While David Dale, a former Tooele resident, rarely uses social media, he’s glad he logged onto Facebook earlier this month to see a special photograph being shared among his friends.
The picture shows Boy Scout Troop 458 from Tooele’s LDS 8th Ward posing outside their bus while on a camping trip in Alberta, Canada. Dale wasn’t present on this trip, but remembers growing up with all the other troop members.
Dale knew once he had seen the picture he needed to help get it to the right people. The right person, luckily, happens to be his mother, Alice Dale, who has been the Tooele County Historical Society’s president for the last year.
“I know that I had better do my due diligence for my mother,” David Dale said. “So I started looking into where the picture had come from.”
David searched through his Facebook feed further and discovered the photo originally had been posted by the Tooele County Chamber of Commerce. After reaching out to them, David learned the photo and a brief description had been emailed by the photographer in hopes of being able to pass it along to the Boy Scouts.
“I got in contact with Justin Hamner, with the Chamber of Commerce, who had received the email and made the post online,” David said. “He was able to tell me how they got the picture, and then forwarded the contact details of the photographer to me.”
David was able to contact the photographer, Gordon Bossenberry. David came to know that Bossenberry and his wife, Lila, are celebrating 55 years of marriage this fall, and found the picture while sorting through old photographs from their life.
“After seeing the photograph again, I was curious if there was a way to reconnect with the people in it,” Bossenberry said.
The picture was taken back in 1968 by Bossenberry, a forest ranger who was living and working at the Livingstone Ranger Station in Alberta at the time. Bossenberry said he always had a camera with him to document duties and to be able to capture anything that stood out to him.
In this situation, it was the banner across the side of the bus that caught his eye while on patrol near Livingstone Falls.
“I stopped to see if all was well or if there was something I could help them with,” Bossenberry says, “All was well, as you can see in the smiles on their faces — so I took a picture.”
Alice Dale was ecstatic to see the photo when her son forwarded it and the information he’d learned to her.
“It’s a nice recognition to the Boy Scouts, to see them on a trip so far from home,” she said. “But it’s also a recognition to Bossenberry for his service during that time, and that he cared enough to share it with us.”
David and Alice worked together, along with a few others, to try to identify all the scouts in the picture, and reach out to them again.
“This picture dates back almost 50 years ago and it’s a part of so many lives in our community, and those Boy Scouts now have children and grandchildren of their own that they can show this to,” Alice Dale said.
Alice found pleasure in being able to share the photograph with some of the Boy Scouts, especially when she reached out to scoutmaster Vertis Carter’s family. Carter passed away just last year, and Alice gave a copy to his daughter and his son, who were also on the trip as well.
“It’s a nice way for his memory to live on.” Alice said.
Alice is currently planning to put together a little section for the Tooele Pioneer Museum, which is run by the Tooele County Historical Society, for people to be able to view this piece of history and the records that Bossenberry sent with it. She will also make copies of the photo available for those featured Boy Scouts and their families if requested.
Bossenberry was thrilled to know that the picture had reached the right people, and that the stories and memories can be shared to so many people.
“For those who are still with us today, I hope it brings back fond memories, if not them, their children or grandchildren,” Bossenberry said. “It was obviously a wonderful time in their lives as is seen in the happiness on their young faces in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada.”