The Hayden Heritage Center, in cooperation with Colorado Department of Transportation, manages and cares for the Mt. Harris Memorial
located on Hwy 40 at the former site of the town of Mt. Harris.
This Memorial was built by former residents of the Town of Mt. Harris.
History of Mt Harris
Mount Harris was founded in 1914, when the Colorado-Utah Coal Company purchased the land to begin a coal mining venture. Two brothers from Iowa, George and Byron Harris, were in charge of developing the mining town which would become home for many people for the next 44 years.
Mount Harris soon became noted as a 'model coal camp'. The streets were wide and tree lined and there was a large natural park of cottonwood trees that was made into a playground. The residential area was planned out generously, allowing for homes to be scattered with liberal yards and garden area for each family. A baseball park in the center of town was home to two town teams and was used also for rodeos. Two doctors were in residence with one on call at all times. Despite the lack of a police force, there was rarely a disturbance in town.
The sand rocks from the Gibraltar rocks below the town, were used to build the business district. A single rock building housed a mine office, general store, drug store, pool hall, barber shop and a post office each with their own entrance. The town boasted three boarding houses in addition to a community center used for dances and movies. In 1916, the coal company built a four room grade school which burned and was replaced in the 1930's by a larger building which had 1st thru 8th grades, students attended high school in Hayden.
Three mines operated in the area providing employment for Mt Harris residents.
The Colorado- Utah Coal mine operated from 1914 to 1958. This mine was also known as the Harris Mine. Its entry ports were on the southside of the river across from the townsite.
The Wolf Creek Mine was started by the Zarlango Bros. / International Fuel Company in 1915 was to the northeast of the Town up the draw from the Wadge Mine with its entry on the east side of the draw. It later became the Pinnacle- Kemmerer Coal Company and was called the PK Mine and operated until 1942, its employee housing dotted the east side of the draw.
The Wadge Mine, which was opened in 1887 by homesteaders James and Sarah Wadge, was bought by the Victor American Fuel Company in 1917. This mine was also located northeast up the draw with its entry on the west side. The workers housing was on the northside of what is now Hwy 40 up on the hillside. They expanded the mine and operated it until 1951. It was here that one of Colorado's worst mine disasters took place on January 27, 1942 where 34 miners lost their lives in an explosion devastating the community.
The entire Town of Mt Harris was auctioned off on May 20, 1958 all the buildings were either sold and moved or demolished and the materials sold off. All that remains are some foundations and remnants of structures and the memories of those who lived there.