History of Evanston

Read about the interesting history of Evanston's Roundhouse and Rail Yards

From a saloon and restaurant to a populous town!

As grading crews for the Union Pacific Railroad approached the current location of Evanston, a man named Harvey Booth decided to pitch his tent in what is now Front Street. This was in November 1868. Booth then opened a saloon and restaurant with wooden floors and canvas sided structures, which is now recognized as the first building in Evanston. Within a few weeks, the railroad camp soon had 650 residents. By December that year, the Union Pacific’s rails had arrived at Evanston where a depot was located in 1869. Named after the railroad’s surveyor, James A. Evans, who also plotted the town, by 1971, the charming town of Evanston had established its roundhouse and machine shops which established permanence. An early landmark of Evanston was a section called Chinatown. It was constructed by groups of shanties that were used for personal and business uses of the Chinese who came to Evanston in the late 1870s to the 1920s. This included homes, an opium den and the intricate Joss House, which burnt down but has been recently recreated.

In the 1980s, reserves of natural gas was discovered which allured people to work on drilling rigs or building gas processing plants. Government grants were awarded and industry assistance to build schools, public buildings, recreation facilities and other necessities to reach the demands of the flood of people. By the mid 1980s, the boom was over and people returned to where they came from. However what was left behind was an organized development of industrial, commercial and residential areas as well as a plan to control population growth. The future of Evanston looks as glorious as ever and the people are happy to live and raise their family in a well prepared community.

And while you're visiting......

While in Evanston enjoy the Bear River State Park and the BEAR Parkway. See buffalo and elk herds grazing nearby or experience nature trails and bridges, fishing, kayaking, tubing, picnic areas and much more.If you're more of a history enthusiast, visit Historic Depot Square. See the restored Union Pacific Depot, Uinta County Museum, Chinese Joss House, and many more historic sites.


Evanston is the hub to many scenic destinations: the Historic Mormon, Oregon and California Trails, Lincoln Highway and Scenic Highway 150 through the beautiful Uinta Mountains.


Other Attractions

Evanston Recreation Center/Ballfields
BEAR Parkway/Bear River State Park and Visitors Center
City Parks and Picnic Areas
Historic Depot Square / Joss House
Railroad Roundhouse Complex
Uinta County Museum
Purple Sage Golf Course
Ice Ponds / Fishing
Official Training Site of the Jamacian Bobsled Team




Fine Eateries and Pubs, Fast Food Restaurants
Liquor Stores and Fireworks
Motels/Hotels and RV Campground
Recreation Equipment Rentals
Antiques, Service Stations, Vehicle Repair, Car Wash
Grocery Stores, Retail, Auto Parts, Banking/ATM
Post Office, Medical, Hospital & Sr. Citizen Center
Theaters, Video Rentals, Bowling