Friday, July 12, 2013

Ogden's 'Heaven Heights' never materialized



Malan's Peak

                       Ogden mountain skyline, showing Malan's Peak, left, and Malan's Basin right.


 "Heaven Heights" missing .....

According to "A History of Weber County," by Richard C. Roberts and Richard W. Sadler, Bartholomew "Tim" Malan and his family constructed the original wagon road up Taylor Canyon to Malan's Peak/Basin (then called "Malan's Heights"), from 1892-1894.
They operated a seasonal hotel, complete with cabins and a campground on about 10 acres, each summer for about 12 years — from 1894 until 1906.
That resort is found in every Ogden history book.
However, what almost materialized after that original resort called it quits is not mentioned in most history books.
"Heaven Heights" was proposed for Malan's Basin next.
Then name was meant to include both Malan's Basin and Malan's Peak.

 "Ogden to have great resort: 'Heaven Heights' to be improved for summer amusement purposes. Salt Laker the prospector. Includes line of cable cars to connect with Ogden streetcar system. Details of big scheme," (Deseret News headline from March 16, 1907).
"Utah can boast of many beautiful amusement resorts, but if present plans are carried, this state will have another, and one which will be an attraction for people all over the country," the news article stated.
Phil S. O'Mara, president of the Salt Lake Auditorium Association, was to create the resort and an expanded transportation system at an estimated cost of $175,000-$225,000.
"The resort will be the greatest in the western country," the story stated.
The resort never materialized. But the plan was for a first-class hotel, scenic railway, shoot-the-chutes amusement ride, skating rink and other attractions in Malan's Basin.
The city's streetcar line would be extended to near the base of the mountain and then cable cars would travel to Malan's Peak and Malan's Basin and eventually all the way to Mount Ogden (then called "Observatory Peak").
Malan's is misspelled "Mahlan's" in the article and the elevation of the highest peak is incorrectly listed at 11,200 feet vs. the actual 9,572 feet, but the thrust of that original project is an early 20th century development of the same area in controversy a few years ago.
In 2006, Chris Peterson, owner of Malan's Basin, wanted to work with Ogden city to create a resort project in the same area.
His plan included a gondola not only to Malan's Basin (just under 7,000 feet), but also to the mountain saddle (approximately 9,000 feet) to connect with Snowbasin Ski Resort.
Lodging and associated buildings were also proposed inside Malan's Basin.
So far, no 21st Century development has become a reality for Malan's Basin.


  A 1984 photograph showing a leftover steam boiler from the original Malan's Basin Resort in Malan's Basin. (It has since likely been  hauled away... as it cannot be found there now.)

However, you can hike the trail up Taylor Canyon to Malan's Basin and Malan's Peak and imagine how over a century ago, the trail was actually a wagon road -- and that there was a resort inside the basin.
Back in 1894-1906, for a cost of $1 round-trip, you could ride a special wagon to Malan's Basin. Ogden's street cars ended at 25th Street and Iowa Avenue, and that's where wagons to Malan's Heights departed each summer morning at 8:15 for a 90-minute ride to the top. Meals at the resort were 35-50 cents each.
Soon after there was no operating resort in Malan's Basin, vandals burned down what was left.
By the 1980s, only the hulk of an old metal steam boiler was left. soon after, that too disappeared.
Now, just some small clearings in the basin remain as evidence of what used to be there.

--NEED Standard Examiner source

(-Some of this information was taken from a Dec. 31, 2006 article by Lynn Arave in the Deseret News.)

1 comment: