The Sampo Coal Company and The Town of Sampo
Page and pictures by Bob Leathers with contributions from Gary Milliken
Tuesday June 28, 2016
The Sampo Coal Company constructed the town of Sampo in 1908. It started mine development efforts that same year on an eight-foot vein of coal four miles north east of Hanna. The coal mine was the first large scale non Union Pacific Coal Company mine effort in the Hanna area. About twenty men were employed in the first year. The Sampo town and mine were managed and worked primarily by the Finnish population. Joseph Pesola was the superintendent of the mine in 1908. During 1908 and 1909 several openings were made, but good quality coal was not found. The Sampo mine only produced coal in 1910. Coal production was closed by 1911.
The holdings of the Sampo Coal Company are located about five miles north of the town of Hanna. Mr. S. Alawer is in charge as Manager. Several openings have been made, but coal has never been found in paying quantities until the present slope was driven, which is now down about four hundred feet with a parallel man way. Two entries have just been broken off, one running to the north and the other to the south. During the past year 7,539 tons of coal were produced and shipped to Colorado and Nebraska. (1910 State Mine Inspector's Report)
The Sampo mine produced 7,539 tons of coal with 44 employees in 1910. It was the only year coal production was reported to the State of Wyoming. Although no coal was reported to have been produced in Sampo in 1911, the town site of Sampo was surveyed and a town map produced by the office of Turpin and Eldridge, Civil Engineers, Rawlins, Carbon County, Wyoming in March of 1911.
The Sampo map identified the following miners as once living in the town of Sampo: House 30 Nikolai Huhtala, House 32 Jack P. Niemi, House 34 William E. Hill, House 37 John O. Nikola, House 58 Wm. Nordwall, House 60 Salu Maki, House 123 Aaron Tanttari, House 142 John Hall, House 143 Arvid Ramstrom, House 148 Peter Airaksinen, House 154 John Isaacson, House 156 Kusti Saari, and House 172 Muna Hirsimaki.
The Sampo Mine and Town
The following pictures were taken at the Sampo Mine and Town site on June 28, 2016, one hundred six years after the closing of coal production.
a broad view of the Sampo mine site. The town site is located in the area were the picture was taken. The coal spoil pile in the center of the picture is located about fifty yards to the west of the load out foundation made from native rocks. The Union Pacific Railroad bed is located just below the coal spoil pile and runs across the center of the picture.