Adapted from John Barton, A History of Duchesne County. Salt Lake City: Utah Historical Society, 1998.
Altamont is a town with unusual origins. The residents of Altonah and Mt. Emmons were looking for alternatives to sending their children to school in Roosevelt, due to the distance. They invited other nearby towns—Talmadge, Mountain Home, Boneta and Bluebell—to work with them in finding a suitable location for a new high school to serve Duchesne’s Upper Country, and the search for a site was on.
The high school was completed in 1935, and given the name of Altamont high by a tenth grade student, Clarence Snyder. The name is an amalgamation of Altonah and Mount Emmons. Thus, the community of Altamont was born and began to grow up slowly around the new high school.
Growth in Altamont was gradual. A seminary building for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was built soon after the high school, followed by a café, a gas station, and a store. In 1953, the post office arrived and residents voted to be incorporated as a township. An elementary school, a chapel, as well as a chapel and stake center were built in 1966, followed by a bank in 1973.
Altamont remains a small town today, with a population of 246. Although there were some attempts in the early 1990s to consolidate the schools in Altamont, Tabiona and Duchesne, the people of Altamont opposed the reform and were successful in keeping the high school around which their town had been founded.