Thursday, December 17, 2015

When an observatory was proposed for Mount Nebo

                                  Ravell Call rests just below the South Peak of Mount Nebo.
                                                                                                                     Photo by Ray Boren

By Lynn Arave

BACK in 1920, serious consideration was given to put an observatory atop Mount Nebo as a "Yankee Memorial," to honor the soldiers, sailors and marines of all U.S. wars.
According to the Salt Lake Telegram of March 25, 1920, the Utah Memorial Committee considered this proposal.
Both a searchlight to help guide airplanes (in that pre-radar era) and even a radio station transmitter were considered to be placed there.
"Mt. Nebo is the highest mountain centrally situated in the state and its summit can be seen from three transcontinental railways -- two of which skirt its base -- and three transcontinental auto routes. It stands nearly 8,000 feet above the surrounding valleys," George B. Hobbs of Nephi told the Utah Memorial Committee.
Hobbs believed the U.S. Government would assist in the costs for such a strategic development.
-However, like many such proposals along the Wasatch Mountains in the 1920s, it never happened.
Hiking and scenic-wise, Mount Timpanogos to the south became a favored landmark. Timp was climbed far more often and eventually received a metal shelter on its summit, though a mountain war memorial never came to be on any peak in the area.

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