Seely House (Rio Grande Signal Maintainer’s House), part 1 [Works_Town of Cisco]

: estimated site of Seely House

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the results of my current survey.

On the north side of Railroad Street/US Hwy 50 & 6 along the town of Cisco existed several Rio Grande facilities. One of the facilities, a company house is identified in the 1971 movie Vanishing Point. We can barely see the west elevation of the structure in the movie.

1952 USGS aerial photo shows the structure. Map attached to the Cisco Gravity Base Station sheet, researched in 1967 and printed in 1971, shows the existence of RED BRICK HOUSE[1]. Unfortunately, however, the structure is disappeared unnoticed as you can see above in Google street view.

Former Cisco resident, Mary Hepperle represents this structure as Seely Red Brick House in her map of Cisco[2]. Kathy Jordan of the Daily Sentinel introduces this structure as Seely Residence[3]. Here, the outline of the structure revealed from my survey is shown below.

Seely House History

J Hawley Seely(1916 – 2001), who was a Rio Grande signal maintainer at Green River since 1943, moved to Cisco in 1944[4]. According to Kathy, at that time when J Hawley, his spouse Carolyn Beebe(1913 – 1985), and their son George moved to Cisco, the company house seemed not completed yet, forced the family to live in an outfit car[3]. Daughter Susan was born shortly after they moved to Cisco[5].

While Hawley worked for the railroad, Carolyn contributed to the community as School Board and Justice of Peace: she also ran a Red Cross First Aid station at the house and regularly checked the Cisco’s drinking water brought in by Rio Grande tank car[3].

James Monroe Noblitt Jr.(1926 – 2000) of Green River succeeded Seely in 1958[6]. His father James Monroe Noblitt Sr.(1892 – 1967) was the Rio Grande section foreman at Cisco and retired same year[7]. But James Jr. and his spouse Betty Lou(1926 – 2013) kept their house at Green River[8].

According to the Condensed System Profile, CTC was first installed at Cisco in 1944: at the same time when Seely assigned to Cisco[9]. In 1960, successor Noblitt Jr. was transferred to Helper, Utah due to the Signal Department reorganization: the whole district between Ogden, UT, and Dotsero, CO came to be controlled from Helper that year[9, 10]. That was also the last of this house. But the house itself survived into the ’70s, at least until June 1974 according to USGS aerial photo.

[1] Cook, Kenneth L. (1971) Gravity base station network in Utah, #92, Utah Geological and Mineralogical Survey Bulletin
[2] Hepperle, Mary L. (2004) "Memories of Cisco", Canyon Legacy, vol. 51, Dan O'Laurie Canyon County Museum
[3] Jordan, Kathy "‘Uranium King’ Charlie Steen started out in Cisco tar-paper shack", Mar. 24, 2011 Daily Sentinel;
[4] Apr. 1, 1943 Times Independent;
[5] May 8, 2018 Daily Sentinel;
[6] Feb. 6, 1958 Times Independent;
[7] Apr. 13, 1967 Times Independent;
[8] Feb. 27, 1958 Times Independent;
[9] Sep. 8, 1955 Green River Journal;
[10] Aug. 25, 1960 Times Independent;

ユタ州を走るD&RGWの沿線にある/あった、Ciscoという町を紹介している。今回紹介する建物はUS Highway 50 & 6とRio Grandeの線路の間に建っていた「Seely House」である。現在は何の痕跡も残っていない。

記事のタイトルにもあるように、「Seely House」はCiscoにおけるRio Grandeの施設のひとつである。1944年、CTCの導入と同時に建てられ、当初はJ Hawley Seelyという信号保守掛の一家が駐在していた。もっとも彼の赴任に建物が間に合わず、一家は貨車を改造した事業用車両への仮住まいを余儀なくされたようだ。Seely氏の妻は学校の役員を務める他、赤十字の救護所をこの建物で開設し、貨車で運ばれてくる飲料水の水質検査も担っていた。

1958年にSeely氏を継いだJames Monroe Noblittは、近くのGreen Riverに家を持っていたためか、この建物には平日のみ寝泊まりしていたようだ。そのNoblitt氏も1960年にはHelperに転出、以降この建物に住まった人はおらず、詰め所・倉庫としてのみ1970年代半ばまで長らえていた。


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