Sego Travel Guide

Browse 2 travel reviews, travel blogs and 27 travel photos from real travelers to Sego.

Sego Overview

In 1908, Henry Ballard, a settler in Thompson Springs, discovered a vein of anthracite coal in Sego Canyon. He quietly bought the land, hired miners, and started a mining camp called Ballard. By 1911 he sold his claim to B. F. Bauer who vastly expanded Ballard’s mining operation. “Ballard” the town quickly became a company town and was renamed Nelsen in 1911 after the mine’s general manager Richard Nelsen. The population in the town was very diverse ethnically; but also strictly segregated so tensions rose quickly. Adding to the tensions the workers were forced to buy goods in the company store and payment of wages was sometimes late. The miners struck in 1915. Violence and even murders occurred. In 1918, another company bought the mines and the name of the town was changed to Sego. The first coal washer in the west was built here along with a coal tipple. The Ballard and Thompson Rail Line was established to get the coal to market. The town had problems with a dropping water table while the rail line had issues with periodic flash floods. The population never reached much past 200. The population began to decline around 1947 and the last resident left town in 1955. There are just a few ruins like the company store, some foundations, and some mines left here. Still it is an interesting glimpse into the past and is not far from the great rock art site in Sego Canyon.

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