THE TOWN THAT WAS
URAVAN had its beginnings as a large cattle ranch, known as the Club Ranch, in the late 1800's. Gold prospectors soon discovered another yellow mineral in the area - Carnotite. This ore, containing radium, vanadium, and uranium, set off a whole new direction for mining and milling in the West End of Colorado.
Radium was shipped from the area for use in painting luminous dials for WWI, and also for Marie Curie's radiation experiments. Vanadium grew in importance as a hardening agent for steel, in 1928.
In 1914 Standard Chemical Company built the Joe Jr. Mill and began to develop the company town for their workers and miners.
The WSP Mill was built in 1942. It was fenced and guarded and used solely for the WWII Manhattan Project. After WWII, Uravan produced Uranium for defense and domestic use. The three decades that followed saw two cycles of boom and bust, with the mill and town closing in 1984.
In 1986 Uravan became a superfund site. DOW Chemical acquired the site in the early 2000's, and burned the last two remaining buildings in 2007.
2012: DOW released the Uravan Ball Park to RHS. Every August the Rimrockers host the Uravan Reunion Picnic here, and have converted the field into a memorial site. It includes picnic and camping areas, and an informative kiosk.
Uravan books, brochures, tee shirts, and other memorabilia are available through the online store, and at the museum.
(URAnium + VANadium)
San Miguel Trading Center. 1940
Dr. Don checks in at Uravan 2015 picnic.
Ball Park camping and picnic area.
B Block. C. 1950
Joe Jr. Mill & gardens.
Marie Templeton is interviewed at the museum for the PBS special
PBS SPECIAL LAST NOVEMBER ROCKY MOUNTAIN PBS GAVE VIEWERS A HISTORIC RIDE THROUGH THE URANIUM DAYS OF THE WEST END.
PRE TV SCREENINGS WERE HELD IN NUCLA, DURANGO, TELLURIDE AND GRAND JUNCTION. tHE PROGRAM GAVE THE HISTORIC DETAILS OF THE RISE AND FALL OF URANIUM AS WELL AS THE PERSONAL STORIES OF LIFE AT URAVAN.
VIEW THE PROGRAM AT: RMPBS ARCHIVES/COLORADO EXPERIENCE/URANIUM MANIA
HELP us identify this new accession. This is the bottom 8' board of a sign that was mounted at the entrance to Uravan. What did the rest of the sign say? When was it there?