Posts Tagged ‘Salt Lake City’

Utah railroad murals centennial today

December 17, 2009

Craig Harmon launched a new web page today to commemorate the 100th anniversary of murals inside the restored Union Pacific Depot in Salt Lake City. The city, on pioneer trails and the Transcontinental Railroad, also hosted the Lincoln Highway. The station, originally just called the Oregon Short Line Depot, is at Third West and South Temple streets.

Artists John McQuarrie & August C. Wocker were commissioned in September 1909 and by December the murals were finished. McQuarrie also made the bronze for the Betsy Ross Memorial Flag Pole at the Lincoln Highway’s western terminus.

In 1979, the paintings were restored by Scott M. Haskins, who also supplied current photos to Harmon such as the above. Learn more at Harmon’s page:

Missionaries served SLC's municipal auto camp

July 28, 2008

An article by Ardis E. Parshal at discusses the auto camp that sprung up on the west end of Salt Lake City, and Mormon missionary efforts there:

By 1921 it had the usual amenities found in any such western camp. In earlier years [Pioneer S]take leaders had noted the increasing thousands who spent time at the auto camp before passing along, and they realized they had an unusual service opportunity. That summer of 1921 they pitched a large tent at the camp and held church services, both on Sundays and during the week. Meetings were short and casual, and relied on music and the recitations of Sunday School children. The various ward choirs in the stake took turns providing music, and talented instrumental soloists offered their services. Stake officers provided brochures, sold copies of the Book of Mormon, and answered questions. Some 25,000 tourists were served in that first year alone.

In 1922, the project expanded, and stake members build a small chapel, open on one side to face rows of benches in the open air. And word began filtering back from missionaries in the field, that they had been welcomed into the homes of people who had stayed at Salt Lake’s auto camp and changed their opinion of the habits and character of the Mormons.

ABOVE: an image of the auto camp missionaries from the article, which identifies the men.
TOP IMAGE courtesy Russell Rein.

SLC and the 1860s Tabernacle were regular stops for most everyone motoring through Utah. As the author points out, and as seen in period travel journals, many wanted to see what Mormons looked like. Early auto traveler Harriet White Fisher was among those who stopped to see but concluded, “I could find no marks of identification that made them any different from other men in the East.”

Updates to Libraries & Museums along the Lincoln

January 27, 2008

UT_Rio Grande DepotI’ve added more sites to the Lincoln Highway Libraries & Museums page; see the link to the right. There are many local and state libraries and museums along the route, such as the Utah Historical Society (click their photo to go to the web site). Since 1980, it has been located in Salt Lake City’s former Rio Grande railroad depot. (The LHA held a reception there during its 1998 conference.) The elaborate station was completed in 1910 at a cost of $750,000 and sold to the city in 1977 for $1, which says a lot about how transportation changed in the intervening 6 decades. The restored depot is 3 blocks south of South Temple St and 4-1/2 blocks west of Main St.

Nostalgic "Desert Empire" film shows Utah 1948

December 22, 2007

The Rio Grande Railroad produced this black and white documentary in 1948 to promote the state’s wonders, and of course, encourage train travel. The film is a half-hour long but split into three parts. It only sometimes visits LH locations but is nonetheless an entertaining and nostalgic look at the state, tourism, and travel by steam engine almost 60 years ago.

1: Intro, Arches National Monument, horseback ride and spectacular rocks, Wasatch Mountains, Soldier Summit, Provo and Escalante Trail marker, Utah Lake, sugar beets, cherry blossoms. 10:18 min.

2: Copperton, Bingham (with horse-delivered mail), Utah Copper Company, worlds largest open cut mine, copper to electricity climax. 9:03 min.

3: Black Rock on Salt Lake, Saltair Pavilion and its Putt Putt railway, salt beds, highways to Ogden, cattle, sheep, train to SLC, D&RGW [Denver & Rio Grande Western]-WP station, streets, capitol, statues, Emigration Canyon monument, tabernacle, temple, cactus beehive (!), organ recital, ride home. 10:23 min.

14,400 slides part of Cushman Photo Collection

November 30, 2007

The Charles Weever Cushman Collection at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, consists of ten cubic feet of materials, including 2,200 b/w negatives and prints. Just three of those cubic feet are slides, but what a collection — more than 14,400 color Kodachrome slides shot from 1938 to 1969. Cushman’s photos have been digitized through Indiana University’s Digital Library Program and the Indiana University Archives and are now online.

Cushman and his LZ
Cushman and his trusty 1940 Lincoln Zephyr at San Francisco, 1958, at 202,000 miles by then.

An amateur photographer, most of Cushman’s images are scenic, many are from such countries as from Lebanon, Germany, Austria, England, and Mexico. There are few roadside or industrial sites, but roads and cars do make it into many of the slides. Here are some from along the Lincoln Highway or close to it—click the links to see larger views.

The old Lincoln Highway snakes under the railroad at Donner Summit, CA, 1958.

Along Lake Tahoe at Tunnel Rock, NV, 1953.

An antique car climbing Spooner Summit, NV, 1958.

Check out Green River, Wyoming, in 1958, or another view in 1963 showing the Husky Truck Stop Cafe.
WY_GrRiv 58

WY_GrRiv 63

A clear day in Salt Lake City, 1958, looking north on State Street toward the capitol.

There’s lots else to see plus essays about Cushman and his collection. Photos reprinted here with the kind permission of Indiana University, Office of University Archives & Records Management, with special thanks to Curator Bradley D. Cook.

Mystery Postcard 1: Country Club motel, SLC, UT

November 25, 2007

Like the Mystery Photos we sometimes run on weekends, there are likewise lots of postcards that we wonder “whatever happened to that place?” This beautiful linen card from the Curt Teich Company pictures the Country Club Motor Lodge and Coffee Shop, 2665 Parley’s Way, Salt Lake City, Utah. It advertised 55 “strictly modern units” and “Sun Porch and Modern Coffee Shop for Convenience of Guests.” It’s named for The Country Club across the road, one of the West’s oldest courses (founded 1899) and still an elegant, private 18-hole course. Today, housing separates the two just west of the tangle of ramps where I-80, I-215, and UT 186 meet.

UT_Country Club

This card, postmarked Aug 4, 1949, was sent by a child:

“We got here right today We will be back to Sacramento California soon We are haveing a nice trip so good-by and I will see you soon from Mary Jean”

UT_Country Club back

What’s left at the site today? The phone number is now a private residence. A Yahoo aerial view shows it still there, but you can buy for a condo at the Country Club Ridge subdivision at the same address. Price for #310 is $649,000 for 2,065 sq ft, built 2007. Are we a year too late…?

UT_Country Club map