The Book of Bauer

Stories from a Forgotten Town

Graffiti-covered industrial concrete ruins are all that remain today to remind us of the lives, adventures, and human relationships that once animated Bauer, Utah. Located just south of Tooele, across the Oquirrh Mountains west of the Salt Lake Valley, Bauer was abandoned in 1979 and declared a toxic waste site. The Book of Bauer: Stories from a Forgotten Town brings it back to life, evoking mid-twentieth century family and community in that company town as seen through the eyes of an observant adolescent boy.

Presenting a dramatic snapshot of life in Bauer in narrative autobiographical form, the book recalls the fate of hundreds of derelict mining towns throughout the mountain and sagebrush West. With vivid prose and intimate observation, The Book of Bauer offers an unparalleled memoir of small-town life in Utah and the Great Basin.

Stephen S. Lottridge is the author of Three White Pelicans: Stories for Stephanie and Deirdre and The Old Bison: Threads from the Fabric of a Western Life. His award-winning play Gun Control was produced by Riot Act Inc. theater company. His poetry and essays have appeared in print journals, anthologies, and online.

Praise and Reviews:

"Pull up your easy chair, open The Book of Bauer: Stories from a Forgotten Town, and give yourself over to Stephen Lottridge. Soon you will fall under the soothing cadence of Lottridge’s storytelling. You will be drawn into his world, your senses will be filled, your curiosity awakened, and likely your own memories will be stirred as he relates his."
—Tina Welling, author of Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature

"A beautifully written, deeply felt, and profoundly moving portrait of a family during one difficult year in a desolate, desecrated western town not long after the end of the Second World War. It is a vividly detailed chronicle of their challenges and satisfactions, of their quiet joys and sorrows and strengths that, at least for a time, held them together. The Book of Bauer is a poignant American story that should not be forgotten."
—Joel Lafayette Fletcher III, author of With Hawks and Angels: Episodes from a Southern Life

"These stories not only conjure a town that might have otherwise disappeared, they also bring back a way of growing up with curiosity for place and an eagerness to discover. Their spare language evokes circumstances that, although arid and sparsely inhabited, provide the materials necessary for a young man to emerge into his life with a clarity of imagination and conviction that might give some guidance for how to find our way through this fragmented world. The Book of Bauer is an act of remembrance that invites us to consider what of of our own past, if lost, leaves us diminished, and how we also might revive it."
—Matt Daly, author of Between Here and Home

“The descriptions are vivid, often humorous and compassionate, and unusually thoughtful, even wise. To read the collection at the personal memoir level is delightful, as Stephen S. Lottridge is a confident memoirist and storyteller.”—Audrey M. Kleinsasser, University of Wyoming
“Stephen S. Lottridge has produced a readable and thought-provoking account of events, relationships, and remembered impressions from residence in the long-defunct mining town of Bauer from August 1950 to August 1951.”—Edward A. Geary, Brigham Young University