Bauer’s fate was sealed when its last viable operations were destroyed by fire. Rulon Aufdemorte’s final task was to dismantle and ship off any salvageable properties. When the last truckload finally pulled away, Aufdemorte gathered his belongings and drove to Salt Lake City, leaving Bauer’s crumbling ruins to the wind and ghosts.
The first ghost town I ever visited was officially Cortez, Nevada. My first Utah ghost town, however, was Bauer. I haven’t written anything about that trip because it ended up being a wild goose chase. Tyler and I had no waypoints or directions to guide us to the townsite– nor did we know anything about the town’s history. And it probably didn’t help that we were searching for this ghost town after dark.
To be sure, we got close that night– within at least 50 yards. We may have seen a few outbuildings, none of which we logically attributed to the town itself. Disappointed, we moved on to the next ghost.
Years later I realized that the odds had been stacked heavily against us. Not much was left of Bauer by the time we tried to find it. The few walls and foundations that remained were quite visible in daylight, but obscured by the adjacent Tooele County Landfill and were inaccessible to the public. At present, most of Bauer has been bulldozed. Oh, and it’s a Superfund site.
I don’t foresee being able to explore the remains of the town any time soon, but recently I was able to interview a few old miners who lived there back in 70’s. For the interviews and a quick run down of Bauer’s history, check out my Hometown piece at the Tooele Transcript Bulletin: