Thursday, July 9, 2015

1917: When a motorcycle ride to Malan’s Basin made headlines

                                           The mouth of Taylor Canyon in 2015.

                   Some rugged outcroppings on the Taylor Canyon trail.

"MOTORCYCLE driven from Ogden to Malan’s Heights” was a large headline in the Sept. 18, 1917 Standard-Examiner.
With World War I still raging, five young men from Ogden – L. Keller, Ronald Halstrom, James Rawson, Ed Lewis and Wright Corey – combined their might to get the machine up Taylor Canyon and eventually into Malan’s Basin, where a resort had existed 12 years prior.

                                       Malan's Peak.
The route up had so deteriorated in just over a decade that while Keller rode the motorcycle, his four friends had to physically lift the bike over rocks and some impassible places in Taylor Canyon.
“Several spills were unavoidable,” the report stated. The bike was driven down into lower gear, braking most of the way.

                                  Malan's Basin in 2015.

This was likely the first time a motorized vehicle had traversed Taylor Canyon, up to Malan’s Peak and into Malan’s Basin.

More historical tidbits:
-“Young people climb mountain” Was a July 21, 1915 headline in the Standard.
Seven “young folk” – one young man and six young women, including Iva Bailey, Theresa Chadwick and Earl Chadwick from Weber County, plus three New York young ladies and a Salt Lake young woman made the hike to Ben Lomond Peak.
They hiked up North Ogden Canyon, then followed the mountain saddle to Ben Lomond and returned by way of Liberty.

                   Ben Lomond Peak, center, as seen from Malan's Peak.

The group reported snow on the peak up to 10 feet deep, so snow must have persisted on local summits far longer that they do in the 21st Century. They also found the register book and flag pole left there two years earlier in good condition.
-“Trip of Ben Lomond Club” was a Sept. 30, 1924 headline in the Box Elder News. The stable men of the 116th Calvary took horses from the south side of Mantua to Ben Lomond Peak.
The group periodically nailed signs with arrows on them to help future travelers to the peak. They also reported deep gullies and fallen trees to negotiate through – especially near Willard Canyon, where a severe flood in August of 1923 had obliterated the trail.
Yet, every member of the company reached the Ben Lomond summit. Its 41 horses had been tied one quarter mile below the peak. The new group voted and adopted its bylaws while resting on the summit before its return.
-“Sunday sales City problem” was a Sept. 7, 1927 headline in the Standard-Examiner. It was then reported that some small stores in Ogden City, on north Washington Avenue, were using their soft drink licenses as a subterfuge for keeping their stores open on Sunday to sell all their other merchandise too.
City ordinances back then did allow soft drinks to be sold on Sunday, but not other merchandise. Ogden Mayor George E. Browning asked the police to investigate this illegal practice, as this business is “unfair to larger merchants whose stores are closed on Sunday.”

 (-Originally published on-line and in print on July 9-10, 2015 in the Ogden Standard-Examiner 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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