Saturday, July 12, 2014

When Bear Lake became popular

When did Bear Lake first catch on a summer destination for Ogden area residents?
It was less than two decades after the advent of the automobile in Utah.
“Distance to Bear Lake only 76 miles” was a Sept. 1, 1917 headline in the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
Manager C.H. Wilson of the Utah-Idaho Motor Company made the drive in a six-cylinder, seven-passenger Mitchell automobile.
He drove from Ogden at 9 a.m., by way Beaver Creek and Blacksmith Fork/Hardware Ranch, considered the “Standard” route in that day.( I believe the “Beaver Creek” Canyon  mentioned is the one off today’s U-39, near the South Fork of the Ogden River.  It was 21 miles long.)
 The detailed story also mentioned “the great blue waters of the lake.” His actual destination was “Ideal Beach,” as it was called even back then, at evening time – an all-day journey.
Wilson returned by Logan Canyon, Logan and Brigham City and advocated that state roads should be made to access the lake. Almost all the driving was done on good dirt roads.
“Thrilling dugways and sharp turns” was how Wilson described going through Logan Canyon almost a century ago. In fact, it was reported that passing vehicles at many spots along the narrow canyon roadway was just not feasible.
Almost a year later, Aug. 24, 1918, the Standard published another detailed auto trip report to Bear Lake and back. This trip went through Ogden Canyon, mentioning now vanished key milestones there, like “Watson Flygare Camp,” “Bristol Camp,” “Wildwood” and “Becker Bridge.”

The route then went by way of “The Liberty Dugway” to Paradise, Logan and Logan Canyon.
Ironically, both the Beaver Creek Canyon ("Piss Ant Flat") and the Liberty Dugway routes never got fully paved, or became modern corridors.

-When did Ogden City have its first public tennis courts?
It was the summer of 1922, when the parks of Lester, Liberty and Lorin Farr all received tennis courts, according to a May 10, 1922 Standard report. It was the tennis committee of the Ogden Kiwanis Club that was behind the construction. Ogden had one private tennis club and a few private and school courts previously.

-Lorin Farr Park wasn’t always known by that name. The Standard of July 12, 1918 stated the park was previously called Glenwood Park.
It was a recommendation by the Daughters of the Pioneers for the new name, to honor one of Ogden’s most prominent pioneers.
And, Lester Park wasn’t always identified by that title either. According to a June 14, 1881 Standard report, “Liberty Square” was the original name of that park.

-The greater Ogden area received some of its first location signs in 1927. According to a Sept. 7 Standard report that year, Weber Canyon’s Devil’s Slide, Devil’s Gate and other such touristy spots were finally identified for all travelers to locate and enjoy.

(-Originally published by Lynn Arave in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on July 11, 2014.)

-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:  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July festivities in 1895 Ogden

             Early 20th Century bicycle racers in Ogden on the indoor track at Lorin Farr Park.

 INDEPENDENCE Day in Ogden 119 years ago on July, 4, 1895 was a “Grand Success” and “observed in Ogden as it has never been before … “never such a day in its history.”
According to the Standard-Examiner of July 5 that year, there was a magnificent procession in the morning; a brilliant oratory in the park; an elaborate program in the afternoon; as well as a baseball game, cycle races, concert, fireworks, music and dancing.”
In short, there was much “mirth and frolic,” according to the newspaper report.
The report said people from all over Northern Utah were attracted to Ogden’s celebration – especially those from Salt Lake City.
The parade was a hit with many colorful floats, but there was a delay in getting it started due to the large crowd.
The mayor had issued a proclamation that fireworks were to be strictly controlled, but the police soon found that to be unenforceable, given the frequency of people using them throughout the day.
 Afternoon speeches and music were long and patriotic. However, the bicycle races didn’t go as planned.
“Only two gentlemen entered in the road race from the Reed Hotel to Five Points and back, therefore both of them (“Mr. Kohn” and Dan Cramer) get a prize and one of them only ran half of the way,” The Standard account stated.
The women’s bike race was even less so.
“It seemed that the girls thought it was too hot for a bicycle race and they would rather wear their prettiest summer dresses around the park than to bother bicycles,” the account stated. So, there were no female entrants in their race.
There was also a baseball game played at Union Field, between the Salt Lake University team and an Ogden team. In the end, the Ogden young men won by a lopsided score of 25-4. The disappointed Salt Lakers quit in the fifth inning and the game ended early.
A crowd of 10,000 was reported for evening open air concert and fireworks at Lester Park. The fireworks show lasted a full hour and then dancing went in the pavilion from 10 p.m.-11:30 p.m. However, it was reported to be 1 a.m. before the last party  had departed the park.
-"Cry room, where mothers with cross babies can see show one Peery feature" was a July 2, 1924 headline in the Standard. The  Egyptian Theatre in Ogden did initially feature a separate 'cry room', where babies and infants could make all the noise they wanted to, without disturbing other patrons. The theatre opened July 3 and also boasted fireproof walls and roof and more.
-Ever notice the “U” letter on the mountainside above the community of Uintah? It was originally placed there in May of 1923.
The Boy Scout Troop from Uintah constructed and whitewashed the huge block letter, according to the Standard of May 8, 1923. And they "were assisted by practically the entire male population of the town.”
A reported (but perhaps exaggerated) 200 tons of rock were used in its construction, which measures 125 feet in length and 100 feet across. A later program was being arranged to celebrate the feat.
-Think water use restrictions are a contemporary standard?
 No, they were even stricter more than a century ago. The Standard on July 17, 1900 stated that water consumers could only sprinkle their lawns been 6-8 a.m. and 6-8 p.m.
“If found sprinkling outside of these hours, our inspectors are instructed to shut off the water supply without notice. The use of water for public sidewalks and street sprinkling is prohibited,” the article said.

(-Originally published by Lynn Arave in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on   July 4, 2014.)

-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: