Cisco, Utah

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Cisco, Utah

Cisco, Utah is a thriving metropolis in east central Utah.

Okay, maybe the word "thriving" overstates the current economic conditions of Cisco. For that matter, "metropolis" may be a little bit of a stretch in describing the population.

Perhaps the best description is: "Cisco is a dot on the map." It is not only is it a dot on the map. Cisco is a dot in a large empty section of the map. Grand Junction is some 50 miles east of dot, Moab is a long winding road to the southwest. Greeen River is some 50 miles west of the dot. There is a large roadless area to the north of Cisco and a deep chasm carved by the Colorado River to the south.

For people just looking at maps will be led to believe that Cisco must be something.

Back to the thriving part of the description of Cisco. Cisco is (was?) a railroading town built by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. The town reported opened for business on December 3, 1866. The town was an important watering station before the train set forth on the great deserts of Utah. The railroad tracks still pass through Cisco, Amtrak passengers are treated to a few bright lights as they pass through the town in the wee hours of the morning.

Along with the railroad, Cisco was also an important stop on old US 6. That is until some fan-dancy east coast liberal wearing a suit and tie decided to route Interstate 70 north of town.

The population of Cisco reached a peak of about 200 in the 1940s. The town was both a center of transportation and ranching. The area used to shear about 100,000 sheep in Cisco.

Cisco's most famous citizen, Charles Sheen, lived in a tarpaper shack near Cisco. In 1952 Mr. Sheen discovered uranium south of Moab and opened the Mi Vida mine. Utah's Uranium king fortune reached $130 million in the late 50s (one of the richest men of his day).

Since the boom days, the population of Cisco has fallen by roughly, huh, 200 people. There are some people who consider Cisco a ghosttown. I understand that the ghosts got bored an left a few years back.

Overall, the town provides a great example of what the sun does and dry heat of the desert does to houses over time. I suspect that thousands of acres of Utah's suburban sprawl will be looking like this in 50 years.

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Context: Towns-Utah