Posts Tagged ‘Utah’

Fish Springs to offer trails class for its 50th

April 14, 2009

The Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, a wetland mecca along the Lincoln Highway in western Utah, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The refuge was established in 1959 by the Migratory Bird Commission and is managed as a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The celebration will take place May 9-10, 2009. Billed as a weekend of Wildlife, Wildlands, and History, participants will accompany instructors in the field for natural history classes in any of three sessions (two on Saturday, one Sunday). Topics will include land birds, aquatic birds, aquatic botany, area geology, refuge archeology, and most notably, a class titled Fish Springs the Crossroads which looks at the many important pioneer trails that passed through the refuge.

sebak_ut_bantaloABOVE: Refuge manager and LHA membership coordinator Jay Banta was photographed by PBS producer Rick Sebak as the crew filmed for last year’s Lincoln Highway program.

Refuge manager Jay Banta says that class will cover “the Jackass Mail, the Pony Express, the Central Overland Stage, the Transcontinental Telegraph, the Lincoln Highway, and maybe even a bit of the CCC history as they built most of the country roads in our part of the world.” Classes are limited to 20 students and require pre-registration, available online, by email, or by phone — see below.

Camping will be allowed on the refuge Friday May 8 and Saturday May 9. There will be a group potluck dinner on Saturday with a “Campfire” program by manager Banta and some surprise guests!

The refuge is 135 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. Commuting time is approximately 3.5 hours from SLC, with half of that distance being gravel roads.

For more information check the Special Events at or e-mail or call the refuge from 7 am to 4:30 pm, M–F. (435) 831-5353 x2

Utah main street stars in Disney movie tonight

February 16, 2009


Magna, Utah, just west of Salt Lake City along the Lincoln Highway, is the setting for Dadnapped, premiering on the Disney Channel at 8 pm tonight. The movie features Disney’s stable of teen stars like Emily Osment and others from Hannah Montana. The photo above showing the town’s Empress Theater and others can be seen on the Flickr page of DWRowan. The town (renamed Mercury in the film) was spruced up and altered some for the film but many buildings will be recognized such as the Empress. Filming was late in 2007. The trailer also features some scenes of the town.

Osment will be promoting it on The View this morning, other Disney stars are on other ABC shows today, and with two music videos premiering later, Disney at one point reportedly billed tonight’s schedule (perhaps overbilling to us older than teens) as “the equivalent of the Beatles and Rolling Stones appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show on the same night.”

The plot? “Melissa has a bad case of sibling rivalry, only her competition is a fictional character in her father’s best-selling novel about a teenage super spy. When her father is ‘dadnapped’ by a group of overzealous fans, it’s up to Melissa to muster the courage and know-how to find him… which suddenly puts her in the midst of her own adventurous plot.”

ABC in Utah reports that Salty Pictures Inc., the production company that made Dadnapped, received $400,000 in economic incentives from the state. In return, the company spent almost $2.7 million in Utah. Filming for Dadnapped wrapped up in June of last year.

Other shows filmed around Magna range from an episode of Everwood (2003) to Stephen King’s The Stand (1994) to Carnival of Souls (1962) at Saltair.

Petersen traces route that became Lincoln Hwy

February 10, 2009

Past LHA president Jesse Petersen has extensively researched the Lincoln Highway in Utah, mapped it, and co-authored a book on it with Gregory Franzwa. His newest project is A Route for the Overland Stage: James H. Simpson’s 1859 Trail Across the Great Basin. The exploration of the Great Basin by army topographical engineer Simpson opened up one of the West’s most important transportation and communication corridors, a vital link to the Pacific Coast that was followed by the Overland Stage and Pony Express.


Petersen writes, “My interest in the Simpson expedition was a result of my interest in the history of the Lincoln Highway. I was attending the Lincoln Highway Association’s 1996 conference in Reno, Nevada, when one of the presenters mentioned that the historic highway had followed much of the route that James Simpson had opened through Nevada in 1859.”

Jess walked or drove the entire trail west and Simpson’s variant path returning east to accurately describe, map, and photograph the route. Published by Utah State University Press, the 240-page, 8.5 x 11 paperback is $24.95 or buy it on Amazon for $18.96.

Lincoln Highway imagery in Roadside USA book

February 2, 2009

I received a copy of the new Roadside USA book by Shellee Graham and Jim Ross. There are a number of Lincoln Highway images such as this shot of Orr’s Ranch in Utah.


The book’s 30 main images are made like postcards, with a caption on back joined by a related photo. These are not captioned but are locations closely associated with the front image. The Lincoln Highway is featured in 5 of the main images, a pretty good percentage, but if you like roadside imagery you love them all, from Route 66 diners to a gas pump on the Ozark Trails. At $10.95, you’ll want to buy some as gifts, or get a couple for yourself: save one and mail postcards from the other.

The 64-page paperback is available on <a title=”Roadside USA book by Graham and Ross” href=”;tag=boobybribut-20&amp;linkCode=xm2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creativeASIN=096774816X&#8221; target=”_blank”>Amazon</a>.


Christmas lights extravaganza in Marshalltown

December 24, 2008

This Christmas display, in Marshalltown, Iowa (along the Lincoln Highway) is built annually by Eric Rodemeyer at his home (611 South 7th Avenue) using 14,500 lights, controlled by 96 computer channels, 7 songs in a loop. He also builds a display on the courthouse grounds for the Noon Optimist Club that will play through December 31, 2007 from 5:30 pm – 9 pm Weekdays and till.10:30pm Fri-Sun.

The song is “Christmas Eve Sarajevo”by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The basis, especially after a one-minute intro, is the song “Carol of the Bells,” one of my favorite songs, though I prefer it with voices, like this one from an album called Christmas with Monique Danielle, used at a site south of the LH in Lindon, Utah.

Ibapah Trading Post a Lincoln Highway must-stop

November 21, 2008

Ibapah is along the original Lincoln Highway that crosses the Utah desert between Salt Lake City and Ely, Nevada. You’ll need most of a full day to drive the dirt roads between those points but you’ll also see Orr’s Ranch, Fish Springs, Gold Hill, and other unpopulated outposts.


The Ibapah Trading Post is bound to become one of the Lincoln Highway’s must-stops, much like Oatman, Arizona, draws travelers to a desolate part of Route 66. I’ve been corresponding with Carolee Johnson at the post in anticipation of my next book, Lincoln Highway Companion. The big news is they now have a cabin for rent along with the old country store.


Carolee wrote:

We are trying to make this stop on the Lincoln Highway a little more inviting as funds become available, and people are welcome to stop through in June to watch real Western Cowboys rope and brand the livestock, and check out a real Old West ghost town. The buildings in the town are all still there as it was at one time the main stop for the overland stage between Chicago and Sacramento. There are stories of bandits coming to rob gold, mined out of the Queen of Sheba Gold Mines, out of the safe in the store where it waited for the overland stage. Efforts were foiled when the store owner was tipped off and hid the bars of gold in the ashes of the old pot belly stove. We still have the safe that was rolled out and blown up with dynamite by the bandits. Needless to say they didnt get the gold. This stop on the Lincoln Highway is teaming with US history and deserves to be on the map. I very much appreciate what you are doing for the history of the Lincoln Highway, and hope this helps a little.



Fisher Lincoln Highway monument in Utah update

November 7, 2008

Rollin Southwell sent an update on the monument he’s spearheading for Carl Fisher, father of the Lincoln Highway. It is planned for the top of Johnson/Fisher Pass on UT 199 between Clover and Terra, Utah. Architect Steve Ehninger recently announced construction and the dedication dates.


After a decade of planning, they are working on permits and approvals with hopes to be finalized by January 14, 2009. Construction could start April 9 and be completed by July 8. This includes a rock surround, asphalt paving, signage, and a beacon. Dedication is planned for August 12, 2009.


Read more at a site about the Fisher Pass monument or Rollin’s blog for more info on Fisher.

Blog promotes Utah monument to Carl Fisher

October 1, 2008

Rollin Southwell, aka The Man From Utah, has started a blog to complement his efforts to promote a monument to Lincoln Highway catalyst Carl Fisher. He has been working for the past decade to have the monument erected at Fisher Pass in Utah, 32 miles SW of Tooele. He’s long had a web site that explains that a monument was to be built by the state when the Lincoln Highway was rerouted in 1918 to a straighter path across the Salt Lake Desert.

As Rollin recounts, “Carl G. Fisher donated $25,000.00 to the State of Utah in 1918 to make a short cut on the Transcontinental Lincoln Highway cutting out fifty miles of the worst road conditions then existing on the Lincoln Highway.” He has part of the contract online too:

And Johnson Pass shall hereafter be known as Fisher Pass, or by such other designation as Mr. Carl G. Fisher shall hereafter determine.

Said Seilbering and Fisher are hereby given authority to construct, at their own expense, at the termini of, or at such other places along such sections, suitable markers, monuments or arches for the designation of said respective sections in connection with the work herein referred to.

Rollin says progress is finally being made on permits for the site. He adds, “If anyone has some material about Fisher Pass or the Goodyear Cutoff, feel free to leave it on the blog. We can add it very easy. Photos too. To start getting the blog rolling, we talk about old Betsy and her car connection to Fisher Pass.” Check it out at

"Walking America The Lincoln Way" to start soon

September 3, 2008

LHA member Dennis Crowley plans to walk across America on the Lincoln Highway. From 1998 through 2005 he walked and worked his way across America from Chicago to California on Route 66. He now calls the effort Cross Roads, “a single purpose and a simple message. By promoting America’s historic highways Cross Roads seeks to call attention to our country’s Christian heritage. The purpose for covering these highways on foot is to make the statement that America needs to return to and walk in her spiritual “‘old paths.'”

LHA director Jay Banta, also of Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge in Utah, wrote:

I look forward to hosting Dennis (and providing a shower!) when he arrives here at Fish Springs and I hope that others will provide him support as well. While we all have slightly different motives for ‘loving’ the highway, it is that passion that binds us and I think that Dennis and his quest can bring some great publicity to the Lincoln. I don’t think he has posted his schedule on the web but I know his first stint will take him from Lincoln Park to Sacramento in September of this year. He plans a Sacramento to Reno stretch in May of 2009 and then a push all the way across NV in the fall of 2009. His Utah and Wyoming crossing is planned for 2010.

Visit to learn more about “Walking America The Lincoln Way.”

Some on-the [gravel] road snaps from Sebak

July 29, 2008

As PBS producer Rick Sebak and crew followed the Lincoln Highway to the Pacific Ocean and back, he snapped lots of photos. Here are a couple from Utah.

And here’s a video clip they made while skirting the Great Salt Desert and Dugway Proving Ground:

Learn more about their travels and the forthcoming show, A Ride Along the Lincoln Highway, on Rick’s blog. Here are some of his other nationally themed shows: