Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

July 25, 2019
In 1994, fire overwhelms Grover Higley’s Country Store

The Tooele Transcript Bulletin has published Tooele County news since 1894. Here is a flashback of local front-page news from 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago that occurred during the fourth week of July.

July 26-28, 1994

The Tooele Valley landmark of Grover Higley’s Country Store north of Grantsville was nearly destroyed after an accidentally caused blaze rushed through the 10-acre site of buildings, vehicles and surplus materials.

Firefighters from several agencies fought the dangerous fire that was driven by heat, high winds, dry vegetation and chemicals. A reported 17 structures, numerous vehicles and related surplus material were ruined at the North Burmester site located about six miles north of Grantsville.

Preliminary reports put the loss at an estimated $500,000.

Later in the week, a study showed that  the Oquirrh Fault could cause a big earthquake.

Starting at Settlement Canyon, the fault twists northward for 12 miles alongside the Oquirrh Mountains, cutting through open fields and ancient beaches of Lake Bonneville before disappearing into the Great Salt Lake. 

William Lund, deputy director for the Utah Geological Survey, explained that the Oquirrh Fault is capable of producing earthquakes higher than the magnitude of seven on the Richter Scale.

July 22-25, 1969

Horse racing was planned for the Tooele County Livestock and Horse Show to be held at Grantsville on Aug. 18.

Racing would start immediately after the judging of the horses, which would begin at 1:30 p.m.

There would be no entry fee for those who wished to enter a horse in a race, neither would there be a charge for those who wanted to watch.

Races were planned for all classes of horses including ponies, quarter horses and thoroughbreds. 

Friday’s front page featured news of seven Tooele County teenagers injured late Monday night when their car rolled off a mountain road at Lookout Pass about eight miles west of state Route 36.

The young people were on their way from Dugway to Vernon when the accident occurred about 11 p.m. Utah Highway Patrol officers said the car was going too fast and lost control after coming around a curve.

July 25-28, 1944

Continued heat of the previous two weeks was making a tinder box of the valley and mountains, and only by the  greatest of caution would disastrous fireloss be spared.

Excessive spring moisture had caused an abnormal growth of  grass and vegetation that was becoming powder dry.

Tooele County Sheriff Alma White said burning of weeds or setting of fire was prohibited in all areas without a permit.

Temperatures hit a high of 96 degrees on July 19 with abnormal heat during the past two weeks.

Later in the week, hot weather proved damaging to crops.

Dry farm wheat harvest began during the week with a rather disappointing outlook after the first round of the combines.

It was estimated by some of the wheat farmers that yields would be short at least 35% of normal production. The yield was light and the kernels were small. Stocks were limited to one or two where normally four or five would grow.

July 25, 1919

Pioneer Day was celebrated in a fitting way. The Tooele Military band furnished the music for the day.

The day’s program started with a parade that assembled at the North Ward Church led by Tooele Mayor Peter Clegg. There were 10 floats, all of which were awarded prizes. A program at the South Ward Church followed the parade.

A ball game at the City park ended the sports for the day.

A dance in the opera house at night ended the celebration of Pioneer Day.

Correspondent Mark Watson compiled this report.

Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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