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Nucla (1904, 5,862 feet), begun as a socialist commune by the New Utopian Community Land Association, incorporated in 1894. Shares were sold throughout the country, and a 15-mile-long gravity-fed canal was constructed to bring water to the area. By the 1920s, as Ellen Peterson explains in The Spell of the Tabeguache (1957), the Colorado Cooperative, which ran Nucla, was little more than a water company, and the businesses and neat frame bungalows were in private hands. One of the few remnants of the original plan is the one-story, brick false-fronted Colorado Co-operative Company store (c. 1900) at the upper end of an unusually broad main street. Nuclans may have second thoughts about a capitalist economy as they survey the open-pit Peabody Coal Mine at the upper end of Main Street and the ruins of the Union Carbide mill, closed in 1982. The coal is pulverized and fluidized to fuel Nucla's power plant in an innovative process for economically reducing pollution.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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