Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ogden Canyon: From echoes to a 'Z' to snakes

                          Ogden Canyon is most rugged at its west end.

OGDEN Canyon has undoubtedly changed a lot over the decades. A wide road was built through the Canyon and at one time there was a trolley line in the Canyon. However, as recent as a century ago, there used to be a perfect echo location in a spot above the Canyon; and in another location, there was the letter “Z” plainly visible.
ECHO: This ideal acoustic location was in a small side canyon, high above and near the original Hermitage Inn. According to the Ogden Standard-Examiner of July 10, 1911, John Leavitt of Plain City and some friends stumbled across the site.
“Those in the party say that the echoes heard from the voice of a person standing at one point in the narrow canyon are almost supernatural,” the Standard reported.
The men apparently experimented there and found the exact spot where even a whisper “was made to sound as if a cave of winds had been unloosed.”
The men also suspected that a small cave, nearby, that went about 10 feet into the mountainside, as well as a 20-foot-long rock jutting out of the hillside, were probably responsible for the acoustic effect.

            Today's Alaskan Inn, near the site of the original Hermitage, now gone.

THE GIANT LETTER Z: According to the Ogden Standard-Examiner of April 19, 1925, this letter was visible in rock up Wheeler Canyon. A century ago, it was best viewed about 100 yards south of the hotel in that area and by looking northward. A U.S. Geologic Survey in the area in 1871 also reported seeing the giant Z formation.

SNAKE EXTERMINATION SOCIETY: The Standard-Examiner of July 27, 1893 reported that a group of young women from Ogden had organized a snake extermination society, tired of being plagued by the reptiles in beautiful Ogden Canyon.

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