Skip Navigation Website Accessibility

Lampo History


In a March 28,1869 Deseret Newspaper article, the reporter described Lampo, Kilmar or Junction City as: “. . . the largest and most lively of all the new town. . .built in a valley near where the grade commences the ascent of Promontory, it is completely surrounded by grading camps. . .”  To locate Lampo, the following directions were offered:  “After leaving the Blue Creek Junction where the water tower was located, go north to where the tracks made a large U-shaped bend, then start the climb upward toward Promontory Summit. . .”

Lampo was the most westerly camp of the Union Pacific Railroad.  The Chinese immigrants, working for the Central Pacific, built the roadbed to it.  West and approximately two-thirds the way up to the Promontory Range is a natural rock arch formation named in honor of the 10,000 Chinese workers.  Also in that same direction was the construction of the “Big Trestle.”  Used for only a short time, it was replaced by the “big fill.”

In 1892 or 1893, Wilford L. Olsen stated that you couldn’t see a farm for miles, all there was in sight was a range land.  This was due to the Promontory Land & Livestock Company who owned the land from Promontory Point to southern Idaho and west to the Nevada border.  This was indeed cattle country.  In November 1908 Christian Olsen Sr., Wilford and Carl Olsen, and William Korth were the first farmers at Lampo.  While deer hunting, they slept in the “old Boxcar Depot at Promontory where time was spent looking and talking about the surrounding country.  Before the railroad was completed, Christian, speaking of earlier times while he was in charge of the Co-op or the Church Cattle, said he saw the time when the country all around there was tall grass.  There was not enough wood to make a fire with which to cook meals (The land eventually was covered with large sage brush).  During that winter, Christian met a man who wanted to sell his land, and Christian bought 200 acres in the bend, west of the Lampo Station.  In the spring of 1909, railing and plowing began.  More land was purchased, and the first crop was planted.  Christian recorded, “. . .With the purchase of the land, we were allotted 2 gallons of water per minute from Engineer Springs on the mountain to the west, and we had to have the water running on our property by a certain date.  We made the deadline and also had 80 acres plowed.  More than once we (the Olsen’s) would have to go to the spring and clean out our pipe that had been plugged by cattle so the cattlemen could fill the water troughs for their cattle.”

A few years later, two large wooded elevators, scales, and a storage building, and a platform were built.  People lived in two old railroad cars that were built together end-to-end, and also the “little house out back.”  It also had two large trees and a water trough filled by a spring from the mountains to the east. Grain was brought to Lampo from the surrounding farms, loaded into the boxcars, and then shipped to the mills.  Supplies were also shipped into the station as this was the main terminal for the surrounding farmers and stores.  Lampo was also a rest stop for those traveling from the south headed northward to farms and homes, or the reverse, heading into town.  It was the place to water horses, and a place for travelers to drink and rest.  The water was cold and sweet.

July 4th celebration were held with rodeos, cowboys, and all.  A beef was killed and cooked to be enjoyed by all who came.  The cowboys were the area ranch hands and farmers, who enjoyed the challenge of a good ride.

All that remains of this railroad station is the cement foundations, part of one of the large wooden elevators, and the trunk of one of the large trees.  Vivid memories of the days when it was a busy, useful shipping and receiving station helping the growth and development of the area into a productive and prosperous part of the county and state, still linger in the hearts and minds of those who have witnessed the many developments and changes in time.