Charles 1958 - 1959 top^ My wife Anita Blasdell and I was the residence of the Golden Cycle mine when ever it was running until it closed down. My wife's dad Lloyd was the shifter along with Mike Marshal and having Tom Ballard as the Forman. They came there in 1958 from the Giant Cycle in South Dakota. I work there until it closed down to which I went to Climax Corp. over on the Paradox Valley Rim on Monogram. I had worked in Bull Canyon and up on Club Mesa also and even at the Mill at Uravan and work around the surrounding area including the High Country all my life and was down in the low country when ever the Uranium boom started to crumble an shut down. At that time I was working up on Long Park for Pioneer Uravan and then went to work at Atlas Minerals out in the Lisbon valley area and then when ever it shut down, went to Dunton Colorado and work a very short while at the old mine that was up at Dutton Colorado, which ran during WWII and was later closed.
I had spent many days at the old boarding house in Uravan while working at long park and also the mill. There used to be some wild poker games that went on in the boarding house at times. I went back and forth up to the old LaSalle boarding house where we picked up our lamps that we used while working at the Raven Mine and also a number of Long Park mines in the area that was leased for clean up of the old ore dumps. After which I went to grants New Mexico to work and an then came back and went to work up at the Golden Cycle. We stayed in old Mining shacks that where at the mine sight and all the water was hauled up from Uravan, but it was home to quite a few families up there. Even a school bus ran ever day back and forth. The mine was connected to the Worcester Mine and was up against the claims of the King Salmon mines that was opened up at a later date by Union carbide. But it was Home and where I had got to know my wife from the Golden Cycle Anita Blaisdell and my life began.
It was here after 32 years I ended my mining career and now reside in the Town of Dolores Colorado. I knew many of the old miners that lived in and around the Uravan area while working there, even up on long park and L-P3 L-P4 and the Raven mine and the old LaSalle mining camp where we browed our lamps from while working for different leasers in the area, on Long Park.
Gore, John 1958 - 1967 top^ I lived in Uravan from 1958 until 1967. I attended Grammar School at Uravan from 2nd grade through 8th grade. And I lived in Uravan while I attended High School from 1964 through 1967. I joined the Marine Corps and went to Vietnam in 1968. I was wounded in action and was returned to the United States in March, 1969, and was hospitalized at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Denver until May, 1972 when I was medically discharged from active duty and placed on permanent disability retirement.
I stayed in Denver and only visited Uravan and Nucla on a very few occasions. I guess I thought Uravan would always be there. I would have never guessed it would just go away. It is such a hollow feeling to realize that you don't have a home town anymore. When people ask you "Where are you from," what do you tell them..."Well, uhhhhh, my hometown was bulldozed and no longer exists."
A great big chunk of our lives just disappeared. Most people can take their kids to where they grew up and show them places where they were formed. Not us! Not anymore! We, like the town of Uravan, seem to be just ghosts...floating in and out. How really sad it is to realize that your whole youth and growing up can only be found in your memories and in old photographs.
I remember when I was kid in High School and I had a very severe crush on a girl whose name was Vickie Sharp. But, she was going steady with my best friend, so I just didn't ever say anything to her, and always pretended to be upset about some thing so that she would not discover my true feelings. But, golly, I really wish I had said something back then... because now... all those people are gone from our lives forever, and only the ghosts and shadows remain in my mind. What a tragedy it is, indeed.
I thought I left Uravan behind me when I joined the Marine Corps and left. But do you want to know something: It's still right here in my heart...and my mind forever!
Foster, Steve 1958 - 1970 top^ I was raised summers on Outlaw Mesa to the northeast between 1958 and 1970. My family had own mines up there since the 30's. I remember Uravan. I drove through the canyon moving to Texas in 1984 during the oil shale bust and the town was there. In 1987, it was gone. Anyway, as a big fan of the area and a native of Grand Junction, thanks again for all your hard work to preserve memory of this beautiful area. Sanders, Glenn 1958 (birth) - 1972 top^ Enjoyed your page on Uravan. Like the previous person who responded, I am bored and just did a lookup on Uravan and found the page. I was born there in 1958 and lived there until 1972, when we moved to Arvada Colorado. I went through K to 6 grade in school there and then 7th and 8th grade in Naturita.
Best, most fun swimming pool in the world, bar none. Early residents may remember the pool that was "downtown", but by the time I got in grade school it was nothing but a cesspool. I distinctly remember graduating from the wading pool to the slide to the diving boards, over the course of probably a few years. And how cold it could get, but how warm the cement was when you laid down on your towel! Lifeguards - Jack De Koevend (who sadly passed away last December), Mr. Belden. Remember the "snack bar" - ice cream, coke, and Jolly Rancher candy after swimming.
The steel bridge that was there for the last years was a replacement for an actual swinging bridge that was there when I was but a wee lad. This old bridge was an actual suspension bridge that really did swing! It was a cause of terror for all young school kids who had to go across it. Probably for a few oldsters, too. This bridge was from A block across the river to near the doctor's office - I think it came out by the administration building.
I remember going on one of many hikes up onto that hill and being so thirsty that we HAD to drink from that stinking frog pond. It's a wonder we didn't get deathly ill. They used to hold Huck Finn days there and let young kids fish out of the pond - I think my sister Becky won the Becky Thatcher Look Alike contest one year.
The Rec Hall, I can still hear the cruddy music - Young Girl, Get out of My Mind.... It was a great place to socialize. There was also Rifle Club in the basement. Imagine that!
My Mom worked for Fred at the drug store for many years. Fred died a few years ago in Dolores - I think he slipped and fell and hit his head. Me and another kid used to filch cigarettes and cigars from the drug store. I'm sure Fred knew... Comic books were 12 cents.
And worst smelling water. We used to draw a bath and the water would come out orange in the tub. The Nucla, Naturita, and Paradox kids made fun of us when we got to Jr. High because of the water.
Lots of fun. One time a kid (not me) pulled the beard off of Santa only to find out it was Mr. Thule. Remember the teachers? Mrs. Kibler, Mrs. Graybeal, Mrs. Dale (my very favorite teacher of all time!), the Chanceys, Mr. McCoy, of course Mrs. Thule.
Demson, Gladys 1958 (birth) - 1976 top^ Hi my name is Gladys Gore Demson. I was born in Uravan the 7th child of Arnold and Elizabeth Gore. I was born in 1958 went to school in Uravan, Naturita, and Nucla graduated in 1976. I am the youngest and amazing I knew everyone there had terrific friends too many to name. My memories I have a lot. My brothers are Oather, David King, Edward, George, John, Charles who died in 1977 and me. My brother Edward Gore passed away on November 2,2001.
In Uravan you could go out the door and your parents didn't have to worry about you. You lived in a safe zone. My parents lived out of the city limits in trailer until a flash flood swept their home away. Then they moved to Uravan then I was born. We lived in c-block where we were friends to the Pollards and the Clarks. Selma Clark was my best friend until she passed away when I was 5 I still miss her to this day. Then we moved to f-block. I hung out with the guys we would climb the mountains and played a lot. We dug fox holes in the back yard. The 2 teachers I loved and admired was Mrs. Dale and Mr. McCoy.
The Drs well Mrs. Sears was terrific I liked her she didn't hurt me but boy Annie Gregory the nurse sure did she used dull needles. I remember the store the Livingston's they were great. I could go on and on even write a good book.
When I say my class picture my family said in amazement how my daughters look like me. I remember all my friends close and afar. Mrs. Silver she was a terrific teacher too never leave her out she gave me the courage and advise I needed to go far and away.
The town is gone but my memories will not. If it wasn't for the small town living I would not have the values of today to give back to my children. I have 4 children, Arnold age 21 who passed away when he was a baby, Philip age 18 who is getting married soon, Kristen age 16, and Jamie age 14 my other daughter. I always wanted my children to have what I had; freedom and space and a small town to grow with values.
My dad worked in b leach I also remember the whistle when the day was done also the cross and star of David on top the hill at Christmas. Our programs at school, skating shooting guns. Most of all lots of country to explore. The families the closeness our parents shared with us and it was everywhere.
I plan a trip to Uravan soon and set on the same mountain when I was a kid and think back of what I had and remember the good times of Uravan.
Koetting, Tom 1959 - 1960 top^ My father (Jerome Koetting) was a Vanadium engineer and our family lived there from '59 - '60 (prior to my birth) - he was instrumental in locating corporate funding for the swimming pool. Powell, Mark 1959 - 1960 top^ I lived in Uravan for a relatively short period of time, from 1959 to 1960 or thereabouts. What is particularly special for me is that my earliest memories of life are from there! See, I was born in Paducah KY in 1956, and my dad was transferred out to Uravan a couple years later. From Uravan, we moved with Carbide to several locations over the next ten years: Grand Junction CO, Cleveland OH, Greenville NC, Nakuru KENYA, and finally to Hot Springs AR, where my dad finally retired from the company after nearly 40 years of service. It was the only company he ever worked for, something that is unbelievable in the world of today.
So my memories are those of a four-year old. Yes, I certainly do remember the swinging bridge and a gas station at a fork in the road. I can't recall what street I lived on, but I remember the neighborhood families out there flying kites and cordoning off the street so everybody could play in it. Some of our neighbors at the time were the Peak and Millenbruch families.
Sadly, my father (John Powell) passed away in 1998, but mom (Sue Powell) is still kicking up a storm down in Arkansas. My brother is living in Colorado Springs and I in Denver.
(Catt) Johannsen, Sharon 1959 (birth) - 1976 top^ I was born in Uravan in 1959 and left when I was seventeen. On Feb 13, 2007 The rec center and boarding house were burned in Uravan. My husband and I went down and watched the buildings burn. Best, Earl E. 1959-1967, 1977-1982 top^ My Father Kenneth Best was a Mine Mechanic in Uravan. My mother joined him there in 1959 after I was born and we left in 1967 when My Grandfather passed away. We then moved back in 1977 and he lived there until his death in 1982, while I went into the military, though I spent all my vacations in Uravan. Like others on the site seeing the pictures brings back many memories of the people and friends from there. Their names and friendship is something I shall never forget. I hated to hear that it was being closed and torn down I also know that now the only thing left is the Sign, The Boarding house and the Community center. Hogge, Robert M. 1960 Summer top^ I worked there at Lark Washburn's uranium mine during the summer of 1960. A friend of mine and I from Grand Junction drove ore cars, and it was the first job I ever had in which I was paid more than the minimum wage of $1.00/hour. I had two near-death experiences in the mine--and am happy I survived them both without injury.
We camped for a month on the banks of the Delores River, bathed each afternoon (after a day in the mines) in its icy waters (so cold the soap wouldn't lather), cooked our dinner over an open fire, and slept in sleeping bags under an arc of stars. Later, when a room became available, we stayed in a company-owned boarding house.
I remember the yellow and black layers of uranium ore sandwiched between layers of sandstone, mild headaches possibly caused by the Diesel-powered heavy equipment in the mine. I was happy when my ore car was filled, so I could drive it outside to get some fresh air while I dumped the ore into the bin (or the slag over the edge of the cliff). It was a memorable summer. I was living with my parents in Grand Junction at the time, and I never did return to Uravan after that summer. So I don't know if I have anything to add to what I've already written to you about. But I did have a "spiritual" experience in Uravan that transformed my life. And I still value that "transformation" and "change in perspective" 41 years later.
I had planned to drive through Uravan this summer (1999), but, after reading your materials, maybe there's nothing to see except the way it was before the mining years. Do you know of any books or publications on Uravan that show it during its heyday?
Carlston, Joe (Bill) 1960 - 1964 top^ I just returned from a visit with my sister in Dolores, while there we took a drive to Uravan just to see what was there, not much. I hadn't been there since we moved to Moab in '64. Did a search and linked to your page. I was born in grand junction in '54. Lived in telluride at the time (what a change up there!). Lived at the Goldencycle for about 2 years before we moved to Uravan. Lived in the flattops for a short while and "j" block after that (j-8). I have a brother 3 years older. His name is Bob or Bobby as he was known then.
I saw Leroy Cadman's name on the comments. He and I used to play together. I remember crossing the swinging bridge to school, the older kids would make it swing while the smaller kids were crossing and scare the daylights out of us, but it got to be a game to see who was the bravest. In the eyes of my memory the bridge, when swinging, looked like something out of an earthquake film. I remember that a friend of mine, I think his name was Michael, drowned in the San Miguel, probably around '62 or '63.
Rash, Stacy 1960 - 1966 top^ My name is Stacy Rash. My grandfather Charles Hollingshead worked in the mines in Uravan. My mother raised us there sometime between 1960-1966. My older brothers went to school there. Berkey, Wayne 1960 - 1967 top^ My family and I moved to Uravan from Montana in Jan. 1960. In Sept. 1967 we moved to Grand Junction, although most of my work was centered around Uravan. In 1972 I was transferred to the Arkansas operations where I retired and presently live.
Initially I supervised the Mining Dept. survey crew. of about 24 men. Charley Lackey was the draftsman. Some of the surveyors were Harold Stephens, Ken Hilleary, Don Rapp, Cal Warnica, Ken Hrabe, Joe Quinn, Don Rodgers and Ken Campbell. From 1963 until 1972 I had various jobs: production engineer for the contract mines, Roger Swindle's aide-de-camp in mine ventilation, expeditor for ore haulage to the mill, and work out of the Grand Junction R and D.
The mining dept. was probably at its maximum size in the early sixties. The mines were spread from the Deremo mine in the south to Calamity Mesa in the North, and from Temple Mt. and Polar Mesa in the West to a little east of Uravan. It was a widespread operation.
Our first house was J-4. Some of our neighbors were Ken and Gerry Hrabe, Dave and Cleta Robbins, Stu Hollingsworth, the Ukleys, Delbert and Irene Watson, Harry and Enis Mowan, Niels and Peggy Haubold.
Next, we moved to G-10 where our neighbors were Ed and Annie Lou Pinnick, Ken and Kay Woods, Vern and Katherine Bishop, Grant and Arlene Harvey, Jim and Bonnie Hastings, Bernie and Nancy Jones, Larry and Avis Cooper, Ralph and Betty Thul. We remember the Cadman boys. They played with our sons, Eric and Alan. Rick and Rod Austin and family lived across the street from us. It's probably fair to say that the whole town was our neighbor and baby sitter. My oldest son Eric has often said that Uravan was a swell place to raise kids.
The boys liked to climb the cliffs behind G block and hike up Tabaguache. A lot of kids learned to swim in the "new" swimming pool west of J block. The adults had some rip roaring parties there, also. The picnics at the ball park were wild and wooly. The kids had pie eating contests and races - the adults had soft ball, beer and horseshoes, not necessarily in that order.
All in all, we enjoyed our time in Uravan, but sometimes I wonder if many of the memories are better than the actual events.
Younger, James 1960 - 1967, 1976 - 1977, 1983 - 1985 top^ The Youngers arrived in Uravan having been transferred from the Dove Creek, CO office in the fall of 1960. We lived in J13, the block that averaged two dogs and four children per house. I started as a geologist, and was probably the first geologist to devote full time to working underground. The family left in 1967 when I was transferred to the Grand Junction office. Our boys, Dave and Steve both started school in Uravan. Dave is now a lawyer in G.J. and Steve runs an elevator in Stratton, CO. The boy that drowned I believe was Michael Hrabbe's younger brother who went into the river between the Flattops and J Block, not off of the swinging bridge. Olvera, Robert
(Olvera) Hill, Teresa
1961 - 1972, 1961 - 1979 top^ Robert Olvera
My name is Robert Olvera, and if you have a minute or two I'll tell you about my experiences in Uravan.
We lived up at the Golden Cycle when I was in kindergarten, the year was 1960. I remember the bus rocking back and forth going down that scary road. [really scary to a kindergartner!] There were people living from the hiway turn-off to Atkinson Mesa, scattered all the way to the Golden Cycle. There were a lot of kids that lived up on Long Park too.
My kindergarten teacher was Miss Kuhn. Every day she would pick two kids to go across the street, through the underpass, with a milk box with rope handles and the cooks in the kitchen would put in a carton of milk for each of us kids. (cookies too) I loved the smell of that kitchen in the gym. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Graybeal, we had enough kids to have two first grade classes. I remember when two of my classmates washed their Barbie dolls hair and then dried them in the blow driers, causing the driers to start smoking. A fire drill ensued, emptying our little school. After the smoke cleared, Mr. Grant the custodian pulled the last few burnt Barbie hairs out of the driers and everything went was back to normal. The only damage done was a couple of Barbies with bad hair-do's, and a couple of little girls with big tears. Janet and Debbie will remember this story.
My second grade teacher was Mrs. Dale, she was the best teacher I ever had. One day she came into class crying, and told us the President had been assassinated. Us little second graders didn't know what a president was, or what assassinated meant, but we figured it must be pretty bad to make our teacher cry. Again we had two second grade classes. Our family moved to Uravan between my second and third grade, we moved to the trailer court. There was only one at that time, the one above A block. !
By the time I was in the fourth grade, the uranium boom was over. From here on, there was only enough kids for one class in each grade. The year was 1964. (the Beatles had landed in the U.S.)
After the 6th grade, we were the first to start the new junior high. I graduated in 1972, there were 11 or 12 of from Uravan. (most of together since kindergarten)
I felt very lucky to have lived in Uravan. We had a lot. One of the best gymnasiums around, an excellent baseball field, our rec hall( the site of many pot-luck suppers, roller-skating, movies, library, etc). And who could forget our swimming pool. There were not too many kids that grew up in Uravan that couldn't swim. On the days the pool was closed, you could usually find a bunch of us boys heading for Tabeguache, to go swimming in the creek, or going fishing under the bridge behind the gas station. We would eat our lunches that our moms packed with our little hand so dirty it would scare us now. (a little fish guts made them sandwiches taste all the better). A bottle of Grapette at the gas station was a dime, the empty bottle was worth a nickel. Candy bars were a nickel, and a gallon of gas was 25 cents, oh how I miss those days!
I'll never forget that fire truck, whose siren you couldn't hear over its loud exhaust. Hearing different names called over the mill P.A., the whistles at 8, 12, 1 and 5 o'clock. Seeing the cross and star at Christmas, up on the hill. Sledding down the airport road and fishing at the frog-pond. Going down B-block hill with Jim Smith, on a go-cart with no engine. Eating at the drugstore after my mom, Margaret, and Vi Anders took over the drug store from Fred. So many memories, and for me, all good memories.
Teresa Olvera Hill
Hi Mathew, my brother Robert sent me a link to your website, and I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the photos, history and comments from past residents.
My family was living up on the Golden Cycle when I was born, and when I turned one, we moved down to Uravan. We lived in what was referred to as the "Old trailer court". My dad, Ruben was a miner. And my mom, Margaret worked in the drugstore and eventually took over the business with Mrs. Anders, adding a liquor store next door in what used to be a beauty shop. My first job was working in the boarding house with my Aunt Cathy and cousin Renee, cooking and serving homemade meals to the workers. After I turned 16, I worked for Carbide in the summers, mowing the lawns of vacant houses, bunk houses, the guest house and the Dr's office. I also drove a Ford Tractor that was outfitted with a bush-hog and I mowed the weeds along the roadside, at the ballpark etc. I used to baby-sit for several families too.
Here are a few of my favorite memories...
The list goes on and on. I feel lucky that I grew up in a place that was so isolated yet gave me everything a kid could ever ask for. Even though Uravan no longer physically exists, it will remain in the hearts of many..
- Knowing the names of every single man, woman, child and pet (dead and alive) that lived between the vicinity of Homer Woods and Mesa Creek ranch.
- Swimming in the river with the otters. (under the bridge by the gas station)
- The three crosses.
- The painted donkey on the rocks outside of town.
- Shooting cans and bottles on the airport shooting range.
- Tubing down the river.
- Having to get shots from Doc Haskell but being rewarded with grape or cherry suckers (The ones with the strings)
- The school cafeteria ladies, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Sharp and Mrs. Murray.
- Kindergarten with Mrs. Thul. She read us stories (peering over her glasses) as we napped on our own little rugs.
- 2nd grade teacher Mrs. Dale and her red geraniums that graced her window sills.
- Skating at the rec. hall on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons with Mr. Kraus playing records for us.
- Cherry cokes and banana splits that mom would make me at the drug store.
- Fishing down at the forks.
- My dad's garden (the best in town!)
- Learning to drive up on the airport.
- Frosty Crabtree.
- Mesa Creek and Rock Creek ranches.
- Buying our milk in two gallon glass jars with about 3 inches of cream on top.
- Camping (real camping) and fishing at Buckeye.
- Playing in the "dirt" on the old mill site at the end of my street.
- Riding my bike from one end of town to the other.
- Goat heads. (they'd flatten your tire every time)
- Bisquit rock
- Camping and hunting with my parents up on 25 Mesa.
- Sledding down the G-block hill.
- Spending hours on end hiking and exploring in the canyon and always keeping an ear open for that familiar "rattle".
- Benny at the Post office.
- Trick or treating at every single house in town and getting stuff like colored popcorn balls and home made cookies.
- Swimming all summer long at the pool and watching with curiosity when the buses would come in from Nucla and Naturita. Little did we know that some of those kids would later turn out to be lifelong friends. Mr. Belden as lifeguard.
- That familiar smell of "home" after a long days trip to Grand Jct.
- Company Christmas parties at the rec. hall. Getting huge bags of candy and a big juicy orange.
- Labor day picnics at the ballpark. Games for us kids, like three legged races, gunney sack races, looking for money in piles of sawdust, greased pole contests, pie eating contests, eating BBQ, and giggling at all the dad's that had been in and out of the Quonset hut all day!
- Swimming lessons at the pool with Mrs. Gabriel. On the final day we had races, and we got to go diving for money in the 12 ft.
- Beaulah at the Long Branch.
- Doing inventory for Jim and Norma at the San Miguel Trading Center, counting everything from canned goods to Levis.
- Swimming with the frogs, minnows and water snakes at Tabeguache.
- Cheering on Uravan's finest men's softball team, the Nads!
- Wearing out the seat of your pants while hiking in the canyon.
- Running under the underpass. (It's still there too)
- Lining up for vaccinations at school and getting that little sugar cube with the "special medicine" on it.
- Flag ceremonies at school on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons.
- Walking to and from school in the walkway and being scared out of our wits at that steam thing that would go off unexpectedly behind the warehouse.
- Ore trucks.
- The dump.
- The swing that hung from the tree heading up to the King Solomon mine.
Dees, Jack [James Dees was Father] Early 60's top^ I did not live there but my parents and older siblings did until the early 60's. My father was James Dees and he was employed in the mines there. If my memory serves me correctly he was a shift foreman at the Worcester Mine. My father passed away in 1968, but I grew up hearing stories about Uravan, Naturita and the surrounding area. I believe my Mom and my older brothers considered it the happiest times of their lives. Kendall, Glen Early 60's top^ (Added 2010) I am writing a book about the history of the uranium industry in the Colorado Plateau. I found your web site, including the wonderful photos. Larimer, Robert P 1963 top^ I was working for Johnson and Youvan drilling company near Dove Creek when I met Tito Ruybalid. He was a Union Carbide employee that came to the drill rig checking the core samples for uranium. When he found out that I had 2 years of college and had taken trigonometry, he told me to come to Uravan and apply for a job as a land surveyor's asst. (rodman). I did so and was hired to help a man named Ted Stone. Ted was a very good teacher and in about a years time I knew enough to have my own helper and manage a survey crew. My asst. was Berny Espinosa. After a few years, I worked for Vern Bishop taking air samples in the uranium mines testing for radon daughters.
I have fond memories of the 6 yrs. I spent In Uravan and have been back to Uravan twice. The last time was about 1991. When I left Uravan in 1963 I went back to college and finished my degree in education. In 1967 I moved to Oelwein, IA. taught and coached at the junior high for 9 yrs. I started my own insurance agency with American Family Ins. and retired in 2000. I spend a lot of time now as the sec.-treas. of the Oelwein Rotary Club. My hobbies are motorcycling, and photography. I have a lot of color slides I took when I worked at Uravan. I recently scanned these and have them saved on a CD and put into presentations on my computer. They bring back a lot of good memories.
I recently did an internet search and found Berny Espinosa. I called him and we must have talked for at least an hour. I would be glad to talk to others I knew from my time in Uravan.
Stratton, Jo 1963 (birth) - ???? top^ My family is from the West End and I was born in Uravan in 1963. I was born in the clinic there. My parents still tease me that I was in a hurry to be born so I did not make it to Grand Junction. My mom is JoAnna Ramer Rash and my Dad is Bobbie Joe Rash. My Grandparents were Marjorie Newell and Joseph Ramer. My great Grandfather was James Newell the Montrose County Sherriff in about 1920. I am now 36 and I am very sad that I will never be able to share with my children where I was born. Although it is very exciting to see pictures of Uravan and its history. Beattie, Ralph F 1964-1965 Uravan, 1979-1980 Nucla top^ (Added 2009) We, Sandra & Ralph Beattie would like to make contact with Valencia, Sam "Estella Cloud" we met her in Indian Springs Nevada, but knew of her in the 1979/80 we lived in the Nucla area. Sandra & I lived in Uravan Oct 1964 thru June 1965 (married in Oct of 1964 met Sandra in Gateway)..I was a Miner for Union Carbide.. then Moved to Telluride, Miner at the Idarado Mine... I was Geologist for Western Nuclear/Phelps Dodge 1976-78 . I was in that area(Naturita) out in Gyp Valley ... Topaz Mine for Denison Mines April 2008 to Aug 2008 as Mine Foreman (Elmer) Kraus, Donna 1964-1966, 1978-1981 top^ I went to school in Uravan in 1st and 2nd grade with Richard Bennedict. My Dad, Dale Elmer, a miner there. I Also worked there 1978-1981 (Aerofall and Sample Plant operator.) Dryer, John 1965 - 1967 Norwood top^ I was surprised to see a web site for the little town of Uravan. My folks owned the J-J Motel in Norwood and that is where I was living when I graduated from high school in 1966.
I got my first drivers license in Uravan in 1965. Uravan was a pretty easy place to get a driver's license and was probably the closest place to Norwood (where I was from), Redvale (nothing more than a wide spot in the road now), Naturita, Nucla and all the other little places in between.
It was really a neat place.
My brother-in-law worked in the housing area of Uravan as a painter in 1966.
I have some questions which you may be able to answer. In the pictures, previously there are a lot of nice green trees and in the remediated pictures, the trees appear to have been removed. Is there a reason for that or was it just easier to remove the trees before the houses were removed?
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since I was last in Uravan, but the next trip I take to that area will definitely include a trip through that area.
Thank you for bringing back some nice memories with your web page. Keep up the good work.
(Stahl) Jolly, Melissa
1966 - 1967 top^ Melissa (Stahl) Jolly
What a great find! Your site and photos have been great trips down memory lane for me. Let's see...if I tell you when I lived there and how old I was...hmmm...I was 11 and a "dude-ette" from back East. Uravan was not only a different lifestyle, it was a whole new adventure!
I had never heard of closing school for a whole week to go hunting! Imagine my surprise to wake up one day and see a deer hanging upside down from a huge tree in front of the house across the street! What's a gully-washer? I sure found out! What fun splashing over the red sandstone and getting splattered with the red sandy water as it came pouring over the top of the sides of our gully! Is that a tumbleweed? I thought they were made up! What is that in the tire of my bike? What's a goathead? Ouch! Hard on the feet too! Remember fountain cherry Cokes at the drugstore? They were the best! Remember Sunday lunch at the Boarding House? Talk about your Boarding House reach! And the food just kept coming! Roller Skating in the Rec Hall!
Mr. Lackey took my Dad and me out for a rock hunt and I found an arrowhead in a dry wash. I was ecstatic! Mr. Marsten gave me a whole box of slides of rocks...little slivers of rock cut so thin you could see through them with a microscope. We hiked out in the snow and brought home our own Christmas tree and then planted it again. Yep, I remember Mrs. Thule and Mr. Chancey. You only water your yards with Mill Water! We were adopted by one of sweetest cats I've ever known. Remember the Bookmobile? Judy Bolton and Cherry Ames? Reality took a vacation... The Log Flume, the House with the Rock on it, dinosaur bones. hieroglyphics...
I could go on and on. Uravan was a great albeit short time in my life experience. I know it was not perfect but in my young eyes Uravan was the wild, wild west!
What a nice web site! My name is Nancellen Stahl, daughter of Jay and Charlotte Stahl and sister of Melissa, JC and Martha. We lived in Uravan for only one year, 1966-67, and were neighbors of the Pearson's on H Block. (Sandra was our babysitter!) I was only in the first grade at the time, and remember Mrs. Graybeal to be a very nice teacher! I also remember that the Barela's lived on our street and that there was a Dutch family on the street who had a huge dog that had about 13 puppies. A stray cat adopted us by having kittens in our yard, and when we had to go back to NY the next year, we took all five cats in the car with us!
I have lost touch with my two best friends at that time, Gail Livingston and Pamela Corbin (twin sister of Tammy), if anyone knows where they are!
I have fond childhood memories of Uravan, and I am sad that it is a place to which we can not return and reminisce. Thanks for making this possible through your web site!
Flora, Diana 1966 - 1967 top^ In the 3rd. grade picture 1966-67 i am the girl in the fourth row just in from of the kid named Floyd. My name was Diana Flora. Kem, Carl [Robert Johnson father] 1966 - 1967 top^ Nice site on Uravan, too bad there isn't more. Too bad it got torn down. My father, Robert Johnson worked for a bit down in Uravan, I recall it is around '66 through '67. I remember around that time, my mom said that she was pregnant with my first sister when she got lost on the Uncompahgre Plateau above Gateway and that made my dad decide to move away from there. I was born in '69.
My father then got a job working at one of the ranches on the west end. After the ranch work got hired by a family friend (Glenn Berry, Comanche Milling Co., unsure if that's the name it had then) that had some workings over by Lone Mesa (unsure exactly where) and Monogram Mesa. Glenn talked about how they used to haul the ore to Uravan, and he said the best way was along the Dolores from Bedrock. Has been many years since I was over there last. Maybe again some day.
Stahl, Jay 1966-1967 top^ Came upon your website by happenstance and pleased to see two of my daughters contacted you. I was fortunate to transfer from New York to be Personnel Manager at Uravan for one year. A fun job and great location full of wonderful people. When I moved there the Atlas listed the population as 1050. I questioned that and we conducted a headcount and came up with a total population of 780 in mid 1967.
With support of Lew Twichell in Grand Junction and Larry Larrison, Plant Superintendent, was able to do a lot of fun things. Worked with Wayne Dove to remodel Office Entryway, the Boarding house interior and painted the main buildings from the basic sand color - Rec Hall barn red, Medical Clinic white with red trim, Boarding House white with green trim and the store a light blue. Held contest to re-name Blocks to Streets. As I recall Jim Massey won and we named them for minerals to match the old letter arrangement - e.g., B became Beryl, C to Calcite, D to Diamond E to Emerald, F to Fluorite I think, J to Jade, H Halite, G Garnet, etc. Can't recall A. Then Wayne and I drove through town to pick a variety of colors to paint the company houses. That was underway when I went back to New York. We would have enjoyed staying longer in Uravan but the lure of international assignments drew us away. One of the most memorable years of my thirty two with Union Carbide.
Braam, Pieter 1966 - 1968 top^ With my wife Elisabeth, our daughter Caroline (8 at the time), son Hente (5) and dog Birre I came to H5 in Feb. 1966. This was just one year after we came to the US from Amsterdam, Holland. Image the contrast. As the new geologist, I first worked with Carol Cornforth who ran the wagon drill. Also worked on a number of the small contractor mines in Long Park, Bull Canyon, etc.
Elisabeth got a horse and we built a corral on the bank of a little draw just downstream of the town. As mentioned by Nancellen Stahl, our Birre had 13 puppies which ended up with various families in and around Uravan. Most of those puppies must have stayed longer than we did. In the spring of 1968 I was promoted to District Geologist for the greater Egnar Plains area. I worked out of the Dove Creek office. We moved to Monticello, UT. Uncle Carbide transferred me again two years later. We went to Reno, NV which was the end of my uranium days.
We have great memories of our time in Uravan but are, in retrospect, happy that we were subjected to the local radiation for only a limited time.
(Craig) Cypher, Susan 1966 - 1974 top^ I was a resident of Uravan from 1966 until I graduated from Nucla High School in 1974. Since that time I have been living in Grand Junction. It was quite a place. I remember being intrigued by all the walkways, especially being told that our dads (urban legend--well sort of urban, we had a rather small town) could be fired if we went out of the walkway and crossed into the mill proper in the area where the old pool used to be (there was a gate there). We had to instead go all the way around the back, according to my friend who had lived there for awhile. So, I did. However, I remember one time, I took a chance because I was in a hurry and late to school and open the gate into the main area in the mill area there and ran across, as fast as I could go. Boy was my heart beating. I have so many fond memories from down there, mostly having to do with singing and playing piano in the old rec hall/church/roller rink/dance hall (on Saturdays, Ha!). This was a place where I learned to sing and play the piano, and I loved, absolutely loved, hiking all over. I would hang out in one particular canyon while the sun was setting if I was too stressed about things and it would be so comforting. I think about that place a lot :)
Another thing I remember was that the town was never, ever quiet because of the clank of the mill. Also the weirdest looking icicles in the wintertime hung off the wall on the far side of the canyon. They looked eerie and had a greenish tinge that almost glowed from within, in the right light they did. I guess it was caused by chemicals and so forth from the mill but it still looked amazing.
Some of my best years were spent here. I learned my craft there (or at least I got a heck of a start). I am a singer and in that town my teacher put me onstage and gave me confidence and a belief in myself that carries me through today.
I have been there recently and it made me sad because you simply cannot walk where you used to and reminisce. Seeing the death of a town is very difficult.
I also am looking for some information about a past accident. My father Dave Craig (93 years old in 2005) was a miller in the yellow-cake dryer and was involved in an ammonia accident (apparently someone released a valve) there. It is important because he walked out through the ammonia (he said he crawled at the end), his lungs filled with water, they had to be pumped out, and his main problem is one of lung disease. We are trying to recall the date (at least the year) and have it narrowed down to pretty much when it must have happened--in 1967, no later than spring 1968, because I know it did not happen the first year we arrived, and I remember the incident quite clearly but just not the exact time.
Craig, Jeffrey 1966 - 1975 top^ My name is Jeff Craig. I lived in Uravan from around 1966 to 1975 (Kindergarten thru 7th grade). My father, Dave Craig, worked in the mill itself. My mother's name is Frances and I had an older sister, Susan, who also lived there with us. The website is amazing. I really enjoyed seeing the old pictures of the area and the school pictures were especially good. I have fond memories of all of the hiking, fishing, and swimming I did around there. It seems important to me to have a link like this to my childhood as, just recently, my father passed away. He was 93. Latta, Mike 1966 (birth) - 1985 Naturita top^ I was born and raised in Naturita (born 1966-graduated 1985). I enjoyed the site. Brings a salty tear to my eye to drive through there and see nothing where my friends lived. I haven't been through in a year or so, but the old Baseball field was still visible last time I was. Played many a game there, from little league to adult softball league. Hurst, Robert Jr. 1967 (birth) - ???? top^ I was born in the Uravan Clinic in June, 1967. My father was Bob Hurst and mom was Shirley Hurst. If anyone knew my folks or maybe went to school with my brother Jerry Turner (13 y/o in 1967), feel free to drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you. (Marsh) Lockhart, Judy Late 1960 for 2 years top^ My sister Judy and I lived in Uravan with our father and stepmother (Bill Marsh and Janet Marsh) when we were very young for approximately 2 years, probably late 60's, until our father sent us back to live with our mother in California. But my memories of what a warm, friendly and open place Uravan was has never left me.
I am so sorry to see that this town no longer exists, someday I will return to see it, it just won't be the same without the places I remember or would like to remember.
I've looked at all of the pictures on the site and recall some of them especially the school, and read the story of one lady talking about that swinging bridge-some of my worst nightmares were the cause of that swinging bridge, I am so glad to hear they eventually replaced it!
Thank you for sharing on the Internet and helping me to remember a time that has long since passed in my life.
Hayes, Karen 1967 - 1971 top^ I found your website and it brought back many memories. I was a resident in Uravan from 67-71. My father was a mining engineer and was transferred from Jeffrey City, Wyoming to Uravan where we lived on G Block.
It was nice to see the picture of G Block which included our house. We were in the house 3rd from the left on the opposite side of the street from your house. The Jones', the Pinnick's, and then the Hayes' house were on that end of the block. You can clearly see the hedge that went across our back yard, the kitchen extension that was added on while we were there, and the apricot tree in the back yard that always produced the most luscious fruit.
Some of my fond childhood memories are . . .
- Swimming morning, noon, and night at the pool
- Walking to school across the bridge and through the mill area in the walkway
- Playing at the frog pond across the highway from G Block
- Roller skating Friday nights and Saturdays at the Rec Hall
- Walking through the underpass at school to get to the playground and gym on the other side of the road
- Having sodas at Fred Winters' drug store and checking out the latest comic books
- Playing on the hill behind G Block
- Playing baseball, football, croquet, etc. with all the neighborhood kids at the end of the block
- Eating the best school lunches
- Having the WORST tasting water
- Getting our house remodeled to add another bedroom and increase the size of the kitchen and living room
- Attending the Carbide Halloween and Christmas parties at the Rec Hall
- The annual Carbide picnic at the ball park where we searched for coins that were thrown into piles of sawdust
My father was transferred to Bishop, California and we had to move just at the time I was about to enter junior high in Naturita. I was devastated at the time to leave my friends and my future in Colorado.
My family and I often talk about our time in Uravan. One of the unfortunate things that we have probably received from Uravan is thyroid problems. Out of the 6 of us, 4 are on thyroid medication and my brother developed thyroid cancer. When the physicians find out where we lived and what we lived on, they are not surprised. I am probably the next to go on medication.
My sister and I traveled through Uravan in the summer of 1990. We were amazed at the difference with the houses gone, the school torn down, etc. It's very sad.
Weber, Jim 1967 - 1971 top^ I lived in Uravan from 1967 to 1971 and worked at the mill as a Plant Metallurgist. I lived in G-26 for a few months then moved to a larger house in G-Block (I think it was G-10).
I remember the plant workers called the staff and supervisors "white hats" because our hard hats were white (when not stained with slurry or solutions from the plant). There was a division on the staff between "Oak Ridgers" and "Others" because Union Carbide had transferred many people to the Plateau Operations from Oak Ridge, TN. I also remember:
- We had one very snowy and sometimes unreliable TV station we got via two relay stations from Montrose
- Bowling leagues at the 8-lane alley in Nucla
- Going to movies at the Uranium Drive-in in Naturita
- Pickup basketball games at the gym at the grade school
- Company softball teams competing at the ball fields
- The weeks of frenzied planning before the big game hunting season and the months of stories that followed
- Sliding down the hill from G-Block to B-Block on an aluminum snow disc
- Exploring the back country and mountains in a VW Camper I called "The Flying Box"
- Driving 80 miles in any direction to play golf
- Driving to Grand Junction, getting a motel room and eating pizza when the "canyon fever" got to be too much
I passed by Uravan in 1999 and it was sad to see the town and even the trees gone. More than ever it reminded me of something a salesman told me one time. He said "I'm always glad to see Uravan because then I know I'm halfway to where I'm going."
Garner, Brenda Burritt 1967 - 1984 top^ As I read all these stories the tears were pouring. My name is Brenda Burritt Garner my parents are Robert (Bob) and Jean Burritt, I have a brother Ricky and we moved to Uravan in 67, I was about a year old. We lived in space 49 in the trailer park. Mom and Dad moved the trailer to Nucla in 85. I graduated and left home in 84. I now live in Grand Junction, I am married to Spencer and have 2 kids Wade (12) and Bailie (10) and a stepson Spencer Jr.,18) (who has a 6 month old baby girl, Hallie, so I am also a Grandma) I try to tell my kids how it was when I was a kid, but they just don't get it. I guess after reading all these great stories I can see why. Uravan was a special place and if you didn't experience it the way we all did, I guess it would be hard to believe. We lived in a Wonderland.
What I remember and miss the most are:
- Knowing everyone in town and always wondering who told Mom about the last stunt I pulled.
- When my Mom had surgery everyone pitched in and helped clean, cook, and tote us kids around.
- Theresa (Scheetz) Richards next door.
- Swimming all summer long. Season ticket: $2.00 for kids and $4.00 for adults.
- The great hamburgers, ice cream, and french fries at the pool snack bar.
- The mill whistle, when you heard it you had better be on the run as my dad always had lunch at 12:00 and dinner was always between 4:30 and 5:00. And still to this day he has the same schedule.
- Roller skating and hanging out with my friends. Susan (Willey) Puderbaugh, Tammy Gabriel, Martha Dedrickson, Monica Butt Stucker, and my mind is racing so I know I am missing a lot.
- Walking home from grade school in the walkway. That bring back a lot of memories. Holding hands when we thought no one could see us. And the big walking bridge. I walked that pathway so many times that I can still see every stitch of it.
- Frosty Crabtree and all the pretty rock he had. And sitting and listening to him tell stories. Boy I wish we would have recorded some of that.
- Ball games and Carbide picnics. Digging for money in the sawdust. The old outhouse. Just sitting in the bleachers hoping for a quarter to spend at the snack bar.
- Tubing down the river with my brother and Opie Hainey.
- Fred at the drug store, Jim and Norma at the store, Doc Haskell, Benny at the post office (Box 55), my first pixie at the beauty shop. Beula at the cash register in the store.
- Mr. Collcord and the shooting range in the bottom of the rec hall. Thanks to him we all learned "gun safety".
- Papa Hainey, now that really brings a tear. He was always their for us kids and would eat dinner with us most of the time. Always insisted that Mom and dad had a glass of wine before dinner. He was one of the neatest people and still to this day I think a lot about him.
- Rabbit hunting, my Mom would have my dad's dinner in the car and she would drive to the top of the hill while he ate, (we all ate before) and then we would drive all those mining roads and each of us had a gun and who ever seen the rabbit got to shoot. I loved that, but we just don't have the rabbit like we had in Uravan.
- Driving to Mesa Creek and getting milk and hoping Martha Hendrickson was cooking and we would get to eat. She was the best cook. We even got to go with her, Callie and Janie on cattle drives. I had a tick in my head once on a cattle drive and Martha dug it out with a knife and then burned it. She was the type of women that you were always in ahh of.
- The 3 crosses and Easter morning. Mom would make me a new dress (usually out of polyester) every Easter. Breakfast was always cooked at the 3 crosses and everyone would stay around and visit after services.
- And we were lucky if we could get more than 2 T.V stations. So we would play till dark, riding motorcycles, walking thru the blocks, or playing with friends. It just wasn't a big deal because we knew no different.
- Camping at Columbine pass with Dick, Nola, Pebbles, and Scott Fitzgerald.
- All the hunters stopping in camp to tell about the big one that got away.
- Hauling gallon after gallon of water to fill the camper each day.
- Riding the Honda 90 all over.
- Catching fish at the gravel pits.
Well, I will be back to this site, it is so nice to think back and relive all those wonderful times.
Heiney, Peggy Foreshee Late 60's top^ (Added 2010) We moved from Uravan when I was going into the 7 grade. My dad was plant manager. We lived on H block #22 I think. We moved to Marietta, Ohio in the 70s and that was the last time I got to see Uravan. High school graduation in 73, got married in 75, then moved to Texas Houston for over 15 years. Have two boys. Hubby passed in 02 my mom and dad still live in Ohio my two sisters Lois and Julie live in Ohio and Jan and her husband lives in Colorado but I still member the good old days in that little town. Ray, Kathy 1968 - 1984 top^ How very interesting to find something out on the Web regarding Uravan, CO. I have been looking occasionally over the last couple of years and have never been able to find much of anything.
It is nice to see the pictures, before and after, although I have to admit, the after is much harder to look at. I was born in Denver, but adopted by my parents who lived in Uravan, so I was there from 1968 until 1984, when, just before the mill was completely shut down, we moved to Nucla for a little under a year. My dad was then transferred to the White Mesa Mill in Blanding UT.
I have been back since the reclamation process started and it is very strange indeed too see nothing where once so many things stood. Uravan was indeed a special place to grow up and I am glad to see that you have put something out there on the Web.
Barela, Robbie 1968 - 1986 top^ I was pleasantly surprised to find this site. I lived in H block, H-9 and H-11 to be exact. I was born in 1967 in Montrose and grew up in Uravan until I went to college and eventually to the army. My fondest memories of Uravan are those of the summers there. I can still remember swimming at the pool all day and just hanging out with my friends. We would fish in the river at night and build a fire to make things complete. As I grew older, my friends would come to Uravan and stay with me. The fellas from Paradox, Nucla, Naturita and even Norwood spent time in that great town. I miss the place I grew up and I know it will never be there again. I met a very special person there named Sherry and over a period of 4 years she was my best friend and love of my life. We did go our separate ways but we are still the best of friends.
I go back almost every year, usually just passing through, but my mind races when I think back to all the memories. We left Uravan in 1986 and moved to Paradox and eventually Nucla. My Dad Leo and Mother Eva eventually retired after 37 years there and now live in Grand Junction. I am an electric lineman living in the Roaring Fork Valley near Glenwood Springs.
Relaford, Samuel 1969 - 1979 top^ (Added 2010) I lived there from May 1969 to May 1979. Leonard, Leo Jr 1970 - 1971 top^ I'm just sitting here as all the memories come flooding back in. I like to come here to your web site and just look at the pictures. I lived in Uravan and went to school there for a year in 1970-71. My dad Leo Leonard Sr., older sister Pricilla, little brother Richard and I lived in the barracks that was beside the highway as you come in from Naturita. My dad worked at one of the mines. I don't remember which one. That year we moved three times twice in the same block than to the West End of town. Two of my favorite things to do were fishing and swimming. I did a lot of climbing in the back yard. The back yard was the canyon wall. I still remember the first summer I was there this guy gave me a BB gun and I would go up the canyon and shoot cans. Than another time another guy gave me a bike, man was it hard to pedal due to the fact it had a large sprocket. I guess that's the reason why I got it for free, (laughs). I learned how to skate at the skating ring. Made many friends. Always wondered what became of my classmates. Just remember the first names, Bill, Gilbert, Kevin, Carol, Teresa, Penny, and Steve Garcia. I think most would agree they remember most about school was the school underpass. Sometimes I used to just go down there and listen to the trucks pass over. The gym where we had our PE and lunch, smell them hot rolls. Even did a little wrestling too. Steve and I played almost every day when we moved to the West End of town just a ways down from the plant.
On Fridays when my dad got off work from day shift or at midnight we would take off and make the drive to the Reservation then on Sunday afternoons we would drive back. On the midnight trips he would ask me to stay awake and help keep an eye out on the road. A few times we had close calls to hitting a deer. Imagine a 10-year-old trying to stay awake and listening to Charley Pride and Hank Williams. That was the only 2 music he liked to listen too. We did this almost every weekend. Sometimes we would go to the drive-in in Naturita and watch a show. I left the summer of 71. I always wanted to go back for a visit but never did. I believe my dad got laid from the mine the following year.
Bennett, Shawn Early 70's top^ (Added 2009) I am a former resident of Uravan in the early 70's. I had to laugh when I ran across the site - I was telling someone that I once lived in a town that was named after two radioactive materials that was now a 'nonexistent' ghost town, and he didn't believe me. Richardson, Kristi
1972 - 1977 top^ Kristi Richardson Andrews
I lived in Uravan for five years, from 1972-1977. I am 32 years old, so we must have gone to school together. My dad, Cal Richardson, worked as a metallurgist at the plant, and my mother, Rachel, worked there as a secretary.
I also have many fond memories of Uravan. Here is my website address where you can find some poems that were written by my dad, and an essay that I wrote, about Uravan
Uravan was a very special place for many. I don't know if it was the isolation or the unique people and geography, but there was a magic about the place that even I remember. I was only 5 when we left, but the feeling of the place remains with me.
My family and I were transferred around the country, like most of those who spent time in Uravan. I think Union Carbide had a policy that nobody was allowed to stay in one place too long! We spent time in south Texas, New York, Arkansas, and of course Uravan. Of all those places, my family identifies with Uravan as home. Although the town is gone, the place is still close to our hearts, our little Utopia in the mountains and mesas. Only those who lived there can really understand the magic it seemed to hold. I've tried to explain it to my wife, and I think she senses that it was a special place, but she wasn't lucky enough to have experienced it. I am glad to see that there are others who remember it like we do.
Changing the subject a little, the vanadium business is still alive, barely! I am working at US Vanadium in Hot Springs, AR, carrying on the family tradition.
(Warren) Tjossem, Susan 1972 - 1979 top^ I taught at the elementary school in Uravan from 1972 to 1979. I taught 1/2 day music, 1/2 day 6th grade the first 2 years and then 1/2 day music, 1/2 day kdg until the last year when I taught 1/2 day at the the jr high in Naturita and 1/2 day 4th grade in Uravan. I am one of the teachers' in the 4th grade picture from '78-'79. Mrs. Long is the other. Heard about your website after visiting former Uravan friends John and Sue Hall in Washington. We hadn't seen them for 30 years, but friendships begun in Uravan are lasting ones. So many wonderful memories of those years. In fact I met and married my husband Tom who worked as a mining engineer during our days there. (Scoggin) Kindsvatter, Neva 1972 - 1984 Nucla, 1984 - present Grand Junction top^ My grandpa Joe Scoggin worked for Union Carbide until he retired in the late 1970s. I can remember going to the Uravan pool for swimming lessons and driving past the mill's ponds thinking the strips of land sticking out of the weird-looking water looked like dragons. I'm glad someone is still keeping the equine graffiti on the canyon wall painted. As long as that horse/unicorn/donkey/whatever remains painted on the canyon wall, Uravan will never fully die. Espinoza, Glennis 1974 - ???? top^ My name is Glennis Espinoza and my family (Manuel Sr., Nanette and Manuel Jr) moved to Uravan from Fullerton CA in 1974. I have so many great memories from that time. We made many friends and we knew that our children were always safe. Unlike today.
I am so grateful that we were able to experience the life in Uravan. It was very painful for us to leave once they decided to lay off most everyone, and then eventually tear down the town.
Manuel worked in Yellow Cake, and then as a mechanic. We talk about that time quite a lot.
I worked in the boarding house with Katherine and Glenna, and enjoyed every minute of it. At the time we were not only cooking for the mill workers we cooked for the crew of Brown & Root. They were doing work at the mill tailings. A very busy time in Uravan. I then worked in the store with the Haineys.
I remember when Glenna McClain had her ceramic classes. She would even let the grade school children come and make gifts for the parents for either Mothers or Fathers Day. To this day Manuel has a small turtle that Manuel Jr. made him.
Life was so laid back and it is a time I will always miss. Thanks for helping to keep the memories of Uravan alive and in the hearts of all.
(McCammon) Reed, Jane 1974 - 1975 top^ My husband, Dave Reed, grew up in Naturita, so Uravan residents were life-long friends. I spent one year living in Uravan, 1974-75, then lived many years in the Nucla-Naturita area. It's weird driving through Uravan; there're always comments like "That's where the tennis courts were" or "The pool used to be there." Most ghost towns at least have buildings as reminders. Uravan will just have to live in our memories. Hope you get lots of interest here. I'll pass on info. on your web-site to other friends from the area. Hainey, Dean 1970's Summers top^ My aunt and Uncle owned the General store during the 70's. Jim and Norma Hainey with their 2 son's Kim and Opie. The latter name I'm sure will bring back memories for many due to the odd name and his popularity. My grandfather moved to Uravan I think in the early to mid 70's and my sister and I would spend weeks there during the summer months.
I remember getting up entirely to early with Papa to go and have breakfast with the miner's @ the boarding house.
I have so many memories and have only been back 1 time in the past 12 year's. I plan on taking my family of Hainey's back to see where so many great memories were created.
Jagoe, Davis 1974 - 1979 top^ My name is Davis Jagoe. Paulette, DJ, Andrea and I lived in Uravan from 1974 until 1979. Good to see the Uravan web site. It seems that most of us feel the same about the rotten little place. We loved and cherished every minute we spent there. Also good to see the messages from the Richardsons and Rays on your site.
I'm still in the mining business. I'm in Denver with a small gold mining company, Western States Minerals Corporation.
Smith, Frank 1974 - 1984 top^ (Added 2010) I lived in Uravan with my mother and step father Jeanne Dorraine, Stewart and Clyde Andrew Stewart my sister's Verlinda Belle Smith , and Essie Crystal Stewart, my little brother Harry Andrew Stewart was born in Uravan. Martinez, Clara Mid 70's top^ (Added 2010) My name is/was Clara Martinez and I used to live in Uravan in the mid 70's i came across the pics you have posted and wanted to know if you have any more pics from 74 to 78? any help would be cool. McAdams, Ranleigh 1975 top^ It really made my head spin with memories looking @ the photos and reading the history. I lived there with my family during the summer and fall of 1975. I would have been in the 6th grade and my brother, Erik Mcadams, would have been in the 2nd. We were friends w/ Darrel Mcclain's family. I haven't been to the town site since about 1984 or '85. Stephen, Mathew 1975 - 1979, 1979 - 1981 Naturita top^ My dad, Mark, was a uranium geologist, my mother, Darrah, and my two younger sisters Carolyn (4 years old) and baby sister Susan (1 yr) moved to Uravan when I (7 yr) was in first grade, 1975. I have many fond memories of the time we spent there, and even to this day, I still consider the area as my home.
We moved to the nearby town of Naturita in 1979 when my dad changed jobs. Two years later he was transferred to Nebraska in 1981.
Bjornstad, Shelley ???? - 1977 top^ I am Shelley Bjornstad, aka the Big Big Billy Goat in the 1977 Spring pageant. I have visited your site several times over the last few years and I love how it continues to grow. It helps me to piece together my faint memories of the town we lived in for over two years. My father, Steve, is a geologist and brought my mother Lynne and I to Uravan when I was two and a half. While we lived there, my brother Chris was born in Grand Junction. We moved to Texas in 1977 and moved to several other small towns until we landed in Ridgecrest, California, where my parents still live today. I moved to Seattle twelve years ago after graduating from school in California.
I love reading the site and people's memories and many of the names are very familiar - I have heard stories about many of these people over the years, people who my dad worked with and kids that I went to school with. I have so many memories of learning to swim at the pool, walking home from school, playing with kids in the neighborhood, learning to roller-skate, watching the river, and just living a simple small-town life.
It's sad that the town is no longer there, but great that you have put together this site for people to know that there are others out there who remember.
Stucker, Crystal 1976 - 1980 top^ I lived in Uravan from 1976-1980. I was just a kid then age 4-9, but I have great memories. I've been back several times its amazing what a change! I Stephens, Jeff
1976 - 1981, 1981 - 1988 Paradox top^ Jeff Stephens
My dad, Howard Stephens went to work in Uravan in 1976. We lived in Norwood at the time, but moved to Uravan in 1977, where we stayed until we bought a house in Paradox in 1981. My dad and Mom continued to work in Uravan while my sister Kim and I went to high school in Nucla.
After high school, I worked in Uravan for a little while, for a crew that was removing the abandoned houses. I joined the Marine Corps, stomped around the world a few times, and moved back to Colorado after my service ended in 1992. I worked in Grand Junction for a year, then landed a job with UMETCO Minerals in Uravan, the town of my childhood. I was now part of the crew that made Uravan vanish from the map.
I sometimes would stand and look at the barren ground, where homes used to be standing, filled with families, surrounded by trees. I'd reflect on times when us kids would play in the grass after school, or fill the town swimming pool day after day, all summer long. Sometimes us kids would "pack up," and set off for an adventure on the canyon walls. This usually meant poking around in the old abandoned mines. Not the smartest thing to do, but we were kids, so we were invincible. Now, the only thing standing from those days, is the old Rec Hall, and Boarding House. Uravan is dead and gone, but the memories of that place, and all my friends from that place, will last forever.
My name is Howard Stephens and I first moved to Uravan in 1976 and am still working for the company in charge of doing the final reclamation of the site. We should finish the reclamation of Uravan by 2006 or 2007. At that time the site will be turned over to the DOE for long term maintenance. My best memories of Uravan are the people who lived and worked there. No other place in the USA could ever offer the family atmosphere as did Uravan. People who lived and worked in Uravan were like a family and those same people stayed close even after the town was shut down. As evidence to that, I went to Glen Woods funeral a couple weeks ago and it was like a Uravan/Nucla family reunion.
(Espinoza) Marchant, Nanette 1976 - 1983 top^ I haven't been "home" in almost 20 years?but think of it often. I plan on a trip to Uravan with my family this summer. Thank you so much for your work!
My family Manuel (dad), Glennis (mom), me (Nanette) and my brother (Manuel) Espinoza moved to Uravan in 1976 were I think we lived on J block first and then moved on to H block at the end of the street, Kelli and Brian Evans were my neighbors! My Uncles also lived in Uravan, they were Bernie, Bennie and Henry Espinoza and hung around with Steve Garcia and the Real (?spelling on last name) brothers Levi and Lewis. For years I have tried to explain Uravan to family and friends but if you didn't live there and experience it then you can't really grasp what we are all talking about. Andrea Willey was my best friend and we went every where together but then again you usually went every where with almost everyone you hung out with…in my case that would have been Karl & Mindy Butt, Thelma & Pat Brown, Missy Garcia, Kelli Evans, Robbie Barella, the Crespens, Scott and Steve Haskell and of course there are others but I have forgotten a lot of their names.
The things that stick out in my mind especially now that I am older and have a family of my own is how simple and safe our lives were. We basically went and did whatever we wanted to do and our parents really didn't worry too much about us?plus everyone in town knew everyone so it was only a matter before someone told on you if you were up to no good! I remember playing night time tennis baseball and losing the ball at night, night time hide go seek, tubing on the huge truck tubes, we could get at least four people on one of those if not more and when we tied them together forget it. The first snow which was usually Halloween night and we didn't care we went to every house! Endless hours of swimming, even in the rain, remember how the water got really warm when it rained. Walking to the pool with no shoes and stepping on a million goat-heads (which NO ONE can relate to). Rock climbing and then running and jumping all the way down, chasing the cows at night and roller skating at the rec. hall. Sleeping under the stars was the best and we did it all summer when our parents would let us and there could be two of us or there could be ten, what fun.
I was heartbroken when we had to leave. We moved to Delta in 1983 and I left behind some great friends and lost track of them along the way. I graduated high school from Delta in 1987 and moved to New York for a few months, when I came home my parents were moving to California so I went with them but that didn't last long, I was shocked by the city and moved back to Grand Junction for a year before I decided to move back to California. In 1993 I married my husband and in 1994 we moved from San Clemente, California to Massachusetts where he is from. We live in Malden, MA with our two sons, Avery who is 5 and Eamon who is 3. Though I have been to Delta I haven't been back to Uravan since I left. My family and I are driving to Colorado this summer and we will drive to Uravan where I will get out and tell my family about my childhood. Thank you so much for bringing it all back. I would love to hear from any old friends, especially Andrea!
Ortega, Billy 1977 top^ I'm not really sure if you can help, but Im looking for my biological father he lived in Naturita in the late 70's more like 1977 his name was Jeffery Williams all my mother remembers is he was about 17 in 1977 and he lived with his mother and sister in a trailer, she thinks he joined the army shortly after I was born in July Of 77 she later heard he was hurt in a fire or explosion if you could ask around or remember him or his family names it would be very appreciated. thanks Skiles, Doug 1977 - 1981 top^ My name is Doug Skiles. My father, Dave, started working for Carbide in 1960 and retired in 1986. He worked in the Grand Junction office but spent a good majority of his time in Uravan. I worked in Uravan as a summer hire in 1973. I started full time in 1977, married Debbie Austin in 1978( at the infamous Rec Hall) and worked until 1981. I worked as a laborer for Arlen Tooker, a thickener operator, an SX operator, a maintenance trainee, a painter( working with Ted Wareham), and finally ended up in the lab until I was laid off.
My wife Debbie, daughter of Ray and Ethel Austin, spent her life in Uravan until we moved to Grand Junction. We are now living in Colstrip, Montana. We have been here for 18 years.
We both have lots of memories during the time we lived in Uravan: The "smell" of Uravan when returning to Uravan from a weekend in Grand Junction.
I remember the unheeded access to public land just minutes from Uravan which is something that is unavailable where we live.
Gadarowski, Frank 1977 - 1983 top^ (Added 2009) My name is Frank Gadarowski. I lived in Uravan from 1977 until 1983, and worked in the instrument shop at the mill. Nichols, Ben 1978 top^ (Added 2010) Though I was never a resident of Uravan, I spent quite a bit of time there in 1978 doing environmental work.
My company, then known as Dames & Moore, was doing a radon gas study in Uravan, mostly around the residential areas, but also the school, mill area, and up on top of the tailings piles. I, as the technician on the project, did most of the work as I was training to go and do further radon gas studies on my own in Utah. Overall, I would estimate that I spent more than a month in Uravan (I stayed at a newly added section of a motel in Naturita). We worked out of Union Carbide's laboratory on the mill site. Once the air sample collectors were set up, it was a matter of waiting around for the bags of air to fill up. I recall that we called the collection systems "wimpies" because that was the sound the little battery operated pumps made as they cycled to add air to the sample bag. It would take about 2 days to fill a wimpie and then the sample bag would be taken to the lab to be tested. The test consisted of emptying the sample bag into a cylinder. The cylinder was coated with a substance that would react with the radon gas in the air sample. All this had to be done in the dark as everything was light sensitive. The device that actually counted the reactions inside the cylinder had a photocell so sensitive that opening it in a room with only a sliver of light would "blow" it. In fact, in demonstrating to me how to use it, the engineer training me opened it while all the lights were still on in our little room in the lab. We were down for three days while he flew to Denver to get a new cell -- $5,000 in 1978 dollars! Due to the time it took to let the sample "settle-down" in the cylinder, inside the counter, there was quite a bit of down time. Naturally I explored. I visited the drug store, the grocery store, wandered around the mill area, etc. While my engineer was off to Denver, I took the Blazer and drove around the plateau on the east side of 141 and found an old, abandoned airstrip. Being a solitary soul, I really appreciated that I could drive for miles and maybe see wildlife but no people.
In 1991 while road tripping from the Seattle area back to Colorado, I took a detour on my way home to Seattle and drove to Uravan. I had no idea what had happened to the town after I finished my work in '78 and I was curious to see how the town had fared. To my surprise, there was nothing left! I drove my rental car up onto the plateau I had gone up to many times while working there and saw that the whole place was pretty much gone. If I recall correctly, I think the tailings piles were still in place, though my memory could be a bit rusty.
I came across your website today and it brought back the memories I hadn't recalled in years: Bugging my engineer about my ability to reproduce normal children having spent time in town and on the tailings piles; seeing the company doctor because I had an extremely painful cyst on my butt (first and only time I ever took Darvon - great for getting rid of pain!) and then riding around all day checking wimpies.
From Uravan, I went to Blanding, Utah and Hanksville, Utah, doing pretty much the same thing only working out of my motel rooms.
Shields, Mike 1978-???? top^ (Added 2010) Came through Uravan a couple of years ago to show my boy - all that was there at the time was the old community building. We were actually planning a short trip over to Ouray and then through Uravan, etc towards the end of the month so I could show my wife the flume and the ruins of Uravan but I don't think it is going to work out. Kemp, Gary 1978 - 1981 top^ Just found your site. I had worked at the King Solomon mine in 1979-1981 for Union Carbide. The mine is northwest of Uravan up on the hill. It was the best job I have ever had. I was a maintenance mechanic working on the mining equipment. I had many friends that lived in Uravan at that time but have lost track of them when I moved back to Indiana, is there any way of getting a town roster of residents in 1978-1981? I last visited the area in 1996 and was amazed on how it is being reclaimed.
They can make the town disappear but they can't take the memories away.
Hiatt, Cheryl 1979-1980 top^ I came across your web site and was shocked to find out Uravan is gone. I worked in Uravan as a geologist for about a year and a half in the 1979-1980 time frame and I have very fond memories of that time. I came there from Union Carbide's Victoria, Texas office (where I worked for Jim Younger - also in your comment section). I Lived in J-5 on J Block and I loved it. I had a fenced in yard and a garden on the River side. There were many parties and get togethers and everyone was close. I got laid off from Carbide and returned to Michigan where I am today. Interestingly, I now work on cleaning up Superfund sites. Thanks for the great website. It brought back a lot of memories. Garcia, Randy D 1979 - 1985 top^ I lived on J block 19 to be exact. I read Brenda Burrits stories and can relate to every piece of information she has written. I consider myself privileged to have lived there. There will never another town like Uravan. Galloway, Collin R. 1979 - 1992 Grand Junction top^ I was a federal mine inspector stationed in Grand Junction from 1979 to 1992, and I spent a lot of time around Uravan/Naturita area. Back then, there were a lot of mines in operation. It's really sad to see what's become of Uravan now. I remember when there was a steady stream of McFarland & Hullinger and C.B. Johnson trucks hauling ore to the mill.
Thanks for keeping the memories alive.
Rybicki, Ted ????-1980 top^ We lived in H-block and moved to take a job in California in 1980. My fondest memory is installing the TV cable for Uravan. My crew and myself ran the coaxial cable through the underground workings to the transmitter towers that Roger Swindle had erected. The town celebrated when we got clear TV stations. I am still working as a geologist in Texas. Kray, Edd 1980's top^ I work for the Colorado Dep't. Of Health and in the 1980's was a frequent member of our inspection teams at Uravan. I very much miss my visits to this incredibly beautiful area. It is good to see the results of the cleanup effort by Umetco. I need to come out again and do some hiking in the back-canyons and visit some of the old friends I haven't seen for years. Shipp, Mark 1982 - 1983 top^ I taught in the Uravan School during its last year of existence, which I believe was 1982-1983. Although I have been in education for more than 25 years, that remains probably the most fun year of teaching I ever had. I was hired in August of 1982 with little more than a week to move from Montrose and get ready to teach. I did not know much of the history at that time, but the school was as shell of its former self, with half of the building not being used and housing about 35 students from K-6. My class was wonderful. There were 10 students in my combination 5-6 grade classroom. I would have to dig to remember all the names, but I do remember Jimmy Ray, Mike Willey, Nathan Swanson, Nealene Seevers, Mindy Butt, Shalynn Mendenhall, and given time, the rest of the names will come back to me. I do remember loving coming to work every day. I also remember that on the standardized tests, the class all scored above the 90th. percentile, which no doubt was owed to the small class size and tremendous community involvement. The staff that year consisted of me, Susan Seevers who taught grades 3-4, and Roger Thimm who taught grades 1-2. I believe Peggy Hibbert taught PE. I cannot remember the name of the music teacher. I have special memories of our secretary-custodian-classroom aid-jack of all trades, Theresa Scheetz. I wish I could remember the name of the music teacher and of the kitchen staff (I've not since had school meals that were even close to as good as those!) Larry Swain came down from Nucla occasionally as principal, but mainly we kept the place running on our own with Roger as head teacher and all of us teaching and having a great time.
I did not live in Uravan that year. My wife and I rented a large farm house outside of Nucla. Roger and I drove together every day and made a contest of guessing the number of deer we would count that day, the loser buying the Friday night beers. I still keep in touch with Roger as we both live in Wyoming, myself in Saratoga and Roger in Rock Springs. I kept in touch with Susan Seevers for several years before losing touch, and I was saddened to read Nealene's report of her passing.
My wife, Donna, and I would have stayed in the West End for a long time, but unfortunately, the school closed down after that year and we moved on to Wyoming. I will always have fond memories of the people of Uravan and the one wonderful year I spent there. It did break my heart when we drove through a few years later, and the only thing I recognized was the underpass and the remaining wreckage of the red iron from the entrance to the gym.
Leatha, Eric 1985 - 1988 Nucla top^ I was doing a web search on Nucla and hit your page on Uravan. A very striking set of pictures you have assembled there. I was a Junior at Nucla High when they started moving houses and burying Uravan. I found it extremely ironic that the hills that were once gutted for ore were now swallowing their suitor. I never will forget the trips I would take up the canyon to watch them slowly and methodically remove a town from the earth. All the memories and peoples gone. I watched as the ball field was sucked under by the bulldozer. And couldn't help but wonder about folks such as yourself who had grown up in the shadows of those canyons, had played alongside the river, had dreamed lazily as the crisp clouds floated past.
The families that still lived in Uravan when I moved there in '85 were: Seevers, the Phillips (as in Mark) and the Redds (although they may have always been out in Paradox and only had a Uravan address. I was good friends (some a little too good) with the class of '86. Ivor Ayers and Mike Latta (I wrote his term paper) stick out among them. I haven't looked at a yearbook in probably 8-9 years and don't have an '86 at my disposal. I have a graduation program somewhere around here. Perhaps some of your classmates are on it.
I drove through downtown Uravan with my friend Nick during a rainy summer day in 1986. We stopped and walked down the main street past the old mill and tanks of various caustic chemicals. I still don't know what those tanks and vats contained, but I didn't like the look of them. We left very quickly. This was at the time that they had just started moving the salvageable homes, so Uravan was a ghost town. I remember thinking of Sibelius's "Valse Triste" as I walked through the debris. I thought of the movie, "The Day After" and its tale of nuclear devastation. It got extremely eerie standing there in that empty town that had once been called home by so many families. We jumped back in the car and tore up the canyon toward the flume. I never forgot that creepy feeling of standing in someone else's dream moments before it was erased from the canyon. I notice now that new maps are coming out without Uravan marked on them. Now THAT'S a shame.
The Return trip (July 1998)
I wrote to you almost a year ago about my experiences in the Tri-City area (Nucla-Naturita-Uravan). After my trip to Naturita in July, Uravan is gone. No sign of it remains. Even the lights of the ball field (on the south end of town) are gone. The native vegetation is returning to the former streets and lots and had I not known the area so well, I would have mistaken it for a BMX track or the like. The housing market, however, is booming. The house we rented for 3 years at $250/month (6 bedrooms, mind you!) just sold for $136,000. The closer to Telluride you go, the more unapproachable the market becomes. This really started me on my downward spiral. I had half-counted on buying a little vacation home there to while away some off-time when I got older. As the crowds of the cities press tighter and tighter, I yearn more for the god-forsaken emptiness and grandeur of the canyons and mesas. It looks like the rich and famous have discovered our little secret and are busy scurrying about buying up parcels for their "ranches". While I was there a local told me of Kathy Ireland's bid to purchase 80 acres up in paradox valley.
My wife was shocked when I slowed the truck past Uravan and pointed out sites that had once commanded your attention from the highway. The mill and the giant leeching ponds all lidded-up and erased. A whole neighborhood of memories scraped and trucked away. Anyway, I shan't take anymore of your time except to commend you on your site. It heartens me to see you keeping your memories alive. I know I benefit from the ounce of nostalgia I steal from you every month or so when I stare at the pictures of the town that is no more.
(Dow) Garcia, Patricia ???? - ???? top^ My wife is Patricia Garcia (Dow), she was raised in Uravan. We were looking on your web site and it brought back many memories. (Ellison) Fisher, Michael
[Grandparents and mother]
???? - ???? top^ I have been doing family history work on my mothers side and have found a number of photographs of Uravan and surrounding area (c.1938?). My maternal grandfather, WIlliam Laudy Ellison worked in Uravan for many years during the late 30's and early 40's. He died in 1958 of lung cancer, which at the time was not linked to radiation and uranium exposure. My mother, Patsy Anne Ellison, was born in Uravan on (ironically) December 7, 1941 to William Laudy and Gladys (nee Eddins) Ellison. At the time, my grandparents introduced Gladys' sister Eola Eddins to a man named Douglas Garner, who was also working in Uravan. They got married, and he [Garner] too died of lung cancer in 1963 in Moab, Utah. My grandfather had been working on the mining of uranium for the government's Manhattan Project. At a hearing before the Bureau of Labor Standards in 1968, she said "I really feel as though my husband gave his life for the protection of his County, as did the soldiers who died in combat." My mom has told me of stories of my grandfathers migraines headaches and sickness from working in ill-ventilated mines. In 1957, he stopped working due to pain in his back. An El Paso, Texas doctor said "it was one of the most unusual cases he ever had seen of lung cancer." The doctor wanted to do extensive testing on him, but the family didn't have the money to do it. He went back to Crosbyton, Texas and died in August, 1958. My mother once said that his lungs slowly rotted away.
I visited Uravan once as a child in about 1991, and due to car-sickness had little thrill of seeing an old ghost town, but I do remember not seeing anyone else there. My grand-mother and mother have since passed away, so I do not have anyone to ask about the place they once called home. I have found what look to be rather fascinating pictures of the town from its earlier days.
(George) Bouchard, Kelley ???? - ???? top^ I just wanted to say thank you for time you put in on the Uravan site on the net. I found pics of my mother, Mrs. George, when she was a school teacher. (Hollingshead) Baca, Lisa ???? - ???? top^ My name is Lisa Baca (Hollingshead) my family lived in Uravan for quite some time. My Grandparents were Harry and Enis Mowen, they lived in the town in the late 1930's or early 1940's until my grandfather retired from Union Carbide in 1974 or 75. My grandfather worked in the crushers and my grandmother worked at the boarding house. My mother Gilda and her sister Linda went to school from elementary in Uravan through high school at Nucla. My Mom married and had 4 of us we all lived in Uravan I still remember the house E block #7 ..lol. I had to laugh when I saw the school picture with Mr. McCoy in it, he was the last teacher I had before we had to move. My sister Robin was the oldest then me my brother Chris then Angie. Mom and us four kids all in that two bedroom house right next to the school. I sure miss all of the friends we had and I still stay in touch with Ron and Joann Long. They use to live right next door to us, they live in Nucla now.
My grandfather passed away when he was 61 on his birthday and my grandmother is also gone. They were wonderful people and everyone in town loved them. I remember when grandma use to make food for people if they were sick and bring it to their house. My mother Gilda Hollingshead couldn't stand waiting for the bookmobile to come so she put together a library in Uravan. She was also the one that started the safety poster contest we use to have in school, and she worked at the store. We use to have a lot of fun when we were kids, their was always something to do.
I really miss the way everyone use to help each other out. You just don't see that anymore. Well, thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you. Lisa Baca (Hollingshead) Age 39
(Seevers) Orinick, Neale ???? - ???? top^ My name is Nealene Orinick (formerly Nealene Seevers), but my friends and family call me Neale (Nee-Lee). I grew up in Uravan with my four sisters, Myrna, Melanie, and Callie-Ben and my brother Charlie. I was so pleased to hear about this web site and always feel a pang of regret when I drive through what used to be my childhood home on my way to visit my father, Ben Seevers in Nucla.
I am married now and live in a suburb South of Denver with my husband Brian and my 5 month old son, Mercury. Regretfully my mother, Susan Seevers, lost her battle against breast cancer and passed away January 13th of this year. She was a teacher at the Uravan elementary school for years and taught your sister Carolyn.
Kudos to you for this website. I will visit whenever I feel nostalgia for my childhood.
(Whitney) Decker, Carol
(Whitney) Peterson, Marilyn
???? - ???? top^ I just clicked onto your website as my sister and I were discussing Uravan. Our brother, Winston Whitney, was a part of the baseball teams and imagine my JOY when I saw his pictures on your website. We lost him in 1989 to a heart attack and miss him desperately ! BUT, what joy you have brought to us ....just seeing his pictures is wonderful! Butt, Helen ????-???? top^ (Added 2010) My children all have Uravan listed as their HOMETOWN. So sad that it is gone now. We moved to Uravan when my baby was one year old and of course moved when they sent us all packing. We all so miss it.I think the kids there all got a very good education. Lots of fun times.I personally miss everyone that I met there. My kids were great swimmers. Spent all day and after supper until closing at the pool. All the little relatives loved coming to spend summertime in Uravan.So much fun 2.00 for swimming ticket. Donnie, Helen, Pamela, Monica, Karl, and Mindy Espinoza, Rick ???? - ???? top^ I live in Uravan, started the 1st grade and graduated from Nucla High school. Fernandez, Eva ????-???? top^ (Added 2010) My mother was married to Andrew Jackson in the early seventies and I have seen some of their pictures on your website. My mother's name was Edith Jonson (maiden) she worked at the boarding house for some time with Cathy Salazar. When Mom and Andy divorced; Mom married Gil Cross. My name is Eva Fernandez, went by Jackson in elementary but legal name was Knuckles. My sister's name is Darlen Utley, my brother were David Utley, Cody Jackson and Kandy Jackson. My best friend was Theresa Sheets. Hassel, Mary ???? - ???? top^ My Dad worked at colstrip in 1975. John Van Hassel. 1975 life change for me. My dad fell at power house unit 1. My dad was palized. I would like his name in merional at the plant. people should known.
In memory of John F. Van hassel
I didn't get to meet you.
But mama tells me all the time
How much I woul have liked you,
Did you Know your name is mine.
God createe me before you left
And knew you could not wit
But now, you are resting
In a special Heavenly place
And while you watch me grow
I'll have my picture of you
And you'll be directing me
As Grandma said you'd do.
Although We;ll never share on eart.
The things that boys and Grandpa's do
I know that you love me and Granpa- I love you
Head, Barbara ????-???? top^ (Added 2010) Dr. Sears and Annie was the nurse when I lived there in 1966. A church-Post office-drugstore-grocery store-Barber-Boarding House-Saloon-A real Gas Station-School-Doctor-A Real Swimming Pool with the Snack Bar-Laundry Mat, Leave out anything-Oh Yeah a Ballpark with a Rec center to hoild events! Does anyone remember Herbert Koontz and Deanie Koontz-Sherri,Barbara,David,Laurie- Charley Koontz-Jim Dodgen? Lived there around 1963-1966 or 67? Herbert was a Truck Driver and Deanie was a Brownie Leader Johnson, Marguerite Boc ???? - ???? top^ (Added 2010) I saw the name Rich Espinoza on your Uravan site. I think he might be my good friend In sixth grade. Labrum, Kathy (Rock J. Labrum Grandfather) ???? - ???? top^ Hello, I am looking for information on a mining accident that happened in 1957. My husband's grandfather died in this accident. His name was Rock J. Labrum (may have been called Rosco). If you can send me any information or where to possibly look for information, I would appreciate it. Martinez-Gonzales, Katherne ???? - ???? top^ A family member told me to check your website today, lo and behold I saw this school picture and I was in it. I read some of the stories that were told and you know I agree. Uravan was my home for many years. I didn't know that life existed outside that little town. I loved it their all my childhood memories are their. I tell my children how life was simple and how great it was. I even took my husband there. When I got there I cried with happiness and of course sadness. Where I grew up was no more. I just want to thank you so much for a wonderful website.
My dad Jubencio Erminio Martinez passed away in January 7, 2005....of Pulmornay Fibirosis. Due to working in the mines there in Uravan. I wish this ilness on No One.
Shirley ???? - ???? top^ I just wanted to tell You I really enjoyed your website and I passed it on to my brothers that work in the Uranium boom. I remember as a little girl going to the mines to bring my brother and dad fresh cloths and food. But most of all I remember the dirt road going thru Uniweep Canyon, and the big Trucks hauling ore. Skiles, Debbie ???? - ???? top^ (Added 2009) Do you have any pictures of the three crosses that were on the hill outside of Uravan? Thompson Gonshor, Mary R. ???? - ???? top^ I worked at Union Carbide and Phyllis Fox Davis helped me in the Purchasing Dept. My husband Myrle taught school at Uravan, Naturita Trujillo, Susanna ???? - ???? top^ I spent the first five years of my life at the Golden Cycle mining camp on Atkinson Creek above Uravan and during my adolescence spent two weeks every summer with my mother Catharine Salazar (who ran the resturant at the Boarding House) in Uravan.
At the Golden Cycle, I lived with and was raised by my grandparents Felix and Carrie Trujillo. Our community there included four of their daughters (one being my mother Catherine) and one son. At the time two daughters (Catherine Salazar/Margie Olvera) were married and their young husbands worked in the mine next to my grandfather. His two son-in-laws eventually moved down to Uravan with my uncle Ruben Olvera working the mines until he retired, and my step-father George Salazar working at the mill as a welder until his retirement from Umetco two years ago. My mother Catherine, step-father George, sister Renee White and brother Jeff continue to live in the area in Naturita and I own a home next door to my sister Renee.
Like many others, my grandfather developed lung cancer as a result of uranium mining. He suffered for several years, going from a bear of a man to a skeleton. He was bedridden the last year of his life and eventually died an excruciating death. I was 15 at the time and my grandmother was well into her 50s. My grandmother, like many other mining wives her age, nursed him around the clock and it was a painful experience for all. In later years my uncle Ruben also died from lung cancer and I suspect his wife took care of him to the same degree her mother Carrie took care of her husband Felix. My grandfather comes from a New Mexico family of 12 kids and his brothers lived well into their 90's, so his death was premature.
(Nygren) Musick, Caree ???? - ???? Uravan, Nucla top^ I lived in Uravan for approximately three years before moving to Nucla for the next fifteen years. Your web site is great. It was really nice to see that someone has done something to memorialize Uravan. It was truely a unique community that everyone who lived there will remember. (Clark) Debbie, (Taber) ???? - ???? Gateway top^ I am a daughter of Corky and Carol Taber and grew up in Uravan since I was 9 years old tell I was 18. We moved out to Valmy Nevada and Dad worked with Transystems after they got done with the cleanup in Uravan. I am married to Bill Clark and have 7 kids. I have tried to explain to my kids what a great place Uravan was to grow up in. It is sad to go threw there and see nothing no sign that a town was ever there. It would be grate to find a place were u can let your kids go out and play and not have to many worries. Sue, Carol ???? - ???? Gateway top^ My dad did the drilling for the government and the Drilling company (Mott Drilling Company) was my great great Uncles. Wilcox, Don and Beth ????-???? Grand Junction top^ Hello, we are Don and Beth Wilcox from Grand Junction. My family are kind of mining nuts in general. We took a road trip to Gateway and Uravan this past weekend. And we are totally fascinated by the story of Uravan. To me it seems very surreal that the town is completely gone but for tons of people writing on your site, the town was real. We took a drive down County Road EE22 all the way to Hwy 90. We found this awesome mining tipple and hoist house remains somewhere close to the Hwy 90 side. We're searching and searching for the name of the mine but can't find it anywhere. I think that many mining rigs are torn apart and sold for scrap but for some reason this structure is still intact. The map on your Uravan site is so close but we're fairly sure it needs to be more to the south and west. Can I ask where you got that map? We'd like to get one with an expanded area to locate the mine in question.
I sent your site to my Dad, I'm sure he'll love reading people's stories and checking out the picture section. I have seen Uravan on maps forever but was shocked that it's gone. I never knew the current state until this past weekend. It's sites like your's that will keep the memory alive. I think it's interesting that people enjoyed living and working there so much. An article in a newspaper lately was talking about an upcoming class action lawsuit for uranium workers and families from the Uravan area, the people that were interviewed all had positive things to say about living and working in the area. I'm sure there are exceptions to that feeling but those people don't voice their opinions as loudly as the others.
Wynn, Mary ???? - ???? Gateway top^ I lived in Gateway during the uranium boom, started out in Moab, Utah. My husband began his mining career with Hecla Mining Co., there.
When I have time, I always go to Uravan, John Brown Hill, and on the lower side of the river so that I can look up at the hanging flumes.
I understand that the hanging flumes are going to be reclaimed and saved as a monument or something. I hope they do a good job on it. That is one of my most favorite places in the world.
Now I'm living in Wickenburg, AZ, but am planning to move to Mesa County or someplace warm near there sometime this year.
Valencia, Sam "Estella Cloud" ???? - ???? Naturita top^ Hi Matt and family, I lived in Naturita for many years. My sister in law seen your article in the newspaper and thought it would be nice to check it out on the web. Here we are. My oldest daughters live in Naturita at this time. My friends there know me by Estella Cloud, others know me as Sam. I went to school with a David Steffens. I don't know if he is still in Naturita or not. My sister in law is Theresa Cloud (Hubbs). Well, nice to meet you. You did a great job on the site. Cressler, Jim ???? - ???? Nucla top^ What a great little work you have done here! Uravan and the mill, people, and assets were a big piece of my life while growing up in the west end. My family, (Dad-Harold, Mom-Dorothy, Sisters-Joy and Judy, and brother John grew up in Nucla.
I went Kindergarten thru Graduation in that school system, so my class mates, friends, and doctor were there. It is also where I spent many summer weeks learning to swim at the pool.
Thanks for the memory recall.
Rhonda ???? - ???? Montrose top^ I was born in 1959, and grew up in Montrose, CO...I am now a transplanted southerner... living in North Carolina. I was discussing "government cover-ups" with a friend, and being from the western slope of Colorado...I was just going on and on all about the whole Uravan story and how the government conspired with Union Carbide to deny that the miners who were dying of lung cancer at alarming rates were exposed to radioactive dust in the same manner as West Virginia Coal miners were coal dust, etc. etc., and guess what? Nobody outside of Colorado has ever heard of Uravan. They think I made the whole thing up. I was searching the net for proof and hit your web site...the pictures of sagebrush and rocks sure made me homesick. Spindler, Dorothy ???? - ???? Redvale, Nucla top^ I just stumbled across your web page on Uravan. I lived in the West End many years before moving to New Mexico.
I also have a website. There are three web pages on Nucla, The Flume, and the Driggs Mansion in Uniweep Valley. http://www.homestead.com/thewebs/index.html
I didn't live in Uravan. Went to the doc there. Learned to swim there and then taught swimming lessons there. I lived at Redvale til I got married, then moved to Nucla and was there til late winter of 1985. My Dad was the Norwood Marshal and had sworn in deputy powers in San Miguel County.
Davis, John ???? - ???? Telluride top^ I visited your site and found it to be very nostalgic. I grew up in Telluride but traveled to Uravan with my mom and dad when they went to visit my moms brother, Bud Patterson, my aunt was Theatis (sp) and my cousins were Penny and Pam. Bud is in the baseball pictures. He loved baseball and shared that love as a coach and player for a number of years. I remember playing little league games on the field east of town. It was a big deal for us to go there and for me to see my Aunt, Uncle and cousins. I remember playing against a friend I had made there. He pitched for the Uravan team?when it came time for my at bat?I was conflicted. He was my friend and I didn't want to make him look bad by hitting one of his pitches. I am pretty sure that I struck out?but we remained friends.
Also, we visited the Colcords. Jack Colcord and my dad used to shoot small bore (.22) targets in the basement of the recreation center. Jack had a plane that he kept up on the airfield on the north side plateau above town. My first plane ride was above the town. Jack’s wife worked at the drug store. Their son Don now runs the pharmacy in Nucla.
My grand parents Arthur and Vina Patterson are buried in Nucla and loved the area. They had their 50th wedding anniversary celebration at my Uncle and Aunts house in Uravan. Good memories…of those times.
I still go that way whenever I can. I am amazed that the town is no more. Fond memories are always hard to relive when the place is gone. I will always miss the town.
Been reading some of the comments?Buela was Jack’s wife?Don and Jackie were the kids?what a blast from the past?it was the early 60’s and we were much more innocent then?/td>
Amundson, Michael Website visitor top^ I liked your photos a lot. I actually talk about the school underpass in my dissertation a bit. Anderson, James Website visitor top^ (Added 2009) If possible I would like you to get a message to Howard Gladman. My name is Jim Anderson and I am researching Igloo, SD / Black Hills Ordnance Depot. (I grew up there) Howard's dad was the Post Surgeon immediately before they moved to Uravan. Howard can contact me at this address, Igloo.SD@gmail.com or check out the web site www.Igloo-SD.org. Cindy Website visitor top^ Just a quick note to let you know I really enjoyed your site on Uravan. A close friend of mine Deb Borton lived there many years ago; she introduced me to this site. Thought you might like the feed back, Your site on Uravan is one of the best sites I have ever seen on a small town. Lots of interesting history captured so well with your photos and narrative. Thanks for the tour. Ewert, Lori Website visitor top^ (Added 2009) William H Barnes died 5/28/1963 in Montrose, at a mine owned by W.B. Eckman. I'm trying to get information on his family, as he had a wife and young daughter. Do you know anyone who might be able to help? Howard, Syrena Website visitor top^ (Added 2009) My name is Syrena and I am wondering if there is any book that you may know of that has some history (in depth) of Uravan. I live in Montrose, my grandma lived in the flat tops while my granfather worked in a mine. I have been through the area twice. Once on ee22 road and once on 141. I am trying to find the two remainig buildings they say are still there. Hunter, Erik Website visitor top^ I enjoyed your site! I am a big fan of atomic and mining history and have been planning to visit Uravan area for almost a year now. It looks like I'll finally get my chance around May 1st this year!
I have detailed my visits to mining locations at http://www.dangerouslaboratories.org/radrocks.html
Jacobs, Cynthia Website visitor top^ My name is Cynthia and I went to school with Marian Wrenfrow. Marians father was Charles Wrenfrow and worked in Uravan. Marian's mom, Judy, married Joe Hamilton and moved the family to Arkansas. Joe adopted the kids, Marian, Alice and Charles. I never heard from Marian since high school graduation. Have wondered if the family may have made there way back to Uravan and if anyone around there can help me with my long time search. Morrell, Chris Website visitor top^ (Added 2010)
I am from the eastern U.S. and have not had the pleasure of visiting Uravan, but I was fascinated by its story when a coworker told me about living there in the late 1970's. Murray Swindell (born 1957 in Michigan) worked for Union Carbide as a field geologist from about 1979-1981 or 1982, in support of the exploration program searching for other potential sources of Uranium or Vanadium. I heard about Uravan's existence in 2005 when I came to work for a geotechnical engineering company in Maine that Murray worked for. Murray trained me for a few weeks, and we became friends, one day he mentioned his former work in Uravan and I began asking questions about all the processes that went on during mining operations. Murray told me all about uranium and vanadium mining life in the town and all the different people/buildings that existed there.
Murray's stories fascinated me, but none more than when he explained that the whole town was eventually bulldozed into the ground and almost no structures now exist! I was floored at this (understand that this sort of thing is much less common on the east coast), and asked Murray if he had any contact with anyone from the town. Murray indicated that he had heard at one point from an old friend that the town was a superfund site now, but he knew very little else. Having a mild phobia of computers and the internet, Murray never spent any time researching Uravan online, so I started looking up things about the town and in 2006 I came across your website, with pictures that amazed me (and brought back memories for Murray), stories that brought the former town to life, and a history of pollution that saddened me.
Thanks for undertaking such an impressive task in creating a "virtual existence" for this nearly extinct town, the homes and tents may be gone, but many of the people and their memories still exist, I know by the posts on your site that many people appreciate your efforts.
Stone, Nat Website visitor top^ (Added 2010) I have recently become interested in the Dolores River watershed, having been hired to document the work of Youth Corps groups currently removing salt cedar from the river's banks. I was there yesterday -- just downstream from Slickrock -- when some of the corps members mentioned new uranium leases, and I then saw the DOE signs. One of the corps members is a granddaughter to a couple that lived at Uravan -- her grandfather worked in the mines.
Curious to learn more about uranium mining along and near the Dolores, I've found your website. Are Uravan reunions still held? If so, I'd be interested (if possible) in attending.
Weaver, Kenneth L. K. Website visitor top^ Intriguing to find your excellent web site. Williams, Chris Website visitor top^ I have absolutely no connection with Uravan other than the fact that I drove from Moab, UT to Naturita and then along the Unaweep Tabegauche Scenic Byway (that's what it's called on the road atlas) up to Grand Junction in May of 2003. I have traveled extensively in Colorado but I had never been in that remote and beautiful area before. I was alone and through Paradox Valley I saw no one else on the road for many miles. I found it strange that several towns that were marked on my map were no longer there. I coasted into Naturita on fumes and then continued up the scenic canyon past the townsite of Uravan. It was a very meemoralbe day for me over the past two years I have been thinking about writing a piece of fiction set in that part of Colorado, even though I knew nothing about Uravan in particular until just a few days ago when I came across your website. I have found the whole story just fascinating, and I was very moved by some of the memories that people shared of a singular place and time that no longer exists. There is something magical about that part of the country and I hope to return soon to see it again.