Winter Quarters: Portrait of a Disaster
Located up a canyon west of here, Winter Quarters was
a small mining community founded about the same time
as Scofield. At 10:25 a. m. on May 1, 1900, miners
outside shaft No. 4 of the Winter Quarters Mine heard
a dull thud. Experienced miners knew there had been an
explosion. Working in coal dust sometimes ankle-deep,
199 of the 312 men inside the mine were quickly
overcome by lethal gas produced when the dust was
ignited by the explosion.
The Winter Quarters tradegy was the deadliest coal
mine accident in U. S. history to that time. It left
107 widows, and 268 children fatherless, affecting
virtually every family in Winter Quarters and
Scofield. In spite of the disaster, the burning
portion of the mine was sealed off and, after
appropriate condolences to the families, surviving
miners went back to work. The mines produced for
another thirty years.
Elevation: 8087ft, 2465m.
Literature Referring To This Location:
Dilley, J. W. 1900. History of the Scofield Mine Disaster. Provo, Utah: The Skelton Publishing Company, 1900. Recounting of the early morning explosion on May 1, 1900, at Winter Quarters mine in Scofield, that killed more than two hundred (mostly immigrant) miners. At the time, the worst mining disaster in American history. Later immortalized in song by Utah Phillips.
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Date and time this article was prepared:1:19:46 PM, 7/3/2017.