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For teachers who are from Utah, and are old enough to remember, there used to be a town just south of Spanish Fork called Thistle. In the spring of 1983, Thistle was an unfortunate victim of Utah’s ever-changing geography. This story is a great example of how a simple change in geography can have a great effect on society and the economy.

Due to record-setting rain and snow precipitation that year cause a big landslide that blocked a small river from continuing on its way. As a result, this river’s back-up eventually created a lake that rose higher and higher, forcing residents to evacuate their homes. This disaster cost millions of dollars, not just in loss of property, but this landslide blocked train tracks and the highway! The Railroad industry lost money every day they couldn’t get through. A tunnel was built to drain the lake, and the water receded revealing Thistle’s devastation. Thistle is now a ghost town, and if you drive through it, all that’s left to see are foundations, the corner of the Thistle school-house, and rooftops that were lifted from walls and floated away.

This is just a little information on the town of Thistle, but you can find much more, including pictures, online.

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