Carbon County Historical Society Learns About Mounds, the Buried Forest


Scott Wheeler was welcomed to the Carbon County Historical Society meeting last week to speak on the Mounds and the Buried Forest.

The historical society is considering taking a hiking trip to the Buried Forest and wished to glean more information from Wheeler. He began his presentation with the disclaimer that he is not a historian, but a person that likes to explore the desert and make discoveries.

Wheeler explained that he became interested in historical photos a few years ago when a co-worker revealed a picture of Royal. His mother lived in Royal and when he showed the photo to her, she was able to point out the area in which she lived. Upon obtaining a digital copy of the photo, Wheeler was able to zoom in and see a great bit of detail, including a date on the photo from 1922.

Thinking that he should re-create the photo on the same day, he went out and did just that. This began his likening of old photos and discovering the connections, in which Wheeler stated that most that live within the area have a connection to an old coal camp.

From here, Wheeler spoke on George Edward Anderson, an individual that captured thousands of photographs, many of them within Carbon County. One such photo was titled “Buried Forest, Sunnyside,” which puzzled Wheeler as he could not find the location of the photo.

Following much research, he discovered the Mounds area, which used to be called Sunny Side. Wheeler then spoke with museum directors, archaeologists, friends and more to discover the location of the photo that Anderson had taken. About three or four of Wheeler’s friends joined him in the search. Through Google Maps and assistance from a friend, the discovery was made.

With Wheeler’s discovery and the help of many, the Bureau of Land Management designated the area and marked a one-mile hiking trail to the site. Wheeler stated that they visited the area and placed kiosks at the head in the parking area.

Wheeler also took time to re-visit the site prior to the historical society meeting. He filmed the one-mile hike and showed those that were in attendance to gauge whether or not a hike in the area would be plausible.

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