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History of Green River, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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Green River, located in Emery County, is a commercial and farming and ranching community situated in a valley where the Green River flows between low banks for several miles between Gray and Labyrinth canyons. The site was important long before the settlement era since it was the most accessible crossing point on the Green River south of the Uinta Basin. The Spanish Trail, a trade route between Santa Fe and Los Angeles in active use during the 1830s and 1840s, forded the river about three miles upstream from the present town, as did the 1853 railroad survey under the direction of Captain John W. Gunnison. The site's accessibility also made it a natural staging and supply point for travel on the river.

Settlement began in the late 1870s in the form of Blake Station on the overland mail route between Salina, Utah, and Ouray, Colorado. The first permanent settlers of European stock were the families of Thomas Farrer and Matthew Hartman. The Farrers played a leading role in the community for several decades, operating a general store, a bank, and a ferry service.

The completion of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railway in 1883 made Green River a shipping point for livestock and mining equipment and supplies. The railroad built an engine house, switching yards, and a three-story hotel called the Palmer House. The influx of railroad workers gave the town 375 residents by 1890, in addition to a fluctuating population of cowboys, sheepherders, and prospectors from the Book Cliffs and the San Rafael Desert. The town's location on the "outlaw trail" between Robbers Roost and Browns Park also contributed to its "wild west" reputation during that period.


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