Friday, January 9, 2015

When Garner Cave was first explored by Boy Scouts

                      Coldwater Canyon, as viewed from the northwest in North Ogden.


BOYS explore huge cavern. Scouts of Troop 20 visit little known cave near Ogden Canyon” was an August 22, 1922 headline in the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
This was the first public look into what would eventually become known as “Garner Cave” in North Ogden.
Charles E. Fisk, scoutmaster of the troop, knew of the cave before and his troop’s visit there launched it into popularity. The troop used “electric searchlights” and candles to see inside the dark, natural treasure.
The story also stated that the scouts not only encountered numerous nests of hornets in the canyon, but also killed 10 rattlesnakes there.
“Ogden Cavern explored for long distance” was an Aug. 27, 1922 headline in the Standard.
 (This 1922 story also stated incorrectly that the Coldwater Canyon of North Ogden was also known as Garner Canyon. Coldwater and Garner are actually separate canyons, with One Horse Canyon found in between the two.)
 That “that cave will become one of the popular attractions of Ogden” was highlighted in the story.
A few weeks later, Boy Scout Troop 5, from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, also visited the cave.
Sadly, vandalism has since destroyed all the formations on the inside of the cave, but visits are still made to this cave today.
Scoutmaster Fisk took his troop on many local adventures. In the Oct.23, 1922 Standard, it was reported: “Endurance hike made by scouts” of Troop No. 20. Two dozen boys hiked from the mouth of Wheeler Canyon to Mount Ogden and down into Ogden, a distance of 25 miles during a 13-hour hike.
Some of the scout’s trek was reported to be off trail and over steep ledges.
“Great numbers of blue grouse and willow grouse were seen and the track of a timber wolf was seen in various places,” the story stated.
The boys encountered two inches of snow on the north slope of the mountain and also hiked through a small snowstorm that “gave the boys great glee.”
-The Standard of Sept. 17, 1953 also mentioned a separate cavern, Eagle Cave, east of 22nd Street.
“Several youngsters have been killed or seriously injured in recent years trying to reach the cave,” the report stated.
Attempts to use dynamite to close the dangerous cave had failed, so scouts mobilized and created stairs to the cave’s entrance to at least make it safer.

(-Originally published in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on-line and in print on January 8-9, 2015, by Lynn Arave.)

-NOTE: The author, Lynn Arave, is available to speak to groups, clubs, classes or other organizations about Utah history at no charge. He can be contacted by email at: lynnarave@comcast.net  









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