Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image This original Conestoga wagon was the semi tractor/trailer of the plains. It did the real heavy lifting for items in the wagon or handcart companies that weighed too much. It, and many other pioneer and Native American artifacts, are on display at the Tooele Pioneer Museum.

July 14, 2015
Beauty is in the photo of the beholder

I just returned home from three weeks visiting my wife’s family in Northern Sweden. Between numerous rounds of amazing Swedish food, and the tastiest pastries in existence (and the 10 lbs weight gain that went with it) I was able to get out with my camera.

Weather was, most of the time partly cloudy, with daytime temperatures from the mid 50s to 60s. Sweden is a land with pine and birch trees and lakes and rivers. If there are no trees, it’s because man has cut them down to build farms and villages. It is as idyllic a setting as the stories you’ve heard, with red board and batten houses and barns lying peacefully among the trees, lakes and rivers. Picturesque is a word that just doesn’t cut it when describing the countryside. The only negatives are too many breathtaking photos to take and mosquitoes the size of World War II bombers. They do make great mosquito repellent, and I did take my camera battery charger with me and plenty of SD cards so I was able to suffer through.

Coming home wasn’t exactly fun. From the time we left our beds in Sweden until the time we laid our exhausted bodies and minds on our pillows at home, it had been 28 long, long, long hours without sleep. I awoke at 2 p.m. to check my email, and the temperature on my weather bug. Where we had just been one day before, registered a cool 46 degrees. This was 10 Sweden. On the other hand, good old Tooele was 94 degrees. Got to wonder why my ancestors first came here in the 1800s, and why they didn’t immediately turn around and go back home.

I captured some wonderful, wonderful photos in Sweden with my trusty Nikon, but since coming home have captured some wonderful, wonderful photos with that same trusty Nikon. I guess “beauty really is in the photo of the beholder!” That’s my point. We live in a county that is just as gorgeous in its wide-open way as Sweden is in its green forested countryside.

At the Tooele Pioneer Museum we are excited, for the third year in a row, to see and display the beauty found right here at home in our Tooele Pioneer Museum Photo Contest. Whether country, city, historic, or modern, we live in a land that truly is choice. Tooele is home! And, we want to exhibit, for all to gaze upon and say “Wow” about all that beauty that you have captured right here in Tooele County.

We are taking up to three entries per person until July 20, 2015. Entries are FREE, and ribbons and money are going to awarded by our professional panel of judges for first, second and third place in each category as well as the one photo the judges believe is the “Best of Show.” There will also be one photo that receives the “People’s Choice Award.” That is, whichever photo visitors to the museum vote as their favorite. So ask all your family and friends to come in and cast a vote for your beautiful image. Photos are on display from now through July 25. On July 24, all the winners and ribbons and money will be attached for all to gloat over. Everyone likes to be told that others enjoy their work. Win or not, just having it on display makes you feel good inside somehow. The categories are: youth through age 18, Amateur Historical, Amateur Miscellaneous, Senior Citizen and Professionals. We let you decide which category when you bring in you artwork and fill in our free entry form.

And now for the fine print, or that stuff they say really fast in TV advertisements. “Photos must be taken in Tooele County by the person submitting the photo. Photos cannot be taken more than two years ago. Photos of historical or pioneer value are appreciated but not at all necessary. Photos with people in it are OK, but no portraits please. Photos must be 8X10 or larger and cannot be framed or matted, but must have a card or foam backing. Whew!”

So come on. Help us make this a success for the county, and a place to strut your stuff. The Tooele Pioneer Museum is free and open every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Pioneer Square, about 47 E. Vine Street in Tooele, right next to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum that’s in the old rock city hall. Our email address is Any further questions give Darrell Smith a call at (435) 882-3872.

See ya all soon now!

Darrell Smith volunteers time as the publicity director of the Sons of Utah Pioneers Settlement Canyon Chapter. He also works as a docent at the Tooele Pioneer Museum. Smith can be reached at


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