Thursday, January 1, 2015

A campground proposal for Ogden's Taylor Canyon and more …

       Taylor Canyon, left, is just north of Malan's Peak, center. Waterfall Canyon is on the right side..

A major campground and loop road were proposed for Ogden’s Taylor Canyon back in 1936.
“Road proposed toward Taylor camping site” was a May 1 headline in the Standard-Examiner that year.
At that time, some thousands of acres in Taylor Canyon were owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. Creating a road to the mouth of the canyon and developing public camping sites was a proposal by the Utah Motorists Association.
In addition, a one-way, four-mile long road along the mountainside was proposed too, toward Waterfall Canyon.
Plus, a previous proposal by F.A. Huish of Ogden was also mentioned as a possible sidelight. This involved building a concrete dam at the brink of the waterfall in Waterfall Canyon, so that the falls would be more spectacular and seen by more of the general population of the area.
(Relocating this waterfall had already been tried in 1922 with a metal pipeline as a way to move the falls to the northwest and make it more visible. However, after six months the piping was reported destroyed by vandals.)

                     Some Ogdenites enjoying Waterfall Canyon in the 1920s.

This ambitious campground/road/waterfall enhancement was all so that it “would give Ogden a scenic attraction,” according to the story.
The Association believed just $50,000 would be needed to do much of the project and that some of the construction could qualify as a federal work project.
Unlike Waterfall Canyon (or even the South Fork area east of Huntsville), there’s no year-round stream in Taylor Canyon. Also that canyon is quite narrow and so the campground proposal there seems somewhat illogical in hindsight. In any event, none of it ever happened.
However, Huish had tried unsuccessfully earlier to have special artwork sale in 1936 to try and finance a diversion flume at the top of Waterfall Canyon.
According to the Standard of July 31, 1944, he was still pushing to have a diversion of the falls in Waterfall Canyon that year too.
It is worth noting too that at least one of those reports about Huish reported that the initial rerouting of the waterfall wasn’t destroyed by vandals, but by a “flood.”

                       The bottom of the  Ogden Waterfall in a typical spring.

-In a related historical note, back when Mount Ogden Park was first considered, Huish proposed the name of “Waterfall Park” as  its moniker.
In the Standard of July 28, 1944, “Residents show interest in mountain project” was the headline for that prospective park story.
-In a final historical note, “Ogden lady breaks her nose” was a June 23, 1911 headline in the Standard.
On a slow news day, this was a four-paragraph-long report of how an unnamed woman broke her nose in a single automobile crash, south of Brigham City.
The driver, traveling “at a high rate of speed,” had lost control of the vehicle after his hat blew off, and the car crashed into a tree. The woman’s child suffered minor bruises in the impact, as both mother and child were thrown to the front of the auto.

 (-Originally published on-line and in print in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on Jan. 1-2, 2015.)

-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:  

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