NAME: Vanhouten
COUNTY: Colfax
GRID #(see map): 3
CLIMATE: Mild winter, warm summer
Spring, winter, fall
COMMENTS: The property is privately owned.
REMAINS: Nothing remains.

The coal mining camp of Willow lay dormant until 1902 when operations were revived by the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain and Pacific Company. The name was changed to Van Houten in honor of the then company president. In 1910, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad extended a branch line into Van Houten and the community began to grow. The town increased in size to about fifteen hundred residents in 1915 and supported two hotels, the Blossburg Mercantile Company among a number of other businesses. The town was largely populated by Germans, Austrians, and Italians all of whom enjoyed gala affairs and celebrations at the town amusement hall. The development of new oil and gas deposits competed strongly with the coal industry forcing the closure of the mine in 1954. The town sponsored an active Red Cross chapter and during World War I sold $111,000 worth of Liberty War Bond subscriptions. This was the largest per capita investment in the war effort of any town in the America. All of the Buildings of Van Houten have disappeared. Today, the property is privately owned by Kaiser Steel Corporation. Courtesy Henry Chenoweth.

UPDATE:Listed in the text is that it belongs to Kaiser Steel, it is now part of the NRA Whittington Center. There is at least one house still standing and the old Mule building is there, without the roof, but you can make out some of the mule names on the wall. Several other ruins are visible including the entrance to the mine. - Courtesy Doug.