The South Fork of the Ogden River, just below Causey Reservoir.
OGDEN City was becoming desperate for more reliable water sources in 1920 and Skull Crack Canyon (part of today’s Causey Reservoir) was considered the best location for a dam.
“Skull Crack Canyon in South Fork Canyon is the most feasible place in which Ogden must look for its future water supply,” Mayor Frank Francis said in the Standard-Examiner of June 26, 1920.
A tour of the area that month convinced the Mayor that Skull Crack was the premier location. However, Mayor Francis did not receive the support needed for a dam and so Ogden simply had to drill more and deeper wells in its Artesian Well Park (located under the west end of Pineview Dam today), until Pineview Reservoir came along in 1937. Causey Reservoir, a part of Skull Crack Canyon, was not built until the 1960s, completed in 1966.
Skull Crack received its unusual name for a 19th Century hunter who was said to have hit his unruly mule over the head with his gun barrel, cracking the animal’s skull. However, Thomas Causey had built a sawmill in the Skull Crack area in pioneer times and it was his name that was chosen to eventually title the reservoir.
The same 1920 Standard story also reported that the Weber LDS Stake had selected a site in the meadows of South Fork for an upcoming “Fathers and Sons” outing. Young men participating in this would take the train to Huntsville and then hike up to the camp site.
More historical tidbits:
-Back in the automobile’s early days, 1911, an attempted hold up resulted in a wild chase – car vs. horse, in a stretch of country, between Lagoon and Ogden. According to a July 19 Standard story that year, a car driven by a Miss Guernsey of Ogden was accosted by a band of highwaymen on horseback. She refused to stop the vehicle, put it in high gear, drew up the glass windshield and outraced the robbers. They even fired 10 shots at the car. Miss Guernsey’s father was in the vehicle and he returned fire. No one was hit by any of the gunfire and a Davis County Sheriff eventually arrested several suspects.
-Some of the first known long-distance daily commuters along the Wasatch Front lived in Salt Lake City, but took a train to Ogden. “Work in Ogden, reside in S.L.” was an Oct. 17, 1920 Standard headline. More than 50 men from S.L. commuted to work in Ogden each weekday, spending more than two hours on the train. Most were employed by the Ogden Arsenal. Many men hoped to find homes in the Ogden area to lessen their work travel time.
-Finally, travel time from Salt Lake City to Bear Lake today is possible in just over two hours. However, in 1880, it was a full three-day trek. Because of rugged canyon travel and poor roads, it was no easy trip, according to the Logan Leader of Nov. 12, 1880.