Thursday, March 12, 2015

When the Brigham City Fire Department took a holiday …

“Firemen gone: Fire breaks out” was a June 27, 1912 headline in the Box Elder News.
“A big train load of firemen and their friends had hardly got beyond the city limits this morning bound for Lagoon, when a telephone call came for the department station that Andrew Holst’s barn in the First Ward was on fire,” the story stated.
The few firemen and a number of citizens responded as best they could to the Brigham City blaze, but the barn, a new wagon, two pigs and more were destroyed by the blaze.
Children playing with matches had started the fire.

-In other historical tidbits:

                  The Wasatch Mountains on the south end of Ogden.

-“Citizens indignant over fires destroying mountain beauty” was an Oct. 11, 1922 headline in the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
During the past few weeks that fall, several fires in the mountains, east of Ogden, had occurred. All were believed to be the result of campfires not properly extinguished by campers.
The Ogden Chamber was offering a $25 reward ($352 in today’s dollars) for the arrest and conviction of anyone starting those fires.
“Fires such as are burning in ‘Jump-Off’ Canyon in the mountain range north and east of the city hall will prevent that section from being reforested for at least 25 years to come,” the story stated.
Indeed, that fire in Jump-Off Canyon prompted an anonymous resident, “A. Wasatcher,” to write a long editorial in the Standard on Oct. 29, 1922, as “A plea to save ‘Jumpoff’  for hikers.”
The writer not only expressed concern about the fires, but also regarding the encroachment of the automobile on forested area.
“Why not reserve one place for just plain pedestrians, people who like to exercise their legs as well as their feet,” they wrote.

                                      Malan's Peak today.

-And, there were more than fires and autos in the Wasatch Mountains east of Ogden during the 1920s.
“Still found as deputies trail miners” was a June 22, 1922 Standard headline.  Authorities arrested one man and were searching for another who had a large still and stash of alcohol in a box canyon that branched off Ogden Canyon.
Four deputy sheriffs had to stage an all-night vigil to catch the still being operated.
-Finally, Harry Anderson, an Ogden resident actually wanted motorized development east of the city. In a March 13, 1924 Standard story, he asked the Ogden Lions Club to support creating an auto road from 29th Street up Waterfall Canyon and a separate railway to Mount Ogden.
Anderson, a local advertising man, said he believed cottages and a hotel were feasible in Malan’s Basin, as they had been decades before. “Malan Heights,” a tourist’s delight was his vision.

(-Originally published on-line and in print in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on March 12-13, 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:  

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