I wouldn’t trade the times I grew up in with any other times in the history of Tooele County. As a kid, we could pack a sandwich and a real WWII canteen with canvas cover and a funky belt attachment thingy, and be gone all day long. Moms didn’t have to worry about their kids nearly as much as today, and without TV and video games, there were all kinds to things to do.
I still remember playing Tarzan in the Settlement Canyon Creek, just above the Wigwam. The depth of the gorge the stream had cut out and seemed like the Grand Canyon to us. The neat thing was the roots from the oak brush lining the stream bed hung down into the chasm, and we could swing from root to root just like we were in the jungle. Where the reservoir is now there was an old mine tunnel that we dared one another to go to the far back of. It seemed spooky then, but as I think back, it really wasn’t very far. I never knew who dug that mine and why. If anyone remembers, give me a call at 882-3872. It would be fun to know. There were even fish in the Settlement Canyon Stream.
One of our treks that took a little nerve was to climb to the “room” on the north west face of Little Mountain. The hike was steep, with lots of slick places where we would slip on the weeds and gravel. That “room” is still there today — kinda. Next time you drive up Skyline Drive behind the cemetery, look up Little Mountain and see where the rock gave way in times past and formed a perfectly square room with a very steep floor. It was “way kool” then. With just a little more effort, we could stand on the very top of our “Mount Everest” and bask in the glory of our accomplishment. The view wasn’t bad either.
The two photographs above were taken from the same exact spot atop Little Mountain. One of them 112 years ago, one about two weeks ago. One when the population of Tooele County was a little more than 7,000, the other when Tooele County population is just about 60,000. From Adobe Rock and the Great Salt Lake in the north to Vernon and the Pony Express Trail to the south. From the depth of the Copper Pit Overview on the east to the endlessness of the desert on the west, Tooele County is one beautiful and historical place to live.
At the Tooele Pioneer Museum, we want to display the charm of our county. We are hosting our Second Annual Photo Contest. There are cash prizes and ribbons for the photos deemed most outstanding by our judges, editor David Bern and photographer Francie Aufdemorte of the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin. There are separate categories of competition for youth, amateur, seniors and professional. From vast landscapes to gorgeous macros of flowers, etc., we want to display them all for everyone to see. We of course appreciate pioneer and historical photos, but any photos taken in Tooele County within the last two years are acceptable in this family-oriented contest. No portraits please. In order to best be viewed, photos must be 8×10 or larger, and have a card or foam backing. No frames or matting please. We just want everyone to admire the beauty of the photo itself. Up to three photos per person can be entered Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through July 19. They will be put up for exhibit immediately, and will continue to be displayed through July 26. Judging will take place after July 19, and prizes and awards will be placed on the photos in time for our special Pioneer Day opening on July 24. Of course, everything is free.
So, dust off your cameras, put on your creativity, and shoot and show off your stuff. For questions, come down to the Tooele Pioneer Museum at 47 E. Vine Street on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or call Darrell Smith at 435-882-3872.