Carbon County Historical Society Compares “Then and Now” With Scott Wheeler


Scott Wheeler visited Carbon County Historical Society members during their April meeting to display his photography skills and reminisce on his days exploring rural Utah and the coal camps.

Wheeler began by informing the crowd that he does not consider himself a historian or a photographer; he simply enjoys taking pictures and likes to listen to the History Channel on television. He lived in Castle Country as a kid and would wander often into the washes and other areas of rural Utah.

Upon turning 13, Wheeler was given his brother’s motorcycle, which expanded his horizons and opened him up to more exploration. There were many times that Wheeler would be in the back country for hours, enjoying the landscape and wondering about the history of Utah.

“I got enthralled with discovering,” Wheeler stated.

Wheeler reflected that one time, around the age of 18, he was going up a canyon and became convinced that he was the first person that had ever been there. Until he found a boot print. Wheeler continued to wander and begin capturing photos, especially of the different coal camps of the area.

At another point in his life, he began learning how to use GPS and do mapping. He has assisted the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) previously in creating maps for the area. In the mid 1990s, he discovered a DOQ, which is an aerial black and white photograph. These quickly became a favorite of Wheeler’s.

Wheeler presented his project, “Then and Now,” to the society members. This project involved Wheeler taking those classic coal camp photos, visiting the area and taking current photos of the area for comparison. Wheeler has captured many of the coal camps in the area and has been successful in showcasing a slice of Utah history.

scroll to top