Friday, May 19, 2017

Salt Lake Temple: Most Expensive LDS Temple Ever?

By Lynn Arave

THE next time you enjoy the gothic and symbolic features of the one and only Salt Lake LDS Temple, consider it’s dollar price to build -- $3,469,118.
That was the price given by Elder George Reynolds, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, back in 1895, to a Philadelphia newspaper, as quoted in the Deseret Weekly News of March 23, 1895.

Factor in the inflation and even in 1916 dollars (the furthest back an on-line government inflation calculator goes), that price equals at least $86,559,450 in 2017 dollars.
(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hasn’t revealed the actual costs of any temples for many decades now.)
However, in contrast the San Diego Temple, which opened in 1993, was reported by the Los Angeles Times to have cost an estimated $24 million. (That’s $40.6 million in 2017 dollars.)

                                                             San Diego Temple.

And, the original Ogden Temple, that opened in 1972, cost $4.29 million (or some $25 million in today’s dollars.)
Note that the Salt Lake Temple required some 40 years to build – far more than any other temple. Also, some volunteer, unpaid labor was used back then, or the price over four decades likely would have been much more, likely $100 millon plus.
Furthermore, Elder Reynolds in that 1895 article stated that exact costs of the temple were impossible. Still, he said about the Salt Lake Temple’s construction:

“In the early stages the progress was slow and very expensive, for it took four yoke of oxen four days to bring a single stone from the quarry twenty miles distant.”
He said some estimated it cost $100 for every stone cut, moved by oxen to the temple site and then laid in place. He also stressed that metal and other materials were very expensive to obtain, especially until the railroad came long.

                                                        Pencil drawing by Steve Arave

Utah's own 'Noah's Ark'

                                                   Photographs by Ravell Call and Lynn Arave

By Lynn Arave

THE  search for Noah's ark has sparked many an ambitious expedition or documentary over the years. However, some 40 miles from Zion National Park is Utah's own Noah's Ark, as officially named on government maps.
Of course, this isn't the real ark, but it's intriguing nevertheless -- especially with its red color. 
It is located about five miles southeast of Parowan on the south side of First Left Hand Canyon at an elevation of 8,592 feet above sea level.
Approaching 1,000 feet in length, this red rock formation is about twice the estimated length of the biblical boat, which is commonly said to be at least 300 cubits (a cubit is commonly believed to be 18 inches long), or about 550 feet long and 45 feet high.

There's a signed trail starting in the Vermilion Picnic Area that leads to a closer view of Noah's Ark. However, the view from the road and picnic area is not bad.
Although signs say the trail is 1 mile long one-way, it is closer to 1.5 miles long. It climbs steeply in places, starting from an elevation of 6,927 feet above sea level and topping out at 8,037 feet — for a total climb of 1,110 feet.
There is some shade along this trail, but it is not one to do in the heat of a summer day.

The trail ends on a small plateau that also offers a view of the Little Salt Lake and the surrounding area.
There's also Grand Castle, a kingly sort of red rock formation to the north of Noah's Ark. To the west and near the canyon floor is Vermilion Castle.
The Dixie National Forest has no additional information available on the Noah's Ark Trail.
Bruce Matheson, a longtime resident of Parowan, said the formation is a landmark for all locals in the canyons. He doesn't know where the name came from. Its origin is not mentioned in the history books, and it is just assumed that some early settler starting calling it Noah's Ark and the name stuck.
"The Parowan area has some of the most gorgeous rock formations around," Matheson said. "The colors are very vivid."
He's heard of a few men over the years who have managed to get to the top of Noah's Ark, though it looks to be a steep and risky climb.
Mike Ward, who lives in Paragonah, says Noah's Ark and the surrounding area are spectacular.
"The whole area is a stunner," he reported in an e-mail to the Deseret Morning News.
He said Second Left Hand Canyon, to the south, is his favorite — especially since it has a mountain bike trail that connects with Brian Head.
• To reach the Noah's Ark Trail, go south on I-15 to Parowan (Exit 75) and go through town, turning left (east) off Main Street onto state Route 143. Turn left after about one mile and go east into First Left Hand Canyon, which heads to Yankee Meadows. (This is a paved, narrow road with 13 percent grades, if you continue past Vermilion.)
Watch the signs and turn into Vermilion Picnic Area and drive the dirt road loop, looking for the signed trailhead. There are restrooms in the picnic area.
• The Parowan Canyon area is also home to a slew of other oddly shaped features. For example, there's Free Thought Canyon; Valentine Peak (where the sun rises each Feb. 14 perfectly lined with its summit); Squaw Hollow; Hole in the Rock; Billy West Canyon; and Yankee Meadows.
-From  a Deseret News article on Nov. 8, 2007, by Lynn Arave.
                                Looking west from the Noah's Ark area

Kodachtrome Basin:: A wonderland of pale spires, cliffs and arches

                                                              Grosvenor Arch.                  Photo by Ravell Call

By Lynn Arave

MILLIONS of years ago, springs and spouting geysers welled upward in an area not unlike portions of today's Yellowstone National Park. Over time the source of these waters dried up; the sediment-filled spouts solidified, surrounded by a landscape of Entrada sandstone. More eons passed, and while the softer sandstone eroded away grain by grain, the plugs of these mineral faucets - made of harder stuff - proved more resilient.

Today, frozen in time, they're a geologic phenomenon and a centerpiece of Kodachrome Basin State Park, a sparsely visited wonderland of pale spires (those ancient cores), cliffs and arches - such as the spectacular Grosvenor - carved in the region's malleable sunset-colored sandstones.For many years the area, known as both Thorley's Pasture (for rancher Tom Thorley) and Thorny Pasture (for the cactus there), and for a time as Chimney Rocks, was a popular local attraction - especially after a better dirt road made access easier in the 1930s.

Kodachrome leaped to national notoriety when it was featured in the September 1949 issue of National Geographic magazine in an article by writer-photographer Jack Breed about south-central Utah proclaiming the "First Motor Sortie Into Escalanteland." The expedition into a basically unsettled area of the Colorado Plateau involved 15 adventurers, three Jeeps, two trucks and 35 horses. Because of the "astonishing variety of contrasting colors in the formations," they applied the name "Kodachrome Flat" to the area.

For some time there was talk that Kodak, which owned the term "Kodachrome" for its slide film, opposed such use of its product's name. Eventually, however, that proved not to be the case, and today Kodachrome Basin has Kodak's blessing. (In fact, official park brochures used to list Kodak as the "official film" of the state park.)

The state of Utah bought land for the preserve in 1962. But the first real improvements - a campground and ranger residence - weren't built until 1974. In 1988, modern restrooms and hot showers were added.
The park had only 1,000 visitors per year in its early days, but by 1992, visits had multiplied to 64,000.
The naming of neighboring Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the mide-1990s raised interest in Kodachrome too.

The desert climate and slickrock also make the Kodachrome vicinity a great place to visit in late fall or early spring, when many other Utah state parks are too cold for a comfortable visit. 

The park can also have a wide temperature range in a single day because of its 5,800-foot elevation. 
There are at least 67 chimneylike "sand pipes" in the Kodachrome area. Such spires, found nowhere else in the world, are up to 52 meters high. The most significant are found in the Grand Parade area near the campground.

Chimney Rock, a giant thumb rising from the plateau, is one of the most popular scenic attractions. A dirt road leads to the formation about a mile from the campground on the park's east side. The short but bumpy ride can be quite a sight, as in late summer when sightseers pass through a gigantic field of blooming sunflowers.

                                  The approach to Grosvenor Arch.                               Photo by Ravell Call.

Grosvenor Arch, about 10 miles southeast of Kodachrome, is perhaps the area's most famous formation - and deservedly so.

A beautiful and impressive stone rainbow on the lip of a soft-orange mesa, Grosvenor (pronounced Grove-nor) was named by the National Geographic expedition in 1949 in honor of the society's president, Gilbert Grosvenor. The arch, with a 99-foot span, tops out at 152 feet above the ground.

Breed described the arch in his 1949 article:

"This striking natural bridge is carved of creamy rock, a rarity in a land of brilliant reds. Actually it is a double arch, with the larger span on the end of a buttress that cuts from the main sandstone butte."
A smaller arch within the state park bears Tom Shakespeare's name. The former manager of the park discovered it in the 1970s while looking for a coyote den. His name was selected over options like "Tom Thumb's Arch" as a result of a local contest. A side road on the way to Chimney Rock leads to the Shakespeare trailhead, where a sandy, 600-yard trail leads to the arch.

Hiking is a popular park pastime. Besides the Shakespeare Arch trail, visitors can explore the Panorama, Eagle View and Angels Palace trails. Panorama is the longest round trip at 3 miles.

A visit to Kodachrome can be a pleasant, half-day jaunt or a camping and hiking destination. The state park offers a modicum of solitude - a quality that's now just a memory in the region's other, more-crowded national and state parks.
- TO REACH KODACHROME: Kodachrome Basin State Park is south of Cannonville, off U-12, one of Utah's "scenic byways." The park is about 290 miles from Salt Lake City. 

Calf Creek -- Predicted for national park status back in 1930

CALF CREEK, a wondrous southern Utah waterfall was "discovered" in about 1930 and Garfield County residents thought the landmark deserved National Park status.
Calf Creek is located between the Utah towns of Boulder and Escalante, off Highway 12. The popular lower falls features an approximate 130-foot water drop of the Escalante River, while the upper falls is about 90 feet high.
According to the book, "Utah Place Names," the box-like canyon of the lower falls, was used to almost naturally hold calves in place, presumably during the early 20th Century.
A Garfield County newspaper report from May 9, 1930 praised the completion of a new road through the area, where cars "can go up the grade in second gear." Still, the rest of the road in the area was reported as rough and dangerous.
Notwithstanding, the newspaper reported stated: "Then, about three-fourths of a mile above camping grounds is a most wondrous side canyon, called 'Calf Creek,' which is sufficient in grandeur that there is an application to have it designated as a national park. The marvelous waterfall is a 136 feet in height, sending its silvery sprays over most beautiful ferns. The formation of canyon and all compose a spectacle which is not an exaggeration when called a scenic paradise."
Of course, the national park status didn't easily come to pass. Calf Creek was designated as a National Recreation Area on Aug. 31, 1963.
A $2 user fee began in July of 1975, based on the popularity of the area.
Calf Creek was part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, created in 1996, and so it did finally gain national status.
Today, a 2.5-mile long trail along the river leads to the lower Calf Creek falls, while a slickrock slope takes more rustic hikers to the upper falls, still not readily marked along the roadside.

NOTE: Some maps erroneously list Calf Creek Recreation Area as California Creek Recreation area.

Back when football was banned at BYU – and almost in the entire state

                    Rice Stadium, The University of Utah football stadium.

By Lynn Arave

“OPPOSED to the game of football” was a headline in the Deseret News on Dec. 8, 1905. Too many injuries and even the death of a Utah football player in a game during the 1900 season combined to create a ban on football at the Provo school.
Football was played at BYU, when it was named Brigham Young Academy, from 1896-1903. But, about the same time as the Brigham Young University name came along in 1903, the sport of football was discontinued there, for some 16 years.
In fact, “Mormon Church is against football” was a Nov. 18, 1908 headline in the Salt Lake Tribune. This report stated that all schools operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would now also ban football. The matter had been under review for a year and many students petitioned for football, but it was considered too violent and too injury prone.
This wasn't just an LDS Church stand against football. Institutions all over the U.S., like Harvard and Columbia, were also against the sport for its brutality.
"Not for gentlemen" was a common saying at schools which banned football.
"Football is a hospital feeder," was another slogan against gridiron play.
Nation-wide, there were at least 45 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries reported from the 1905 college football season.
President Theodore Roosevelt that year met with sports officials from Harvard, Yale and Princeton to hopefully get football injuries reduced. President Roosevelt’s sons played the game and he wasn’t out to halt the sport, just make it safer to play.
“Present football is too dangerous” was a Nov. 19, 1909 Tribune headline. Schools in New York State banned all football games in 1909, citing, “bones were broken and pupils otherwise injured.” By 1910, the University of Kansas also banned football.
Some football rules had been changed in the early 1900s to try and make it safer, but numerous injuries still continued.

                 College football could have been banned at Utah in 1909.

The Utah State Legislature had House Bill 165 proposed in 1909, that would have halted all football play in the State – especially at the University of Utah and the Agricultural College. However, the bill was finally withdrawn before a vote.
In BYU's case, it was the General Board of Education of the LDS Church, which prompted the ban on football. According to the Deseret News, some students left BYU, or didn't attend there, because of this ban.
(Of course, no one dreamed back then that BYU would ever be the national champion in college football, as it was in 1984, some 64 years after the ban was lifted.)
Since football was banned at BYU during those years, a church-wide ban meant the sport was also halted at Weber Stake Academy (forerunner of Weber State University).
Finally, more rules were changed and advances in football equipment both helped make the game safer for players.
Football returned to BYU in 1919 as an intramural sport. The next two seasons BYU had limited college play and finally the Cougars had a full football season in 1922, though the team’s record was a dismal 1-5.

-Football was perhaps its most brutal in the late 19th Century. The Ogden Standard-Examiner reported this in 1885 about the Ogden High Football team:
“The boys have laid in a good supply of shin plaster, and for a week or past, they have had a carpenter busily engaged in manufacturing crutches. Several competent surgeons have been retained for the occasion (upcoming game) and will be in attendance.”
-It also wasn’t just brutality that cancelled football games in the early 20th Century either. An October 3, 1908 game of the University of Utah’s freshman team against Ogden High was cancelled due to bad weather. A few years later, a soggy, wet field also cancelled a game.
Also, a November 1907 gridiron contest of West High School against Ogden High was cancelled by the Board of Education due to rowdy, public disturbances caused by Salt Lake players in their improper advertising of the upcoming game.
-Finally, yes, college teams routinely played high school teams in Utah during the early 20th Century. In October of 1912, the University of Utah Freshman Team whipped Ogden High 56-0. With a shortage of other prep teams in the area back then, preps even played college teams as far away as Montana.

(-Originally published in the Deseret News on Nov. 21, 2017.)

The first pioneer swim in the Great Salt Lake; John Muir’s ‘bath’ in its briny waters

                       Layton fourth-graders playing in the Great Salt Lake at Antelope Island.

By Lynn Arave

A significant number of Northern Utah residents have probably never waded or taken a dip in the Great Salt Lake.
However, some of the first group of Mormon Pioneers wasted little time in heading out to swim in the briny lake waters, just three days after entering the Great Salt Lake Valley.
According to Milton R. Hunter in his 1956 book, “Utah in Her Western Setting,” on July 27, 1847, eight Mormon Apostles and six other pioneers traveled southwest to the south end of the Great Salt Lake. They called the place “Black Rock” and ate lunch and swam in the lake there. The rock rose some 50 feet above the lake’s waters.
Orson Pratt reported: “We cannot sink in this water. We roll and float on the surface like a dry log. I think the Salt Lake is one of the wonders of the world.”

                  Great Salt Lake foam, near the shore qt Antelope Island.

The Deseret News on July 27, 1907 also examined that first pioneer lake swim on its 60th anniversary and stated that a man could sit in the lake’s waters as a man sits in a rocking chair – suspended upward. The first pioneers in the water also reported the waters to be so warm that no one wanted to retreat from the lake.
Pratt further described the water as fully saturated with salt, “its specific gravity as such to buoy us up in a remarkable manner, the water was very transparent; the bottom is sandy.”
After bathing, the pioneer group gathered a cup of white salt from the lakeshore rocks and also discovered a fresh water spring nearby, though it was somewhat brackish in taste.
The tradition soon became that a part of the Fourth of July celebration in Salt Lake City was to go west and swim in the briny waters of the lake. The Deseret News reported this happening on July 4, 1851.
Eventually, the first Utah railroad would transport bathers to Black Rock. Soon, a bowery was built at nearby Garfield Beach and row boats would take swimmers out to Black Rock, where the water was deeper for proper bathing.
Black Rock opened as a Great Salt Lake resort by H.J. Faust in 1876, but it soon fell into disrepair. Alonzo Hyde, son-in-law of LDS Church President John Taylor, and David John Taylor, the president's son, took over Black Rock in 1880. It was located a few miles northeast of Lake Point. Heber C. Kimball's old ranch house there was turned into a hotel, and the resort had swings and a merry-go-round, pulled by a horse.
Yet a much larger and grander resort, Saltair, opened about a mile to the east in 1893 and captured most of the headlines and crowds. In the GSL’s heyday, eight different lakeshore resorts were operating, offering “floating like a cork.”

-Famous naturalist John Muir visited and bathed in the Great Salt Lake on a cool and windy day in early May of 1877.
“Great Salt Lake. America’s Dead Sea poetically pictured by a Naturalist. Prof. Muir’s bath at Lake Point” was the newspaper’s headline.
Muir was alone on the south shore during his “swim” and assumed that was because cooler spring weather didn’t attract the crowds that the summer season did.
In Muir’s own poetic writing, here is a summary of his experience in the waters of the Great Salt Lake, as recorded in the Salt Lake Herald newspaper of June 27, 1877:
 “When the north wind blows bathing in Salt Lake is a glorious baptism, for then it is all wildly awake with waves, blooming like a prairie in snowy crystal foam. Plunging confidently into the midst of the grand uproar you are hugged and welcomed and swim without effort, rocking and whirling up and down and round in delightful rhythm while the wind sings in chorus and the cool, fragrant brine searches every fibre of your body, and at the end of your excursion you are tossed ashore with a glad God-speed, braced and salted and clean as a saint.”

-What did Muir think of the Wasatch Mountains? His own description from that 1877 visit compared it to his Yosemite: “The mountains rise into the cool sky, furrowed with canons almost Yosemtic in grandeur and filled with a glorious profusion of flowers and trees. Lovers of science, lovers of wilderness, lovers of pure rest will find here more than they ever may hope for.”

-What did Muir think of Mormons? His own words: “As
for the Mormons one meets, however their doctrines
may be regarded, they will be found as rich in human
kindness as any people in all the broad land, while
the dark mysteries that cloud their earlier history will vanish from the mind as completely as when we bathe in the fountain azure of the Sierra.”
The Salt Lake Herald of Sept. 9, 1877 also made miraculous claims about the Great Salt Lake’s healing powers, which may have also contributed to the briny water’s extreme popularity in the late 19th Century. The newspaper claimed the lake’s waters cured skin diseases, eased sore eyes and cleaned out the nose and throat. “Great Salt Lake is beginning to take rank as a watering place … Hundreds of the afflicted are testing its curative powers….” the newspaper reported.

(-This story was originally published in the Deseret News on July 11, 2017.)

A History of All 8 former Great Salt Lake Bathing Resorts

     The south shore of the Great Salt Lake, as viewed from Antelope Island's highest point.

By Lynn Arave

PIONEERS and early settlers were fanatically attracted to the Great Salt Lake, a vastly salty body of water with no outlet -- and where bathers could "float like a cork."
Bathing resorts along the GSL sprang up starting in 1870, with 8 different locations in its heyday, but none have survived the decades.
The lake's fickle habit of greatly shrinking and then enlarging played havoc on the beach fronts of the resorts over the years.
The public also soon favored fresh water swimming, or hot springs over a briny experience. 
And, the popularity of the automobile also meant that Utahns could drive to the mountains, out of state -- basically to places not rigidly set by railroad travel only. (Most GSL lake resorts had railroad access and were even created to drive passenger traffic to the rails.)
One key confusing element of the former Great Salt Lake resorts was the overuse of the term "Lake" in resort titles. This led to plenty of historical confusion over the years and some resorts had their histories incorrectly mixed-up with other resorts.
For example, Lake Side in Kaysville is sometimes confused with Lake Park in Farmington. The local history book, "Layton, Utah," by the Kaysville-Layton Historical Society (1985) somehow managed to confused Lake Side with Lake Park. This is significant because Lake Park eventually moved eastward and became Lagoon Amusement Park, the largest such establishment in the Intermountain West.

(In addition, if you were to believe some of these mixed-up histories, you would surmise wrongly that Lagoon started in 1870 and not 16 years later in 1886.)

Note also that the Lake Shore resort is also sometimes confused with the Syracuse resort.

      Davis County 4th graders playing in the Great Salt Lake at Antelope Island, reminiscent of yesteryear.

One big void in the 8 lake resorts' geography was a lack of any GSL resort that Ogden, Utah's second largest city at the time, could lay claim to. However, Ogden had plans for such a resort to be built in the Promonory Point/Little Mountain area, directly west of today's 12th Street in Ogden. However, that dream never became a reality, though it was promoted heavily from 1912-1923.

-Here are some capsule historical glances at all 8 of the former Great Salt Lake resorts of yesteryear:

1. Lake Side was located southwest of Kaysville (but close to the Farmington border) and opened in June of 1870. It was probably the first-ever standard attraction along the lake's shore.

It monopolized the resort trade for several years with numerous church and family outings. John W. Young, third son of Brigham Young, built it. This Young had part ownership in the Utah Central Railroad.

A key highlight of the resort was that it eventually featured a 25-cent ride on the City of Corinne, a steamboat, going to Lake Point on the south shore. This former commercial ship on the lake took tourists during the 1872 season only on excursions. The boat could carry 100 passengers and even boasted its own live band.
In the 1882 season, Lake Side provided some 30,000 "baths" in the Great Salt Lake.

It is unclear exactly when this resort vanished, but it's certain the low lake level of the early 1890s would have closed it. More likely, the popularity of the much larger Lake Park, which opened to the south 16 years later, in 1886, would have killed it.

2. Lake Point was started during 1870 - about the same time as Lake Side. It was built by Dr. Jeter Clinton and offered sandy beaches. By 1874, it had a dining hall and dancing room, plus 40 hotel rooms.

On July 4, 1876, some 1,500 people visited the resort.

Today's Lake Point Junction, along I-80, is the only ghost left of the resort. It likely fell victim to Saltair's popularity by or before 1890.

3. Black Rock was opened by H.J. Faust in 1876, but this resort didn't catch on either. It soon fell into disrepair, something quickly possible along the lake's shores, given the corrosive salt water, winds and storms.

Alonzo Hyde, son-in-law of LDS Church President John Taylor, and David John Taylor, the president's son, took over Black Rock in 1880. It was located a few miles northeast of Lake Point. The resort was named for the large black rock monolith that's in or along the lake, depending on its level.

Heber C. Kimball's old ranch house was turned into a hotel, and the resort had swings and a merry-go-round, pulled by a horse.

But a much larger and grander resort, Saltair, opened in 1893 and put Black Rock out of business by the mid-1890s.

Black Rock was resurrected in 1933, but that didn't last either.

At Sunset Beach in 1934, still another small report was operating for a short time on the lake's south shore, but couldn't compete with Saltair either.

4. Lake Shore was described as a modest little resort. It opened in 1879 and was located a few miles southwest of where Lake Park (Lagoon's forerunner) would be. George O. Chase was one of the owners.

Like Lake Side, little is known about Lake Shore. It had some dressing rooms, but that apparently was it. Lake Shore was described as being 15 miles north of Salt Lake City and reached by the Central Railroad system.

Again, the establishment of the larger Lake Park in 1886 and the receding lake level would have doomed Lake Shore by 1890 or sooner.

5. Garfield Beach began in 1881, two miles southwest of Black Rock. It capitalized on service via the steamboat from Lake Side. The boat was renamed "General Garfield," in honor of James A. Garfield taking a ride on it. The boat was anchored semi-permanently offshore of the resort.

In 1887, Garfield resort was purchased by the Utah and Nevada Railroad. Some $100,000 in improvements were added, including 200 bathhouses with showers, a restaurant, race track and bowling alley. It was then called "Utah's great sanitarium resort," and 84,000 total people visited Garfield that year.

Five years later, it was still going strong, and the Union Pacific Railroad purchased it and spent another $150,000 in upgrades. It was the lake's first resort to have an electric generator and lights.

A fire destroyed it (the steamboat too) in 1904, and despite rumors it would be rebuilt, it never was.

6. Lake Park started on July 15, 1886, between Lake Side and Lake Shore. Railroad magnate Simon Bamberger (later Utah's first-ever Democratic governor) built the resort with a $100,00 investment, as a proven way to increase passenger traffic on his trains.

It was promoted as one of the "most attractive watering places in the West." Some 53,000 people visited Lake Park in its first season.

Based on 1886 lake levels, it was probably located 1.7 miles west of today's Lagoon. It boasted an open-air dancing pavilion, a small Victorian-style hotel and a string of cabanas along the beach -- some 120 acres in all.

A sailboat racing and rowing club also had headquarters at Lake Park.

           A view of where Lake Park resort was, just grass and salt today.

By 1895, the resort was suffering from low water levels. What once was lake shore was now blue-colored mud. Guests had to walk a third of a mile or more to reach the water.

Bamberger decided to move the resort inland to a swampy area. Five of the resort's original buildings were moved.

     Another view of where Lake Park used to be, just a bird mecca and horse ranch today. 

The park reopened as "Lagoon" on July 12, 1896. That relocation, away from fickle lake levels, to another lake - a small fresh-water one - proved wise. The result is today's Lagoon - the largest amusement park between the Midwest and California.

                     The old Syracuse Resort in a Utah Historical Society photograph.
7. Syracuse Resort opened on July 4, 1887, when 13 train cars of bathers and a total of 2,000 people turned out. A train line from Ogden ended at the 93-acre resort.

It was built by Daniel C. Adams and Fred Kiesel right where today's causeway to Antelope Island begins along 1700 South, west of the Syracuse city limits.

It was described as "an oasis in the desert." Unique among lake resorts, it had a grove of trees, transplanted from Weber Canyon, and boweries. Boat excursions were also offered to nearby lake islands. It had 70 bathhouses.

       The train access to the Syracuse Resort ion a Utah Historical Society photograph.
A picnic area in the shade of the trees was 400 yards from the lake shore. That area was also used for outdoor LDS Church conferences in the area. A horse-driven streetcar traveled between the picnic area and bathhouses.

Syracuse Resort even staged bicycle races on a nearby dirt track. Artesian wells and water tanks served the resort.

                   A view today of where the Syracuse resort used to be.

It had a dance pavilion, suspended on pilings, but later some slipped and the dance floor warped.

Trains were known to sometimes strand people at the resort. For example, on July 8, 1889, a group from Ogden had to spend the night there when the night's only train left early.

This LDS Chapel, on 4500 West, near the gate to Antelope Island State Park, was where the east end of the Syracuse bathing resort used to be.

Syracuse Resort closed in 1892 from a twofold problem - a dispute over ownership of the land and the receding waters of the lake that left it mired in mud.
Area industries used the railroad tracks for some decades, but they are now also long since removed and there is no trace of the old resort to be found today.

8. Saltair, the lake's last legendary resort, was also its most elegant and popular. Only it was grand enough to have the magic to survive past the early 1900s.

It opened on Memorial Day 1893 at a cost of $350,000. It was built over the lake itself on 2,500 10-inch wooden pilings. It originally had 1,000 bathhouses.

Some 10,000 people came out for its official June 8, 1893, dedication. Its main hall was similar in size and shape to the Mormon Tabernacle. It boasted a 50-cent train ride from Salt Lake and the ticket also included Saltair admission.

Saltair eventually became a world-class resort and wanted to be the "Coney Island of the West."

In the early 1900s, this was a popular place for church groups, though the resort struggled with whether or not to sell alcohol on site. (The LDS Church owned half of the Saltair Beach Co.'s original shares.)

By 1906, the resort was sold to a group of private investors.

Its overall annual attendance went from 250,000 in 1906 to 450,000 in 1919.

The resort seemed a magnet for natural disasters, too. Two windstorms in 1910 destroyed 200 bathhouses and other structures.

                                      The south end of Saltair III today.

A large fire in 1925 caused $500,000 damage, with insurance only covering $100,000 of it. However, 21/2 months after the fire, Saltair was open again. Another fire struck in 1931, damaging its coaster and amusement rides.

By then, Saltair had a tunnel of love, six bowling alleys, a Ferris wheel, fish pond, fun house, pool halls, penny arcade, photo gallery, shooting gallery and roller skating rink. It was described as the "biggest amusement value in the world" during the 1930s.

Saltair was also billed as having the world's largest dance floor, where 5,000 people could fox trot at once in the open-air hall.

However, Saltair continued to be plagued by disasters. In 1932, a windstorm killed two construction workers. In 1939, a fire destroyed its pier.

The resort closed from 1944 to 1945, during World War II, because of gas rationing and other problems. Yet another fire damaged it in 1955 and destroyed many bathhouses. A freak wind gust destroyed its roller coaster in 1957. By 1959, the state of Utah had taken possession of the crumbling resort and closed it.

The abandoned resort burned to the ground in November 1970.

In 1983, Wally Wright spent $3 million to build a new Saltair resort about a mile west of the original resort site.

However, within a year the lake level was rising and the new Saltair was struggling to survive. Saltair III is still there, but only as a specter of the old "Lady of the Lake" that existed there in the early part of the century.

-From a Deseret News article by Lynn Arave on March 29, 1998.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Why Ogden City is named for a man who never even traveled there ....

    INTERESTINGLY,  Ogden City is a town that is named for a man who never even visited the place. Ogden also  ranks as the third-oldest incorporated city WEST of the Missouri River, following ONLY San Francisco and Salt Lake City.

   So, how did the Ogden name come about?
   Here’s the summary of a story from the Ogden Standard-Examiner of April 4, 1914, under the headline of “How Ogden got its name and a sketch of Peter Skene Ogden:

Many a famous city has been named after its founder, but Ogden is named for a man who never saw it.
Scores of hunters, trappers and explorers had camped on the site of eventual Ogden and some had even made maps and reports of their visits --- Ashley, Bridger, Carson, Provost, Goodyear and Bonneville to name a few.

Mormon pioneers were also inclined to name towns after their own or their religion – like Brigham City, Nephi, etc.
But it was Ogden’s name that won out. How?
Who told the Mormon Pioneers about Ogden?
First, it was probably Jim Bridger, trapper and romancer. Bridger had known Ogden since 1825 and likely associated his name with the river and the valley.
Then, the pioneers found Miles Goodyear already established in Ogden and eventually bought him out.
Goodyear likely told them that is the Ogden River, yonder is Ogden’s Hole.

                   An old Ogden sign, probably from the 1930s in Weber Canyon.

And, at the very time the pioneers were told this, Peter Skene Ogden was at Fort Vancouver, near Portland, Oregon and head of the Hudson Bay Company. He was a key man, perhaps the key man then in all the northwest country drained by the Columbia River, at the time.
Ogden visited Ogden Valley, but there is no evidence he ever set foot on the west side of the mountains, where Ogden City is today.
 It also may be no coincidence that Johnnie Grant of Fort Hall, Idaho and a clerk of the Hudson Bay Company, was Miles Goodyear’s friend and backer.
The Mormon Pioneers, then finding certain points of local geography already well established in title, accepted them.

 Still, Ogden City was originally known as Brown's Fort, or Brown's Settlement. Soon "Brownsville" took hold as the name and held for several years.

The City was named for Peter Skene Ogden on Feb. 6, 1851, when it was incorporated. 

 (However, it was more than three years before the post office dropped the name Brownsville.)

It was President Brigham Young himself who had strongly suggested the Ogden name of the famous trapper for the City’s title during his 1849 visit to the area.

 -BUT now on a “what if” possibility, had the original Brownsville name became Ogden City’s actual name, would Ogden Valley have been named “Brown Valley”?
 PERHAPS…. As Ogden Valley wasn’t explored by the Mormon Pioneers until 1854 and not settled until 1860.

                    Ogden Valley as seen from Snow Basin Ski Resort.

The 'Dark Side' of Lagoon Amusement Park, Utah

By Lynn Arave

Fatalities/Accidents at Lagoon:

 There is one taboo subject at all amusement parks – fatalities and accidents.

Accidents do happen -- nothing in life is totally safe.
However, rest assured that statistically, you are far more likely to be injured, or killed in a car accident on the way to/or from Lagoon Amusement Park, Farmington, Utah, than on any of the park’s attractions.
Let’s do some statistics – Lagoon has likely averaged about 1 million visitors a season during the past 3 or so decades. With just 2 ride fatalities from 1960 to 2017 (by using a half-million annual  visitors as average before 1980 and one million a season thereafter), the odds of being killed on a Lagoon ride would pan out at about 2 chances in 47 million of dying on a ride.
Furthermore, with only 16 known fatalities in the park’s long history, dating back to 1886, from any kind of accident (plus at least four illness-related deaths), that isn’t a bad safety record at all. The park would prefer to have had no deaths, but then reading below, one can clearly conclude that most of the deaths at Lagoon were caused by a patron’s own negligence or recklessness.
In others, riders "tested" their safety restraints, or even tried to exit the ride on their own.
  Three of the fatalities on rides -- the most of all -- are from the wooden Roller Coaster. Add the worker's death accident on the tracks and that's 4 fatalities from the coaster, making it the park's most dangerous.
Swimming/diving produced Lagoon's most fatalities in its early years. In fact, the Ogden Standard-Examiner on July 29, 1912 stated in an editorial that due to all the drownings at Lagoon, its lake should only be 3 feet deep. It also stressed that more warnings for riders of Lagoon's Scenic Railway ride should be posted, given the ride's turbulent nature.

-Still, a FOX News story in July of 2017 ranked Lagoon as the one of the nation's 11 most dangerous amusement parks, based on its fatal ride accident history.

(Note too that state fair rides and traveling amusement rides are likely far more dangerous than the rides at amusements parks.)

                                       Lagoon's most dangerous ride?

The accident list below does NOT claim to be a complete history of all accidents at Lagoon. Still, it is likely the most comprehensive list available anywhere.

1.   Henry John Barnes, 50, of Farmington, drowned in about 3 feet of water at Lagoon's Lake on August 3, 1907. He had been drinking and was believed to be intoxicated. His body was not found until the next morning.

2. Herbert Lee Reeder, 19, of Ogden drowned in Lagoon Lake on June 5, 1909. A passenger in a shell-like boat with a friend, Fred Naisbitt, the boat capsized when the two were changing oars. Reeder, who could not swim, sank to the bottom and Naisbitt nearly lost his  own life trying to save him. Others came from shore and also tried to help. The June 6, 1909 Ogden Standard-Examiner article on the accident noted that Lagoon management has made no effort to patrol the lake, to keep it safer.

3.  “Emma Youngquist drowned at Lagoon.”
The young woman was boating on Lagoon Lake with a boyfriend on July 28, 1912, when she decided to change places and row the boat. The young man disagreed with that action, but she stood up anyway, the boat rocked and both fell out. The young woman drowned, her body being found 25 minutes later, 16 feet from shore and in eight feet of water. (-From the Davis County Clipper, 2 Aug. 1912).

4. "Railroad man is killed at Lagoon."  Albert Fulton, 27, a Denver & Rio Grande Railroad employee, died at Lagoon on July 15, 1914 when he struck his head on the bottom of the pool and fractured his skull. Fulton leaped from the Lagoon high dive and hit the water perpendicularly, as he was believed to have slipped off the platform. The depth of the pool water was clearly posted at 6-feet. (Ogden Standard-Examiner, July 16, 1914.)

5 “Earl E.  Logston killed after races.”
Logston of Salt Lake City was killed on the Lagoon racetrack on Sept. 5, 1921 in a vehicle accident. He and a companion were trying to see how fast they could drive around the track, following the day’s official races there. Somehow a light in the car came loose, stuck in the steering gear and caused the car to crash into a fence. A splintered rail struck Logston and instantly killed him. (-From the Davis County Clipper, 9 Sept. 1921.)

6.   “Ogden man killed on Dipper at Lagoon.”
George Burt, 19, of Ogden was killed instantly on Saturday, July 26, 1924 when he fell 25 feet from the Dipper roller coaster (today’s wooden roller coaster).
Burt was making his fourth ride of the night and was insistent on standing up during the ride. He eventually lost his balance, slipped out – hung onto the car -- and was dragged 30 feet down one incline and partially up another, before he lost his grip and suffered the fatal fall.
He had a broken neck. (-From the Davis County Clipper, 1 Aug. 1924.)
Note that this coaster at the time likely did not have seat belts.
7-8. “Park City miner meets death at Lagoon July 4”
Tobias Ortiz, a Park City miner and formerly from Santa Fe, New Mexico, died in the Lagoon swimming pool on the afternoon of July 4, 1925.
He leaped from the pool’s high dive and struck his head on the bottom. He was under the water 10 minutes before he was located, pulled out and resuscitation was used unsuccessfully. His neck was not broken, so it is believed that he was stunned under water and drowned.
“This is the second accident of the kind that has occurred there since the diving place has been in use.”  Thus a similar such death from diving happened earlier. (-From the Davis County Clipper, 10 July, 1925.

9. “Park City woman accidentally killed at Lagoon.”
Mrs. Luka La Fay Goodfellow, of Park City, died instantly from an accident in the Lagoon Fun house on July 13, 1930.
She was accidentally thrown from the “fun wheel” in the fun house and struck her head against a post. Note that this was the original Lagoon fun house – the one that burned down in the 1950s --  not the later version. (-From the Davis County Clipper, 18 July 1930).

10. Ernest Howe, 21, Ogden, stood up on the roller coaster ride and fell out as made its first turn, dying on impact, with a fractured skull, on Aug. 20, 1934. (-From the Ogden Standard-Examiner, summer of 1989, no exact date of publication available, but author has a copy of the undated article.)

11. James Young Hess, 23, of Farmington, died from injuries sustained from being stuck by a roller coaster car at Lagoon on Sept. 1, 1946. Hess was hit by the car while working on the ride’s scaffolding. He suffered skull, leg and arm fractures and died later at a Salt Lake hospital. (-From the Deseret News, 13 June 1989).

12. George Marler, 20, a Union Pacific Railroad agent, died at Lagoon on August 16, 1948. Marler was fatally injured when he attempted to dive head first in the shallow part of the park's swimming pool. He fractured his neck and injured his back, later passing away in a Salt Lake hospital. 

13. Ryan Beckstead, 6, of Bountiful, was killed on the “Puff the Little Fire Dragon” ride at Lagoon on April 30, 1989. This mini children’s roller coaster did not malfunction. The ride operator hastily decided to give the riders a second ride and failed to notice that Beckstead – in the rear car -- was already almost out of his seat, believing the ride to be over. Beckstead was tossed out of the ride and stuck in between the tracks. No one – including his father – could reach him before the coaster came back around a second time and struck him on the tracks. (-Deseret News, 1 May 1989). Note that thereafter, Lagoon enhanced the restraints on this ride to hopefully prevent any future such accidents.

14. Kilee King, 13, of Bountiful, died July 9, 1989, after she fell 35 feet from the lead car of the roller coaster ride. She suffered a broken neck and had been trying to “get air” by pushing her legs against the seat of the car as it went over a hill. The result was she was thrown out of the ride’s car. Her lap bar had remained closed, but failed to keep her inside the car. (-From the Deseret News, 13 June 1989). Note that soon after, Lagoon moved all the coaster seats permanently slightly forward, to lessen the chances of this type  accident from happening in the future.

15-19. There have been at least five other non-attraction related deaths that happened at Lagoon since 1980. Park officials say one person died in the park from a seizure and another from a heart attack. A Lagoon employee was also killed in 1981 after she fell off a garbage truck in the parking lot. Still another person drowned in the old Lagoon swimming pool after illegally entering the park grounds after hours. A 72-year-old Roy man died from a heart attack at Lagoon on May 17, 2003. A lawsuit later claimed the man did not receive prompt enough emergency care. (-From the Deseret News, 11 June 1989 and also 1 Aug. 2004).

Obviously, others likely died of illnesses, etc. at Lagoon over the years, especially before 1980.


-Early April of 1906: Charles Boylin of Farmington, who looked after the grounds and animals at Lagoon, was seriously bitten by a monkey. He suffered a paralysis to both arms initially, but after several weeks recovered full use of his limbs. (From Box Elder News, April 19, 1906.)
-April 22, 1907: Two painters suffered serious injuries when their scaffold fell to the ground after the ropes broke. They had been painting the roof of the Lagoon dance hall, which had been replaced after high winds blew it off last fall. (From the Deseret News April 23, 1907.)
-May 30,1908: Undoubtedly Lagoon's most disastrous opening season day: two injuries, one very serious -- 1. Logan Balderston of Bountiful was seriously injured on Lagoon's scenic railway, when he was thrown out of the car on a turn and fell 40 feet to the ground. He broke his leg, displaced ribs and moved his heart a few inches. Doctors thought he would not survive at first, but he did gradually improve; 2. Leonel Layton of Layton, broke his arm on the park's skating rink. (-From the Davis County Clipper, June 5, 1908.)

-April 28, 1908: Lorin H. Heninger of Ogden, was seriously injured at Lagoon while riding "bumping the bumps," some kind of ride. No other information available. The ride may have been similar to today's "Dodge 'em" car rides. (-From Davis County Clipper, Aug. 28, 1908.)

-Circa mid-1960s: According to a March 2016 Facebook post by Laurie Capener of Layton -- She was a teen waiting in line for a ride nearby the original Wild Mouse (Then located at the north end of the midway). She said she saw the Wild Mouse malfunction -- "Watched one car not make it up the last hill, while another one rammed the stalled car from behind. Several kids were injured. I would never get on it again."
Apparently no one was seriously injured, but this accident is the source of overblown urban legends that the Wild Mouse jumped off the tracks and some riders were killed.

-June 27, 1968: Six riders were treated for injuries and released after an arm of the Octopus ride fell to the ground. One of the main pivet pins on the ride sheared off, causing the crash. No one was serious hurt. This ride was taken out of Lagoon for good, soon after.
       -1983: A Lagoon employee, Shauna B. Lassen, lost an arm after it was severed by the Fire Dragon ride she was working on.
      -1984: Two children were injured when the kid's Helicopter ride plunged to the ground. A lawsuit followed. 
      -1987: A Pittsburgh, Penn. Woman said she was injured on the Jet Star II ride, when it came to an abrupt halt. Also, in 1987, a Ketchum, Id. man said he was hurt when a Jet Star II car struck his car from behind.
     -June 10, 1991: A cross board on the Lagoon roller coaster (2X6 feet) came loose and broke the arm of an Elko. Nev. teenager, Frank Greco, 18, who was riding at the time and it struck him from overhead as the coaster car went by.
   - June 15, 1991: Three teenage boys were stabbed during a fight at Lagoon. This was not gang related.
    -August 1996:  A 16-year-old Centerville girl, working at Lagoon, was bit in the arm by a cougar at the Lagoon Zoo. The animal was euthanized later, to check if it had rabies, or other diseases.
   - July 3, 2000: A Layton man injured a finger and his arm in “The Drop” water slide at Lagoon-Beach.
    -Sept. 2000: A South Jordan man injured his knee after crashing into the end of the pool of “The Drop” ride in Lagoon-A-Beach’s water slide area. (This was at least the third injury that resulted in a lawsuit against Lagoon on the “Drop” slide.)
-August 2001: A freak accident on the Scamper, a children’s bumper car ride, frightened but did not hurt a male rider, age 6. A pole at the top of one of the ride's cars shorted out, produced an arc of electricity and caused a heavy piece of metal about 1 1/2 inches long to heat up and fall onto the seat next to the boy. 
-2012: An elderly man shattered his leg in a fall getting off the Dracula's Castle ride. He apparently could not exit the ride quickly enough, before the next ride car came around the corner and bumped him to the ground.


 Here are a few examples of malfunctions that occasionally happen on Lagoon rides, usually only causing delays and inconvenience …
  - July 24, 1999: The Skyscraper ride malfunctioned and its brakes temporarily stopped working. The ride continued about an extra 25 minutes before it was finally stopped. Some passengers loved the extra long ride with a view; others felt trapped. No injuries.
  -July 1, 2002: The Roll-o-Plane ride malfunctioned and left eight passengers stuck and stranded on the ride for 30 minutes. No one was injured.

-Oct. 14, 2002: The Samurai rode broke and left 28 riders trapped in the cold and in an upright position for one hour and 45 minutes.


Here are a few examples of some past lawsuits, likely a fraction of what actually happened, since most modern lawsuits are likely settled privately:

-Summer of 1908: Lizzie W. Priestly sued Lagoon after stepped in a hole near a grandstand for a baseball game at Lagoon and suffered lasting injuries.
-March 1926: Franklin H. Mitchell tried to sue Lagoon for $10,000 (almost $134,000 in 2014 dollars) when he fractured his skull when a water toboggan struck him in the Lagoon Swimming pool. The jury decided the Mitchell was negligent by being in that area of the pool and the case was dismissed.
-November 1926: Bessie Wintercloud tried to sue Lagoon after a board on the dancing floor caused her to trip, causing leg injuries. This case was quickly settled outside of court.

-- Lagoon's Foreign Spy/Bomb plot incident:
Lagoon has also had some very weird happenings over the decades.
How about a foreign spy and a bomb plot?
“Dancing master proves to be spy; Man who taught dancing at The Lagoon tried to blow up pavilion on Soldiers’ Day,” was the headline in the Sept, 7, 1917 Davis County Clipper.
“The professor who had been teaching dancing at Lagoon has turned out to be a German spy,” that article stated.
The bomb didn't off, but if it did, dozens could have been killed, or injured.
It was reported that the professor disappeared, but was later captured and imprisoned in the prisoner’s camp at Fort Douglas.
The newspaper stated that rumors were also circulating that the spy had already been convicted and executed.
The article also reported that another German, who had been living with a family in Centerville, had also been arrested as a spy and sent to Fort Douglas.

-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: